iZombie, Season 2 Episode 1: “Grumpy Old Liv”

“Harden yourself Liv. You’re a monster, act like one”

After a high octane end to the first season, iZombie returns slightly muted. The only person talking to Liv is Ravi; her family won’t see her because she wouldn’t donate Evan her blood – not that it would have worked, because the doctors would realise something was wrong when they took her pulse. Peyton has disappeared, and the only way Liv can talk to Major is through Ravi – although she should probably dump her phone, stat, because Max Rager are tapping it. So Liv isn’t exactly in a great headspace, which doesn’t improve when her food for the week has come from a grumpy old man… hence the title. I tried taking notes for this episode, but it was impossible because I end up just writing down my favourite lines and also because the television was drowned out by family chatter. I really appreciate Stan fast-tracking the new season of iZombie from the US, but I think that from now on I’ll have to watch it somewhere a bit quieter.

The season premiere suffers from season premiere-itis, in that there’s a lot of exposition to catch up audiences who may have not seen the first season (although this is such a niche show that it’d be unlikely), and also to fill in what’s been happening for the last three months. There was so much time focused on the character work/exposition – I prefer shows that focus on character, but there was so much catch up to do this week that it dragged a bit – that I didn’t even notice that Liv didn’t have any murder related ‘visions’ until nearly halfway through the episode, and by that point I wasn’t looking at the clock.

This week’s murder victim, as I said earlier, was a grumpy old man, whose brain caused Liv to become cantankerous. Consequently, she kept pushing people away, which is what she’d decided to do before she tried this brain, because she’ll just end up hurting them anyway. The victim was killed by his car being dropped on him, which makes me certain that the iZombie writers room watches The Americans, and I was quite disappointed that the murderer wasn’t played by Kerry Russel, even though Elizabeth Jennings would probably be in her eighties at this point. By the end of the episode Liv realises that she needs to make an effort otherwise she’ll end up like that old man, who pushed everyone away when his wife left him. It’s a linear and predictable storyline, but once again this is the premiere, and we have to catch up on everyone else!

Blaine supposedly runs a funeral parlour, but it’s actually just a front for his renewed interest in dealing utopium. Liv tells him that they need more of the tainted utopium to manufacture more of the cure, and warns him that the rat from their first batch of the cure died two days later. David Anders is having the best time playing Blaine, and rubbing Liv’s nose in the fact that he can eat real food again. An important question to ask at this point is what is happening to the zombies that were on Blaine’s meal plan? Is he actually using brains from the funeral parlour, or is that just something he said? Blaine had contained the zombie outbreak by providing those he infected with the brains of murdered youths, but we don’t hear of any strange occurrences in Seattle over the past three months.

Meanwhile, Major is working as a personal trainer, which okay, sure. Why not? Clive still suspects him for the Meat Cute massacre/explosion, and Liv’s alibi for him isn’t solid. Both he and Blaine are suffering from side-effects of Ravi’s cure, and their hair stands on end whenever they get close to other zombies – which is why New/Final Hope doesn’t like being around Liv. Meanwhile, as I said earlier, Max Rager has tapped Liv’s phone, so they’ve managed to figure out that Major has special zombie spider senses, and that he killed all those people at the Meat Cute. So they hire/blackmail Major into killing all the zombies in Seattle because a zombie outbreak could really affect their bottom line. Also Liv’s new roommate is the Max Rager assistant lady which I guess was the twist, but it wasn’t particularly shocking. The premiere was solid, and while I didn’t love it, I’m looking forward to watching again next week.

Other thoughts:

  • The CW announced yesterday that they have ordered an additional five scripts for this season of iZombie, which is slightly worrying because season one worked so well as 13 episodes, but also there’s less time to wait in between seasons of iZombie, and that’s not a bad thing.
  • Pop culture references I picked up on this week: Ravi calling the cured rat ‘New Hope’ (if he wanted to call it a depressing name, he would have called it The Phantom Menace), and a “Good God, Lemon!” from Liv while she’s on cranky brain. I guess the grumpy old man was a 30 Rock fan?
  • If anyone could tell me where I’ve seen Max Rager assistant lady/Liv’s new roommate before, that’d be great.
  • This week’s brain dish: Spaghetti and brain-balls, which sounds almost palatable.
  • Stan made a brain shaped red velvet cake to celebrate the return of iZombie, and they should win the Great Australian Bake-Off:

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