“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves,” writes Shakespeare in Julius Caesar. Yes, we may all be destiny’s children, but at the end of the day, we need to take responsibility for our own actions and who we are. Today, however, is not that day for Team iZombie. Everyone prefers to be someone they’re not. Liv is no stranger to this phenomenon. It has cost her a fiancé, a career, and, because she couldn’t help Evan, her family. But she keeps eating brains with purpose: to solve cases, be distracted, assuage guilt. Major and Blaine continue to struggle with their new identities. “Don’t go too far this time, more Tilda Swinton, less Casper’s ass,” Blaine chastises his makeup artist as she resuscitates his zombie pallor for a meeting. What does it mean to be brought back from the undead?
You can bet Mr. Body of The Week wants to know. Chad Wolkoff, master pranker and beloved bro, would definitely prefer a detour to Zombieland instead of a trip 6 feet under. Poor guy was just minding his own business stumbling around his frat party in a toga, when BAM, ice picked to death by a big blue furry Captain Wazzle. If you’re imaging Liv doing a keg stand and sucking down some home-brewed brains, you’re only about half right. “I hope you like Jägerbombs and homoerotic subtext,” says Ravi, and raises an eyebrow in Liv’s direction.
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One plate of gray-matter nachos — and one very large belch — later, Liv and Clive are chillaxing with Chad’s frat brothers, contemplating the meaning of life and the pursuit of beer bongs. As they remember their dearly departed bro — “It’s unthinkable that someone murdered Chad. Seriously, I can’t even think it” — a chant builds among the crowd: Chug! Chug! Chug! Suddenly Liv has a keg stand-sponsored vision of one of the guys saying Chad ruined his life. After a spin through Instagram pics of the party exonerates him, Clive asks about the furry blue guy in the photos. “Yeah, I don’t know who the furry blue guy is, but how huge are Megan Riley’s cans?!” says Brody. Liv is nodding and laughing and visibly bro-ing down. Clive is horrified. I’m overjoyed. This Liv is way more fun than last week’s cantankerous old man. If I could supercut all of Liv’s frat-tastic reaction shots in this episode and set them to “Closing Time,” I’d be a happy camper.
At one point, happening upon a sleeping Ravi, Liv has a field day with glitter and some particularly bold graffiti of the word “FART” on his forehead. “This isn’t funny,” he says after waking up and triggers another vision. Liv sees Now Dead Chad getting suspended for punking a clean-cut guy, who turns out to be a different, still very alive Chad Wolkoff. Still Alive Chad hated Now Dead Chad for a particularly mean-spirited prank, in which he showed up drunk at a high school drunk-driving assembly purporting to be Still Alive Chad. (Got all that?) The crime turns out to be a case of mistaken identity: Our buddy in the furry costume thought he was stabbing Still Alive Chad, the drunk driver who struck and killed his father. While Liv and Co. are all trying to be something they’re not, Now Dead Chad was murdered for being someone he isn’t.
NEXT: Blaine does his best Dr. Evil impression
Meanwhile, Blaine hones his master plan to steal the city’s crime syndicate and recruits the DA, who is — surprise surprise — a zombie. Is there anyone left in Seattle besides Blaine, Ravi, and Major who isn’t? I’m not quite sure if Liv thought that turning Blaine human again would kill his sociopathic tendencies, but man that was a waste of tainted Utopium. Now he craves brains even more than when he was actually eating them. What’s his damage? Turns out it’s all courtesy of his evil daddy dearest, the first zombie Blaine created, who we meet in a steel-and-glass office as the two trade culture-laded barbs, name-checking everyone from Oedipus to Horatio Alger to Madonna. His father’s vitriol doesn’t seem to rattle him, but it certainly gives us insight into why Blaine is the way he is. Poor unloved little rich boy always trying to make a buck asking for money for all his million-dollar ideas. Are we supposed to feel sorry for him?
It wouldn’t be a good episode without some quality Major and Ravi time, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Ravi convinces Major to go clubbing and to try Utopium — you know, for work purposes, and we get some strobe-light booty-shaking action. Everybody’s partying for work purposes: Liv drags her new roommate (there’s suspiciously no Max Rager drama, nary a mention, this week) back to the frat for research — a.k.a. Beer Pong — when she’s summoned back to take care of a seriously rolling Major. “I won’t let anything happen to you,” he says, laying his head in Liv’s lap, the first sign of tenderness since she gave him the antidote at the end of last season. “And I won’t shave your eyebrows,” she says, ruffling his hair.
The show is great at balancing darkness and humor, and Liv and Major’s chemistry only heightens its effectiveness. It will serve iZombie well as the writers take this season to some seriously bleak corners — which is where we find ourselves at the episode’s end: Major, in his Post Zombie Traumatic Stress Disorder, spiraling perilously into a Utopium haze. Liv, knocking on his door, trying to get in.
Liv points to the word FART on Ravi’s forehead: “Brain fart — whole new level.”
Major: I know you’re a student of men’s lifestyle magazines, but your glitter, is this a trend I should know about?
Ravi: It was an accident.
Major: Involving a My Little Pony?
Ravi: I had makeup on before that was surprisingly difficult to wash off.
Major: Been there. So you know I’m referring to your beard as Princess Sparkles from now on, right?
Ravi: Why would you do that to my beard?
Major: You got some crumbs stuck in Princess Sparkles.
“I kind of felt like ordering in hot wings and watching Entourage.” —Liv
Brody: Do, Date, Delete — Tom Hardy, Tom Brady, Tom Cruise
Liv: Date Hardy. Wait, I kind of want to delete Brady AND Cruise.
“What would be more shocking — that sweet faced kid as a murderer or that kid getting his freak on as a stuffed animal?” — Liv
Ravi: Bob Dylan, Dylan McDermott, Dermot Mulroney
Liv: Do Dylan McDermott, Date Bob Dylan, Delete Dermot Mulroney.
Ravi: Really? Did you not see his turn on New Girl? I found him delightful.
Liv: I thought Dylan McDermott was from My Best Friend’s Wedding.
Ravi: Nuh uh. That’s Dermot Mulroney.
Liv: I deleted the wrong Dermot!
A Bonus Drinking Game:
Drink every time someone says “bro” — or maybe just take a sip every time someone says bro. Or you’ll be having your own personal Utopium party. Here are some lines to get started:
- “I’m on frat boy brains at the moment, everything is getting filtered through the Bro-zone layer.”
- “I’m trying to be bro-active.”
- “Right now I’ve got one word in my bro-cabulary.”
- “I know you’re going for gold in the Bro-lympics”