When we left Liv, she had used the last batch of antidote to cure a zombified Major and resurrect Blaine. It’s funny how, at the beginning of season 2, everybody is still so furious about Liv’s salvation secret sauce. She ostensibly saved the man she loves and the man she hates, and yet she couldn’t donate blood to save her brother. And she certainly can’t save herself. (More on that later.)
True to season finale form, the iZombie writers left us with an entire cranium full of questions. Will Major stay un-undead? Will Blaine? Should Max Rager create more zombies or kill them? Will Liv’s brother live? Can Ravi make a new antidote? Will Liv ever be happy? Will Peyton return (yes, apparently: Her pilot didn’t get picked up)?
In the season 2 premiere, we get a lot of rage (both Max and otherwise) and very few answers. Liv’s brother is on the mend but still in rough shape. Major, not technically a zombie, is living in this weird limbo between alive and undead. Ravi is less than thrilled to find out Liv used the last two doses of antidote on her ex-fiancé and then her nemesis. Liv brain buffets a cantankerous old man and becomes the get-off-my-lawn poster senior citizen. And if that’s not enough, Liv’s new roommate works for the IRS. Or at least we’re lead to believe she does for most of the episode.
We open in the hospital, not with Blaine or Major or Ravi, but with Liv checking in on her brother, who is still pretty banged up. With all of the drama set to unfold this season, it’s interesting the writers chose to set the tone with a solitary Liv. She often hides her melancholy in sass and wit, but the true Liv seems alienated and defeated. And hearing her mom and brother send her away in the first scene is heartbreaking. “You’re a monster, act like it,” Liv says to herself. I don’t know why everyone can’t just live and let Liv live — instead they have to make her miserable when she does a damn fine job of self-loathing herself.
Ravi, on the other hand, is quick to forgive and to make excuses for his roommate, Major, who’s still screening Liv’s calls. (Man, what kind of horrible person rescues the man she loves from becoming a zombie? Amirite?) “Bros before… ex-fiancés!” Ravi says cheerfully, dodging Liv’s eye daggers as the two of them come upon a very dead man pinned under a car in his front yard. One Wendell Gordon Gale, 77, was not beloved, to say the least. According to his sister-in-law/next-door neighbor, he hated: The laughter of children, puppies, other races, his race, trick or treaters, carolers, etc.
While the codger sounds like a real hoot, the stereotype gave Liv some pretty good brain matter to work with here. Although Rose McIver has really mastered any character of the week they throw at her, she tends to be at her funniest with the most stereotypical yet most incongruous ones. (Note: Rose, if you’re not in an improv group, get thyself to UCB, stat. Your weekly roleplay is flawless.) And after cooking up some spaghetti and brainballs, she makes a damn good racist old coot.
And she gets some great zingers. “Turn your hat around, show some respect!” Liv yells at a teen when she and Clive head to check out the crime scene. “What? Is he crouching behind home plate at Yankee stadium?” Clive, on the other hand, is more interested in talking about Major and what really went down during the Meat Cute massacre. Liv does everything she can to change the subject, but it changes itself when the dynamic duo show up at the doorstep Byron, your friendly neighborhood police hotline tipster hipster who has a penchant for paint by numbers of his dog, Lana.
Creepy? Yes. But nothing’s as eerie as our buddy Blaine a.k.a. John Deaux, who’s now running a town mortuary. Although with his slicked-back hair, empty stare, stretchy smile, and dulcet financial-coercion tones, you’d think he was either a revivalist preacher or the best damn infomercial salesman in the South. As he realizes he has a visitor, we get a zippy closeup of the hair standing up on the back of his neck. Cut to Liv. Is side effect No. 1 a big fat clue as to what the deal is with Ravi’s special sauce? (Spoiler alert: Yes.) Zombie Sense has become Blaine’s spidey-sense. But never fear, he still has no common sense whatsoever, as he’s now trafficking in pure Utopium while simultaneously trying to track down the source of the night of the undead boat party tainted Utopium.
NEXT: Meet Liv’s new roommate