When you’re cranium deep in the iZombie-verse, it’s easy to get caught up in how much fun Liv’s brain of the week can be. Sure, it’s helpful in solving cases, but thanks to the chameleon-like talents of Rose McIver, it’s often an entertaining mix of bon mots, tap dance, and jazz hands. In this episode, though, when Liv eats the brain of a stalker ex-girlfriend of Babineaux’s, the weekly zombie snack is less tap dancer and more mood enhancer: It doesn’t create a new personality as much as it unearths some subconscious feelings.
As the episode opens, Liv ends her morning walk of shame in her kitchen, where a rebuffed Rita/Gilda takes no joy in Liv’s Major bliss and tries to creep some doubt into the reconciliation. Later on the couch — when Liv is going through Major’s FB page and calling out the “sluts” and “jezebels” — she tries to fight the stalker brain urges. Rita/Gilda just eggs her on. Surely part of this is jealousy. But somewhere deep down, it turns out that Liv has been harboring doubts of her own.
And eating the brains of “Badge Bunny” Regina to prove Babineaux didn’t kill her doesn’t help. (Nor does doing a stint in the pokey for overstepping in her investigation.) Turns out Regina is a crazy ex-girlfriend, not the kind that sings about love and loss and getting ready to go out in West Covina on another CW show, but the kind of ex that stalks her romantic flings and creates creepy, Photoshopped scrapbooks of their (fake) lives together. This time, however, her romantic delusion backfires when she’s murdered by the brother of a woman scorned.
Liv, fully under the influence of 50 shades of gray matter, is one butcher knife away from putting a bunny in a pot of boiling water. “Who’s the bitch using your shower, or did you suddenly switch to Sinful Diva shampoo?” she fires at Major. (Turns out, it’s Ravi’s.) Later when Major is asleep, she breaks into his phone, reads “Rita’s” texts, and flips out accordingly. By the time Liv confesses that she’s on stalker brain, Major is seriously freaked out — he hides his zombie-slaying tools in the safe in his closet — and you can see the new-old relationship’s veneer beginning to crack.
Back in the Max Rager dungeon, Vaughn and Gilda/Rita are watching yet another head of research — “They’re like drummers for Spinal Tap,” says Gilda/Rita, still seething from Liv and Major’s re-found love — observe the effects of a new and improved Super Max on a gnarly looking zombie. Yes that’s right. Team Max Rager is back in action, and Vaughn hatches a plan to test Super Max on Major.
Oh Major. He’s just everybody’s whipping boy at this point. He has to kill zombies to protect Liv. He has to freeze zombies to (ostensibly) protect himself. He’s in love with someone who’s undead. And he can’t even knock boots with her. No wonder he’s giving off the guilty vibe.
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Sadly, Liv is picking up what he’s putting down. “There’s something in there that’s going to break my heart. I can feel it,” she says when he discovers her trying to crack his safe after a second dose of stalker brains. When Major opens the safe to reveal that he’s kept her engagement ring, it’s more than the old heart bait and switch. The gesture is simultaneously romantic and shady. What’s stopping Major from revealing the truth at this point? Liv will understand — and surely the big reveal of the meaning behind the zombie popsicles will show that Major is a savvy hero and not just a chump.
Still, Liv can’t lose that nagging feeling. iZombie has taken her from Miss Bliss to Mrs. Doubtfire in just a few episodes, so it’s clear that the show is setting up a big bombshell for next week’s midseason finale. Love has been in the air for so many of the past few episodes that I’d hate to see Liv and Major break up (again). But iZombie is at its best when it goes from zero to 60 on the drama meter. It’s time to rev up that engine again.
Other choice cuts:
[Ravi goes to make a joke]
Babineaux: [shooting him a look] Uh-uh.