In Review: iZombie, Episode 14 “Grumpy Old Liv”

Good humor, good mystery, and great character growth.

iZombie, Episode 14 “Grumpy Old Liv” Broadcast on October 6, 2015

Written by Rob Thomas

Directed by Michael Fields

SEASON PREMIERE

“Previously on iZombie,” Liv becomes a zombie, Major kills a bunch of zombies, Liv makes bad zombie Blaine human, Liv’s brother is caught in an explosion and the only way he can survive an operation is if Liv gives him some of her blood for a transfusion. She says, “No.” In the present, her brother has undergone his third surgery to remove shrapnel. Their mom appears in the hospital door and tells Liv to leave. Her mom says if it wasn’t for another doctor who had the same blood type on call that night her brother would be dead. She asks if Liv is on drugs. Her daughter stresses she’s not and can’t tell her mom what is wrong with her because she’d only make things worse. Her brother wakes up and says, “Go away. Don’t come back.” She leaves the hospital under her mother’s wrathful gaze. That night, a jogger hears a scream and stops. The next day Liv tells Ravi her woes as they walk to a crime scene. Clive is already there, showing them that a man was crushed by a car he was working under. Cue opening title sequence.

Clive tells the pair that someone kicked the jack out. The victim’s sister-in-law arrives on her medical scooter to tell the trio that no one in a three mile distance would be upset at his passing. Back at the morgue, some of the victim’s brains mixed with pasta is Liv’s meal. When she finishes she notices that the lab rat, New Hope, is afraid of her. Ravi tells her the rat doesn’t think she brings anything to their relationship, plus Liv’s search for a new roommate isn’t as depressing as his inability to replicate the tainted drug Utopia that made her into a zombie, which he was trying to recreate to make her human. Blaine might have more of the drug, but they don’t know where he is since Liv cured him with the last dose of his concoction. Cut to Blaine in his new, ironic, profession. Cue first commercial break.

This is how you have a season premiere! You play pick up from the previous season’s finale, but continue to move the larger story arcs forward, while having a murder investigation that any new viewer can follow. Having Liv eat the brain of Archie Bunker gave Rose McIver some great lines to say, with the one she says to Babineaux priceless! The mystery in this episode was good, with everyone in the neighborhood being a suspect, and the individual that they bring to police headquarters the absolute epitome of a jerk. Rahul Kohli got his usual dose of one liners to give, though several came off flat. Better was when David Anders was on the screen; his scene with Rose was incredible. Also good was what Robert Buckley got to do in this episode. Just when it seems as though things can’t possibly get worse for his character, the final four minutes show that he can be dragged further down. It’s also a delight to see Steven Weber’s character brought back. Weber is a versatile actor who can be either charming and innocent, or the exact opposite as he is on this show.

The good: The mystery, the continuation of the larger story/character arcs, Rose McIver channeling her inner Carroll O’Connor, Malcolm Goodwin (who is the perfect straight man in this story), Robert Buckley, Steven Weber, a new post-zombie ability discovered, and a cringe worthy conclusion.

Fun lines: “Turn your hat around, punk! Show some respect!”, “Oh, the humanity,” “Are you eating that or impregnating it?”, “Aw, would you look at that, that’s a crime solving zombie,” “His pants are hanging so low they look like a bra for his ass,” “I’m gonna get myself a coffee and try to forget you said that,” and “Aren’t you the greatest zombie killer alive?”

The bad: The last person Liv is shown with was obvious before the character is revealed and seemed a little too heavy handed. By having this person with Liv makes whom this individual works for seem more powerful than he actually is. I’m rolling with it for now, but this could be overkill for an antagonist.

The final line: Love this episode and love this show. Good humor, good mystery, and great character growth. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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