This week in iZombie, Liv eats the brain of Javier, a murdered painter, and discovers her passionate side. She gets visions of his sexual encounters (and soon learns that his wife didn’t mind his affairs with other women) and absorbs Javier’s artistic abilities.

Liv’s newfound passion makes for a few awkward situations. When she’s in the interrogation room with Clive (the detective), she starts hitting on the suspect, commenting on his cheekbones. (“I’m a quarter Cherokee,” he says. “Yeah, you are,” she replies.) But the worst moment comes at the end of the episode, when Liv tries to seduce Major, who is understandably confused and upset by the sudden shift in her behavior.

And he isn’t the only confused one – I get that she’s absorbed Javier’s personality, but she still has very good reasons not to get intimate with Major. The scene feels forced and out-of-character even under Javier’s influence, an excuse to end the episode with Liv pontificating in voice-over about passion. Non-Veronica Mars fans may have liked or tolerated that voice-over, but to me, it just feels formulaic, validating my worst fears that Rob Thomas is just going through the motions here.

The subplot about Blaine (David Anders), the other zombie who Liv discovers, is much more interesting. I love the scene in the morgue, where he and Liv relate to each other’s zombie-related struggles, and Blaine tries to establish mutual zombie terminology. He claims to be reformed, or at least “trying not to be a sleazebag”, but we soon learn that he’s lying. Liv sees him talking to two mob-members, contradicting his earlier claim that he had cut all the “poisonous people” out of his life – though she doesn’t witness him murdering them in their car moments later. Far worse, though, he seduces an older woman at a bar, intentionally infects her with zombie, and coerces her into paying him for a supply of brains.

Blaine is obviously being set up as a recurring villain, and I couldn’t be happier about that. He mixes manipulative and evil with charm and wit. Who doesn’t love that combination?

Overall, the episode was pretty much consistent with my expectations based on the pilot. Blaine was a surprisingly good new character and the Liv-Major subplot was predictably boring. Thankfully, this episode had none of the issues with expository dialogue that the pilot did.

I like the show’s twist on the procedural, as it’s as much about who Liv eats this week as it is about the mystery itself. I know the show is set up for Liv to investigate a crime or murder of some sort each week, but I hope they mix that up in the future, and have Liv solve some other kind of problem caused by her eating someone’s brain. After all, she doesn’t have to exclusively eat the brains of murder victims.

iZombie: 'Brother, Can You Spare A Brain?'
  • Blaine is an excellent new villain who steals every scene he's in
  • Mystery of the week was entertaining
  • I don't care about the romantic subplot between Major and Liv
8.5Overall Score
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I saw 'Mars Attacks!' in theaters when I was five. I still think it's the greatest horror movie for five year olds ever made.