iZombie 4x07 "Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Brain"
This episode’s murder of the week begins with professional wingman, Max, at work. At first it seems like he is helping a client hook up with a girl he sees at the gym, but Max ends up going home with her instead. Max may be charming, but I’m not sure how good he is at his job. The morning after, his one night stand finds him dead in bed. Ravi concludes that his condoms were poisoned. “Not a bad way to go,” says Liv, who has already eaten grody playboy brain. A long line of women come through the interrogation room to air their grievances against the “predator, misogynist, a complete dick.” One of the women points her finger at Liv, which sparks a vision of Max being yelled at by a Fillmore Graves officer.
I love seeing the ways that the brains that Liv eats play into the other storylines, but they are usually not as delightful or on the nose as “Clive needs a professional wingman, Liv ate the brain of a professional wingman.” But Peyton and Ravi catch a glimpse of Clive’s pitiful Tinder profile, (it features a picture of him standing next to a guy who is 7 feet tall and his bio mentions that he hates warm weather) and they insist that he comes out to the club. Despite their efforts to keep Liv out of it, Ravi’s skills weren’t exactly getting the job done. Liv swoops in with a flashy fedora, but it seems all hope is lost when Clive’s pickup move is showing women pictures of Dale.
Clive hits rock bottom when he sleeps with a sex worker. Dale confronts him in the bullpen and Clive says that he hasn’t asked for details about men that Dale has seen — that’s because there aren’t any. She confesses that she hasn’t slept with anyone and that going on dates and kissing other people just makes her miss him more. It seems like these two haven’t totally communicated on the boundaries of their relationship. When Dale walks away, Clive looks absolutely devastated.
The club doesn’t do much for Liv either, so she heads over to Patch’s apartment. Her attraction to him compounded with the playboy brain results her in aggressively hitting on him. He shuts her down by saying her fedora makes her look like Kevin Federline and then tells her they aren’t hooking up while she’s on this brain.
Clive and Liv follow up on the Fillmore Graves guy from Liv’s vision, J Marsh. Chase Graves rolls him out, fresh out of the freezer. Marsh was frozen for turning a woman, Huma Kattan, into a zombie through sexual intercourse. Thinking she could be their guy, Clive and Liv go to zombie services to find Huma’s record. They are drowning in files, but Clive finally pulls out the right one — it turns out that Huma was the woman who helped spark Liv’s vision. The team put it together that Max encouraged Marsh to sleep with Huma without disclosing his status, and then later protected Marsh by claiming that Huma wanted to be turn into a zombie anyway. It’s obvious that Clive and Liv feel uncomfortable making Huma sign the confession after all that she has been through, but that’s the way it works. It would seem that zombies only further complicate the world’s sexual politics.
Their trip to zombie services serves another purpose for Liv. She and Patch are trying to figure out a way to get brains to the people that they’ve been smuggling. First, they pay a visit to the zombie church to see where they have been getting their supply, but the only thing that trip accomplishes is Liv figuring out that the prophet she’s been hearing so much about is Blaine’s dad. But zombie services provides another opportunity. If she steals enough ID cards for the people she smuggles, she can make fake identities for them and they’ll have access to brain tubes.
She goes back to Patch’s place to propose her plan. She also apologizes for her behavior from the night before. She tells him that her job has gotten in the way of her personal life before (this seems like an understatement) but he tells her that he can “roll with a few lousy brains,” and they kiss. I have mixed feelings about Patch. Liv has a thing for sweet and sensitive guys, so he’s definitely her type. But so far he’s fallen a little flat to me, and I’m ready for something to truly set him apart from her previous love interests.
At zombie services, Liv pulls her mission off, but she’s not quite cool enough about it to trick Clive. He asks her if he should ask about what she’s doing, but she opts to keep him in the dark.
Meanwhile at Fillmore Graves, Chase officially ascends to the status of autocrat. He checks his office for bugs, and sends Major and his goons to shut down a newspaper that printed an unflattering article about him. Major’s squad even shoots up the newsroom. Chase also asks Major to get close to a guy named Ross Roach, but we don’t see it on screen. I’m worried that the show is doing too much “telling” and not “showing” on Major’s arc. Why does he feel the need to follow Chase so blindly? A guy with a social working background should be able to recognize that shutting down a newspaper is a next level abuse of power. Major is just another zombie trying to find his purpose in New Seattle, but how can he believe that this is really it? A little piece of my heart broke to see him relish in being called “The Chaos Killer” during the newsroom raid. Who Major is and the way the public sees him are starting to become the same, but I’m having trouble seeing his motivations.
The mayor of Seattle and Peyton confront Chase Graves, and he tells them that “democracies don’t work when you’re sitting on a powder keg.” Several characters point out how somber Chase has been these days. It would appear that heavy lies the crown for New Seattle’s resident Emo White Dude ruler, but you’ll be hard pressed to see me feeling bad for him. His theatrics have encouraged his team to adopt the term “fake news,” which they shout at anyone simply trying to get a word in. Last season, iZombie used zombie conspiracy theorists to represent supporters of our current administration, but it seems like Fillmore Graves will carry on in their stead. I’m not sure that it totally tracks, and it’s a little exhausting to see iZombie use phrases that are so loaded in real life, but I’ll let it be for now.
After dealing with Chase and Major, Peyton comes home to find Liv creating the fake IDs. Peyton is in a tough position here. Both of her best friends are on the path to possible destruction, but they are on opposite sides of the aisle. She’s also the mayor’s right hand, which allows her to see the full picture of New Seattle in a way that perhaps other characters do not. I’m not sure what she’s going to do with this new information about Liv, but it undoubtedly complicates things. When Clive found out Liv was a zombie, the group agreed that there would be no more secrets between them, but circumstances have forced the friends into different corners and with new things to hide. All season, characters have been insisting that New Seattle means different rules, but all that has seemed to mean so far is that the same oppressive systems have been amplified. What’s a Chief of Staff human girl like Peyton to do?
Today Rahul Kohli tweeted that Izabela Vidovic is joining the cast, so we can expect to see a storyline for the girl who Liv was making a fake ID for.
Watching Clive read emojis out loud in the interrogation room made me wonder how often that actually happens.
I wish this whole episode had just been Peyton and Ravi creating a Tinder profile for Clive.
People seem very keen on pointing out that Liv is conforming by tanning and dying. I think she’s doing it so she can fly under the radar better as the new Renegade.
Liv, “donut-ing” is not a thing. If it was, I would know.
Speaking of ways to pick up women, telling her “I’m often behind you in spin class” is not one of them.
“I’m boxing you up and sending you to Gwyneth Paltrow” is just the perfect combination of hilarious, creepy, and outrageous humor that iZombie can do so well.
Same goes for the brilliant “Frosty the Snowman” joke about hoping that Clive putting on a hat would suddenly bring his game to life.
iZombie airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.
Haley's episode rating:🐝🐝🐝