He’s just a boy (zombie) standing in front of a girl (zombie), asking her to date him. Awwwwww.
And his timing is spot-on, since our heroine has recently decided to make her name – Liv Moore -- a declaration instead of a punchline.
Because of the newfound connection, this week’s episode of the CW’s “iZombie,” is officially adding another modifier to its hybrid description. It’s now, I declare, a dram-zom-rom-com. Hooray!
It’s just too bad that Liv (Rose McIver) has to go through the trauma of a murdered sorority sister to find a love interest. But it sure is nice to see the normally oh-so-serious Liv flirt, giggle and bat her eyes. You go, undead girl.
The showrunners do a lovely job in “Flight of the Living Dead” of not revealing until late in the hour that Liv’s handsome new friend, who’s also a potential homicide suspect, is a member of the walking undeceased. By then, Liv’s had plenty of time to stare into his baby blues and pick up on the metaphorical heat that he’s giving off.
Can’t wait to see where this goes, says anyone who’s a fan of “Warm Bodies.”
But wait – sorry to be a buzzkill here -- where does he get his brains? The spray tan, hair dye and contact lenses are easy enough for this character, named Lowell Tracey (Bradley James), to hide his secret. It’s his feeding source that I’m left wondering about. No doubt that’ll come out soon.
On to the nitty gritty, which sees Major (Robert Buckley) on the hunt for his missing teenage friend and Det. Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) stumbling onto a whole passel of similarly disappeared street kids, runaways and homeless folks. Blaine?!
Crime o' the week: Some action sports aficionados go for a group parachute jump, except one gal doesn’t make it to the ground safely. In fact, she ends up impaled on a tree even though she’s pulled plenty more dangerous stunts in her globetrotting, adventurous life.
Liv and her boss, medical examiner Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli), land at the scene only to be told that the FAA thinks it’s a simple accident. The girl’s friends think otherwise and quickly point to Tracey, who disappeared shortly after their jump and didn’t resurface until after her body had been discovered.
Through the authorities' ID and real-time Facebook posts, Liv learns that the victim is her former college friend Holly, a bit of a loose cannon whose wild, party-girl behavior got her tossed from the sorority house. (Super uptight U-Dubbers must not understand the Greek system at all).
Liv feels compelled to find out what happened and agrees, though Ravi says she doesn’t have to, to eat Holly’s brain in search of foul play. She’s only done this with strangers so far in the series, so this is a significant step that gives Liv a personal connection with the killing. It ups the stakes for us, as viewers.
Her early visions point to hunky musician Tracey, and she enlists Babineaux in investigating a case that’s not technically a murder. (His boss is none too pleased. And, oh yeah, he’s a zombie too.)
The digging exposes the seamy side of Holly’s cadre of extreme sports frenemies, along with possibly shady business practices of Max Rager, an energy drink that sponsors much of their daredevil activity. Could the high-octane beverage – apparently more Four Loko than Red Bull – have something to do with psychotic breakdowns? Or a zombiepocalypse? Discuss!
Holly, it seems, had been privy to secret emails about Max Rager’s quality control issues and had threatened to leak them to the media. Fellow skydiver and company marketing executive Eliza didn’t intend to let that happen, spiking Holly’s pre-jump mezcal with GHB. That’s why Holly lost control and ended up dead.
So it isn’t the fault of her ex-boyfriend Carson McComb (guest star Ryan Hansen), even though he’s a completely duplicitous dude. And it’s not Lowell because he was hiding in the woods trying to calm a random bout of full-on zombie rage, not skewering Holly on a tall pine. (P.S. He couldn’t be the guilty one, since he’s likely to be a recurring character on the series now.) Side note to Lowell: hurt Liv and I’ll personally kill you (again).
While Liv is solving this crime and motocrossing around town – she’s inherited some of Holly’s caution-to-the-wind qualities – Major decides to do some of his own investigating. Remember those American flag sneaks that his friend Jerome loved so much? Major spies those on the feet of some burly guy at the skate park and impulsively starts a fight with him. Arse-kicking ensues (unfortunately, Major’s).
Same hangout, different time: Babineaux, feeling a twinge for not helping Major, learns that there are plenty more unaccounted-for people in that downtrodden area. He reports some alarming stats back to his lieutenant, a total grump who snaps at him about doing extra work. Then he dumps a boatload of hot sauce into his coffee. Busted, zombie!
It would make sense that the Seattle police, at least on some level, are involved in Blaine DeBeers’ fresh meat factory. As co-conspirators? As enablers or protectors? If they need brains, too, it’s in their best interest to help the Candy Man.
That will make it even tougher for Liv, Clive, Ravi and Major to get to the bottom of all these rotten doings in town. Happy to stick around for that.