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'iZombie' recap: Going mad for Max Rager in 'Mr. Berserk'

Liv grieves Lowell and keeps Major in the dark about walking undead on 'Mr. Berserk' episode of 'iZombie'

Denial is a powerful force, “iZombie” fans, and I’ve been living with it, wrapping it around me like a blanket, for the last week. Lowell Tracy is dead. Wait, what? Lowell Tracey (Bradley James) was “already dead,” just like the theme song of the CW dram-rom-zom-com says.

And anyway, I was just starting to like him. He’d just declared his love for our heroine, Liv Moore (Rose McIver), and she’d just realized that she was falling hard for him.

So, perfect time to off the guy?

Because we didn’t actually see him hit the ground in the waning moments of last week’s episode, “Patriot Brains,” I had steadfastly refused to believe he was really gone. Isn’t there some chance he made it out alive(ish)?

Rotten-to-the-core zombie Julien DuPont took three slugs to the chest during the same hour and strolled away like nothing happened. Why does he get to “live?”

Unfortunately for fans like me of the boyish Brit rocker, Blaine DeBeers (David Anders) is well versed in the zombie killshot. Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley), not so much. Well, not at all. Aim for the head, always aim for the head.

Lowell is dead, and Liv knows why. She couldn’t go through with the assassination they’d planned, even with sniper brains coursing through her body. She backed down, Lowell stepped up, and Blaine ended him.

There’s been some fan chatter in recent days about Lowell not just taking one for the Good Zombie team but purposely committing suicide in that scene. I’ll choose to believe, instead, that it was a well-intentioned, impulsive and miscalculated move. There’s that denial again? Indulge me, I’m in mourning.

And I’m not the only one. This episode, “Mr. Berserk,” finds Liv in shock -- the heavy-duty grief will sink in soon enough -- and suspected of Lowell’s shooting death because she was first on the scene.

But one thing’s immediately clear: Lt. Suzuki, dirty cop and closeted zombie, is firmly in Blaine’s pocket. He has been covering for Blaine, hiding bodies, destroying evidence, and he’s declaring Lowell’s death a suicide nearly sight unseen. That’s because he already knows what happened, at least part of the story.

Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli), who had the awful job of identifying the body, thinks that’s not such a bad idea. It’s safer for everyone if Blaine thinks he’s off the hook for this murder.

Blaine, for his part, knows he’s a target -- that barbeque fork in the arm was a real tipoff -- but he hasn’t yet discovered that Liv was his intended killer. When will he learn that tidbit? And will she, as she’s now promising, not hesitate the next time?

On to the particulars of “Mr. Berserk,” which takes us further into the evil billion-dollar enterprise that sells the energy drink Max Rager that may just be causing violent, psychotic rampages. Never mind the sugar and caffeine, that stuff really is poison.

Ravi has been using it as a test, laced with designer drug Utopian, to see if he can create and/or cure zombieism. He’s done the former with a lab rat, but he’s yet to concoct the latter.

Our Scooby Gang is well acquainted by this time with Max Rager, which sponsored the infamous booze cruise on which Blaine turned Liv (and likely a passel of other folks) into a member of the walking undead. As they’ve already suspected, it could turn out to be the dark liquid underbelly of the Pacific Northwest’s zombie outbreak.

Liv, desperately needing a distraction, wants to work and so gobbles the brain of the latest homicide victim, Rebecca the Reporter. This gal had been in the thick of investigating Max Rager -- three violent outbreaks are a trend! -- when she wasn’t busy getting blackout drunk. She was inching a bit too close for the company’s comfort, with an inside source potentially feeding her information about Max Rager’s ill effects and the CEO’s knowledge of and blind eye to the problem.

That corporate titan, played by guest star Steven Weber, stonewalls Liv but doesn’t fool her. He then sends his muscle to get rid of her and the mole she unwittingly helps to uncover. Both women find themselves on the wrong end of the hit man’s brass knuckles, tossed onto a boat ironically named Fun Fun. He’s going to lose the bodies and steal that all-important flash drive full of incriminating info.

Liv goes full zombie on the company goon, tossing him into the water and chopping him to bits with the boat propeller. And in the struggle, she laid hands on him, apparently leading to various abrasions and scratches, apparently leading to Liv’s first-ever zombie creation. No, this will not sit well with her.

And an important side note: Why does that guy get to “live?” He was fish food, for crying out loud. His name, by the way, is Sebastian and he may emerge as one of the next Big Bads on the show, along with Weber’s smug businessman.

On to Major, who has tried his best to get Det. Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) to believe his story about a crazed intruder (DuPont) that he shot repeatedly. Clive finds no blood or slugs in Major’s house and, even weirder, runs into DuPont bench-pressing like a totally juiced bro at the gym.

Is Major losing it? He's beginning to think so.

Clive, not so gently suggesting that there’s such a thing as “involuntary commitment,” thinks Major should go on “vacation.” That’s code for the loony bin, and Major takes him up on it.

Ravi wants to call a halt to this, telling Liv that it’s high time that Major found out about the zombiepocalypse. It’s not fair for Liv’s former flame to think he’s cray cray.

Liv won’t hear of it. She reminds Ravi about how single-minded Major has been in trying to solve the disappearances and murders of local street kids. What if he finds out the truth? What if he learns that DuPont and Blaine aren’t just killing but they’re also eating, trafficking and profiting from these deaths? She shudders to think, and she convinces Ravi that Major’s best kept safe in a rubber room for a few weeks.

That psych ward, though, could end up giving Major a few more clues in his amateur investigation. A fellow patient, Steve E, flat-out tells Major there’s a zombie problem in Seattle. Will Major write that off as the ravings of a lunatic? Or will he start putting the puzzle pieces together? If he does the latter, oh boy, he’ll be so ticked off with Liv.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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