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'iZombie' recap: The devil and Miss Moore in 'Astroburger'

The devil speaks to Liv Moore (Rose McIver) in 'Astroburger' episode of 'iZombie' on the CW

Finally, a pivotal moment we’ve all been waiting for: Liv Moore tells her soul mate/former fiancé what happened to her at that fateful booze cruise, and why she’s so pale and how come she called off the wedding.

Major Lilywhite immediately understands and, in a wonderfully tender moment, says he’s relieved to know the truth. They wrap into each other’s arms in a warm, forgiving embrace.

Psych!

This episode of “iZombie,” the CW dram-rom-zom-com, seriously plays with our collective heads. Bad “iZombie"! Because is that not the reaction many fans would want from Major (Robert Buckley) after such a game changing, long-gestating revelation?

But come on, what are the chances? We should’ve known that was a fakeout, a dream sequence, a best-case scenario brought on by the brain-du-jour. Hell's bells!

And that’s exactly what we get from “Astroburger,” a curiously named hour that features a profane, pitchfork-wielding Cheesy Puffs mascot, a descendant of Nurse Ratched and a mental hospital murder.

Let the “fun” begin.

It’s probably important to note here that Liv (Rose McIver) ingests the brain of Scott E., a former cog in the Utopian-slinging machine and, more recently, a paranoid schizophrenic and patient of the Blooming Grove psychiatric ward.

Scott hears voices, and then he plays a lot of chess, sometimes with Major. Mainly, he hears one voice – the devil! – and he transfers that psychosis to Liv via his addled gray matter. So it’s tough to know, for sure, how many of the events in “Astroburger” are real.

Let’s hope that Dr. Ravi and Peyton did actually have that date, at last, even if it was just Chinese takeout and a DVD. We’re all on the same page there, yes? Adorable couple alert!

Maybe this episode is a way for the show’s writers to let us have a peek into Major’s world. The poor guy hasn’t been able to distinguish truth from fiction lately, even checking himself into the loony bin for fear that he’s coming unglued and needs professional help.

After all, he’s starting to think that zombies are running loose in Seattle, plucking skater kids off the streets willy nilly and trafficking in their fresh brains for profit, and that there’s a fairly complex police-aided conspiracy to hide that fact. Insane, right?

While Major continues along his ever-more-dangerous Charles Bronson-esque path, this episode reveals a couple key pieces of intel:

Blaine DeBeers (David Anders) knows from his corrupt police source/closeted zombie minion, Lt. Suzuki, that Liv had been very, shall we say, close to the dearly departed Lowell Tracy. So Blaine can easily figure that Liv was complicit in trying to kill him that night on the rooftop and that the BBQ-fork-in-the-arm was a last ditch effort to complete the aborted job. (RIP Lowell!)

And though Scott E. seems to have been a disoriented, unstable sort of fellow, he wasn’t so unaware of his surroundings or ill equipped for selfies that he didn’t manage to shoot some smartphone video of the infamous boat party. He’d been there selling designer drugs when the zombiepocalypse broke out. (That adulterated Utopian, by the way, may be to blame, at least partially, for the outbreak.)

There’s digital evidence of that night? And no one’s posted it on YouTube yet? (There was already a zombie-related Facebook post earlier in the season.) Again, tough to distinguish between real and fake here.

On to the crime du jour, which initially appears to be a suicide. Scott E. is a troubled, though highly intelligent dude who’s the first person to say the Z-word to Major. He’s late for a chess game and Major goes hunting for him, only to find him soaking in a bloody bath with his wrists slit.

Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli) isn’t fooled by a staged scene, though, and quickly declares that Scott was dead before he ever hit the water. Det. Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) goes all “Joe Friday” on Major, as Liv says, treating him like a suspect.

It’s easy to think that Scott met his end because he dared to shed some light on the zombie mystery or that he could’ve provided Major with more much-needed clues and insider information. Blaine, who has a vested interest in keeping this contagion under wraps, visited Scott during his seven months in Blooming Grove. (He signed in as “John Deaux.” Ha!) Did he kill him to keep him quiet?

But it turns out to be more twisted, less undead than that. Scott and the top doctor at the clinic were having an affair so the woman could conceive a smart baby with no family history of mental illness. (Scott’s psychotic break came from a singular trauma: the Lake Washington Massacre – sponsored by Max Rager!)

Scott had threatened to expose the unscrupulous doctor if she didn’t end the pregnancy, so she dosed him with poison and tried to make it look like he’d taken his own life. Liv figures it out, with help of a cartoonish vision of the good doctor on her back, legs in the air, making sure that that illicit sex was fulfilling its intended purpose.

Along the way to solving this crime, “iZombie” really messes with us. There’s the re-emergence of Johnny Frost (Daran Norris), TV weatherman and prostitute aficionado. He and Scott used to smoke dope together and debate grand issues – Beatles or Stones? Kirk or Picard? Ren or Stimpy? – and he helps Liv track down Scott’s cellphone. Or does he? She now has the video of the yacht disaster. Or does she?

This much is true: Liv had a second chance to off Blaine when he popped by the morgue. She could’ve dropped some cyanide into his Max Rager, but she thought better of it. She didn’t lose her nerve this time, she just wasn’t sure it would work. Good thing she passed on that murder attempt since Blaine used her as a taste tester.

Also true: Major checks himself out of the mental ward, picking up his vigilante crusade, and ends up stowing away in the trunk of Blaine’s car. Blaine and Julien “Candy Man” DuPont torched Scott’s apartment in hopes of incinerating any video evidence, and amateur investigator Major was there to see it happen.

Emerging from the car, Major realizes that Blaine and Julien, his bullet-riddled attacker, are in cahoots at Meat Cute. And he pulls a daring theft of their Meals on Wheels product. But those aren’t just any brains stuffed into little yellow coolers. Those belong to missing astronaut and local legend Alan York, and they’ve been special ordered by zombies with bank. How much trouble will this cause?

Major brings his loot to Liv’s house with his newfound knowledge that zombies are, in fact, real and his doubled-down commitment to ridding the town of “all of them.” Uh oh.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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