It may not be spring just yet, but there's a significant thaw among the heroes of "iZombie." Huzzah and Happy New Year!
I knew you couldn't stay mad, Clive. Not only does Liv Moore (Rose McIver) help solve most of your homicide cases with her "clairvoyant" visions, she's a really fun de facto partner. And you guys are a fantastic team. Remember? Piggy and the Brain? How could you keep her away?
None of us fans know exactly how much fictional time has passed since the midseason finale of this dram-rom-zom-com, but I hope Liv didn't have to suffer too long. She's suffered enough, people!
The important thing? After being exiled in the last episode of the hit CW series in December, she's back in the Seattle PD fold, and she's returned to the good graces of Det. Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin).
Never cut her loose again, Clive, and don't make me repeat myself.
Not only is it good to have "iZombie" on the air once more after a holiday hiatus, it's also great to see this powerful chemistry-filled pair in action. Do they wrestle with multiple suspects, chase a few red herrings and crack the case of the murdered Method actor? Of course they do. They always get their guy/gal.
But the real joy is the journey, and in finding out in this hour that Clive is obsessed with the TV business perk known as craft services – those donuts at the precinct are stale – and Liv has an encyclopedic recall of, and fangirl devotion to, her favorite thriller, "Zombie High."
The show-within-a-show gives "iZombie" some solid meta moments, like the discussion with "Zombie High" extras where one says, "Wouldn't it be great if the show had a zombie star?" and Clive replies, "No, that's stupid."
The detective later admits that he's fairly skeeved out by the idea of zombies anyway. Cue Liv's horrified expression.
For now, they're reunited and it feels so good. And Clive will come around on that zombie matter, eventually, won't he?
Theirs isn't the only relationship that's being tested in the episode dubbed, "Method Head." Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley) thinks he's stumbled upon a whistle-blower inside Max Rager, when in fact it turns out that Vaughn Du Clark (Steven Weber) is trying to trap him.
Major doesn't take the bait and, in a move that indicates he's wising up, gives Vaughn a Fitbit-like bracelet that's actually a bug. Now he can listen to all those covert conversations between Vaughn and his evil daughter, also known as Gilda the Duplicitous (Leanne Lapp). That should be plenty illuminating. And good on you, Major, for hitting the spy store before work.
Resident baddie Blaine DeBeers (David Anders) may be in hot water with the law just after celebrating the indictment of Mr. Boss, his former-employer-turned-crime-world-competitor.
And since no "iZombie" would be complete without rain – it's Seattle, after all -- Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli) breaks the bad news to Major and Blaine about New Hope. That zombie cure he concocted and tested on his optimistically named lab rat? It's temporary, and it could last a day or a year.
But one thing seems certain: both of them will revert to their undead status. They won't be Full Romeros, like the rotters in the basement at Max Rager, but they'll lose their relatively normal lives and their healthy glow. Major bummer.
That crisis can be averted, maybe, if the gang locates a long-buried stash of tainted Utopium. The designer drugs happen to be in the bellies of a couple of dead smugglers, and Ravi and Major devote themselves in "Method Head" to digging up fields in search of them. No luck yet, and the clock is ticking.
As for the killing of the week, it's significant because it brings another "Veronica Mars" alum (Ryan Lane) to "iZombie" and it allows Liv to display some over-the-top acting chops on and off the set of "Zombie High."
One of the lead actors, an unlikeable guy named Jordan, takes a bullet to the chest when someone switches out the prop gun for a real .45-caliber revolver. He dies, leaving a bunch of suspects among the "Zombie High" cast because, well, most people hated him and blamed him for an asleep-at-the-wheel car crash that killed the show's assistant director. He just had to do extra takes until all hours.
It's Jordan's costar who unwittingly pulls the trigger, but it's the prop master who swaps the weapons. The poor guy falls into the category becoming more the rule than the exception on "iZombie" – essentially good people who make rash, terrible decisions that quickly come home to roost. The prop master was especially torn up over assistant director Jenny's death since he'd been having a torrid affair with her.
This week's brain ingestion provides less than the typical amount of quirk and levity, but it's good for a few laughs when Ravi and Liv pantomime and improv. And the gray matter serves as a hook for Ravi's "Zombie High" binge, after which he likens the melodrama to "mental pork rinds" that he simply can't put down.
Liv's BFF Peyton Charles (Aly Michalka) is MIA in this hour, but FBI agent Dale Bozzio (Jessica Harmon) is back, so that's cause for celebration -- for us and for Clive, right, pal?
Dale, still on the trail of Seattle's missing elite, questions Blaine (aka John Deaux) about why the rich folks would have dialed his number from their cellphones. Blaine plays dumb but knows the feds could be closing in. He doesn't realize that Clive and Dale are about to make a vital connection between the Meat Cute massacre and the disappearances. This is a juicy development.