Patriot Brains – Review of iZombie episode 109
It took nine episodes to get back on track with the main story arc for season one. Because of all the lightbulbs Liv pops about Blaine and his hand in, well, everything bad going on in her afterlife, the case in this episode was pretty straightforward.
An ex-sniper, Everett Adams, is found with a gunshot wound on a paintball course during a Big Brothers Big Sisters event. There’s no witnesses. No real evidence. Seems like this is winding up to be another “accidental clue” case. Adams’ “little brother”, Harris Jenkins, is on the scene. Harris tells Clive and Liv all about the sordid details of Adams’ nasty divorce with his wife, Penny, and subsequent custody battle for Anna, their daughter, after she remarried. Open and closed case. Except, there’s still no evidence. Liv chows down on Adams’ brain and becomes Super Soldier Zombie—complete with PTSD. Trying to control the effects of the PTSD, she gives into Adams’ athletic/competitive side and heads to the paintball field. Where she accidentally finds a bullet casing the entire police and forensic teams managed to miss. Sure, I’ll buy it. Do the writers also have magic beans for sale? The casing wasn’t where forensics said the shooter’s perch was located. Cue loads of head-scratching . . . until Clive digs deeper into the ex-wife’s new husband, Sean Taylor. Who just happens to work with new drone technology. Case solved by actual police work. Wow.
On to more important things. Is Ravi turning into a brain-munching fiend after stupidly handling Zombie Rat? He’s as nervous as a sexually active teen girl with a late period. Constantly checking and rechecking his vitals. Asking Liv roundabout questions about how she knew she was a zombie after waking on the beach in a body bag. In the end, it’s a false alarm. Whatever strain of zombie virus infects the rat didn’t pass on. Liv, of course, is pretty miffed when Ravi tells her the truth. If he’d stop hiding things from her all the time, he wouldn’t get in half the trouble.
Major could use a dose of truth, as well. His quest to figure out why Dupont had a brain in his car leads to a weird land of Youtube gun training sessions, odd Google searches, and the wacky idea that Dupont eats brains to build muscle mass. Chasing the latter idea, he ends up in a gym, where in the course of five minutes, he manages to make his new trainer think he’s flipped his lid. Which he has. Because no one will pull him aside and say, “By the way, that guy you’re chasing is a zombie. Yes they exist. Stop chasing zombies. It’s bad for your longevity.” The trainer gossips about the whackjob who wants to eat brains to build muscle. Dupont overhears and tracks Major down on Blaine’s orders. There’s a fight. Major’s Youtube training lessons come in handy and he shots Dupont three times.
One phone call to his detective buddy and Clive comes in to find . . . no corpse. No blood on the floor. Just a bullet, a broken mirror, and a dent in the wall. Even he thinks Major needs a long vacation and many talks with a psychologist.
At last Liv is on the same page as the rest of us. She knows Lowell lied about his brain source and that Blaine is actually providing her honey with meals. Unfortunately, instead of approaching the revelation with a calm, cool head, she attacks Lowell. He gets defensive. Liv is still no closer to contacting Blaine to do something about his murderous rampage. It isn’t until Ravi makes Liv stop and put herself in Lowell’s shoes that she sees reason. How would she eat if she didn’t work in the morgue? She came into the undead world prepared to survive. Others like Lowell aren’t as lucky. Blaine turns them and part of the deal is Brains on Wheels. They know no better alternative. With empathy gnawing on her soldier-altered mind, Liv heads home. Lowell shows up unannounced, covered in dirt, with a brown paper bag. He sat in a graveyard all afternoon watching a man’s funeral. The same man whose grave he dug up. Whose head he tore apart to remove the brain—for Liv, as a peace-offering.
“We eat people,” Lowell tells Liv. As though he hadn’t put the pieces together before then. They kiss and make up. After, they hatch a plan to kill Blaine. Lowell lures their creator to his place. Liv will use her newfound sniper skills to take Blaine out. Sounds pretty easy. Until Liv’s conscience kicks in. If she kills Blaine, she’ll become someone like him—completely opposite from the Liv she was before the zombie-making accident. She calls it off. Then Lowell does the worst thing possible, he tries to protect her from this awful act by doing it himself. Blaine blocks the murder attempt and shoots Lowell.
Where can they go from here? If Liv isn’t willing to kill Blaine when she had the chance, she’ll have to go the legal route. How much can she dance around the Z-word while pointing Clive and the police in the right direction? The truth will come out eventually. It always does.