I’m going to start by saying, it took me far too long to watch this episode. It failed to grab and hold my interest. Unlike the fungus growing on my big toe, that thing is far more entertaining than this episode. Why? Once again, the writers try too hard to make a point, to the detriment of the episode. They wanted to demonstrate how ineffective Clive and Liv are at crime-fighting when they aren’t together. What they accomplished was creating ten minutes of disjointed time-jumping scenes which is more effective as a sleep aid than an anvil to the head.
There’s two dead bodies in this episode. The first is Santa. Not the real Santa, but a poor sap in a Santa suit who’d been beaten to death. His brain is nice and normal. Liv is almost a real person. But she’s also written to be as boring as possible just because she’s not actively working with Clive. We see none of the visions for Santa’s case, just a couple instances of Liv helping from afar—sending a witness Clive’s way, as well as a note stating the suspect Clive already had in for questioning was at the crime scene. During this time, the main focus is on Ravi, Major, and Liv digging up a field to find the drug dealers stuffed with tainted Utopium. It’s like geocaching, but far more boring. The only thing you need to know about the first act in the episode is that Major and Blaine both know they may revert back to zombies soon. Ravi takes blood samples from both to see if he can figure out when they’ll revert.
Then suddenly, there’s random Romero-zombie action and a panicked girl running into a high school. It took me half a second to realize it’s footage from the Zombie High show referenced early in the episode—a show Liv loves as much as I love Z Nation for its over-the-top ridiculous zombie antics. Sadly, there’s more energy in this intentionally awful show than then entire second season of iZombie. While shooting this particular scene, there’s an accident with a prop gun, killing Jordan, the show’s star. It echoes the incident that happened while filming The Crow, which took Brandon Lee’s life. Except this wasn’t an accident. The prop gun was swapped with a real gun.
Liv and Ravi arrive on the scene and Liv proceeds to fangirl herself into a puddle of embarrassment. Again, a writing decision meant to prove she has the know-how to navigate this case but ends up making her come off as a psychotic fan who’d probably try to steal the leading man’s underwear from his trailer. Nevertheless, Clive thinks it’s best to have Liv onboard since she knows so much about the show, its actors, and the drama on set. Like we didn’t see that coming from ten miles away while blindfolded.
Over the course of the episode, we learn that Jordan was a d-bag. Scratch that. He was the d-bag. The only one anyone on set needed in their life. He gave everyone nothing but grief, insisting he delve so deep into the Method school of acting, he wouldn’t even say two civil words to his faux-zombie costars. His kinda-girlfriend, Starlee was only with him to keep him from blackmailing her with a horrifically insensitive impression of their deaf costar. The other male lead, played by Wyatt, doesn’t paint a pretty picture of Jordan’s on set tantrums. Tara, the director’s assistant, gives the crime-fighting duo a red herring, saying Wyatt had motive to kill Jordan and take his place as the sole leading man she told Wyatt he’d be the next character killed off on the show.
Basically, it’s half an hour of Liv and Clive chasing dead ends, Liv putting on her Serious Actor Face, and them completely ignoring the fact that it’s painfully obvious who swapped the prop gun for the real one. Oh, you know, the guy who is charge of the weapons. Fitz was shagging an assistant director who died in a car accident a year ago after one of Jordan’s routine late-night filming sessions where he insisted they do thirty takes of each shot. He blamed Jordan for the accident, but stewed in it. That is until learning the show would move production to Los Angeles just so Jordan could become an even bigger star.
While they demonstrate great police work, Major is dodging metaphorical bullets from Vaughn Du Clark and his daughter, Gilda. She questions Major’s every move, warning VDC that he will betray Max Rager. VDC is all hakunamatata about the situation. His care-free days may be numbered. Dr. Lockett approaches Major and tells him he’s ready to spill the beans about Max Rager, their experiments, and the zombies to the press. He gives Major a flash drive with a copy of the files to use as proof should Lockett’s plan end with his early demise and suppression of the truth he’s trying to share. Sensing a trap, Major hands the flash drive over to VDC. As a reward for being a good little zombie assassin, Major gets an all-access tour of the secret underground lab. There’s a moment were VDC almost feeds Lockett to the Romero-zombies locked in the lab. When Major fails to panic and open the door to save the man, VDC releases Lockett. It is a test. One Major passed with flying colors. Why? He gave VDC a Fitbit with a bug so he can listen to every word the man says. It’s the smartest move anyone makes in the episode.
Over the Christmas season, business boomed for Blaine. He’s feeling a little hakunamatata himself, practically rolling in cash with joy. It’s a short-lived joy. Dale Bozzio is following up on information she got after checking the missing person’s phone records. Several placed calls to a number owned by Blaine. He passes it off as a business call for the funeral home. Meanwhile, he’s sweating bullets because Don E handed him one of the yellow brain transport coolers to take to an angry client; the FBI have the yellow coolers noted in the case file. Thanks to some quick-thinking, Chief and Don E work together to snag the bag before Bozzio sees it. Bullet dodged. For about an hour. When Bozzio returns to the police station, she and Clive discuss her case. Turns out Digger, the dog belonging to a zombie Major killed, has a GPS enabled chip. While Bozzio digs through papers to find that information, or something else, she sees the suspect sketch Clive has tied to the Meat Cute case. Whoops. There goes Blaine’s chance to ride this investigation out under the radar.
Clive and Liv are a team again. Yay. Maybe the writers won’t feel the need to make Liv impossibly dull anymore. I say that knowing the next episode references a novel which has become a blight on humanity. This will only end in tears. My tears, in honor of my sanity.