On the D/L – iZombie

Mar 25, 2015 | Posted by in TV

Season 1 Episode 2 – Brother, Can you Spare a Brain?

iZombie continues to build on the strong foundation laid down by the first episode by giving us further insight into Liv as she works to solve another murder.

The victim this week is a polyamorous artist who is murdered by having a paint brush jammed in his eye. All of the murder investigating stuff is pretty standard with a list of potential suspects, half truths and slowly teased information. It’s good enough and keeps the plot going. I do like that Clive keeps insisting that it’s always the spouse in these cases and he turns out to be right. It was a great use of subverting expectations by making the killer turn out to be as expected instead of coming up with an unnecessary twist.

What sets this apart from your standard procedural is that Liv absorbs a more artistic view of the world when she eats his brains. The episode goes out of its way to establish that Liv has a very clinical view of the world and lacks in passion through most of her life. Naturally this has been compounded by her new undead status. She has never felt more detached from everything so it’s good that she gets a different outlook on the world.


Liv meets Blaine

Rose McIver plays the more artistic Liv to absolute perfection. Her comic timing is absolutely spot on in every scene as she describes mundane things very ornately to the utter confusion of those that know her. It’s especially apparent in the scenes with her ex fiancé who understandably can’t figure out what has happened to the woman he was engaged to. He’s used to her being so completely dispassionate so seeing her paint and listen to jazz music is completely jarring to him. It’s both funny and a strong character moment. Most of their former relationship is implied through the dialogue so if they keep doing things like this then we’ll be onto a winner.

There are other great moments like Liv feeling more sexually expressive and glancing longingly at both men and women throughout the episode. It’s great to see her act so extroverted when we have become used to the opposite so far. It’s a sign of strong character establishment that the writers can have so much fun with her personality when the audience hasn’t had much time to let us get to know her.

It is a little unclear whether Liv retains the personality traits forever or they wear off after a while. This episode seems to suggest that both are the case but I’m leaning towards them wearing off as it makes sense given that she needs to eat brains regularly in order to keep her faculties intact. I do like that she’s unwilling to let go of this more passionate outlook so soon as she feels her life has been enriched with it. Her experience with Major will likely cause her to retreat into herself again but it’s a strong step forward.

Liv meets Blaine (David Anders) for the first time since she was turned into a Zombie and I have to say I wasn’t expecting it so soon. His introduction in the episode was great with him lying on a table in the morgue and sitting up in a great send up of horror movies. Again, it’s a nice subverting of expectations in a really clever way.


Liv tries her hand at painting

Blaine was written really well with his nice guy demeanour clearly hiding something much more sinister. He’s pretending he doesn’t really know what’s going on or how he got to be the way he is but there’s something he’s not letting on. There’s something quite sinister about his falseness in his scenes with Liv but I like that she’s smart enough not to let him be alone with Ravi since she doesn’t trust him.

We get to see Blaine’s more sinister side as he kills to get a hold of brains and extorts a woman that he turned into a zombie into paying him to keep her in brains. It’s impressive that Blaine remains so likeable through these really questionable actions through a combination of the witty dialogue and charismatic performance of David Anders. He is definitely at his best when playing a villain pretending to be a nice guy. I can’t wait to see more of him.

I like that the show is hinting at the rules of the zombies in this show by suggesting that it could be transmitted sexually but not quite answering the question. It made me feel relieved when Major turned down the prospect of reuniting with Liv at the end of the episode as that could have resulted in him becoming like her.


  • 8.5/10
    Brother, Can You Spare A Brain? - 8.5/10


Another really strong outing for this new show that keeps the focus firmly on the characters with the unique situation serving as a colourful backdrop.

Despite the fairly standard crime procedural structure in terms of how the mystery is progressed and the reveals are done this episode manages to keep things feeling really fresh. Liv gaining an artistic outlook and passion from the victim’s brain is fantastic. The way she comments on everything around her in a more ornate way than usual made me laugh a lot. Her sexually suggestive looks are also really funny.

I like how Liv’s relationship with her ex fiancé is developed through some really clever dialogue. I really get the sense that they knew each other well and were ready to start a future together. There’s also a sense that he’s holding onto some kind of hope.

Liv meeting Blaine was something I wasn’t expecting and he’s already a great character. There’s something sinister about the way he acts like a nice guy but is doing some really sinister things in the background. David Anders plays him with such charisma that it’s hard not to like him.

As second episodes go it was great, I really think I’m going to like this show.

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