By Gregory Barton
Zombie sex? Apparently so. Blaine is enjoying his opulent life made possible by his brain-supply business, and we see that Jackie is not only his customer for $25K/month, but also his zombie friend with benefits. Liv stops by to surprise a shirtless Major, but things quickly turn awkward when Major’s overnight guest Corinne (Elise Gatien) bounces downstairs wearing only Major’s college shirt. You feel sorry for Liv, but you understand that as long as she is going to push Major away, he’s also going to have friends with benefits.
Another dead John Doe (Manny Jacinto) arrives in the morgue with a tattoo from an Asian gang. Liv is taking a “working lunch” to see if she can glean some information about the John Doe when Detective Babineaux arrives and she has to quickly hide her spicy brain bowl (coming soon to an Asian restaurant near you). It almost seems that her comfort with Ravi knowing her secret is making her careless about her eating habits in the morgue. If she’s not more careful, more people may find out.
Clive recognizes the John Doe, “Sammy,” right away and it’s not until Liv sees Clive that she has her first vision. The vision is rather strange because Clive is surrounded by Asian gang members and he’s beating up a guy as though he’s part of the gang. As a viewer, it seemed to me that it could be just part of Babineaux’s past before he became a cop, but Liv starts to doubt Clive’s virtue. Especially when he demands that she stay out of the investigation this time. I found it hard to be in “camp Liv” on this one because Clive has already been established as a good guy, so I just decided that I could wait until the reason was revealed to Liv’s character by the end of the episode. So most of this ep. just became a waiting game.
Since Liv decides to set out to solve the investigation behind Clive’s back, Liv takes Ravi as her partner to an Asian video store to ask questions and Clive is left to work on his own. -Sigh- I’m okay with the Clive/Liv partnership because Clive is a detective and Liv is just the psychic. And maybe Liv might be able to strike out on her own into dangerous situations because she can go full-on rage zombie and defend herself. But I’m not comfortable with her putting Ravi in dangerous situations only because he shares her secret. It allowed Ravi to add a little comic relief to the situation, but it didn’t seem smart to me.
Two of Blaine’s hired muscle (Ben Cotton and Sean Millington) decide to undermine Blaine’s brain-selling extortion business. They realize that Blaine is turning people into zombies only to extort high prices for brain delivery and zombie discretion. But since Blaine is the catalyst for the entire show when he scratched Liv, I knew that no good would come of his henchmen trying to go into business for themselves. Sure enough I was right. Jackie rats them out to Blaine who disposes of them. But who knows? With Blaine extorting thousands of dollars from his zombie progeny, there’s bound to be a monkey wrench thrown into his plans as soon as someone smarter than him comes along. As a side note, all the zombies in Blaine’s world seem to be getting spray tans, so I’m wondering if the show is going to move away from the idea of pale zombies and eventually you won’t be able to tell zombies from humans. Seems like make-up cheating to me. We’ll see.
As Liv does her own investigation, I admit I was a little confused. In previous episodes, Liv’s personality was almost eclipsed by the personality traits of the brain she ingested. But this time, it seems early on that all she experiences is mild insecurity and doubt. This does play into her doubt of Clive’s virtue and gives her insecurity about Corinne and Major (perhaps for good reason), but it wasn’t until she falls into a passing vagrant’s shopping cart on the street that we see that she has learned “Kung-Fu” from the brain transference. This is the fun part for me. She jumps up, demonstrates a few moves, and later beats up the Asian gang leader using her new skill with an added kick of raged-out zombie adrenaline. As a practitioner of martial arts myself, I found the moves and choreography genuine, believable and well-performed. Hats off to Rose McIver for a great scene.
As the ep winds down, Liv has convinced Ravi to move in with Major and we think Major agrees based on his desire to have Ravi’s super high-def TV in his house to play video games. But it might just be that Liv’s earlier visit may be giving Major some hope that their relationship is salvageable. We hope so. If Blaine can get some, then so should our protagonist. It’s only fair.
I like that we were able to go further into Clive’s character this week to see what dues he has paid in his law enforcement career, how it’s changed him and the way people view him. I hope that this experience also disposes of any doubt that Liv may have about Clive and cement their working relationship. And with Blaine at large- causing people to go missing, like the kid from the halfway house- I foresee a Blaine/Liv showdown and I can’t wait.