iZombie S01E04 Review: Live and Let Clive

Chile, kale and brain breakfast smoothie—what have we become?

Blaine’s chile, kale and brain breakfast smoothie

Although this week’s iZombie episode, “Live and Let Clive,” was still heavy on the one-off police drama, we got to know Det. Clive Babineaux a little better, and see just what else Blaine has been up to lately.

The story involves the murder of a gang member (Liv’s brain-of-the-week), and we learn that there is a supply chain from Hong Kong to Seattle of utopium. Liv suspects from her visions that Clive is a dirty cop, and although as viewers we don’t really buy it, it works in combination with Liv’s brain-transferred paranoia. One fun aspect of the cop/gang story is that we get to see Ravi out on the case, looking for clues with Liv. Ravi also ends up moving in with Major at the encouragement of Liv, who feels that Major’s new girlfriend is moving in on her abandoned territory. We wonder how long Ravi can share a home with someone without spilling the beans about Liv’s condition—we are guessing not that long.

In the meantime, Blaine’s storyline is largely unrelated to Liv’s, but we get caught up on just how much mischief and murder he’s been up to. There’s a great montage of Blaine and Jackie (the older woman who we met as his first new victim/customer) to open the show. Captioned “Mourning Ritual,” and to the soundtrack of Sufjan Steven’s (as ever, paradoxically lovely) “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhh!“, we see Blaine and Jackie get the full “looking alive” treatment from her team of aestheticians—from manicures to hand-airbrushed spray tans. Blaine has not only started a brain delivery service, catering to wealthy zombies whom he has himself turned, but has also consigned his old drug racket boss Julian’s goons into his employ. The meathead goons are pretty funny, although we don’t know why they don’t look at all zombie-like. (Surely they don’t also have stylists on call.) Blaine’s brain catering service is set up in a butchery called “Meat Cute,” where his brain chef creates new fancy recipes for him and his customers. Julian, his old boss, as well as a collection of other unfortunates (including poor young Jerome from last week), are kept chilled on hooks in a meat locker. And when the goons decide to try to go into business for themselves, they soon join them. (Can zombies eat zombie brains? Does that work? Ravi should look into that.) It looks like Blaine’s business is booming. And he is a bad, bad, baddie, in case you weren’t sure already—the scene of Jerome and his sneakers on the meat-cutting bench was certainly enough to convince us.

Also in this episode is Liv’s teenage brother, Evan (Nick Purcha), who is a uniquely adolescent combination of pervy and naïve. He doesn’t do much, except for saying icky things about Liv’s roommate Peyton’s underwear drawer—and almost catching Liv being in full-on Z-rage mode when one of the gang members follows her home to kill her. He of course fails, as not only did Liv pick up “kung fu” abilities this week, but also, you know, she’s a zombie.

izombieCliveThough the police-procedural aspect of the show continues apace, we are learning more about the individual characters, and their stories are beginning to intersect more. We are led to understand that the show will focus more on its own mythology and the stories of the main characters and perhaps less on the coppy bits as time progresses, so we are being patient. It does continue to be funny and weird—Dr. Ravi (Rahul Kohli) is a standout in this episode, and really in the whole show thus far. Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) also continues to grow on us as a character. As we mentioned, we never really believed he was a bad cop—but we do learn he was suspended once after being undercover for a year when he was back in Vice, before his recent move to Homicide.

We also learn that the detective makes a habit of leaving his coffee outside on the steps before coming into the Medical Examiner’s office, to avoid it taking on that “morgue-y smell.” The ME’s exam room scenes remain some of the more humorously disgusting parts of iZombie—in this episode, when Clive enters, Liv hides her bowl of lunch brains under a sheet on an exam table, next to the foot of the dead gang member. Liv and Ravi are constantly cheerfully going around with their gloves dripping blood, putting organs on a scale or firing up the bone saw (although the saw never seems to really spin—we are instead expected to believe it’s been switched on from the loud whirring sound). And random people come and go from the room full of corpses with disturbing frequency—both Major and Evan stroll right in this week—but it does serve to add some gruesome humor to the stories.

Catch up on iZombie on Hulu or Amazon Instant Video.

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