‘iZombie’ is still stuck in crime procedural mode, which is kind of a bummer. However, the third episode has a lot of interesting stuff going on around and outside the latest case-of-the-week.
In ‘The Exterminator’, Liv eats the brain of a hit-and-run victim, only to find out that he was a professional contract killer. As a result, she starts to develop some of his sociopathic tendencies and to lose her emotions and feelings of personal attachment to anyone around her. That’s probably not a good thing.
From his memories, Liv realizes that the hit man was responsible for the recent murder of a famous tech genius named Wally Walker, and that he was intentionally run over by the client who hired him, in order to tie up loose ends after the job was done. Unfortunately, she has trouble convincing anyone else of this story, because the police already arrested a drifter for the crime and convicting him will be a big career break for Liv’s best friend (who’s an Assistant D.A.). Even Det. Babineaux won’t listen to her at first. It’s not his case and he doesn’t want to rock the boat. Naturally, after enough pestering by Liv, he agrees to look into it.
Yadda yadda yadda, the culprit is Walker’s primary investor. His reasons for doing it are unmemorable. Babineaux and Liv trick him into believing they have a witness, so he confesses very easily to everything he’s done. How neat and tidy.
Once again, the details of the case-of-the-week hardly matter at all. What’s important here is the way the hit man’s brain affects Liv. Because even Liv is troubled by her lack of concern for her friends or anyone else, she’s faced with a moral dilemma. As the effects of the brain wear off, she could eat someone else’s brain to wash him out of her system, but doing so would risk losing the important memories that will help her solve the case.
In a separate, better storyline, some teens post a blurry photo on social media of what they claim is a zombie trapped in a pit at the shipyards. Realizing that this is probably someone else from Liv’s boat party, she and Ravi investigate. What they find is Liv’s work-friend Marcie, who invited her to the party in the first place. Because she’s been trapped in this pit for months and hasn’t fed, Marcie has gone full-blown mindless brain-muncher.
Ravi tosses down some corpse brains to see if it’s possible to bring back someone who’s been gone for so long. Unfortunately, when they check on her the next day, Marcie isn’t any better. Ravi attempts to take a blood or tissue sample using a contraption on a long pole, but slips and falls into the pit. He begs Liv for help, but Liv is still under the sway of the hit man’s brain and kind of wants to see how the situation plays out without her. Eventually, of course, she snaps out of it and rescues him by bashing her friend’s head in with a pipe. Lovely.
I still like this show, even if it’s not perfect. The humor works, and I like the way the mythology is building. I hope it lasts long enough to get past the annoying reliance on a formulaic procedural structure.