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iZombie S1x02 “Brother, Can You Spare A Brain?”

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WARNING! SPOILERS!

The second episode of iZombie continued to prove that this show really is one of the best new series of 2015, perhaps only coming behind Better Call Saul in terms of entertainment. It expanded Liv’s world fantastically well, with some great charm, humour and an interesting case of the week that made this episode well worth checking out.

In the second episode, Liv eats the brains of an artist as she helps to solve the case of the week.

In the second episode, Liv eats the brains of an artist as she helps to solve the case of the week.

The second episode, titled ‘Brother, Can You Spare A Brain?’ has Liv called in to help deal with the case of an artist who’s been murdered. When Liv eats the artist’s brain to get information on how he was killed, she begins to experience a connection with the artist. Suddenly, she’s a master painter, and begins to appreciate things more from the deceased artist’s point of view. The question of who killed the artist is not overly complex and the mystery isn’t gone into in great depth, with this episode used more to expand on Liv’s character, who we’re just getting know.

Rose McIver once again knocks it out of the park as Liv, putting the humour across incredibly well and her awkward attempts at flirting with various people were pulled off effectively.The show continues to balance the drama between the light-hearted moments and the gorier, supernatural side of things. By all rights, iZombie really shouldn’t be working as well as it has done, but it’s certainly continued to do that so far, and yes, even though these episodes may be mostly forgettable case-of-the-week plots (I’ve forgotten the artist’s name already, for example), the show has enough heart and humour for it not to matter.

The zombie who’s been showing up in Liv’s visions made an appearance this week at the morgue with Blaine (David Anders) posing as a nice guy here. It’s pretty obvious that he’s going to end up as the villain, but it was fun to see Anders interact with McIver here in a way that was handled very well, with Liv still having some suspicion over what Blaine’s motives truly are.  It was an interesting shake-up from what most shows seem to do, which is to have the characters believe every word of the undercover villain plot until their betrayal, and whilst this is a technique that can work (see Person Of Interest, S1x07), it does become a bit repetitive after a while. So this was a nice change here.

Blaine was the biggest addition to this week’s episode and it’s going to be interesting to see how much we’ll see of him going forward. The cases-of-the-week will be very interesting to see and hopefully we’ll get a continuing build of the mythology alongside them, which is an approach that most freshman shows tend to do in their first season before they become serialized further down the line.

There wasn’t really anything that felt underwhelming about Brother, Can You Spare A Brain? as the show continues to find its feet very well. Yes, we could do without the voice-over, but at least it’s not as annoying as Arrow’s earlier episodes were, and the comic book style artwork at the beginning is great to see. There were some excellent one-liners here as well, such as “Is that shock at sex tip No. 4? Because I didn’t understand it, either,” and more that really helped with the humorous approach.

I may be a few seasons behind on The Walking Dead, and even though I still like it, I’m going to have to say that iZombie is my preferred choice for zombie entertainment at the moment. (They actually address zombies as zombies!). It is fun, energetic, light-hearted and a whole lot less depressing than the former, and if you’re not on board at the moment, then I strongly urge you to check it out now.

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