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iZombie - Grumpy Old Liv - Review: "Time Heals All Wounds"

It's finally happened! After a dreadfully long wait since June, iZombie is finally back for season 2! I don't know about you guys, but I have seriously been waiting to have some more Liv Moore in my life! To recap briefly; Season 1 of iZombie ended with Liv's world crumbling around her. She gave up her chance at a cure(for now) to stop her maker/nemesis Blaine from creating more zombies and to save her ex-fiance Major after turning him into a zombie to save him from bleeding to death in the Meat Cute where he had just massacred Blaine's whole operation. To cap all of it off her brother, Evan, was in the hospital requiring a blood transfusion from Liv which she had refused to do in the final moment of the episode. Thank goodness the show was renewed because I can't imagine ever feeling satisfied with how season 1 ended. So, even though we only have 13 episodes of season two for now.... let's rejoice in it. I'm really glad that the show is back as it is definitely one of the best shows on right now and I can't wait to see how season 2 builds off the great momentum of season 1. Grumpy Old Liv was a really solid opener for the season as the episode seemed to equally update us on the events from the finale, and it also set up new serialized elements while giving us a few twists and still included the procedural aspect that provides for some great Liv-Quirks.

Finale Fallout:
"Dumb, Dumb Zombie"
Oh Liv. Can things ever go right for you? Peyton is still a no show. Your mother thinks you're on drugs, and your ex-fiance is avoiding you and your only chance for a normal life you used to stop your mortal enemy. It's almost understandable how you've let your guard down a bit. Almost. It seems since the finale Liv's relationship with both her brother and mother have grown cold since Liv was going to just let Evan die rather than give him her blood and risk exposure. She's got a new roommate in Peyton's absence and it turns out that unbeknownst to Liv she works for Max Rager head Vaughn. I'd like to think that someone as cautious as Liv would have done a more thorough search on a roommate especially considering the secrets she has to keep but she seems to buying Gilda's IRS story just fine. Liv spends most of the hour avoiding her problems, but she seems to be facing them down at the hour's end by heading back to see Evan after he so weakly told her to go away and never come back at the top of the hour and trying to bond with her new roommate over some zombie show as the shows closes. This isn't going to end well in either respect my gut tells me, but we'll see.

What exactly happened that night at the Meat Cute seems to be a question that is going to play a big(ish) role going forward. One that may lead the one person on the show not aware of the existence of zombies, straight to them. This week, when not investigating into his current case of Wendell the cantankerous, Clive is busy trying to pin down exactly what happened the night the Meet Cute blew up. The official story is that Suzuki died a hero in the line of duty that night, but it doesn't add up to Clive. He suspects that Major played a role in what went down thanks to all the evident signs pointing that he did. Liv, Major's alibi for the night, is questioned by Clive and she tries to keep cover for him and tells Clive the investigation is wrapped and that should be good enough for Clive. Sure, it should be good enough, but it's not and Clive takes a sketch artist to see Even in the hospital in order to identify the man who hired him at Meet Cue, who looks suspiciously like Blaine. Don't expect Clive t drop this thread anytime soon Liv.

"All Roads Lead to Your New Mortal Enemy"
Where is Blaine you ask? Well, aside from enjoying having the full use of his taste buds, Blaine has found himself a new way to provide brains for the zombie citizens of Seattle by running a funeral home. Liv pays Blaine a visit after Ravi guilts Liv into finding Blaine. Since Liv wasted their one and only dosage of the cure on Blaine and Major, Ravi has no way to replicate it. Ravi is especially in a bind because in order to make the cure he needs more of the same batch of utopium that made Liv and Blaine zombies in the first place. Of course the only person that can help them is Blaine and thanks to Liv recognizing an alias of Blaine's she locates him within his new business venture. It's so great watching the chemistry between Liv and Blaine as they trade barbs out of mutual dislike of each other. Liv knows that Blaine would have no interest in helping them find the utopium to make a cure, so she makes it personal for him by telling him that there's a real chance the cure he was given will wear off and he will find himself back to being one of the living dead. Blaine tells Liv that he will look around and try to find her some utopium, before he trots off downstairs to look at a coffin of utopium he just had delivered. Later, he heads to a sketchy looking house and talks through the door asking whoever is inside to tell him whatever the utopium the night of the boat party was cut with. Don E opens the door and says he didn't cut it himself, but he knows where to find them. I'm eager to see where this is going, what will Blaine do if he figures it out before Liv? Create more zombies to sell brains to or sell the cure to the zombies for he finds using his nifty new gift for a steep price. (Did I mention the zombie cure allows you detect zombies?)
"Blaine: Somewhere out there, Major Lilywhite, the most presciently named zombie of all time roams the earth. Liv: Whitey Shamblemore begs to differ"
Which Brings us to Major. Major has apparently taken up a job as a personal trainer as it is the only job he can find at this point. He is still avoiding Liv because he needs time, but he's not a total douche and still takes her call when she calls to tip him off about Clive investigating his claims of his whereabouts the night of the Meet Cute explosion. He goes to meet a new client at his home and his greeted by his teenaged daughter who points Major in her father's direction. As Major meets the guy, the cure triggers him to identify the man as a zombie. Major's pulse is heightened and hairs stand up much like Blaine's did earlier when Liv drops by. Unfortunately for Major he doesn't know until the hour's end that he is being watched by Max Rager head Vaughn and his assistant as he is their plan for the destruction for all zombies. Vaughn basically tries to blackmail Major into killing the 322 possible zombies they have found by playing a clip of Major and Liv's phone conversation about the five murders at Meet Cute that could be very incriminating. Major still threatens to walk away, but then Vaughn drops Liv's name as a zombie they know about and it seems Major is now Max Rager's personal zombie assassin as evidenced by him going back and killing the client from earlier in the episode as Vaughn's assistant watches from afar. It seems we're going to see a bit more of dark Major this year and I'm not sure if I'm ready for it. I wasn't too much thrilled with Crazy Major last year, and now Zombie Hunter Major just seems so...off. Though it is compelling to watch Major end this person's life, knowing he is a father to two unsuspecting kids and be shaken by it. Will he numb with time.

Case of The Week:
"What do you have to say for yourself Wendell? Life dealt you a lousy hand so you just folded tent, decided it was easier to be a rotten bastard?"
The case of the week centered on the murder of the neighborhood crank Wendell. Wendell was a cantankerous son of a bitch, according to his sister in law Clara, who was crushed by his own car as someone kicked it down on top of him. But who? This prompts Liv to eat some of Wendell's brain which in turn causes Liv to behave like a grumpy old man. Something that I was not quite fond of. Sure, it produced some funny lines, but a lot of the portrayal felt forced and stereotypical. If it wasn't for the catharsis Liv gained and the few good lines, I'd rank it as one of the worst brain's Liv has eaten. Back to the case though, Clive and Liv get what is supposed to be anonymous tip regarding the night of the murder. They go and visit the caller, Byron, who seems to be screaming, arrest me! Byron feeds them a story about seeing some local youth threaten Wendell before the murder. Clive and liv bring the youth in, but his shoes don't match a print left at the scene. Liv later gets a vision that reveals that Clara is a) responsible for keying Wendell's car and b) is not confined to a motor scooter like she appeared to be the day the body was discovered.
Clive and Liv head and pay Clara a visit, but she happens to have an alibi in her bridge club members. One of the members offers Liv a pastry which triggers a vision of Wendell offering a piece of rolled up bologna to a dog. She shares this with Clive and they remember how they saw dog toys and pictures of dogs at Byron's place but no dogs and that maybe her vision is of Wendell poisoning Byron's dog and then Byron killed Wendell in retaliation. Except when they head to Byron's place to ask him about his dog, he has his dog alive and well. Clive questions him about his whereabouts and Byron provides an alibi about being in a bar watching a soccer game. Clive later goes to Liv with footage from the bar, that shows that Byron did enter the bar that night, but there is a side door that isn't covered by cameras he could have left from. Clive also notes that there were missing dog fliers for Byron's dog in there that could have been up for at least a couple of days meaning that if Byron was looking for his missing dog but had suspected Wendell had done something to it he could have gotten drunk enough to work up the courage to do something about it providing a motive. The final kicker is that Byron is wearing the same type of shows that left a shoe print at the crime scene. They head to his house with a couple of uniforms who head in and search for the shoes while Liv and Clive keep Byron detained on he porch. Eventually Byron admits that he did kill Wendell thinking his dog had been murdered by him but only to find his dog being hidden in the basement a few moments later after it was too late. In a few moments, Byron had acted without thinking and now his life was over, and this is something that sticks with Liv and probably influences some of her own decisions following his confession.

Final Thoughts:
"Harden Yourself Liv. You're a Monster. Act Like it."
Liv tells herself at the beginning of the episode to harden herself after her brother Evan regains consciousness and discovers Liv in his hospital room and asks her to leave. Through this week's case of the week, Liv learns that maybe this isn't quite something she should be doing. I have to applaud the show at still finding ways to incorporate the lesson of the week in addition to the other balls it has rolling. It helps to keep the show grounded in my opinion. I think that it helps to keep Liv from going to an area that could be too Mary Sue. Liv may be a zombie, but she longs desperately to be human, and to be human is to make mistakes and say and make stupid choices like deciding that maybe hardening herself is her best option to deal with the ones she loves. Thankfully having Wendell's brain residuals caused her to realize that maybe being a hardened isn't the answer. So, while this week's "Grumpy" Liv was a bit too much and not my favorite, I do think it helped provide a good character moment for her and help push her to want to get back in Evan's good graces.

Aside from not liking the direction the show took with the portrayal of "Grumpy Liv", I otherwise enjoyed the premiere. I loved that we kind of got a bit of everyone and saw just how the finale has changed things for all the major players on the board. I really loved the twist of Gilda being Liv's new roommate. The reveal helps to solidify that Vaughn is a real threat, and not one to be taken lightly. He's operating on a different level than Blaine was last year by having a mole and blackmailing Major, so already the stakes are different. Speaking of Blaine, I can tell I'm really going to like his direction this season, and I'm looking forward to more of his scenes with Liv if they are going to be as witty and crackling with energy as the ones this week were. I'm taking a wait and see approach with Major and his zombie hunting arc though. It almost feels like the cure side effects were written as a plot point just to help keep him into the fold and in the zombie world. His and Liv's relationship is already murky and is enough of a plot point, but having him be this super stealth zombie hunter seems to be asking too much. I get that Liv needs a love interest and that has to be Major, but this just has me feeling pretty "meh" honestly. I'm willing to wait and see but I'm not sure how much longer I'll be happy about it. I do wish there was a bit more Ravi, but it was just the premiere which had a lot of heavy lifting to do, so it's understandable. In the end I'm really looking forward to season two thanks to a great introduction from Grumpy Old Liv and can't wait to see what next week holds. B for Brains Brilliant.

"Ravi: Hey, Archie Bunker. I'm of Asian descent. Liv: Great, Explain to your people how turn signals work."

"How low must the bar be for me to be able to say with some sincerity that I'm proud of you" Liv to Blaine on his new career path.

"Are you eating that or impregnating it?" Liv to Blaine on his love of chocolate.

"Dream On Tupac" Liv to the black guy in cuffs hitting on her at the station.

"Oooh. Watch it ladies. It's the Po-Po" Clara to her bridge club.
So, now it's time for you to sound off on what you thought of iZombie, Grumpy Old Liv. Did you dig the premiere and it's developments? Was there something you really liked or something you didn't? What are your theories on what Blaine would do with tainted Utopium? Sound off Below!

iZombie, Zombie Bro airs Tuesday 10/13 on the CW.

Check out these glorious podcasts @iZombieNation and @iZombiePodcast
Follow these cool iZombie individuals: @iZombieFans_CW / @iZombieObsessed / @morales_ej

Remember that if you miss first airing and the live tweeting @NeptuneRising orchestrates a #iZombieRewatch #iZombieHorde #iZombie #iZombieRewatch

About the Author - Winston Mize
Winston is a 25 year old goofball, born in the north, and currently living in the south. He loves TV.... for some it's coffee, for him it's TV talk that gets his day going. He wants to be a screenwriter, and watches some of everything. You name it, he's probably checked it out. And he would like you to know that it is okay for a 25 year old to play with action figures... well, he does anyway. He's semi-active on twitter, and has quite a lot of nothing to say. Get to know him and learn he is just randomness personified. You can check him out with previews/reviews of Minority Report, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Heroes Reborn and iZombie this fall.
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