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iZombie Season 4, episode 3 review: Brainless in Seattle, Part 1

Brainless In Seattle Part 1 takes iZombie into the realm of rom-coms. Which for a show based around zombies, is a tough sell. Lucky for us this is so good, they broke it into two parts.

Bear with me while I digress a little (there is a point to this). I have just finished watching Scrubs all the way through, and as the show ends, J.D is left watching a projection of the potential future he will live. He ends up with Elliot, and sees Izzy and Sam get engaged. It is a happy ending, an idealistic ending fitting of the ‘dreamer’ persona of John Dorian.

The reason I bring up Scrubs, is that iZombie is a show that can shift its genre from week to week. And this week, it resembled a show close to Scrubs, with Liv searching for the perfect ending. But with the reveal at the end, “Brainless In Seattle Part 1” is not the story of a dreamer. At the end of the day, there are zombies, and there is an expected horror that comes with that.

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iZombie — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW via CWPR

A hopeless romantic breaks into Seattle to see the love of her life, but is discovered soon after with a gunshot wound to the chest and most of her brains missing. After turning the little remains into chocolate hearts (I swear each week they are making me eat more and more), Liv ends up with hopeless romantic brain.

The culmination of this is Peyton, Ravi and Liv heading to the poorly named Human vs Zombies night at The Scratching Post. There, after a Ravi makeover, Liv’s new-found appreciation for any man who gives her a slightest glance ends up with her wishing for any kind of happy ending. Tim is a pretty boy, and Liv is smitten. Peyton on the other hand is at breaking point with this persona thrust upon her. We also see Bozzio cheating on Clive, poor Clive. Almost as though iZombie is poking fun at the rom-coms that inspired this weeks episode.

Meanwhile, Chase Graves is dealing with one bad situation after another. Firstly Major’s mess-up last week is going to have major consequences (pun not intended); and he is now dealing with an impending brain shortage, 4 to 6 months is the time period given until the zombies end up going full-on Dawn of the Dead. The reasons implied to this be the case is that Renegade (the people smuggler introduced last week) is turning humans into zombies, impacting the already low brain resources.

This leads to the ‘serial killer’ revealed at the end. The coyote is taking advantage of the desperate situation that some humans find themselves in, clearly fuelling his insatiable need to kill with the black market brain trade that was hinted at in each of the seasons first 3 episodes. And surprise, surprise, the black market brain trade leads back to Blaine. Blaine has also been recruited by Chase Graves to hunt down Renegade, to solve his problems. We get ruthless Blaine back, eating a guy’s brains to get answers all the while flaunting the 16 vials of ‘The Cure’. This isn’t going to end well.

With Liv watching Casablanca there can be a danger to be hitting the themes on the nose. But think closer, Rick and Ilsa don’t end up together. Of all the gin joints in the world, yes she ended up at Rick’s, but she belonged with Victor and flew out of Casablanca leaving Rick to value what is around him instead.

Apply this to iZombie. It is highly unlikely that a show based around zombies and the tensions with humans, will end with the happy ending of a romantic comedy. Girl gets boy, living happily ever after; not going to happen. This will end like Casablanca, an ending which is in keeping with what has come before. It is wrong to think Rick and Ilsa should end up together, same to think that zombie Seattle will end well. Prepare for the ride.

iZombie airs Monday nights on The CW.