iZombie Episode 3: The Exterminator

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izombie title pic

 

Let’s Recap:

Liv Moore, a medical student attends a part where a drug, passed around by Blaine DeBeers, caused everyone to become a zombie. Liv, who did not take the drug, is scratched by DeBeers, causing her to die and become undead. After she breaks off with her family and her fiancé, she takes a job with a medical examiner who knows her secret. At the morgue, she finds that eating the brains of the deceased allows her to not only have the skills and personality of the decadent, but also to have their memories of how they died and who may have killed them. Posing as a psychic, she helps the police solve murders, while she tries to adjust to her new “life”.

 

Season 1, Episode 3 “The Exterminator”

Liv’s distrust of DeBeers comes to a head as she tells him that she will not help him get brains from the morgue. She doesn’t trust him. Liv thinks that he is the same slime ball undead as he was alive. Of course, she’s right. “It’s every zombie for himself, then,” says DeBeers. And sure enough, it will be.

 

debeers

“It’s every zombie for himself, now pass me the brains flavored ice cream!”

 

 

Liv eats the brain of a recent hit-and-run victim, who turns out to be a hit man. Here, we find the very first cliché that I have noticed in the show. He’s a hit man who works in pest control as a cover. It reminds me of the end of “Men in Black”, when they reveal that Dennis Rodman is an alien.

Because the brain is of a hit man, Liv has now gone from a sensual artist to an iceberg. She shows no emotion, no caring, no warmth… well, I guess the lack of warmth part would be normal, after all, she is a zombie.

Throw in that at the beginning of the show, two juveniles find what they believe to be another zombie. “Two’s company, three’s a horde,” remarks Liv at this prospect. When she and Dr. Ravi do finally find the zombie, it is a co-worker, Marcie, who is a full-fledged flesh eater in the true Romero style. The good Doctor drops a brain down to her, hoping that it will reverse the process. As he says to Liv, “You always feel better after a good brain.”

To complicate matters more, Liv has spoiled her roommate’s big murder case and a friend of a friend of her ex-fiancé is missing. And, because of her current diet, Liv couldn’t care less.

Without trying to spoil anything for those of you who haven’t seen the episode yet (it does repeat on Saturday night), let’s say that a number of interesting things happen and no one will be allowed to leave until after the credits roll.

I commend Rose McIver for, once again, seemingly throwing a switch and become a whole new, completely believable character. To see her move from an emotional dynamo in “Brother, Can You Spare a Brain?” to an ice queen in “The Exterminator” is remarkable. I cannot imagine this transformation from week to week is an easy feat, but McIver makes it seem effortless. Her performance is worth the price of admission.

There is a trend I noticed in “iZombie” that harkens back to a couple of other TV shows. In the first episode, Liv is eating brains with noodles and chopsticks. In the second, she is eating them in soft tortilla shells. In this episode, she is dining with brains on wheat crackers. The only constant, other than the brains, is sriracha sauce. This is a little game that some shows play with the viewers. It has been done before.

In “WKRP in Cincinnati”, newsman Les Nessman, portrayed by Richard Sanders, always had a band-aid on. It was purposed placed somewhere different on his character every episode. In “Too Close for Comfort”, Henry Rush, played by Ted Knight, wore a different college sweatshirt each episode. It got to the point that the network would announce which college shirt he would be wearing on the upcoming episode.

So, stay tuned and see how Liv’s brain cuisine evolves.

Julia Child would be proud.

 

sracha

Hot, hot, hot!

 

 

Let’s stop for a minute.

There was a line that kept rattling around in my head. Things in an empty space will do that. “Two’s company, three’s a horde.” Do you get a cold chill when you think about that line?

We know that DeBeers can turn people into zombies by having sex with them. We have seen Zombie Marcie. And we know that at the end of the episode… mumble, mumble, mumble. Ha! No Spoilers here! I think that this may be an important point to ponder and to keep in the back of your mind as the show progresses.

In the end, Liv’s lack of emotion poses an interesting dilemma. With all that she has lost, the one thing that she hasn’t is her ability to feel. It hurts that her ex appears to have moved on. It hurts that she cannot explain to those she held dear what has happened to her. She also fears that she could become just like Zombie Marcie. All of these come out in her narrations. She has the chance to stop all this by eating more of the hit man’s brains, but chooses not to. Her emotions are her last connection to life. This conflict adds a depth to the character that seems to be lacking in most shows.

Once again, the dialogue is crisp, funny and rapid fire. The characters have not lost any of their believability; in fact, DeBeers is becoming very menacing and really does fill up the screen when he is on camera. David Anders is marvelous at being so likable one minute and so scary the next. Rahul Kohli (Dr. Ravi) and Malcolm Goodwin (Detective Babineaux) continue to be funny and engaging.

“iZombie” is one of the better hours you will spend in front of the television.

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About Ernie Fink

Ernie Fink has been a fan of film, mainly in the genres of horror and mystery, in equal parts, for over fifty years. His love of horror in the cinema begins with "King Kong" and in literature with Edgar Allan Poe and Bernhardt J. Hurwood.  With mysteries, he skipped from the Hardy Boys right to Hercules Poirot, only to find John Rebus and Harry Hole waiting in the wings. He has been known to read subtitles extensively, and rarely leaves a theater until the lights come up.
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