Liv (Rose McIver) classes up the joint after eating a Real Housewife brain in an episode of iZombie that nicely balances a variety of story lines.
Let’s bitch it out…
Case of the week: Taylor, the titular real housewife of Seattle, is murdered by a killer for hire named Joe. Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) and Liv trace a connection back to Vaughn Du Clarke (Steven Weber), though Vaughn’s affair with Taylor is revealed – via running commentary from the “cold hearted bitch” Housewives in the interrogation room – that Taylor’s husband Terrence not only knew about the affair, he was conducting his own affair on the side on the website SugarDaddio. When it is eventually revealed that personal shopper/ex-SugarDaddio vixen Bethany/Harmony is the mastermind behind the murder, it is no big surprise (after all the name screams both skank and up-and-coming Housewife).
The bigger reveal is that Vaughn isn’t above using the creatures he despises to get rid of his enemies. Terrence tries to use his position as a swing vote on Max Rager’s board to intimidate Vaughn, which goes awry when Terrence meets a grisly end at the hands of Vaughan’s scientist (who was zombified by Sebastian in 1×12 ‘Dead Rat, Live Rat, Brown Rat, White Rat’). Vaughn clearly has a complicated relationship with the creatures he has helped create, though surely he can’t simply hide the bodies of all of his enemies in a super secret lab underneath the office can he? It’s all very Buffy Big Bad S4.
The mysteries of Gilda (Leanne Lapp): It’s becoming increasingly clear who is really in charge over at Max Rager. Not only is Gilda putting the moves – successfully <blech> – on Major (Robert Buckley), she seems to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to Vaughn*. She talks back to her boss and has no qualms directing Major to continue his dirty work eliminating the town’s zombie population. The big question is how much she knows, what her real role in all of this is and how long will her long con last (the answer to the final question is only a semi-spoiler since creator Rob Thomas confirmed the answer in his season premiere interviews).
*The AV TV Club believes Gilda is Vaughn’s daughter. If so, I completely missed this.
Utopia/Birthday Woes: Not only is Major still regularly getting high, but Peyton (Aly Michalka) arrives back on the scene rather mysteriously after a three month absence. She’s recruited to lead a task force responsible for cracking down on the designer drug. Later Peyton arrives at Ravi’s (Rahul Kohli) to make amends, leaving Liv all by her lonesome on her birthday (though the result of such loneliness is to dream up imaginary hot sauce cocktails such as Liv’n’learn). The plain-Jane cake that Peyton leaves behind is a nice reversal of expectations (there’s a strong initial suggestion that it is from Gilda). Despite Peyton’s willingness to mend fences with her zombie friend, the fact that Liv ends up by herself is a little strange because there’s absolutely no mention of Liv’s mother or brother, not even a mention that they haven’t reached out.
- No offense to AV TV Club reviewer Carrie Raisler, whose work I respect immensely, but to suggest that this wasn’t a hysterically funny episode of the series rings false to me:
The biggest stumbling block of Liv eating the brain of a Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills knockoff and then subsequently acting like a shopping-and-wine-obsessed, nouveau riche, gossipy snob, is that that stereotype isn’t all that interesting (or funny). There’s something to be skewered in this sort of comedic send-up of type, but that skewering likely needs to be far more barbed than it ever gets to be here.
I definitely didn’t think the episode suffered because the critique of the Real Housewives franchise wasn’t barbed enough. Then again I treated this more as iZombie having fun with the format and using it to tell their own story. For my money, Liv slapping Major and pouting to Ravi alone are worth the price of admission.
- According to Gilda, Max Rager’s Plan B for dealing with zombies is to offer them an all expenses paid trip on a cruise ship and then scuttle it on the high seas. Sounds expensive. Paying for Major to fake-train Vaughn and dump bodies into the river is definitely more cost efficient.
- Vaughn is the city’s most eligible bachelor? The city definitely needs a nose cleanse. Seriously, a guy who has sex wearing an ankh on a leather necklace? Just ugh.
- Clive absolutely slays the resigned one liners as Liv becomes increasingly insufferable. Malcolm Goodwin is now the sole regular cast member who isn’t in on Liv’s secret (though the personality/mood swings have got to be tipping him off at this point), so it’s nice when the writers let him play up his straight man role. Clive’s disdain for all of the Housewives-related topics is truly something the behold.
- I’m clearly no one’s personal stylist, but the strappy shoes that Bethany picks out for Liv are literally the worst. You definitely could not dine at Fin & Juice wearing them.
- Downer alert: it’s going to be hard to enjoy the presence of that adorable dog at Major and Ravi’s knowing that the only reason it is there is because Major killed its owner.
- No Blaine this week. Sad face.
- Clive (after Ravi offers an extended monologue about his Friday plans): “Can’t. Busy”
- Major (to Gilda): “You know I think of you every time I squat?”
- Liv (after having a vision of Vaughan having sex): “My eyes – they burn”
- Liv (talking about Peyton to the personal shopper): “A long time ago…we used to be friends.” Nyuk nyuk nyuk on the reference to the theme song to Thomas’ previous series, Veronica Mars
- Liv (looking at the ladies advertising on SugarDaddios): “These kinds of women don’t need a phone to call men. They just stand upwind and drop their panties.”
Your turn: what did you think of Housewife Liv? Did this week’s mystery pull together to you? Are you dismayed by Major’s spiral? Excited to see Peyton again? Who is Gilda really? And how long before some of these secrets start to come out? Sound off below.
iZombie airs Tuesdays at 9pm EST on The CW