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iZombie: 4.3 – “Brainless in Seattle, Part 1”

The following review contains spoilers because the ending is too awesome to not mention.

Liv eats the brain of a hopeless romantic and becomes a hopeless romantic and that’s the simplest explanation for “Brainless in Seattle, Part 1,” but this episode also has a deeply involved background plot concerning the coyote network in Seattle post zombie-outbreak. First, we’ll unpack the basics of Liv’s weekly mood swing. Rose McIver seems to nail another one, though I’d still argue that these full transformations came out of nowhere. iZombie is just so funny. It’s always been pretty funny, but they’ve really hit their stride when it comes to the humor. Some of the allusions end up being even funnier than the actual jokes like this episode capitalizing on rom-com cliches like the makeover montage and meet-cute. It’s self-aware but not annoyingly so as it just displaces these staples of the genre into iZombie’s world to give a fresh perspective on how they look outside of their comfort zone. Everyone goes along with the joke and that’s what makes the humor work, but the episode plays so much that it forgets to do any investigation, so when it’s finally time to make some headway, it’s a bit of a rush job.

Blaine (you remember him?) is showing signs of getting a dedicated storyline and it’s a real doozy as it all ties in to the food-shortage problem that Fillmore-Graves is having (…how is it that I’m just now getting that?) What’s astonishing about this season beyond the sudden onset of building a zombie-society basically overnight is how everything ties together and every character is connected to both a dedicated storyline and the other characters. Well…not every character because we still don’t know what role Peyton is going to be playing in the new season but Aly Michalka shows up in this episode contributing to the humor and the fun so it’s not like it’s wasted space. But besides that very small exception, everyone seems to be affecting everyone else so the story construction is a masterpiece of cause and effect that also factors in real problems that a hypothetical zombie-society would have so it moves in natural and, at the same time, surprising ways.

Final Word: The real cherry on “Brainless in Seattle, Part 1” is that ending. In any other show, it wouldn’t actually be all that surprising but iZombie has stumbled on a totally unique idea and has executed it to perfection thus far. The true genius of iZombie’s new dynamic is that they can take any old cliche, put “but with zombies” on the end of it, and as long as it’s put in their well-constructed world and the creators pay attention to the waves such a revelation can have on a wide-scale, they can make absolutely anything fresh. There’s a serial killer in a crime show? So? But a zombie serial killer that’s part of a network of zombies that smuggle people into the city, robe them, then kill them to skip the brain supply line? That’s not a cliche, it’s a remix. What’s more, it’s one that only iZombie is playing.

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