Fifty Shades of Grey Matter, while not particularly ambitious, is still an effective mystery of the week; with a humorous brain on the side.
Liv eats horny librarian brain. I probably don’t even have to ask if you’re still on board. I’m often calling out iZombie for relying far too much on cliches to provide their brains, but Fifty Shades of Grey Matter does a great job of a making the brain the question and not the answer.
As usual, the comedic hook here is how the completely transformed Liv interacts with people who aren’t currently under the influence of brain or have an otherwise totally different interpretation of her own personality. Of course the not-knowing doesn’t make the comedy, as we still get a good deal of humor from the characters that know her condition, but this is more based on wit. Speaking of wit, I have to point something out that I believe needs to be addressed.
iZombie’s writing and direction is absolutely gold in the humor department. No matter who a character is or what part they have in the show, all can be made out to be some kind of comedic genius. Remember the big steel bully proxy in The Flash is Born episode of the Flash? Yeah, turns out he’s hilarious. Greg Finley ends up being a much more charismatic presence as Drake than he could muster as Tony, proving that sometimes it can be blamed on the material.
But there’s a reason Rose McIver is our main character, and her chameleon acting is what keeps Fifty Shades of Grey Matter entrancing. Her horny librarian schtick is made much more complex thanks to the plot, and the plight of the victim, but her attitude towards the other characters is just too funny to be ignored. Seeing how her increased libido affects her otherwise normal interactions is the perfect example of what makes the show great on the surface, but its the smart-funny references and the series’ refulsal to explain the jokes or the plot that keeps everything rolling along seamlessly. Plus a Kristin Bell cameo that’s simply pitch perfect.
But wait, there’s more
Clive and Dale’s case against Blaine gets some real headway in the plot, and also puts some of David Anders’ best villain acting on prime display. What makes the use of Blaine’s role in the story, and the detectives’ job of investigating him so genius is how well it ties everything together from Major’s nightime activitiers, to Peyton’s case against Mr. Boss, even so far back as Captain Suzuki and the Meat Cute Massacre. Clive and Dale pull absolutely every conceivable dangling plot thread together, tying up all of the characters’ roles in to one easy to follow story. This boasts some interesting things coming up in iZombie, but it manages to do it without skipping a beat on their brain of the week.
Final Word: Fifty Shades of Grey Matter requires you be completely caught up to stay informed, and personally I find that the willingness to leave the lackadaisical members of the audiences behind is part of what keeps the fast pace of the comedy and plot from stumbling in any noticeable way. Absolutely every cast member is on their toes exchanging great dialogue and witty one-liners.
Fifty Shades of Grey Matter gets a 9.0/10: It’s intelligent, humorous, and cohesive. There’re some big ideas that are started here, but they don’t reach fruition which keeps the plot from reaching its total potential. Regardless, this is classic iZombie, and Rose McIver’s impression of an undersexed and overwhelmed librarian is too funny to miss.