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REVIEW: iZombie 1×02 “Brother, Can You Spare a Brain?”

Written by Alex Reale

I think it’ll be difficult to top the pilot episode of iZombie, though “Brother, Can You Spare a Brain?” was still entertaining. As long as this show retains the same level of humor, quality acting, and interesting storylines as tonight’s episode, we could very well see iZombie be renewed for a second season. (spoilers ahead!)

The episode kicks off with the murder of a local celebrity artist named Javier. Detective Babinaux goes to Liv for her help due to his belief that she’s a psychic. I enjoy Malcolm Goodwin‘s portrayal of Babinaux even though he seems like a carbon-copy of Arrow‘s Quentin Lance or The Flash‘s Joe West. He’s got the charm and the personality to make him a likable character, but if the producers aren’t careful, they may end up turning Babinaux into another cliche clueless cop.

At the morgue, Liv is stuck trying to decipher the meaning of a dream she had at the end of the last episode where she saw another zombie just like her. Ravi recruits a police sketch artist to assist with finding this mystery man once and for all. Little does he know that Liv, having eaten Javier’s brain, has suddenly acquired a mastery of art skills and is able to draw an impeccable portrait of her target, making the search much easier.

What drew me into iZombie in the first place was the unique “power” that Liv has where she can eat people’s brains and absorb their talents and see visions from their perspective. There is so much untapped potential lying within this concept. While iZombie has indeed been entertaining, I wish we saw more of Liv eating brains and using these powers instead of the other drama going on with roommates and ex-fiances. The show seems to be trying too hard to be a teenage after-school drama rather than a far more enjoyable Law and Order-esque comic show. I haven’t read the comics so maybe that’s the point, but I still wish we had more of the appealing aspects brought to the forefront.

The episode really picks up when Liv’s mystery man shows up at the morgue. David Anders plays Blaine, the man who sold Liv the drugs that turned her into a zombie. It appears that the drugs had the same effect on him. Blaine and Liv connect and bond over their mutual undead-ness and all the quirks that come with this new lifestyle. It’s laughably predictable that these two are going to end up together in the near future. There’s no doubt about it. Yes, Liv may think she still has feelings for her ex-fiance, Major, but that won’t happen. Zombies who feast together, stay together. I give it a month until we see the Blaine/Liv memes hit.

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Blaine is a fun character. He’s that smooth-talking smart-ass who you know is a douchebag, but he’s a lovable douchebag. He actually reminds me of Arrow‘s Deadshot combined with The Flash‘s Cisco. I’m hoping there’s more to the character as the season progresses. He would do well as either a villain or an anti-hero, though I cannot imagine him being a full-on hero like Liv or Ravi, especially considering what he does to his dealers near the end of the episode (hint: it gets a little messy).

Blaine’s storyline drew me in more than Javier and the murder case. I’ll admit I got lost trying to follow along with what happened to Javier. Too many names being thrown around plus the generic look of most of the characters made it incredibly difficult to stay engaged. I had to look up a plot summary after the show to see if I got the story right. I’m still optimistic that there will be better stories down the road.

iZombie continues to deliver entertainment, but I still wouldn’t put it on par with any of the other comic book-based shows. Regardless, it was a fun hour and I won’t mind tuning into the next couple of episodes.

Final Grade: B

+ Loved watching Liv “absorb” people’s abilities and traits as she eats their brains.

+ I enjoy Blaine’s characterization, even if he is a complete ass.

+ The show is becoming more like Arrow and The Flash (which is a good thing).

 

– Got a little confusing trying to remember who was who in the Javier murder case.

– It baffles me how people don’t realize Liv is a zombie.

– I’m not a fan of Major; he’s lacking a real personality or proper characterization to me.

 

Extra thought:

– It seems as though having sex with a zombie turns you into a zombie as well. So I wonder how many undead people we’ll have by the end of the first season.

What did you think about “Brother, Can You Spare a Brain?” Has the show gained momentum yet? Give us your opinion in the comments or on Twitter!

About the author

Alex Reale

From a young age, Alex knew he was destined to be a writer. He also harbored a deep infatuation with superheroes and comics. Luckily, he was able to combine these two passions through his role with A Place to Hang Your Cape, where he works as Junior Sidekick and Social Media Hero.

When he’s not writing for AP2HYC or working full-time as a content manager for a small business website, Alex is diligently at work on other creative projects including a fantasy novel collection and an independent comic series.

You can find Alex's first book, Dodger's Doorway, on Amazon!