This week’s iZombie starts with what I presume will now be a standard cold-open depicting a murder by paintbrush. The victim? Javier Abano, a successful local artist. After a few cranium munches, Liv starts getting flashes of his life – mostly his romantic dalliances – and taking on his capacity for painting, his voracious sexual appetite and his uniquely artistic vision of the world. In the end, after a fair number of red herrings, we discover it was the wife all along who killed Javier, not over his spate of lovers – they had an open marriage – but because he was planning to leave her to start a family with a much younger woman.

Meanwhile, Liv’s fellow zombie Blaine is also located. He seems amiable and contrite at first, happy to submit to Ravi’s medical inspection and repentant over his rudeness to Liv the night of the boat fire/massacre. He claims to have turned over a new leaf in light of his new condition and he initially convinces her to become his brain hook-up, since he’s had to resort to grave robbing to feed. She hesitantly concedes at first, but changes her mind when she stumbles upon him cavorting with some shady drug dealers.

Turns out he’s found a new line of work – turning people into zombies and becoming their paid brain supplier. He is clearly going to be the primary antagonist of the series, and it frankly delights me that they have named him Blaine, if only because my negative association with that moniker re: Glee will probably take decades to peter out.  Although I don’t find him terribly interesting in his own right, his commiserations with Liv about the various drawbacks of being a zombie were quite entertaining.

There was also some drama between Liv and Major about engagement gifts and jazz CDs and a misplaced come-on resulting from the belated Javier’s influence on Liv. Here’s my problem with them: Major is just so boring and generic that I don’t quite understand why losing him feels like such a loss to Liv. Obviously it does, but I can’t quite figure out why. So far he seems like the most stock cliché Nice Guy there ever was, and Liv’s angst over him really just is not all that compelling. More Payton and less Major from now on.

Predictably the scenes between Liv and Ravi, and Liv and Babineaux carried all the re-watch value of this episode (as I imagine will likely be the case for most episodes). I definitely LOL’ed during that interrogation scene when Babineaux is questioning the jealous boyfriend and Liv unabashedly flirts with him. The less time this show spends on narrative exposition and the more it devotes to quippy character moments, the better it will be.

Sadly this episode did not quite live up to the “Pilot” in terms of overall quality. It was still good, and I remain a devoted viewer of the series as a whole, but it definitely felt very filler. Solid and satisfactory, but not outstanding. It is capable of much better.

Quotables

“Looks like he was just trying to show off how many colors of paint he owned” – Liv

“This fake psychic thing is going to bite me in the ass when he starts asking me for lottery numbers” – Liv

“Is that shock at sex-tip 4 because I didn’t understand it either” – Ravi

“I would literally be less surpised to come in here and find you building a rocket ship” – Major

“Welcome to team-Z” – Blaine