iZombie S03E12 “Looking For Mr Goodbrain Part 1” REVIEW

iZombie S03E12 “Looking For Mr Goodbrain Part 1” REVIEW

0 comments 📅30 June 2017, 11:11

Airing in the UK on Netflix, new episodes every Wednesday
Diane Ruggiero-Wright & John Enbom
Michael Fields

Essential Plot Points:

  • Liv and Clive are still in the bunker with the newly zombified, newly chained up Johns. Major arrives and helps them sedate him. Clive suggests they basically put him on ice in the bunker and they do, complete with them locking him into a freezer.
  • At the lab, Ravi breaks the news to Liv about the headlines. And just when things couldn’t get worse? Doctor Katty Kupps is back.

  • She instantly figures out that Ravi was the source but doesn’t believe zombies are real for a second. This conversation comes out with Liv hiding under his desk so…yeah…Dr Chakrabarty is not having the best day ever.
  • Major is asked to join Chase for lunch. Chase has found Shawna’s Tumblr. He has noticed that Shawna is not a zombie. Major is done.

  • As he packs out the other squad members confront him. Major comes clean and…his guys have his back and promise a farewell bash for the ages. Awwwww.
  • At home, Peyton is haunted by the idea that Baracus could be behind it all. Liv talks her down and they chat about the outbreak.
  • At the lab, Rachel shows up to try and make peace. Ravi is not there for it AT ALL. Especially as she actually has follow up questions. She mentions how freaked out she is by the zombie girl she came face to face with. The one that is bringing Ravi coffee…
  • Ravi tries to get her before Liv comes back but it’s too late. Liv arrives and…she’s fine. And human looking. Pink skin, blonde hair. Ravi chucks her out and he and Liv take a call from Clive. There’s a body in a dumpster they need t see.
  • At the crime scene, Cliv interviews the freegans who found the body and takes Li and Ravi to her.
  • It’s Katty.
  • Clive goes through Katty’s belongings, including lots of notes on napkins from the hotel bar. They find out she was tracing an outbreak of Aleutian flu back to a flight that had landed at SeaTac and spent her last day interviewing the first class passengers from it.
  • Ravi doesn’t buy it. He thinks the CDC are worried about bioterrorism. Which thrills Clive.
  • Halfway through the interview, Liv starts having visions.
  • Sexy visions. Of Ravi.

  • The interview gets back on its feet, and the witness reveals that she’s massively racist. They get the next passenger in, who she claims to have no regard for human life. He is in fact a colossally amiable Sikh chap who is also a new father. It becomes clear, very quickly, he’s not their guy. But the passenger he mentions who had a dog may be…
  • Meanwhile, Peyton goes to see Baracus who tells her everything.
  • And asks her to be his chief of staff.
  • She turns him down and he doesn’t really let her off the hook. Although he does confess about the dominatrix tapes.
  • Packing up, Major gets a text from Natalie who is back in town. She asks him to go for a drink and he does and it’s actually sweet and not awful. He’s a hero, to her at least.
  • Liv is at the bar in the hotel Katty stayed in. She’s mostly trying to find more information. What becomes apparent, quite fast, is that Katty’s brain wants to be there and she wants company. She gets chatting to a total stranger who invites her to his room and…at the last second Liv realises what she’s doing and stops
  • At the bunker, someone breaks Johns out.
  • At the lab, Liv is still profoundly weirded out by having seen…well…everything where Ravi is concerned. Peyton turns up, explains about what happened with Baracus and they talk it over.
  • Later, Liv is back in the bar and not quite sure why she’s there. A sweet, nerdy man buys her a drink, calls her over and she proceeds to…well…jump him.
  • And then backs off at the last second. Again.
  • At home, she has Justin over. She is desperately happy to see him. They have if not The Talk, then certainly A Talk and figure out they are a couple and are super happy about it.
  • Major has helped Natalie run errands and makes a huge show of falling over exhausted when they get home. Which leads to massage. Which leads to sex. Natalie asks Major to come away with her and he agrees. He has nothing in Seattle (Somewhere Ravi sheds a single manly tear) and just has to go to his going away party. Where, obviously, nothing bad is going to happen…
  • At the bunker, Billy the gate guard and Mr Huntsman (Continuity!) are watching the news. Harley’s ‘corpse’ is on the sofa behind them and they don’t see him wake up…
  • Back at the hotel, Clive takes Liv along to question the bar staff. They all recognise her. It is super awkward. But they do find out Katty left the bar with a different man every single night.
  • Liv figures out why she’s suddenly so horny.
  • At the precinct, Clive interviews another passenger who reveals he switched seats with a woman due to a seating screw up. She was in seat 17D, one of the notes Katty left.
  • Natalie and Major show up at Majors leaving do…

  • Liv is back in the bar. Again. Trying and failing to resist the brain’s urges. Which when Chase Graves turns up, proves to be impossible…
  • At the precinct, Clive gets the details of Seat 17D from the CDC.
  • At home, Liv and Chase tear each other’s clothes off.

  • Clive goes back to the house where the dominatrix killer’s daughter is living. It turns out that Patrice, her best friend, was the girl in 17D. And she’s Carey Gold’s daughter…Everything leads back to FG…
  • At the party, Major is toasted by his squad. Justin calls him outside and asks if he should be worried about Liv. Major reassures him.
  • At the hotel, Liv chats to Chase as he gets in the shower. And she finds Katty’s phone number on a napkin near his bed…
  • At the party. The squad notice a man talking to Natalie.
  • It’s Johns.

  • With a suicide vest.
  • He explodes.


That’s more like it. After a distinct wobble over the last couple of weeks iZombie is back on Track with a hell of an opening act for its finale.

What makes this work is how plausible it is. No one has all the pieces, everyone has some Of the information and no one is quite able to put it altogether in time. Clive, dogged as ever, is still the best detective on the SPD but doesn’t quite realise that Johns could have friends. Ravi doesn’t think that Rachel would want follow ups. Peyton never expects Baracus to come clean, Major is surprised by his unit’s farewell bash and Liv doesn’t think to consider her new brain’s tastes until it’s too late. Done wrong, this would all present as contrived. Here it feels realistic, plausible even.

Best of all is Liv’s plot. Firstly because its nice to see Rose McIver getting a day off from the makeup for once and secondly because it could so easily have been cheap. Instead, while the laughs do pile up (Ravi in bed, Oh good Lord…) there’s real humanity and consequence to it. Katty is never retroactively shamed or made to look like less of the professional woman she was. She just happens to have enjoyed a lot of sex. The way that is used to throw a new light on Liv’s terrible luck with partners, and her relationship with Justin is really smartly handled. Plus Jason Dohring’s trainer deserves a raise.

Elsewhere, Major gets the other great plot. We know! We were shocked too! But the world’s least lucky not-quite serial killer really does get some great moments this episode. They cannot possibly last, because Major has no manner of luck at all, but it’s really nice to see the poor guy catch a break.

But what really impresses here is the overwhelming sense of doom. From the headline to Baracus, to 17D there is a real sense of something seismic coming to the show. The zombies are public knowledge and while the public don’t quite know that yet they aren’t going away. The show looks poised to do something truly monumental to its premise, after building to it all season and we can’t wait to see what happens next.

The Good:

  • The Raiders of the Lost Ark speech is adorable.
  • The fact that one of the passengers isn’t evil, she’s just immensely racist is a welcome dose of reality. Evil can look normal and top marks to the show for exploring that.
  • Clive freaking out about bioterrorism is adorable.
  • Ravi’s…let’s go with concentration… method during sex is hilarious.
  • ‘Driven. Direct. You’ve had worse.’
  • ‘So by whosiewatsit you mean turban, by Muslim you mean Sikh and by like me you mean BROWN?’
  • ‘Lately I’’ve been really into lying on my couch, looking up. Sometimes sideways.’-Major is genuinely cute this episode. Poor guy.

The Bad:

  • Poor Doctor Kupps is more than slightly hard done by. It would have been great to see her on screen more.

And The Random:

  • Michael Fields has directed for Lethal Weapon, Frequency, Veronica Mars and many more.
  • Diane Ruggiero-Wright has produced and written for Cupid, Veronica Mars and many more. She’s currently co-executive producer on the US remake of Misfits. And most importantly for this piece, she co-created iZombie.
  • John Enbom has written for Veronica Mars, Party Down, the much-missed Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles and others.

Review by Alasdair Stuart

Read all our other iZombie reviews

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