'iZombie' Events are Reaching Critical Mass in "Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part 1"

by J.M. Suarez

27 June 2017

Interspersed with bar-hopping and sex visions, "Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part 1" sets the stage for the finalé and beyond.
Liv and Ravi at the latest crime scene. 
cover art

iZombie

Season 3, Episode 12 - "Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part 1"
Cast: Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Robert Buckley
Regular airtime: Tuesdays, 9pm

(CW)
US: 20 Jun 2017

Liv (voiceover): What do they say at Fillmore Graves? Discovery Day is coming? It certainly feels that way.

Floyd Baracus: Peyton, I am now mayor of a city on the verge of learning that zombies are real. We may also be ground zero to a deadly pandemic. And, I need people who understand the nature of the task ahead. I need you to be my chief of staff.

The first episode of a two-part finalé, “Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part 1”, sets up next week’s final episode beautifully. There are plenty of small decisions that begin to have very real consequences by the end of the episode; things move quickly, as they often have throughout the season, but the stakes are much higher now, and the way things end is both genuinely shocking and inevitable.

Liv’s (Rose McIver) feeling the consequences of the alt-weekly piece about zombies—featuring a photo of her in full-on zombie mode on the cover—and decides to change her look now that spotting a zombie comes with instructions from the article. McIver essentially just looks like herself, but in contrast to Liv’s usual look, it’s a drastic change. While she’s attempting to blend in more, Harley Johns (Andrew Caldwell) is locked up in a freezer in his bunker while she and Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) figure out how to deal with him.

Interestingly, this episode brings back two characters, only to kill them, though to varying viewer investment. Katty Kupps (Christina Cox), Ravi’s (Rahul Kohli) old CDC boss, is back to chastise Ravi’s obvious involvement as a source for the zombie article—much to Liv’s consternation—and to continue her investigation into an Aleutian flu outbreak tied to a flight from Paris to Seattle. When she’s killed, Liv employs her usual crime-fighting tool and eats her brain. Unfortunately, and mostly amusingly, she flashes on the time Katty and Ravi slept together and the abject horror on her face makes for some great comic moments, although Ravi does have a bit too much fun teasing her about his sexual prowess to the point that it sometimes comes off as more creepy than funny.

In addition to flashes of Katty’s time with Ravi, Liv’s compelled to return night after night to a hotel bar Katty frequented, and used to pick up a different man every night. While she stops herself from sleeping with various men, she eventually gives in and sleeps with Chase, who’s staying at the hotel. As we’ve already been reminded, she’s safe to have sex with him because he’s a zombie; however, she instantly regrets it, especially when she finds a connection to Katty in his room. Whether Chase killed Katty because she was too close to discovering zombies through her flu investigation (the two have to be related at this point, right?), or it’s merely a coincidence remains to be seen, but again, it points to Fillmore Graves’ larger involvement in zombies coming to Seattle.

Katty’s murder investigation leads Liv, Clive, and Ravi to interviewing the final four first class passengers from the flight. The scenes in the interrogation room are terrific, not only because Clive cowers in the corner, afraid of contracting the flu, but because Ravi also has a very satisfying interaction with a racist passenger in which he soundly puts her in her place. They eventually discover that a passenger switched seats and the lead puts Clive on Carey Gold’s (Anjali Jay) doorstep. She’s a teacher at Fillmore Graves; although it’s not yet clear how, this is another piece connecting Fillmore Graves to the larger story.

Although Peyton’s (Aly Michalka) own investigation into the Weckler case has led her to suspect new zombie mayor, Floyd Baracus (Kurt Evans), as the dominatrix murderer, she begins to question her instincts when he offers her a job as his chief of staff, and simultaneously lets her know he’s both aware she knows about zombies and that he was one of Roxanne’s customers. Liv encourages her to take the job as a way to keep an eye on him and stay on top of the city’s plans to deal with Discovery Day. It’s a good way to keep Peyton in a useful role, as well as expand her circle of zombie acquaintances.

While Peyton is continuing to immerse herself into the zombie world, Major (Robert Buckley) is unceremoniously kicked out of it when Chase (Jason Dohring) discovers he’s human and fires him from Fillmore Graves. Major’s been in a funk all season, as he’s grappled with becoming a zombie and then reverting back to human form only to be ostracized as the Chaos Killer. He’s been floundering for a while and his ill-advised relationship with Shawna was yet another disaster that not only left him alone and embarrassed but also revealed him to be human (and reminded the audience that zombies can’t have sex with humans without infecting them with the virus).

Surprisingly, Natalie (Brooke Lyons) returns and gets him excited for the future again. They make whirlwind plans to move to Italy together after Major’s big going away bash thrown by his mercenary buddies, but those plans fall apart when Harley shows up; his friends found him in the freezer and let him out. Harley’s hatred of zombies extends to himself now that he’s become one, and in a devastating move, he activates a suicide vest, killing himself and everyone in the party (“Zombies are abominations. That’s what we are. Abominations!”).

Luckily, Major and Justin (Tongayi Chirisi) are outside when the explosion happens, but Natalie, most (if not all) of Major’s zombie friends, and Harley are all killed. Major’s certain to blame himself; his connection to his Fillmore Graves family has been his lifeline. The death of his friends and his inevitable guilt will likely lead him further into his depression.

Discovery Day has been referenced over and over this season, and perhaps next week will be the big event, but it would be impossible to completely wrap up all season three’s storyline in one more episode. This means season four will have plenty of material to work with, but for now, with one episode to go, season three has been packed with plot, filled with humor, and always entertaining, as exemplified in “Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part 1”.

iZombie

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