DISCLAIMER: This iZombie recap contains more spoilers than the number of times Liv has blessed Clive with secondhand embarrassment over her brain-fueled antics. Hey, don’t hate the player, Clive. Hate the brain. You’ve been warned. Prepare for the zombie uprising, and enter at your own peril. 

Welcome back, zombies of New Seattle! iZombie returned this week with a slow burning episode. Well, slow burning until the very end, when Peyton caught Liv knee deep in her new job moonlighting as the Renegade for the Underground Railroad. I sense serious repercussions on the horizon regarding that cliffhanger. Liv consumed the brains of a bachelor playboy, turning her more “bro” than anyone was comfortable with. Meanwhile, Major was assigned a major (pun intended) task courtesy of Chase Graves. Major was tasked with befriending fellow soldier Russ in an attempt to discover who is selling brains on the black market. You know, since those are in short supply in New Seattle. Oh, and Liv finally met Blaine’s father Angus, aka Brother Love. 

Alright, ready to delve into “Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Brain?” Just be sure to grant Liv free reign over her fedora usage. When she dons a fedora, all the boys come to her yard. 

We open with Liv (Rose McIver) and Levon (Daniel Bonjour) in full Underground Railroad mode. They’re comparing potential candidates to smuggle over the New Seattle border. But how can anyone decide which human life is worth sparing? Who truly deserves a second chance at life…well, afterlife? Oh, and the pair learns about Brother Love’s (aka Angus) growing zombie congregation, and how he’s able to keep his undead flock fed. Perhaps it’s time to pay Brother Love a visit. 

Next, a young man named Seth (Scott Patey) at a crowded bar with his “wing man” Max (John Bregar). Max is aiding Seth in finding the courage to approach Amanda (Bar Paly). Our duo engages Amanda and her friend in conversation. Unfortunately, Amanda is instantly drawn to Max, leaving Seth in the dust. However, her friend seems intrigued by Seth, so maybe there’s hope for him after all. 

Later, we see Amanda eagerly chatting away with Max after a night of passion. She’s ready for round two, but Max is silent on the matter. In fact, Max may never be ready for round two again because…he’s dead. Uh oh. Homicide is surely afoot! 

Next, we see Liv, Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) and Ravi (Rahul Kohli) at the scene of the crime. Ravi has a theory after discovering a rash on Max’s stomach. He believes the deceased was poisoned. It’s all elementary, my dear zombies! Liv also inadvertently triggered “mood lighting” and sexy music by clapping her hands. Max was a classic playboy. Ravi took that moment to suggest they all orgy up. However, Clive safely maneuvered out of orgy territory by clapping back, which returned the room to normal. So that’s what clapping back means! 

Then, Liv consumes Max’s brains at the morgue by baking them into a miniature, utterly delectable looking cake. I think iZombie just recruited me for Team Undead. If you get to make tasty confections and solve murders, then I’m in. 

Meanwhile, Dino (Ryan Jefferson Booth) is ousting Russ (Giacomo Baessato) from The Scratching Post as only a massive zombie bodyguard can. Hey, come back during business hours, buddy. Suddenly, Don E (Bryce Hodgson) bolts across the bar counter and lunges toward Dino, blade in hand. I suspect Don E’s always wanted to do that. 

Next, we see Dino’s body cast aside like waste on the floor of The Scratching Post. His head is placed upright on the bar counter. Dino’s talking head (literally) urges Don E to freeze him and be done with it. However, since Dino is the traitorous fiend who unleashed Angus from his well-like prison, Blaine has other plans for the bodyguard. Don E hopes to mail Dino’s head to Gwyneth Paltrow. Both share a hearty laugh over the joke. Would Paltrow get a tickle out of it? I would like to think so. 

Meanwhile, Liv and Clive are questioning Amanda in the interrogation room. Liv is in full player mode, bro-ing out harder than a frat boy during Pledge Week. We see Liv is still sporting the blonde wig and tan from the previous episode. It might be helpful for her to blend in for Renegade purposes. Anyway, after some grilling Ravi pulls our duo aside and insists Amanda isn’t the killer. The poison was actually located inside the condom Max used. Brilliant move, if you ask me. Well, if one were to commit murder. 

Pictured: Rose McIver and Malcolm Goodwin, cwtv.com

Then, Chase (Jason Dohring) is checking his office at Filmore-Graves for potential bugging. He firmly believes the world is out to get him. He pulls aside Major (Robert Buckley) and assigns him a mammoth task. Chase is aware that Filmore-Graves soldiers are selling brain tubes on the black market. Brains are hard to come by in New Seattle, and these seedy soldiers are looking to profit from that. Major knows that belligerent Russ is one of those seedy soldiers. Is he the mastermind behind the operation? That remains to be seen. Chase orders Major to befriend Russ, get close enough to his fellow soldier and glean the information from him. Looks like Major is up to the major task set before him. I’ll see myself out. 

Later, Liv and Clive question Zoe (Laysla De Oliveira), a woman who was turned into a zombie via intercourse. She also had relations with Max, as did many other women that walked through those interrogation room doors. Zoe left some vital information with Clive and Liv before being dismissed. Liv also dismisses herself, citing that she is feeling frisky. Clive isn’t taking a shine to this version of Liv. 

Next, Liv and Levon head to Brother Love’s sanctuary for a bit of the gospel. They briefly peruse a pamphlet containing the wise words of Brother Love. One thing stands out to them – the steadfast belief that humans are meant to be food for the undead. Liv is currently sporting her natural white tresses and even whiter pallor. Brother Love, aka Angus (Robert Knepper) steps out of the shadows and greets his guests. They ask him how he’s able to feed his masses. Angus cites willing donations, spare brain tubes and hearty charitable meals at Romero’s as the church’s sources of sustenance. Liv informs Angus that she knows Blaine, the restaurant owner. Angus drops a verbal bomb on her – Blaine is his son. Verbal bomb! And single, to boot. It’s okay, Liv. I’ll shoulder that burden if you won’t. 

Now, Liv and Clive pay Chase a visit. Chase gives Liv his visual stamp of approval regarding her new look. He appears as if he’s ready to pounce. However, Liv is here on business. She had a vision of a Filmore-Graves soldier named Marsh speaking with Max. Marsh seemed to be in a panic, stating that Max will go down with him too should their situation go public. Chase vows that Marsh will be available the following day, if Clive and Liv wouldn’t mind returning then. 

Then, Peyton (Aly Michalka) finds Clive in the morgue on (gasp) Tinder. His situation with Bozzio isn’t improving, and he hopes to get back in the horizontal tango game. Peyton vows to aid him in perfecting his Tinder profile, but Ravi has something even better on offer – a night on the town. Ravi insists he’ll be Clive’s wing man. Just two dudes, going out and gettin’ ladies. Or something like that. 

So, our mingling men are at a crowded bar, and Clive is already complaining about the sound akin to “record scratching” that people call music. Clive is really an old man on the inside, and so am I. Clive is my soul sister. Ravi lures in two seemingly eligible ladies and starts chatting them up, making sure to really elevate Clive. However, their boyfriends flock to their sides like vultures, and well…there goes that.

Pictured: Malcolm Goodwin and Rahul Kohli, cwtv.com. Somehow, both of these people are me.

However, not all is lost. Liv joins our pair, donning a classy fedora. She believes said fedora will bring all the boys to the yard, even more than her milkshake. Clive snatches the fedora and approaches a group of ladies at the table behind him. All seems to be going well until Clive immediately brings up the subject of his open relationship with Bozzio. Ravi urges Clive to keep his cards close to his chest, but the latter just wants to be honest and forthright. Nothing wrong with that. 

Later, Liv hits up Levon for some potential sexy fun times. However, Levon is a gentleman and refuses to even snog Liv while she’s in playboy brain mode. He would rather wait for the right moment, when all the planets align in perfect harmony. Liv respects his wishes, and I love that everyone is respecting each other in this scenario. More of that in this world, please. Thus, Liv takes an Uber home, snog free and tango-less. 

Meanwhile, Clive gets his tango on with a mystery woman. My money’s on prostitute, but it could be someone he knows. Hey, as long as he practices his footwork somehow. 

Next, Chase orders Major to take his squad and shut down the local newspaper, 206 Weekly, who’s apparently hailing Mama Leone as a martyr and Chase as someone who’s frivolously abusing their tax dollars. Major is reticent to carry out said order, asking if they have the authority to do so. Chase responds that they are the authority. Who’s going to stop them? Well, this is silencing freedom of the press, and that’s kind of a no-no. Oh, and Major was just promoted to “VP of Getting Stuff Done,” courtesy of Chase. I hope that’s an actual title. 

Later, Bozzio (Jessica Harmon) approaches Clive at work, after his rendezvous with the prostitute. Bozzio asks why he’s been avoiding her calls. She reveals that while she’s gone on dates, she’s never horizontally tangoed with anyone. Only innocent snogging. Clive instantly feels remorse, and now Bozzio is aware that he did sleep with someone. Uh oh. This won’t end well for our lovebirds. 

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Then, back at Filmore-Graves, Clive and Liv are introduced to Marsh, who’s wheeled in by a plethora of soldiers. Apparently, the reason why Chase was insistent our pair wait a day is because Marsh was frozen for his crimes. He had intercourse with a human, turning her zombie. Marsh insists that he had no idea she was human. Liv and Clive question Marsh on his relations with Max. They also ask for the name of the woman he slept with. Bingo! Now with this valuable information in hand, our duo heads to the Zombie Services Office to look for this mystery woman. 

Meanwhile, Major charges into the office of 206 Weekly with his squad in tow. Rachel (Ella Cannon) barges forward, demanding to know why Filmore-Graves is shutting them down. Major urges the employees to exit the building immediately and leave all equipment pertinent to the newspaper behind. Rachel, who’s still bitter that Major aka “The Chaos Killer” is roaming free, calls it like it is: this is silencing freedom of the press. She snatches up her laptop, but Major shoots it out of her hand. I don’t like this side of Major…at all. 

Later, Liv and Clive do some digging on Huma Kattan, the woman Marsh inadvertently turned. Unfortunately, she doesn’t exist in any legal system, not even the DMV. But, the first thing one must do when joining the undead is grab an ID card at the Zombie Services Office. She has to be listed there. Time to riffle through paperwork!

Next, Liv pays Levon a visit with a plan in mind. She knows how to craft ID cards for their smuggled cache of humans after she scratches them. She insists that her playboy brain has worn off, that she’s herself again. They share a seemingly innocent smooch, and my heart is all aflutter. I like these two together – Levon is a genuinely good zombie who wants to help humanity in an impactful way. I can dig that. However, Liv launches a one liner that only a con artist would say, and Levon realizes she’s still hooked on bachelor brain. Shame on you, trickster Liv! 

Later, Liv and Clive arrive at the Zombie Services Office. Liv is sporting the latest in high end hat fashion – a gigantic ranger-esque creation. She’s also carrying a box of zombie-friendly donuts, to win over the employees. How thoughtful. Her and Clive get to work on searching for the elusive Huma Kattan. Suddenly, Clive stumbles upon a manila folder containing all the answers they need – Huma Kattan is actually Zoe! Now, Zoe also claimed that Max was sending threatening texts to her. She has a motive, for sure. 

Then, we see Clive and Liv bring Huma aka Zoe in for another round of questioning. She wanted Max gone because of how he’s destroyed the lives of so many women. Of course, there’s her anger at Marsh for morphing her into a member of the Undead Club. but Marsh was eliminated from the picture courtesy of Filmore-Graves. 

Pictured: Kurt Evans and Aly Michalka

Meanwhile, Chase is sitting with his sidekick Major at a meeting with Mayor Baracus (Kurt Evans) and Peyton. Baracus and Peyton chastise Chase for his decision to shut down the 206 Weekly, and of course the public execution of Mama Leone. Chase feels no remorse, citing that democracy doesn’t work when all life hangs in the balance, when unpopular choices must be made. Now, the threat of New Seattle being nuked may have been eradicated, but several other threats are looming. Peyton is disappointed to see Major sitting there in silence, with the latter unable to make eye contact with the former. Public executions, silencing the press – democracy is crumbling, and in its place stands an autocracy. 

Later, Peyton arrives home to find Liv in her room crafting ID cards for the Underground Railroad’s new zombies. She stole the ID card device from the Zombie Services Center, stowing it away in her giant hat. Hats are multi-functional, you know. Peyton is flabbergasted at the sight. Well, this should be fun for Liv to explain away…

iZombie debuted, in my humble opinion, one of its weaker episodes. Liv’s playboy antics fell flat, although McIver continues to astound with her chameleon-like abilities. However, there were certain plot points that were crucial to the overall arc, such as Peyton discovering Liv’s Renegade secret. This will be interesting for Peyton to process, considering she works for the Mayor. Of course, there’s Liv learning that Angus is Blaine’s father, and Major shutting down the 206 Weekly. All of these plot points were shining lights this episode. Not to mention, one could always use more Clive screen time. Goodwin has always provided solid performances on iZombie, and Clive is one of my favorites. 

Do you think Peyton will keep Liv’s Underground Railroad dealings under wraps? Will Major have a change of heart and ultimately side with the good guys? What does Angus really have in store for New Seattle? Join me next week as I continue to recap iZombie, here on Geek Girl Authority. 

iZombie airs Mondays at 9pm on your CW affiliate. 

Melody McCune

Before moving to Los Angeles after studying theater in college, I was born and raised in Amish country, Ohio. No, I am not Amish, even if I sometimes sport a modest bonnet. I also work publicity for WhedonCon, a convention celebrating the works of Joss Whedon. I love cheese. I love geek. I love lamp.