iZombie: Abra Cadaver

iZombie

We begin where most of us would love to start our own days: waking up in bed with Liv and Major. Although they’re still not taking part in a traditional “physical” relationship yet, they are finding ways to keep things interesting. They haven’t yet given up on making this work.

This week’s episode of iZombie revolves around a murdered magician who was alone in his hotel room the entire morning prior to his death. Cameras show that no one could have gone in besides the security guards who were cleared after checking for a disturbance earlier (while he was still alive) and the maid who found him that morning. The episode focuses equal parts on this as it does the ongoing case that the FBI is building on Major (without knowing it’s Major who they’re targeting) so this can be wrapped up a little more quickly than our normal “brain of the week” cases in recap.

The magician in question had long been making enemies of his peers by exposing their tricks as hacks or co-opting them to use for his own act. The week he dies he’s in town for a convention of magicians where nearly everyone they question could have a motive. They focus in on several: his assistant, his ex-fiancée, his former mentor turned nemesis, and his new rival. His assistant isn’t responsible but points them in the direction of the other major players. His former mentor thinks it’s all a staged trick, but also assures them that while he hated the man that he didn’t kill him. His new and up-in-coming rivals (which are stand-ins for Penn & Teller) alibi one another out even though they are glad he’s gone if it’s not a trick, and shrug off a heated Twitter exchange they had days before his death where he threatened to expose their biggest trick. His ex volunteers that they didn’t have a great relationship but she assures them that she didn’t kill him. She does point out to them that sometimes — when it comes to magic — the trick is getting you to ignore what’s right in front of your face.

This takes them back to the maid from the beginning who discovered the body and was truthfully the only person to go into the room. The maid has disappeared, but Liv recognizes the handwriting as the same of the dead magician’s new rivals and reveal the would-be Teller partner to be the maid in disguise. They paid a prostitute to distract the former mentor and pin things on him since his alibi then became suspect, but in turn that same woman confirms they are the ones who paid her and seal their own demise. The pair were worried that exposing the one partner to be a woman would be devastating to their show? It’s hard to say why exactly, but its reason enough for them to resort to murder.

Although they kept it together the last few episodes, this is also the first time that the Ravi and Peyton tension has been played to the point of no return. Ravi walks in on Peyton adorably dancing around making breakfast smoothies and pretty much gives up on his current relationship as a result. We then get a series of awkward moments between Ravi and Stephanie where he slowly but surely ends things. In a rather sad and not great move, he waits until the morning after another night with her post-Guy Fawkes day celebration she set up for him. When Ravi mentions this to Peyton she appears supportive, but when he misinterprets this as her being on his level and goes in for a kiss she puts some space between them. She didn’t mean to give him the wrong impression and he seems to understand, but it’s likely going to continue to be a strained situation for as long as they remain awkward roommates.

The biggest development this episode is the break in the building case against the serial killer we know to be Major. Along with the unlikely ally in Blaine — who checks in with Liv about this mysterious assailant possibly being responsible for his father’s disappearance (which we know to be indeed what happened) — Liv moves to help him find out what progress the FBI has made on the case. They stake out Dale’s place and find out that things have escalated quickly between her and Clive (something we didn’t know as viewers) and instead of going out together they’re actually staying in and shutting the blinds.

When they wait for her to leave the following morning and make their way into the house, they discover that she’s left all the case files out on the table, and collect as much information as possible. Liv sees that they discovered a hair in the sink at Meat Cute that was Alan York’s which is news to her even if Blaine shrugs off the cold-blooded murder of an American treasure as if it were a boyish misdeed. While they sift through the other case details, a package is dropped through the mail slot and in a fit of magnificently good timing, they intercept the test results for the brain given to Clive from Suzuki’s wife. Liv takes it back with her and changes it to say it was cow brains. When she drops it through the slot the following day, we see that Dale’s place and Liv’s actions are being watched by an onlooker in a car on the street. That same onlooker leaves their own package on the doorstep after Liv leaves addressed simply to “occupant” in a move that we won’t find out the reason for until next week.

Throughout the episode — thanks to the magician brain — Liv is feeling morose to the extreme. She’s holding séances, talking about death more than usual, and becomes an expert at close-up magic (which Ravi, for one, finds absolutely delightful). This doesn’t bode quite as well with Major, however, who seems to be understanding what the week to week mood swings are like up close and personal. It seems to be a little too much for him to take, by the end, when he arrives home to find Liv deep in meditation — attempting another séance — he quietly goes upstairs to avoid dealing with it. Liv sadly looks on when she realizes he just ignored her and sits in her all black mourning outfit, alone.

  • “Real talk: I thought both of those Britneys were hot.” Major sometimes has good opinions.
  • Clive getting in some harsh truths: “You don’t dress like that unless you’re doin’ magic or hate your parents.”
  • “Steph told me how to do my porno name. Sadly it’s Polly Cripplegate.” Ravi was on fire this entire episode. Please deal with me pulling all his best quotes below.
  • “The ten of clubs is missing. Where’d it go, you witch?” The delivery of “you witch” is sublime.
  • “I almost want to start killing magicians so it never ends.” Ravi loved this brain so much.
  • Blaine correctly describes himself: as “an acquired taste like gazpacho or that free U2 album.”
  • “He saw me at the hotel bar hanging out with Amazing Dick.” This might be one of the funniest episodes this season. The jokes were near-constant when it came to the magician stuff and they were non-stop fire.
  • “Got a big night of Brit stuff planned for us: throwing darts, apologizing.” Goodbye, Stephanie. We hardly knew thee but you were great while you were here.
  • The picture of Minor in the case details was so overt but luckily for Major in the pile Blaine was going through. Hope he doesn’t come visit them at their apartment and put two and two together. Poor Minor.
  • Blaine using a butterfly knife was, um. Attractive.
  • Hey, Major. We live with Liv’s crazy brain-of-the-week thing every episode, so you being so turned off by it feels so incredibly petty. Especially considering all the chaos you’ve brought to her life and all the LIES you’re still living. Wow, they did a number with making Major half as sympathetic as he’s been for the last season and a half in only two scenes.

Photo Courtesy of The CW

About Maura Kate

Maura Kate is a twenty something from the “generic M. Night Shyamalan exterior shot” area near suburban Philadelphia. She co-hosts a podcast called The Televoid (@thetelevoid), where she watches all the worst episodes of TV so you don’t have to. She tweets from @maurae.