Zombie-kateer Roll Call!
Liv Moore (Rose McIver) – Pre-zombie med student, post-zombie medical examiner assistant, eater of brains, solver of crimes. After becoming a zombie, broke off wedding with Major Lilywhite, and loved and lost Lowell Tracey. Wants to kill Blaine DeBeers, who made her what she is today.
Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli) – Medical examiner. Ally to Liv Moore. Roommate to Major Lilywhite. Loves Peyton Charles. Attempting to solve the zombie problem through gene therapy using as many rats as possible.
Detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) – Works Homicide. Counts on Liv’s “psychic” ability to solve murders. Does not suspect that zombies exist. Probably headed for a huge shock.
Blaine DeBeers (David Anders) – Former Drug Dealer, current Brain Dealer and all-around Bad Zombie. Turned Liv and many others into zombies, through scratches and sex. Founder of Brain Club. Owner of Meat Cute. Killer of National Hero Astronaut.
Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley) – Liv’s ex-fiancé and current possessor of five orders of Astronaut Brains, street value one million dollars. Promises to kill every zombie he can find. Presently held for questioning by Blaine DeBeers and Julian DuPont at Meat Cute.
Julian DuPont (Aleks Paunovic) – Zombie thug and Blaine’s right hand man. Hobbies include beating the snot out of Major Lilywhite.
Peyton Charles (Aly Michalka) – Liv’s roommate and best friend. Interested in Dr. Ravi. Knows that Liv is a zombie. Whereabouts currently unknown.
Lieutenant Suzuki (Hiro Kanagawa) – Zombie police officer and in Blaine’s pocket.
Lowell Tracey (Bradley James) – Liv’s undead, now late, love interest. Killed by Blaine.
Evan Moore (Nick Purcha) – Liv’s kid brother, who may soon be an entrée at Meat Cute.
Max Rager (Aluminum Can) – Energy drink with a little something extra, namely, an ingredient that turns people into zombies.
Vaughan DuClark (Steven Weber) – President of Max Rager. Corporate villain with delusions of godhood.
The Season Finale!
Hit the theme, boys!
The show opens in the place where much of this week’s story is centered, namely Meat Cute. Blaine opens the door of the meat locker to find Major shivering from the cold. Blaine wants his Astronaut brains back. He knows Major has them. But Major is defiant, telling Blaine to kiss his ass. Blaine gets all the really good lines this week. He tells Major: “I’m the Mick Jagger here. Time is on my side.”
Spoiler Alert: The word “Meanwhile” will figure heavily in this review! The episode jumps from place to place, with very little happening that isn’t important.
Meanwhile, back at the morgue, our surprised goth/punk Theresa turns up beaten to death. To find the killer, Liv eats some of her brains. Ravi notes that Theresa was a “snarky little bitch” and wonders aloud how he would know the difference between her and Liv.
Also, Ravi has good news. The new zombie rat is cured. They have a serum that will reverse the effects of Max Rager and Utopium. Problem: they only have two doses and nothing to make more. Although Liv wants a dose in the worst way, Ravi convinces her to wait.
Meanwhile, in the office of Vaughan DuClark, President of Max Rager and all around Corporate Villain, he is interviewing his new head of research. You see, Max Rager was only the beginning. He is developing Super Max. The original head of research, Dr. Yeltsin, is no longer with the company. Actually, he is no longer on this plain of existence, as an interview with Sebastian, the company’s zombie hit man, goes horribly wrong.
Super Max will allow the consumer to not sleep. Vaughan believes he will be raised to god status with this product. It is the new head of research’s job to find the ingredient that turns people into zombies and remove it. As for the current group of zombies, Vaughan said he will get rid of them.
So, now there are two “zombie hunters” on the show!
Meanwhile, back at the Meat Cute meat locker, Major has not broken. Even when the brainless body of another of Major’s youth center friends is brought in on a meat hook, he does not give in.
“Why do you do this?” he asks Blaine.
“Daddy issues, megalomania, greed… Wow, it felt good to get that off my chest.”
Right now, you can see that Vaughan has two out of the three of these qualities. Maybe next season, we’ll meet his dad.
On his way out of the meat locker, Blaine tells Major, “You don’t have to eat brains to be a monster. It takes a little effort.”
The last surviving member of The Asshats, Cameron by name, is on the run. It appears that he is either being followed or being held by someone. A 911 call from inside the trunk of a car seems to indicate some peril. Then it all falls apart. Cameron, Last of the Asshats, has the thumb drive! He has been contacted by the Max Rager team and offered $300,000 for it. He drives to a meeting place and has a homeless entrepreneur watch his car. Inside a diner, he meets a ginger with a backpack full of cash. They make the trade. When Cameron comes out, his lookout signals him to stay away from the car. Two police officers on bicycles check out the car as Cameron heads away from the scene up another street. The car blows up, likely killing the two policemen.
Cameron hops a bus to Canada. Seattle is close to the border and I hear Victoria is nice this time of year, especially with $300,000 in US hundred dollar bills, a favorable exchange rate (the Canadian Dollar is trading at about 81 US cents), and a small tracer in the one of the bundles. Wait, did I say a tracer? Imagine both our surprises when that is found. Attempting to get off the bus before the border, he is found out by one of the border police and sent back to Seattle. Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $300,000.
Under questioning, Cameron plays his last card. He made a copy of the thumb drive and gave Liv and Clive access to it. The memo and others are there, including a teaser ad for Super Max. Cameron, well, let’s say he will be spending a good deal of time in jail for two murders.
Back at the apartment, Liv has not heard from Major (or Peyton, for that matter. Note: Aly Michalka was in a pilot that was not picked up. She may reappear next season). She texts Major’s cell phone telling him that the brains he brought her were only monkey brains.
Meanwhile, at Meat Cute, Blaine is shown the text and realizes he can finally get his brains. I mean, get the Astronaut’s brains. His customers have been on his tail for their order. Without naming Dominos, he mentions that he doesn’t have a 30 minutes or less policy. He calls Liv and suggests a trade: brains for Major. Sounds a bit like a Christmas time charity run by some branch of the Armed Forces. They would probably have to put glass jars around, instead of cardboard boxes. And think about all the unused brains they could get from Congress!
Back at the office of Vaughan DuClark, the new secretary comes in with the morning newspaper. News of the problems with Max Rager on the front page ruins Vaughan morning meditation. There is also a major headline about a series of arsons that are occurring in the city. Maybe we should put a pin in that one.
Meanwhile, on a darkened street, Liv and Blaine meet. Liv hands over the brains, Blaine hands over… okay, how many of you out there know that it only looks like Major. C’mon, raise your hands. This is one of those moments when the punchline is completely telegraphed. Liv is tricked.
Meanwhile, back at Meat Cute, all hell is about to break loose. The zombie flunky who originally lost the brains is cutting up some ribs on the band saw. The chef and two others are in the dining area, listening to music, which is not loud enough to cover the sound of the band saw. The chef turns up the tunes, namely, and appropriately, “Der Kommisar” (the After the Fire version, not the original by the late, great Falco).
Major has found a lighter in the body on the meat hook. He has a plan. He relieves himself on the floor of the meat locker. Then, he sets the brainless body on fire. This attracts the attention of the zombie at the band saw, who comes to investigate. He enters the meat locker and slips on the urine-soaked floor. Major pounces on him and hits him with, what looks like, a frozen leg of lamb. For you trivia buffs out there, one of the episodes of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” deals with a dissatisfied wife who bludgeons her husband to death with a frozen leg of lamb, which she then cooks and serves to the police detective that comes to question her.
Under the cover of the strains of After the Fire, Major heads back to his car and retrieves his guns and other weaponry. Now we get to see what he will do after the fire he started in the meat locker. Blasting through the window, he takes out one of the zombies. He gets another in the kitchen, leaving the chef. She pleads for her life. Major, a worthy case for Brains for Major, relents only to have her lunge at him with a knife. A quick move by Major and she gets a real close meeting with the band saw.
Meanwhile, a call on the police radio is heard by our intrepid zombie Lieutenant Suzuki, who is on patrol. There is a ruckus at Meat Cute. He answers the call, saying that he is already there and will take care of it. He drives like a bat going to hell. Is that the right expression?
Julian DuPont has returned to wreckage of Meat Cute. He checks around and steps into the meat locker. Coming out of his hiding place, Major closes the door. The window in the door has been blown out and makes a great place to drop a grenade through. Julian goes to pieces.
Admiring his work, Major reacts only when Blaine stabs him. He is about to finish him, when a shot rings out and it’s Blaine’s turn to writhe in pain. Liv is holding the gun. She is about to kill Blaine, when he points out that his Brain Club is the only thing between Seattle and full zombie outbreak. She lowers the gun and runs to Major. In a tender moment between the two, Blaine realizes that Major does not know that Liv is a zombie. He spills the beans. It may be the last thing that Major ever knows.
But, Liv still doesn’t kill Blaine. Instead, she injects him with the serum, the shot that she was going to give to herself before Blaine called her to set up the trade for Major.
“Let me know if you survive!” Liv calls out.
“It’s a zombie apocalypse. Assume I didn’t!” says Blaine on his way out the door.
She cradles Major, who is bleeding to death. He is now unresponsive. Liv thinks for a moment. There is only one thing to do. She scratches Major on the neck. He will now join the ranks of the Undead.
Suzuki enters the wreckage of Meat Cute. Everyone has to be somewhere. Liv and Major have already left. The Lieutenant calls in saying false alarm and that it is only a bunch of kids with fire crackers. Grenades do sound a lot like fire crackers, you know. He begins to assess the situation.
Meanwhile, back at Liv’s apartment, Major tries to wrap his head around the whole zombie situation. He doesn’t know why Liv didn’t tell him sooner. He tells Liv that she acted out of her own self-interest, rather than any concern for him or any of her family. He turns away from her.
Back at Meat Cute, or what’s left of it, Suzuki is shooting dead zombies and himself, writing Blaine’s name in blood on the wall and making things look like a shootout between him and the folks at Meat Cute occurred. He finds the lighter. He turns on the stove. He starts to flick his Bic. (For those of you who are either young or not a “Child of Advertising” like myself, when the Bic lighter was first marketed, its slogan was “A Flick of the Bic”).
Meanwhile, outside Meat Cute, Evan Moore comes to the broken window of the deli. It’s his first day of work. The building blows up with Evan too close not to be hurt.
The Last Few Minutes.
This will set the tone for Season 2!
At Meat Cute, Clive recognizes Julian DuPont’s shoes on what is left of his body. He remembers Major’s interest and tells an officer to bring in Major and perform a gunpowder test on him.
At a local veterinarian, Blaine is having his side sewn up. He is also enjoying a pastry, a sign that the cure has worked.
At the apartment, Liv injects Major with the last of the anti-zombie serum, curing him.
At the hospital, Liv has arrived to see Evan. He has lost a lot of blood. Her mother reminds her that she is Evan’s blood type and she can give him her blood. Of course, she cannot without turning Evan into a zombie. She is told by mom to follow the doctor. Liv utters the last line of the episode.
Season Two Questions
- Will Major be blamed for the carnage at Meat Cute?
- Will Major ever look at Liv again?
- Will Ravi be able to make more serum?
- Will Evan survive?
- Will Blaine’s customers want a refund?
- What about Max Rager and Super Max?
The show has been a refreshing spin on the zombie and the culture surrounding him/her. Rose McIver has proven herself to be a terrific actress. David Anders is a wonderful villain. They are constantly surrounded by other terrific acting in the form of Rahul Kohli, Malcolm Goodwin and Robert Buckley, along with the supporting players who came in and out of the show. Aleks, I will miss you.
The writing is snappy, often extremely clever and fun to listen to. I believe there is a game of “Trivial Pursuits” that the writers are playing with us from time to time (Officer DeVore, the frozen leg of lamb, etc.). They are not writing down to the viewer, instead, giving us credit for keeping our brains; at least, for now. This cannot be said of most shows on television.