iZombie: Yipee Ki Brain, Motherscratcher!

"I haven't demonstrated much personal growth since last we spoke."

In light of the "freakish" brains that have dominated the last few episodes, 'Yipee Ki Brain, Motherscratcher!' feels like a breath of fresh air in that it leans on a less extreme personality to anchor the hour. As a whole, the episode fails to come together in a cohesive way, but there are a number of wonderful moments of genius sprinkled throughout to keep it from tanking completely.

The best of these moments is the return of Enrico Colantoni's Detective Benadetto, who we haven't seen much of since his brief arc during season two. Since this is Rico's second turn in the iZombie director's chair he doesn't spend much time on screen but as this week's victim, Benadetto is still all over it. I was really happy to see him pop back up again, since his arc felt a little unfinished. We don't necessarily get a whole lot of resolution in that sense, but his blunt approach to life is the perfect catalyst for some fun cop jokes. My personal favorite was the fish bit, which was just as hilarious as it was crude.

Outside of the silliness, the writers failed to craft an engaging mystery, with Benadetto's death simply falling into the larger brain smuggling arc. The return of AJ, who we had last seen in season three (I honestly forgot who he was and had to search it), ends up being the greater purpose, as it's revealed that he’s the one spearheading the brain smuggling operation that Major is attempting to infiltrate. At least we know why Major was so gung ho about participating in Russ' illegal after hours activities. We've reached the point in the season when the weekly mysteries are starting to bleed into the larger stories, but the blending of these two particular plots was executed a little poorly.

It's starting to become obvious that the writers are being driven by the need to get pieces into place to serve the larger narrative, without crafting meaningful reasons behind it all. Achieving the latter is what made the first three years of iZombie so engaging. Without any reason to care for the likes of Curtis, whose capture by Fillmore Graves threatens to derail the Underground Railroad, it's hard to really get engaged in any of what happens as a result of it. It's the same problem that permeates Major's arc this season, with his character moving from point to point, with no real explanation as to why. It's great that the story never stays stuck in one place too long, but it makes the twists and turns of each plot feel a little empty.

Plus

The scenes showing time passing as the gang binge-watched Zombie High were cool.

Isobel continues to be a large presence on the show. This week she's dealing with what it actually means to be facing death so directly. I'm still not sure how to feel about this whole saga, which is clearly heading in one direction. I liked how much Ravi was daddy-ing her, though.

Blaine looks to have bought into Angus' teachings, but I never believe everything we see Blaine do 100%.

The meta jokes about all the action happening off screen would have been hilarious... if all the action hadn't happened off screen.

Poor Clive. Zombies can't adopt so any life with zombie Bozzio would be childless.

Major is still acting like a total dick. Now he knows Liv is Renegade which is not good. What will he do with that information?

He Said, She Sad

Benadetto: "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned, it's been one week since my last confession. And I gotta be straight with you, I haven't demonstrated much personal growth since last we spoke."

Major: "You're her, aren't you? You're Renegade. Of course, you are. Seattle needed a hero, and guess who volunteered: the girl who can't find meaning in her life any other way. This is gonna get you killed, Liv. But, hey, you were willing to get me killed, too."
Nice one, Major.

The ease with which the writers used to juggle the massive plots of each season seems to have diminished this year, but the trademark charm and sharp dialogue still remains intact.

3 out of 5 fish slaps.

Originally posted at PandaTV.

1 comment:

paladinteacher said...

I liked this one a lot. Of course, I love all of the puns and word play that the writers add. The scene in the morgue at the beginning, when Liv and Ravi are talking movie titles over Benedetto's body was funny when Clive tried to join in and "48 Hours" fell flat.
"The meta jokes about all the action happening off screen would have been hilarious... if all the action hadn't happened off screen."
I didn't fully get it until the second time Clive was describing his off screen action, but tackling a suspect into a hotel pool was from Lethal Weapon. I want to go back and rewatch to see if his first description was also from a movie.
Chase is under a lot of stress and he is drinking a lot of Super Max. Not helping his anger issues. Is that going to be significant?