The best thing about “Yipee Ki Brain, Motherscratcher,” aside from the terrific action puns and hilarious meta jokes throughout the episode, is that it continues to bring together the disparate threads of iZombie Season 4. The main collision, which we’ve been waiting to see for a while now, occurs between Liv and Major, after he discovers that she’s the new Renegade after finding a tracker in his pocket that allows Liv and the rest of her team to turn Curtis into a zombie after Chase Graves and his men capture him. The confrontation between Liv and Major lives up the to hype; it’s packed with emotion, as Season 4 has been continuously building towards it, and each word that the two of them exchange during the fight hits harder than any physical blow (although Major does give Levon quite the push when he tries to come between him and Liv).
Ultimately, though, what makes this clash between Liv and Major work like gangbusters (it’s the best scene in the episode) is that the two of them know each other so well and have valid reasons for believing why they’re right. For Liv, nothing is more important than saving lives, whether they are human or zombie. Since becoming a zombie, her purpose has always been to help others in the best way possible, whether that’s finding justice for those have been murdered or, as of right now, scratching those who are sick so that they can survive whatever illness or disease they are battling.
Major twists that mission, bluntly stating that “Seattle needed a hero, and guess who volunteered? The girl who can’t find meaning in her life any other way.” In a way, he’s not wrong; Liv has only been able to find meaning in her zombie life by being a hero, but it’s never been presented as a type of selfish action. In fact, up until the world knew about zombies, Liv couldn’t even take as much credit as she deserved for helping Clive solve cases. For her, helping the victim’s family members or friends gain some type of closure was always enough. Even by taking over Mama Leone’s operation, Liv’s intentions remain pure; one only needs to look at the scene from earlier this season when she watches those who were sick or stranded reunite with members of their family.
But Major’s words to Liv during this argument are coming from an emotional place, not a clearly rational one. While he’s concerned about the overall brain shortage in New Seattle (which is where his problem with Liv’s work has some merit), he’s mainly worried about her role as the new Renegade will affect his and her safety. Major tells Liv that what she’s gotten herself into could easily get her executed just like Mama Leone was, and he knows better than most what will happen because of how close he’s become to Chase Graves. Major sees how unhinged and bloodthirsty Chase has become this season, with those inside of Fillmore Graves trying to take him down from within the organization, and he understands that if and when Chase learns the truth about Liv’s new identity, there will be no hesitation—he’ll arrest her and kill her in public, just like he did with Mama Leone. As angry as Major is with Liv about lying to him and putting him in danger, he’s more scared for her.
In some ways, Major is acting like a concerned parent, which is exactly the role that Ravi fills in this episode of iZombie as she watches over Isobel for her mom. After Isobel mentions to Ravi about missing out on normal life experiences, such as having sex, because of her illness, he fears that she’ll make a mistake and sleep with Davis, the Zombie High actor Liv sets her up with. The sequence that follows, with Isobel toying with Ravi, not giving him a clear yes-or-no answer on what exactly happened between her and Davis, is playful and sweet and perfectly illustrates the close bond that the two of them have developed throughout the past two episodes. Much of their connection is shown through montage in “Yipee Ki Brain, Motherscratcher,” as Isobel falls into the pattern of undergoing Ravi’s tests and binge-watching Zombie High with him, Liv, and Levon, but the excellent performances of Rahul Kohli and Izabela Vidovic.
But how easy and almost instantaneous Ravi and Isobel’s friendship is has also me feeling uneasy. While I don’t see Liv Moore dying before iZombie Season 4 is over, Isobel’s demise seems much more plausible, and after how delightful her scenes with Ravi and Liv have been over these past two episodes, I don’t think I’m emotionally ready for her to go.
- My apologies for the lateness of this review. The past week, due to my grad school finals and my sister’s college graduation, was crazy busy and barely gave me enough time to watch TV, let alone write about it. The final three reviews of this season should all be posted at their usual time, within 24 hours after the episode airing.
- So much goes down with Blaine, Angus, and the Church of Brother Love in this episode, from Frau Bader being blessed with hot sauce and eaten alive to Fillmore Graves’ French Inspector possibly joining the church. Right now, I’m guessing that Blaine’s stunned, almost fearful look at what his father did to his former babysitter has him playing the role of loyal helper rather than him transforming into a fully devout follower, because Blaine choosing to follow any type of religion, even a zombie supremacist one, doesn’t fit his character at all. In fact, if it turns out that he’s seriously aligned himself with his father, I’m going to call BS on iZombie for that character arc. I wouldn’t buy it.
- Liv and Ravi’s back-and-forth Die Hard puns had me laughing so hard that I had to pause the episode.
- The only thing funnier than them, though, is Clive recounting his dramatic action stories to Liv and Ravi and only to essentially be shrugged off.
- On a more serious note, though, Clive mentioning his kiss to Michelle and his desire to have kids to Liv has me even more conflicted about him and Bozzio than I was before. We’ve seen how good of a father Clive can be with through his relationship with Wally last season, and I don’t want him to be robbed of that opportunity. However, I still think he and Dale are the right match for each other. I’m hoping against hope there’s a way Dale somehow gets her hands on a vial of the cure before Season 4 finishes up, but this being iZombie, a show that rarely ever lets its couples be happy, I doubt that’s a legitimate possibility.
- “You gotta ask yourself one question. Do you feel hungry? Well, do you punk?”
What did everyone else think about this episode of iZombie? Comment below and let me know.
[Photo credit: Katie Yu/The CW]