*Spoiler warning for iZombie season 5, episode 5.
Last episode was lukewarm, but this episode was a blockbuster, and paid off a lot of storylines, as well as setting up new ones. The murder of the week? An independently wealthy 19-year-old gets locked in his steam room until he suffocates to death. There are a number of suspects, one of which includes Blaine. Expect everything to go off the rails this episode; it’s about to get messy.
So, if you recall, last episode introduced Al Bronson of Bluster Magazine who’s doing a profile on Blaine. Al starts to investigate further though when she sees the mask worn by the mayor’s killer in Blaine’s office. That brings us to this episode, where she is pulling up all the stops to dig up every one of Blaine’s dirty little secrets – and he has a lot.
Al’s at Blaine’s house for their final interview, but finds that she’s trapped there when, due to the massive party happening next door, her car is blocked in. Who is throwing the party? You guessed it. The dead dude, by the name of Harris Burrows (Philip Bolden). When Blaine goes to Harris’s door to confront him about moving the car, Harris laughs in his face, and Blaine threatens to kill him. Harris is murdered later that night, so it’s clear how Blaine got put on top of the suspect list.
While checking out the scene of the crime, Clive falls down the stairs and hurts his back, putting him out of commission for most of the episode, although he does video chat in a lot while doped up on pain killers. Because of this, Liv and Ravi take point on the case (although it’s unclear why one of the other detectives didn’t take over the case instead). They’re both stunned to find that Blaine is the next door neighbor who threatened their victim. When they confront him, Blaine’s glib about the whole thing, and brags about how even if he did do it (though he does deny it), they wouldn’t be able to lock him up because he’s the only one who knows how to keep Seattle in brains. He also points to Al as his alibi that he was home all night.
This prompts Al to stop by the station and tell Liv and Ravi that she’s not Blaine’s alibi since she slept in a separate room and has no idea if he left in the middle of the night or not. While there, she asks some very pointed questions about Blaine’s past, that Liv and Ravi bluff their way through. The biggest problem though, is that Al eats some of the murder victims brain while Liv and Ravi are in a different room – this has repercussions later.
While interrogating Harris’s best friend, Hamm (Kristian Wang), Liv and Ravi find out that Harris did have a couple of enemies. Apparently he got rich because of a bet he had with his economics teacher, Lee Mooney (Kurt Long), about whether Bitcoin was legit. Harris made a fool out of the teacher by cashing out on Bitcoin at the peak and making a fortune. There’s also Harris’s girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend. The ex hated Harris for stealing her from him. So between Blaine, the teacher, and the ex, that makes three suspects to track.
Liv and Ravi go to a wake at the school being held in Harris’s memory. They find out from Harris’s girlfriend that she used to be a zombie, but Harris paid for a black market cure for her. When she became human again, she dumped her zombie boyfriend and went back to Harris. While there, Liv also has a vision of Harris and Ham pranking the Mooney, and the teacher being pissed.
When Liv gets forwarded Harris’s video will, the fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants brain she’s on prompts her to use it as bait. She drops only the beginning of the video – the part where Harris says that he’s back and alive (he was just joking) – and dumps it on Harris’s social media. She then puts a cop in Harris’s radio booth (he had a radio show), hoping that the real killer will come by to try to finish the job. He does, but he uses a sniper gun. Luckily no one gets too seriously hurt, and they catch the shooter climbing down from his perch – it’s Harris’s best friend Hamm! It turns out the kid was pissed about always having to be Harris’s sidekicks. Apparently one of the pranks Harris dragged him on got Hamm’s parents to take away his college fund. Harris could have paid for Hamm’s college, but of course he didn’t, and Hamm was supposed to be out of Seattle looking at colleges when the wall went up. He confesses everything to the cops right then and there, leaving Liv to brag about how her crazy risky plan worked.
The case isn’t the only thing going on this episode; there’s a lot more to it. At the beginning of the episode, Dolly Durkins, the leader of one of the zombie hate groups orders her people to put the brains of Alzheimer’s patients into the brain tubes to mess with the zombie food supply. They then surround the brain dispensaries, baiting Filmore Graves to come after them. Major isn’t about to take the bait, but then he gets one of the Alzheimer’s tubes, and becomes unable to make any decisions. French Inspector Enzo, who has been secretly working the New Boss, takes the opportunity to give his own orders. He tells his soldiers to take riot teams and water canons and turn them on the human protesters.
When Major comes back to himself, he realizes what Enzo’s done, and sends him to the freezer, but the damage has already been done as the media reports the incident at the dispensaries as a return the police state that existed under Chase Graves. When a Filmore Graves soldier puts Enzo in the freezer, she realizes just how many people are missing from it – people that the New Boss has been recruiting, so Major finally knows there’s something going on here.
Ravi has a panic this episode when he sees a small local article about Isobel in which her mother talks about how Isobel’s brain cured a zombie. He and Liv hope and pray that the article goes by unnoticed and no one makes the connection between Freylich victims and a zombie cure. Towards the end of the episode, however, the AP picks up the story, and the news that the brains of Freylich kids are zombie cures gets spread wide.
Finally, let’s bring it back around to Al Bronson. She gets a vision from Harris’s brain of Don E delivering a zombie cure. She goes to Don E and gets him drunk to try to get him to fess up, but what he gives her instead is that Peyton and Blaine used to be in a relationship. Al then goes to Peyton, who begs her not to publish the story since if Blaine stops being able to smuggle brains into the city, the city’s zombie will go hungry.
Al apparently doesn’t care if her story starts the actual zombie apocalypse, because she publishes it anyway. The story has a ton of dirty details about Blaine, even going back to the Meat-Cute murders of season 1. It also suggests that Peyton’s sexual past with Blaine is why she allowed him to get away with everything and become one of Seattle’s most important people. Considering Peyton is about to leave on a trip to DC where she has to convince them not to nuke the city of Seattle, this is not a good time for Peyton to have her name dragged through the mud.
You would think Blaine would be freaking out about all this, especially considering the people randomly attacking his house since the story broke, but then he sees the news alert about the Freylich story, and you can see a new scheme pop right into his head.
So, a lot of things went kaboom this episode, including all sense of peace in the city. And in case you were wondering, the brains did stop shipping – which apparently prompts a visit from Mr. Boss next episode to fix the problem. All in all, the episode was a lot of fun, especially Liv on Harris’s brain, playing it fast and loose with the rules. Because of Harris’s obsession with the 80’s, the episode also has a bit of a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off kind of a theme (as per the episode’s title), with Liv even appearing to break the fourth wall at one point (she was actually talking to Clive on video chat). I’m once again amazed at iZombie‘s way of weaving in serious plots with the lighter, fun ones, which is part of what makes the show so special.