Oh, Major. Poor, poor Major. iZombie just can’t let him be happy for even one single episode, can it? And after everything he has been through in recent weeks, the devastating emotional blow that he suffers at the end of “Looking For Mr. Goodbrain, Part 1” might be what finally pushes him over the edge, because even though I saw Natalie’s death coming, I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t break my heart a little bit.
While Natalie has only appeared in a few episodes of iZombie, she makes a major impact every time she appears onscreen due to her powerful connection with Major, which began almost instantaneously when the two of them met back in the middle of Season 2. Natalie served as a beacon of light during the darkest period of Major’s life last season; with her, he didn’t have to be the Chaos Killer, and she was one of the few people in his life with whom he could be completely honest.
In “Looking for Mr. Goodbrain Part 1,” Natalie fulfills a similar purpose, as her return to Seattle provides Major with a friendly face and a shoulder to lean on as Shawna’s internet postings not only reignite Seattle citizens’ hatred of him but also cost him his job at Fillmore-Graves (Chase Graves fires Major once he discovers he’s human). More than that, though, Natalie provides Major with an opportunity to have a fresh start, to come with her back to Italy and begin a new life where no one knows him as the Chaos Killer, a place where he doesn’t have to struggle to fit in–he can just live. Robert Buckley plays the scene in which Major agrees to go with Natalie so wonderfully; for the first time all season, Major lights up–you can see the hope and excitement beaming through him, and he’s legitimately happy for a moment, happy about the life he could have with Natalie instead of being merely content with his position at Fillmore-Graves, the only place in Seattle that isn’t filled with people that despise him.
But if Major actually got what he wanted and lived his happy life with Natalie, it wouldn’t really lend itself to the crazy, surprising drama that iZombie likes to throw its characters’ (and its viewers’) way. Major can’t struggle all season and then magically find a way out of the difficult situation he’s been placed in; that’s not how good storytelling works. And that’s why it’s essentially inevitable that the now zombified version of Harley shows up at Major’s party with a bomb strapped to his chest and blows up everyone inside the house, including Natalie. Her death robs Major of his chance at a fresh start, but more importantly, it severs one of his most important ties to the light. Natalie constantly supplied Major with hope and understanding, and with her now gone, I can see his character taking a much darker and drastic turn as we head into Season 4.
Furthermore, Harley’s suicide bombing here also works as a proper end to his story. Harley has been adamant about his loathing of zombies since he was first introduced near the beginning of the season, and now that he has become the thing he hates most in this world (and presumably killed and eaten two of his zombie truther friends), it makes total sense why he would to end not only the lives of all the Fillmore-Graves zombies but his own life as well. Plus, the explosion at the end of tonight’s episode (and by extension, Harley’s death) helps create more potential conflicts as we head into next week’s finale, especially given the fact that Cavanagh mentions to Clive at the precinct that all the Johnses have weirdly gone missing. Once Cavanagh learns that Harley died in the bombing and potentially discovers that he was the one who caused the explosion, you can bet that he’ll be digging into Harley and his friends’ histories quite a bit.
But as exciting as all these potential storylines are, they’re also what make “Looking For Mr. Goodbrain, Part 1” a little unsatisfying as an episode on its own. The hour does a fantastic job providing us with fascinating conflicts as we head into next week, whether it’s the fallout from the explosion, Baracus asking Peyton to be his chief of staff, or Clive connecting the Katty Kupps murder investigation with Fillmore Graves’ Carrie Gold; however, all of these stories still feel incomplete, and no storyline suffers more from this unfinished feeling than Liv’s, as her decision to jump into bed with Chase Graves is wildly uncharacteristic of her, no matter what brain she’s eaten. While I’m sure there’s more to this story that we haven’t seen yet, in the context of this one episode, Chase and Liv’s flirtatious banter at the hotel bar, which then leads to them having sex in his room, seems more like a manufactured plot point to get Liv to discover that Chase was involved with Katty’s murder than a legitimate character choice.
Still though, there could be a lot more to what’s going on here than what we know so far. Liv’s behavior throughout “Looking For Mr. Goodbrain, Part 1” suggests that she might not only be unsatisfied with her relationship with Justin but, more importantly, with her entire lifestyle as a zombie. The way that Rose McIver plays the scenes at the hotel bar, as men stare at Liv’s new dyed-and-tanned look and try to buy her drinks, hints that there may be something bubbling beneath the surface of Liv that Katty’s brain is letting spill out. I refuse to believe that Liv cheats on Justin with Chase purely because she loses control under the influence of Katty’s brain. As I’ve mentioned in past reviews, we’ve seen Chase show interest in Liv before, and he openly displays just how attracted to her he really is during tonight’s episode. But no matter how forward he is with his flirtation, it shouldn’t be enough to make Liv forget about the guy she just agreed to date exclusively.
After next week’s finale, when we have the true second halve of the “Looking For Mr. Goodbrain” episode, I’m sure I’ll be more understanding as to why certain stories during tonight’s hour feel a little rushed, a little incomplete. However, even with those unsatisfying bits, “Looking For Mr. Goodbrain, Part 1” is still an exciting and emotional episode of iZombie, and it has me practically salivating for next Tuesday’s finale. Could Discovery Day truly be here for zombies in Seattle? I can’t wait to find out.
- Aside from making Liv want to sleep with practically every guy at the hotel bar, Katty’s brain also gives our favorite zombie hilarious sex visions of Ravi, which are easily the funniest moments of the episode. The visions themselves are great (“Jabba the Hut!”), but Liv’s reactions to them are what make every single one of those scenes so priceless.
- So what do we think Cary Gold’s involvement with this whole conspiracy is? Do you actually think she’s some type of evil mastermind, or is she just being forced to follow Chase’s orders?
- I’m not sure what’s better: Ravi calling his and Katty’s one-night-stand a “grudge boink,” or the woman that he and Liv interview saying that Shepherd Smith has “bedroom eyes.”
- Can we talk about how good Liv’s brain cupcake looked? I need that recipe ASAP.
- My favorite comic-book title cards from this week’s episode: “Now You CDC Me” and “Katty Shacked.”
- Man, I’m really going to miss Natalie, you guys. Seriously, I’m bummed.
- “So you stole a bit from Raiders of the Lost Ark.” “Yeah. Saw it on the couch.”
- “Well I didn’t fake that one. It’s the first one in years.” “Well, I’m glad I could be a part of it.”
- “It’s not my fault we brain-banged.”
- A quick heads up to you lovely readers: I’ll be on a plane home from St. Thomas (my brother is getting married this weekend) next Tuesday night during the live airing of the Season 3 finale on the East Coast, so expect my review either very late on Tuesday night or sometime early on Wednesday morning.
What did everyone else think about this week’s episode of iZombie? Comment below and let me know.
[Photo credit: Jack Rowand/The CW]
iZombie Season 3 Episode 12 Review: "Looking For Mr. Goodbrain, Part 1"
An old friend convinces Major to make a huge decision, and Liv gets to know Chase Graves a lot better in an exciting episode of iZombie.