Episode title: Zombie Knows Best
Original air date: April 11, 2017
Episode number: Second of season 3, 34th episode of the series overall
Written by: Diane Ruggiero-Wright
Directed by: Jason Bloom
Featured brains: Well-meaning father (Liv), angsty teenage daughter (Major)
Previous episode: Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother
When Liv, Clive and Ravi arrive at the scene to investigate a fatal car accident, they begin to suspect foul play was involved. Both starving, Liv and Major consume the brains of the accident victims, a well-meaning father and his angsty teenage daughter. Meanwhile, when Clive is brought in for questioning about a family that was murdered, he’s forced to reveal his past history with them. Lastly, Peyton extends an olive branch to Ravi, and Major hits a road block in his search for Natalie (guest star Brooke Lyons “The Affair”). David Anders also stars.
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In the second episode of the season, we continue to learn more about Clive’s past, as we follow as he trips down memory lane to the time he first met Wally Reid and his mother. Wally was once again played by Mataeo Mingo, and his mother Anna was played by Caitlin Stryker. We learn that the two were much more to Clive than just his neighbors, and after saving Anna from her abusive husband, Clive took on a fatherly role in the boy’s life.
The victims of the episode were Cindy Chen (played by Celina Martin) and her father Stanley Chen (Raugi Yu). The first suspect becomes Winslow Sutcliffe (Natalie Alyn Lind), Cindy’s best friend. We also meet Winslow’s step father Ken (Stephen Huszar), who she behind her mother’s back has an affair with, and her mother Tori Sutcliffe (Sally Pressman).
Robert Salvador also reprises his role as Detective Cavanaugh, and so does Andrea Savage as Vivian Stoll.
- The brain food in this episode: Sloppy Joe/Chili dogs with the brains (in different batches) of Stan Chang and daughter Sydney Chang.
- We finally learn where Clive’s obsession with Game of Thrones comes from – Wally tricks him into letting him watch it the first time Clive babysits him.
Liv: Oh! How about turning it down a couple hundred decibels, sparky? I don’t think Miley Perry Gomez wants her fans going deaf.
Major: God, you are so embarrassing. Stop trying to be funny.
Liv: Lower the music, young man.
Major: It’s not even…
Major: But I’m just trying –
Liv: Don’t make me ask you again
Major: Whatever. I’m turning it down.
Ravi: So, this is happening.
Clive: It took me 20 minutes to get out of the parking lot because Liv insisted on checking my oil.
Ravi: Here it’s been all selfies and sour gummies, and Demi Lovato.
Liv: Where you off to, kiddo?
Major: I have mercenary training. God!
Liv: Don’t text and drive!
Major: Stop trying to control me!
Major: It’s like a yogurt tube full of mashed-up brains. No personalities. No visions. I’m pretty psyched to try it.
Liv: No, no, no, no. If they wanna eat brain mash, let them eat brain mash. But in this house, we eat whole brains and we solve murders.
Episode Style: Liv’s looks
Clive doesn’t get the spotlight much on iZombie, but this episode did so in an unusually somber yet powerful way, as we learned just why Wally’s death last week meant so much to him personally. In the meantime, Liv and Major got to have a very funny brain-motivated adventure, while the idea of humans hunting zombies became increasingly metaphorical and dangerous for our zombie heroes. | IGN (Click to view full review)
In the season premiere of iZombie, the show set itself up with a difficult task: Giving Clive enough of a connection to the murder of a previously unmentioned zombie family to make his obsession with finding out what happened to them feel emotionally grounded. The premiere itself only did the most perfunctory job establishing this connection; a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene of Clive and the adorable zombie child Wally reconnecting, before he later turns up as a victim of a zombie extermination in his home.
At the time, that meeting seemed far too convenient and much too neatly tied in a writerly bow to be fully narratively satisfying in setting up Clive’s investment in solving these murders, beyond it being important to the season-long narrative arc of the show. Thankfully, “Zombie Knows Best” dives deeper into exploring the backstory between Clive and Wally’s family, and in the process strengthens not only Clive’s personal connection to the murders but also deepens his characterization as a whole. | A.V. Club (Click to view full review)
Never has iZombie felt more like Veronica Mars than in this episode than in this ongoing iZombie Season 2 setup. (And, obviously, that’s a compliment.) Much like the set-up in Veronica Mars’ sophomore season, which saw Veronica and co. dealing with the emotional and potentially criminal fallout of the bus accident, “Zombie Knows Best” sees Clive and Liv working to comprehend the murder of Wally and his family.
iZombie does this through a series of flashbacks to Clive’s connection to the doomed mother and son who used to live in the apartment next door. It’s not strictly necessary context. We already knew that Clive cared about Wally and, in general as a TV viewer, I tend to be pretty gutted by the murder of a cute kid. I was already on board with The Path of Vengeance. However, the context serves to deepen the emotional impact of the loss, as well as tell us a bit more about Clive, getting us even more on board with Clive and Liv’s search to figure out what happened to the family of zombies. Straight out of the Veronica Mars playbook, people. | Den of Geek (Click to view full review)
iZombie: Because no other show is going to let Robert Buckley play a teenage girl.That’s a tagline I’m giving away for free, if The CW is interested. Something has to convince people to give this show a chance, right? Why shouldn’t it be zombie Robert Buckley all hopped up on the brains of a super-dramatic teen? Major with the mind of a 15-year-old girl is easily the best thing about this episode — like, real talk? It’s literally one of the best comedic bits this show has ever done. Like, ever.
First, a disclaimer: Having been a teenage girl for seven years and then worked with them for a few years after that, I feel obligated to at least acknowledge that this whole gag — which finds Liv and Major eating the brains of a regional bank manager and his ice-skating daughter, respectively, to solve their murders — is a little one-dimensional. Every teenage girl has more going on than selfies. But plenty of this show’s brains-of-the-week have painted in broad strokes before. Liv on dad brain is basically Danny Tanner. iZombie is an equal-opportunity roast, and when the results are this funny, that’s fine by me. | EW Online (Click to view full review)