Since I can remember, I have been a fan of the monster of the week genre. All the best shows did it, from The Twilight Zone to The X Files. iZombie offers a somewhat novel approach to the idea as instead of a monster of the week each episode, we are treated to the brain of the week.
Watching the show’s characters inherit the personality traits from the brains they consume provides plenty of variety and the opportunity to explore different characters and ideas. In an age where zombies are more popular than ever, iZombie offers a nice alternative the mindless, shambling, Romero-style of zombie that we have grown accustomed to seeing stagger across our screens. The acting is also superb and Rose McIver, who plays Liv, is adorable.
It is also one of those rare cases where the TV show adaptation is far better than the original graphic novels.
So here they are, the top ten brains eaten on iZombie:
Brain eaten: Cheerleader Brain
Episode: Dead Rat, Live Rat, Brown Rat, White Rat
‘I’ve known you for, like, three seconds and I already want to tell you everything.’
Four friends have an “I Know What You Did Last Summer” encounter and a week later one of them, a high school cheerleader, is found murdered. So, naturally, Liv eats her brain to find out, well, what really did happen last summer. She then spends the rest of the episode talking like a nineties valley girl. Joss Whedon would be proud.
Brain eaten: Woman obsessed with social media
Episode: Physician, Heal Thy Selfie
‘Stop trying to make team Z a thing!’
Liv eats the brain of a social media obsessed young woman and suddenly everything involves tweeting and selfies and hash tags. She even uploads a video of unboxing medical supplies in the morgue. Liv’s world becomes all about her mobile phone and her social media followers. She even becomes suspicious of her boyfriend because he doesn’t have a facebook account.
Brain(s( eaten: Fifty year old bank manager and his fifteen year old daughter.
Episode: Zombie Knows Best
Liv: How about turning that (music) down a few decimals there sparky? I don’t think Miley Gomez Perry want her fans going deaf. Major: Oh my god, you are so embarrassing!
Liv doesn’t get to eat all the fun Brains, other zombies have eaten quit a few too and in this episode Major joins Liv and they eat brains together. This episode could have been really cringe worthy, but instead it is hilariously charming seeing Liv play the responsible father and Major a teenage girl. Major in particular really steals the show whether it’s expressing his insecurities about feeling fat to his military workmates, or thinking that forty year old men are “gross”.
Brain eaten: Brutally honest man
Episode: Brainless in Seattle Part 2
Customer: There’s a man from Fillmore Graves, is he a friend of yours? Blaine: No, he blackmails me….And that entree fell on the floor. Enjoy.
Blaine interrogates a Vietnam veteran for information, but when that doesn’t work he moves onto torture. But the man still won’t crack, so what can a zombie in this situation do? Blaine resorts to injecting him with the cure and then eating his brain to get answers, of course! Soon Blaine finds himself unable to tell lies, which might not be a problem for some people. But when you are the resident bad guy who is the mastermind behind a bunch of evil schemes and also running a dodgy restaurant, telling the truth about everything can quickly become problematic.
Brain eaten: Drama queen
Episode: You’ve Got to Hide Your Liv Away
Don E: Is he having a vision? Babineaux: I think he’s staring at his reflection in the beer tap.
One of the best brains of all has got to be one of the ones eaten by Ravi. To help solve yet another murder, Ravi eats the victims brain and transforms into a mirror-licking, flamboyantly gay guy, who’s as clichéd as he is fabulous. Normally geeky Ravi undergoes a complete Queer Eye style makeover sporting a waxed chest and tight clothes accompanied by bitchy comments and plenty of eye rolling. It could have been over the top but Rahul Kohli who plays Ravi manages not to overdo it.
Brain eaten: Ravi’s Ex
Episode: Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Brain.
Ravi: Just so you know, you may find yourself attracted to me.
Ravi’s ex-girlfriend turns up dead so Liv bakes her brain of into an elaborate looking mug cake with sprinkles. Next thing, she begins having visions of the intimate relationship with Ravi. Ravi and Liv have never had even the remotest of sexual tension, so this episode is filled with awkward and disturbing moments – and Livs reaction is hilarious. This brain also has her frequenting a bar and pursuing multiple sexcapades, completely out of character for Liv.
Brain eaten: Computer genius
Episode: Yippee Ki Brain, Motherscratcher!
Don E: I think I’m on virgin brain…
Blaine comes up with a new scheme but he needs the help of a computer genius to help pull it off. So, he finds such a brain on the black market then convinces Don E to eat it. It works and the normally dull witted Don E becomes an instant genius but he also becomes an instant nerd. Highlights include him wandering around the bar in a polar fleece vest, staring at women’s breasts.
Brain(s) eaten: Elderly couple
Episode: (Also) You’ve Got to Hide Your Liv Away
Liv: We’re out of Tom Collins mix…
Another case of Live and Major eating a pair of his and hers brains. Only this time the brains consumed have them playing the role of the perfect, all American, nineteen-fifties couple. But things take a turn for the worst when it is discovered that the couple wasn’t so happy after all and their demise was actually the result of a murder/suicide triggered by the wife having endured too many years of her husband’s bad singing. It’s surreal and feels a lot like Bethesda’s Fallout 4 before the apocalypse happens.
Brain eaten: Rich, entitled housewife
Episode: Real Dead Housewife of Seattle
‘I just really need a pinot and some salty chocolate right now.’
As the title suggests, this episode sees Liv eat the brain of (another!) homicide victim and transform from her normally sweet self into a vain, fashion obsessed housewife. She only drinks sparkling water and treats Babineaux as her private chauffer. Somehow though, Rose McIver still manages to make the character endearing.
Brain eaten: Dungeon Master brain
Episode: Twenty-sided die
‘It’s not a game, it’s a quest.’
After consuming the brain of a murdered dungeon master, Liv proposes that her and her friends play a round of Dungeons and Dragons to hopefully trigger a vision and help solve the case. The game begins with everyone being less than keen, but Liv’s enthusiasm is infectious. By the end of the game Ravi and Babineaux decide to make it a regular thing, which becomes a running side gag throughout the rest of the series.
What’s been your favourite brain eaten in iZombie? Let us know in the comments!
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