I’ll admit it: this week’s “Astroburger” had me completely fooled. Eating a brain prone to hallucinations was not good on Liv, but it was great for iZombie.

Spoilers...

The murder victim this week was, of course, Scott E. — the helpful fellow patient of Major’s, who told him about zombies last week. Because of that, it’s a lovely sort of red herring where you just assume that his death had to do with zombies. Scott E. had a very incriminating video of the attack that made Liv a zombie, including her first meal, after all. He was a dealer of Blaine’s and the hospital visitor logs show that Blaine visited Scott E. (He signed in as “John Deaux,” which was hilarious and made me rewind the shot to make sure I had read it correctly.)

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All of that should have led to Blaine being the killer. It would have been perfectly acceptable, especially since we’ve only got two episodes left this season, and that would be another check in the “Blaine needs to be taken out” column. Of course, iZombie doesn’t go that route. It sticks to the murders being related to, but not directly tied into, the zombie problem.

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The actual killer is Dr. Meg Larson, who was having an affair with Scott E. and who Scott E. was trying to force to end a pregnancy. In an episode packed with great performances, Melinda Page Hamilton’s frostiness was great.

The murder investigations was really a vehicle for the great execution of Liv’s hallucinations. That, it turned out was, what landed Scott E. in treatment in the first place. Liv’s hallucinations first take the form of a talking food mascot. The whole thing, especially the devil mascot’s gravelly voice, gave me a pleasant flashback to Wonder Falls.

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With that easily verifiable hallucination to focus on, it’s no surprise that Liv and I — I’m not going to assume anyone else in the audience was as credulous as I was — didn’t catch that it wasn’t the only one.

First up is the cheesy weatherman from the pilot, Johnny Frost, played by Veronica Mars alum Daran Norris. Norris is hilarious throughout the episode, delivering lines like “Hey, you want to slip Harold and Kumar into the DVD player and make grilled cheeses, kill an afternoon the way Scott E. and I used to do?” and “I used to get super-high with Scott E. and ponder the big questions: Beatles or Stones? Kirk or Picard? Ren or Stimpy?” with a straight face and lots of smarm. Liv’s brain took him out of the weather report and made him into an ally in her investigation of Scott E.

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I knew it was weird that he was around so much. I knew it made no sense for Liv to trust him in any way. I knew the story that he had to identify the body of his surrogate nephew/drug dealer was absurd. And yet I still missed that he was a hallucination. A little less suspension of disbelief would have done me good.

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In retrospect, though, it’s so obvious. Johnny Frost never interacts with anyone but Liv. And, when they’re trying to break into Scott E.’s place, he makes an excuse about why he can’t do any of the physical work involved. And what he reveals are all things that make a lot more sense to be Scott E.’s own knowledge and not a third party’s. It was also a great twist on Liv’s usual visions giving her information.

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With Scott E. dead, Major’s left the safety of his mental hospital and once again, very stupidly, investigating Blaine. When I saw him hide in the trunk of Blaine’s car, I nearly lost it. I cannot believe he’s not dead yet. We also get a glimpse of hallucination Major, which was an even more unforgivable slip on my part than not catching Frost was. He was helpful and cheerful. I liked him a lot this week, which should have been a huge red flag.

Like Frost not being able to touch anything, I’m pretty sure we can pin down when hallucination Major began — his return to the apartment after movie night, since a) other people interacted with him before that and b) Liv brought him towels and blankets, which remained neatly folded. We definitely know that Liv’s confession about zombie’s being real and her zombie state are lies, since Major shows up at the end of the episode with a bevy of brains he stole from Blaine (STUPID) as proof of what Scott E. told him.

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The blurred line of reality this week was really well done, and the addition of Norris to a bunch of scenes was a lot of fun. In a way, his glorious performance helped hide the obvious hallucination because I just assumed that the weird parts of this story were just excuses to include him. Well played, show.

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And! We also have zombie rat turned back into just rat, so Ravi is narrowing in on a cure. And Blaine was tipped off that Liv was dating Lowell, so he’s got reason to dig into Liv’s life. Plus, Blaine’s in the selling experience game, having fulfilled one of his billionaire clients’ demand that he serve astronaut brains so he can know what it’s like to be in space. Blaine’s rising quickly, and I don’t think Liv and Major are going to be safe at all.


Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.

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