“I’m not going to risk giving the man I love zombie,” Liv Moore says in the series premiere of CW’s new dramedy, iZombie. Based on the DC Comics series of the same title, the new show centers around a young woman who finds herself in a horrible predicament.
Liv (played by Rose McIver) was supposed to have it all: a career as a stellar heart surgeon, a gorgeous husband, and a picture perfect life. Then, when a med student colleague invites her to a boat party, all hell breaks loose — or rather, a spontaneous virus does, turning all passengers onboard into brain-starved zombies.
Liv manages to escape death…sort of. She wakes up in a body bag, her brunette hair already turning white, and her skin noticeably paler. Months later, she’s a weird new version of herself: she’s despondent and pessimistic, she has an insatiable craving for brains, and she’s broken things off with her confused fiancé Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley) for fear that she’ll infect him with her zombie virus.
Thanks to her history in the medical field, she is able to find a new job at a morgue (much to her family’s chagrin) where she sneaks meals of brains of the deceased in secret — or so she thinks. Her boss, Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli), catches her one day snacking on the brain of a recently deceased young woman. Lucky for her, he had already figured it out, and he wants to strike up a deal: if Liv lets him study her, she can have all the brains she wants.
Not long after they reach an agreement, Detective Clive Babinaux (Malcolm Goodwin) visits to pick up the coroner’s report on Liv’s recent snack. She reveals a little too much to him; unfortunately, as she learns, a newly developed side effect of eating brains is that she will assume personality traits and skills that the victim had and have flashes of their memories.
The woman who died is revealed to be a murder victim, and Babinaux is on the case. He’s reluctant to follow her tips (Ravi tells him that Liv is psychic), but ultimately invites her to assist with the investigation, as he’s been employed for two months without catching a bad guy.
“I have no idea who I am anymore,” Liv says to Ravi. She might be talking about the conditions her body has just developed, but it’s the main thread weaving together the series’ pilot episode. Ravi, catching on to the cause of her thinly-veiled melancholy and sensing she’s in dire need of a new joie de vivre, encourages her to help Babinaux.
Together, Babinaux and Liv follow her visions, ultimately leading them to the home of a Romanian prostitute. Realizing she can now speak Romanian (thanks, brains!), Liv helps the police catch a big lead.
A the morgue, Ravi is studying Liv’s blood. Realizing that his research might lead to a cure for her condition, Liv runs to Major’s house. She might have initially intended on trying to win him back, but unfortunately finds him executing zombies (in a video game) alongside a new female, um, friend. Liv leaves without knocking on the door.
Meanwhile, back at the precinct, Babineaux hits a wall: his boss has assigned his murder case away to a more senior detective who “has a lead.” When Babinaux breaks the news to Liv, she has an epiphany: this might just be her new purpose. “I can help find justice for a fellow dead girl,” she exclaims to herself.
After a daring chase by Liv (is it still daring if she’s kind of immortal?) where she clings to the top of the murderer’s escape car, she’s able to catch the bad guy (the senior detective!) by running the vehicle into a tree. She “went full zombie”, as she explains to Ravi later, fueled by a monstrous rage and superhuman strength and invincibility.
She’s adapting, it seems, and the show finds its major theme there: she can overcome a great tragedy against all odds, as long as she finds the strength and resolve to do so within herself.
She’s even able to turn over a new leaf with her ex, Major. At her family’s charity haunted house, everyone is dressed in their scariest costume. Liv, naturally, dresses as exactly what she is. “You make an awesome zombie!” Major’s new girlfriend kindly tells her. Liv responds fittingly.
“Don’t I, though?”