When we last left Liv (Rose McIver) in the Season 1 premiere of “iZombie,” she began her crime-solving career with Dr. Ravi (Rahul Kohli) and Detective Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) after stepping away from the perfect medical residency and the perfect fiancée, Major (Robert Buckley). Liv discovers her thirst for brains has a beneficial side effect, temporarily gifting her with the abilities and memories of the deceased. The newfound talent saved lives last week when Liv spotted a crooked cop in the memory of one of his victims.
In Episode 2 “Brother, Can You Spare a Brain?,” Liv and Dr. Ravi are faced with a puzzling murder of the painter Javier. The only clue the duo has to go on is that the murder weapon was a paintbrush through the eye socket. Ouch. Detective Babineaux still believes Liv is a psychic and immediately goes to her to expedite the investigation. No luck, as Liv can only see the victim’s memories after she’s eaten his brains, this time in quesadilla form. Judy Reyes (“Scrubs”) makes a cameo appearance as the painter’s grief-stricken wife, Lola.
Her ex-fiancée Major is moving toward closure, or at least trying to. But Liv is also haunted by dreams of another nameless zombie. The mysterious figure appears again in her nightmares from someone’s memory Liv picked up in the morgue. Now there’s definitely another zombie out there. Meanwhile, Liv is starting to notice the painter’s brain she consumed earlier is giving her an appreciation for art, a taste for wordy descriptions and more physical affection she’s previously exhibited as a member of the undead.
As Babineaux and Liv unravel the painter’s relationship, they find that their artistic lothario was in an open marriage with several lovers and a consenting wife. However, it wasn’t long before one of the painter's best friends and art manager suggest they look at his lovers’ possible jilted boyfriends as a source of suspects.
Finally, the other vampire in her dreams comes to her in the morgue. “I heard you were looking for me,” says Blaine (David Anders). The pair commiserated on shared zombie pains like problems when eating brain, the inability to taste wine and almost crying when watching a child eat a Reece’s Cup. Liv reveals it was Blaine who turned her into a zombie, to which he apologies profusely and claims no memory of. Still, Liv doesn’t trust him to be alone with Dr. Ravi and tells him to leave. Blaine nurses his rejection at a bar, where he meets a fellow lonely drinker and follows her to her place for a nightcap. And potentially, something else.
Poor Major stops by to deposit an old engagement gift when he walks in on a jazz-listening, Liv painting her new creative energy out on a canvas. He shuffles away quickly after offering her a jazz mixtape, something she would have never listened to when they were engaged. Blaine approaches Liv again with a new proposition, to bring him spare brains to keep his “full zombie mode” at bay. Liv agrees on the condition that he promises to step away from the criminal elements that supplied him the potentially zombie-infected batch of drugs that crashed their boat party. Blaine agrees, but then is surprised by old friends at the agreed meeting place for the brain hand-off. The reunion of old chums is brief as Blaine quickly makes mincemeat out of his former associates.
The rogue zombie revisits the woman he hooked up with and turned into a zombie. Blaine offers her first brain to feast on, trading in his old job of drug dealer for a new business venture: brain dealer. Back in the lab, Liv shares her doubts about Blaine to Dr. Ravi, who seems to be more excited about a potential new subject than about his safety.
At a gallery show for the deceased artist, Liv flashes back to a memory of the news of his son with the daughter of his best friend. Detective Babineaux attempts to arrest the best friend on suspicion for a financial motive but is stopped by Dr. Ravi, who realizes the loft’s setup would have given his wife Lola the height needed to murder her husband with a paintbrush. Lola barely tries to deny her guilt, and the case is closed.
Inspired by her new passion, Liv continues to paint and even makes an affectionate move toward Major, who reacts reasonably upset. After six months of little communication, Liv’s kiss feels inappropriate, and he tells her to leave. Back in the apartment, Liv hangs her freshly painted canvas on the wall with her distant roommate and says to herself that she will make amends to reconnect with those she loves “even if she’s dead.”
“iZombie” airs Tuesdays on the CW at 9 p.m. EDT.