Episode two of this infectious pop-confection sees it fall ably into the murder-of-the-week set-up for us in the pilot, only with the added twist of a second zombie on the scene. David Anders had a superb entrance as Blaine this week, rising eerily from a morgue table when Liv’s back is turned. It’s a nice comic moment yet effectively manages to suggest Blaine may not be the nice guy he’s pretending to be. Obviously, the flashes Liv had of Blaine attempting to rip a guy’s skull open may have tipped us off, but the skill of Anders’ performance is in convincing us to believe that maybe we were wrong. Maybe he really is trying to turn his life around.
Meanwhile, Blaine’s picking up his life where he left off, dealing out additives to the masses, although his poison of choice has changed slightly. While he was a simple drug pusher when we first met him, he appears to be pushing brains now. Though the drug market has a more established customer base compared to brain-addicts, Blaine seems to be solving that problem by creating new zombies as he goes. His suave seduction, infection, and blackmail routine implies this is not his first time, so expect to see the formation of a zombie club at some point.
One thing the show needs to clarify, though, is how exactly the zombie virus is transmitted. While Blaine’s bar hook-up is now a zombie, there were no discernable scars to suggest how she was infected. Did he bite her? Scratch her? Is it sexually transmitted? And if that’s the case, then Liv’s ill-conceived attempt at seducing Major is a worrying hint at future possibilities. At some point it’s going to need to be made clear exactly how much Blaine knows about the zombie virus, and if Liv’s at risk of innocently infecting her loved ones.
Additionally, we’re going to need to see a convincing reason for Major to remain a part of her life each episode. It’s surprising he’s stuck around this long, and his reasons for doing so are not clear. In general, it would be good to see more of Liv’s old life interfering with her new life, as her roommate is still relatively unknown to us, and her family didn’t appear at all this episode.
However, the episode was a positive example of a series finding its groove. Rahul Kohli manages to remain a delight as Ravi, his gleeful, puppy dog nature making him a standout in a crowd of otherwise serious faces, and Anders’ Blaine has already set himself up as a serious villain in the making. The show zipped along quickly, and there was rarely a bum note (although what the intentions were with the attempted sexual assault remain unclear). Ultimately, Brother, Can You Spare a Brain? was indicative of a strong show in the making.