…and not in the best way.
I love this show, but it has some problems, and the first season finale had a lot of stuff to love as well as a couple of things that I hate. Spoilers ahead!
I think I expected the season finale to do a better job of wrapping things up with the Max Rager conspiracy plot, but instead I feel like that took a decidedly back seat to Liv’s feelings and Major’s zombie killing spree. The thing is, Liv’s feelings are important, and it’s nice to see Major get his moment to shine, but I was extremely upset by the continued absence of Liv’s roommate, Peyton–who just found out last week, in a pretty traumatic way, that Liv is a zombie.
“Blaine’s World” continues last week’s story, starting off with one dead teenaged band member (Teresa) showing up in the morgue and another missing. Liv eats Teresa’s brains, but I felt like this was barely noticeable throughout the episode. Liv has a couple of flashbacks, but this aspect of zombie-ism doesn’t play nearly as large a role in this episode as usual. Ravi jokes early on that Teresa isn’t different enough from Liv for him to notice a difference, and that turns out to be the case.
On the one hand, I think this could be a necessary thing–in this episode I think it’s important that we get to see an authentic Liv who isn’t unduly influenced by her food. On the other hand, the very necessity of this makes the “Teresa’s brains won’t even be noticeable” thing feel like plot convenience. Liv’s visions are usually extremely important to solving the case of the week, and the brief experience of others’ lives that her diet provides is an aspect of the show’s zombie mythology that has led to some of my favorite moments in the series so far. So it was a little disappointing to see that abandoned in this episode.
The mystery of the episode itself, well, wasn’t really. I felt like there weren’t really any big reveals here, and there wasn’t really any huge defeat of a bad guy, either. I’m not sure if I love this or hate this. I suppose it could be interpreted as reflective of the ambiguities of the real world, but if I wanted realism I probably wouldn’t be watching a show where the protagonist eats human brains. What I do like for sure is that, even without any major defeat of a villain, by the end of the episode everything is poised to change:
- Meat Cute is gone (and Major’s destruction of the place is amazing)
- Blaine seems to be getting better after Liv uses a dose of cure on him
- Major may or may not be a zombie, but he’s definitely not real happy with Liv (I definitely love that they didn’t pair these two off, by the way. That would have been way too easy.)
- Liv has possibly ruined any chance that Ravi could develop a cure for the zombies, and Ravi doesn’t know it yet
- Liv’s brother is in the hospital, and she’s just refused to donate blood to him (we’ll have to wait til next season to find out if she sticks by that decision)
- Lieutenant Suzuki is dead, which means some major changes in the police force probably
- Clive is about to have Major arrested for murder, probably, which I think means Liv (or someone) is going to have some explaining to do
- The Max Rager story finally hits the press and it looks like there are some structural changes going on there as well, which seems like a definitely mixed blessing
Honestly, though, I think that the season finale might have been better if it had been a little more focused. There’s a lot to unpack in this episode, and most of it is stuff that we’ll have to wait until next season to see how it’s really going to affect things. I felt like the episode was just a bit too much all over the place, and I actually found it a little confusing and overwhelming without actually being particularly exciting.
“Blaine’s World” covered an enormous amount of ground, but I don’t think it really did any of its various plot threads justice. More than that, I think that aside from Liv and Major and possibly Blaine, it didn’t do its characters justice. Peyton is still missing in action; Ravi doesn’t have much to do until he finds out about Liv’s use of the cure next season; I’m not sure I understand the purpose of Suzuki’s death; Clive seemed to barely appear in the episode at all; and Liv’s brother gets hurt, but I hardly care because, like Peyton and Liv’s mom, he only shows up when it’s convenient and I don’t feel like I know him yet or that he’s particularly important to Liv–sure, I know I’ve been told that Liv loves these people, but they seem to only exist to her when they are in the same room as she is.
All that said, I’m not truly unhappy with the episode; I just want another forty-five minutes of it to flesh everything out. I’d rather have a little more closure on some things–especially what is going on with Peyton–to make it easier to handle the wait until next season before finding out about some of the major (get it?!) things that happened in the finale.