Friday, October 30, 2015

Lego Dimensions

When people ask me what's the best game they can play with their significant other/friend who's sitting next to them I always drop whatever I'm holding, run over, and shout THE LEGO GAMES!

There's little fear of competition as they're all designed as true co-op, you have to work together to get things done. And if you're not as big of a gamer as your fellow couch sharer, it's no big deal. All you lose is a bit of coin as your character explodes into lego pieces, then you pop back in, ready to chuck Legolas off another cliff. What? Just me.

After seeing how much tasty tasty money Disney raked in with their Infinity series, Lego decided to finally get into the toy/game hybrid with Dimensions.

What makes Lego different from Infinity and Skylanders is that rather than a little collectible figure you get actual Lego pieces. Lego pieces you can pop off the stands to play with. I am going to do so many things with my little Lego Chell! (If we get the Doctor Who Lego kit, she's gonna be his companion instead of Clara because duh). There are points with the vehicles where you can upgrade not only what they can do but how they look, the game giving you step by step instructions to rebuild the legos. But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's pop that disc in first.

While your system is downloading and installing the massive patch all games come with now, you can tear through the box, dumping lego pieces over the floor to put together the Dimensional portal that looks like a Stargate Dentata.

It was at this point I realized one of the most important things about these games/toy - get an end table or something to put not only the base but all your side pieces onto. This is actually a tv tray table reserved for our Halloween display, but it's got an out-of-season job now.

The original set only comes with Batman, Wyldstyle (at least it's not Wyldstyleaden), Gandalf, and the Batmobile. We got the Portal one on the first day as well - which I'll be reviewing at the end...and then picked up a few more a few days later. This quickly becomes a reason why heading into this dimension may not be something you'd want to take. They are designed to be money sinks, though not as bad as micro-transactions in free to play games.

To the main game. You start out meeting Batman (of course you do) who's voiced by, say it with me now, Troy Baker. Actually, Lego pulled out quite a few coups for this game. Normally their voice work is meh, but they got in not only Elizabeth Banks for Wyldstyle and Will Arnett's few scenes as the Lego Movie Batman, but Elijah Wood and Sean Astin return as Frodo and Sam along with Christopher Lloyd's Great Scotting it up as Doc Brown and all the Ghostbusters. They got around the fact Harold Ramis is gone from us for the Ghostbusters level which I'll explain later.

Robin (voiced by the same one who's Robin on Teen Titans Go) gets sucked into some new portal dimension and Batman goes running after him. The Meddling Crusader finds himself in the middle of Gandalf's fight with the Balrog. The dimension hole sucks up Frodo and the one ring, leaving poor Sam bereft and kinda bored.

Finally, the multi-world tour drops Batman and Gandalf off at Lego Movie Land (full confession, I've never seen the Lego Movie, which can be a bit of a problem for these games) where we get our one female character of the group.

*record scratch* Rant Ahead: Lego is usually pretty bad at gender parity but for this game it is just freaking awful. Out of 44 possible characters you can purchase and run around as there are 6 female ones. That's not even one in seven. At that ratio, just kiss the species goodbye. Jurassic World is the best example that they don't give a shit. There are two movie characters they chose you can be for the game. Guess who they are. Owen - Chris Pratt's man child character of course. Who do you think the second would be? A random nameless guard, of course! What do you mean Claire? That's just silly. Girls can't do things!

The only black character is Cyborg, who's also DCs go to "black friend" because they forget about Vixen. Maybe the Ninja master is supposed to be Asian but the rest of the ninjas are all white guys because of course they are.

The second Batman meets Wyldstyle he demands her scanner, which he's never seen before, to do his awesome, manly Batman shit. She at least gets to use it the rest of the game, but that's just to find things for Batman to tow and/or whack with his battarangs.

I am so fucking tired of Batman. About his only fun moment is upon meeting Will Arnett's Batman and getting into a slap fight with him, otherwise he's every god damn Troy Baker protagonist that broods and is super serious and dark. THIS IS SO BORING, YOU'RE NOT EVEN PARODYING IT! Gandalf's played like he's a bumbling old guy, sweet but kind of absent minded.

All I got out of Wyldstyle's personality is that she has wacky hair and is not a DJ - which she said about 30,000 times. She seemed kinda entertained with what was going on, but also detached and sorry, I built more of an attachment to beleaguered mute Chell than her. This was, after all, Batman's show...again.

Okay, enough bad stuff. Let's get to the fun stuff. Whether you purchase the various packs of characters or not, the main storyline itself is composed of you visiting each world (save Jurassic Park and whatever that Chima thing is). I figured I'd list every world and give my pluses and minuses on it while avoiding any real story spoilers.

The first stop over is in Wizard of Oz, which - despite me never having seen the movie (I'm really bad at this) - I rather enjoyed. The witch is entertaining as hell. We got her not only because she can fly and blow up silver bricks, but I wanted an awesome witch character to play as. And for some reason she is super into everything we're doing when you take her through the story. Just 100% optimistic, loves life, and -- for some reason -- really wants to go into business with everyone. Was that a major plot point in the Wizard of Oz? Did she have a shoe business with Glinda that went belly up?

Anyway, Wizard of Oz is fun, it's very reminiscent of older Lego games the way it's built. There's a few secret areas to explore and tons of plants to run over for studs, thereby destroying the Munckin's harvest and dooming them to starvation. MWHAHAHAHAHAHA!

After that we hit the Simpsons and it is not good. It fits in well with later seasons of the Simpsons in terms of its banality and forgettableness. For the love of god Traveler's Tales, you had so much to pick from, nearly my life spans worth! It starts rather promising with a couch gag, and then you get to smash up some of the Simpson's house before running around in the backyard. Good. Then we're sucked into the Nuclear Power Plant for a level that looks more like one off the cutting room floor of a Lego Batman game. The only voice is Homer's and they couldn't even be bothered to bring in Dan Castellaneta. Instead, all the dialogue is swiped from two Simpsons episodes -- the one when Homer saves the plant by playing Eenie, meenie, minie, moe, and the other when he gains weight to get on disability. There are a few extra "D'ohs" and "My thingies!" but that's it. Nothing new, and the seams really show from the plot threads slapped together using tape and pinking shears.

After leaving Springfield, you get transported to the Lego world of Ninjago, which -- I'm sorry to admit -- I have seen the show. (Lloyd is a stupid name for a Ninja!) It was decent. There was a fun maze portion and, due to the dimensions all folding in on themselves, random villains like Lex Luthor and Saruman pop up. In some ways, that's the real selling point of Dimensions.

This feels like the video game version of dumping all your Legos together and making your own stories. Plus, you can do crazy shit like have Chell about to take Denethor's leap of faith (though with her longfall boots, she stands a better chance).
This was a much shorter level in general and wasn't super flushed out, but I can understand why. Basing it upon their one season of a show that Lego had on the Cartoon Network, it's unlikely that many people are going to know it or have any attachment to it.

But, hold onto your bowties and celery, because our next stop over is with The Doctor. Somehow Capaldi's Doctor seems less like a dick when not written by Moffat, or perhaps it's because he's only being a major ass to Batman who deserves it.

This level, if you are in any way a Who fan, is amazingballs. There are Cybermen, Daleks, and -- most terrifying of all -- Weeping Angels. Yes, Lego made Weeping Angels scary again. It was watching a video of the Weeping Angel scene that pushed us to get the game so I don't want to give anything away, but it's worth letting the Angels kill you at least once. And even the Daleks have some adorable moments.

You can tell the developers relished the opportunity to run around in the world of Doctor Who. Sadly, those sets don't drop until November so we won't know what the Who open world looks like, or how the campaign goes. But this level gets all the jelly babies.

Because we can't have a game without bringing up DC, there's a level in Metropolis. Don't worry, Superman's there for all of two seconds before getting sucked into the hole letting Batman continue to be his lone, brooding self. It's a fine level - nowhere near as disappointing as Springfield. We've already seen Metropolis a couple times over, so they don't really pull out any of the stops as they did with Doctor Who - which is where another problem arises. More than a few of these franchises Traveler's Tales has already done, leaving them with only crispy bits to pick over and nothing interesting or new to add. Luckily, it's pretty short.

Back to the Future - I wish I could say this one rocked it out of the park. Hearing the music was wonderful again, and Christopher Lloyd voicing Doc Brown hit all the nostalgia pangs. But, god was this one phoned in. It's only set in the Wild West, the most boring setting for the Back to the Future series, and aside from a brief Doc Brown cameo, has next to nothing to do with the movie. It felt more like they wanted to do an Old West level and threw on a few BttF set dressings to fancy it up. But don't worry, we're coming up on something great.

GLaDOS is back and just as spiteful as ever. She's particularly pissed that Batman and Company are somehow getting through the testing chambers despite not having an Aperture Portal Device. But it's okay, Wheatley's there to help you...sort of. I don't want to say too much, but if you love anything about Aperture Science this will make you bounce up and down in your seat giggling like a moron. Out of all the levels this most made me want to run back to the source materials, pick back up the old Portal games and run around as Chell. Luckily, I can do that later in the Portal campaign (which is at the end, I swear).

Middle Earth is again fine. They already did Lego LOTR (and Lego Hobbit which I didn't play because Lord of the Rings is freaking enough Jackson! Let it go!). The great parts come from the bleed over. As the game goes on, dimensions become more and more corrupted, so we get Orcs running around wearing cores from Aperture Science as helmets.

Core helmets on Orcs really would have spiced up the Hobbit better than elf surfing, Jackson. I'm just saying.

Like the Simpsons, they got all the dialogue for the Ghostbusters level from the movies but I'm happy to say they tried much harder. There are little touches here and there - like the dancing toaster - that show the developers actually enjoyed this franchise unlike some others (like say Back to the Future that got the fuzzy end of the dev lolly). But perhaps the best part is the music. I would often stop and have Chell dance along to Ghostbusters Are Back in Town while ghosts poured through the streets of Lego New York. It's a punch to all those nostalgia muscles the jaded Millennials aren't supposed to have.

There's an old 8-bit arcade level in here but all I remember is the massive headache I got. Taking 3D games and turning them 2 is always a bit hokey. It's cute, but if it goes on for more than a couple minutes I want to smash the controller through the tv. Add in a bunch of manic music and flashing lights and I was with brooding Batman there. Break everything and run!

Despite Lego being a couch co-op there are things in this game that do not work together, and this level is the worst of it. There's a racing challenge because you thought you could get away from it, eh? Except the starter pack only comes with the batmobile. You can't have your second player do anything but stand on the track watching the car run three laps of three races. And don't go thinking fun things like the Portal Turret or flying monkey are options. It has to be a car. Even one of the most friendly co-op games on the market still doesn't give that much of a shit, or thinks people are really playing it together in the same room

I am not a Scooby Doo fan. All of the Hanna Barbera cartoons felt like a punishment until Looney Tunes came on. But I liked this level. Their decision to posterize and increase the lines was adorable (and far better than the freaky 3D rounding effect in the Simpsons world)
It's classic Scooby Doo: the gang splits up, there's ghosts, a mummy's curse, and an awesome haunted house. It made me lust for Lego to make a Universal Monster set because I'd totally run around as the Creature from the Black Lagoon. He could hang out with Aquaman talking shit about the surfacers.

After that it's a few levels mashing up all the characters, worlds, and bad guys we saw before. Some of it provides for great moments - especially with GLaDOS - but others are infuriatingly insipid. Sadly, that sums up the Dimension game.

Gameplay-wise there's a lot reminiscent of Traveler's Tales other Lego games. You break things to collect studs, there are red bricks to find, mini-kits to collect, and people to rescue. Dimensions adds on a new, well, dimension with the board. Often to complete puzzles, you'll have to move your piece from one glowing side to another. This will shrink your character, give them awesome fire powers, or save you from a weeping angel. While not the most annoying aspect, it can be a pain, especially if you don't have the perfect set up in front of your system.

Along with the main game, there are also open worlds (one of my least favorite things about the Lego Games - I tend to do a few things then leave it to my husband to stress over). Middle Earth is Middle Earth, they combined Gotham and Metropolis into one mess because I have no idea, and the Lego Movie had its world that I'm sure would mean something to people who'd seen it.

Every character you buy also unlocks their own open world. After getting the Wicked Witch, we were able to run around in Oz that included Munchkin Land, the Witch's Castle (while my flying monkeys tried to beat me up - we're going to have some serious HR discussions later), Oz's place, and Kansas that is in hues of burnt sienna and tan. For not caring about the movie, it was fun to run around in there.

Okay, I tortured you long enough. To the full Portal level!

It's probably not giving away much to say that as Chell, you pop back into Aperture Science much to GLaDOS' displeasure. Without having a clue what to do with you, she puts you back to testing. And holy cow, it is a Portal game - one of the early levels with easy puzzles but there's the companion cube, turrets, lasers, and repulsion gel! Your little Lego figure will bounce on the blue and run on the orange goo you had to portal into the room after pushing buttons.

On top of Wheatley tagging along, Cave Johnson is there, piping in testing options for astronauts from beyond the grave! It's a bit weird to see Chell in third person, but also fun as it gives her a chance to have some personality like when she shows her annoyance with this whole thing and especially Wheatley. It was a return to the golden days of pantomine in the Lego games.

Once you finish the campaign in 20-30 minutes if you're a Portal pro, you pop out in their open world and it is perfect! It's all the levels of Aperture Science from the glass cube you wake up in in the first game, to the room full of singing turrets at the end of two!

And don't go thinking the basement is left out. The map's harder to navigate than the other worlds because it's all built on top of each other. But you've got Chell and her longfall boots, just jump up to the side and fall. Way down at the bottom you get to fight, yup, Mantis Men!

There's even an area if you climb the ladder out of your first room that puts you outside - all the times Chell thought she was finally free only to get yanked back in.

This is the absolute bestest thing ever for Portal fans. There's a lot of love and attention given here that - if it had been shown to all the other levels - would have made Lego Dimensions wonderful. Sadly, while the developers clearly adored making Portal and Doctor Who quite a few others fell short. Simpsons is a complete waste - to the point I don't want to bother with their open world. Back to the Future could have been so much more, and - while I adored listening to the Ghostbusters music again - I worry how limiting relying only on patchwork dialogue from the movies will be.

Should you get the Lego Dimensions game? That's a hard one to answer. Do you love Lego Games despite their waning writing that once sparkled back in the heyday of pantomime? Do you really really want another Portal game right this second? Do you want to battle Cybermen, Daleks, and Weeping Angels? Do you still love to curl up on the floor putting together tiny pieces of plastic? Then the answer's an easy yes.

If you were hoping for an awesome Simpson's level, aren't prepared to pay money for the extra characters that can sniff out vines to unlock a minikit, or want to play a game without Batman for once - then no. There's certainly some potential, and we're waiting on our hands for the Doctor Who packs to drop in November, but some levels fall really flat and are a slog to go back through.

Those are my impressions of Lego Dimensions. Good, bad, it's hard to say. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to send Chell to beat up on some orcs.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tokyo Pot Roast Recipe

I am not a fan of pot roast. It's okay, I guess, but given the other options in fall dishes I'd rather have another big bowl of chili and leave the pot roast leftovers for my husband. But not anymore! I've found a recipe for one that I really love. Why is it called Tokyo Pot Roast? I have no idea. It mostly just uses fish sauce and soy sauce, not anything specifically Japanese, but I didn't choose the name.

Not my picture, but come on, pot roast is pot roast.

I did alter the recipe from where I found it.
  • 1 2-lb beef chuck roast (or pork, pork works great)
  • you can add potatoes here but I never do because potatoes are gross after 8 hours in a crockpot.
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 bulbs garlic
  • 1 ounce shiitake mushrooms (I used button because that's what I had)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sake or white wine
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • salt to taste
 Dice up the onion and garlic. In a pan, brown up the onion. I do it in a bit of butter for about five minutes - then add in the garlic.

To that dump in the water, wine, soy sauce, sugar, fish sauce, and ginger. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for a few minutes to get the sugar all dissolved.

All good?

Okay, dump that over top the meat in a crock pot. Set it to low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4. You can toss in the potatoes or carrots if you want. I won't judge. Too harshly. Weirdo.

That's it. Now go out and enjoy this awesome pot roast with some delectable asian flavors.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

iZombie: Real Dead Housewife of Seattle

Well, you can't have Zombie knife fights every week - and sadly, after the great episodes we got so far I was kinda expecting a slower one. So strap in, we've got an uninteresting brain of the week, our manchild CEO, and the return of an old character I'm calling Papa John's Commercial here on out.

To the recap!

We open on a pretty, white lady with the creepiest eyes I have ever seen getting attacked by the world's most bumbling assassin. While trying to kill her with the power of Cheeto palms, they both fall off the cliff. He should have studied under Major first, because holy shit is that guy scary out of nowhere. Remember when he was just the goofy councilor who kept getting beaten up by Lenny the zombie?

Turns out the assassin, whom I named Beardy, posed as a realtor to kill our brain of the week. He originally worked at a car detail and thief emporium. Ravi quips: "Thief posing as a Realtor. Seems like a lateral move."

Clive assumes it's the spouse because he always does. "When rich wives get killed it's either about money or sex." Meanwhile Liv's gotten clingier than usual, wanting to spend Friday hanging out with Ravi and Clive which they imply has happened before. I'd love to have been a fly on that wall with Ravi spinning quips at the napkin dispenser, Liv crumbling from her last lunch, and Clive groaning into his beer wondering who cursed him.

Can we take up a collection to send him on a nice vacation? He's earned it.

Since the brain of the week is about as exciting as white bread in a white room during a white sale, we're also watching Major continue his downward spiral to becoming a Batman villain. He's been crossing names off the list by sensing who isn't really a zombie and letting them live. Gilda gets to him by mentioning that Von's original plan was to just send letters to all the alleged zombies, get 'em on a boat and sink it. Though, given her cut-throat nature and gleam in the eye I kind hope it was actually her plan. I fear they're softening her up for reasons coming up, but Von - while ruthless - feels a bit like watching a toddler with all the money in the world. Gilda being the cold, heartless one would be so much more fun.

Major understands her threat and finds himself another zombie to off. Because half of this show is trying to destroy the guy - after he drugs the man (Von must have given him a deal or something), the zombie wakes up in his trunk begging Major to not kill him or his dog. Major does one of those, and dumps the guy into the Dead Body River. Clive, I know you're busy dealing with whatever weird shit Liv's into now, but you might want to notice the body's piling up in the drainage system. It's starting to smell.

They do tie our brain of the week to Von, turns out her husband sits on the Max Rager board. Does Max Rager own Seattle or something? It's like the Wayne Tech and Star Labs of iZombie but instead of creating - in theory - helpful tech or medicine it only produces energy drinks and zombies. Damn, that's dark.

Clive and Liv go to ask Von some questions about Taylor (our brain of the week), and Liv gets her first flashback that I think we'd all like to burn out of our brains. Bleach is in the second cabinet below the sink! Seems Taylor was screwing Von, which he's quick to deny because he's not a moron - though his brain seems to be stuck at age 21 in a frat house.

Apparently he's Seattle's most eligible bachelor because the rest of the options are hipsters. He and Liv had an entertaining exchange where, after talking about Taylor and Terrance's marriage, he says "There's a reason you won't catch me getting married ."
Liv cuts back with: "Because you can't legally marry your own reflection?"
"Burn." This is why I'm hoping it's Gilda that's the true brains, because you just don't want your super genius CEO to go around spouting memes at the drop of a hat. Have I mentioned yet that I miss Blaine?

On the way out, Liv runs into Major in Von's office. She rightly freaks out, then less rightly slaps him. He takes it like a kicked puppy, though Von's entertained as hell. At least with Major knowing the truth Liv can kinda try to explain it as brains making her act weird except Major never ate any. He has no idea about zombie vision, so...Eh, he's so broken I'm sure he'll forget about it.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Dwarves in Space: Taliesin's Job

Here's a little preview of a job my elven assassin Taliesin's sent on. A little something to pass the time on this fine Sunday afternoon.

Friday, October 16, 2015

iZombie: Zombie Bro

iZombie either does episodes that are light on the murder and heavy on their awesome zombie mafia/breaking Major/evil Red Bull CEO or it's all the brain of the week with little of the best parts. This episode, however, was somehow an almost 50:50 mix and it worked.

We also got a nice twist on the brain of the week that I didn't see coming.

So let's get to it.

We open at a frat party (yeah, I know, but bear with me). Apparently Netflix must have just gotten Animal House because these 20 somethings all decided to recreate it, even going so far as having our brain of the week dressed as Caesar. But, out of nowhere a blue muskrat wearing a sea captain's hat shows up and stabs Caesar to death. Round up that Captain and maybe Tennille as an accomplice. 

While standing over the body Ravi says: "He came, he saw, he was stabbed several times by a small cylindrical object."

This is why you don't dress like Caesar, you're just asking to get stabbed forty times in the back. Come on frat guys, you should really use common sense and have a friend watch your back for stab wounds during the night. Maybe if you didn't dress so roman emperory, people wouldn't feel the animalistic urge to stab you in the back. I'm just giving you sound advice here.

Back at Blaine's Mortuary and Buffet, my all time favorite villain is plotting how to expand his utopium business. Seems there's someone named Mr. Boss? (possibly Voss, though Mr. Boss is better. He's so awesome he doesn't care he's got a stupid name) that's got the entire town under his drug running and other evil machinations thumb. It's Kingpin but without the pathos or Vanessa.

Blaine's got a bunch of new drug runners to do his work while he stays in the shadows, and after assurances that he'll watch out for them, he sends them out into the wide world. Don E's back, confirming my suspicions that this was our poor Scott E's twin brother. Blaine, probably bored, asks why Don E had Scott E (not a single Star Trek joke? Not even now. Sadness) committed.

Don E: "He thought zombies were running around Seattle."
Blaine, while introducing Don E to a zombie noshing on a corpse's brains: "That's just silly, sometimes they loiter."

Back to the brain of the week, which has Liv shouting Dude and Bro a lot (I wouldn't make a drinking game out of the bro count unless you are mortal enemies with your liver). Clive's doing his thing and figured out that our dead Caesar was normally named Chad because of course he was. Nothing good comes from someone named Chad. This Chad was particularly horrific with his love of "pranks" or as the Geneva convention calls them "cruel and unusual torture."

He buttered some guy's floor so he'd fall and probably fracture a few bones just for daring to have a higher body fat content than other people. We also get our first zombie vision of Chad doing a keg stand and having one of the frat brothers run up and say he ruined his life. Seems our prankster had the kid, as a pledge, jog naked in front of an elementary school, so now he has to register as a sex offender.

This was a quick red herring as it was mostly to establish that Clive is one of the best detectives on tv. Really. I feared most of this episode would be them figuring out Caesar was stabbed by wacky costume and Liv would have to zombie vision it, but nope, Clive just flicks through naked joggers instagram photos and figures it out himself. Sometimes I think he just keeps Liv around because Clive's a masochist.

As they're leaving the house, after Liv's practically high fived all the dude bros, he says to her: "You're like that box of chocolates in Forrest Gump. I never know what I'm gonna get."


Friday, October 9, 2015

iZombie: Grumpy Old Liv

How was your summer? Good good. Only a few alien invasions and one attack by catapult werewolves with mange? None of that matters because iZombie is back!

If you missed the amazingballs of last years season finale you can read the long recap here. Or here's the short short short version.

Major breaks out of his ice prison, goes full on Rambo but without the mullet, blows the shit out of Meat Cute then gets stabbed by Blaine. While he's dying, Liv jabs Blaine with her zombie cure then later cures Major too because she's great at thinking ahead. It ends with her brother getting blown to smithereens because the police Lieutenant had the same "explosions are awesome" bug as Major.

Without wasting any time, we're back in the hospital. Despite refusing to give her brother her blood for zombie related reasons (and Medicaid won't cover undead transfers), he still made it through the first surgery and is on the docket for more. It turns out Liv had been trying to visit him for the four months the show's been off the air (and he's been in the hospital the whole time? I would not want to see that bill), but he's refused her. Both her brother and mother blame Liv for not giving up her blood and sharing in the awesome zombie virus.

Of course this leads to the "I must hardened my heart and walk alone" trope which I just got an hour of from the Flash. Sigh. I squirmed at this point because seriously, enough with the damn lone wolf who's dangerous and can't let people near them plotline? Barry's moping seemed even more outlandish compared to the two women on the show who lost a fiance and husband respectively but seemed to have moved on! He's too busy being the Batman, I mean lone Flash crime fighter who something something, I don't know. I expected him to smear on eyeliner and wear all black.

I'm mostly bringing up the Flash for compare and contrast purposes, so bear with me. Seriously though, enough with the Man Pain!

Having established that Liv and her brother yet live, it's time for the brain of the week. Sorry guys, it's pretty pointless but barely mentioned so...

We get the weirdest brain of the week beginning as a woman decides running in a suburban area at 2 in the morning is a great idea. She spots an old lecherous guy working on his car and then a pair of kids playing hockey. At night. At 2 in the morning. If this isn't a remake/update of children of the corn I'll eat my straw hat.

Anyway, turns out the dead person isn't the runner from a hockey stick stabbed into her brain, but the old guy who got smashed below his car. Our first red herring rolls up in her scooter, and she talks about how the dead guy, Wendell, was her brother in law and a cantankerous old bastard. They try to give some reasoning because of illness and his wife leaving, but after a few decades do those excuses count anymore?


After Liv noshes on some spaghetti and brainballs we do a little catching up with our ex-zombie rat. Liv calls her Final Hope, but Ravi insists it's New Hope, not Final Hope because that name's too dark.

"If I wanted to give her a depressing name I'd have called her Phantom Menace."

I've missed you so much Ravi. How is there not already a section of Tumblr the size of Alaska dedicated to that man? Quippy, hot, and kinda nerdy? Come on ladies of tumblr, I'm counting on you.

The other reason I love Ravi is because he often says what we've all been screaming at Liv as he tears into her for wasting the cure. It's an excuse to explain to the audience that yes there were only two samples, and yes she wasted them on her mortal enemy and ex-fiance but it needed to happen. No letting our hero off the hook for being sorry because she may have doomed them all to a zombie apocalypse.

It's also establishing one of the main concerns of this season. In order to make more cure they need the same samples of the tainted drug Utopium from the boat party. And the only person likely to have it is our favorite zombie godfather, Blaine!

Don't go thinking our don-undead's vanished into the night and is reduced to eating rats in the alley. Nope, he's gotten himself a new job at a mortuary where he's just as delightfully creepy as always. Though, I have to question his choice of nom-de-plumes. John Deaux? Really. I expected better from you, Blaine.

Liv goes to confront him at his new house of the dead where some great banter happens. He tortures Liv by eating a piece of chocolate and extolling the virtues of having living tastebuds. She spits back:
"Are you eating that or impregnating it?"

Because Blaine is the Lex Luthor of zombies, he's used his thinking bones to figure out that since Major wasn't mentioned on the list of dead from Meat Cute going to Pun Heaven then either the Ken Doll's running around as a zombie, or most likely she wasted the cure on him. Liv demures the fact, then turns back around on Blaine admitting that they just injected a couple rats, one of which died after a few days. Who knows how long or if the cure will last. So it'd be really useful if he got her some of that same tainted Unobtanium.