Because no horror show is complete without at least one instance of teens around a campfire, this week’s episode opens with that very trope. Only instead of the expected monster, storytime is interrupted by a dying young pregnant woman named Emily Sparrow. After the cold open, we learn that she didn’t make it, but her baby did.
We come to learn that Emily Sparrow has been missing for months and presumed dead. The cops and the media both liked her boyfriend, Dylan Munsen, for her murder, but could never actually prove anything.
Liv is on the case, but Emily’s brains make her super-maternal and very attached to Baby Sparrow. Fortunately for the little one, Emily’s own parents are still on the scene. Unfortunately, their presence causes Liv to flash on the heated argument that happened when Emily revealed her pregnancy, making them very plausible suspects in her death. In fact, Dad coldcocked Dylan and threatened to lock her in her room.
Clive and Lieutenant Suzuki bring Dylan back into the precinct and question him in regards to Emily’s death. Dylan says that they fought often. On the night she disappeared, they’d been having it out at a friend’s party when she got sick of it all and hitchhiked away. Of course, he’d told the cops all of this months ago, but the important detail that he left out was the sound of barking dogs. (Okay, so it doesn’t sound important now either, but we’ll get there.) It doesn’t help anything that Dylan’s pretty obviously a hardcore jerk and intends to keep the baby for publicity’s sake.
This high-profile murder investigation has temporarily sidelined Clive’s other project: finding out what’s been happening to Major’s kids. Major plays a bit of a dirty trick on our favorite detective. He calls for a case update, not telling Clive that he’s on speakerphone with a reporter. Ms. Hinson walks away with a rather damaging quote for her efforts, which gets Clive into a whole lot of hot water around the office.
Said hot water means that Clive is stuck on the crappy paperwork side of the job, checking into property listings within a 10-mile radius of where Emily was found. Thankfully, it’s that grunt work that leads to one of the big breaks in the case. The Sparrows have a company that owns a cottage within the radius, and it’s the house that Liv saw in her vision. When Liv and Clive check the place out, they find a “hand-carved” crib in the basement. Emily’s parents walk in on their investigation and explain further. Emily was an amazing kid, but Dylan was a horrifically bad influence on her (yeah, there’s a shocker). Dad was working on the crib in hopes that Emily would be found someday soon.
Liv’s next flash gives her insight on the vehicle that took Emily away the night she disappeared. Liv sees an Animal Control truck with a super sketchy-looking guy keeping watch. Clive and Liv interview Margo Sheppard, the head of Animal Control, to see if any of their current employees match the man in Liv’s vision. They don’t, and the only name Margo is able to give them leads to a man who’s already been in jail for four months. Nothing doing there.
Liv’s final vision shows her that Emily wasn’t the only girl kidnapped by their mysterious stranger. She flashes on Emily’s escape and the two young women who were being held with her. Clive figures out that Emily could have floated downriver from the place where she was imprisoned, which brings him to a property owned by Mark Sheppard (not that one!), the creepy husband of our Animal Control liaison.
A stakeout leads quickly to a shootout. Lieutenant Suzuki arrives with the rest of the cavalry and insists on investigating the house on his own. He quickly takes out Mark and puts Margo down, even though she was obviously surrendering. This is possibly because she watched the lieutenant take a handful of bullets and not, y’know, die. Meanwhile, Liv has located the girls in a treehouse out back and rages out just enough to break through the locks holding them captive.
In a press conference back in the city, Suzuki pins not only Emily’s death, but also those of the skate park kids on the Sheppards. This isn’t great news for Major, who’s been arrested for following the Candyman (on Julian Dupont) and breaking into his car.
Meanwhile, Dylan is still being a rhymes-with-ooshbag. Liv absolutely rips into him (verbally, at least) and surprisingly enough, gets through to his tiny brain. He gives the baby to its grandparents, who are grateful to have some little piece of their daughter with them again.
Over in Liv’s personal life, she’s still seeing Lowell, but something’s off this week. As it turns out, one of the things you can inherit from consuming a brain is the donor’s sexuality. Lowell happens to be “playing for the other team” this week, but he and Liv have an incredibly fun platonic date, after which he promises to consume a heterosexual brain and get their relationship back on track soon.
Back in the morgue, Ravi is running some experiments to find out what could be causing the rather small and gradual zombie outbreak. He’s injected several rats with different cocktails of Utopium and the secret ingredient in the Max Rager energy drinks. By the end of the episode, most of the lab rats have been killed by the now shockingly albino Rat B. Guess that’s a theory that Ravi can work with!
Not a particularly standout episode, but I’ve yet to come across one that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed this season. I did love that Liv’s newfound maternal instinct helped her to reconnect with her own family. Liv’s mum has been getting pretty short shrift throughout the series, so having Liv finally understand at least some of what her mother is going through is a nice change.
I’m looking forward to watching the show explore more of the underlying conspiracy with the outbreak. I mean, Blaine’s evil, but I don’t think he would have been able to infiltrate as far as this thing seems to have already spread. I want to know who’s really pulling the strings, and if Ravi’s being fired from the CDC somehow ties back in.
Clive: “I’ve created a monster.
Liv: “Yeah, someone beat you to the punch on that one.”
Things to Ponder:
- Traits acquired: serious maternal instinct
- Okay, I’ve built sets and the like before. Slapping some store-bought curlicues on a crib does not make it “hand-carved.”