‘Physician, Heal Thy Selfie’ is a silly, yet solid, episode. It isn’t nearly as dark as other episodes this season have been(which is surprising, considering it opens with three decapitated bodies washed up on a beach),and while it reveals much that we have been wondering about some of the main characters, it opts instead for more of the fast-paced plotline and snappy dialogue that the show has become known for over too much painful emotional depth.
Picking up right where the previous episode left off, Liv is wondering how much she really knows about Drake- who she has just slept with-when Babineaux calls her to the scene of a gruesome crime, where three dead men have washed ashore. Once there, she is floored to discover that the bodies are without heads, aka without brains. Unable to give any of her ‘visions’ on the triple homicide and having trouble thinking clearly because she is hungry, she quickly rushes back to the morgue, where Ravi presents her with the recently deceased 25-year-old body of a social media addict. Liv immediately makes rolls of brain sushi and uploads them to the ‘Gram, taking on the traits of a selfie obsessed millennial and constantly tweeting, instagramming, and hashtagging her way through the rest of the episode.
There is no vision of a murder to get through, which immediately sets the tone as a bit lighter than usual, andinstead of using the brain for clues, Liv, who is enamored with Drake after the night they spent together and filled with curiosity, utilizes the prowess of her victim to try andfind him on social media. Suspecting the worst after she is unable to find a digital footprint (“No Facebook? He could be private… or a married father of four”), she searches him using the database at her job and unearths a record stating he’s served two years for felony aggravated assault.
This is an interesting parallel to ‘The Hurt Stalker,’ where Liv goes through Major’s phone after eating the brains of a jealous and paranoid ex-girlfriend. Then, the personality of the brain only amplified Liv’s own insecurities and a nagging sense that Major was hiding something, which he was. Her search and subsequent texting Rita/Gilda was a key moment in the implosion of her relationship with Major; conversely here, Drake easily explains his transgressions away and then proceeds to take her on a date to his mother’s house to fix her kitchen sink, deepening the bond between them. All seemed to be going well until the end of the episode, when seeing Don E at Drake’s door gives Liv a flashback that hints at her realizing Drake is somehow deeply involved in Blaine’s schemes.
Speaking of Blaine, he had some great moments in this episode. He finally has two big confrontations that have been a long time coming, and the firstone is with Peyton after she’s found out the true nature of his crimes. Blaine seems genuinely interested in making amends with Peyton, especially given their relationship in working together to bring Boss down, but she declares their night together was “a giant mistake.” Her face belies her words, as it is filled with sadness after Blaine leaves.
The second confrontation is with Mr. Boss, who shows up to Blaine’s funeral home for a service, spots him, and informs Blaine he owes $80,000 for the drugs he disappeared with after the boat party. The scene is deliciously fraught with tension, giving a rare glimpse ofBlaine in a subordinate position: the two characters have the immediate chemistry of an in-control employer versus a fuming employee as Boss calmly informs Blaine that he has more than quadrupled the money owed to him. Boss is played by Eddie Jemison as a cold, calculating shark in sharp contrast to the more charming, kinetic energy of David Anders, and it’s a pleasure to watch these two go head to head in a scene crackling with dialogue as sharp as a knife under a thin veneer of gentility. After Boss informs Blaine his henchmen will be by to pick up the money and leaves, Blaine kicks and punches the air in fury, and it’s easy to imagine him wishing he were a zombie again in that moment, with the ability to decimate Boss.
And how might Mr. Boss have ended up at Blaine’s funeral home, you might ask? It turns out those decapitated bodies were associates of Boss who had been hired to take out District Attorney Floyd Baracus, and that one of them specifically was Boss’ nephew. Baracus, who has long since been a zombie, kills the men and beheads them, dumping their bodies and storing their heads in the refrigerator so he can eat their brains later.This has the unfortunate side effect of alerting Liv, Major, and Vaughn Du Clark to the fact that Baracus is a zombie, and they all go about handling this information in different ways. It’s as interesting as ever to observe how Liv’s own zombified way of looking at things enables her to solve crimes (“How did you know I was a zombie?” “You have 40 different kinds of hot sauce and three heads in your fridge.”), and the moment she shares with Baracus about promising to figure out a way to help him so he can go home to his son is truly touching. But it’s Major who has the most to lose from this revelation, as he has Baracus cleared on his hit list of zombies. Working under the constant threat of Liv being killed if he does not handle the zombie problem for Max Rager, and seeing the full extent of how far they are really willing to go to get it done, raises the stakes even higher for Major.
The show is definitely hurtling towards a conclusion for the slowly building plotlines of Blaine versus Boss and Major versus Max Rager, with Liv and her friends caught in the middle. It will be interesting to see these storylines play out and intersect as the season goes on.