The CW’s iZombie is returning to screens and Netflix this week with its fourth season and, rest assured, the stakes have never been higher for our undead Seattleite friends. Now that the everyone is aware of the existence of zombies, our cast of heroes are facing a brave new world full of new undead and living, coming to blows and unwilling to accept each other. At the start of season three, we were reunited with our group, made of Liv, Clive, Major, Ravi, Peyton and Blaine, all fully in the loop of the existence of zombies and the former five agreeing to keep no secrets from each other in the mission to protect the zombies. They are confronted by zombie run military contractor Filmore Graves and face many tribulations, such as anti-zombie groups, limited doses of a dangerous cure and an ever-growing population of zombies.
iZombie, which is based loosely on a comic book series of the same name published by DC Comics’ Vertigo Imprint occasionally calls back to its comic book background in the way in which it is stylised and shot. Funny, clever, and visually interesting, this show is not one you want to miss. Admittedly, the first few episodes are slow and the characters take some time developing into the fun and intriguing people we saw in season three and will see more of in season four. Get through maybe the first two or three episodes in season one and trust me, you’ll be hooked and as eager to stick your teeth into season four as I am.
Whether you’ve seen all of season three and are reading this for a quick catch up on what happened before you watch season four, or if you’ve not seen a single second of the show and just want to get into the fun stuff this year promises, it’s time to get into the events of season three!
As said, our group of protagonists consists of zombies Liv and Major, cop Clive, coroner Ravi and district attorney Peyton. Blaine, who served as one of the main antagonists throughout the earlier seasons and on and off again in season three, has been cured of zombieism thanks to a cure created by Ravi. Unfortunately, this medicine has come with the unfortunate side effect of amnesia and Blaine has lost all memory of who he was and all the criminal things he’s done (see: turning innocent people into zombies, kidnapping and killing poor kids to serve to zombies as food and nearly killing our dear Major).
When we first join the group late one night in season three, episode one, everyone is in shock and traumatised. Liv, Major (who are less traumatised as they are absorbing the personality of a stoic mercenary) and Clive have just witnessed the first full on zombie outbreak after a massive Max Rager party goes very wrong when a group of staff drink some utopium heavy energy drink. A lot of death and/or rapid zombieism ensues. Peyton, on the other hand, is shaken after being held at gun point by the henchmen of aptly named gang boss Mr Boss. She is confused when adversary Blaine saves her and friend and possible love interest Ravi cowers from her rescue. Addressing the fact that zombies are very real and should be protected, the group agrees to work together and keep no secrets.
Military contractor who bought out the secret recipe to the energy drink that not only creates zombies, but hypes up existing zombies, Filmore Graves is run by zombie Vivian Stoll. Vivian sees every zombie in her organisation as one of her children. She is extremely protective of every member of her staff and states that they are like a family. Filmore Graves takes care of its zombies; children are educated safely and adults are protected. However, sinister forces work within the contractor; once Vivian is killed in a helicopter explosion in episode eight, ‘Eat a Knievel,’ we meet Chase Graves, her brother-in-law who takes over.
At first, he appears extremely stoic and as even a bit of an asshole, he reveals a softer side when he grows closer to Liv. After eating the brain and taking on the personality of a promiscuous woman, they sleep together. As head of Filmore Graves, the antagonistic forces within the contractor reveal themselves to him and reveal that they have taken the company from the inside out and have put plans into action: plans that result in the citizens of Seattle coming down with a bad case of the zombieism en masse. Through injecting hundreds, if not thousands of humans with a fake flu vaccine which actually contains the zombie disease, and then they all contract it. Thus, the existence of zombies is brought straight to the surface.
At this point Chase sees no other option but to air a video nationwide about zombies. He promises that they will not act as a threat, stay in Seattle and will only eat the brains of the naturally deceased. And so, life with zombies begins.
Back with our favourite crime solving zombie, Liv Moore (get it? She’s undead but her name sounds like LIVE MORE? Fucking hilarious), we join her on her journey to protect her fellow zombies and solve just about every murder case that comes through Seattle (which is a lot by the way?)
Rose McIver, who played A Christmas Prince’s Amber Moore when she wasn’t playing undead Liv (Amber Moore? Perhaps Amber is a cousin of Liv?) suits her role marvellously and conveys our medical examiner fabulously. She is funny and smart in her portrayal.
We know that zombies in the iZombie universe thrive on brains and take on the personality of any dead person they indulge in. Through season three we see Liv take on the roles of conspiracy theorist, doting dad and, my favourite, dominatrix in episode five ‘Spanking the Zombie’. She helps Clive solve the murders of Seattleites using her visions and insights as to who these people were in life. She also helps Filmore Graves in protecting zombies. She helps Ravi through emotional turmoil and she and Major still dream of overcoming the intricacies and dangers of zombie politics so they might rekindle their pre-zombie romance.
New to the whole zombie world, Clive agrees to jump on board with Liv’s cause to negotiate with Filmore Graves and protect zombies while maintaining his human status. At Filmore Graves he is reunited Wally, a child he lived next door to when he was undercover and working in vice. He aims to reach out to Wally (who, by the way, is the one who gave Clive his Game of Thrones addiction) and his mother, Anna, with whom he was close with before she and her son moved away with her brother. It is revealed in the end of episode two that she cut off contact with Clive completely due to her contracting the zombie virus.
Unfortunately, Wally, Anna and her brother are all killed in their home in a vicious anti zombie attack. Clive is thrown head first into deep mourning as other detectives delve into the case, unaware that the victims were already undead and the perps knew it.
Clive’s main role this season is as Liv’s partner, solving murders with her help. Later, he reunites with old flame FBI agent Dale who at first, is frosty to him after he betrayed her in the Chaos Killer case (more on that later). Ultimately, they get back together and go to get the flu vaccine towards the end of the season. Liv calls him just in time so Clive does not contract the zombie virus, but he is too late to stop Dale; she is injected with the ‘vaccine’.
Still dubbed by the public as the Chaos Killer and feeling lost in life, zombie Major joins Filmore Graves as a solider. Although he was technically absolved of this title after Liv alerted Clive to the existence of zombies, which led Clive to break Major out of jail in season two, he cannot escape the legacy of the name.
Major is dying. He took an earlier version of the zombie cure which has started to kill him slowly. Ravi has made another version of the cure but Blaine has taken it now everyone believes that the cure results in amnesia. Major is confronted with the fact that, to survive, he must take the cure to zombieism, even if it means losing every memory he has. Tricky.
Eventually, Major’s condition becomes so bad that he must take the cure. He does, loses his memory for a few days and comes back as his old human self. Over the course of season three he hunts for Natalie, a zombie and ‘victim’ of the Chaos Killer. He finally finds her, through Blaine, and gives her the cure as well. For a while, later in the season, he and Natalie become an item and plan to move to Italy with the hopes of starting a new life together. Unfortunately, at a Filmore Graves solider party, zombie hater Harlie Johns rocks up and sets off a bomb, killing himself and wounding everyone in the house, and killing Natalie. Major survives by being outside of the party, but is hurt.
After the death of Natalie, he returns to Filmore Graves and insists on once again becoming a zombie.
Best boy, best medical examiner, best character; Rahul Kohli who plays Ravi shines this season like never before. He is heartbroken by Peyton, afraid of losing best buddy Major and dives head first into his work, desperate to find the cure for his friends. Ravi’s dry wit rocks iZombie and he just so happens to also be extremely loveable.
In season three, Ravi plays a big part in assisting Liv in the effort to protect zombies, but also cure everyone who has contracted it. He has come up with seventeen doses of the cures, which Blaine, Major and Natalie get a dose of before the remaining vaccines are stolen.
Throughout the season, Ravi pines for Peyton and suffers, watching her relationship with Blaine blossom. He, drunkenly and stupidly, throws away his chance to reunite with her by sleeping with his former CDC boss (with whom he had freaky sex with. Unfortunately for Liv, she experiences detailed flashbacks of their relations when she eats her brain). Apart from all the pining, Ravi mostly joins Liv and Clive in solving murder cases.
In the last episode, we see Ravi create not a new cure, but a vaccine which might prevent zombieism in whoever takes it. We see him take a dose of this medicine and he insists that Liv scratches him to test how well it works. With a heavy heart, she does, and that’s the last we see of him. This season, we will see if his new medicine has worked in preventing the virus from taking hold of its host.
Peyton’s season three experience in a word? Betrayed.
She starts the season betrayed by Ravi, after he cowered when she was in danger; she is alienated by his complete lack of effort in saving her. She is betrayed by Ravi again, when he tells her he loves her and when she finally opens her heart back up to him, she finds him having just slept with his old CDC boss. Finding solace and comfort with a reformed and amnesiac Blaine, she is once again betrayed when she finds that he faked his amnesia in efforts to be with her and escape the consequences of his old life. She is not heartbroken, however; she is angry. Thanks to Blaine hiding the truth of the effects of Ravi’s cure, her friends remained in their undead states for months longer than they had to. She quickly moves to right the wrongs with her friends.
Peyton spends the rest of the season helping Liv in the efforts to protect zombies and occasionally solves murders with her; Peyton and Liv get kinky to trigger some dominatrix memories and then she gets to play a massive Dungeons and Dragons campaign. She is not so enthusiastic about either of these.
Our favourite undead bad guy! Dry and sarcastic and extremely devious, Blaine has made a fantastic villain and is a massive reason why iZombie is as good at it is.
We start season three with Blaine acting the amnesiac (it is revealed in episode six, ‘Some Like it Hot Mess,’ that he had gained his memories back weeks before the events of that episode) and wooing Peyton. He acts innocent to all the things he did before he lost his memories. After being spurned by Peyton, he returns to his bad ass self, dominating the zombie brain business and butts heads with his zombie dad…
Blaine’s dad has become revenge crazy, wanting to exact justice on his son. He teams up with Don E and opens zombie speakeasy the Scratching Post and aims to dominate the zombie business himself by scratching and infecting wealthy Seattleites. This comes back to bite Blaine’s dad in the ass as Blaine becomes a zombie once again and traps his father in a well. He taunts his father forevermore.
So, what can we expect in season four? Major is once again a (healthy?) zombie, will we see him and Liv rekindle their romance? Will Ravi and Peyton ever get together?
Will Ravi turn into a zombie? Will he create more cures?
How will Seattle’s humans feel about living side by side with the undead?
Airing in the US tonight (Monday 26th of February), season four looks like it’s going to be exciting, intense and probably, as funny as its always been. IZombie is available on Netflix so if zombies, crime and witty humour are your interests, you should definitely binge it before the ne