iZombie 4x01 "Are You Ready For Some Zombies?"
Welcome to New Seattle!
If you’ve been anticipating iZombie’s fourth season like me, you probably have a lot of questions, interests, and concerns. With that major shakeup during Season 3’s finale, what is iZombie going to look like? Last season took a few bold risks, but the most shocking twist of all was that zombies have been revealed to the world and they are taking over Seattle.
We kick things off in a brain packaging factory, our first crime scene of the season. Factory worker Clint Hicks is found ground up in a giant mixing bowl, and Ravi’s gagging face says it all. Liv mixes Clint’s brain up into crispy microwavable brain poppers and suddenly starts spewing anti-zombie sentiments. It turns out that not only was Clint a Seahawks Superfan, but he also recently lost his dream job at CenturyLink field because the zombie infestation has moved Seahawk home games to Tacoma. He’s less than thrilled to be packaging brains for zombies, and loudly blames all his problems on them. Last season, iZombie made some heavy parallels between zombie conspiracy theorists and alt-right groups, and it looks like the show is going to tackling even more of our country’s divisive socio-political issues this year.
Clive and Liv follow a trail to a suspicious 49ners fan, as well as a Fillmore Graves soldier on a brain with a penchant for insulting in Shakespeare (Bull Pizzles, hit the road), but Clint’s wife ultimately confesses to the crime. Clint’s son has turned zombie and Clint gave her an ultimatum. I’m guessing this won’t the last time we’ll see humans make tough choices based on their zombie loved ones.
One of the biggest cliff-hangers of the season 3 finale was addressed a few minutes into the episode. Did Ravi turn zombie after Liv scratched him? The answer is yes...and no. It seems like the vaccine does in fact work, but wears off after a while. While he keeps using himself as a test subject, we’re treated to Ravi chowing down on brain, checking out the skunk stripe in his hair, and walking around naked. Major informs the group that the professor brain Ravi consumed was also a nudist. Something tells me everyone is going to be a little more sympathetic to Liv’s brain personality swings before it’s all over.
Over at Fillmore Graves, Major has been given a dream opportunity. Chase Graves asks him to spend time with homeless zombie youth, and after all Major has been through, I imagine a job like this would give him a sense of security. It seems like a lifetime ago that he was working as a social worker. Almost immediately, however, Major faces a few ethical dilemmas. There’s already a distribution issue arising: zombies like Fillmore Graves soldiers and Liv are well fed, while some are “putting out for tubes” so they can feed their families. A young zombie named Jordan points out that it’s Fillmore Graves’ fault that she’s a zombie in the first place, and now there isn’t enough food for her and her siblings, which forces her to take drastic measures.
Meanwhile, a gang of anti-zombie humans that call themselves the Dead Enders have emerged in Seattle, something Fillmore Graves will have to handle. By the end of the episode, Chase urges Major to recruit Jordan and another youth, “Captain Seattle”, and they join Major’s squad. I’m excited for Major’s storyline this season. I’m crossing my fingers for Major to be in dad mode with these young zombie potentials, as well as anticipating how this will strain his relationships with Chase, Liv, and Ravi.
The premiere didn’t give us much to go on regarding Peyton’s story this season, which was a little disappointing. I’d love to see her getting into the thick of legislation and cases involving zombies, but I’m also hoping for more scenes with her friends. Her romance with Blaine separated her from the core cast more than I would have liked. We see her sitting in Blaine’s restaurant with a new lawyer love interest, Derek, and the mayor. The mayor mentions that there’s barely enough brains to feed the zombies that exist, so no more need to be created right now. Maybe that detail should have been considered before a contaminated flu vaccine converted thousands of people?
The rest of the episode focuses on Angus, Blaine’s father. This guy is a huge wildcard. The last time we saw him, Blaine threw him down a well. When Angus emerges, he’s looking a little worse for wear. He stumbles upon a church meeting in a movie theater, strikes down the pastor, and eats his brains from the pulpit. A zombie zealot is probably the very last thing that New Seattle needs, but I guess iZombie is going there. Never a dull moment in the undead Emerald City.
Rose McIver slayed her comedic beats, as usual. I loved the sports smack talk that resulted in Liv raging out while simultaneously on the verge of tears. McIver doesn’t get enough credit for her range, as well as how game she is. The reveal of her Seahawks face paint/costume was brilliant.
Speaking of not getting enough credit, Malcolm Goodwin seriously has his work cut out for him this season. Clive’s reactions to Liv’s antics are always a highlight, but we’ll see how he does with Liv, Major, Ravi, and Dale on a constant rotation of different brain personalities. I’m looking forward to it.
We’re already seeing the ways that zombies are being folded into systems and structures. Clint’s son tells his mom that he read that zombie visions aren’t admissible in court, Peyton mentions a death penalty for scratching humans, and apparently someone decided that the word of God dictates that zombies can’t be ordained.
“What do I do about Ravi?” “I say, get back together with him!” It’s official, Liv ships Ravi and Peyton.
Some solid dunks on San Francisco and New England. As a Chiefs fan, I have no stakes in this conversation, but it was sure fun to watch.
iZombie airs Monday nights at 9/8c on The CW.