The third season of the CW series opened with a fantastic episode after the second season’s finale cracked the lid on a can of worms of modern zombie drama. Picking up just hours after the events of the finale, the premiere answered questions early with just enough exposition from Fillmore-Graves owner, Vivian Stoll. The plan for the zombie race isn’t world domination or even really taking over Seattle proper, but instead populating a nearby island and claiming it as a sanctuary. Vivian seemed to genuinely care for the zombies associated with Fillmore-Graves and have their best interest at heart, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have more sinister plans of her own. Once Zombie Island is successfully established as a home base, who’s to say her plans won’t then turn to expansion and conquering?
Liv and her friends are all dealing with the events of the Max Rager massacre very differently, and we’re starting to see the directions that they’re going to take when it comes time to choose sides.
Major is having to deal with the consequences of being recognized as the Chaos Killer despite being exonerated. Having him deal with some sort of punishment without saddling him with the full effects of being a hit man of the undead is probably the best thing they could have done to redeem his character. Sure, his compassion for the missing zombie, Natalie, kept his good guy identity alive but it was impossible to forget that he was still murdering people. Or mostly freezing them and letting their families think they were dead, but his pariah status this episode settled the score and viewers can once again love and identify with him, guilt-free.
Blaine’s confrontation with Scott E. lead to some interesting development of his personality. His memory is still supposedly gone but his submissive personality has disappeared when he’s away from Peyton and he has suspiciously become independent. If his true character remains and he has any chance of recovering his memories, the scary side effect of Ravi’s limited cure becomes almost negligent. How soon will it be until half the zombie population is fighting not against the humans, but each other for a chance at one of the 17 doses?
Peyton, Blaine, and Ravi are trapped in a love chevron which is going to pull Ravi further from Team Z. Despite being Liv’s first confidante and Major’s roommate, Ravi’s broken heart is steering him wrong and he’s going to end up in Fillmore-Graves’ crosshairs before long. Also, A+ to Liv for calling Ravi out for putting his fantasy version of Peyton on a pedestal.
Though Fillmore-Graves is the ambiguous pseudo-villain right now, the looming threat of human prejudice carries some heavy political parallels which make the anti-zombie humans so much easier to hate. The circumstances of the warning shot that was the tragic murder of Wally’s family are somewhat suspicious. If the public is just finding out about the zombies in their midst, how would they accurately profile them? Perhaps Chase Graves, Vivian Stoll’s brother-in-law, had a hand in their deaths, martyring them to bring Clive more securely onto their side. Otherwise, there’s an assassin on the loose who is targeting zombies and is much more of a threat than the Chaos Killer ever was.
The episode was a great opener for the season, tying it neatly to the previous one for a seamless transition during a binge watch. It was promised that this season would be different and this episode certainly was, without the typical procedural format mixed with brain-induced zombie comedy. It was a great example that the series can develop without the procedural plot all the time, though the effects of Liv and Major eating brains are always some of the best parts of the episode and we missed out on a lot of that with this one. Looks like they’ll be making it up to us next week! Liv and Major eat a father/daughter pair of brains and of course, they match it perfectly so instead of making us think of Major as a creepy pedophile with his relationship to Liv, we get to see him as a 15-year-old girl. Can’t. Wait.
GEEK Grade: A
Check out the trailer for next week’s episode below and let us know what you thought of the premiere! Team Z or Team Human? Team Blaine or Team Ravi? Sound off in the comments.
iZombie airs on The CW, Tuesdays at 9/8 c.
Images: The CW
Writer: Rob Thomas
Director: Dan Etheridge