Five episodes were provided prior to broadcast.
From the get-go, the various elements iZombie boasts that made me a fan were its clever writing, amazing performances put forth by lead actress Rose McIver, and the fact that it can’t be pinned down to a single genre. But what assured that I’d keep coming back for more was that each successive season was better than the last. And after viewing the first handful of episodes from the current run, it may be too early for me to say that proud tradition will continue, though it’s more than apparent the series is still going very, very strong.
Actually, it’s quite understandable if even some of the most devout viewers went into this season with some trepidation, despite all that was listed above. After all, season 3’s finale completely turned the series on its head by turning 10,000 Seattle residents into zombies and one of the latest promo posters touted “a bold new season starting from scratch.”
Bold? Yes. New? To a point, but not alienating.
You see, the premiere episode provides quick assurance that iZombie hasn’t forgotten what it is: Aside from the overarching story and the generous additions to the enduring mythology, we still have that police procedural element retained, with Liv Moore (McIver) and Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) solving murders on a weekly basis. That said, you will feel right at home.
On the flip side, a four-month gap separates seasons 3 and 4, and now Seattle has firmly established itself as the zombie homeland. A wall keeps zombies and humans in, as well as everyone else out. Brains are big business (and still strangely more appetizing than hot dogs when Liv demonstrates her culinary skills), but are there enough to go around? Let’s just say that the paradise envisioned by Fillmore Graves isn’t foolproof.
And with the new status quo comes those bold new possibilities. Along the way, much allegory is to be witnessed, and I’m not just talking about the obvious. Really, it’s recommended that you pay attention and perhaps even watch each episode twice in order to soak up every detail. As usual, the writers deserve a medal, with each installment chock full of numerous intricacies.
Speaking of those new possibilities, they really allow for the principal cast to flex their acting muscles like never before: You have Major (Robert Buckley) being more morally conflicted than ever, although seeing him hopped up on pro wrestler brains at one point was one of the highlights of the footage I’ve been afforded; Ravi (Rahul Kohli) is thrust into various situations unfamiliar with him, thus creating meme-worthy scenes; Blaine (David Anders) is as opportunistic as ever, ready to take over the world if anyone so much as blinks; and Angus (Robert Knepper) is truly a sight to behold. Believe me, you’re going to want to watch this guy, because I see him as being a BIG player going forward – and why “Hammer Time” is stuck in my head while I write this review.
Still, nobody is able to usurp McIver’s vast talents, as she handily remains one of the most versatile and awe-inspiring actresses I’ve seen in my lifetime. You’ll be happy to know that she’s still essentially playing a different character each week (barring a rare two-parter spread across episodes 3 and 4), thanks to Liv inheriting the traits of the murder victims whose brains she consumes.
If you’re curious – and I’d be, too – you’ll get to see our favorite morgue attendant become a blue collar football fanatic, a country club blue blood, a hopeless romantic and a Canadian hockey goon all within the first stretch of episodes. Personally, the goon was my favorite from what I’ve seen so far, but it sure will be hard to top season 3’s dominatrix brain.
Not to get too sidetracked, but I thought I’d point out that hopeless romantic brain yields a bit more of the humorous stuff. I mean, that’s one aspect we’ve come to expect from the series, but do prepare for it to be dialed up a little more than usual at various points. Still, the show never reaches the farcical levels that, say, The Flash has in recent memory.
For my money, iZombie has nowhere to go but up (mostly because of that wall now surrounding Seattle). And even knowing what I do about where things are headed for the immediate future, I can’t wait to see how all the subplots established weave into Rob Thomas and company’s grand tapestry. I’m not joking when I say that we could be looking at a masterpiece in the making here.
iZombie firmly cements itself as one of the best shows on TV with its superb fourth season.