iZombie: Season 4 – review

 

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Let’s start with the good news: iZombie has been renewed for a fifth season.

Now, of course, the bad: Season 5 will be the last for the series.

As far as we know. I mean, right now. It could be picked up by another major network, or Amazon or Netflix or . . . well, you get the idea. But, I’m not holding on to any hope for that. I’m not sure if I’m even hoping for that. Having the series end next season may not even be bad news. It gives Rob Thomas and his creative crew a chance to wrap up the story and end the series with some finality. Will it be zombie cure, or zombie world?

I, for one, will stay tuned next season to find out.

This is not based solely on the strength of Season 4, which I ended up enjoying even though I wasn’t initially a big fan of the turn the show took at the end of Season 3, with the world now knowing about the existence of zombies and New Seattle being created as a walled-in “colony” to keep the zombie virus from spreading. I enjoyed seasons 1-3 a lot, and I miss the days when Liv was keeping her zombie nature hidden from most of her friends and co-workers. Season 4, in many ways, kicked off an entirely new series populated with most of the same characters.

The characters were what brought me back into the fold. I like Liv Moore and her on-again/off-again boyfriend Major, her best friend Peyton, her boss Ravi . . .heck, I even like the show’s favorite villain Blaine de Beers (who must be consciously channeling Spike from Buffy at this point). Season 4 brought all of these main characters back, and continued to expand on its roster. Chase Graves (played to the hilt by Jason Dohring) is the leader of Fillmore-Graves, the quasi-military zombie outfit that rules New Seattle. He is villainous, to be sure, but multi-dimensional; his actions aren’t carried out in a mustache-twirling vacuum, having genuine motivations. It is in the best interests of all zombies, in Graves’ opinion, to not to continue to create more zombies. Over-population leads to brain supply shortages. One of his focuses is to stop the zombie coyotes from smuggling humans into New Seattle to turn into zombies. This smuggling operation is headed up by a zombie woman who calls herself Mama Leoni (the showrunners of iZombie love dropping these pop-culture Easter eggs into the show), and later in the season Liv takes over for her as Renegade.

When the humans being turned into zombies are terminally ill or suffering from debilitating long-term sickness, this is a positive thing. The well-fed zombies such as Liv seem to lead a pretty peaceful existence. It’s the hungry zombies that turn full-on Romero, which is show terminology for classic rampaging brain-eating zombies.

So, Liv’s zombie truth now out in the open, she begins living another secret life as a rebel zombie leader. Dramatic principle requires that this truth not remain secret either, as we all must have suspected, which leads to this season’s violent conclusion. When I saw that the finale episode was titled “And He Shall Be a Good Man,” I knew with certainty that one particular character would die, knowing the show’s penchant for pop-culture (and having some familiarity with the classic songs of Elton John).

If I didn’t ruin it for you just now, I’m not going to. Since we are having a Season 5, even if it is the last one, you probably suspect that Liv survives the finale. There’s also a wedding (popular on the CW this year), and at least one zombie character is cured.

I’m looking forward to next season, where the main antagonist—I’m guessing here—will be the U.S. Military and not Fillmore-Graves. I mentioned zombie cure/zombie world as two options for the series conclusion. There is another viable option, though. A nuclear strike could wipe out the zombies, at least the ones in New Seattle. I don’t see that happening. Or, if it does, I’m willing to bet our main characters survive it.

Wait a minute. No one’s asking me my opinion here, but what I would do is have the nuclear strike happen in the first or second episodes of next season. Liv, Major and even Blaine would have organized a mass exodus prior to that happening, and their group would be on the run, trying to stay one step ahead of the human military while Ravi struggles to synthesize the ultimate cure. Maybe they have to get Ravi to the CDC in Atlanta in order to achieve this goal (which is a nod to The Walking Dead) Of course, he would be successful by the finale episode. End of series.

This doesn’t even qualify as a fan theory, since I don’t think this is where the series is heading. I’ll be watching to see.

If you haven’t tried this show out yet, this is the best time to hop on the bandwagon. The journey is almost over. I think the early seasons are still available on Netflix. Catch up and join me for the last leg of the ride.

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