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Rob Thomas Says IZOMBIE Will Be “Radically Different” in Season 4

Warning: the following story contains major (and Major) spoilers from iZombie‘s season three finale, “Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part 2.” If you haven’t watched part 2 of the finale, look away now! Don’t say we didn’t warn you …

iZombie is shaking things up yet again.

The CW’s zom-rom-com always knows how to throw us for a huge loop in season finales, and the season three ender, “Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part 2” didn’t let us down, as expected. But what was unexpected was the shocking twist of the Fillmore Graves zombies going public, holding the innocent humans of Seattle hostage to blackmail the rest of the United States into sending the country’s recently deceased brains to them. And seeing as how Chase Graves (Jason Dohring) led the Fillmore Graves troops to secretly inject zombie blood into the flu vaccine being given freely to all the citizens of Seattle, the zombie population has grown exponentially overnight, giving real weight to the threat. Basically, as long as the rest of the country keeps Seattle well-fed in brains, they won’t go all zombie apocalypse on the humans.

With a city (and now an entire country) teetering on the edge of this risky ultimatum, just how different is iZombie going to be next year? To hear series creator Rob Thomas tell it, “pretty radically different.”

The CW

“In some ways, some things will be familiar,” Thomas tells Nerdist. “Liv [Rose McIver] and Clive [Malcolm Goodwin] will still be solving murders in Seattle. But beyond that, the show is going to feel very different. Seattle is going to be a very different place next year. Zombies will be living side-by-side with humans, with each of them knowing that. There will be places where zombies hang out publicly. Human-zombie relations will be a very touchy thing. Seattle is going to become a walled city, much like Berlin. It’s going to be very different.”

In building to this point — zombies going public — this season and pretty much the whole series has essentially been like a prequel to the potential zombie apocalypse. But Thomas promises that we haven’t gotten to that point yet. “Everyone’s trying to prevent the apocalypse,” he says. “What I think it feels like is the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

He laughs, then adds, “Like right on the edge. There are people high up in the U.S. government, probably a lot of world governments, that would be in favor of nuking Seattle and just taking care of the zombie problem. It’s a tense, tense situation. Essentially, the card that Chase Graves has to play is, ‘I’m holding a half million human citizens hostage. If you’re going to nuke all the zombies, we’re going to take a half million innocent humans with us.’ We’re in a standoff.”

The CW

However, all these radical changes doesn’t mean we’re letting go of what makes iZombie, well, iZombie.

“Even if you lived in a city like that, life would have to go on,” Thomas says. “There’s this no-mans-land between Seattle and the rest of the United States, but murders still have to solved, the garbage still has to be picked up, food has to be delivered and most importantly, the rest of the U.S. has to deliver brains to Seattle, otherwise the zombies will go hungry and if the zombies go hungry, the apocalypse will start. Just as Chase Graves said in the video in the finale, ‘Send us your brains and everything will be okay.'”

Given the fact that Chase Graves has alerted the rest of the country to Seattle’s ever-growing zombie population, it would seem pretty reasonable to expect things to grow to a national—if not global—scale in the future, but Thomas gets pretty real about why the scope of the series isn’t going to grow all that much.

The CW

“Given our budget and the fact that we film in Vancouver, it’s always going to feel very Seattle-ish,” he says with a laugh. “We don’t quite have the Game of Thrones budget where we could do desert shots or anything. We might be able to put up a Chinese flag behind us and a couple Chinese actors and fake a call to China but I think that’s about all we could manage. We’ll have largely a Pacific Northwest bent to it.”

Of course, I can’t help but sarcastically thank him for oh-so-rudely ripping away the chance to see Major (Rob Buckley) in Positano, as he was planning on moving away with his girlfriend before she was blown up in the Fillmore Graves party massacre. Thomas just laughs at the newest tragedy thrown Major’s way.

“Poor Major,” he says. “He really cannot catch a break.”

Losing Natalie (Brooke Lyons) resulted in Major asking Chase Graves to scratch him, making him a zombie once more, rejoining Team Z just in time for Z-day. But after seeing Major struggle with being a zombie for so long, and take immense joy in becoming a human, why did he choose to become a zombie again?! What a waste of a zombie cure dose!

The CW

“It is the place that feels like home to him, the place where he is accepted,” Thomas says of Major’s shocking choice. “Nowhere in Seattle does he get any respect or love. In Seattle proper, he is the guy accused of being the Chaos Killer. He has no life, he gets hate mail, his house gets vandalized. But at Fillmore Graves, he has the respect of his peers, he’s gone into combat with people and had that bonding experience. Those are his people now. After Natalie gets killed, that’s the last straw. Now he’s fully on board, he wants to be a zombie again, he wants to be at Fillmore Graves, he has chosen a side and he’s chosen zombie.”

And according to Thomas, this wasn’t just a rash, heat-of-the-moment decision for Major. And as for what this means for him and Liv romantically, since the only thing stopping them from being together was him being human and her being a zombie, this doesn’t mean everything will be sunshine and rainbows moving forward.

“We’ll see,” Thomas says cryptically. “I can tell you that as we pick him up in season four, he’s not regretting it. In fact, Liv and Major, politics is going to keep them apart in season four. I’m not saying completely apart or that it makes them hate each other or anything, but they are on opposite sides of a political divide. Major’s pretty pro-Fillmore Graves. They are the military force of an occupying army. I would almost compare it to the left wing and right wing in Israel. Politics are a bone of contention between Liv and Major next season.”

The CW

Ravi (Rahul Kohli) also took a really big step in the finale, managing to cook up one dose of a potential vaccine to prevent zombie-ism. And in the final moments of the hour, he tested it on himself, even going so far as making Liv scratch him to see if it worked.

“I can say that you get an answer to what the vaccine does in episode 401,” Thomas reveals. “We do not make you wait very long to find out what it does. There is definitely a reaction to it. I can tell you that there is some positive benefit to it and that we’re going to have some fun with that. But I want the audience to be surprised by that, by what it does.”

Not going to lie, I was pretty nervous about Ravi’s fate until he said there was “some positive benefit” to his vaccine. When I tell Thomas that he can’t kill Ravi or I riot, he laughs. “Yeah, here’s the thing,” he says. “I will promise it did not kill Ravi.”

At least we’ve got some hope going into the long summer hiatus! What did you think of the iZombie season three finale and what it means for the show’s future? Tweet me at @SydneyBucksbaum and let’s talk about it!

Images: The CW

iZombie returns for season four in early 2018.

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