Last season of iZOMBIE ended with a bloodbath and the discovery that an organization called Fillmore Graves (heh, get it?) was preparing itself for the eventual public unmasking of zombies. The FG CEO, Vivian Stoll, has introduced herself to Liv, Clive and Major and the trio will be seeking answers from her in the weeks to come. There’s also the fact that Clive himself is now aware of the existence of zombies and the impact that will have on his relationship with Liv. Then there’s Blaine and his amnesia — plus his budding relationship with Peyton — as well as Ravi’s continual search for a zombie cure. In other words, there is a lot to come in season 3 of iZOMBIE.
During a visit to the iZOMBIE set in Vancouver, we spoke with Rose McInver (Liv), Robert Buckley (Major), Malcolm Goodwin (Clive), Aly Michalka (Peyton), Rahul Kohli (Ravi) and Executive Producer Dan Ethridge about what’s in store for the new season.
Changing the Dynamics. For once, everyone is on Team Z. The end of season 2 brought the last member of the group — Clive — into the fold as he learned that zombies are real and that Liv and Major are members of the undead. As a result, the show “does feel different,” Kohli says. “It’s bigger. There’s more people in each scene now. I mean, one of the reasons some people being in the know, some people not being in the know, a lot of the work about zombieism and what Liv was going through was done with me and Rose [was] because Ravi played her confidante and that was it really, and Major was in and out of that, but that was really the thing. Now that Peyton knows, Clive knows, Major’s fully in the know, everyone’s in the know, and everyone’s on the same page, it means that we have scenes that are six people, five people deep. I think that’s fresh for the audience.”
Even more than just the sheer number of people in every scene, we’ll see how the lack of secrets changes another core relationship on the show: the one between Liv and Clive. Goodwin says that “Just the fact that there is no secrets [between them is a huge thing in season 3]. Also she saved his life in terms of killing Drake. He also gave up being a potential FBI agent, gave up his girlfriend, so they made sacrifices with each other, for each other. They’re on the same page. This is the first time in three seasons….that they’ve been on the same page, so it definitely brings them closer together.” McIver expressed concern that “once Clive found out why Liv got these visions, I thought maybe it would remove some of the chance of humor that we’ve been able to have the last couple of seasons. But actually, we’ve found so far that it’s enhanced it so much because — because he now knows [the truth], he has to have a certain tolerance and patience around it.”
Liv is also going to get a chance to take on more of a leadership role among her little group of allies, according to McIver: “I think Liv has been able to take on a leadership role with this group of people, primarily because now they all show she has support. I think you’re able to lead with much more confidence when you know that the people who you’re working with are all well informed, they’re all on your team.”
Reinventing Himself. As the group dynamics change for Liv and her friends, there is another person who is struggling to reinvent himself: Blaine. McIver says the memory loss has been “an opportunity for him to reinvent himself. Best thing that could have ever happened to a villain, isn’t it? Like lose that history, lose the memory of anything you’ve ever done wrong and it’s very hard for anybody to hold something against him. And we also have information about his backstory and the more we come to understand his father and where he’s from…kudos to the writers for being able to build a three-dimensional villain. I mean, he killed Liv’s boyfriend and caused her to kill another one, so, it’s very hard to forgive these things, but we can understand him a lot better and with the device of losing his memory, we’re able to forgive and open up a whole different kind of realm for Blaine to play in and he does it incredibly well.”
There are some people who are suspicious about Blaine’s anmesia — both in general and whether it can actually help change him. But Michalka is confident that Peyton “knows how much he’s sacrificed to help her. I think [she overlooks any doubts she has] because of that. I think Liv is maybe a little more in doubt, Ravi is a little more in doubt, but I think Peyton is a little more confident that he is a good guy, has changed his ways, and he’s not going to go back to what he used to do.”
Going Forward With the Cure. Speaking of Blaine’s memory loss, it’s this unintended side effect that keeps Ravi busy in his continual search for the zombieism cure. “[Ravis is] now attacking [the situation] from two angles,” Kohli says. “So he spends the season — or a good part of it — trying to cure two different things. So it’s like, ‘Well, I’ll cure zombieism on one hand, and I’ll try and cure memory loss with the other.’ But just like how there were different phases of the cure — some were deadly, some didn’t work, some did work — the same kind of situation happens with the amnesia cure, as in it’s not exactly perfect, and that in itself and the methods he comes up with and the solutions he has aren’t particularly good, I guess, and they cause him to have his own little drama.”
A Love Triangle. Peyton’s dalliance with Blaine is going to have major ripple effects this season. Michalka, for her part, was surprised about the development of the Peyton-Blaine relationship: “We all didn’t think Peyton would fall for a guy like Blaine. Especially because she’s the kind of girl who has a good head on her shoulders; she seems very practical. I think the choices she makes, she really thinks about. I think Blaine, it was one of those things where it came out of left field and even surprised her that she was attracted to this guy. Obviously, after finding out that he’s the one who turned her best friend into a zombie, I think that obviously gave her caution. And finding out he’s a murderer as well. I think the one thing that was his saving grace is he lost his memories. He doesn’t remember any of this part from himself from the past. I think Peyton looks at that as maybe this is a good thing; maybe he is a great guy deep down. At the beginning of this new season, he’s still kind of comforting Peyton throughout this trauma that we left off on last season.”
But this surprise relationship is going to blossom into a full-blown love triangle, according to Michalka: “Her and Ravi’s relationship is definitely still there; you can see there’s a great connection there and a great friendship. But at the end of the day, she’s still struggling with these feelings she has for Blaine…..For a while, you’re going to see her especially drift towards Blaine, I think out of the awkwardness of trying to have a friendship still with Ravi through all of it. There’s a lot of great scenes we have, where we’re both trying to come to terms with this new title we’ve become, which is ‘exes’, but we still want to be friends, because I obviously still see him, because I’m working so closely with Liv. But yeah, there’s still something there. There’s still a romance there with her and Ravi. And once we get a little deeper in the season, there will be more scenes of where that comes.”
For his part, Rohli says that Peyton and Blaine’s hookup is definitely going to be affecting Ravi’s feelings towards Peyton: “It kind of sort of stains the relationship a little bit. I mean, they got together pretty much in the second to last episode and then he finds all this out, and as far as Peyton’s concerned [she’s thinking] ‘What’s the problem? We weren’t together, and me and Blaine aren’t together now,’ but it’s Ravi and his own ego, I guess, that kind of starts becoming an issue. It’s something that he is having difficulty dealing with. The perfect goal is his idealistic romance, and now it’s kind of tainted a little bit and that kind of worries him most throughout the first part of [this] season.”
The Stigma of (Not) Being a Serial Killer. Being labelled the Chaos Killer (despite being exonerated) is going to continue to haunt Major in season 3. Buckley hinted that “It’s not something that Major is going to escape easily. It’s not like a bad haircut people are going to forget about. A large amount of the population thinks he’s in fact a serial killer. And even if he’s not a killer, he’s someone who kidnapped people and destroyed families and homes. That is something that will impact every aspect of his life: his love life, his employment, as we see in the first episode. That is something that he will be struggling with a lot this season.”
Life in the D.A.’s Office. While Major is having career trouble, Peyton’s career is going rather well. Her work regarding Mr. Boss might be over, but her work life will continue to play a big role in iZOMBIE. Michalka hinted that “[Peyton is] still a part of a lot of cases that are going to be happening, and a part of cases that are going to crossing over into Liv and [Clive] Babineaux’s territory. She ends up getting a hold of a case where a guy ends up committing murder, and she finds along the way maybe that’s not completely true. And this is an episode that involves me, Liv and Babineaux. That’s a great storyline. But we still see Peyton in her work office, and dealing with the politics of being a D.A. And also, dealing with the fact that she still holds this secret: there are zombies out there. And maybe some of these victims of crimes are zombies or were zombies or were killed by zombies. That’s always going to be in the back of her mind as well.”
The Procedural Aspect Will Continue. Episode 3.01 is going to feel different for fans of iZOMBIE and not just because everyone is in the know now. But don’t assume that just because there’s no usual case in the season premiere that the show is getting away from its procedural roots. Ethridge said that “We will continue to see procedural [cases on the show]. We like solving those crimes. Obviously Clive and Liv as detective duo is a wonderful and amazing relationship. I don’t think I’m speaking out of school to say that you will see that in every subsequent episode [to] 3.01 you will see procedural [episodes]. I don’t think we want to be chained to it for the rest of this series, but I am not suggesting that we will be moving wholesale [away from it].”
Don’t miss the season premiere of iZOMBIE on Tuesday, April 4 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.