iZombie Season 4 Episode 1 Review: Are You Ready for Some Zombies?

iZombie doesn't miss a beat, introducing us to New Seattle, a walled city where zombies live in the open.

This iZombie review contains spoilers.

iZombie Season 4, Episode 1

Brains are back in a big way, people. In the iZombie season four premiere, much has changed in the three (almost four) months since the world found out about the existence of zombies. In the time since, Seattle has evolved into New Seattle, a walled city where zombies and humans are working to live together. At the New Seattle PD, human cops are paired with zombie cops to solve murders. Filmore Graves patrols the streets, keeping everyone “safe.” And a new anti-zombie hate group called has risen up.

It says a lot about the importance of tone in iZombie that, even with all of these major plot changes, this still feels like the same show. iZombie may be entering a whole new phase of its existence, but it is still filled with quirky quips, fast-paced brain preparation sequences, and plenty of inspired soundtrack choices. Perhaps even more importantly, these are still the same characters we know and love.

Liv, who eats the brain of a murdered Seahawks mega-fan in this episode, is still committed to serving justice and keeping the peace both within a struggling New Seattle and amongst her own social group. When Liv and Clive go to Major, who is still drinking the Filmore Graves Kool-Aid, asking for information about a FG employee who may have been involved in the murder, Clive is skeptical that Major will help, but Liv has faith. Much has changed in the interim between seasons three and four, but Liv still has faith in the people she loves.

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Major eventually does help, proving that, though he has thrown his lot in with the people of Filmore Graves (and zombie-ism in general), he isn’t a brainless follower. When Chase Graves asks him to lead a zombie youth support group, he finally finds his niche within the larger corporate structure. However, even that is thrown into complication when, after connecting with these zombie kids who are struggling on the streets of New Seattle, Chase asks him which ones would make good FG soldiers. Just when you think Major might be catching a break, he’s thrown back into this aggressive, power-driven world.

Meanwhile, Ravi is still trying to figure out the zombie cure, which… technically works. Ravi is mostly not a zombie, though he has his very own relapses into a zombie form once a month or so. It’s the kind of scientific progress that would be a game-changer for a city that is struggling to feed its zombies and is under constant threat of nuclear obliteration from the outside world. Still, it seems unlikely that, should Ravi perfect the cure, that the people who have gained power in the transition into New Seattle would willingly give it up, whether that be Blaine and Don E. at the Scratching Post, everyone at Filmore Graves, or even the local officials who can both keep their seats of power and live as zombies.

And there are hints that becoming a zombie is a desired outcome for many. We’re reintroduced to Chase in the episode’s opening minutes as he oversees construction of a zombie guillotine. It is illegal to turn anyone into a zombie. The punishment? Death. Peyton’s new boyfriend doesn’t seem convinced that Chase would go through with it, but Peyton’s smarter than that. And so do we. Chase Graves has always been a singularly-driven man who will do whatever it takes to fulfill his responsibilities as he sees them. Why build a zombie guillotine if you’re not going to use it? The only question is: who will be its first victim?

Blaine’s father seems like a possible victim. He emerges from the well Blaine stuck him in at the end of last season as a changed zombie. He went a little crazy down there, believing Blaine’s rambling from the top of the well to be the voice of god. Now, Angus sees himself as a zombie prophet, wandering into a church and feasting on the brain of the priest. Angus has the kind of manic belief that people might follow during tough times.

In romantic subplot news, Clive and Bozzio are tragically apart given their disparate zombie statuses, though still working affectionately together at the PD. Peyton and Ravi have not worked things out, though Liv (under the influence of Seahawks brain) thinks they should get back together. No one seems particularly happy in this new world order (but where they before, either?), though things are moving along under this new status quo. Liv and her friends have more pressure on them than ever, and I am eager to find what kinds of moral choices they will make in this world where the stakes are higher than ever… because I think a lot of us can relate to that struggle, too. When did iZombie become one of the most topical shows on TV?


4 out of 5