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iZombie - Are You Ready For Some Zombies? - Review: "Why Yes, Yes I am Ready!"

After a very long wait and a lukewarm season 3, iZombie has finally returned and has much to deliver/improve on for this viewer. In case you were under a rock, the secret of zombies is out, there may be a cure fro zombies and lots of people have been infected with the zombie virus. How would the world react to zombies, how will things have changed, what will Liv's place in the world be now, and what will Ravi become? Those were some of the lingering questions fans were left to ponder while we waited for the CW to announce the return of TeamZ. Luckily for us we got an earlier return than last year (on Mondays) and it turns out the premiere did a nice job of getting us acquainted with how things are currently looking in Seattle.

"This new world is going to take some getting used to."
What Ravi says about this new world taking some getting used to, seems like it could be spoken from the point of the viewer of the viewers. It's been 3 months since the world learned about zombies and boy how things have changed! Since the crazies at Fillmore Graves who were bent on destroying humanity have infected most of the population with the zombie virus, it's strange to see that Fillmore Graves is now essentially responsible for keeping things in Seattle in check. Fillmore is responsible for enforcing the curfew, keeping zombies in line, manufacturing brain tubes for zombies all the while still trying to build up their own ranks. Chase Graves is really close to becoming a militant dictator and I'm worried, are you? It's interesting that the show chose to skip showing the transition of their power here, and we get plopped right in to the aftermath, but it's not something I wouldn't be opposed to seeing at some point. The complete and utter muckiness of this situation is what makes the political commentary of it all so interesting. The show does an excellent job of really putting us into "New Seattle" by not giving us the time to really sweat the details. We learn as we go and that's such a great thing for a show like iZombie.

Liv's case of the week is another great example of why this show has such a devout following despite having procedural aspects. Sure, on the surface we get to see Liv act obnoxious as a Seahawk's fan, but we also get to see not just how the investigations have changed, but also how the zombie outbreak has been effecting the local economy, the culture and the family dynamics. There was a lot to unpack with this case and I couldn't be more happy. We got to learn how being walled in tarnished the victim's dream job, led him to a life of factory work packing brains and ultimately helped fuel his intense hatred of zombies. This hate made him incapable of accepting his son once he found out he was a zombie which in turn made his wife kill him as she was fed up.I loved the whole in the closet/coming out as a zombie angle to the case, because it drew the right amount of tension and was pretty believable as a motive. Maybe it was because of who I am personally that I was able to just understand how being something you never asked for can really break a family. This never came off as an after school special to me and I think that 4 seasons in, a story like this felt earned for iZombie and it definitely worked given the state of Seattle and the world we actually live in today. We learn that the whole zombies eat brains, get visions and help solve murders seems to be being seen as beneficial to the force as there appear to be multiple zombies working on the force and doing what Liv does. (Which begs the question, why is Liv still doing it? Wouldn't be easier to just have the cops do it now? Nothing to against Liv as this is the entire point of the show, but wouldn't it be easier to have an actual cop assist on investigations to avoid any hiccups that can occur form just having a citizen who happens to work with the cops do it? No one is questioning that now and I'm bugged) Lt. Bozzio(!!!!!) is even in on the investigative fun. Liv can openly admit to eating brains, seeing visions and actually explain why she's acting so out-of-pocket which means it'll be interesting how the show adjusts to play for laughs as everyone else not knowing the truth and their reaction to it made it more special.(People are also aware of full-own zombie mode as well) My only real complaint about the Liv stuff this week, is one I had for most of the season last year, Liv is just set fodder. She's there to help solve cases, but there's nothing interesting for her character's growth, nothing that makes her stand out other than the brain of the week. Peyton's story, while minimal, seemed to provide a bit more character depth than Liv got and it sucks as Liv built this show. I can accept that this show has morphed into more of ensemble, I just hate that Liv has been pretty sidelined. As a non-sports fan, I didn't find the brain that amusing, but I did find the use of it very important for the show to use in order to help ease us into what Seattle has become.
Blaine may be cowering to Chase, but he still is the running around as if he is the big man on the zombie campus.The scratching post is still serving up blue brains and in this new world order, he's got the gall to throw Liv and Clive out of the scratching post. Blaine appears to be the man on top as he is running multiple brain outlets now. His fancy restaurant where he sees Peyton with her new beau, offers brains that are prepped "cemetery to table" for one can imagine would be a buttload of money. While is seems insignificant now, when you look at it on a larger scale, this may mean trouble. Here Blaine is offering up blue brains, and high class brains for affluent zombies, while there are zombies out there starving, selling sex for measly brain tubes, or being forced to survive on what is given. In a season that appears to be setting a stage for a war between those opposed to this new world order and those who aren't, I'm thinking we're going to see class warfare come into the mix. Blaine is feeding information to Chase in exchange for staying open, but too bad he doesn't have this little bit of information yet, Angus is back! Regardless how you feel about the actor, we know that the character will be around for at least this season, so it will be interesting to see what he does now that he's freed from the well. The whole zombie prophet thing is a bit of a head scratch but I'll let this play out a few more episodes before I denounce it.

The writers knew what they were doing making us wait so long into the episode to find out what Ravi's status was. His cure works, sorta. Ravi is human, except for when he has his time of the month, where gets a taste for brains and displays other bits of zombie related behavoir. This was clever, because Seattle is already full of zombies so turning Ravi into one wouldn't have been anything special at this point, and we know the cure can't work fully as that defeats the need for the show. This twist is a clever way for the show to stall for time and to continue for the time being and if it were needed to wrap up quickly we know that we have a partial cure the characters can take. It's going to be fun watching Ravi take on different personas as well, and the nudist inventor professor was great introduction to what I'm sure will be a wild ride. Meanwhile, I'm not surprised that Major as found his way into another compromising situation. I thought it was interesting that Fillmore was policing the streets and that in doing so we got a glimpse that not all humans are just going to work and ignoring the zombie outbreak. (Dead-enders was their name right?) Chase tasking Major with reaching out to some homeless kids wasn't a far-fetch and it was actually nice to see Major get a little bit of his season one self back by helping them. Of course, Chase has an agenda (and guillotine for punishing zoms who get out line) and he wants Major to identify recruits for him. (Which he does, but something says his heart won't be in it for long)

This episode was so great because it really just provided us with pieces of how the world has adjusted to the knowledge of zombies throughout the epsilon. The wall went up in three days, visions are not admissible in court, Seattle's stadium is no longer being used, potential zombies are getting their homes tagged and there are kids who have to sell there bodies for black-market brain tubes that aren't even good. iZombie was always so smart in how it approached the idea of a zombie apocalypse and when the show started it offered a different take on zombies and that's why it stood out. It's a tall order to take on a full scale zombie apocalypse, but the show has smartly taken on the task on a much smaller scale by regulating the outbreak to Seattle. We don't get all the answers to how the world responds, and the show treats the viewers introduction to the world as business as usual, but it works. I didn't have the most fun watching this episode, but I did find it engaging and that seems way more important that this point in the show's run. We've got 12 more episodes to go and I'm sure the fun will come but right now this episode has to set the stage of season and it did. Am I ready for some zombies? Yes, Yes I am. B
Character of the week - This was hard for me, but I have to go with Major! I actually enjoyed seeing him deal with these homeless kids and there was a lot of emotion and contemplation coming from him as he did. I'm curious to see how long he can stand by and let Chase act as a dictator and force him to recruit youth for their ranks.

What did you think of the premiere? What are your theories going forward? Sound off below!

The next episode of iZombie, Blue Bloody, airs 3/5 on The CW!


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