Team Zombie rolled into San Diego for Comic-Con 2016, looking quite sharp, I might add. Wardrobe aside, the gang was down a man. Robert Buckley couldn’t make it. However, newly-christened series regular Aly Michalka joined the cast, along with show creators Rob Thomas and Diane Russiero-Wright. They were in good spirits, despite the usual chaos at the con. For a good reason, they began filming for season three this week. Matter of fact, I think I saw Rose McIver post a video from the set on Wednesday with Buckley in tow. The zombie ball is rolling. But how are they going to deal with the fallout from the season two finale?
We said goodbye to our main Big Bad. His company was taken over by Vivian Stoll and her undead army. Rob Thomas said Stoll comes into the show in a unique position. “I’m not sure I file her under Big Bad” Going into season three, Stoll is a reactionary presence to the impending zombie problems once the public finds out. Only, instead of having a standing army to defend humans, this army is made from the undead to carve out a place in the world for them once the truth flies. Power like that can be corrupted. It’ll be interesting to see which side of the fence Stoll lands on, or if she can carefully navigate the line between and remain lawful neutral. Adding so many new zombies to the mix poses some ethical questions for Liv. An example given later in the panel pits Liv’s shocking white hair and pale skin against Stoll’s brood who strive to always blend in, covering the very thing which makes Liv unique.
Team Z will regroup stronger than ever. Liv is determined to keep everyone on the same page. No secrets. Out the gate, they dig into Stoll’s company. Some B-stories aren’t following through right away. The Boss story line will take a back-burner to establish new characters and dynamics. Major will search for Natalie and fulfil his promise to her. Not sure if that’s a solo mission or not. I’d assume not since they finally have everyone on the same page. We’re not done cleaning up the Chaos Killer mess, either. There’s one more Popsicle to defrost. Robert Knepper will return as Angus DeBeers in episode one this season. I’m thrilled. The DeBeers family reunions are a things of beauty.
The creators promise a shift in the story style. Season three will play out more like episodes of Law and Order, where Liv and Clive catch the bad guys, Peyton prosecutes. It looks like more of the crimes will tie into the zombie thing, at least from the way Thomas phrased the style rundown.
Other random tidbits dropped during the panel include a promise from the creators to McIver that they will not kill Liv’s next romantic interest, even if it is Major. This isn’t Supernatural. The hot lead actor can’t keep dying and coming back via some miracle.
Yes, there’s a love triangle with Ravi, Peyton, and Blaine. No, none of them know where it’s going. Though the cast joked about making it an open relationship, including Clive, and dragging Liv along as the fifth wheel.
Don’t get your hopes up for a working cure. Thomas said if Ravi creates a cure, the show is over. He also enjoys writing Blaine’s memory loss too much to give up cure 2.0’s side-effects and move on to 3.0 just yet.
We learned that McIver got to veto one potential brain for season three. From a list of about fifty. Then the night before the SDCC panel, they informed her she would get to play dominatrix this season. Guess that one isn’t up for negotiation. It better be the most integral part of the story this season or I’m going to roll my eyes at yet another excuse to dress Liv down in any way.
The new zombie blood will shake things up for the show, along with a new story format. If they keep the momentum from the finale rolling through the first couple episodes, it should be a fun ride. iZombie returns to CW in October.
The fans don’t want braindead Liv, jonesing for relationship bliss more than stability in her life. They want intelligent Liv who makes great strides to accept herself while remaining a vital part of the crime-solving team. While they did try to make that happen in this episode, eventually the effort becomes too much and we lose Liv to the brain’s influence. It’s annoying. I shouldn’t have to tune out the lead character to enjoy a show. Why would the writers think we want to see one of few female-lead shows on TV centered around yet another weakly-written woman obsessed with who she’s going to marry? I honestly expected more from them.
Liv isn’t the only character suffering from poor planning by the writers. Clive has been a great big void for personal information since the get-go. In this episode, they’re forced to disclose his entire personality, family history, and past relationships. But because there’s so much to cover, this venture into last-minute character development happens in a two-minute conversation with Agent Bozzio where she info-dumps everything vital to the case, with just enough fun tidbits thrown in to distract fans from realizing these are things we really should already know. It sours the interesting parts of Clive’s personality, making later jokes at his expense fall flatter than Rita’s sense of humor.
The woman we saw ditching a package on Bozzio’s welcome mat is Regina Sumner, Clive’s ex-girlfriend. What? Clive has a social life? Don’t die of shock. Regina finds herself dead after a man attacks her and she’s shot in the back by an unseen killer.
Clive IDs the body on the scene. He also IDs the murder weapon—his 9mm handgun, which Regina stole the night before her death. Seeing as he’s now suspect number one, Detective Cavanaugh is brought in to handle the case. Or in this show’s way of thinking, Cavanaugh is an insulting nitwit while Liv and Ravi attempt to solve the case without Clive. Because Clive is the only competent detective on the force, despite having some of the worse closing numbers because he’s caught up in the zombie weirdness. Sure. Makes sense to disregard the intelligence of an entire department just to make a character with no development until eleven minutes into episode 208 look better.
Turns out, Regina was, like every other woman on this show, completely unhinged when it came to men. She chased police officers, dated them, then obsessed over them to the point where she created Photoshopped wedding and engagement pictures, announcements, etc. She’d know how to make them look real enough, Regina boasted the title of worst wedding planner in the city. A former client, Uma Voss—who Regina sued for non-payment—was blessed to have the psycho show up to her wedding drunk. This was after Regina slept with Uma’s fiancé, Matthew. Yup, you guessed right. Matthew is a police officer. That trail runs cold. Liv chases down an SUV pictured not only in the photo album Regina made for Clive, but also Matthew Voss. The SUV tracks back to Chief Walt Price. Liv, the genius, is caught after breaking into the SUV.
Orange is not Liv’s color. Nor does jail time sit well with her dietary needs. She nearly eats possibly the most obnoxious character introduced on the show—a fellow inmate who literally doesn’t shut up for the entirety of Liv’s jail time. Luckily she’s released in the nick of time. Ravi greets her with a Regina milkshake. Yeah, because more obsessive brain is just what the fans want to see. Liv’s already put Major on high alert with her batty behavior—breaking into his phone to read texts, weeping because he won’t unlock the safe he keeps his zombie-killing supplies in, scanning his Facebook page for anyone and everyone who may be flirting with him, and the icing on the cake comes when she does half of this in front of Gilda/Rita.
The case itself runs in circles until they look at the scrapbook again. What’s this? Uma’s ring on Regina’s finger in a photo? The linchpin for the entire case was under their noses the entire time? How convenient. Uma and her brother Karl confronted Regina the night she died, intending to scare her into leaving Matthew alone and retrieving the ring. They didn’t expect her to fight back. Uma shot Regina to save her brother. Case closed.
What’s not so simple to wrap up is the production time on Super Max. Thanks to Liv’s blood sample, a new Max Rager scientist has reformulated Super Max, giving it more of a punch without the psychotic side-effects. It’s not one-hundred percent safe. Du Clark swears by the new formula, putting it to test during his workout with Major. He’s stronger, faster, and holding onto an anger issue the size of Manhattan. But it’s still a step forward. If Major doesn’t do something to derail Du Clark and Gilda/Rita, there’s going to be many, many more Super Angry people in the world.