Based on the 2010 Chris Roberson/Michael Allred comic book series from DC Comics' Vertigo imprint, the fourth season of the CW's iZombie was a seesaw of big events and disappointments. There were moments where it felt like an episode was dragging on with no end in sight, bouts of frustrating cliffhangers that were never addressed (or they were quickly dismissed), and then moments like episode 5–where like that Mama Leone's (Dawnn Lewis) head gets chopped off and you are suddenly awake and alert being reminded why iZombie is such a great series. The season's shortage of brains theme also brought a shortage of creative ways to consume this wonderful delicacy (listing consumption as "unspecified" for episode 13 was just wrong); which for me was very unfortunate, what with it being one of the things I look forward to most in the series.
Season 4 Recap
Liv (Rose McIver) became the underground leader known as "Renegade", smuggling sick humans into "New Seattle" and zombifying them, putting her in direct crossfire with Fillmore-Graves–whose main role is zombie-population control given the brain shortage. Liv and Major (Robert Buckley) reunited as a couple for a second. Blaine's (David Anders) father Angus (Robert Knepper), aka "Brother Love", developed a zombie cult following set on trying to spread the virus beyond "New Seattle" walls (poor organization on his part, as they all get annihilated).
Ravi (Rahul Kohli) creates a cure using a young, terminally ill girl who's immune to the virus. Amidst all the chaos, Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) and Dale (Jessica Harmon) struggle to make their human/zombie relationship work; Blaine takes out the Mayor which, in turn, appoints Peyton (Aly Michalka) as the new head honcho in charge. Chase Graves (Jason Dohring) begins to crash under paranoid pressure and with only Major to trust, that is until Chase decides to decapitate Liv and well, all goes to hell. In the end, Chase meets his untimely demise under his own guillotine. Major is appointed as the new commander and chief of Fillmore-Graves and gives Liv free rein to smuggle as many humans into Seattle as she wants. Meanwhile, Major enlists the help of Blaine to address the brain shortage issue.
While I eagerly await the fifth and final season premiere–and selfishly hope Blaine gets frequent screen time–here's a look back at the most memorable moments of Season 4:
Episode 1 "Are You Ready for Some Zombies"
The season opened to Chase Graves, commander and chief of Fillmore-Graves, running the show and establishing a quarantine zone via wall to separate the city of Seattle from the rest of the world. A no-nonsense military type, Graves has zero tolerance for the turning of humans into zombies–ironic considering he was responsible for injecting the Aleutian Flu vaccine with the zombie virus turning many of its patrons into the undead kind.
One of the funniest moments of this episode was a random scene with a very naked Ravi, who spent the season continuing his journey of coming up with a cure–which he tested on himself. Spoiler alert at the end of this season: he succeeds–creating a very small batch which he offers to Liv, who in her heroine unselfish nature passes the cure over to Dale and Clive so that they can have a family.
Episode 2 "Blue Bloody"
Really hitting high on the shocker note, Liv and Major get back together….WHAT? I know, I stopped counting how many times those two make up and break up–though their romance didn't last long. This episode is worth seeing simply for the hilarious scene between Clive and Ravi, when Clive awkwardly approached Ravi for advice on how to temper his sex drive. It appears the zombie-human combo is experiencing some intimacy issues.
Episodes 3 and 4 "Brainless in Seattle Part 1 and 2"
The two-parter welcomes Blaine back to his villainous ways. Graves pays Blaine a visit at his club "The Scratching Post", which now hosts Zombie/Human nights. Graves has a huge issue on his hands: a brain shortage. Their existing supply will only last four more months–and someone named "Renegade" is turning humans into zombies. With an overwhelming increase in zombie population and not enough brains being donated (most of which are getting lost or "falling off" trucks), "New Seattle" is expecting an upcoming apocalypse–and if that wasn't enough, also welcomes a serial killer.
Episode 5 "Goon Struck"
This was the season's turning point. Blaine delivers Renegade aka Mama Leone to Chase, since Mama Leone is the one responsible for increasing New Seattle's zombie population by smuggling terminally ill humans and turning them into zombies. Chase decides "off with her head!" while Liv honors Mama Leone's legacy and takes over her operations–becoming "crime investigator by day, vigilante by night."
Episode 6 "My Really Fair Lady"
This episode is especially memorable for Ravi's hilarious performance. After getting some brain cravings, Ravi–in his quest to pledge his undying love for Peyton–consumes the brains of a heroin addict he hopes will lead to a vision of a lost dog that Peyton was desperate to find. Ravi was hysterical in his attempt to score drugs from Blaine and even offers up sexual gratification to Major for his car. He spends most of the episode going through withdrawal: sweating, choking on his own saliva, and practically not leaving the fetal position.
Episode 6 also reunites father and son – Angus and Blaine have a beautiful moment when Angus forces Blaine to feed his zombie cult weekly at his restaurant.
Episode 7 "Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Brain"
Major becomes Chase's #1 main man – because Chase develops a serious case of paranoia. Clive struggles with his open relationships with Dale, and Peyton finds out Liv is Renegade. More of a "checklist" episode to keep things moving along.
Episode 8 "Chivalry is Dead"
This episode flowed like an acid trip with so many storylines that I think at some point I may have said "F*ck it! Give me the damn Cliff's Notes!" Angus and Blaine develop a "loving" father/son relationship (sure, that will last). Major goes underground and almost gets killed investigating a possible brain thief (of course). Liv smuggles more humans into "New Seattle"–including Isabelle (Isabela Vidovic), who is immune to the Zombie virus.
Episode 9 "Mac-Liv-Moore"
Especially dark and quite brilliant, this episode finds "New Seattle" in lockdown-mode because a notorious zombie-hating serial killer has escaped. On the other side of town, Graves has found himself in a pickle: held at gunpoint by, you guessed it, the serial killer who is keen on taking out the reason for zombie existence. Some serious applause goes to Blaine and Don E (Bryce Hodgson) this episode. Blaine comes up with a business idea to purchase land in "New Seattle" that's currently going dirt cheap due to, well, who the hell wants to live next door to zombies? Once the crisis subsides, they can flip it for millions.
Episode 10 "Yipee-Ki-Brain Motherscratcher"
A fun episode that has Liv on a "badass vice detective who doesn't play by the rules" brain–where she goes hard on the criminals, gets suspended, and chews nicotine gum like her life depends on it. I should also mention that the episode starts off with a shirtless Blaine: not sure it added anything to the plot, but I sure as hell enjoyed it.
Episode 11 "Insane in the Germ Brain"
Tearjerker warning: terminally ill Isobel passes away, leaving the crew devastated–especially Ravi, who has grown to be a father figure for her. Peyton is made acting mayor of "New Seattle" after the previous Mayor is killed, courtesy of Blaine.
Episode 12 "You've Got to Hide Your Liv Away"
Once again, felt like I required Cliff's Notes. To prevent Liv from sacrificing herself as Renegade to Fillmore-Graves to save Curtis, Major kidnaps Liv in the middle of the night, drugs her, and dumps her in the trunk of his car to smuggle her out of "New Seattle" and into Oregon. How romantic! Both on 1950's lovers 'brain', the "happy couple" talks romance, bakes pies, dances, and sips martinis…that is until Liv cages Major in the basement of the house with two other zombies and steals his car. Liv and boo Levon (Daniel Bonjour) are left to face the guillotine.
Episode 13 "And He Shall Be a Good Man"
The season finale saw Liv and Levon surrender to Fillmore and set to be executed via guillotine in a few days. The lovebirds are brutally tortured for information on who the other members of the organization are. Major leads a pack of angry humans and zombies trying desperately to save Liv's life with the stampede arriving just in time. Major and Graves get into a huge brawl, as Liv calmly stands by and waits for her opportunity strike at Graves and, with ease, releases the guillotine on him.
Goodbye, Commander Graves! Hello, Commander Lilywhite!!!!
On the other side of town, mayhem ensues as Angus and his followers seize the opportunity to attempt an escape from Seattle. Unfortunately, all of Angus's followers are killed and Angus gets a well-deserved bullet to the head.
The episode ends with Major, now the new head of Fillmore-Graves, striking up a deal with Blaine: all debts forgiven in exchange for expanding his brain smuggling business to feed the entire Seattle zombie population.
On a happy note, just as Liv is about to give up on life, love, and friendship, those she knows (and doesn't know) come out to show their support for her heroism. Major tells Liv he won't stand in the way of Renegade and she can smuggle all the humans she wants into Seattle. Such a happy ending!
So what's in store for our favorite characters when the series returns for its fifth and final season? My hope is that Major and Liv finally get back together and stay together–unless he corrupts under all the new-found power or crashes under the pressure to feed the "New Seattle's" population. I am excited to see what new adventures Liv takes on and what becomes of her underground "Renegade" operation now that it's out in the open.
Will "New Seattle" just go back to being "Seattle" since Ravi has found a cure–or will the Zombie virus spread beyond the walls?
Most important–what interesting "meals" will Liv have and what personas will that bring on?
Margo Staten is a Ukrainian born, raised in Brooklyn, organically driven, coffee loving, twice-divorced mother of one baby Einstein. Has a passion for books, yoga in the park and all things 80's and New Orleans.