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Beauty and The Brains: What the Cast and Creators Have to Say About iZombie Season 4

Cemetery to Table restaurants, Killer Abs and Careless Whisper. This cast entertains.

Anybody who read my article back in March knows just how much I love the show iZombie. It’s a dramatic yet playful take on the zombie genre, and its incredible cast mixed with the talent of its seasoned writers make for TV programming that is entertaining watch after watch (after watch).

This year, the cast and creators of the show gave a panel at Comic Con for the fourth year in a row sharing insight on what the fourth season has in store for us. Now, if you’re not caught up, stop reading here, because there are definite spoilers ahead (although catching up is easy since the whole third season is now on Netflix!).

We ended the third season right after D-Day for Seattle’s zombies.

The zombie population has now increased exponentially and Fillmore Graves has promised to keep it fed. As the season finale came to a close, Ravi came to Liv with a trial of a zombie vaccine, which won’t cure zombie-ism, but will (hopefully) inoculate any human who takes it against the zombie virus.

And that brings us to the iZombie Season 4 Panel!

The whole main cast was there: Rose McIver (Liv Moore), Robert Buckley (Major Lilywhite), David Anders (Blaine DeBeers), Rahul Kohli (Ravi Chakrabarti), Malcolm Goodwin (Clive Babineaux), and Aly Michalka (Peyton Charles), as well as the creators Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright. The panel’s moderator got right down to brass tacks and began with a question for Rob and Diane about how they felt about the season three finale.

izombie season4

Thomas playfully began by saying that they regretted the D-Day decision almost immediately, lamenting that they didn’t drag the secret out until Season 6 or 7. Ruggiero-Wright disagreed, stating that they always knew it would be around the Season 3-4 mark, although they didn’t anticipate how many episodes would be in a season. However, they both agreed that from the beginning “one day the secret would be too big to keep in house”.

The next question was aimed at Rahul Kohli, asking whether the actor wanted the vaccine to be successful or not. “I love playing the human dynamic,” Kohli said, also commenting on the camaraderie between Ravi, Clive, and Peyton. He said it would be tempting to get to “do brains”, but overall I got the vibe from him that he was pretty attached to being Liv’s warm – blooded ally.

After that, the presenter turned to Malcom Goodwin, asking how his character Clive handled having his whole world turned upside down. “It’s a lot for him to handle,” Goodwin confessed. Seeing as his character’s love interest is now a zombie, and the season finale saw him helping her dye her hair, we have no doubt that he’ll be with her every step of the way.

Killer Abs

At this point in the panel, Robert Buckley – always a man of good humor – announced that he had a present for the panel’s presenter and then proceeded to pull out a ‘Killer Abs’ shirt, which played a major (wink) role in his character’s arc in the previous season. The presenter didn’t immediately put it on, so Rose took it from him and slipped it on over her clothes. Ballroom 20 seats about 2,500 people, and all of them were laughing at this point.

On a more serious note, the next question was for Buckley about how his character is going to handle the events of this past season. “Major has gone back and forth,” Buckley responded, “it’s safe to say he’s had a pretty rocky road.” He admitted that his character found a home and a purpose with Fillmore Graves in Season 3, not to mention that his girlfriend got blown up, so he’ll be sticking with the company as the show goes on.

After David Anders playfully admitted he was glad to have his character, Blaine, back to his “old, mustache-twirling ways,” Thomas and Ruggiero-Wright made a special announcement: Blaine’s dad, Angus, played by Robert Knepper, will be a series regular in the coming season. To this Anders exclaimed that Knepper is a “hack… a genius and a terrible hand-shaker.”

In more Blaine-related news, Shady Plots, Blaine’s funeral home, will be a Michelin Star cemetery-to-table restaurant named – wait for it – Romero’s.

Also on the topic of series regulars and recurring characters, Ruggiero-Wright threw out a “you’re welcome, ladies, for Chase Graves (Jason Dohring) shirtless,” which prompted quite an uproar from both panel and audience. Someone shared a quote from one of the show’s sound guys which was “there’s no weights left, he lifted them all” and Buckley griped “Rob, I have one job on this show.”

The creators of the show were asked about any “big bads” coming, and their response was that Season 4 will be “coming at you from all sides”. They promised plenty of opposition, chiefly in a pro-human/anti-zombie terrorist group, The “Dead Enders”, and in Angus getting out of his well and wreaking some havoc.

Next season will also see difficulty in the form of human refugees with terminal illnesses flocking to Seattle hoping to get scratched, effectively saving their lives by ending them. This will spell difficulty for Chase Graves, who will have enough trouble keeping Seattle’s zombies fed as is. Rahul Kohli gave insight on his character’s reaction to all this, saying that “Ravi’s not going to be happy with Fillmore Graves’ extremism.”

Thomas also promised a new love interest for Liv, apparently one whose name was chosen exclusively for the ship name that he knows will come from it. He gave nothing away, just assured the audience that he was counting on them to put two and two together.

On the panel’s last serious note, Aly Michalka told us that “Season 4 has a commentary of what’s happening in America right now,” telling us that as we watch we should fill in the blanks.

After that, it was back to the fun. Thomas promised that there will be “hockey goon” brains to look forward to and the rest of the cast reminisced about how much fun they had playing Dungeons and Dragons on camera. When it came time for audience questions, the only question that managed to get a straight answer out of the joking cast was

From the audience: “What advice would you give your character?”

Rahul Kohli’s answer was “stop putting random stuff in your mouth,” which is funny enough on its own, but attendees of SDCC 2015 remember a story told by McIver in which the set of iZombie had tools from an actual morgue, one of which was a ruler that Kohli put in his mouth, earning him the name “Death Breath”.

Robert Buckley’s advice to Major was simply to “stop dating,” which really needs no explanation. McIver began by saying that she had no advice, since Liv tends to make pretty good decisions – at least better than her own  – but amended it by saying that Liv should call her mom once in a while. Malcolm Goodwin suggested that Clive and Liv should get together and write a zombie-creole cookbook.

David Anders’ advice rang more like a plea at the show’s creators and costumers, “wear looser pants,” claiming that more than once had he picked up pants left out for him and asked himself “Are these Rose’s?” Lastly, the comedically underrated Aly Michalka suggested that Peyton should “get therapy”, claiming that her guy problems and only-slightly-worrying white wine addiction warranted a few hours on a shrink’s couch.

And that was pretty much all the goodies to come from SDCC’s iZombie panel, although I will leave you with a nice quote from one of the cast members: “You have no idea how many times a day Buckley sings Careless Whisper.

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Also published on Medium.

Nick Scaringelli is a high school student from sunny Scottsdale, Arizona...