Considering the rabid fanbase for his 2004-2007 detective drama Veronica Mars, it's really not too surprising that writer/producer Rob Thomas's most recent television creation - The CW's iZombie - has earned a similarly enthusiastic response from fans and critics alike. The show even won over the network enough to secure a season 2 renewal midway through its freshman year.
Now that the show is officially back for another year, Thomas has been busy teasing what viewers can expect when the undead Liv (Rose McIver) returns to solve some more crimes. At this point, one of the most egregiously unresolved story points is whether Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) - whom Liv has assisted in multiple cases using her "psychic-ish" skills - will discover that his ally is, in fact, a zombie.
We had a chance to ask Thomas this question directly at San Diego Comic-Con, and while he plays coy, his response does indicate that he is giving this particular plotline a lot of thought. Here's what he had to say:
"Will Clive ever get to [figure out] there are zombies? I don’t know the answer... There are clues that don’t seem to add up. But we do kind of ask ourselves... these people don’t know they are in a comic book universe. Like, if this was a real cop, what would it take for a real cop to suddenly say, 'I’ve got it! There are zombies out there'? That’s a hard jump for anyone to make, even if you do discover kids with empty brain cavities. You don’t think zombies right away, unless you knew you were in a show called iZombie, in which case it would be very apparent. Then you really should have figured it out."
His approach to tackling the supernatural element of iZombie in a more grounded way, at least from a character perspective, does manage to serve the story at hand. As Goodwin himself points out, his character gives viewers someone to relate to on the show, despite the prevalence the existence of zombies plays onscreen.
"[Clive is] completely absolutely oblivious at this point... he has no idea... Clive represents us, the real world... So there’s no way he would know that someone with brown hair, who talks and thinks is [a zombie]."
Although it's probably inevitable that Clive will discover the truth at some point, McIver is enjoying the dynamic the secret creates between her character and Goodwin's, as well as the character-based comedy that comes out of it.
"It’s interesting, because Clive is one of the only people who doesn’t know she’s a zombie. I just have so much fun with Malcolm with that stuff. I think he does it so well. He’s so funny. And it’s a big secret to be keeping... It definitely lends itself to some pretty good comedy, the fact that Clive doesn’t know, and to some really interesting conflict."
The question then becomes how the show will choose to evolve if and when Clive finds out about zombies. Considering how key the secret of Liv's identity is to the show right now, it may be a risky move for Thomas and the creative team to push past it and on to other story elements. Fans shouldn't be surprised if iZombie manages to tease that reveal out for a while longer before taking the leap. In any case, we'll find out what the show has in store for season 2 soon enough.
iZombie will return to The CW for season 2 on Tuesday, October 6, 2015.