The iZombie season 3 finale wraps up the show's season too neatly, making way for another major series shakeup ahead of season 4.
[This is a review of the iZombie season 3 finale. There will be SPOILERS.]
Since it debuted on The CW, iZombie has explored an interesting premise: What if a zombie outbreak started in the shadows, with undead beings who are able to pass as human? Although iZombie has largely gone the procedural format route in terms of its weekly episodes, it does feature a number of ongoing story arcs. Season 3 officially brought all members of Team Z into the know on zombies and Ravi's potential cure -- though the cure has become more of a moot point since the only batch of it went missing. With the addition of Fillmore-Graves, a private security company that almost exclusively employs zombies, the matter of Seattle's zombie population has become even more complicated.
Season 3 has especially focused on the impending D-Day -- Fillmore-Graves' term for Discovery Day, the day humans discover the existence of zombies -- and keeping a lid on the secret zombie population by dealing with fringe groups led by those like Harley Johns. The drama of iZombie season 3 ratcheted up as more and more leaks about the existence of zombies made their way into the media, with the season's penultimate episode making it seem as though Seattle was on the edge of D-Day.
Related: iZombie’s Zombie Homeland Explained
In the iZombie season 3 finale, 'Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part 2' -- written by showrunner Rob Thomas and directed by Dan Etheridge -- Liv and her friends continue operating with the impending threat of D-Day. Meanwhile, Team Z continues looking into the murder of Katty Kupps, while Major and Fillmore-Graves deal with the aftermath of Harley's suicide bomb. Plus, Liv makes a shocking discovery and Clive gets closure to the season-long mystery. The iZombie season 3 finale wraps up the show's season too neatly, making way for another major series shakeup ahead of season 4.
In terms of how the finale wraps up all the major story threads of season 3, Thomas ties everything together with a neat little bow. While it seemed as though Clive and Liv, as well as Peyton, were investigating a series of cases with varying degrees of connection to zombies -- the murder of Wally's family, Harley Johns and his anti-zombie zealots, James Weckler's mysterious death, the outbreak of Aleutian Flu, and the murder of Katty Cupps -- it turns out, they were all related. After Chase Graves (guest star Jason Dohring) is suspected by Liv of being behind at least two of the atrocities committed in Seattle, the latest head of Fillmore-Graves spins his own theory of what exactly has been happening to speed up the arrival of D-Day.
In a sit-down confrontation like many we've seen before in cinema, Chase calls his secretary Carey Gold into his office and explains (more for the audience's benefit than Carey's) that she's behind everything. She had Wally's family murdered and pinned it on Harley, she used Weckler's daughter's zombism to control him, she used Aleutian Flu as a first strike on humans, and dumped the body of Katty after Carey's daughter murdered the CDC employee. All of it was putting "Plan B" into action -- a plan made by Fillmore-Graves if their zombie homeland idea failed, but one that Carey believed was the only real option for the survival of zombie-kind.
It's a great deal of exposition forced into a single scene, wrapping up most of the major threads of season 3 in one fell swoop while setting the stage for the second half of the episode. Perhaps the freshest and most exciting aspect of the scene is that while Carey pulls the cliche reveal that the security team Chase thinks works for him is actually loyal to her, iZombie subverts it by having Chase kill the security guards and Carey. Of course, this only works to tie the bow on season 3's major conflicts more tightly, since Clive and Liv - who walk in on Chase murdering four of his staff members - automatically believe him and Clive throws due process out the door on Chase's word that Carey had Wally killed.
That said, one of the strengths in the first half of the iZombie season 3 finale is Dohring's performance as Chase Graves. As fans of Veronica Mars will remember, Dohring excels in playing the charming jerk, one who walks the line between likable and unlikable so well that the viewer is unsure of his motives. Dohring didn't get much of a chance to develop the character of Chase Graves until season 3's penultimate episode, but he's proven the character is an asset to the show, and will thankfully remain a key player going into season 4.
After Chase discovers what Carey has orchestrated throughout season 3, the majority of the finale works to give iZombie another major shakeup similar to the Max Rager party in the season 2 finale. This time, however, D-Day has officially arrived, with Carey's rogue contingent of Fillmore-Graves soldiers adding zombie blood to the Aleutian Flu vaccine, essentially turning every human who receives the shot into a zombie. Liv, who discovers their plan by spying on her now former boyfriend and his zombie buddies, gets Johnny Frost to make a special report on the news, officially alerting the public about the existence of zombies.
All told, it's somewhat of an anticlimactic D-Day. While there is some looting of ammunition stores and humans trying to attack groups of zombies getting their rations from Fillmore-Graves, the transition from zombies simply being a fringe news story to an official part of Seattle society is quick. Of course, since this is all part of Fillmore-Graves' Plan B, it shouldn't be too surprising that they're ready to support the newly made zombies of Seattle. However, it's also unclear how exactly this will affect the series going forward, though it will no doubt be another significant shakeup to the status quo of iZombie.
Perhaps the most dramatic and grounded moments in the second half of the finale are between Liv and Ravi. After discovering vials of tainted utopium among Katty Kupps' things, Ravi manages to engineer a zombie vaccine sugar cube - which he promptly eats and asks Liv to scratch him in order to test it out. The scene brings iZombie full circle back to the beginning, when Ravi first discovered Liv was a zombie and they began working together. It also emphasizes that the friendship between Ravi and Liv is one of the show's strongest relationships and the scene -- which cuts to black before viewers find out whether Ravi's vaccine works - ends the season on a much more compelling emotional cliffhanger than the world of Seattle post-D-Day.
Altogether, the iZombie season 3 finale isn't the show's strongest episode, but it does have its bright spots -- such as Dohring's Chase Graves and the possible change up in Ravi and Liv's relationship. Still, iZombie sets the stage for a compelling new world in season 4 that could potentially bring some much needed freshness to The CW's undead drama.
Next: The CW Renews iZombie
iZombie will return for season 4 on The CW.
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