iZombie returned to the small screen this week, and season 3 picked up right where season 2 left off: after a Max Rager party that turned into a zombie outbreak in a locked building. The season premiere didn't follow the usual iZombie format, with no murder to solve by brain-eating (and good old fashioned detective work). Instead, 'Heaven Just Got A Little Bit Smoother' focuses on the fallout from season 2, and gives the audience a chance to catch up on the show and where the characters now find themselves.
This episode also reveals Vivian Stoll's (Andrea Savage) master plan, and her vision of a 'zombie homeland' in Seattle. She's been entirely open with Liv (Rose McIver) and her friends about what she is doing, which was a little bit of a surprise, as discovering her plan could well have been the focus of the season. However, it makes sense for her to be open, and it's interesting to see that she (and her organization) are not being set up as antagonists, but allies. But now that her plan has been revealed, what does it mean for Team Z, and how will Liv and her friends feel about zombies vs humans?
Vivian Stoll And Zombie Island
After the initial fallout from the Max Rager party, and once Vivian and her team were done cleaning up the mess and getting everyone on the same page, Liv, Major, and Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) headed to the Fillmore-Graves headquarters to learn more about what she means by 'zombie homeland'.
Stoll explains that the zombies at Fillmore-Graves are preparing for 'D-Day', or 'discovery day' - the day that humans as a whole learn that there are zombies among them. She believes that humans are not ready for the news, and that their first reaction will be to try and eradicate zombies - so she has formed an army to defend them. On the company campus, there are armed and trained zombies ready to fight, if needs be, as well as civilian zombies, and even zombie children. As well as preparing to defend them, Stoll and her company is preparing to re-locate them.
Fillmore-Graves owns an island near Seattle, and they are planning to move all the zombies onto it to their own settlement. The island doesn't actually exist, but on the map that Stoll shows it is between Bainbridge Island and Blake Island State Marine Park - so it would be around 30 mins from Seattle city center. Stoll shows Liv and her friends photos of construction on the island, telling them that they are in the process of building an entire community there so that the zombies can 'self-segregate', and keep themselves safe from humans. The island is not ready yet, but it will be in around a year and a half.
Stoll's plan is to keep the zombies hidden for as long as possible - which she does by providing brains from crematoriums and encouraging everyone to tan and dye (via some propaganda-style posters and slogans). When the zombie homeland is ready, everyone will move out to the island, in order to live safely, protected by Stoll's 'Salivation Army', and segregated from humans.
If (or when) the humans learn of the zombie population, the army will be there to protect them - and will be stronger, faster, and able to fight for longer than the humans, thanks to Stoll's purchase of the Max Rager Supermax formula. Stoll can arm her zombies with weapons, helmets, and Supermax, and create an army of the undead who are more than capable of taking down any threat. Stoll says that she is not interested in all-out war, though, and just wants to keep her zombies safe. As the episode progresses, Stoll's fears are seen to be well-founded, as a security guard from Max Rager tries to blow the whistle on zombies and a family of innocent undead are murdered as a result. Clive starts to see that humans will not accept zombies, and the episode ends with Fillmore-Graves as sympathetic victims, taking necessary precautions to protect themselves.
Where Does Liv Fit In?
So how does Liv fit in to this homeland? Vivian told her and Major the plan because she wants them to be on board. She sees them as at risk, like every other zombie, and wants them to come live on zombie island with the rest of their kind. And by the end of the episode, Major is ready and willing. Having been accused (somewhat correctly) of being the Chaos Killer, he is finding life after acquittal difficult to deal with. His house is vandalized. He can't get a job. He can't even get a coffee without getting strange looks and 'Chaos Killer' written on his cup. So rather than continue to struggle in the human world, Major gets a job as a member of the Fillmore-Graves army, where he can be open about his zombie status and do the kind of physical fitness work that he loves.
Liv, meanwhile, is a little more hesitant. Her best friends are human, for one thing, and she's not going to be too happy at the idea of segregating herself from Peyton (Aly Michalka) and Ravi (Rahul Kohli). She has also found work that she loves and finds rewarding. Helping Clive solve murders gives her a purpose (and a steady supply of brains), but on zombie island, what would she do? Zombies don't exactly need doctors, which would leave Liv without a career or a passion to follow. Although she hopes that D-Day will not come, and that humans will be understanding when it does, Liv is starting to see that something is going to happen... and she is beginning to struggle with the idea.
Up Next For Team Z
At some point, possibly even in this season, Liv is going to have to make a choice. Does she join the zombie homeland, and leave everything she loves (except Major) behind? Or does she side herself with the humans and try to broker an understanding between the sides? She could even continue to try and hide herself in the morgue... which has worked so far! Her family refuses to speak to her, the rest of the people in her life know her secret, and it might just work.
However, that's not a decision that Liv is going to have to make just yet. Instead, next week the show returns to its usual episodic format, as Liv and Major eat the brains of a father and daughter killed in a suspicious car crash. It's likely that this kind of crime solving is going to be front and center for a while, as the Fillmore-Graves story slowly unravels in the background throughout the season. In addition, the Zombie Homeland isn't the only side-plot developing this season. Blaine (David Anders) is still discovering who he was, may well get his memory back thanks to Ravi's latest experiments, and has his blossoming romance with Peyton. Blaine is also the zombie who turned Vivian's husband, creating the Fillmore-Graves zombies, which is bound to come out at some point in season 3. Add Clive's past and Major's search for the zombie he froze, and there's a whole lot on the slate before zombie island is ready to become a homeland for anyone.
iZombie season 3 continues next Tuesday with ‘Zombie Knows Best’ at 9pm on The CW.