iZombie has carved its own space within the world of stories about zombies from the beginning. This isn’t The Walking Dead, a post-apocalyptic wasteland where humans flee from ravenous zombies. Instead, iZombie is a quirky procedural. Our protagonist zombie, Liv, gets a case she needs to solve, eats the brain of the victim then uses the flashes of memory she gets from them to help solve the case. And repeat. Even when all of Seattle became a zombie city at the end of Season 3, the show still eschewed the normal undead narratives.
But, this new season does beg the question: Why doesn’t ‘iZombie’ just go flown-blown zombie-human war already? The city of “New Seatle” is full of storylines that are much bigger than Liv’s weekly cases, and pretty much all of those big storylines tease an upcoming catastrophe. Issues between the zombies and the humans blowing up on this scale would send iZombie into uncharted territory. The series has changed things up in the past, but odds are it won’t go that far because the fallout from an all-out zombie-human conflict would blow up the central procedural format that the show. While Liv’s weekly antics are a beloved hallmark of iZombie, it’s kind of a shame the series likely won’t go nuclear (literally). Rob Thomas’s zombie war would certainly be different, packed with more quirky energy than any other zombie apocalypse.
On Monday’s episode, “Brainless in Seattle, Part 1,” Liv was on the brain of a hopeless romantic while, all around, the problems of New Seattle started bubbling to the surface. She may have solving the murder of said romantic with Clive, but Major was tracking a video with the potential to cause big image problems of the zombies and Chase was facing down the city’s brain shortage. Liv may have been on rom-com brain, but with the U.S. government looking for a reason to nuke the zombies of New Seattle, the problems are very real.
If the problems New Seattle faces came to a disastrous conclusion, then iZombie would have to blow up its premise. A full-out attack from the U.S. government would destroy New Seattle and would potentially kill its population. At that point, there could actually be no one left to be on the show. Similarly, the brain shortage leading to a chaotic situation where zombies are attacking the small human population left in the city would be mayhem. Episodes wouldn’t start with Liv getting a new brain to eat and a new case to solve. Clive wouldn’t be able to walk the streets let alone solve crimes with Liv, because a brain-starved Liv would want to feast on the still-human Clive’s thoughts. You don’t see Rick working with zombies on The Walking Dead to solve crimes.
The show can change long as the new circumstances allow for Liv to keep solving murders, which is what happened at the start of Season 4. Viewers came back into this season to find a whole new city. Even with all of the changes in New Seattle, not much changed for Liv and her work. iZombie is flexible to a point and an all-out war would not just bend the show’s format, but break it.
Odds are Rob Thomas won’t have iZombie turn into a war zone with humans and zombie battling on the streets of New Seattle, but one can dream. Because it definitely would be pretty awesome.
iZombie airs 9 p.m. Eastern on The CW.