Review: iZombie – Season 3 Episode 1 – Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother

iZombie -- "Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother" -- Image Number: ZMB301b_0299.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Robert Buckley as Major, Rose McIver as Liv and Malcolm Goodwin as Clive -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

It’s been almost a year since iZOMBIE has graced our screens, with the gang having fought off some Super Max zombies with the help of some new players. Returning to being a mid-season replacement like it was back in Season 1, the debut episode of the third season promises to take the show in a new direction while retaining its satirical/thriller mix.

Following the arrival of Vivian Stoll’s (Andrea Savage) private zombie army, Liv Moore (Rose McIver) is surprised to learn there are far more zombies in Seattle than she’d previous realised – and they’ve mobilised an army. Now that Det. Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) is aware of the existence of zombies, they team up with Major (Robert Buckley), Ravi (Rahul Kohli) and Peyton (Aly Michalka) to help stop the premature arrival of D-Day (Discovery Day), the time when humans discover the existence of Liv’s brain-hungry brethren. 

iZombie -- "Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother" -- Image Number: ZMB301b_0299.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Robert Buckley as Major, Rose McIver as Liv and Malcolm Goodwin as Clive -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

“Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother” is an important step forward for iZOMBIE. The notion of the delightfully puntacular zombie-run company Fillmore-Graves (geddit?) owning Super Max for the purposes of good has shades of Wolfram & Hart in the last season of Angel. Yet it pushes the show into places it hasn’t previously been, forging into the realms of world-building that gets the narrative out of the rut of a ragtag group that eats brains and solves mysteries. There’s even a tiny bit of political commentary with an alt-right shock-jock threatening to expose the zombies prematurely. 

The long-gestating Season 3 debut was worth the wait, and sets up some delicious threads for the 13-episode season. Will the zombie army prove to be a force for good or be undone by their own good intentions? When will be get to travel to the awesome sounding zombie island? More importantly, what side will Blaine (David Anders) fall on when he is fully restored? Now all we need is a crossover with network mate Riverdale for a full-on Afterlife with Archie arc. We can dream, right?

2017 | US | Director: Dan Etheridge | Writers: Rob Thomas | Cast: Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley, David Anders, Aly Michalka | Distributor: CW (US), Stan (AUS)

Season 3 of iZOMBIE will fast-track exclusively in Australia on STAN from 5 April 2017. It debuts in the US on 4 April 2017 on the CW.