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IZOMBIE Scoop: Getting to Know the Inner “Zombie Bro”

iZombie -- "Zombie Bro" Malcolm Goodwin as Clive, Rose McIver as Liv and Rahul Kohli as Ravi -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW

From curmudgeonly old men to frat boys, IZOMBIE star Rose McIver channels each zombie-brain effortlessly and Season 2 is already off to a rip-roaring start in zombie-land with zombie-crimes and zombie-torment.  But last week, it was with heavy-heart that we learned that Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley) has been forced to become a zombie-hunter in order to save the woman he loves and the weight of that responsibility and inner moral-conflict really starts to wear on the man who just wants to help people.  

So in this week’s new episode “Zombie Bro,” while Liv tracks down the killer of a college frat boy, Major struggles and tries to cope with the guilt eating him up from as Max Rager has put a ticking clock on Liv’s life if Major does not do his evil bidding.  As for Blaine (David Anders), while lets just say he has some series daddy-issues to resolve.

During a recent press interview, executive producers Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggerio shared a bit about what lies ahead in Season 2 of IZOMBIE and what is in store in “Zombie Bro.”

Why do some of the brains that Liv (Rose McIver) consumes seem to have a more pronounced presence than others?
DIANE: Some brains are stronger on how they affect her.  Maybe “the force is strong in this one” and it kind of takes her over a bit more than normal.  But, as you will see, it’s kind of hard to balance your profession and romantic lives when you’re just on party-brain.  
ROB:  Liv even says it in the episode: “I love this brain.”  It’s like those guys on the planet who don’t seem to have a care in the world — to have a whole week without any introspection, no self-awareness.
DIANE:  We kind of cut a part out for time, but she’s like, “I kind of love this guy — like we would have been bros.”  She felt a little affection for him.  And the thing about Rose is — and it would almost be annoying if it didn’t serve us so well — she’s good at everything and al these different things you see her do, she actually does them.  

What other brains-of-the-week adventures can you tease that are upcoming in the next few episodes?
ROB:  Next week is the best Rose has ever been. It’s a “Real Housewife” brain.  She is spectacular and she looks great.  She has every mannerism down.  Then the next three are:  Real Housewife brain, country western chanteuse brain, and basketball coach brain.  

How have things changed in Season 2?
ROB:  There are more moving parts.  Last year, Blaine was the sole big bad and this year Steven Weber is occupying a bunch of that space, and I think Blaine still has really fun juicy stuff this year.  So we’ve got those two things in play.  Blaine is going to try to become the crime lord of Seattle — and we actually meet the crime lord of Seattle who will be a significant role as well — Eddie Jemison is playing the role of Mr. Boss.

So far, Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) is the only character left in the dark about zombies.  Is that going to get difficult to sustain as the show goes on?
ROB:  It will be difficult.  It’s already one of those things that I see tweeted out:  “How can Clive not figure this out?!”  I always like to think like, “Well, would you figure out these are zombies?!”  Maybe if you lived in a TV world, you might.  But, for most cops — well, he’s a cop that believes in a psychic. I’ll tell you, it’s one of those things that is a blessing and a curse. Malcolm is so funny reacting to those scenes [when he notices Liv picking up traits of the cases they are working]. There is so much comedy gold there.

What can you share about Peyton’s (Aly Michalka) return in episode 3?
ROB:  Last year she was largely a sounding-board and, later in the season, a love-interest for Ravi (Rahul Kohli).  This year, she is very much in the thick of it.  She comes back in her Assistant DA position and she gets asked by the DA to take over the Utopian Task Force.  That’s right in the thick of the action.  So it’s not just her popping into the apartment to hear how Liv is feeling.  She’s deep in it this year.

What is Ravi’s journey going to this season?
ROB:  We see a bit of his love-life.  We had sort of made the decision that when Peyton comes back that they don’t fall into a relationship, that they are both going in different directions — and then the first scene we shot with the two of them together, it’s like in my handful of favorite things we shot and we in episode 8 right now — those two are so GOOD in that scene.  It’s one of those moments where I might rethink everything because they are so good together.  We didn’t see much of it last year, but they are very good.  So we’ll  see a little bit of Ravi’s love-life this year, and he’ll also be be incredibly involved with the remake of a cure and trying to locate the tainted Utopian.  We also have an episode where Clive gets taken off the board and Ravi and Liv go out and investigate a case together, which is really fun.  

What can you share about Major’s journey as a zombie-hunter this season?
ROB:  That is his big mission:  trying to keep himself and Liv alive — and in order to do that he has to take out these zombies.  You’re going to watch him do that for a long time.  It’s going to be a moral crisis for him.  It’s a big part of the reason he’s going down into that Utopian well.  It will be tearing him apart and it doesn’t get any easier for him for a long time.  He’s not going to sit back and take it all season.  At some point, he’s got to figure out how to turn the tables on Max Rager.  So you will not watch 22 episodes of him forlornly simply going about this task. One of the things we pitched to Robert Buckley in Season 1 was that he would be this man of action and he’s been put in another pretty awful predicament, but part of the journey will be him trying to figure a way out of it.

Could that lead Major to team up with Blaine?  It would be a good source and way to dispose of bodies.  I mean, Blaine’s got a funeral home after all.
ROB:  As of right now, we have no plans for that.  We’re shooting episode 7-8 right now and they have not been on screen together yet.  
DIANE:  I don’t think Major is over the “you killed my kids” thing.
ROB:  That will be a tough thing for him to get past.

But I could see him blackmailing Blaine with, “Hey, I know you’re no longer a zombie, so you’re going to have to help me out here.”
ROB:  Maybe. (To Diane, Rob whispers loudly: “Write that down!”)

Ravi and Liv have successfully cured two people of zombie-ism: Major and Blaine.  How will Max Rager feel when they find that out?
ROB:  They haven’t found that out yet.  At Max Rager, they have scientists working down there and they are working in a different direction. They believe in zombie-eradication and just pulling the “good stuff” out of the zombies.  So I don’t know if or when they will.  We certainly haven’t broken the story where they learn about the cure.  

Are Major and Blaine actually successfully cured?
DIANE:  You’ll have to find out!
ROB:  Well, we have a “Flowers for Algernon” storyline playing.  We have the one zombie rat New Hope, who will sort of be the canary in the coal mine for both Major and Blaine.  Like once stuff starts happening to that rat, you have to figure that it will eventually happen to Major and Blaine as well.

Just how quickly will Liv’s new roommate Gilda (Leanne Lapp) be outed?  It seems like it has to be kind of obvious at some point.
ROB:  We’re writing episode 12 of this season and it hasn’t happened yet.  She’s clever that girl — but I’ll doubt she’ll make it through the season.  

How far down the line are you planning for this season — only 13 episodes or 22 episodes?
ROB:  We are building towards all 22 episodes.  I think we’re going to get all 22.  I’m feeling bullish so we’re breaking towards 22.  I feel good.  We have 9 episodes that play before the break for the holidays and we built a really big episode for episode 9, and episode 13 is one we’re treating as just an episode as we heads towards a full 22 episodes this season.

A couple of choice quotes from the upcoming “Zombie Bro” episode include these teasers:

QUOTE:  “Let me know when things get extra sensory.”

QUOTE:  “Hugs are my drug of choice.”

QUOTE:  “And so it begins.”

To see Rose McIver tear up the screen channeling her inner frat-boy and meet Blaine’s father and to see some what trouble Ravi and Major get into as they look to score some ultra highs at a local dance club, be sure to tune in for this week’s all new episode of IZOMBIE on Tuesday, October 13th at 9:00 pm on the CW.  There will also be a special treat for fans that just might be what the doctor ordered.


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