In the season finale of The CW series iZombie, “Blaine’s World,” Liv (Rose McIver) and Clive (Malcolm Goodwin) pay a visit to Vaughn Du Clark (Steven Weber) at Max Rager HQ, after discovering new evidence, while Ravi (Rahul Kohli) continues his search for a zombie cure. And with Major (Robert Buckley) in a situation that there’s no telling how he’ll get out of, Blaine (David Anders) makes Liv an offer she can’t refuse.
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, show co-creator/executive producer Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars, Party Down) talked about how everything in the season finale is a reveal for the characters, whether viewers will feel that Blaine has gotten what he deserves, when we might see more of Peyton (Aly Michalka), getting to see Major take charge, knowing the big arcs for Season 2, hoping for 22 episodes next season, and why people should binge-watch over the summer, if they haven’t checked out the show yet. Be aware that there are some spoilers.
Collider: What can you say to tease the season finale and what fans should brace themselves for?
ROB THOMAS: I feel like that penultimate episode drove it so close to the age that I don’t know what else I can say. Episode 12 and 13 are kind of a two-parter. It’s the only episode this year where there was still a leftover murder at the end of Episode 12. We still haven’t solved that case, and we will solve that case, in the next episode. I feel like everything in this episode is a reveal. I’m generally not the most concerned showrunner in town about spoilers, but this final episode is all pay-off.
Blaine would say that he’s making the best of the hand that he’s been dealt, but others might say that he’s just a horrible villain for having people’s brains removed from the body that houses them. Do you think people will feel that he’s gotten what he deserves, by the end of the finale?
THOMAS: It’s so funny, people love to hate [Blaine]. He’s a character that every writer on staff wants to write for ‘cause he makes things delicious. He’s been given the complete green light to go for it on the material and chew as much scenery as he wants to, and it’s been fun. He certainly gets put through the ringer in the finale, but I’m not sure where people want him to end. I’m not sure if they want the satisfaction of seeing him dead, or if they want to see him continue on in the show. On Game of Thrones, I want to see Ramsay Bolton cut up into little bitty pieces, and I want to see Cersei get hers, but I want her to continue being in the show.
We saw how Peyton reacted to learning that Liv is a zombie, but we don’t know how she’ll be about that, in the long-term. Is that something that you intentionally wanted to hold off on a bit, or did you have to hold that back, just because there are so many life-or-death storylines going on?
THOMAS: Yeah, there is some of that. Unfortunately, we don’t have Aly [Michalka] as a series regular and we had a certain number of episodes we could afford to put her in, and we were at our limit there. But, we all love her and we love writing for her. The danger of having someone that’s a guest star is that you can lose them, at any time. At the time we were doing this, she was shooting a pilot and we thought, “There’s a chance we’ll never get to see her again, if her pilot goes and she’s on a show for the next few years.” Her show did not go, so what we did with her gives us the opportunity to bring her back.
We get a definite character shift with Major, by the end of the finale. What can you tease about where he’s going in the finale and how things will end up for him?
THOMAS: I’m really proud of that arc for Major. Because I check in on Twitter on Tuesday nights and see how people are responding, I had a feeling that the response would go like it has. Early in the season, when he was in mopey mode and just seemed to be sad, people weren’t loving him. But when we hired Robert Buckley, I pitched him the arc that we shot. I pitched him the final episode. I said, “The end of this show is like Taxi Driver. You will be a man of action. You will not simply be the boy that Liv fawns over.” I think people respond to people that take action. I think they love Major because he’s not a soldier, he’s a social worker who just was dogged about this. I know some people kept saying, “Don’t do that, Major!,” but I had so much fun watching him take charge in that final episode. I’m really hoping the fans dig it.
At WonderCon, you hadn’t officially been picked up for Season 2 yet, but you said that you had a rough plan in place. How much more concrete is that plan, now that you have that official pick-up and have to be focused on Season 2?
THOMAS: I just turned in a lengthy document to the studio saying, “Here are our plans for Season 2.” It’s pretty detailed. We know the big arcs for Season 2. We’re already breaking episodes for Season 2. So, unless the studio or network vetoes ideas or has issues with ideas, we know where we’re going.
Do you know how many episodes you’re going to do for Season 2? Will you be sticking with a shorter run?
THOMAS: We’re hoping for 22, but the initial order is for 13. Like many CW shows, we have to prove ourselves with that 13, and then hope for a back 9.
For people who were not quite sure what to make of the show and who might not have tuned in this season, there’s still plenty of time for them to watch Season 1 before Season 2 premieres. So, if they haven’t watched the show yet, why should they binge-watch it over the summer?
THOMAS: I specialize in shows that sound dumb on paper. The comment that I see all the time is, “For a show with this premise, it’s better than you might think it would be,” whether it’s a teenage girl private eye, or a zombie who eats brains and solves crime. It’s not like we’re doing arthouse fair, but I think it’s a fun show. It’s smarter than maybe the premise would lead you to believe. I certainly hope that fans of Veronica Mars are checking it out, and I think a lot of them are. I also think that The CW is going to re-air maybe most of the season this summer, so there are some real opportunities to check it out.
The season finale of iZombie airs on The CW on Tuesday, June 9th.