The CW hit show iZombie has always been a bit of a rare bird: a zombie show that goes more for laughs than gore and leans into social issues, politics and relationships more than horror. After 4 successful seasons, the final stanza is upon on, with a major upheaval in the cast dynamic in store. Ravi, Liv Moore’s best bud and resident zombie scientist is still grappling with a cure, while his on again, off again, and now on again girlfriend Peyton is the acting Mayor of zombie-town New Seattle. She is in a pitch battle to keep the city from total destruction by the government.
During a recent on-set visit and roundtable discussion in Vancouver, cast members Rahul Kohli (Ravi) and Aly Michalka (Peyton) teamed up to preview what we can expect in Season 5, including whether or not Ravi and Peyton will stay together.
How is Peyton and Ravi’s relationship going?
ALY MICHALKA: They’re going strong. We feel like they’re going to make it to the end. I don’t think there’s any drama for them.
For Peyton’s character, she’s still the mayor of this increasingly volatile place. and we have both major and Liv and kind of their own positions of power. What kinds of interactions do we see with them?
MICHALKA: I have quite a bit of scenes now with the Major character, which I hadn’t really had for quite a while, but because we are I think on different pages, but also a little bit of the same now that he is in charge of Fillmore-Graves. We were obviously I think even more on opposing teams when he was under Fillmore-Graves while, as you know, Chase Graves was still alive. But I think now there’s a little bit more common ground in terms of their fight for equality. It is a little bit closer than it ever has been. And I think that Major, you know, has realized the corruption that was behind Fillmore-Graves as a company. Liv and Peyton have not really had any real issues this season. In terms of any disagreements, they’re pretty much on the same page. But yeah, I mean, Peyton has had to deal with a sh*tstorm of fires that she’s basically had to have had to put out in the city. And really having to focus on a peaceful type of relationship between humans versus zombies, which she keeps thinking one day there will be this world where people understand that they are just like us. They just have the need to eat brains. But other than that, they’re still human beings. And I think she’s still holding out hope on that one day actually happening in Seattle.
Now that there’s a line drawn between Seattle and the rest of the country and the government, is that going to be one of the plot lines? You guys going against the government?
MICHALKA: Yes. We’re still in the war. Yeah. And you kind of know that at any moment we could technically be nuked as a city and then that whole problem is just eradicated. So you see, Peyton takes quite a few trips to DC trying to lobby for legislation. That happens kind of throughout Season 5.
Early on and all the way through, I think Season 3, you would constantly say that Ravi would never be a zombie because your humanity is such an anchor for the show. Obviously, you’re not a full zombie. But how has it changed your approach if at all now that you’ve got kind of occasional bouts of zombie-ism?
RAHUL KOHLI: Yeah, I was. I felt that way because I just, I always thought that Ravi, Clive, and Peyton were kind of the vessels for the audience and Ravi more so just because he was the entry point into it, he was the POV for the audience when he finds Liv, right? So we had that kind of the whole way through and I was like, well, Major’s a zombie and Liv’s a zombie. And it just felt like, I don’t think to do that really furthers the plot. But actually I also just didn’t want to do brains. I wasn’t interested. I really got into my character. But now that Season 5 is almost over I realize yeah, these guys, they were right. I’m going to miss him, I’m really gonna miss Ravi and this character I’ve been lucky enough to play for five years. So I would just be very apprehensive about messing with that. And then a few brains in and I realized I really enjoy it.
And this year, this year I’ve done a few brains and I’ve got another one coming and it’s been amazing. Yes, I’m addicted to it now. I wish I was a full zombie. I would love to do a brain every week. I’ve enjoyed the process. I’ve enjoyed working with Rose on them, the research It’s year five and keeps it fresh. I know I can walk in now not knowing anything and just play Ravi like that. And not that it’s happened, but there is a temptation to phone it in because you’ve played this guy for so long. When you want to do a brain it kicks your ass and causes you to go back to square one. And that’s been a great challenge. A nice refresh before we start pilot season again.
As you get closer to the end, are you anxiously awaiting your scripts to see where your characters end up?
MICHALKA: Yeah, I mean, I’m curious. I don’t know. You’re not?
KOHLI: I got a feeling I know already.
MICHALKA: I mean, yeah, you kind of know. I feel like you asked more questions. I just stay weirdly in the dark and I would just be like, they just tell you, I just know. they’re not telling me.
KOHLI: I just know that like, I don’t think it’s going to be like Game of Thrones.
MICHALKA: I just think it’s a nice ending. Like does it seem like that kind of show? They’re not going to just like annihilate all of our characters and then like no one’s standing. But yeah, we’re curious. I guess I’m curious just to see how this whole thing ends up, wrapping up and the long arc that they’ve kind of set for us as characters.
KOHLI: I’m curious if we get married. I’m sure they’ll do something, right?
MICHALKA: We only have 11, 12 and 13 left in terms of scripts that have not even read yet by the cast. So I don’t know how much more time they may even have to be able to devote to like a wedding. They probably would be like, we got more stuff we got to wrap up in terms of the stories than to a wedding.
What would you like to see in the end? Would you like, for example, would you like Liv and Ravi to take the cure or would you rather end more ambiguously?
KOHLI: I think it’s changed. For some reason when we started the show it was a conflict, right? There was a change in her life. It represented maybe loss or sickness. It had this idea of like, what do you do when a tragedy strikes, how do you pick your life back up? How do you find purpose? Right? And zombie-ism was more of a negative. And then the metaphor changed on our show and it became about diversity. And it became about tolerance and acceptance. And the journey of my character has always been to cure it, but now I’m curious. It’s like if that’s the case, something we’re saying now is you should accept it. So if it’s a cure. It means that it goes back to being a negative.
MICHALKA: It’d be kind of cool to leave it in a way open-ended, where you as an audience member could almost decide how you like it. Not in a cliffhanger sense, but in a way where you’re like, that seems like maybe they took the cure, but maybe I’ll never end up knowing and that’s maybe okay. I would be fine with an ending like that.
The final season of iZombie premieres on the CW Thursday, May 2nd.