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“He will eventually fight back [against Max Rager], but it takes him a while to get his bearings,” executive producer Rob Thomas tells THR.
Major (Robert Buckley) is on a mission in iZombie season two… and he’s not happy about it.
At the end of the premiere, Liv’s (Rose McIver) ex-fiance found himself being blackmailed by the evil Max Rager head honcho Vaughn (Steven Weber) to hunt down and kill all the zombies in Seattle, or else Max would take out the one zombie they know of: Liv.
After spying on him, Vaughn found out that since Major was cured of being a zombie, he can now sense when another zombie is around, making him the perfect weapon to take care of the ever-growing zombie population in the city. The hour ended with Major’s first ordered kill, a father of two who hadn’t done anything wrong besides getting turned into a zombie.
iZombie executive producer Rob Thomas spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about Major’s mission this season, how it will affect his already-frosty relationship with Liv, and more.
Last season, Major spent a good chunk of time trying to hunt zombies down on his own. But now that he’s being blackmailed to do it by Vaughn, how is his journey going to look different this season?
The huge difference is that last year, he didn’t even end up killing any zombies until the finale. And they were murderous bad guys. They were killing the teenagers he worked with. At that point, he was just out to find out who was doing it and trying to make it stop. But this year it’s such a tougher position because, through Liv, he knows that these zombies are not zombies of their own free will. They have families and they’re good people. Of course, there are probably some bad zombies as well but the first zombie he takes out is a family man, and his kids are crying on the news after he disappears. It’s tearing Major up. It’s going to be a very different journey for him this year. Last year, it could almost feel like he was on the noble side of things. But this year, he’s struggling. It’s going to be juicy and fun. We have big plans for him this season.
Obviously he’s going to be dealing with the emotional ramifications of this for a while, but is he going to start to fight back against Vaughn and Max Rager at all?
Yeah, he will eventually fight back, but it takes him a while to get his bearings. There’s a good deal of paranoia that comes with it, too. He can already tell that Max Rager is following him, and listening in to his conversations. He needs to find out what they know, how they’re watching him, what are their weak spots, and once he figures all that out, he’ll start to put together a plan.
Major still has feelings for Liv, seeing as how he’s doing all this to save her life. How is his secret mission going to affect their relationship moving forward?
This will send Major spiraling into a utopium addiction, and that runs hand-in-hand with his difficult relationship with Liv who isn’t as aware as Ravi will be to what Major is going through. Ravi doesn’t even know about Major killing zombies but Ravi will at least see the addiction problems firsthand that Liv doesn’t. Major will eventually hit rock bottom and, at a certain point, he’ll have to throw out a lifeline. The question is whether Major and Liv are too far past the point of repairing their relationship for Liv to be there for him when that happens. We have to take him all the way down, but I wouldn’t be a fan if we did that for half of a season. I’d get tired of that pretty quick.
So he will eventually turn to someone for help?
Well, it’s interesting. It’s a hard story to write because there’s really no one he can tell about all this. The network keeps asking, “Well, what’s going on in his head? Why is he doing this? What is he thinking?” Do we make Major start keeping a video journal? (Laughs.) There’s no one he can confide in about this. But eventually, he goes to take out a zombie and it doesn’t go exactly as planned and he gets to have a conversation about it with a zombie who he is abducting, and we finally get to hear a bit about what’s in Major’s head. But it takes a few episodes to get there. It’s written but not shot yet and it’s going to be great.
Where did the inspiration come from for the cure’s first side effect, with Blaine (David Anders) and Major being able to sense other zombies?
There was a lot of conversation about how we depict Major sensing a zombie. For so long, we were trying to figure it out. We can’t have him smell zombies. If we make Robert Buckley play having to sniff a zombie, I mean. (Laughs.) We can’t. It would also indicate that Liv smells, or smells like death. We didn’t want the audience thinking that, or how dumb it would look. (Laughs.) The discussion to get to “hair standing on end” was just days of talking about that and only that.
Are we going to see other side effects start to present themselves?
The cure is not … well, let’s just say that Ravi needs to keep working on the cure. The cure is not perfect in its current form. There will be other stories generated by certain things that the cure lacks that will throw them into the fire more.
Now that Vaughn’s assistant Gilda (Leanne Lapp) is posing as Liv’s roommate, what are we going to see from that dynamic going forward?
You’ll get to learn a lot more about Gilda and who she is and what she wants. Liv certainly doesn’t have the same relationship with Gilda, or even something close, to what she had with Peyton. Gilda’s a wildcard for Liv and she can’t really peg her. Try as she might, Gilda can’t convincingly play “friend” to Liv. There’s also something a little off about her. I’m not sure if Liv will ever take her completely in, but Gilda will still have this mission of being a step ahead of Liv and Major. It will all come to a head at some point, but not for a very long time.
Executive Producers Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright tease new twists for Liv.
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