Katie Yu/The CW

Zombie Island isn't just a cool game show idea.


S3 E1
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April 04, 2017 at 10:00 PM EDT

One of the students in Vivian’s school, Wally, spots Clive and runs into his arms. (“Are you one of us now?” he asks. There’s more than one way to take that.) Wally and his family used to live in Clive’s building, and Clive promises he’ll get his info to Wally’s mom so they can all hang out soon. It’s a doomed promise. By the end of the hour, Wally, his mom, and his uncle have all been gunned down (thankfully, we’re spared the sight of Wally’s body). Based on the Max Rager cans stuffed in Wally’s uncle’s pocket and the fact that he’s missing his scratching nails, it seems they were killed because they were zombies. Humans aren’t ready for the truth.

And whether Liv likes it or not, the truth is leaking out. Our old pal Billy, the security guard at the Max Rager massacre, saw some stuff, and he’s ready to talk. Chuck Burd, an Alex Jones-type conspiracy theorist, gives Billy a mic, and despite Liv and Clive’s best efforts to shut off the broadcast, Billy manages to tell the world (or at least the 100 or so fringe nut jobs listening in) that he saw red-eyed people eating brains. Chuck figures it was a government super-soldier experiment gone wrong, but his cohost guesses zombies. He’s even convinced his neighbor is one. And then there’s Ravi’s old boss, CDC Dr. Katty Kupps, who finds a body from the massacre in the trunk of a car — and bits of brain in that body’s digestive tract.

People talk. As the existence of the undead starts to feel less like a secret, the death of Wally and his family serves to warn other zombies not to step out of bounds — and that’s enough to get Liv talking about zombies as a “we.” At least for now, she’s on Vivian’s team. So is Major: Seattle’s least favorite suspected serial killer finds acceptance (and a bunch of leg day buddies) in Fillmore Graves’ militia.

But since we don’t know how much we can trust Fillmore Graves’ endgame, I’m still more excited by Liv’s team-up with Ravi and Clive. As much as he might miss being in the dark, Clive’s introduction to the world of zombies has been spot on. He’s taken it just well enough, which is to say that he still makes that how-did-I-get-here face but complements it with jokes about killing people to get his friends new brains. It’s a win for everyone. Clive is a good friend to Liv as she works through having shot Drake, and since his connection to the victims means he can’t officially work Wally’s case, Liv and Ravi vow to help him on their own time. Our trio’s going rogue.

Ravi’s in a lot of trios right now. Whether you missed it or not, the Peyton-Ravi-Blaine love triangle is still happening. In the wake of Peyton’s kidnapping and Blaine’s cowboy-style shoot-‘em-up rescue, Detective Cavanaugh — the same guy taking over the Wally investigation — wants to know why Peyton made good Blaine bait, forcing both to admit that Blaine developed feelings for her. Peyton insists they’re unrequited, but Ravi is spiraling anyway.

I like — nay, love! — all three of these characters, but this plotline doesn’t do them any favors. Peroxide hair be damned, Blaine is not the Spike to anyone’s Buffy, and Peyton is entirely too smart to fall for his charms (use him for sex, sure, but lean on Blaine for emotional support? Blaine?). On the flip side, Ravi’s too self-assured to fall into this kind of self-pity and too nice to play the Nice Guy card. At least Liv calls him out on it. (“You called her ‘my precious.’ You don’t plan on throwing her in Mount Doom, do you?”)

Of course, most romances would pale in comparison to the threat of a zombie apocalypse. There are bigger fish to fry. Ravi has a cure to engineer, but since he can’t make more, he’s focused on reversing the side effect — you remember, the whole retrograde amnesia thing. He might even be close. But there are some (Don E., me) who think Blaine’s amnesia is an act. Don E. had something of an epiphany while he was lying on the cold morgue floor not bleeding out, and he wastes no time taking his theory straight to Blaine, suggesting the memory loss is just Blaine’s ploy to keep everyone from taking the cure, which would drive him out of business. He found a way to make the cure undesirable and make himself desirable to Peyton all at once.

When Don E. quits and takes the opportunity to rummage around the morgue freezer for the Lucky U money he’s owed, he finds Blaine’s dad instead. Light bulb. Don E. defrosts Angus (how’s that for a meat cute?) and offers him a business deal: They start their own brain enterprise. There’s really no second part to that plan; that’s as far as Don E.’s gotten. But Angus, a literally captive audience, is in, and he urges Don E. to think bigger. Was the zombie apocalypse not big enough?

Killer Cuts:

Vivian’s cover story seems to involve pinning everything on Vaughn, which is fine by me.

Blaine keeps singing when no one else is around. This is also fine.

Radio deejay: “This tweet just came in from Carlos Santana: ‘Heaven just got a little bit smoother. #StoptheViolence.’”

Natalie, the zombie Major connected with before he froze her, might not be as dead as she seemed at the end of last season; as far as Major is concerned, she’s just missing. And probably a midseason love interest.

Don E.: “You’re so good. You deserve an Emmy. I mean, you’re TV good. Let’s not get carried away. Daniel Day-Lewis ain’t shakin’ in his boots.”

The more people tell Liv to tan and dye, the more I wonder if she’s headed for a makeover this year.

Angus: “That was Kautilya in Arthashastra.” Don E.: “Pretty sure it was Kirk in Star Trek.”

Only someone with zombie taste buds could double-fist coffee and orange juice.

So far the No. 1 sign that Vivian will eventually go full villain is the fact that she says, “I’m mother to them all” about people who aren’t her own children.

Who wants to bet Clive’s thinking about Dale when he suggests they tell someone they trust — someone high up — about zombies?

Clive: “Just so I understand, if we can find you two some new, non-soldier brains, you won’t be like this?” Liv: “Depends on the brains.” Major: “If we ate the brains of a train conductor, for example? Similar issue.”

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