The season 4 premiere of iZombie, titled “Are You Ready for Some Zombies?” jumps to about three months after Discovery Day. Just about everything is completely different from when we last left it. The wall is up around the city, Fillmore Graves is the arm of the law, Blaine is playing informant to Chase Graves, and Ravi is periodically dining on frontal lobes.

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Stupid Zombies, Stupid Wall

In an opening scene that is reminiscent of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory (a la brains), we get a glimpse of the brain processing center and the humans who work there. We are introduced right away to Clint Hicks (a devout Seahawks fan) and his co-worker. Hicks nonchalantly discusses his disdain for the zombie outbreak, particularly because it is the reason his beloved Seahawks play their home games in an entirely different city. We later learn that Hicks is our victim of the week, meeting his untimely end by being ground up in a brain mixer. Liv batters his brain like hot wings and takes on a zombie-hating, Seahawks-crazed persona. Delicious.

The Informant

Meanwhile, Blaine is playing informant for Chase Graves. They discuss a “leak in the food chain” and the watered-down brain tubes being peddled to zombies. Chase allows Blaine’s cemetery-to-table restaurant to remain open for a while longer. Their stroll is cut short when they come across something that stops Blaine in his tracks: a zombie-modified guillotine. In a violent demonstration, the anvil drops and smashes a watermelon to smithereens. The device was conceived to dissuade zombies from scratching anyone else, a crime now punishable by death. This, of course, leaves a wide-eyed Blaine to quip, “Message received.”

Dead-Enders

Major, still serving on the Fillmore Graves force, takes a team out to patrol curfew. They become distracted by a young man breaking curfew and are blindsided by an attack from a group of human terrorists calling themselves The Dead-Enders. After reporting back to Chase, Major is offered a different role: mentoring young zombies. He happily takes on the assignment, as he was a youth mentor in his human days. He rounds up a group of troubled zombie youth and discovers the privilege he experiences versus their poverty.

Jordan, a quick-witted young girl, reveals that she knows plenty of people who do just about anything for a brain tube and that her own family can barely survive off of the scarce amount of watered-down brain tubes that are available to them. Later, it is revealed that Jordan broke into the brain tube vending machine and tried to smuggle some back to her family. Chase interrupts their share session to pull Major aside and reveal the true mission behind the group — recruiting. He implores Major to choose anyone he thinks could add value to the team. Ultimately, the crafty Jordan makes the cut, along with a young man who goes by Captain Seattle.

Zombies are the Worst

As Clive and Liv work on solving the murder of one Clint Hicks, they start where any investigation would: with the wife. Kelly Hicks and her son, Zorn, claim to have been at home on the night of the murder but offer up another suspect — a 49ers fan who had been in a graffiti battle with Hicks. During their interrogation of the San Francisco native, who lied about staying home the night of the murder, things become pretty heated between him and Liv. Clive is clearly annoyed at the football debate, which continues to escalate until Liv verges on beast mode. They decide to keep him in custody for 48 hours in order to gather evidence.

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Love you. Mean It. Ciao.

Our bleached baddie Blaine, clearly discontented with his power shift, gives a cathartic monologue to his father, Angus. Angus, of course, is still wearing “cement shoes” at the bottom of a well. Blaine spills his feelings while tossing a few pieces of brain down, leaving his father with an emotionless “Love you. Mean it. Ciao.”  Later on at the restaurant, Blaine’s eyes go soft at the sight of Peyton on a date, having dinner with the mayor. Unfortunately for Peyton, her date doesn’t end well. She brings her man home, only to find Liv in full face paint watching football on the couch and Ravi naked in the kitchen (more on this later).

As traumatic as this seems, it was not what shocked her the most. She pulls a reluctant Liv into the hallway to reveal a scarlet letter painted on their door. People have been marking suspected zombies’ homes by painting a giant red “Z” on their door. This brings an epiphany to Liv, and she and Clive revisit the Hicks’ residence, finding a red “Z” hidden behind a poster on their door. It’s always the wife! A vision revealed that Zorn contracted the zombie virus from his girlfriend, infuriating his father and forcing his mother to choose husband or son.

That Time of the Month

Back to naked Ravi. When we last saw him, he had created a vaccine for the zombie virus, and Liv scratched him in the name of science. Technically, it worked. Ravi stays mostly human but every few weeks experiences zombie symptoms for 72 hours. This includes eating brains, the most recent of which is a nudist.

Love you. Mean it. Chow.

To top off the episode, Dino, who has been working for Blaine, pulls Angus from the well. Angus is half-crazed and starving, so he bludgeons Dino and gets a snack. Afterward, he stumbles into a zombie-friendly church service, all the while regurgitating Blaine’s earlier monologue as a delusional “voice of God.” He speaks of building an army and ends his grandiose speech by cracking open the priest’s skull and shouting, “God loves you. He means it. Chow,” inviting the zombies of the congregation to feed and join him.

Four seasons in, and iZombie still feels fresh.

What did you think of the premiere? Did anything surprise you? Are you looking forward to the rest of the season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

iZombie airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW. Want more news? Like our iZombie Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of The CW)