Embattled iZombie star Robert Knepper, who joined as a series regular this season for the first time after having been a recurring guest in the past, has been added to the opening credits of the series, his likeness immortalized in the style of comic book master Michael Allred.
Dubbing Angus DeBeers (Knepper) as "The Prophet," the credits foreshadow what happens with his character in the premiere.
At the end of last season, Angue's son Blaine (David Anders) had put his zombie father in cement shoes and lowered him down into a well. Feeding him infrequently, and with just enough brains to keep Angus from becoming completely malnourished and becoming a "Romero" -- the colloquial term for a shambling, decomposing zombie -- Blaine does not bring Angus up to the surface to feed, but throws pieces of brain down at him, mocking him from above.
Nearly four months into this process, when one of his old employees finally brings Angus back up to the surface, the old man is out of his mind. Rambling, believing his son's gift of brains and periodic conversation from a pinpoint of light far above his blackened world, Angus is convinced that he has spoken to God, that God has spoken to him and that the Lord has provided him with brains.
This is the nature of his new ministry, adopted after murdering the pastor of a more traditional Christian church meant to give desperated, underfed zombies hope. Those unhappy masses, though, are seemingly vulnerable to a charismatic madman as they latch quickly onto Angus's nonsense religion.
"He does in fact get out of the well, but he's out of the well for many episodes before Blaine is aware of it so, he becomes a bit of a cult figure, a spiritual healer. He shouts this gospel, the stuff that Blaine would say to him as he fed him brains," Anders told reporters during a recent set visit. "It becomes this bit of gospel that he accrues this huge following of zombies that become somewhat of an army, essentially."
Knepper will not return if there is a fifth season of iZombie; while his arc is important enough to the show's fourth season to see him promoted to regular, Warner Bros. TV and The CW have revealed that the actor will not return following a number of allegations of sexual harassment and assault. The allegations came late in the season's production, and The CW's internal investigation found no reason to believe Knepper was acting inappropriately on set, so he remained in the job to finish out his arc.
iZombie airs on Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.