iZombie returns tonight for its fifth and final season, and with it comes the performance of a(n after)lifetime for series star Rahul Kohli, whose Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti has been a high point of the series since it debuted. Ravi, who was one of a few characters who were aware of zombies from the pilot, managed to stay alive until the end of season three, when he tried an experimental zombie vaccine on himself. The result? He essentially has menstrual zombism; he only has to feast on brains once a month or so, and rather than going fully pale he gets a minor white streak in his hair.
Kohli, who had long said that he never expected Ravi to become a zombie but rather to remain an audience avatar -- a regular human looking in on the zombie drama -- has warmed to the idea of his character occasionally dipping his toe into zombie waters -- and tonight's episode features his favorite brain that Ravi ever ate. In case you don't watch regularly (and why are you still reading? That's weird), Ravi and Liv are high-functioning zombies who stay mostly human by eating brains. After they do so, they see flashbacks from the brain-owner's life and sometimes take on their personality tics.
"Episode one is actually my favorite one that I've ever done," Kohli told reporters during a visit to the set last year. "I play a London thug-like Irish; Rob called me up and we did sort of a Jonas brain. It was a really cool presence too 'cause before we filmed Rob sent me a really early draft of episode one and asked me to go through dialogue with him for Ravi, and make changes to make sure it was a legit bridge talk about London's Cockney stuff." He added that, both in terms of dialogue and wardrobe, he was given more leeway than Rose McIver gets, since Liv is the main character and has her face on the posters.
"There are certain people that are on top of that, that she can't necessarily [do certain] stuff," Kohli said. "No one really gives a shit what I do, so I get to really lean into it. So was like, I'll send pictures to Rob: 'I bought these rings, I bought jewelry in a shop in London. I was like can I bring this, can I have that?' They would say yes, 'cause they aren't ultimately as precious over Ravi. So all that it's meant, is that I got to really go full costume, full physicality, voice, mannerisms."
iZombie returns tonight. The series airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
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