Rob Thomas On Tonight's iZombie Finale, More Veronica Mars, and Happy Endings

After five seasons, iZombie comes to a close tonight in 'All's Well That Ends Well,' the episode [...]

After five seasons, iZombie comes to a close tonight in "All's Well That Ends Well," the episode that will pit humans against zombies one last time, while Ravi (Rahul Kohli), Liv (Rose McIver), and Major (Robert Buckley) struggle to get the cure to zombiism out to the masses before the U.S. government finally decides to nuke New Seattle out of existence. How are things going to shake out? Well, we will have a few spoiler-filled comments later tonight after the episode airs, but first, we wanted to look back on the series.

Thomas, along with production partners Diane Ruggiero-Wright and Dan Etheridge, developed this series around the time Veronica Mars was a fan-funded feature film, and are leaving just as Veronica Mars returns as a TV series for Hulu. Along the way, they created five well-received seasons of TV featuring a stellar cast that loosely adapted the Vertigo Comics title from Chris Roberson and Michael Allred. Thomas joined to talk about tonight's series finale, "All's Well That Ends Well."

During this season, you were in and out working on Veronica Mars. Was it fun to do the noir episode of iZombie from a few weeks ago while writing the neo-noir of Veronica?

Yeah. On Veronica Mars, we do play with tropes of noir, but we never try to make it look like an old school gum shoe movie. We're not trying to create those hard shadows and Veronica, her voiceover is usually jaded, but it's not usually that steeped in 1940s references. They went the full Monty on iZombie for the noir episode.

In an era where a lot of shows will do clever "theme" episodes, iZombie rarely did them, although the nature of the brain-eating personalities basically got you halfway there every week. Was that a balancing act?

I just rewatched This Is Spinal Tap for the probably 99th time I've seen it last night, and with iZombie, every episode was we're dancing on that thin line between clever and stupid. The goal going into an iZombie was, "What is a brain that will be fun?" I mean, fun was really the motivating factor of most iZombie decisions. "What will give us the most fun scenes?" was often what dictated the brains we choose, or how hard we lean into particular brains. It was always a challenge to do that and milk all the fun we could out of any given brain, and still stay in a world in which it matters who lives and dies -- where we weren't being so on the comedy side of the line that people no longer cared about our characters. That's what we wanted to avoid, getting that far on the other side of the line, which for the most part we did. I can't say we were always successful with that, but that was always the goal going in.

Was the idea of bringing in Liv's father always going to happen in the fifth season?

Over the five years, it was the card that we knew we had that we could play. Not that we had to play it, but it was always there, and probably each year we had a discussion that, "Okay, this is the year where we find out who her dad is." So her dad playing the role that he di,d being sort of the creator of all Seattle zombies, that did not occur to us until season five...but we very much kept toying with stories for Liv's dad, who we had never met, until we found one that we liked.

On that note, was it a priority to finally give some closure to the story of Liv's mom and Evan?

Yeah, it was. I felt good about that. Honestly, I would have even liked a couple more scenes really finish them off. The episodes just got so tight there at the end.

This is a show that feels ultimately pretty optimistic. Is it tough to write a series finale when the audience basically expects nothing truly awful will happen?

Well, here's the thing -- I would bet that when people watch tonight's episode, there are going to be moments in it when they are going to be legitimately worried that some of their favorites aren't going to make it to the end. And not everyone does survive the finale of iZombie. So, I do think we still manage to keep folks guessing. I'm not sure that the entire audience thinks that all of their favorite characters are safe. I could be wrong, but I think they're going to be concerned tonight watching this episode.

Is there anything that you didn't get to do in season five that you wish you'd had time for? Any dangling things that you didn't get a chance to address?

I'm sure there were. I know that I would've liked to have had probably three or four more scenes with Liv's mom and brother. They got short shrifted through much of iZombie. And then, it's a little hard for me because I was around for about the first half of the season for iZombie and then I kind of had to start focusing on Veronica Mars until I came back in and wrote the finale. So, it's been a long time since I've been in the iZombie writers' room is what I'm trying to say. So, I'm a little fuzzy on things that I might've liked to have gotten to, but certainly more Liv's mother and brother.

So once the world is safe for spring break again, what's the chance that we get to see Rose McIver or Rahul Kohli hosting a boat party on Veronica Mars?

I think there's a reasonable shot. I would not bet against that.

I think we're going to get to do more Veronica Mars, and I hope that people who I pissed off will give it another shot. But I knew when I did what I did that there was a shot I would lose them. So, we'll see. We'll see what happens.