During a visit with the press at WonderCon, Thomas drew back the veil ever so slightly, revealing a few choice reveals about the two-hour season finale airing April 12, including some format-busting elements. For starters, the procedural storytelling technique will be temporarily tabled, the action is more intense than ever before, and the show will be set up for a significantly paradigm-shifting fourth season.
On the rising stakes as the finale approaches:â€¨
Rob Thomas: It's epic. I will not downplay our season finale. Last year, we felt like we had done a big season finale, and I feel like this one dwarfs it. I don't think a show of our budget has the potential to go any bigger. We kind of saved all year so we could blow it out on this final episode, and we really do.
It's as close to a traditional zombie movie as we will or have ever done. I think the action starts at the end of act two and goes all the way to the end of the episode. So I'm really psyched about that. I just got to show the writing staff the cut of the season finale, and I'm feeling good.
On breaking away from procedural format for the final two hours:â€¨We, perhaps naively, really had been counting on doing 22 episodes. When we found out we got a back six rather than a back nine, I think the smart thing would have been to kind of thin out the story that we're going to tell in those final six episodes. And instead, we just decided to jam in all nine episodes worth of story.
Even in reading the morning-after reviews -- "Boy, they're really throwing a lot of stuff at us" -- I am aware of it. It seems fun and breakneck, yeah. It kind of goes full throttle to the end of the season.
On whether the third season pickup came in time for some advance plot-seeding:
I do tee up Season 3 in the finale. You will see what our mission statement is for Season 3 in the final scene of our Season 2 finale. There is a big paradigm shift that is presented to Liv.
If I had known that [the show was not coming back], I would have lopped off that last scene and just given it a neater bow, but instead, we really tee up Season 3... It sets up a new, but a very different sort of pull on Liv for Season 3, rather than simply a bad guy who seems bent on eliminating the zombies. It's a completely new paradigm.