iZombie's Blaine DeBeers (David Anders) has been, at times, one of the best villains on TV.
In season three, however, Blaine's villain status has been put on hold as he claims to have lost his memory and appears to be starting life over as a kinder, gentler Blaine who might just win Peyton's (Aly Michalka) heart.
It's somehow easy to root for sweet lounge singer Blaine to be telling the truth about his memory loss, despite the fact that it means Major (Robert Buckley) is about to lose all his memories after taking the cure at the end of last week's episode. Old Blaine was just so evil, and new Blaine just seems so nice, and Peyton seems so happy.
When we last saw Blaine, Ravi (Rahul Kohli) had injected him with a memory serum that either wasn't going to work at all or just hadn't started working yet, or had actually worked and Blaine was lying, or didn't need to work because Blaine had been lying the whole time. It's a very complicated situation, which makes it pretty complicated for Anders to play.
"It's been kind of castrating, handcuffing," Anders tells E! News of playing the new Blaine. "I miss that Blaine of old, the whipsmart, the one-liners, the smarmy charm if you will, but this new guy is kind of like a babe lost in the woods. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and doesn't know who he was, and was told who he was and doesn't like who he was. It's kind of been an interesting ride."
If you've been looking for clues on Blaine's face as to whether or not he's telling the truth, that won't help you, because apparently, not even Anders knew.
"They didn't even reveal to me what was going on—if it was real or not—until a little into it, so I had no idea," "That's something that I would have rather had too, so there was no way I could inform a possibility that he was faking it, or you know what I mean, just play it as it is, just play it as an audience member."
Even so, sometimes not even not knowing was good enough to properly play the confusingly charming former (or possibly current) bad guy.
"I remember very early on in the season [EP Rob Thomas] texted me that and he says, ‘I feel like there's a smile you gave that was a little too old Blaine-y,' and I was like, dude, I was just smiling, Rob," Anders says. "He thought it was too nefarious or something. And he's like, you know what, maybe I'm just wrong. Maybe I think every smile you do, I think you're up to something bad. I was like, I could come up with a sweeter smile but my smile is always going to be my smile."
While the world of iZombie is a very unrealistic one in which people get turned into zombies and then eat brains to access the memories of dead people, Anders still tried to understand Blaine from a more realistic perspective.
"You try to look at it if it happened to you in real life. I mean, the chemicals within an evil person are still there. There's a wire crossed within them, and you gotta look at it as if they're still there, and maybe if something could trigger that then he could become that person again," he says. "I look at him as he's doing the best by everybody, he's trying to do the best by himself. He's trying to be a small business owner. Of course he's harvesting brains to sell them to zombies, but you know, he's trying to get by."
Tonight's episode deals with the side effects of Major having taken the cure (and Liv (Rose McIver) eating the brain of a hilarious hot mess DJ), and finds Peyton and Blaine reaching a new level of domesticity in their blossoming relationship. That means lots of making breakfast and being adorable, but it also means we're probably on our way to finding out if the new Blaine is for real or not.
As for Anders, he's hoping we're on Blaine's side.
"It was tricky to convey and tricky to sell," he says. "But I hope people buy that he really is this new guy."
iZombie airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW.