Suburgatory Postmortem: Tessa’s Mom, George’s Season of Yes and 9 More Teases for Season 2
Jane Levy and Carly Chaikn
[SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains major spoilers from the season finale of Suburgatory. Read at your own risk.]
brother mother! No, Tessa (Jane Levy) didn't actually come face-to-face with her long-gone mama in Suburgatory's season finale. However, she did get one big step closer when she was approached by her maternal grandmother in the episode's final moments. But Tessa didn't just see her grandmother in front of her, she saw a way out of Chatswin. "We describe that last moment as Tessa's Bourne Identity moment," showrunner Emily Kapnek told reporters at an advance screening of the season finale. "That glimmer of an exit strategy for her that you think, 'Wow, she's got something up her sleeve.'" The same goes for Kapnek, who spilled some of the many story lines and plot twists ahead for Season 2.
1. Buh-bye Eden, hello flash-forward! "When we come back, we'll probably do a little bit of a leap ahead and get to do some flashback stuff to how that plays out and get to meet the mom," Kapnek said. However, one character won't be making the leap with the rest of the cast — Eden (Alicia Silverstone). "Eden is probably going to retreat from Chatswin. I mean I would if I were her," Kapnek said. "I don't think she feels in her heart that she can finish out her pregnancy in a healthy way there. We'll reconcile some of their relationship stuff in snippets."
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2. Yes, we will really meet the mother next season. This is no eight-season-long tease like that other show. Expect Tessa's mom to share her daughter's same sharp tongue and wit. But she's not nearly as likable as her offspring. "I think that she needs to be an artsy, inconsistent woman who is a little narcissist and probably couldn't see herself in this role as mom," Kapnek said. "We don't want her to be a villain ... The goal is to have some understanding about who this person is. She's certainly not perfect, but that you can have some compassion for what she went through."
3. Tessa is going back to the City, at least part-time. Tessa will return to NYC every other weekend and the occasional school night, but her mom will also spend some time in Chatswin. "We're going to have that mom try and insert herself in Tessa's life a little and have Tessa make the decision as to whether or not this is what she wants," Kapnek said. "That doesn't mean we're going to do a full-blown joint custody arc ... but she'll probably divide her time a little bit. For George, to stand alone in that big empty house and have to reconcile the decision that he made [to move]."
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4. George will loosen his grip. After a year of trying to clip Tessa's wings, with little success, George (Jeremy Sisto) will try a new approach. "Season 2 is the season of yes for George and about letting go. Saying yes to the things that she wants and saying yes to new experiences, not just for Tessa, but for him," Kapnek said. Which means...
5. Hope for George and Dallas! With Eden out of the picture and George finally giving Tessa her independence, he's going to be in that big old house by his lonesome, just like Dallas (Cheryl Hines). "I really feel like that this is the season that's coming for them," Kapnek said. "I don't want to drag it out forever and it really makes sense to me — especially with the empty nest syndrome thing — that they would fall into that sort of pattern. I love the idea of ... dating someone who you just didn't see yourself with."
6. Someone else may end up with their polar opposite. There's more where Ryan and Tessa's heartfelt boob grab came from. "One of the areas that I'm really excited about going forward is exploring the idea of Tessa not only missing Chatswin and missing people in Chatswin that she didn't expect to," Kapnek said. "It's another great area for [George and Tessa] to bond over."
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7. But Ryan may have his hands busy with, you know, trying to find his birth mom. Many were shocked, including Lisa herself, to learn that Lisa wasn't adopted, but Ryan was. So now what? It's still to be determined just when, or if, Lisa (Allie Grant) will tell her brother the truth, especially since Ryan may be tempted to fly the coop to find his real parents, leaving Lisa alone with their crazy mom and dad. "There's something really great in [Lisa's] desperation," Kapnek said. "Watching her really try to make Ryan happy for once and cater to her brother is so delicious that it's almost worth not spilling the big juicy secret." However, Kapnek also said she would love to see Ryan's birth mom come to town, both to give Ryan and Tessa something in common and to throw Sheila's (Ana Gasteyer) world upside down. "Talk about great casting opportunities: Who is The Body's mother?" Kapnek said.
8. Dallas will try to bond with Dalia, with a little help from George. The finale put a harsh spotlight on Dallas' strained relationship with Dalia (Carly Chaikin) — something she'll try to repair next year. "Dalia is not Tessa and is not going to be as willing to open up to her in that same way. What does it take? What is the toll it takes on Dallas as a mom to feel that her kid doesn't want the same things from her that Tessa clearly does?" Kapnek said. "Maybe George can help soften Dalia. ... I think it would be fantastic to see George and Dalia have to spend a little time together."
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9. A baby will bring Noah and George back together. George's relationship with Noah's (surrogate) baby mama brought new tension to their friendship, but it won't last long. "[Noah's] got a wife who's consumed with her book tour, Making Time for What Matters," Kapnek said. "To put him in that single dad role and have him look to George and need help and that reassurance is really fertile ground."
10. Someone's ex will resurface! Kapnek said the writers are excited to delve deeper into Mr. Wolfe (Rex Lee) and Chef Alan's relationship, and introducing a certain someone from Alan's past. "The one person that we've talked about bringing in is Vera, Chef's Alan's ex, and see how she feels about his new relationship with Mr. Wolfe," she said.
11. Coming soon to iTunes: The full-length theme song. Suburgatory debuted a slower, more morose version of its theme for Wednesday's season finale and promised another version is on the way. "The full-length version of our theme song has already been written and we have a great idea for how to reveal it in Season 2," Kapnek said.
Suburgatory returns this fall to ABC Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c. Who would you cast as Tessa's mom?