[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the season premiere of Royal Pains. Read at your own risk.]
Royal Pains Season 5 premiere ended with a stunning reveal: Divya (Reshma Shetty) is pregnant!
In the final moments of the episode, Divya tells Paige (Brooke D'Orsay) that the real reason HankMed couldn't get insurance coverage was because she was expecting. Because she's still pretty much in shock, Divya will take a beat before she tells Hank (Mark Feuerstein) and Evan (Paulo Constanzo) the truth. But when she finally does, her surrogate family will be there for her.
"When they get involved it's needed because she needs some support," Shetty told TVGuide.com at the ATX Television Festival. Added Feuerstein: "We're like a little family, the HankMed group, and so we'll try to take care of her."
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Given Divya's past troubles finding love (she's broke off an engagement with Raj and had her heart broken by Rafa) and her struggles with her own parents, why did the producers decide to make Divya a single mom? Executive producer Michael Rauch said it was all about doing something unexpected. "We came back from Season 4 and had a two-season pickup for the first time, so we began thinking about bigger stories we could tell over both seasons," he said. "We felt like the easy way to go was to make Paige pregnant — so we had to go the other way and find a character that would be more surprising. It felt like the type of complication that would resonate throughout all various stories."
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Will Divya get the parental support she hasn't in the past? Viewers will find out in Episode 10 when Rubina (Anna George) returns. "We know the long history between Divya and her parents. So, one of the things that freaks Divya out is her reticence to have yet another thing come between them," creator and executive producer Andrew Lenchewski told us. "What she's doing so rubs against the values of what they believe in." Added Shetty: "It's definitely a situation that South Asian women are faced with today. You just don't do that."
While Divya will only begin to show a tiny baby bump by the end of the season, Lenchewski said the pregnancy will begin to affect everyone immediately. "This will now be a living, breathing dynamic within the show," he said. "Nothing will ever be the same for her or the characters around her. The past four seasons have really been about coming together as a family, and this season we're going to see things that threaten to start pulling the family apart — whether it's tension in a marriage or someone having a baby and having to reprioritize."
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And finally, how will Divya be as a mommy? "She'll be an amazing mother," Lenchewski said. "She is so nurturing, so loving and has such an incredible attention to detail. On top of that, she's surrounded by all this love and support from Hank and Evan and Jeremiah and Paige, and that seems like it will make up for her being a single mother and then some."
What did you think of the season premiere?
Royal Pains airs on Wednesdays at 9/8c on USA.