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How Imposters Continues to Raise the Stakes in Season 2

Our heroes will have to reinvent themselves if they want to survive

Sadie Gennis

Bravo's most underrated series, Imposters, returns for its second season on Thursday (10/9c), and you'd be more foolish than Richard (Parker Young) if you chose to miss out.

What began as a quirky dramedy about a trio of duped marks pursuing revenge on their con artist ex has evolved into one of the sharpest shows on TV. After pulling off the ultimate con and swindling the Doctor (Ray Proscia) and the FBI in the Season 1 finale, Maddie (Inbar Lavi) and the trio of bumblers -- Ezra (Rob Heaps), Jules (Marianne Rendón) and Richard -- are now faced with the trickiest mystery of all: what comes next?

"I think a lot of Season 2 is about consequences for all the characters," co-creator Adam Brooks tells TV Guide. "All the main characters are either being pursued by the FBI or the Doctor, or Patrick and The Doctor are pursuing. So I think that the fun of it is now that they've sort of accomplished their mission, they're like, 'Who are they? What did they do? And how do they get rid of this ring?'"

While Maddie tries her hand at living a normal life (and keeping her life, now that the Doctor is after her), the bumblers hide out in Mexico where they're forced to keep conning to get by. But while this return to crime may be a necessity in the eyes of Jules and Richie, for Ezra, it becomes something else entirely.

Marianne Rendón, Parker Young and Rob Heaps, Imposters
Ken Woroner/Bravo

"There's kind of this creeping feeling that he kind of likes it," Brooks reveals. "There's a part of him that's really enjoying the work, the con."

This will create some tension between the trio, who are shackled to each other now for better or worse, in sickness and in health, until the stolen ring is sold do they part. So while they try to come up with a new code to live by under these extenuating circumstances, Ezra's love of the con creates a slight rift between the group, particularly after he develops a not-so-secret relationship with a street con artist, Rosa. "Part of the sexy fun of it is they're constantly both attracted to each other but not trusting each other," Brooks says. "So there's a game to everything they do with each other, whether they're doing it together or against each other."

Why You Should Binge Imposters Ahead of Season 2

This uncertain relationship causes Jules and Richard to worry about the path Ezra is going down, but they also must face questions about their own futures. Fortunately, the time they spend in Mexico throughout the first half of the season gives each of the bumblers the breathing room to explore what their past actions mean for their future dreams. Although, it isn't long before each of their histories comes back to haunt them in a major way.

As always, reinvention is a key theme of Imposters, but the second season dedicates a good portion of the storytelling to explaining how each of the characters' backstories have influenced the image they have tried to create for themselves today and the image that they've been fighting against their whole lives. To that end, flashbacks to each of the main players' pasts are riddled throughout the second season, illuminating their present-day behavior in unexpected and often heartbreaking ways.

"It's always been a show about family. The family you come from, the family you make," Brooks explains. "So Ezra is this boy-man to start with and part of it is this relationship with his father and the family business that he can't escape. [Jules] -- we'll learn a lot more about [Jules] and the secret in her folder -- is coming from a family that she doesn't relate to and she's trying to create an identity for herself outside of her privilege. And Richard has his own thing."

Maddie's past will also come into focus this season, with the series revealing how she got recruited to the Doctor's crew in the first place. But more importantly, this season will explore how the trauma from living this lifestyle has affected Maddie and the various ways that she has struggled with -- and willfully ignored -- the full weight of these choices over the years.

​Inbar Lavi, Imposters
Dean Buscher/Bravo

When she decides to hide out at a new-age therapy center, Maddie will be forced to look in the mirror and come to terms with these decisions as she strives to reclaim some semblance of normal life -- but she won't like what she's faced with. "I think what she sees is that it's hard for someone who's been pretending for so long, who probably wasn't normal to start with. It's very hard to find [normalcy]," Brooks says. "And before she even has a chance [to make real progress], the past catches up to her."

This season, the threat of Maddie's past is embodied not only by the Doctor, but by his latest fixer, Shelly Cohen (played by co-creator Paul Adelstein). Similar to how the threat of Lenny Cohen (Uma Thurman) hung over the first season, Shelly's terrifying presence will haunt Maddie throughout Season 2. Only now that Maddie has betrayed the Doctor, her experiences with Shelly won't be nearly as polite as they were with his ex-wife -- although, they will be just as captivating to watch.

"[For Shelly], we had to come up with someone who you would believe was with Lenny, that in a certain kind of flair, style, malevolence and humor, that they would match up together," Brooks says. "We love that in the show, that beyond the Maxes and Sallys and Patricks and even the Doctors, there's another extra level of the fixer that kind of gives a bolt of energy to the show whenever we do it. There's a little bit of magic to those characters, [they're] almost hyper real."

With the added threat of Shelly and the looming return of Lenny -- not to mention Patrick (Stephen Bishop) breaking protocol left and right to get back on Maddie's trail -- this season does not skimp on the heart-pounding drama. The stakes in Imposters are higher than ever, which will drive our heroes into impossible situations... ones that may be hard to come back from.

"I think for all of them, but especially for Maddie, at a certain point, they all have to come to terms with the fact that if they're not going to be chased their whole lives -- because [the Doctor] will relentlessly chase them -- how will they take these matters into their own hands?"

Imposters returns Thursday at 10/9c on Bravo. Season 1 is available to stream on Netflix now.