Come with me if you want to live! Linda Hamilton emerged from 1984's The Terminator as one of the great heroines of science fiction — now she's threatening to do some terminating of her own. On Thursday's two-hour season finale of the futuristic Western Defiance, Hamilton's crazed character, Pilar McCawley, will kidnap her pregnant daughter at gunpoint and attempt to take her far away.
"She is a desperate housewife, 2047-style!" says executive producer Kevin Murphy. "She has shown up in Defiance after being held captive for many years by the Votanis Collective, and she's got a little bit of Stockholm syndrome going on. She'd rather go back to those who imprisoned her than risk hanging around the dangers in Defiance."
Pilar, who is bipolar, has big issues with her husband, Rafe (Graham Greene), who sent her off to prison when she tried to kill herself and their kids 15 years ago (he lied to the youngsters and told them Mom died in an accident). And she's completely freaked by those evil albino aliens Datak (Tony Curran) and Stahma (Jaime Murray).
"Pilar is a fantastic character — manic, mad and full of secrets," says Hamilton. "This is why I love doing sci-fi. You can go to so many more interesting places than you can in some forensic cop drama."
Life in the world of Defiance is tough enough — New York City is under threat of nuclear annihilation and a world war is brewing — but "it's even worse when you're dealing with an untreated mental problem," Hamilton says. "Pilar has lost a huge chunk of her life and is very mixed up. Her daughter Christie [Nicole Munoz] is about to have a baby, but she's still trying to buy her dolls and ice cream."
Murphy promises that viewers will be "terrified and repelled by Pilar's actions in the finale. Yet she's so hurt and vulnerable, your heart goes out to her. Bottom line, she's a toxic woman who really needs a hug."