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Anna Faris, Allison Janney Weigh In on Mom's Shocking Death

Plus: Why they think the show strikes a chord

Liz Raftery

[Warning: This article contains major spoilers about Thursday's episode of Mom. Read at your own risk!]

Will things ever go right for Bonnie (Allison Janney) and Christy (Anna Faris) on Mom?

Unlikely, judging by Thursday's episode, which featured the shocking, sudden death of Bonnie's boyfriend Alvin (Kevin Pollak).

"It's not like we're going to have these characters all live happily ever after," Janney tells TVGuide.com. "It's a big loss, but ... it was actually a decision by Chuck [Lorre] and the writers to continue to be real with these characters and show them surviving all the kinds of things that life throws at you."

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As a result of Alvin's death, Bonnie finds her sobriety once again on shaky ground. But while Season 1 Bonnie probably would have faltered, Season 2 Bonnie is able to steady herself. The long-term repercussions, however, remain to be seen.

"You see a different Bonnie," Janney notes. "Season 1 Bonnie maybe didn't know that she had so much to live for. Now she's had a good deal of time reunited with her daughter and her grandchildren, and Alvin. She's a lot more invested in being alive, so she has a lot more at stake now. If she loses her sobriety, she loses a lot more. She can't afford to do that. ... Still, it's definitely not an easy moment for her, and it will continue to affect her in the following episodes. You'll see her struggling with it. It'll definitely play in further episodes."

According to Faris, viewers will also see Christy dealing with the long-term impacts of losing her father just as she's getting to know him. "Her sense of loss will set in later," she says. "I love it that it feels brave. ... People want to see something different, two women that are dealing with some not very sexy stuff."

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But there's some sexy stuff thrown in for good measure. After all, Mom is still a sitcom (albeit not a typical one), so the moments leading up to Alvin's death - which happens as he's performing a certain service on Bonnie - are still played for laughs. For Janney, it's a treat to represent the sex lives of a less youthful set.

"I love to play a very sexually active grandmother - great-grandmother!" Janney notes. "I think it's kind of cool that I'm representing it. I love it. People in their twenties are not the only ones who have sex."

It's perhaps due to episodes like this one -- not to mention following The Big Bang Theory -- that Mom's viewership has grown this season.

"The fact of the matter is, things happen in life like that all the time ... and you have to deal with it," Janney says. "Which I think is why the show is gaining success or gaining traction with viewers. They've invested in these characters. They like them, and they want to see us survive. All these kinds of things happen to everyone out in the real world."

What did you think of Thursday's episode of Mom? Were you shocked by Alvin's death?

Mom airs Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on CBS. It moves to Thursdays at 9:30/8:30c on Feb. 19.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)