It may still be the middle of summer in the world of Royal Pains, but there's a mysterious cloud headed for the Hamptons in Season 2, in the form of Hank and Evan's elusive father, Eddie.
Last time viewers saw the Lawson brothers, Hank (Mark Feuerstein) was reeling from the revelation that his doctor concierge business, HankMed, was bankrupt after Evan (Paulo Costanzo) made the money available to Eddie.
"We pick up the morning after the Season 1 finale. There's a little bit of a hangover effect from all the stuff that happened the night before," co-creator and co-executive producer Andrew Lenchewski tells TVGuide.com of the season premiere, airing Thursday at 10/9c on USA. "But pretty quickly, new events unfold that suck our characters back into the world of the medical emergencies."
Although it's back to business as usual for Hank, Evan's error in judgment is not so easily forgotten.
"The first episode deals with how Hank deals with the fact that Evan made a mistake that ended up deep-sixing HankMed," Costanzo says. "So the first episode is kind of Hank and Evan trying to rekindle their relationship and Evan trying to find a way to make amends to Hank for doing such a horrible thing."
"One of the themes from Season 1 was the absence of family and one of our themes for Season 2 is the presence of family. We really wanted to use the father character as a catalyst for going a little bit deeper into the characters and the relationships," says executive producer Michael Rauch. "He brings out sides of both Hank and Evan that we haven't seen before. We really see a lot more into their back story and also into what made them who they are today."
Their father's return will ultimately bring the brothers closer together, even though Hank and Evan will react very differently to Eddie's renewed interests in his sons.
"Their dad coming back is another galvanizing element to the bond that they share," says Costanzo, who also teases that fans will see a more mature side of Evan. "[Eddie] is trying as hard as he can to get back in with his sons. Hank is very much not having it and Evan has a soft spot for him, which creates a very interesting triangle between them."
This new family dynamic will play a major role throughout the season, as everyone (including viewers) struggle to figure out Eddie's true intentions after he abandoned Hank and Evan some 20 years ago — right before their mother died.
"It's one of the questions that we plan to leave unanswered for the season. You're never quite sure the perspective he's coming from and he definitely wants to redeem himself for an enormous mistake that was made 20 years ago," Rauch says. "Hank has a very different perception of who his father is and who he was in the past than Evan does. So we are continually trying to find our ground and see who's right. Is Hank right? Is the father morally bankrupt? Is Evan right? Has the father changed or does he deserve a second chance?"
On top of the family drama, romantic and professional turmoil is also ahead for Hank, who will try to stay just friends with Jill (Jill Flint) while grappling with the possibility of losing his physician's assistant Divya, when she gets married.
"Divya is going to have a pretty surprising attitude about how to deal with this arranged marriage and the wedding that is looming at the end of the summer," Lenchewski says.
There may be trouble ahead for Hank, Evan and HankMed, and Costanzo says that's all part of the fun.
"This season, everything is better. Everything is elevated," he says. "I think any fans from last season will be pleased with what they see."