‘Ghosts’ Star Rebecca Wisocky Reflects on Hetty’s Season 2 Growth & Facing Nemesis Molly
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Ghosts Season 2, Episode 5, “Halloween 2: The Ghost of Hetty’s Past.”]
Ghosts is reaching into the Gilded Age past for its second-ever Halloween installment, “Halloween 2: The Ghost of Hetty’s Past.”
Unlike the past Hetty-centric (Rebecca Wisocky) episode featuring a character from her past that was sent to hell, this time around, her great nemesis, Molly the maid (Hannah Rose May) is summoned from an invisible paradise. Occurring on the spookiest evening of the year, the visiting spirit makes her entrance during a seance that Sam (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) put on to impress friends.
The visitation gives Hetty the chance to clear the air with the woman she always believed seduced her husband Elias (Matt Walsh), particularly after being schooled on more modern views about power dynamics. Below, Wisocky reflects on Hetty’s journey this season, the pivotal Halloween installment, and teases hopes for future stories.
Hetty finally confronts her past by having a conversation with Molly the maid. How did it feel to have that full-circle moment?
Rebecca Wisocky: It’s particularly wonderfully deliciously cruel to be forced to confront the person that she would least like to see in the world. That was a juicy confrontation. I love that she makes peace with her nemesis. Yet she also, in true Hetty fashion, still doubles down on hating Irish people even after that. It feels very on-brand. There are a lot of themes for Hetty in terms of growth and empowerment and not quite getting the full lesson. She will do that over and over again this season in pretty surprising ways.
Hetty repeatedly calls out how Sam is a feminist on the show, but we’ve seen a lot of positive growth in terms of the Gilded Age ghost’s outlook. Will we see her continue to transform her views on gender roles moving forward after this pivotal episode?
Through her friendship and love of Alberta, Sam, and Flower, all these women have had an impact on Hetty, her being open to softening, and changing her worldview. But she was a product of the repression of her time and her marriage, but she wasn’t necessarily a perfect creature then. Nor is she one now. You know? She’ll go on this little journey of mistaking empowerment for power. You know, her real role in life back in her time was to be socially manipulative. That was kind of her job. And [her life as] a wife of a Robber Baron…. she does not let that go easily.
Molly is summoned through a seance. Is there room for more spirits from the ghosts’ pasts to show up? Any preferences?
We’re due for a good full-on Gilded Age flashback, which we have yet to see. So I hope that that happens eventually. I hope you see Elias and Hetty actually interact when they were both alive, and I hope we get to see more of Matt Walsh. Hetty would rather never see him again, but I hope we get to see more of him, and also to see how she did or did not interact with her own children. I think that legacy and those regrets are what keeps her so attached to Samantha, and they both have a lot of mother issues to work out. So I think they’re doing that with each other, and you’ll see more of that this season as well. But yeah, I mean, there’s a never-ending stream of possible ghosts that could turn up at Woodstone.
That would be fun, especially because Thorfinn and Sasappis (Román Zaragoza) have been on Woodstone’s land before it was used to build the mansion.
There are a lot of stories that I look forward to them telling. I hope they do one about the very early times of just Sas and Thor for hundreds and hundreds of years just having no one to talk to but one another on that land. Or perhaps there was someone else that’s since been “sucked off,” I don’t know. Something around different points of history and specifically different points of our aliveness. I think the fans really loved that interaction that Thorfinn had with little baby Hetty. That’s one of the things that’s unique about my character is that many of the ghosts knew me while I was a living person, not only a living adult. They watched me grow up. They watched me fully become who I am, which I think is one of the reasons that Hetty is given a pass for some of the horrible things that she says and does.
Again, the writers are doing such a great job of taking care of all of these stories and all of these characters. They never ceased to surprise us. Season 2 will continue to shock and delight.
Hetty appears to learn her lesson at first with Molly, listening to her side of things and ultimately forgiving her, but the minute Molly is returning back to where she came from, Hetty begs to tag along, bad-mouthing her fellow Woodstone ghosts. Is that part of the social manipulation she was so good at in her living days?
She sees her shot and she’s willing to say anything and then forgive the next moment. I mean she’s fickle and [the other ghosts have] allowed that. She makes these turns. Because we’re all a family, everyone’s got someone who can say something absolutely ridiculous and awful and can turn around and say, “I love you.” They’re willing to roll their eyes and understand her true heart, even though she gets it wrong quite a bit.
Ghosts, Season 2, Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c, CBS