‘Ghosts’ Star Richie Moriarty on Pete’s Special Father-of-the-Bride Moment

Richie Moriarty as Pete, Holly Gauthier-Frankel as Laura, and Caroline Aaron as Carol in 'Ghosts' Season 2
Spoiler Alert
Jonathan Wenk/CBS

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Ghosts Season 2, Episode 19, “Ghost Father of the Bride.”]

Ghosts‘ latest episode teased the return of Crash’s (Alex Boniello) head to his body, but “Ghost Father of the Bride,” primarily focuses on yet another emotional Pete-centric (Richie Moriarty) story.

If a long-dead scout leader meeting his namesake grandson for the first time didn’t bring tears to your eyes, perhaps the episode where he gets to walk his daughter down the wedding aisle at Woodstone will. After receiving a Martino family newsletter, Sam (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) learn that Pete’s daughter is tying the knot, and with a little swaying from the arrow-speared spirit, they’re able to convince his family to hold the weddings at their Bed and Breakfast, thanks in part to calling in a long un-permitted deck Pete once built during his living years.

Needless to say, there are bumps in the road, like disagreements between flowers, music, and colors for the ceremony between Pete and his wife Carol (Caroline Aaron), but eventually, things are sorted out when Sam utters a Pete-specific term that allows his family to feel his presence, just in time for the ceremony to proceed.

Below, Moriarty opens up about being Ghosts‘ go-to guy for emotional moments, hopes for future run-ins with the rest of the Martino family, and much more.

Richie Moriarty as Pete and Holly Gauthier-Frankel as Laura in 'Ghosts'

(Credit: Jonathan Wenk/CBS)

How does it feel to know Pete’s episodes of Ghosts are among the most emotional?

Richie Moriarty: I honestly love it. Pete is in a unique position in the house where he still has these relatives who are out living their lives. And obviously, I think like there’s a lot of emotion that is easily accessed by our audience. When you think about things like, a parent that’s passed away being at your wedding or a parent meeting your children who they never got to meet. There are things that I think make Pete’s storylines so interesting when you recognize that he’s got family out there today. It’s really fun to be part of these emotional episodes.

Pete puts his connection to his family in jeopardy by meddling with wedding plans. Does he regret that at all?

Yeah, I think there are a couple of moments of reflection of like, “Oh man, we’ve gone too far here pushing for this.” And hopefully, the audience can understand why they’re pushing as hard as they are and why he is so gung-ho. Sam is so lovely in going through with all these things that I’m pushing for. Jay’s character is very much in on making this happen for Pete too. I think they’ve grown so close to these ghosts that they want to deliver for them when they have opportunities like this. But there’s obviously regret there when things look like they’ve gone too far. Pete too in those moments is realizing the struggles he had with his wife in life are really being amplified and he’s being reminded of all of these times when they were not on the same page.

Pete’s a rule follower, but we learn that his laziness in getting his home deck permitted helped bring his daughter to Woodstone for her wedding. What does it say about him as an individual that not permitting a deck is one of his biggest shame?

It’s funny. I mean, that the flashback moment with his daughter is so sweet and funny at the end because, you know, his wife is reminding him to submit the permit for the deck and he’s basically telling her to relax and he’ll get to it when he gets to it cause he is having this sweet moment with his daughter. But, I think in the episode, Pete says it was grilling season and the permit office was backed up. It’s just very funny because when you think about the stereotypical suburban dad in the eighties, you think of them behind a grill with a spatula in the hand entertaining the neighbors, while he flips burgers. So yeah, he feels real shame over it, like, “Man, I skirted this one rule.” And now, in an odd way, it’s coming back to give him an opportunity to see his daughter get married.

Devan Chandler Long, Roman Zaragoza, Richie Moriarty, Asher Grodman, Rose McIver, and Rebecca Wisocky in 'Ghosts' Season 2

(Credit: Jonathan Wenk/CBS)

While Pete misremembers his daughter’s wedding flowers from when she was a kid, ultimately, the error leads to Sam using a Pete-ism, “Cuckaloo.” How important are these aspects of his past and the memories he’s keeping alive?

That moment really speaks to how all of us have very specific memories, especially of childhood or of something that happened many years ago and we’re all very dead set on the details. Very often we’re wrong, our memory plays tricks on us. You can spend a day with somebody and after time passes you ask each person about the day and they’ll have very different recollections. So I think it’s just like that, that moment for me was just a fun way to kind of highlight how he’s so dead set that it’s lilies. And I think for him to hear orchids, [it sparks the memory].

Would you say Pete is the luckiest ghost at Woodstone for being able to have milestones with his family despite being dead? Like walking his daughter down the aisle. And what do you hope is on the horizon in regard to his family visiting Woodstone?

Yeah. We’re so excited about starting Season 3 soon. Joe Port and Joe Wiseman, and the other writers have talked about a lot of different ideas that involve Pete’s family. Both family that we’ve met and other family members that we haven’t met yet. So I’m hopeful that we will not only get to see Caroline Aaron come back and Holly [Gauthier-Frankel] who plays Laura and Hudson [Robert Wurster] who plays my grandson. I feel confident we will, but I’m also hopeful that we’ll get to broaden the scope of Pete’s history and learn more about his life in the travel agency and hopefully meet some more of his family.

He is the luckiest ghost. There’s just more weight to some of his backstories because his family’s still around. And my grandson’s gonna grow up and he might have a family one day and my daughter will go through many things as she gets older. My wife Carol isn’t gonna live forever, so, who knows what will happen there? I’m excited to find out.

If anytime was a good time to tell his family he was communicating through Sam, this would have been a great moment. Why do you think there’s a reluctance there?

I think the reluctance from Sam is real, obviously. They’ve only really revealed it to Jay’s sister. I understand the reluctance, but I do hear what you’re saying and I would not be surprised if Sam ends up revealing to more people in the future that she has the ability [to speak to ghosts], because there does reach a point where she can only be coy so long about certain things and doesn’t have any explanation for why she knows them. It’ll be really interesting to see if she does reveal that to more people down the road and what kind of relationships or misfortunes happen as a result of revealing that to other people.

Ghosts, Season 2, Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c, CBS