‘Good Girls’ Bosses on Beth & Rio’s Status, Season 3’s Early End & Hopes for the Future
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 11 of Good Girls, “Synergy.”]
Good Girls‘ third season concluded five episodes earlier than originally planned (due to production shutdowns) with May 3’s “Synergy.”
Even so, fans were left with one cliffhanger as newbie Lauren Lapkus‘ character Agent Phoebe Donnegan encroached on Beth (Christina Hendricks), Ruby (Retta) and Annie’s (Mae Whitman) illegal operations. Phoebe has been investigating the women’s involvement in counterfeit cash production. Add in their ongoing plot to remove Rio (Manny Montana) from his perch as head honcho, and fans were left wondering what’s next.
While Good Girls hasn’t officially been renewed for Season 4, showrunner Jenna Bans and executive producer Bill Krebs are dishing on what could be coming down the pike should they get the green light. Dishing on everything from the Beth-Rio relationship to the threat Phoebe poses, Bans and Krebs are shedding light on where things could go next.
Despite closing the season out five episodes early, fans were left with a pretty good cliffhanger. What was it like having to work around the obstacle of ending the season earlier than planned?
Jenna Bans: The episode was always going to end that way… It was the last one we finished completely, when we had to shut down for safety reasons. So, it was sort of making the best situation creatively of, what we were left with. And I think, once we knew that was going to be our season finale, we sort of took an eye to editing and music, and what we could do to make it feel finale-esque.
Bill Krebs: It was originally teeing up the last half of the season, or the last third of the season. And so, it’s still an exciting sort of moment, the fact that Phoebe is infiltrating the women.
Yes, Phoebe is clearly shaping up to be a key adversary against Beth, Ruby and Annie. How does she differ from the threat Agent Turner (James Lesure) once posed?
Bans: I think that’s probably one of our biggest disappointments that we didn’t get to fully flesh that storyline out. That was going to be a big character arc, going forward in the last five episodes. She’s very different from Agent Turner, she becomes almost a frenemy, of Beth’s.
There’s a lot she admires about Beth and she was sort of the nerd in high school, and thinks Beth was this golden girl. So it’s a sort of a love, but then hates her, at the same time. And as she gets closer to the women, particularly Beth, we start to see that sort of odd adversarial friendship grow. And they end up having a really, really unique relationship that we’re hopeful to play out.
Krebs: Turner’s issue was always sort of class with Beth, in that Beth could get away with things that he might not have been able to. Whereas, Phoebe is more of a social status issue. And, what she represented in high school to what Beth represented in high school, has really never left her.
Bans: Yeah, she’s really fascinated by the friendship between the three women, and it’s that fascination that really draws her closer to them.
So, if the show continues onto Season 4, would they pick up with the five episodes that were left unfinished?
Bans: All those discussions are being had, right now. We’ve shot some of the last five episodes. So, we’re not going to just throw that footage away, but there’s always some creative tweaks to be made.
Krebs: Yeah, we wouldn’t be building towards that finale anymore, per se. That’s one of the discussions.
Bans: But I would say, there was a lot of good things coming up that we were both really were creatively excited about, and at this point we don’t plan to throw out the baby with the bath water. We really know that a lot of stuff coming up would be exciting to the fans, especially the Beth and Rio relationship.
Krebs: And if it gets into the Season 4, we can even make more of it, which we’re very excited about.
Bans: Exactly. The good news is, it’ll make the beginning of [a possible] Season 4 our most exciting season, ever.
Season 3 was particularly dark, have we reached the lowest point yet or is it going to get even darker?
Bans: That’s something we discuss amongst ourselves a lot, because at the end of the day, creatively the show isn’t Breaking Bad, where you can really get darker and darker and darker. At its core, this still has comedic elements, and that’s something we love about the show and really want to preserve.
Krebs: They’re still housewives who are trapped, who are in over their heads and we still want to play the fun of all that, as opposed to the grim reality of crime.
You’ve had a stellar cast of guest stars throughout the series, is there any chance some Season 3 newbies will could pop up in the possible future?
Bans: For sure. One of our favorite things making this show, is discovering that amazing guest star that just pops. And oftentimes, we write to that. In the case of JT (Julian Gant), who is the owner of the Quick Cash they initially robbed, and now he’s sort of a confidant… We’ve never intended that to be more than one episode.
Krebs: He auditioned along with a hundred other people, and he just popped off the screen. And he was so funny, and just so great to work with.
Bans: So, we love finding people like that, and then, using them over and over again. To just populate the world, and make it more colorful. David Hornsby‘s an old friend of mine and he was like, “Yeah, I’ll do the pilot.” I had originally intended on killing him, in the pilot. And then he was just so good and smarmy [as Boomer] he ended up playing a huge role, over the past couple of seasons. And we have plans for him in the future [if the show continues]. We love having this sort of theater troupe of fun guest stars to go to, in a pinch.
Wow, Boomer really does have nine lives then?
Bans: Yeah, he’s a weed.
Krebs: They can’t rid of them if they tried.
Speaking of weeds, is Rio’s possible fate something fans should actually be worried about? Beth did hire a hit man (Andrew McCarthy) and Rio did tell her the only way she’ll gain control is by killing him.
Bans: Yeah, they should be. I think, at the end of the day, Beth has such complicated feelings towards him. And right now, they are of the more angry variety, because she feels like he’s masterminding her entire plan. She thought she was finally rid of him and starting her own business, and he basically has the women in his clutches again. So, she’s desperate, and I think when these women are backed into a corner they are capable of anything.
Krebs: He also made the threat very clear, when he killed Lucy (Charlyne Yi) in front of them. If this season is about anything, maybe it’s about them trying to get back to a normal life. And he very much complicated that.
Bans: Yeah. At the same time, he’s obviously one of our favorite parts of the show. We love the Beth-Rio relationship, the push and pull. And we were going some really, really sort of interesting juicy ways with that, in the last five [episodes]. So, regardless of what happens, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him.
Krebs: The more dangerous it gets, the more attractive he is.
Bans: Yeah. To all of us, really.
Ruby and Stan (Reno Wilson) went through their own challenges in this episode but ultimately came out on the other side. Will there ever be a point when the weight of their lies will break that seemingly unbreakable bond?
Bans: They’re one of our favorite couples and we are always talking in the writer’s room how, it’s a marriage we all aspire to, and we all sort of want. So I don’t think Bill or I really have any interest in permanently breaking them up.
Krebs: No, it’s more of a test of how bulletproof can a perfect marriage be?
Bans: Yeah. And that’s what we find really interesting. They’ve known each other forever, but people grow and change during a marriage. And no one more so than Ruby, in the past two seasons, so to not sort of test their marriage through that just didn’t feel real to us.
Krebs: She always feels she’s [committing crimes] for the noble reasons of getting kidney medicine for her daughter or buying a car for Carl and Jenny versus, Stan now is just getting money to buy things. And, which person is right, when they’re both doing the wrong thing?
There’s also Annie who can’t seem to catch a break in the romance or schooling department. What track would she be heading down next?
Bans: I think the Annie storyline was something we were most excited about this season and especially where we were going. I don’t think anybody would predict where she was ending up, at the end of this season. It very much seems like she’s going down the same path, with an emotionally unavailable man, and sort of trading her future and her opportunities for that. And so, I think I’m most disappointed where that has ended, here because it was a really clear arc, in showing that she has grown this season. And we didn’t get to the growth part, necessarily.
Krebs: Yeah, her finally learning how to make the right decisions, or the right choices in her life, versus the wrong ones.
Bans: I would say, that’s definitely something we’d to pick up in Season 4, just because it feels like we didn’t get to end it, in the way we wanted to. But at the same time, I think it’d be really fun and surprising for people, what would happen to Annie in Season 4 now, would really take the show in a whole new direction, even with the other women.
Speaking of growth, Dean (Matthew Lillard) has improved as a person since the series premiered, and Beth lied to him again. Who should we be rooting for in this circumstance?
Bans: I think, both of them.
Krebs: Yeah, I think you’re rooting for them as a couple in a lot of this, and that’s sort of how we crafted it from the beginning. Trying to see in all this messiness, is there anything salvageable? As they both start to respect one another again, throughout this season. Even though Beth is going behind his back, and seeing Rio, it’s for the right reason. She’s trying to raise money to get rid of Rio, so she can get back to a normal situation, with her husband. Whether that happens..
Bans: Will remain to be seen, obviously. We’ve really tried to rehabilitate Dean, in the past few seasons, and show that he’s grown. And whether we believe that he’s the right romantic partner for Beth, and whether that’s a marriage that’s full of romance and spiciness, that’s a different question. But, she’s obviously drawn to Rio for other reasons. We didn’t want Dean to be the cliche jerk season after season. We really wanted to sort of dimensionalize him, and show that he has a heart and cares about his family, too.
What else can you tease about the show’s possible future?
Bans: I would say, the beginning of a Season 4, there would be much to look forward to, because it’s completely unexpected, and also, really satisfying, in terms of what the fans love about the show. There would still be some things the fans really want to see happen, which is fun, but they’d happen in a way that will be surprising and sort of unpredictable.
Krebs: Yeah, Phoebe entering their lives is really going to alter everything that they know. And how they react.
Bans: And really launch us into a different sphere, than we’ve ever been in in the show. They’ll be in a different situation in Season 4 than they’ve ever been in.