‘Good Trouble’ EP Teases Mariana & Evan, Callie’s New Mentor & More Season 3 Drama

Cierra Ramirez in Good Trouble
Freeform/Erin Simkin

Good Trouble Season 3 is heating up fast.

The Freeform drama’s season premiere episode, “Capoiera,” featured a number of major life changes for foster sisters Callie Adams Foster (Maia Mitchell) and Mariana Adams Foster (Cierra Ramirez), in addition to their housemates at their shared home, the Coterie. (Plus, Constance Zimmer!) New romances, fresh gigs, and difficult political challenges await the steadfast twentysomethings — and we are here for it.

As viewers prepare for Season 3, Episode 2, titled “Arraignment Day,” executive producer Joanna Johnson talks with TV Insider about the twists, turns, and hardships to come.

In the return episode, Mariana chooses to begin a relationship with her Speckulate boss Evan (T.J. Linnard) over remaining with her coworker boyfriend Raj (Dhruv Uday Singh). How will her relationship with Evan develop, for better and worse?

Joanna Johnson: She thinks that Raj did something wrong, which justified her doing what she wanted to do in her heart. The thing is, it’s hard working for your boss, and then it gets more complicated as it goes along. It’s hard [for Mariana and Evan] to keep their relationship a secret with so many people around her that would disapprove. And it’s hard carrying on a secret relationship for them, I would say.

Plus, every office at Speckulate looks like it’s made up entirely of glass walls, which can’t help!

And she can’t use the supply closet anymore because she used that with Raj, so it’d be weird to meet Evan in there!

How about Mariana’s work-life? How do we see her app develop this season?

There continues to be complications. Conflicts arise when Mariana, who sometimes feels like her boss, who is also her boyfriend, isn’t in alignment with her about what the app is for and how it should be monitored and run.

Freeform/Erin Simkin

On the flip side, Callie’s now working with a new mentor, defense attorney Kathleen Gale [UnReal‘s Constance Zimmer]. How did that amazing casting come about?

We are so lucky. Our kids go to the same school, and I met her and I was such a fan of hers on UnReal. At one point I said to her, “Would you ever do our show?” and she said, “I would.” And it was like, “Oh my god, amazing!”

What does her dynamic with Callie look like moving forward?

Callie’s been looking for a mentor. In Kathleen, I think she finds a match, a mentor who is larger than life and who doesn’t play by the rules. It’s funny because Callie broke so many rules on The Fosters as she was growing up, but new Callie — grown-up Callie — tends to want to do things the right way. She wants justice. She wants things to be fair. She’s idealistic. Working with Kathleen is going to be a real eye-opener because the prosecution doesn’t play by the rules, which means the defense can’t, either. She’ll come up against her usual ethical dilemmas working with Kathleen.

And Callie broke up with her lawyer boyfriend, Jamie [Beau Mirchoff]. It almost seems he could be a potential villain on the show — though that could just be his disheveled look.

Part of his disheveled look was because we were sharing him with Narcos: Mexico — we couldn’t have him shaving. But it worked for our character perfectly. I see Jamie as someone who really got burned by someone who he really loved and trusted 100 percent. Going forward, they’re going to find themselves, again, working professionally and personally at odds. They can’t seem to get out of each other’s orbit.

Malika [Zuri Adele] was brought into custody at the end of last week’s episode. Are we getting an Orange Is the New Black moment?

That’s not our intention at all. She’s an activist and her story is really about the discrimination against Black protests and Black activism. This is something that we want to continue to highlight as a real issue in our country. Also, she’s working at Dignity and Power Now, which is an organization that is really working for prison reform and working for people who are affected by discriminatory incarceration. These are just really big issues that are going to continue to be important.

Are you ever concerned about being too political for Freeform?

Freeform has been amazing, brave, bold, supportive in this storytelling. I’ve never been told I couldn’t do something. But we’re also a soap. At the end of the day, this show is about relationships and the struggle for identity in your twenties, and the family that you make out in the world. I think as long as you focus it that way, it doesn’t become a show about issues. It’s still a show about people.

Freeform/Erin Simkin

Coterie co-habitants Davia [Emma Hunton] and Dennis [Josh Pence] finally got together in the Season 2 finale, only to be separated in the return episode. How come?

For Dennis, it’s survivors’ guilt. That’s something real for people who have lost someone and are grieving. Dennis realizes that he has not really dealt with [the loss of his son Jacob]. He’s been trying to avoid the grief, get around the grief, and he realizes that he has to just get through it. Which of course is devastating to Davia because it feels like a huge rejection.

Davia is realizing that she has some stuff to figure out, too. What does her journey look like this season?

Yeah, I think that Davia’s lost herself a little bit in trying to rescue Dennis. This is a wake-up call for her to focus on what she really wants, which is to get her third year of Teach for America contract so that she gets her Masters paid for. She’s really doubling down and focusing on becoming a good teacher.

Who else should be getting our attention this season?

Gael [Tommy Martinez] has a great journey this season because he’s really growing and maturing and trying to take the right steps to become a working and known artist. Of course he still has feelings for Callie. And now Callie’s single, so that’s something interesting too. I think he’s thinking maybe there’s a second chance there.

Good Trouble, Wednesdays, 10/9c, Freeform