The Arrangement boss on Megan's declaration of war, Terence's big bad evolution in season 2
Spoiler alert: This post contains plot from the season 1 finale of The Arrangement.
Well, it’s safe to say that Megan is NOT a fan of the Institute of the Higher Mind. In the season 1 finale of The Arrangement, she was kidnapped and taken to “the facility,” an undisclosed location where she was forced to wear bland clothing and was not allowed to leave until the Institute said she could. Their goal? To get her to work on herself. Sure, it might not sound bad, but the whole “you’re trapped and can’t leave” thing isn’t the best. And Megan’s whole ordeal is made even worse when she realizes Kyle’s in on it.
However, by the time Megan leaves the facility, she appears to have embraced the Institute … at least until the finale’s final moments, in which she declares she’s taking on the Institute, and she’s ready to see that place burn.
EW spoke with showrunner Jonathan Abrahams about the finale and what to expect in season 2.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I have to say: I was very worried that Megan was on Team Institute, so that final moment was a huge sigh of relief.
JONATHAN ABRAHAMS: We were all really excited for the moment. There was a lot of conversation between myself and Christine [Evangelista] and our director about how we want to play it. The network and the studio were also weighing in on: What does Megan post-facility look like? There were people who were like, “She looks exactly like Megan did before, she’s just saying yes to things.” Then there were other people who were like, “She’s total Stepford Wife.” I think where we landed and I think the right answer was somewhere in between all that, where you see that things have changed, but she can’t be a fembot. Kyle has to feel like the Megan that he fell in love with is still there. So it was really a fine line to walk.
She makes that final declaration against the Institute. What will that mean for her romantic relationship with Kyle?
I think that it’s something that Megan’s going to have to face in season 2. Her feelings for Kyle are very, very mixed. I think that’s TBD. It’s not going to be an easy question to answer for Megan.
In creating this finale, was there a discussion of, how dark is too dark?
There was. The facility was in the season pitch in the beginning, so everybody knew. There was never any serious cautions from the network. They were always really supportive and encouraging of us going to a darker place. And I think everybody’s sort of fascinated by the dark side of these organizations that we’ve all heard about, so it was definitely easy to go there. In terms of Megan’s backstory, everybody knew about that in the beginning also. So going there I don’t think that there was a lot of trepidation. I think when it came to the facility, there was a question about: How much time can we spend there in a show that’s about L.A. and Hollywood? We had a lot of story to tell there and we wanted to make sure that we balanced it with some stuff that felt like the world that we’re used to as well.
If season 1 was a slow burn on Terence as the big bad, is he in full-blown big bad mode in season 2?
Terence will be cooking meth at IHM, yes. [Laughs] The thing that’s important to me about Terence and IHM is that none of it is inherently evil. Terence is a narcissist and probably a megalomaniac and maybe even somewhat sociopathic, but regardless of that, he is a guy who created this self-help stuff not as a scam. He believed in it. He obviously gets a lot out of the recognition and the power that it gives him and he wants recognition and power in Hollywood and the rest of the world as well, and that’s a bit motivating factor and I think that sometimes it leads him to do questionable things. But in the beginning of [season 2], as far as Terence knows, he’s winning. He’s not going to be evil for the sake of being evil; he just wants to keep things in a place that he can manage. That’s always going to be his motivation. Now, the more active Megan gets to undermine him, then I’m sure that will bring out some of Terence’s lesser qualities, shall we say.
Is season 2, then, upping the intensity even more?
I feel like season 1 really sets the table for this story. People needed to figure each other out and figure out what the battle lines were, and we’ve slowly added to the thriller element of the show over the course of season 1. That energy is something we’re looking forward to continuing in season 2. Megan’s not going to be escaping from the facility every episode, but you have a better sense of what the danger is now than you did before.