If Megan thought a contract marriage was complicated, she had no idea what she was getting into with Kyle West and, more specifically, the Institute of the Higher Mind. In The Arrangement‘s first season, Megan fell for Kyle, the big-time movie star with a heart of gold. Or at least silver. The end of the season saw Kyle sell his fiancée out to the Institute, which then kidnapped her for three weeks. Now, she’s out for revenge. But how will that affect her relationship with Kyle?
EW hopped on the phone with Arrangement showrunner Jonathan Abrahams to talk about season 2.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where does season 2 pick up?
JONATHAN ABRAHAMS: A couple weeks [after the end of season 1]. You’ll see from the opening frame of the first episode that Megan is struggling to deal with the delicate balancing act that she’s set up for herself, which is that she’s on the inside and she’s led everybody to believe that everything is okay and meanwhile she has this whole other agenda. One of the things that we thought was really interesting is what kind of toll that takes on a person where you’re lying your way through your day, moment to moment. When do you have moments when you can actually be real?
How will her mission to take down the Institute affect her relationship with Kyle, the man she loves who also happens to be part of the very thing she’s going after?
That’s a lot of what we’re exploring in the first few episodes. For example, Megan says, “I’m going to burn the whole thing down.” So is Kyle part of the whole thing? Or is he separate? That’s a question that she has to figure out for herself. How can she go about this gargantuan task of dropping the Institute and yet still have a relationship with Kyle — is that possible and is it something that she wants? Can she forgive him for his role in what happened at the end of last season? These are all things that she’s struggling with. One of the things that I love about it is it’s really messy and complicated and there’s no definitive answer. When it comes to forgiving somebody or understanding why they might’ve done something that hurt you, there’s never a simple solution. You have to figure out what you’re willing to live with or work through in order to make a relationship work.
The end of last season definitely amped up the thriller element of the show. Will that continue in season 2?
Thriller is definitely an element in the show. Even in the beginning before we were ever on the air, we pitched it as a romantic thriller. Season 2 definitely leans a little bit more toward that than season 1, simply because we’re starting in a place where the darkness has already been established and Megan is beginning the season with a very particular goal and drive. How does life in the A-list world of Kyle West fit in, help, get in the way of that drive that she has? I would definitely say that season 2 has a darker edge than season 1 and that’s reflected both by the story of Megan’s goal but also I think you’ll see it reflected in the visuals. There’s a romantic, modern noir feel to [season 2] and I think that our characters are playing in shadows a lot. It’s kind of a metaphor for what’s going on internally for all of them.
We’ve talked a lot about Megan, but what’s going on with Kyle? How’s he doing?
This season in general is a lot about peeling back the layers on Kyle. In season 2, we’re going to get to know a lot more about him as he’s trying to have this life that has been scripted for him. He’s going to direct this movie and he’s going to get married to the girl of his dreams and he’s going to both elevate himself in terms of the public, and also by making this relationship work and being the man that Megan needs him to be. He’s got this thing in the beginning and he says it in the first episode that making this movie is a journey of personal redemption for him. That really sets up a mystery that we explore over the course of the season, which is: What is this redemption about? What is this dark secret that drives him? We have a really cool way of getting there and I think, in the end, you really get a sense for how Kyle came to be the way that he is.
We’ve seen a wedding dress in the season 2 trailer. So are we getting a wedding this season?
There is a wedding. That’s all I can really say. I can’t say who’s getting married or what the circumstances of the wedding are, but you are not wrong to draw conclusions based on the dress.
The Arrangement returns Sunday, March 11 at 9 p.m. ET on E!