Spoiler alert: This post contains plot from the season 1 finale of Good Girls.
Talk about a cliffhanger. After Beth (Christina Hendricks), Annie (Mae Whitman), and Ruby (Retta) returned to the scene of their first crime and robbed the grocery store — again! — in the hopes that it would land Rio behind bars, well, things started to fall apart. First, Stan (Reno Wilson) found out the truth about what Ruby’s done for her family. And then there’s the finale’s final moment, in which Rio (Manny Montana) shows up at Beth’s house, beats Dean (Matthew Lillard) to a pulp, and then slides a gun across the table to see if Beth really has what it takes. The season ends on a shot of Beth aiming the gun. But will she pull the trigger?
EW hopped on the phone with Good Girls showrunner Jenna Bans to talk about the hour and what to expect if the show’s renewed for a second season.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is it terrible that, in that final moment, I was thinking: If she shoots one of them, I hope it’s Dean?
JENNA BANS: [Laughs] That is so funny, oh poor Dean! We spent a lot of time talking about that final moment and it just felt so perfect for Beth’s growth as a character this season. Rio has been telling her all season: Is this really who you are or are you play acting at something you don’t understand? So in this final moment, he’s putting his money where his mouth is: He is handing her a gun and saying, “Alright, if you’re a boss, this is how it works. You don’t just try to get someone arrested; you take care of them and that’s how you move up.” It’s the ultimate game of chess at the end and we’re left on that question: Does Beth have what it takes to shoot someone at point-blank range? Is she a murderer or is she a normal person just thrust into insane circumstances? We’re pretty excited about the cliffhanger; it’s definitely a cliffhanger and we’re very hopeful that we will get a season 2 so we can tell you what happens.
At the beginning of the season, we talked about how these women are thrust into this life because of a need for money. If you get a season 2, does it become less about a need for money and more about a love of this life?
Those two things are always in coexistence, especially for Beth. She was financially desperate when we opened the pilot but she was also really emotionally desperate, and I think she’s a woman who’s felt like she’s made all of these traditional choices and they aren’t really making her happy. So for Beth I think there is an excitement to what she’s been doing and there is a rush to it. At the same time, she’s a mom and she loves her kids so those two things are always warring within her. My biggest aim for the show is to keep it grounded, even as the situations are super heightened. It’s not easy to change your socioeconomic status overnight, so these are women who are always going to have a financial need. It will be both those things going forward.
I love that you all brought it full circle with Beth. Her decision to get into this life started with Dean lying to her, and now, she once again finds out that Dean is lying to her.
Yeah, I think when she’s sitting in that hospital, she’s just gobsmacked that she fell for it again. As far as we’ve seen Dean come as a character, he has this fatal flaw where he backs himself into a corner and does something stupid and then doubles down on it. Beth is completely, completely stunned and angry at herself that she fell for him again, because really in the last couple of episodes, we’ve seen them get closer and closer. People can argue amongst themselves whether she was actually going to take him back or not, but she’s definitely softened toward him since the pilot, so the reveal of the fake cancer was really a slap in her face in that moment.
If we get a season 2, what does Stan figuring out the truth mean? Stan and Ruby are the best!
I know, they are my favorite couple. We can assure the fan that we’re not going to break them up, but they’re going to go through some tough times because Stan is realizing something that truly, truly changes his perception of his wife. It’s the type of thing where you’ve been married to someone for a lot of years and started a family with them and truly didn’t realize they were capable of something you just found out they were capable of. So he’s going to have some trouble processing that, and the situation is even more fraught now that he’s a member of the Detroit Police Department. So he’s definitely going to be more involved with Ruby’s criminal goings-on then he ever thought he would be or wanted to be as we go forward in season 2.
I just want them to rap about everything.
They’re so good! You know how that started? They were just doing that, Retta and Reno Wilson were just having fun waiting for the lighting to be set and one of my writers videotaped it and sent it to me. I was like, “We have to put that in the show.” So I texted them, “What do you guys want to rap on the show?” And we just made it into a scene. And we take that sort of inspiration from the actors themselves all the time. We put a lot of Retta’s Instagram things in the show like the good morning song. She always makes her dark magic coffee on her Insta stories, and we put that in the show. So we have a lot of fun throwing little Easter egg-type things to the actors’ fans.
Mary Pat also has a really big moment in this finale. In season 2, would she find herself working her way into the group or what do you see for her?
I’m not sure she’ll ever be part of the group in that she would join up with them because she works so well for us as a foil to them. So we have a couple ideas about really interesting ways she could continue to be a foil for them, not necessarily in the way she’s been in season 1. Both Allison Tolman and David Hornsby are just so good together. I loved watching their weird little romance and I found myself actually starting to root for them even though they’re really the villains in our story, both of them in different ways. It was like we’re watching a weird side story about the villains falling in love, which was just super interesting to me. We definitely have plans to bring both David and Allison back and all I can say is their roles in season 2 will be sort of refreshed and also similar at the same time. We’re not planning on losing either of them but they’ll make trouble for our women in different ways than we’ve seen before.
The last thing I’ll say is that if you want to go all in on this Rio-Beth love story next season, I’m here for it.
We’ve got some plans! That situation definitely escalates too. It’s not like those two can ride off into the sunset. They’re definitely different people with different agendas, so it will be fun to see how that relationship grows.