Good Girls bosses talk Beth and Rio, potential season 4
Warning: This article contains spoilers for the season 3 finale of Good Girls, "Synergy."
Due to production being halted by the coronavirus pandemic, season 3 of Good Girls ended five episodes early, with its 11th installment, which saw Beth (Christina Hendricks) make a big business move: She purchased the hot tub store. But the episode ended on a much bigger development as Phoebe (Lauren Lapkus), an FBI agent, introduced herself to Beth and company, thereby launching her investigation.
EW spoke with Good Girls showrunner Jenna Bans and executive producer Bill Krebs about the shortened season and what will hopefully happen next, should the series be renewed for a fourth season.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What happens when you find our your season is going to end five episodes early?
JENNA BANS: You just adjust in the best way you can.
BILL KREBS: A little bit of triage. We all gathered to go, "What do we have?"
BANS: "What do we have, what do we do?" Episodes 12 and 13 had been shot, but not to completion, so we were like, "Can we air anything else?" You just make do. We did everything possible to end the season on a promise of what's to come. Is it as spectacular as [episode] 16 would've been in terms of excitement level? No. But does it tell you a little bit about where we're going? Hopefully. And make you excited to watch more? Hopefully.
KREBS: And we like to design a lot of these episodes as sort of contained episodes on their own, so we were fortunate that this one sort of ended in a place that really teed up the back third of the season, which is now going to be hopefully the first part of the fourth season.
Do you feel like your last five episodes and those stories transition fairly easily to the start of a new season, should you get renewed?
BANS: We do. The first season we ended and then did a little time jump; second season we did a big time jump to show Rio's been gone for months and they've started this new endeavor. We were never going to do that [in season 3]. We designed 16 to be a little more of a throw forward and more continuous, so that was just a happy accident. We loved where we were going in the last five episodes.
KREBS: We'd already sort of been discussing season 4 through the end of season 3, and that it was going to hand off into season 4 in a nice way, so now this just buys us the ability to really hit the ground running into season 4 and help us expand some of the story lines into the future episodes. We're excited about it.
BANS: We kind of looked at each other when it all went down and we were like, "Well, the good news is the start of season 4 is going to be super-exciting!"
KREBS: You get a finale as your premiere. I think we're gonna make it pretty seamless.
Am I supposed to be over Rio (Manny Montana)? Because I still love him…
KREBS: We want you to be conflicted!
BANS: We want you to feel like Beth does, which is like, "Oh my God, I was sleeping with this guy and now he's a murderer, what do I do?"
KREBS: "Why do I still have these feelings?"
BANS: "Why do I still have these feelings? He's really sexy and he still believes in me and gives me something my husband just can't, which is not just sex but in terms of excitement."
KREBS: The danger of Rio breaks up the monotony of her every day life, and so how do you quit that?
BANS: You don't. And I think one of our biggest regrets of where we were going in the last five episodes is they've been so adversarial this season with him wanting to kill her because she shot him, and then she was like, "The only way to not get killed is to kill him." They've been at each other's throats for 11 episodes. The last five were really going to take us in a new direction. We were going to, and still will in the opening of season 4, throw them into putting that adversarial weaponry aside and having to begrudgingly work together in a way that they haven't before. That chemistry is not something that can be snuffed out, so it brings up all of that good stuff, them working in such close proximity. That's something we're really looking forward to jumping into in season 4 and something we're sad we didn't get to show the fans in season 3, but it's all still coming. You don't go from having the hottest sex of your life to wanting someone dead without conflicted feelings.
KREBS: You don't stop thinking about bathroom sex.
One of my favorite stories this year has been Stan's (Reno Wilson) journey and watching him essentially join Ruby (Retta) on the dark side, though there was one moment where I worried you might break them up.
BANS: I don't think we will ever break them up.
KREBS: No. They represent the relationship we should all have.
BANS: Exactly. But at the same time, we don't want to gloss over the fact that the situation these women are in is really stressful and affects their home lives. While Stan and Ruby started the series with near to a perfect marriage, no marriage is perfect, and it frays under stress. She thought she could solve their financial problems in a really, really insane way, and that's going to affect a relationship.
KREBS: We like testing it and seeing how big the moat is around their fortress. Can anything get in there? We like dancing around all of that because they are such a perfect couple.
There's now an FBI agent in town. What can you preview about where that would go in a fourth season?
BANS: What's interesting about the character of Phoebe is we really go into a more personal sphere with her.
KREBS: It becomes more than the case.
BANS: Yeah, you even see in episode 11 where she's fascinated by these women on Ruby's phone and fascinated by their friendship. I think there's part of her that wants a piece of that, that never had that when she was growing up and wants to be like them. Her relationship with Beth, in particular, gets very, very complicated. Bill and I keep calling them frenemies. They become friends in a way that Beth and Agent Turner never really did, and I think that makes it all the more complicated.
KREBS: Phoebe always knew girls like Beth in high school, and she always wanted to be with girls like her and was never really fully accepted, and I think she's still trying to figure all that out through Beth as an adult.
BANS: We're almost less excited about the case and more excited about the personal dynamic between them, and how that sort of catapults the entire show into a new world we haven't been in yet. It definitely goes unexpected places. I think you'll see in the start of season 4, that friendship between her and Beth really launches us into a different sphere than the women have ever been in before.