They also reveal the one request their legendary guest star had before signing on for the thriller-satire show.

The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window (TV series)

Warning: This article contains spoilers about the season finale of The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window.

Talk about growing pains.

In one of the most bonkers finale twists ever seen on television, the killer at the center of The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window was revealed to be none other than sweet little neighbor girl Emma (Samsara Yett), whose murder spree all began because she really didn't want a sibling. After revealing that she killed her own mother (Janina Gavankar), father (Tom Riley), and her father's girlfriend (Shelley Hennig), and believing that she killed Anna's handyman Buell (Cameron Britton), Emma attempts to kill Anna (Kristen Bell) next.

What ensues is a bloody, knock-down-drag-out fight to the death, which ends with Anna plunging a broken casserole dish shard into Emma's chest, killing her. Douglas (Michael Ealy), who is revealed to be Anna's ex-husband and not her therapist, rushes in to call for help.

Afterwards, it's revealed that Buell actually survived the attack, and one year later, Douglas and Anna are back together and have welcomed a new baby. On a trip to New York to see her friend Sloane (Mary Holland), a refreshed Anna is seated on the plane next to a mysterious, fabulously dressed woman who claims her trip is for "business" (in a jaw-dropping cameo by Glenn Close). Anna dozes off, and when she awakens later in the flight, the seat next to her is empty. She goes to the bathroom and finds the woman dead, but upon alerting the flight crew, the bathroom is found to be empty and the attendant promises there was never anyone in the seat next to her. In one of the show's many cliffhangers, the scene ends with Anna going back to her seat and finding the woman's compact mirror. "Bingo," Anna says, as the credits roll.

After bingeing the eight-episode thriller satire, EW spoke with showrunners Rachel Ramras, Larry Dorf, and Hugh Davidson to get all of our burning questions answered about that wild ending, that shocking cameo, and whether the limited series might not be so limited after all.

The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window
The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window
| Credit: Colleen E. Hayes/Netflix

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Most importantly, what was wrong with the mailbox that it took two years for Buell to fix?

RACHEL RAMRAS: [Laughs] I think the problem was with Buell. I think that mailbox was very easily fixed.

And what about the recurring casserole dish? Where did that come from?

RAMRAS: Well, there's something just so ridiculously cliche about a casserole, not even in a [thriller way]. I mean, we poked fun at all the cliches in those [Woman in the...] books, but then I think there was room to poke fun at cliches in general, sometimes.

And diving into the finale, did you always have Emma pegged as the murderer?

HUGH DAVIDSON: When we were first writing, we knew we had to have a shocking ending. But I think we spent weeks before we got to Emma, the kid. We were just trying to figure out the characters, and who would be the most shocking person? And turns out it's an 8-year-old girl.

LARRY DORF: Working on the trope of the bad guy explaining what they did, their evil plan, and then a fight to the death — if you take that trope, and you insert an 8-year-old girl, that also seems shocking and funny.

You said there was a time when you toyed with other ideas, so was there any other character in particular that you looked at?

RAMRAS: Certainly after watching [HBO series] The Undoing we thought everyone's gonna immediately suspect Neil, and before The Undoing I think we would have thought we can't do that. Then it turns out you can. So you can make it the most obvious or the least obvious person. I do think that in watching it and in writing it, that moment that Anna thinks it's Buell, I think if it ended up having been Buell, that would have been plenty exciting. But it was more fun to have it be Samsara [who plays Emma].

DAVIDSON: Yeah, I think we felt like it could have been Anna, or there could have been no murderer at all. Really everything was kind of on the table since this was gonna end comedically. It [came down to] what thing we thought we could wring the most genuine laughter out of, and that would make us laugh. And having it be the kid and having it be the kid that then makes that long speech that Larry just was talking about, and that there's going to be a brutal fight with the kid — that just kept making us laugh. So it just had the most legs for an ending, comedically.

The Woman in the House
Mary Holland and Kristen Bell in 'The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window.'
| Credit: Netflix

So how does one coach a child to be a cold-blooded killer who also has an epic fight scene with a full-grown adult?

RAMRAS: I think we would give all the credit there to Michael Lehmann, our director, and little Samsara, who is such a force. She had so much fun, I have to say. She was looking forward to filming that from day one. And I remember in fact, we had not even started filming, and we were taking stills for the show. Samsara's little baby teeth were growing in. And that's when we all laughed, and we thought, well, at some point Kristen has to punch her in the face and knock her teeth out so that Samsara can have her comeback line. [We had] a great stunt coordinator and the choreography was great. They had a lot of fun. They were both committed. And yes, we did have some stunt doubles, but you might be surprised at how much [Bell and Yett] did themselves.

DORF: I will say the casting for that part was a very interesting process because we didn't want to give anything away. So in terms of what the young, 8-year-old actresses were auditioning with, we couldn't give them the real monologue where they're saying terrible things. We had to write a different monologue just for casting. And that was shocking to see these young girls say the worst, most terrible things.

RAMRAS: More shocking that the parents let them. I'm kidding.

DAVIDSON: And then the most shocking that Samsara was so great at it. [Laughs]

What were the logistics of the actual fight itself?

RAMRAS: We did have stunt doubles, but our editors were so fantastic. I think they did a really seamless job where you can't really tell. I think the key was coming up with creative ways where you would actually believe that an 8-year-old could hurt a grown woman, and it would involve climbing on certain things and being able to swing from where the pots and pans were. It just took a lot of creativity. And we didn't want to use a lot of props. We didn't want a lot of breakaway bowls, and things like that, we wanted more hand-to-hand combat.

DAVIDSON: The key to the fight also is keeping Anna likeable, because she is fighting to the death with this little girl. But most of the fight is Anna trying to defend herself. So she's not the one driving the fight, it's the little girl doing the terrible things and Anna has no choice but to defend herself.

The other big moment from the finale, of course, is the cameo with Glenn Close. How did that all come about?

RAMRAS: Well, we definitely knew we wanted — in our fantasy — an actress who had starred in movies like this, sort of the OG of them all. It is Glenn. Never in a million years would we think we'd be able to get her, so I don't know what Netflix had to do, but before I knew it, I was on the phone with her and telling her an elevator pitch of what this was. I was just talking and talking and she was listening. And I kept thinking, "Oh, God, what is she thinking?"

DAVIDSON: And Larry and I were standing next to Rachel, just in shock that Rachel was on the phone with Glenn Close.

RAMRAS: The fact that I was saying things like "Glenn" — that's not a word that I ever say. And then all she said was, "I want gloves, and I want to wear something fabulous."

DAVIDSON: And Rachel said, "Okay!" [Laughs]

RAMRAS: She obviously has a great sense of humor. She was such a team player, and she seemed to have a lot of fun that day. It was a really quick couple of hours of shooting. And I also think a lot of people in this town will do anything for Kristen Bell, so I give her a lot of credit, too. I bet she's a fun one to work with. And, by the way, that was a vegan leather suit [Close wore], and Glenn kept it, which makes me even happier.

This show was billed as a "limited series," but the way you ended it, it felt like there was a distinct possibility we'd see more of Anna.

DAVIDSON: It's funny. Rachel read all the books and then Rachel made me and Larry read the books. And I think there were two of them that at the end had an excerpt from the author's forthcoming book. We thought that's such a funny thing that goes on in books, but it doesn't go on really in shows. So we always knew with the last episode, after we fulfill the obligations of who the killer is, and all that stuff, we thought we wanted to do something like that. And it was a comment on those, but because of that, we did actually have to figure out enough about that [ending] to figure out what it could be. So Rachel, Larry, and I spent a good two or three days figuring out what could potentially be season 2, but we did it sort of as a joke and just to make sure we knew what the hell was going on, but we'll see.

So it could happen.

RAMRAS: It could. We'll see if people like this first one.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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