NBC’s new Monday drama last week introduced viewers to Joanna Locasto, a police detective who has gone undercover amidst the affluent Bowers family to glean the truth about black-sheep daughter Vivian’s death by “overdose.”
TVLine lobbed some burning questions at series creator Liz Heldens, as the mystery-sudser’s second hour arrives tonight at 10/9c.
HAS THE KILLER’S TRUE MOTIVE BEEN REVEALED? | In other words: Can this please not be TV’s umpteenth instance of “Someone got killed because they got wind of a tainted drug trial”? “Oh no, the case gets super-big and twisty and takes a lot of unexpected turns — and that’s where a lot of velocity from the series comes,” Heldens told me. “It’s not what you think. And then it’s not what you think again. And then it’s not what you think again.”
HOW WAS MIA’S BIRTH FAKED? | Sure, soap operas have shown us that you can always ship a wayward pregnant lass off to “boarding school.” But did Sophia (played by Katherine LaNasa) in turn parade around with a pillow stuffed under her silk blouses, as she “carried” Mia? “We’re going to find out the details of that [ruse],” Heldens said. “Luckily it was before the age of TMZ where nobody has any privacy… where you could sneak away without the whole world knowing.” Heldens also confirmed that only Robert (Victor Garber) and Sophia (and of course, Vivian) were in on that “maternity switch.”
HOW QUICKLY WILL SOMEONE OTHER THAN EDWARD (PLAYED BY TATE DONOVAN) GET WARY OF JOANNA? | Heldens teased that “various members of the family become suspicious of her as time goes on.” Perhaps because her “small talk” around the mansion tends to come off like a police interrogation? “Hey, you’ve got a be a little bold,” Heldens explained. “She’s got to keep her investigation going. Besides, she’s not a trained undercover person and yet she’s motivated to get at the truth.”
IS IT SAFE TO SAY THAT BREE WILLIAMSON HAS JOB SECURITY? | After all, though not a series regular, the One Life to Live/Haven alum does seem needed to play Vivian in all those flashbacks. “Yeah, those flashbacks work really nicely for us,” Helden said, acknowledging Williamson’s contribution to the exposition. “It’s a nice way to show and not tell, and give a lot of information in a short amount of time.”
SO… JULIAN KILLED HIS SISTER? CASE CLOSED? | Or at least that is what the premiere’s final scene wants us to believe, showing as it did the Bowers bad boy fingering a ring that had three diamonds arranged in a triangle — just like the distinct marks on dead Vivan’s cheek. Or have we met our first red herring? “We tee up everybody as suspects, as we get into their backstories,” Heldens said. As for Julian’s incriminating ring: Watch tonight’s episode to discover under what exact circumstances it came into contact with Vivian’s face.