Post Mortems

Mom Season Finale Post Mortem: EP Chuck Lorre on Christy's 'Enormous Growth,' Roscoe's Surprising Move

mom finale recap

A surprising exit shook up Mom‘s Season 2 finale, as little Roscoe demanded to move in with his father Baxter and out of the increasingly toxic home shared by his mother Christy and grandmother Bonnie.

Of course, maintaining the laughter throughout a story arc that began with Bonnie’s relapse into drug and alcohol abuse — and the subsequent, seething resentment of fellow alcoholic daughter Christy — proved to be “the most challenging work” of executive producer and co-creator Chuck Lorre’s career. “We always have to honor the fact that we are a comedy — and I don’t want to lose sight of that,” he tells TVLine. “But at the same time, the promise from the very beginning of the series was to tackle real-life issues that impact everyone.”

To that end, Thursday’s episode followed Christy as she, too, made the decision to move out from under Bonnie’s roof — only to find that her friends’ and family’s various abodes didn’t fit her any better. In the final scene, Anna Faris’ alter-ego wound up back on the living room couch, in the arms of her mother (who unbeknownst to her, had been futilely pursuing her via bicycle) and pondering the power of second (and third and fourth) chances.

TVLine pressed Lorre for details on the decision to have Farris and co-star Allison Janney only interact at the start and end of the installment, the show’s evolution into a strong female ensemble piece, and the ideas he and the show’s writing team set in motion for Season 3.

106313_WB_0972bTVLINE | It feels like you were planting seeds of Roscoe’s discontent all season — from the minute he moved into the closet-sized bedroom. How far back did you make the decision to have him move in with his dad?
We planned that out a few episodes in advance — that all the volatility in the household would take a toll in the finale.

TVLINE | The last few episodes of the season, we saw Christy angrier than she’s been at any point in the series. Was that always the direction you wanted to go after you decided Bonnie would relapse?
One of the first questions we had was who Bonnie’s slip would impact — and how it would really give Anna’s character a chance to really feel what she’s feeling about her mother. In an odd way, it’s Christy who’s paying the price emotionally for Bonnie’s relapse into drugs and alcohol. And that’s a story that doesn’t get told very often – certainly not in a sitcom. The arc was also a great opportunity for Anna also to portray a wide range of emotions. Take that scene at the end of last week’s episode, where Christy’s in an AA meeting — and she recognizes her anger is tied to the fear she had as a child: If her mom’s not OK, she’s not OK.

TVLINE | We also had Christy’s doozy of a line mid-epside: “The road to happiness leads away from your mother.”
That was just anger. The road to happiness, really, is the road to self-responsibilty and self-awareness. That’s the only road I’m aware of. Christy just wasn’t able to cope with the idea of losing her son.

106313_WB_0820bTVLINE | The finale structure was interesting: Christy bouncing from home to home, Bonnie chasing after her via bicycle. How did you land on that?
We wanted Anna’s character to be on a journey — one that led back to home. Somewhere along the line, we realized there were two stories happening: One about running away, the other about Bonnie chasing, trying to make amends, trying to make it right. And the way to do that was to chase after her and not succeed. But then we had the great opportunity to write that scene for them at the end of the episode, on the couch — where Bonnie still didn’t admit she was chasing. We kept her character in tact. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Two years into her sobriety, life is still not easy for Christy. That line where she says she has tried to be a good mom and it’s not enough, that was heartbreaking. With such a blow to her confidence, where do you see her going in Season 3?
Let’s not overlook the fact that in two years of sobriety, she’s moved up to being manager of the restaurant and she’s gone back to college. And she’s not counting on a romantic relationship to save her; she’s counting on herself. That’s enormous growth — she may not know this, but I hope viewers do. There is a “two-steps-forward, one-step-back” element to her story, but that’s just life. When you think you’ve got everything figured out on the left-hand side, the right-hand side starts to act up. Sobriety does not equal a perfect life. It gives you a chance at participating in your life.

TVLINE | It’s pretty unusual to have any TV show with an attractive, female lead character go an entire season without any serious dive into her romantic entanglements.
That was really by design. I really wanted this year to be about these women and their personal journeys. What you normally do in these kinds of shows is to race into [romantic] relationships and find the comedy there. But these women are discovering themselves — and that seems to be enough. It’s certainly refreshing and challenging to write about. We’re very proud of that. There’s nothing wrong with [romance], and we’re not running away from it, but these characters are on different journeys at this point in their lives.

TVLINE | And Mom has definitely evolved into this powerhouse female ensemble… Mimi Kennedy as Marjorie…
Our Obi-Wan Kenobi! [Laughs]

TVLINE | And then Jaime Pressly and Octavia Spencer… When you created the pilot, did you ever imagine the show growing into what it is now?
All we could see at the beginning were Anna and Allison. It slowly developed — and thankfully we were able to stay on the air long enough — to try to make these other women more dimensional. It’s an incredible ensemble right now. You watch these scenes with Jaime and Octavia and Mimi — in addition to Anna and Allison — it’s pretty astonishing.

106313_WB_1596bTVLINE | Violet’s relationship with her professor (David Krumholtz) did not exactly end on a positive note — as he wound up sleeping on the couch after wanting to smoke a joint during Christy’s visit. Will their relationship continue in Season 3?
[Laughs] How great is that man? He’s hilarious — such a smart and crafty actor. I’m hoping we can continue that relationship. [Gregory] is actually a good influence for Violet — it’s a strange relationship, but sometimes those work.

TVLINE | What parts of the Season 2 finale are tip-offs for what to anticipate when you return next fall?
The hope for the series is the unconditional love this mother and daughter have for one another — how it allows them to stumble forward. Their lives change and grow. It’s clumsy. But there’s strength in numbers, in community, in family. I believe that strongly. These other women become extended family, and they hold one another up.

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9 Comments
  1. ABG. says:

    Gonna miss this show during the summer. Really improved itself this season.

  2. Mr. Tran K says:

    An OK Season 2 in my opinion. Don’t know if I’m still going to watch Mom when the new season begins in the Fall but I’ll think about it.

  3. Clandestine Green says:

    The show has reinvented itself and improved on the way. Janney is now “”the mom” as Faris’ tv kids have taken a back seat…not that I mind. Jamie Pressly is the weak link but I love Mini Kenney and Octavia Spencer.

  4. laurelnev says:

    LOVE Octavia, and I’m sorry that Red Band failed, but I’m glad she’s back on Mom. But I’m not liking this stereotypical “God Squad” behavior. I’m hoping this turns out to be some angle related to her early parole. That scene tonight went overboard to the point it bordered on disrespectful.

  5. Sam says:

    The interesting thing about Mom for me is that I don’t think about it as a comedy. Yes, I do laugh on occasion at all, but I also have gone many episodes without even a smirk. Normally if I find myself not laughing and not amused at a comedy show, I realize I’m not a fan and move on. The difference with Mom is that its really more of a drama in my mind, or I guess a dramedy. These issues only get further and further and don’t let up. Also I love the growth of her character. I do wish they would develop it a bit more though. They went really strong with her being the manger and that’s great, but they needed to build more on her going back to school. I hope the next season allows her to get to a really stable place with at least one of her kids. I think its time for that accomplishment. And since each season also comes with loss, I think I want next season to end with her losing her job or having to switch careers or something. There were some funny characters there that supported the story, but I think its time for her work life to get changed up.
    Also, I think the need to work on growing Janney’s character. She really hasn’t changed all that much since the pilot.

  6. Jeremy says:

    Can’t believe we have to wait six months (November) for season 3. Damn you, Thursday Night Football!

  7. Tara17 says:

    Season 2 was very good, Anna and Allison are highly skilled at both comedy and drama and their relationship seems so real. Also enjoying the new characters and the possibilities in store for all of them in Season 3. Glad the kids aren’t as present, hope that continues next season (sorry kids).

  8. TV Gord says:

    Add me to the list of people who think season two has been infinitely better than the first season. By delving into the depths of drama, it has become one of TV’s better comedies. Alvin (Kevin Pollack) fit so seamlessly into the cast and the family, and his death was hard to take, but wow! What it has done for the show! I also enjoy how Chuck has crafted a series that started out as a starring vehicle for Anna Faris with the added prestige casting of Allison Janney into a show that zigs and zags about which of them is truly the eponymous Mom. Brava, moms! Encore!

  9. Jane says:

    Is there going to be a season 4