The Good Girls survived yet another season in the shadows of their criminal side-hustle. While not everyone in their orbit made it out alive (RIP, Lucy!), Sunday’s faux-nale set up a brand new springboard that’s sure to launch Beth and co. to dangerous new heights.
The forced shutdown left us five episodes shy of a full season, but we did get to see the birth of Boland Bubbles, the ladies’ new business endeavor/cash-washing machine, despite a driven new agent who’s hot on their tail. And though Stan and Ruby seemed to have patched things up, Beth and Dean’s future remains messy, especially with bad boy Rio still very much in the mix.
Below, executive producer/showrunner Jenna Bans and EP Bill Krebs dish about the finale’s biggest moments (read our full recap here) and the balancing act of dark comedy, while hinting at their plans for a possible fourth season.
TVLINE | Unfortunately, COVID-19 shut down production before filming wrapped, so five episodes weren’t completed. Though it wasn’t intentional, “Synergy” felt like a solid place to leave off. What are your thoughts on it now being your finale?
BANS | It’s probably not at the level of excitement of our normal season finales. It acts as a quieter one this year, but it does launch us into the next phase of the story. You see that with Beth and Rio in the hot tub place, and you see Stan and Ruby are going to be a team again after all the conflict they’ve been going through. I think our biggest regret is that we didn’t get to finish the Annie storyline we set up. We saw Annie starting therapy to better herself and correct the behavioral patterns she always falls into, and she falls into them again with this therapist. I think the fans would find where we were going with that to be very unexpected. We’re a little sad we didn’t get to hint at that at all, but it’ll make for a very interesting start of next season.
KREBS | Episode 16 is no longer the finale, so now we get to go into Season 4 with a lot of momentum and thrust to really kick off and finish up a lot of the ideas from Season 3.
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TVLINE | Manny Montana has such a great presence on the show. Is there a future world where Beth and Rio might become equal partners?
BANS | Definitely. They’ve had a very adversarial relationship this season and that was all by design because of where we’re going, which is much different. They’re going to be thrust into very interesting circumstances where they’re forced to work together in a way we haven’t done on the show. It really changes the dynamic between them and amplifies the chemistry, too.
KREBS | They both spent this season at each other’s throats, and in all that heat, it’s drawn them closer together in a weird way.
TVLINE | You do a great job walking a tightrope between intense, dark drama and comedy. Is it challenging to strike that tonal balance?
KREBS | It’s the hardest thing we have to do.
BANS | We’re constantly discussing it and arguing about it. On one hand, you don’t want to go season after season showing these women playing with fire and not see that there are consequences to that.
KREBS | But they can’t get too comfortable with crime because that breaks the premise of the show. They’re mom’s first and we always have to remind ourselves of that. There have been darker moves that ended up on our boards that we were like, “Well, there’s no way to walk that back. It would change the course or tone of the show from that point forward.” We have those conversations probably each episode.
TVLINE | Marriage seems like a tough gig on Good Girls! Dean admitted he probably would’ve slept with his boss. Where does that leave him and Beth and how will Rio affect them going forward?
BANS | Marriage is tough on the show and it’s tough in real life. We wanted to make it messy. I thought Christina [Hendricks] and Matt Lillard did such an amazing job in that scene. Our goal was to show how Dean has grown since the pilot. I think the old Dean, when faced with a question like that, would immediately lie.
KREBS | It’s the first time in a long time where they’re both completely honest with each other.
BANS | While it’s the hardest thing for her to hear, she sort of needs to hear it, and they end up in a weirdly better place. Their marriage isn’t easy, but it’s a lot more honest than it was when we started the show. She gets something from Rio I don’t think she gets at home, and that’s the problem. She’s not only attracted to Rio because there’s sexual heat there, she’s attracted to him because of what he represents, which is an escape from this cookie-cutter life she felt trapped in. Working even closer with Rio next season will bring up more problems. She already couldn’t tell Dean that she’s washing Rio’s money in the hot tub store because Dean doesn’t want a repeat of the car dealership. Things will only get more complicated and triangular from this point out.
TVLINE | Lauren Lapkus adds a great energy to the show. Is there anything you can tease about Phoebe Donnegan that we were supposed to see this season?
KREBS | Beth’s problem with Turner was more of a class issue. Turner was always after her because he resented the fact that she was this suburban housewife who could get away with anything. When we came up with Phoebe, we wanted to make it more personal. She represents a social status that goes back to high school. Beth was a cheerleader and Phoebe was maybe the nerd. We wanted to see them both get drawn together in a frenemy sort of way. Do these constructs that form early on in life carry forward or do people change? Or do they misjudge each other?
BANS | She’s going to know all of them, not just Ruby.
KREBS | The fox is in the hen house…
BANS | Exactly, but the fox kind of loves the hens. She wants to be a hen. Where that goes says a lot about female friendship and its complexity.
TVLINE | I have a hunch we haven’t seen the last of Boomer…
BANS | We love Boomer! David Hornsby is a friend of ours and it’s such a testament to his talent that he was only supposed to be in the pilot. I was originally planning on killing him off, but I just loved him and his smarminess and humor. David is very busy, so we’re always juggling that, but we haven’t seen the end of Boomer. When we find out what Rio has in store for him, it will be very surprising and very funny.
TVLINE | Looking ahead past Season 3’s back five, have you started mapping out what a potential Season 4 will look like?
BANS | A little bit. What we’ve started discussing really catapults the show into fresh territory. We’re doing a lot of things we haven’t done before in a lot of physical worlds we haven’t seen before. We’ll see the women be really out of their comfort zone.
KREBS | Right when the women think they have figured everything out, we like to put them back on their heels again somewhere else. And now they’ll have a whole other thing to figure out.
BANS | It was what we always talked about [doing with] Season 4, and now with these five episodes starting the season off with a bang, we’ll get to really jump-start in a way that will be exciting and satisfying.