The following contains spoilers for Good Trouble‘s midseason finale.
Good Trouble has put Mariana through the wringer this season, and Thursday’s spring finale saw all of her bottled feelings finally rise to the surface.
Even though Evan was back at Speckulate, he still had no memory of his ex. Mariana was dealt another blow when her and Joaquin’s attempts to find Madison were thwarted by a major setback. At the launch of Dennis’ restaurant, Mariana started to spiral and was overcome by panicked emotion. As she walked home, the anxious feelings only got worse.
“I think this season, you have seen Mariana really kind of be compartmentalized from what exactly happened to her,” her portrayer Cierra Ramirez tells TVLine. “She’s keeping herself busy with the idea of being needed by people. She wants Evan to need her and to help at Speckulate. She wants Joaquin to need her help with looking for Madison, and she’s not really listening to her own feelings. She’s kind of been pushing them down for a while.”
During her trip back to the Coterie, “all of the anxiety that she’s been pushing down, it’s finally coming into play, and she’s starting to break,” Ramirez describes.
And then there was the surprise of who was waiting for her in her loft. Below, Ramirez weighs in on that cliffhanger, Mariana’s feelings for Evan vs. Joaquin, and just how challenging this season has been for her as an actress.
TVLINE | When I talked to [showrunner] Joanna Johnson at the beginning of the season, I said the premiere felt like the most emotional Mariana storyline that we’ve ever seen on the show, and they have just not let up on her all season. What has this experience been like for you, shooting this season in particular?
Oh, my God, if you think this half of this season [was] emotional, just wait! That’s all I have to say. Yeah, I agree. It was the most shocking season finale last season for me, and then to pick right up and [see] how all of that, what happened at the farm, how everything went down, it was crazy. But what a ride for Mariana this season! This poor girl, she can’t catch a break. It’s been a wild ride. I love hearing from the fans, seeing how they react to each episode. It’s been really gratifying to play and emotionally challenging this season. So it’s one of my favorites.
TVLINE | Is it hard to shake off at the end of the day? Has the season taken a toll on you, personally?
You know, it’s funny because I feel like after playing Mariana for 10 years, she is a part of me, and when she hurts, I hurt. So it definitely does. Crying all day on set, I have to say, is therapeutic in itself, as weird as that sounds. There’s something about being in a room with a bunch of people you trust, that are all passionate about the vision that we’re putting out into the world, and just crying and just kind of melting. It’s really, really therapeutic. I always walk away feeling a breath of relief — although I do feel really horrible for Miss Mariana.
TVLINE | Then she gets to her room and Silas is there. First of all, someone needs to tell Alice that the Coterie needs better security.
Right?! Also, they need to start locking their doors! No one in the Coterie locks their doors. [Laughs] But how insane! I remember reading that script for the first time, and I audibly gasped. It was not what I was expecting, and I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks about it. Considering everything that’s happening to her, all the anxiety, she’s having these hallucinations, walking home, and just feeling completely out of body and just feeling crazy, and then he’s there. It’s like the last thing that she could ever possibly need. So I’m definitely excited to see fans’ reactions to that.
TVLINE | And I doubt he’s there just to say hello. So what can you share about what he wants and how much danger she finds herself in as you pick up next season?
I think you definitely hit the nail on the head: I don’t think that he’s just there to say hello. I just think that this encounter will really affect Mariana for the upcoming season in the way that she thinks and the way that she lives. It’s definitely going to live with her, this encounter.
TVLINE | We also need to discuss her love life, because there was an almost-kiss in this episode with Joaquin, but he pulled away. At the same time, she spent a lot of her energy this season on Evan and helping him. What would you say her feelings are for each guy at this point?
I think she is really, really confused. There’s Evan, who she has always loved. And through everything that happened this season, with him getting shot, I think she really started to realize how much she felt for him. But the idea of him possibly never remembering who she is, the idea of them is kind of slowly starting to fade for her. She’s holding on to it and has hope that one day he’ll help wake up and finally remember her, and they can kind of pick up where they left off.
But then there’s also Joaquin… They’ve kind of been this detective duo throughout the season, and they kind of bring out a really fun side of each other. He kind of challenges her in a way that Evan never really has. So they’re both so different. I think she has love for both of them. I’m going to be honest — this is me speaking and loving Mariana as a character — love is the last thing that she needs to be thinking about. I think with all of these feelings of being needed, it’s really clouding what’s really happening here, and it’s that she needs to really just love herself right now. So she’s kind of a little bit of a mess when it comes to her love life. I don’t think she really knows how she feels.
TVLINE | It kind of broke my heart when Evan couldn’t remember her.
Oh, my God, me too! Team #Evaniana. [Laughs] T.J. [Linnard’s] performance this season has been so great. Seeing his character development over the last couple of seasons and how Mariana has kind of brought out this softer side of Evan, and he’s really kind of come into his own, and then seeing him kind of retract after waking up from the coma back to Season 1 has been really cool for me as an actress to see T.J. shine in that. It’s been really, really great.
TVLINE | Last time you and I talked, it was at the start of Season 4 when Maia [Mitchell] was leaving, and you were really emotional. It’s been about two seasons now since she left, and we’ve seen her from time to time, which is really great. So has that transition gotten easier for you?
She comes to play every once in a while. It’s interesting because every time she comes on set, it’s almost like time has never passed. It’s like we’re right back into it. And to me, it’s weird, I feel like whenever she’s not there, it’s just like we just don’t have scenes on the same day. [Laughs] I feel like she’s always just still a part of it. But I love any time she does get the chance to come back because I just love Callie and Mariana’s relationship. They truly are the yin to each other’s yang, and she really, really admires Callie’s opinion on things, and Callie is always there for her in ways that she needs. So it’s always special. But it has been really cool to see Mariana kind of come into her own and be independent for once, even though her life seems like it’s in shambles. It’s actually like a big growing thing for her.
Good Trouble fans, what did you think of the midseason finale? Grade it below, then hit the comments!
Just watched the newest ep. Really loving this season so far. It’s been such a strong arc for most of these characters. I am nervous for Luca and Mariana right now! And poor Dennis is in some sh#t now
This whole business with Silas/the farm/ the missing strangers we neither know nor care about is painfully tedious, mainly because it’s all so pointless. The show needs to drop the artificial, gimmicky “action/violence” nonsense and concentrate on what it does best: character delineation, romance, and interpersonal relationships.
This first half of the season was really good. I can’t wait to see what the back half has in store.