Bellevue closed out its first season tonight with Annie facing a number of challenges, and at the end of the hour, choosing not to hear the thing from Peter that could further upend her fragile stability. Points to her that she knew to cut him off at the pass.
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for the first season, and season finale of Bellevue.]
Brady and Adam’s deaths were not always a foregone conclusion. Maggs and Mitchell say they kicked around several scenarios, but for both characters, dying made the most sense. “When we got ordered to production, there was an overwhelming consensus that Adam needed to die. There were several incarnations,” says Maggs.
“Originally, and it might have been my own bleakness, I felt like Annie needed to let him go and run away, even though he’s done these terrible things. Despite that, she understands him. In another version, he needed to go away and get some help, but the cleaner version is that he has to die.”
Mitchell explains, too, that the final conformation between Annie and Adam leaves him out of options. “He was wanting her to become a family. He’s trying and he’s realizing she can’t do that, and she realizes that, [too],” she says.” And if he can’t be a family with her, there’s no other place for him to go, and she needs to kill him. That was very exciting to direct because of the emotions and the places they went.”
Brady’s death seemed the most logical choice as well, and Billy McLellan didn’t know that when he was cast, or that he was the killer. “He knew when he showed up in Montreal. He had an inkling because he got an e-mail saying, ‘Only you and Anna Paquin are getting the final script,’ and he said, ‘Oh, it’s me.’ He’s such an amazing actor and did such an amazing job. It was so great to work with him.”
“We played with different ideas there. One version where [Brady] was part of the revenge plot for Adam, but we wanted to separate the stories, so it felt like the cleanest thing to do,” explains Maggs. “He could have [lived] but I don’t know that it’s the best thing for him.” Mitchell also points out, “It gave Adam a bit of agency that he protected [Annie from Brady].”
Maggs says shooting that scene between Brady and Annie brought everyone to set. “We spent the last day in the studio [after freezing outside at the external locations] shooting the car scene, and they were both so amazing and so incredibly prepared,” she says. “It was an amazing way to end. Actors who weren’t in that day came and stayed and watched because they were so amazed by what these two people were doing and felt like part of a Bellevue family. It was a really great moment.”
Maggs is also particularly fond of Episode 6. “There’s a lot of stuff I loved … because it went away from the investigation, and I felt like it was time for that. It was great to watch that come alive,” she shares. “[I was on set] and the Adam stuff was amazing to watch. [Patrick] was doing things with words that we had written that we didn’t imagine. It was like watching something new. That was incredible.”
Mitchell points out a handful of scenes from the season that stood out for her. “I love in Episode 1, the scene between Annie and Mr. Driver on the rocks, where she’s trying to connect with him. I thought that was beautiful. In episode two, when Jesse stood up and faced the hockey boys. It was emotionally powerful to me,” she says.
“I liked almost every scene in [Episodes] 7 and 8. The scene with Adam and Daisy on the couch. It’s this fun discovery. Their dynamic. You see his humanity, that he can connect with her and she can connect with him after there’s been this riddler presence in all of their lives. It was like a moment suspended in time. I loved Shawn and Anna at the end of Episode 8.”
There’s no word yet on a second season, but Maggs and Mitchell hope they get one, and they want to take their time getting it right. “We want to make sure we have the material. We don’t want to do a follow-up that’s not worthy of the first season. We’re also dealing with very sought-after actors,” says Mitchell.
“[In the first season of Bellevue], we had the luxury of a two-year development period. You can’t just go into production [on a serialized show] and not have the scripts done. We’re going to go slow. We don’t know when it’s going to shake down and [we have to] reconnect the dots of everyone’s schedule and figure out if we have something that’s worth another eight.”
“If we did, there’s something to explore in the Annie and Peter thing that’s left at the end of Season 1. What is that all about? That connection, that emotional connection, that intimate connection between them … I think that will get played out. We’ll bring back the same characters and would probably [have] another case. We’d have to look at where [Annie, Eddie, and Daisy] have been and what brings them back … some ghosts that have to be dealt with.”
“[Annie and Peter were] on opposites side of [her father] and this huge hole that was left, and they filled it with each other. Does that make it real or not real,” says Maggs. “It’s this very abstract idea of love that’s hard to answer.”
“I’m sure there was sense of him wanting to take care of Annie and protect her, and I don’t think he does feel that he did that. He wanted to protect her from Adam, and the pain of Adam, and he failed to do that,” adds Mitchell. “It’s a really interesting kind of love to explore in another season, and how we to anchor it to a case.”
Episode stills courtesy of Jan Thijs/CBC; Behind-the-scenes images courtesy of Muse Entertainment.