[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
This week on a new Pretty Hard Cases written by Jillian Locke and directed by Sherry White, we pick up immediately after the shooting, with a traumatized Kelly getting an emotional assist from Sam. Sam’s had her own trauma, although significantly less, with the unannounced arrival of her mom, Judy at the most inopportune moment.
Before they can dwell on either situation, they’re assigned to chase down the guns that led to the shooting, which sends them into another UC situation that requires unusual attire. This time, it’s a lot of spandex as they follow up on the gym rat (Shawn Roberts) facilitating the transactions. That also puts Kelly on the path with a blast from her past, a former colleague and sweetie Len (Lost Girl’s K.C. Collins), who’s working a separate angle on the same target. And Edwina has to run interference between her team and Brad over the shot spotter program.
In part two of my chat with series stars Meredith MacNeill and Adrienne C. Moore, they talk about the emotional baggage Sam and Kelly they have to unpack this season. For Sam, her mother’s arrival sheds significant light on why she’s always on defense. MacNeill was thrilled to have Sonja Smits come in as Judy, and loved the insight it added to Sam.
“It was so wonderful to work with [Smits] and have her play my mom. She’s so funny and doing scenes with her … [you have an idea] on the page of how they want [it to play]. And then you start working with an actor like Sonja, and then you’re really finding what you’re talking about,” she says. “What is the delicate balance between a mother and daughter? What is the balance between having a parent live with you … their differences when they come back into your life and how much you need each other.”
“I think when you meet anybody’s parents or their family situation, you know so much more about the character and their flaws.”
“And of course, Sam is extremely uptight. When you start to realize [the history, you have] empathy for where they come from. This is the battle that they start to have. It’s really exciting for the audience to get that layer and how that plays out with her friendship with Kelly, how it plays out in her romantic life. And then as a woman over 40, I really relate to coming to terms with who you are.”
“You think you’re going to face these adversities and then you’re going to become a better person. But in reality, which I think the script reflects, it’s like a real back and forth, a ping pong. It’s two steps forward, one step back. I’m improving in this area because I’m having a reckoning, but then I get pushed back and it feels like I have to start over. I feel like by introducing Sam’s family, [and layering that] with her friendship with Kelly, that you see Sam sort of moving ahead and wanting progression, but sometimes progression is reflection and having to move back to see stuff.”
Kelly is facing her own drama, too. Aside from the potential rekindling of her relationship with Nate now upended by Garbrielle’s shooting, she’s also about to be an aunt twice over, and now her ex is back. It’s a lot. And Kelly has her own reflection on where her life is, and where she wants it to go.
“She does have a lot going on and I think all those things come to a head for her this season. What I love about the relatability of Kelly’s story this season. With her family and her coming to terms with her desire to have her own family and where she has made certain choices in her life to not have those things, whether it was for career, or not trusting the love of her life, she has to come face to face with her own choices,” explains Moore.
“I think so often we can point the finger at someone else and say, ‘This is why I don’t have the things that I want out of life’ and Kelly really has to come to terms with those fingers that are pointing right back her “
“These are the choices she made that put her in this position. She’s not a very transparent or vulnerable person. And so those kinds of things play into why she has alienated herself from the people that care for her. Sometimes you have to revisit our past or our past has to come into our future for us to deal with the things that are holding us back.[Her past has to come back] for her to realize that the choices that she’s made have landed her where she is today.”
Pretty Hard Cases airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. NT) on CBC and CBC Gem. All our previous coverage, and part one of my interview with MacNeill and Moore, is here. Here’s a sneak peek of “Plastic Teeth.”
— Pretty Hard Cases (@PrettyHardCases) January 6, 2022