Karma reared its ugly head with Georgia Miller at the end of Ginny & Georgia season 2. After a dream wedding, Georgia was led away in handcuffs after being arrested for Tom Fuller’s murder. Georgia’s done a lot of not-so-great things in her life, but she truly didn’t see this coming.
HollywoodLife spoke with Ginny & Georgia creator/EP Sarah Lampert about all things season 2, which dropped January 5 on Netflix. It was a tough season for the mother-daughter duo, with both of them struggling to understand one another. Their relationship recovered and emerged stronger than ever, but this cliffhanger throws a wrench in that. Sarah also dived deep into the Joe and Georgia situation, as well as the Marcus-centric episode and why it was so important to show depression on TV. Read our Q&A below:
How did you decide that Tom Fuller’s death was going to be the thing that finally takes Georgia down considering everything she’s done in the past?
Sarah Lampert: That is a more complex question than I think anyone could ever realize, and here is why. So we always knew that we wanted to end season 2 with her being arrested for murder, but we weren’t always clear on whose murder that would be. As we were in the writers’ room kind of gearing up to do season 2, there were a lot of ideas thrown at the board. One being that it was Gil that got murdered. One being that there was a mystery third person from her past. There were all these different ideas. I think the leading one was Anthony Green’s murder, that his body was going to resurface, and she would finally be held to task for that back in New Orleans. And then I think what we all realized was a) we need to have her kill someone in Wellsbury if we were to get to season 3 because we need to keep our girl in town. And b) I think we all really realized we didn’t want to see a murder happen in a flashback. We really wanted to have a new situation arise where her solution was murder because sometimes that is Georgia’s solution to different problems as we’re learning with this character. It made more and more sense because something else that we were really interested in digging deeper into this season was Cynthia’s character. I think Sabrina [Grdevich] did such a gorgeous job this season of really elevating her character from season 1 to season 2 and adding all this depth and all this sadness and humor and hurt. Her character became so interesting that it just made more sense to find different ways to intermingle these women.
At the very end, Austin says, “I didn’t tell anyone.” We know he saw Georgia do it, but we technically don’t know who turned her in, right?
Sarah Lampert: I’ll say what we know. We know that Cordova, the PI, was packing up to leave town. Georgia wasn’t wrong when she was like, “I won.” He was packing up to leave. He couldn’t get her on anything. He suspects in his mind she killed not only Anthony Green but also Kenny Drexel. In Cordova’s mind, this is a very dangerous woman who’s killed twice that he knows of, but he can’t pin anything on her. He is leaving town and Nick happens to come in the room and says Cynthia’s husband died tonight. We hear Cordova perk up a little bit. At first, he’s kind of non-committal about it. Like, that’s too bad. He was sick for a while, but then Nick says, “Georgia was with them.” And that perks up Cordova’s ear because I think he’s gotten to the point where anyone who dies when Georgia is with them bares further investigation. So while we don’t see what happens off-camera, I think we can safely assume that Cordova requested an autopsy.
So much of this season comprised of Ginny and Georgia getting on the same track again and understanding each other in a new way. This latest revelation changes a lot. It took a lot for Ginny to just wrap her head around Kenny. How do you think this latest revelation is going to impact her emotionally and mentally?
Sarah Lampert: I think we’re in a really interesting place with Ginny because I think we see that by the end of the season that this is the closest she and Georgia have ever been. She forgives her mom. She’s in acceptance of what has transpired. She struggles with it, but she has to make the decision to be on her mom’s side. I think we see glimmers of doubt in that decision, especially in her conversation with Cordova when he’s like, if this happens again, it’s on you. You’re enabling her. She’s dangerous. She shouldn’t be out in the wild. I think as much as Ginny loves her mom and will always protect her, I think we see a look flash across her face, which happens so quickly. But Toni [Gentry], she’s such a powerful actress, I think it’s very apparent. And then again, when Georgia is carted away and in the car, there are a lot of complicated emotions happening there where that is something she’s always going to have to struggle with, where she isn’t so blase about it as much as Georgia is. She does have this deeper sense of right and wrong. She did struggle all season with the complexities of what Georgia did in a way that Georgia doesn’t. Quite frankly, I don’t think the audience does often. Who knows if that’ll change this season because it’s a very different situation. But I think it’s purposefully very complicated and complex, and I want to give all the credit in the world to Toni and Bri [Brianne Howey] because they’re acting where they’re able to show how deep these women are is the reason these characters are so complex and interesting.
Georgia did come forward to Paul about some of her past. But this arrest is something they haven’t faced before. Will he stand by her? Is he really all in?
Sarah Lampert: I think that’s something that would have to be revealed in a season 3. But I think what I love about Paul’s character is you really think you know who this guy is, and then he kind of always surprises you. There’s more to him than meets the eye as well. Scott Porter is so fantastic, and I think specifically in episode 8 of season 2, we really see just glimmers of him not loving how Georgia kind of takes over that meeting. We’ve seen him get angry about the guns, and we see him all season struggle with the fact that he doesn’t feel that she’s letting him in. I think Paul is a really interesting character where he has a lot of self-worth, but he is willing to put up with a lot from Georgia. I do think you’re bringing up an interesting question of what’s his breaking point?
And then there’s the Joe and Georgia situation. He does confront her about his feelings and her feelings for him. What is going on there?
Sarah Lampert: I think a lot. It’s funny because in that scene between Georgia and Joe where he finally does just ask her point blank, because like you and I think like all audience members, it’s like, wait, is there something there? I know there is. But is there? There’s this confusion around it. I think that’s what Joe was feeling in that scene. I remember Ray [Ablack] and Brianne were a little nervous about that scene because they wanted really solid answers about how their characters felt. I think what they ended up doing is so much more powerful and interesting, which is there are no real solid answers. It exists in this complicated emotion, and I think what that goes back to is the fact that they met when they were kids. I really think that was such an important meeting for both of their characters, in ways that we are only starting to understand in season 2. For Joe, we see in high school. He’s not that cool, right? I don’t know if we see a lot of pretty girls talking to him, and so he sits at this rest stop. He’s by himself. He’s alone on the bus and this girl that he immediately has a big crush on sits next to him and talks to him. I think that was a highlight of this character’s summer if not junior year. Whatever attracted him initially when he was a kid clearly is still the same thing that’s attracting him to her as an adult, even though it took him a while to remember that that’s who she was.
For Georgia, she always knew who he was because he was the reason she went to Wellsbury. But I think what’s confusing to him about that is the reason she went to Wellsbury is because when she found out she was pregnant, she was her lowest self. She was a runaway. She was in a motorcycle gang. She was completely lost and uncared for and wasn’t even with Zion at that moment. They had gone their separate ways when she discovered she was pregnant or right before she discovered she was pregnant. And then she comes out of the rest station bathroom and sees this bus full of kids who are well-fed, well-dressed, clearly someone’s taking a lot of care of them. To her, he symbolizes the life she wants to give her daughter and the life that deep down she doesn’t feel that she deserves. He’s really this emblem of hope for her. I do think that there’s this deeper connection between them where because he met her at her lowest point, and I think he represents a little bit of a connection of truth and safety for her. I think in order to see if that develops into something romantic, you’d have to keep watching.
I wanted to bring up episode 8 because it was a detour from the usual way you approach an episode. The first season touched on Marcus’ depression, but we really get inside his head for the first time in episode 8. Talk to me about approaching that episode and approaching it with Felix [Mallard], who I think did a tremendous job handling that episode.
Sarah Lampert: That’s one of my favorite episodes of the season, to be completely honest. Episodes 8 and 9 as a unit are two of my favorites. Felix blew me away. I mean, absolutely blew me away. I’m pretty sure Felix picked the song for the opening of episode 8 actually. I could be wrong about that, but I’m fairly certain. That opening monologue is one of my favorite pieces of writing in the season. I think that Felix handles it with such vulnerability and care. These storylines are really hard, but I think we really wanted to handle them in a way that was realistic but also responsible. We have a licensed psychiatrist who is on staff, who reads every script and gives us notes on every script. Mental Health America has been a really good partner to us. They’ve read every script. They’ve watched every cut, and they’ve given us notes. We always take their notes.
And then with Felix and just having him really sink into this depressive episode, I think it was really important for us to grow that storyline in a way that his family does help him. He does have a support system. He’s given medication. It’s happened to him before, so there are barriers set up in place where he kind of knows the tools to get out of it and what he has to do to help himself. Sadly, one of those things is to break up with Ginny because he just can’t handle it. But what I love about their relationship is that he’s always been there for her. And now when he needs her, she’s there for him. She’s able to kind of put aside her own feelings and really support him in a way that I like even better than when they’re dating. And I love them dating because it’s just so beautiful to me that they care so deeply about one another. They’ve really been there for each other through both of their mental health struggles.
Earlier in the season, Georgia tells Marcus not to hold Ginny back when it’s time. Is that going through his head during the breakup?
Sarah Lampert: Absolutely. That’s going through his head. I think that’s a big reason of why he breaks up with her is Georgia saying that to him, and to the point where I think Georgia apologizes to him at the end. We see their relationship grow. I mean, the scenes with Brianne and Felix this season are some of my favorites. So what I love that we did this season was just these odd pairings of characters that you didn’t see in season 1. Now we have Georgia and Cynthia, we have Hunter and Marcus, we have just all these different little scenes where the characters are really being gentle with one another in a way that I think feels really satisfying.
Another tremendous scene this season was when Georgia finds out about Ginny burning herself. I think Brianne and Toni did a fantastic job. It was such a monumental shift for those characters.
Sarah Lampert: I’ve wanted to do that scene for a while. It’s been in the plan for a while. It was always going to be that Georgia stormed in and slammed the lighter down because I think that is not the way to handle it, and I think it’s interesting to show a juxtaposition between how Zion handles it and how Georgia handles it because they are such different characters. But ultimately, me and the writers’ room all wanted it to be a scene that really was a moment of healing for the characters. Even if it started off really challenging, it became a moment of healing for these two characters in which Georgia absolutely needed to learn this about Ginny because, up until this point, she was just really missing a lot about what was going on with Ginny. This was a huge thing for her to discover. For Ginny, I think it was huge to let her mother into this because they have such a complex relationship. It was really important for her to learn this about Ginny and for them to have this kind of moment of shared emotion together where Georgia acts like Ginny’s mother while Ginny really gets to be the kid and taken care of. Georgia kind of has her eyes opened to how she’s letting Ginny down in certain areas, so that was a crucial pivot of the season was that scene. We all cried when they did that scene.
Brianne’s face destroyed me.
Sarah Lampert: It absolutely destroyed me. The reason we want to do it at Christmas is because we have a sick twisted mindset on the show where we always balance this element of light and dark and fun and serious and gravity and levity. For us, it just felt like A Verry Merry Ginny & Georgia Christmas Special where this was finally going to be the moment that this happened for these two titular characters. My friend Caprice did the original recording of “Silent Night” for that scene. She did a few of the songs in season 2, but we knew we wanted “Silent Night.” We knew we wanted it to be this soft, motherly feeling song, and so she did that. Every time I hear it now it makes me cry.
I have to applaud you for not showing Ginny’s burns. The emotional impact was bigger by just showing Georgia’s reaction.
Sarah Lampert: Whenever we deal with scenes that touch upon self-harm and other things too, we always really lean hard into what Mental Health America is going to think about how we should portray this. What does Dr. Taji [Huang] think about how we should portray this? Toni didn’t want to show them, and we didn’t want to show them. No one wanted to show it because it wasn’t about that. It wasn’t about shock value. It wasn’t about being triggering. We really wanted it to be an emotional moment between the characters where Georgia realizes how she’s been letting Ginny down and missing this, and Ginny finally gets to share this with her mother, which is a big step in her healing.