[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
Things get a little hairy (sorry, not, sorry) for The Roman Agency this week as Lomax takes on a case with bite (see previous) and Luke follows up on Phil’s lead while Phil adjusts to being a new dad. It’s an alternately delightfully goofy and emotionally wrought episode written by Duana Taha and directed by John Vatcher. You know, the kind we love.
I’ll dig into the episode below, but first, I had the chance to catch up with Tim Rozon and Sarah Levy this week and I’ll be parceling out pieces of our discussion over the next few weeks — just three episodes left this season! Here’s what they and showrunner George R. Olson, who I spoke with in October. had to say about getting the call that Season 2 was happening.
“It started off sort of shrouded in mystery at first, and [then they said we were actually getting] Season 2, which was very exciting, and knowing that we were gonna get to be able to come back together and work together again. We all have so much fun working together and we all just love this show so much. So it was such a grateful opportunity to get a second season,” says Levy.
Rozon says the moment he found out is crystallized for him. “The universe needs to understand, I’ve already been humbled by life many times. I didn’t need them to take it away to give it back to me. But I remember the exact place I was. I remember the moment, I remember the time, it was probably 6:04 in the evening. I was in Florida. I was at the World Equestrian Center pushing my son in a stroller. And my wife went to a store to buy something and I got the phone call and she came out and she could see immediately on my face after,” he recalls.
“And she asked, ‘What is it?’ I said, ‘We’re back.’ And she said, ‘No.’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ And I just couldn’t believe it. I was so happy. And for all the reasons Sarah said. Yes, the characters, what a gift of a character for all of us. Every character is just so great. But I wanted to get back and play with that cast again.”
“You don’t always get a cast like that together. It was lightning in a bottle. It’s super fun. We have a great time. And I knew it was gonna be super fun [again]. It would be a little chilly in Newfoundland, but who cares. We’re gonna have a blast. I couldn’t wait to get back. No phone call made me happier.”
Olson is the captain of the ship that everyone came back to, and the architect of what makes the show so special in its intention to ground its people — and its ghosts in relatable storytelling, and he was thrilled to get to do it again. “When I first got the opportunity to do this show, one of the things I really, really wanted to do was go to the humanity of these ghosts. We have wonderful writers and I’m so proud of the work they do. We were just so excited that everything, all the business stuff came together and we were able to get back to telling stories. Coming back from the dead is kind of what our show is about, so there was a nice little symmetry there,” he says.
Olson shares that having such a fantastic cast in place, and the shooting location in St. John’s, Newfoundland, helped shape the stories they could tell, and how they told them. “I was working on Season 2 before Season 1 ever aired. In Season 1, you’re building the world. Most of our scripts were written before we knew who the actors were who were going to play them. And it’s such a different process to know who our talented actors are and to have a sense for the wonderful island in the North Atlantic where we shoot this thing,” he explains.
“And to know to go into Season 2 that I can totally see Adam [Korson] saying this, or Savannah [Basley] will say this in just this way. When we got a chance to get back together for Season 2, it was really a gift. It was enormously gratifying. To have such a talented ensemble of actors, to have found them in the first place, and then to have them all find the time and do what it took to come back was terrific.”
Olson adds that the chemistry among his cast is especially precious because they didn’t meet for Season 1 until they started shooting. “Usually when you’re casting a show like this, you have chemistry reads, you have meetings where you just introduce the actors to each other and see if there is any kind of chemistry and [whether] anybody hates the other person’s guts because that does tend to show up on screen,” he points out.
“And since that took place in the height of the pandemic, that was not something we were able to do. And going to work and then to have such wonderful chemistry and such nice people and and have people fall into their roles so nicely [was extraordinary].”
“It was so fun when we had our first scene [for Season 2] with Mo [Maurice Dean Wint] as August, and of course Tim as Luke, and it had been almost two years at that point. They just stepped into that scene like they had been at lunch instead of on a long hiatus.”
“[They] were so invested in [coming back], too. [They] stepped back into those roles so seamlessly. Savannah [Basley] was Zooey like that. Sarah was I think the last person to arrive in St. John’s. And when she stepped in, everything just came together and it was just like like a homecoming.”
OK, back to the episode! In “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie,” Lomax’s next case takes a turn when the seemingly perfect, super-friendly family of four who just bought a house from her become decidedly more aggressive after they move in. She posits a supernatural theory, which the team gets a good chuckle out of until Phil, who pops in from his paternity leave to help, uncovers a more practical option. Regardless, it tests how much Lomax really wants this job. And speaking of jobs, Zooey beta tests her list of next options with the group.
Luke tries to talk to his dad before making a move on Phil’s intel and then takes a personal day to follow up. In a great bit of casting, Jennifer Dale, who played the demon version of his mom in Season 1, returns again to play the OG. No spoilers about how that goes, but their scenes together as they unpack 35+ years of trauma, loss, and regret are everything you’d expect and hope for and so, so much more. Rozon and Dale are just stunning. Have some tissues on the next to you.
SurrealEstate airs Wednesdays at 10 pm/9c on Syfy in the US and CTV Sci-Fi and Crave in Canada. You can catch the first seven episodes now streaming on those platforms. ICYMI, our Season 1 and 2 coverage, including previews and interviews, is here. Here’s a sneak peek of “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie.”
Photos courtesy of Duncan de Young/Blue Ice Pictures/Syfy; video courtesy of Syfy.
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