We gotta talk about Hal Mason. It was so freaky seeing him like that!
And Drew Roy did such a good job – who knew that that cute smile of his could look so creepy?
Yeah, I loved it when we were shooting that. But when I finally saw it all cut together and stuff, it just scared the hell out of me. He was very excited because he was afraid he would be playing perpetually a teenage lacrosse player with a gun for the whole season. I thought he just nailed it. And it still creeps me out.
What kind of discussions did you have with Drew about this change for his character?
As I said, he was excited about it, but also what he was hoping would happen to his character is that he would have some kind of challenge. He had a challenge of sorts in the second season in that he suddenly found himself falling for a woman slightly older than himself who had a lot of baggage, and he was trying all of his high school boy tricks that always got the girl, but it wasn’t working, and he had to make some real substantive changes in his approach, his personality and his heart to actually finally win Maggie over. And that’s interesting and stuff, but we’re a show with aliens, and it’s very science fiction, and I think that Drew was hoping for something to be able to chomp onto, certainly something like what Ben had to go through in the second season. I love Drew as an actor, and I think we have a really cool story for him in the third season with this, but it’s a huge challenge.
But the main thing that we were discussing in the writers room, and this is an idea that we had right at the beginning of the season, so it was very hard for us to keep holding back on it until the last episode of the season, is there’s this weird love triangle going on between Maggie, Hal and Karen. And in a weird way, we made it as subtle as we could, but Karen wants him back, and there’s nothing worse than an old girlfriend scorned, and so what did she do to him in order to make sure that a wedge was driven between Maggie and Hal? And since she’s sort of now a minion of the overlords, she has the power to do something really nasty, and I think that’s fun, and it should be fun in the third season too.
Is that parasite that crawled its way into Hal’s ear the same kind of parasite extracted from Tom’s eye in the premiere?
Yeah, we joked that it was the 2.6 version. It’s detected through the eye, and now it’ll go through the brain.
Ben said something very different to Matt than he did to Hal regarding whether he’s going to stick around with the 2nd Mass. Can we assume that the death of Red Eye and other rebel skitters changed things, or is Matt in for a letdown?
No, I think that the idea was at the end in a very hopefully succinct way have Tom, who’s basically about to say to Matt, “Your brother’s got important work to do,” and it was Ben basically saying, “No, I’m here to stay.” You’ll notice that there’s a moment at which the dying Red Eye communicates with Ben, and while we don’t articulate that, what he’s saying in essence is “It’s time now for you to be with your family. You’ve done a job.” I just was afraid that since Ben does the talking for Red Eye, I just thought it would be weird if he talked for himself. I think Ben has realized that his place is with his family, and that’s where he can do the most good.