Season 2 of “Casual” came to end on Tuesday (Aug. 22) with the sad and shocking death of one of its main characters. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t yet seen the episode, titled “The Great Unknown.”
In the finale, Charles (Fred Melamed), father of Valerie Myers (Michaela Watkins) and Alex Cole (Tommy Dewey), asked his children for assistance in ending his own life after discovering he was suffering from an incurable disease. With the help of Valerie’s teenage daughter Laura (Tara Lynn Barr), together they made his life-ending cocktail and then waited out his death.
While the subject matter may sound pretty dark for a show that’s billed as a comedy, the Golden Globe-nominated series slid through this occasion with the perfect amount of heart, hilarity and sadness. It’s this ability to mix so many complicated feelings into each moment that makes “Casual” such entertaining TV to watch.
Zap2it got to speak with Dewey about how Season 2 delved into more serious themes than Season 1, and if that kind of tone will continue on in next season.
“I think — and creator of the series Zander Lehmann has suggested — that Season 3 will be lighter, at least in part,” says Dewey. “We wouldn’t want to get too cheery, though. These characters are still a long way from healthy.”
In Dewey’s defense, no one can yet speak on that subject with total authority, as Season 3 won’t begin filming until January or February 2017. But with the narcissistic, callous and sorry excuse for a father that served as a black cloud over any loving relationship Alex and Valerie seemed to embark on now deceased, will Alex become a whole new person come Season 3?
Dewey doesn’t quite see that happening. “I’ll think we’ll see some growth, but he’s not gonna wake up with new DNA,” he says.
With his mother Dawn (Frances Conroy) still alive and well, prancing around Ojai somewhere, skirting all her parental responsibilities, and Alex’s apparent addiction to self-destructive situations, it’s safe to say his character’s struggles weren’t buried along with his father.
While it’s great that Alex is now in therapy, something he so desperately needs, it’s hard to imagine his weekly sessions with Jennifer (Katie Aselton) will remain platonic and professional. The chemistry between them is palpable. When asked if Jennifer’s character will be sticking around next season, Dewey says, “I sure as hell hope she’s back. [I] love working with Katie. And, again, I can’t speak for the writers here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re right about their relationship. I think ‘professional’ might already be out the window …”
The baseline of what’s “professional” and normal on “Casual” is so skewed that he and Jennifer might be the closest thing to a healthy “professional” relationship that there is — even though it’s far from anything of the sort.
Alex, Valerie and, well, the jury is still out on Laura, may be irreversibly damaged people. Their dysfunctional family relationships are sometimes cringe-worthy, even horrifying at times, but also touchingly real. They all truly love and care for each other, but all have seriously messed up ways of showing it.