Good Trouble Boss on Season 5 Premiere & Maia Mitchell’s Return – Deadline

SPOILER ALERT! This post contains details from the Season 5 premiere of Freeform’s Good problems.

Maia Mitchell has returned to The Coterie – but not under happy circumstances. Season 5 premiere on Good problems ends with Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) and Callie reuniting in their old dorm bedroom after Mariana spends the night in the hospital with her former flame (and boss) Evan Speck.

The episode picked up right where season 4 left off, with Mariana trying to escape from a cult while rescuing Joaquin’s sister, Jenna. Joaquin (Bryan Craig) was tipped off that Mariana was missing by a concerned Evan (TJ Linnard), who comes along to rescue the women. In the opening minutes of the episode, someone fires a gun in an attempt to stop the group from escaping, and the bullet hits Evan in the chest.

They rush him to the hospital, where Mariana spends the night with him. In the morning, she hears from Evan’s lawyer that he has named her his proxy, meaning she is technically the acting CEO of his tech company Speckulate.

“She will feel so responsible and so guilty that he came looking for her,” said showrunner Joanna Johnson, who added that it was the “better emotional story” for Evan to be shot over another character.

Truly Good problems fashion, this isn’t the only situation going on at The Coterie. Isabella (Priscilla Quintana) gave birth to her and Gael’s (Tommy Martinez) daughter, then disappeared with the child at the end of the episode. Davia (Emma Hunton) and Dennis (Josh Pence) are finally a couple, but they’re hesitant to tell anyone while so many of their friends are struggling. Malika (Zuri Adele) has been offered a massive promotion, but she is beginning to realize that her dedication to her activism is causing growing rifts with family and friends. And Luca (Booboo Stewart) is still trying to find a job, but he can’t until he gets his birth certificate sorted.

Johnson broke down all this and more about the Season 5 premiere with Deadline.

DEADLINE: Did you know when Maia left last season that she would return so soon? And if not, how did it come about?

JOANNA JOHNSON: Well, when I left, there was always the open door. She said she would come back and do episodes. I think Maia just wanted to go back to Australia for a while. She missed her family and I think she also wanted to be open to pursuing other things. But she always said, ‘I’d love to come back when I’m free, if you want me.’ And we say: ‘Well, of course you’re welcome anytime.’ So plan wise and everything worked great. I didn’t have that in mind when she left because we just didn’t know when she would be able and ready to come back. She will always be a part of this show. She loves it. It feels like coming home to her.

DEADLINE: It makes sense that Callie would come back to LA considering everything going on with Mariana. How did you decide that Evan would be shot?

Johnson: We thought about it for a while. At first it was like maybe Mariana got shot and then the whole family comes back. But the better emotional story is clearly Evan (getting shot) because she’s going to feel so responsible and so guilty that he came looking for her. And that will give us tons of history to mine. Instead of seeing Marianna recover from being shot, it’s so much better to see her struggle with guilt.

DEADLINE: Well, and now she’s Evans’ proxy. She is slated to take over as acting CEO of Speckulate. How will she handle it?

Johnson: She takes it on with her usual intensity. She feels this is her way of making amends to Evan and she has to protect him. It’s something she has to do. She has to do something about the guilt she feels, so she has to do something to help him, and it’s a huge thing to step into (this role) and come back to Speckulate. The powers that be aren’t thrilled to have her there either. So it just seemed like another great story for her to return to Speckulate. So we were excited about that.

DEADLINE: How do you think Mariana has grown over the past few seasons to handle a situation like this?

Johnson: She has just matured a lot. She will always be a bit impulsive. That’s Mariana, and it’s something she’ll try to work on this season. It was an impulsive decision to go to the farm and not tell anyone and stay the night because Jenna wasn’t there. It’s funny, Mariana has become more impulsive than Callie. But she grows and she matures. The other day we were looking for a flashback from the first season and when I saw it I was like, ‘Oh my god, she looks so much younger.’ She’s just matured into this beautiful woman, and the character has grown to definitely be a little wiser and wiser, but still has that impulsive thing.

DEADLINE: A lot happens in this episode. Isabella gives birth and at the end of the episode she leaves with the child. How will that affect Gael, especially since he defended Isabella to some of his friends who expressed concern for her well-being?

Johnson: I think Gael is such a nice guy and I think he really loves and cares for Isabella. He saw the other side of her that is so damaged and I think that’s why he defends her because he sees that she’s not a bad person. She’s just someone who had a bad childhood and hasn’t learned to overcome the places where she’s broken inside. But I think he is blind when she walks with the child. From her point of view, she is afraid that he will take the child away. We all know that Isabella. She can go along and be perfectly fine, and then something can make her snap, like when she smashed her parents’ car. That’s where she kind of keeps you on your toes as a character.

DEADLINE: Then there’s Luca, who tries to get a job but can’t because he doesn’t have a birth certificate to get an ID. How did you decide to add Booboo Stewart to Coterie and how did you develop this story for him?

Johnson: I think the homeless crisis in LA is huge and we didn’t feel like we wanted to ignore it. So many young people, people of all ages and all different backgrounds and for all different reasons, find themselves homeless at times. Many people have jobs and still have no home. So we really wanted to do something about that. It was interesting, we also read Booboo for the role of Joaquin and we loved him but we didn’t think he was right for the role. We thought Bryan (Craig) was so good for the role. But we all liked him and wanted to find something for him. So it was a natural place to put this character and see a character try to get on his feet without the bureaucratic stuff. I think people forget that people who are homeless – they also have dreams. They have things they want to do. And it’s fun to see it through him. And we’re in the fifth season, so it’s nice to see new people.

DEADLINE: Malika is also involved in the housing crisis, but on the political side of things. I found it interesting to see her realize how much her job and her activism has taken on her personal life in the premiere, when it’s something she’s been confronted with before and refused to see. Her and Isaac used to argue about this.

Johnson: Malika so deeply wants to help people and wants to change the world. (She’s done it with) activism, and now she’s trying to see if she can make change from within politics. A lot of our stories about social issues also fall on her shoulders, and we really felt that the character lacked some of the personal life the last few seasons. We also just wanted to explore this idea of ​​work-life balance, which is, I think it seems to be very much on the minds of millennials and Gen Z. They seem to have a better sense of work-life balance. privacy than the generations before them who tended to think that you just work work work and that is the ethics. I think it’s important to have a balance. So we really wanted to explore that story through someone like Malika who hasn’t had balance and has just been about saving the world 24/7.

DEADLINE: Of course I have to ask about Davia and Dennis. While everything is going on, they are still enjoying the joy of their new relationship. How do you balance that with the other serious stories you do?

Johnson: One thing that’s really important to me in the show is that I’ve always loved this idea of ​​mixing tone and mixing different kinds of stories. I remember when I was younger and then Terms of Endearment, and it’s this comedy that suddenly becomes very, very emotional. But then it’s still fun, even through the pain of Emma’s illness. And I thought, ‘I love this.’ I love to mix and match the tones. So we’re going to have fun with Davia and Dennis because we’re going to explore the very fun of this news of finally being together, but also the ins and outs of relationships where you both live under the same roof. They’re both going to have career stuff that hasn’t been introduced yet to come in. And how do you maintain a new relationship when you’re suddenly really busy? With Alice we always have comedy in her story and with her and Sherry is so funny. We also want to keep the show fun. When you watch, I think our show can be very funny. I think our show can be very dramatic. I think it could be many different things. It’s really fun to write and I hope it’s fun to watch for the audience.

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