Note: The following story contains spoilers from the “Shining Vale” Season 2 finale.
The Season 2 finale of “Shining Vale” ended with a massive satanic cliffhanger, setting the stage for mayhem in a possible third installment of the Starz horror comedy.
Titled “Redemption,” the episode followed as Pat (Courteney Cox) got closer to uncovering the truth about her pregnancy and why the people around her seemed poised to take the baby after she gave birth. The road to her delivery provided insight into how her husband Terry (Greg Kinnear) was connected to the conspiracy, including showing glimpses of him from decades’ past as a doctor in the asylum that resided where the Phelps family has resided since Season 1.
After Pat gave birth, the helpers quickly whisked the new baby away from Pat to meet her father. Then it was revealed to both her and the audience that Terry is not only the orchestrator behind their recent troubles — he is Satan himself!
“‘We asked ‘What’s the most shocking thing that Pat could find out?’” series showrunner Jeff Astrof told TheWrap. “She’s been manipulated by her husband this whole time and she’s literally married to Satan… She’ll really, really internalize that, especially coming off having a baby. We really want to explore what that does to her in the third season.”
Astroff, who cocreated the series alongside “Bad Sisters” scribe Sharon Horgan, said the idea to have Terry be the embodiment of the devil came as they broke the “Rosemary’s Baby”-inspired second season. He particularly loved how well the twist fit with Horgan’s initial contribution to the premise of the series: the idea that women are twice as likely to get depressed — or possessed — than men.
Though the supernatural ties are ever present on “Shining Vale,” all comes with the caveat that they could be rooted in Pat’s psychosis. The question about whether or not there are actual demonic forces at work remains open-ended.
“Did this really happen? Did this not happen? Was she you know, what was it Satan who impregnated her or was it Terry was like the whole time?” Astroff said. “We want [the audience] to look back and go, ‘wait what’s going to happen next?’”
Once they agreed to move forward with the “crazy” idea for Terry’s character, he said the writers made sure to drop clues throughout the season so the twist felt earned by the time all was revealed in Episode 8.
“God-willing we get a Season 3 because we have a fun way that Terry deals with this knowledge too,” Astrof teased.
Beyond wanting to leave audiences to wonder what could come next in Pat and the rest of the Phelps family’s journey, Astrof admitted to “not wanting to give [Starz] an excuse” not to renew the show by ending the season on a more harmonious tone. He added that he has a seven-season plan for the series.
“Shining Vale” has yet to be renewed for Season 3 at Starz.
All episodes of the series are now streaming on the Starz app.