(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Episode 6 of HBO’s “The Nevers,” which is the freshman series’ Part 1 finale.)
“The Nevers” dove deep into the backstory of Amalia True (Laura Donnelly) with Sunday’s Part 1 finale of the Joss Whedon-created show’s first season. With the reveal of the origins of Amalia — a.k.a. Molly, a.k.a. Stripe, a.k.a. Zephyr Alexis Navine — came the tale of how Sarah (Amy Manson) became the villainous Maladie whom fans have gotten to know throughout the show’s first five episodes.
It turns out, that after Stripe was transported from the future by the Galanthi into Molly’s mid-suicide body in the Thames, she was brought into the asylum that Sarah had just been committed to. Sarah comforted Stripe/Molly/Amalia on her first night there, giving Stripe the confidence to tell Sarah the truth about where she came from and how the alien Galanthi is what empowered herself, Sarah and the other members of Victorian England’s “Touched” society.
While Sarah is recovering and soon to be released from the asylum, Dr. Hague (Denis O’Hare) comes to visit Sarah and Amalia/Molly, saying he’s heard about their supernatural abilities and would love to bring them into a non-voluntary study of the Touched. Molly manages to convince Hague that she doesn’t actually have real powers, and that Sarah is truly the one who believes in it all — including the Galanthi and the idea that Molly came back from the future. This leads to Hague becoming uninterested in Amalia and instead take Sarah away for experiments — violent experiments that turn her into the Maladie we know.
“Reading Episode 6, I was aghast because of the storylines and because of where the storylines are going and will continue to go, and I’m sure, on other planets, or whatever is in store for us in the future,” Manson told TheWrap of “The Nevers” Part 1 finale reveals. “I think it was nice to kind of understand Stripe and understand Laura’s choices as an actress and what I was playing off of the first couple of episodes. Because Joss told us all separately our storylines and where we were all going, and it was only through talking to one another that we found we were able to piece together storylines. So it was just the reveal of why Laura as Amalia behaves the way she does and where she’s from and her soul from the future. It was just so clever, just like reading magic. They truly are the best scripts that I’ve ever read in my life… And to see what Laura’s done with Molly. I mean, she’s the queen of accents. It’s just all treasured.”
Manson says “there was going to be a longer episode for the whole asylum section, but I think it played out just as well” with what ended up in Episode 6.
“And I think you understand Sarah and Molly’s relationship within there,” “The Nevers” star added. “And I think the next stage would be to understand what Sarah went through at the hands of Hague. That’s where I would like to see the storyline go in the future, just to understand the magnitude and the depth of what she was subjected to.”
Manson told us that Maladie’s turn, which stems from the pain inside her, was amplified by what Hague did to her.
“Her turn is in her eyes. And she kind of renders even large men dumb to this intense gaze, this death stare that they refer to it as,” Manson said. “And it’s because she’s had so much pain inflicted on her within the asylum. She began to understand that, the more pain she had, the more powerful she became. So it’s to inflict pain on other people in order to make them freeze, to control them, to take power from them. And I hope that that gets explained more in the future. And I hope you actually see her workings at play, because I don’t think we’ve seen enough of that yet at all.”
Episodes 7-12 of the first season of “The Nevers” are being led by new showrunner Philippa Goslett, who took over for Whedon after he exited the show due to exhaustion last fall, following completion through Episode 6. The writers are at work now, with production expected to begin in the coming months.
“She’s picked really sound, adequate writers who are going to take the story I have no idea where, but I’m so excited,” Manson said of Goslett’s plans for Part 2. “And she’s so on top of it. And this is going to be something very different from– hopefully not different, in storyline sense from the first six, but it’s definitely going to be a shift in direction for a lot of characters. And I can’t wait to see the storylines open up for a lot of the other characters.”
In particular, Manson would love to see Maladie get storylines with Hague, Penance Adair (Ann Skelly) and entering the orphanage.
“I would like to see maybe Maladie live in an existence with these women. Maybe not within it, but to join forces with them on some mad mission to take down the Galanthi or figure out who the Galanthi is or where they are coming from, how many of them there are. The world is just so vast and it’s just going to keep getting bigger.”
Readers can find TheWrap’s interview with Skelly and Donnelly about “The Nevers” Part 1 finale here.