‘Hightown’ – Jackie clean, sober and determined

Cape Cod cop has new focus in the new season

Monica Raymund stars in “Hightown,” premiering its second season Sunday on Starz.

Things are on the upswing for Cape Cod fisheries agent Jackie Quinones, who like the actress portraying her takes on a new role as the Starz drama “Hightown” opens its second season.

Premiering Sunday, Oct. 17, the 10-episode sophomore round finds Jackie (series star Monica Raymund) clean, sober and beginning her new job as a real cop in the tourist mecca of Provincetown, Mass., where she aims to do some real good in the world.

With a rash of carfentanyl deaths wracking the Cape, she sets her sights on bringing down drug dealer Frankie Cuevas (Amaury Nolasco), who she blames for the death of her best friend Junior, as well as his sociopath cousin Jorge (new cast member Luis Guzman, “Code Black”), who has joined his operation.

Jackie also gets a new partner in Leslie (Tonya Glanz), now that disgraced cop Ray Abruzzo (James Badge Dale) is off the force, and both women are like-minded in their determination to bring an end to the scourge plaguing their community.

Monica Raymund stars in “Hightown,” premiering its second season Sunday on Starz.

“I think Jackie’s mindset coming into the season is very positive,” Raymund explains. “I think she’s feeling herself. She feels like she’s got a little bit more grounding under her because she’s able to stay sober. She feels like she’s learned some new tools. She feels like she’s growing up. And I also think that she’s ready to kick ass because she knows that she will be a very good cop and she has plans to do her best to climb up and prove that the opportunity that she’s gotten is worthwhile to the boss.”

Similarly, Raymund herself took on new duties on “Hightown,” directing the third episode of this season. It’s not her first time behind the camera, however, having done previous turns at the helm on “FBI” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” But it was the first time she had to act and direct at the same time.

“It was very challenging,” she says. “Directing is extremely different from acting, literally in the sense that you’re using different sides of your brain, and so it does feel like you’re jumping back and forth when you’re in it and when I’m overseeing the entire vision of the movie. But you know, there are other actresses who do it and are able to do it successfully and they really inspired me to take on the challenge.”

As for how she is at multitasking, Raymund was also positive.

“I think I have more to learn but I’m not bad,” she says with a laugh. “I’m the kind of person who really needs to stay mentally stimulated and it’s a lot of puzzle-piecing, constantly thinking about how to move pieces around on the board to make sure that each can fit perfectly to uphold the integrity of the story. … So multitasking was difficult but I got through it.”

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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