Any woman who has to balance the twin demands of career and family knows how utterly difficult and exhausting it can be. But if that woman also lies and steals for a living, as does Letty Raines in TNT’s “Good Behavior,” maybe that’s a career choice best kept from the kid.
As Season 2 of the drama opens Sunday, Oct. 15, Letty (Michelle Dockery) has finally gotten back the one thing that has eluded her for so long, son Jacob (Nyles Julian Steele). Unfortunately, the deal she made with the FBI to get him nearly cost her her relationship with assassin Javier (Juan Diego Botto).
After patching things up with Javier and reconciling with mother Estelle (Lusia Strus), she’s settled down to a life of domesticity with Javier and Jacob. The trouble is, the normal life she’s mapped out for herself and her two guys in their swank Georgia beach home needs to be paid for, and Javier’s day job as a line cook doesn’t exactly bring in the big bucks. So it’s back to con artistry and contract killing to make ends meet.
Which also happens to be their comfort zone, says Dockery.
“That sweet taste of normality disappears very, very quickly,” the British actress explains, “We always say she goes from bad to being good and good at being bad. And I think it’s what the audience enjoys, because you want her to do better and to get on the straight and narrow, but at the same we enjoy watching the wild situations she gets herself into and the challenges that they face because of what they both do. You know, he’s a hit man and she’s a thief and it’s not going to be easy to start again having come from that past. And it’s what defines them, you know?”
That’s evident in a humorous scene in the beginning of the season opener, when Letty stumbles across a dead body from one of Javier’s hits in the garage and then scolds him – not for the killing, but for not hiding the corpse better, lest the child find it.
“What’s so funny is the genre of the show kind of changes all the time,” Dockery says, “because there are all these very intense, heavy scenes, then toward the end suddenly it becomes very humorous and funny because of the situations that they’re put in, like arguing in the garage over a dead body being in the house and then Javier finding all of her stolen stuff, and then she lies and says that she’s hiding it for Christmas. I mean, it’s ridiculous but the challenge, actually, with the show, which Juan and I find, is never playing the comedy, is to play it serious and then the comedy comes out of that. … It’s not meant to be played funny.”
Further complicating matters is an FBI agent (guest star Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”) tracking the couple and a friendly neighbor, Carin (Laura Bell Bundy, “Hart of Dixie”), who has more in common with Letty than Letty first realizes.
“They have this bond,” Dockery explains, “because Carin is deeply unhappy in her marriage and Letty is obviously having her own struggles with parenthood, with her relationship. So even though she’s using her, she’s genuinely fond of her. But Letty does have a moral heart deep down but she’s a survivor. She’ll do whatever she can to survive, even if that sometimes means she uses people.”