On a show as full of lies and deceit and duplicity as The Lying Game, we have to admit we have been conditioned to take what characters say to each other with a grain of salt—especially if a character is saying something to Sutton (Alexandra Chando). Everyone knows Sutton can’t be trusted, and you should never let your guard down around her by now, right? Well, maybe not, as Rebecca (Charisma Carpenter) seems to have brought the wrong dear daughter into her plan—her real plan.
We’ll admit it: we didn’t trust Rebecca’s motives, and we weren’t one hundred percent sure she was in love with Ted (Andy Buckley), rather than just wanting revenge on him. So we went straight to the source and the woman behind Rebecca to see what her deal was and just how far Sutton and Emma’s apples fell from Rebecca’s tree.
“When she says she wants her family together, that is her [motivation] for every scheme, every thing that she does. It is absolutely true that she wants her family back together,” Carpenter told LA TV Insider Examiner over the phone prior to the show’s return.
“But who is her family? That’s a whole other issue.”
Keeping Rebecca’s motives pure and her intentions good is a big way Carpenter comes to terms with some of the harsher schemes Rebecca is carrying out—or even the fact that she is keeping some of her loved ones in the dark for as long as she has. Carpenter may have the most fun playing the manipulation, especially against Alec (Adrian Pasdar), but keeping her grounded is all about keeping her vulnerable. Which also keeps her a potential target for Sutton, despite the fact that they are seemingly working towards a common goal right now.
“I think her feelings are her Achilles’ heel, and you can really manipulate and maneuver anyway you want if you know somebody’s weakness. It leaves her open,” Carpenter said.
“You do find out how and when they came together—at what point—and it’s really well done, too, because everybody sort of finds out before Rebecca even lets it out. So it’s kind of juicy because…there’s a sense of ‘Oh my gosh, she doesn’t know that they know!’ So that’s kind of fun, and it’s a good way to thread the storyline out to keep you enticed.”
And similarly, The Lying Game will deliver on the reasons behind Rebecca not bringing Emma into her plan as early as she did Sutton and the struggles to bring her in as her plan unfolds.
“She has to put all her ducks in a row,” Carpenter said, “and obviously there is an order to that. Emma is not first on the list. It’s so convoluted! There’s so many angles, and there’s so many characters to service in terms of storyline, I don’t know that every single detail of why she isn’t brought in will be brought up and dealt with and explained, but it does eventually come out in one particular scene, and that is a very, very powerful moment in this season.”
But Carpenter admitted that it would take a while before the truth came out to Emma, and in that time, the audience may feel like Rebecca is playing favorites with her kids.
“In Rebecca’s mind, it’s not the right thing to do,” Carpenter said, “but ultimately it just has to deal with the overall plan of putting her family back together and the order it has to happen in. And then Kristen makes a big mistake, you know, so it leaves Rebecca’s opening to get what she wants and reunite her family.”
Of course, there are two major speed bumps for Rebecca in the form of Alec and Ted, neither of whom want the same things Rebecca wants, and both of whom Rebecca is so sure she can manipulate into giving her what she wants anyway. At least at the start. Though Alec was hauled off in handcuffs last we saw him—and his wedding, no less!—Carpenter said that his suspicions are already piqued.
“He’s operating on ‘I know you set me up!’ And then my suspicions are ‘Well, you tried to kill me’, so it’s super fun!” Carpenter said.
“It’s one of the best storylines, in my opinion, and one of the best episodes I got to do was that sort of cat-and-mouse Mr. and Mrs. Smith thing with Adrian…She gets to be vulnerable with her kid and with Ted, and she gets to be fun and conniving with Alec; it’s a nice dichotomy.”
Carpenter said that the dynamic between Rebecca and Alec is one thousand times more interesting that the idea of Rebecca getting everything she wants—because where’s the drama or the fun in that?
“The only advantage to being with Ted is maybe it’s a means to an end for all of this terrible behavior,” Carpenter said. “Maybe there is some beautiful outcome to all of that, and they live happily ever after, and she switches and is kind. I would be bored to tears!”
Besides, we still don’t really know the extent to which Alec and Ted ruined Rebecca to make her this way anyway… So even if there's a happy ever after coming for Rebecca someday, that day is nowhere in sight. And first, we have to get through some "doozies" of secrets to still come out!
The Lying Game airs on ABC Family on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m.
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