John Rogers: Now, this was interesting. We had a long talk in the writers’ room what this scene was gonna be. Because it is “why hasn’t –” because, let’s face it. Aldis, you’re a good looking man. You’re a very good looking man.
Aldis Hodge: Thank you.
JR: And, Beth, good looking woman. Why has that relationship not progressed farther, you know? And we wanted to not just do the hackneyed “because she was abused as a child,” because, you know, and so we really wanted to work on “why?” And it’s because she doesn’t feel worthy of the friends she’s made and the family she has.
JR: And a lot of this year is her feeling good enough about herself and feeling like she’s a good enough person to be with.
AH: You know, John, Sexual Chocolate gets a lot of mail about that, you know what I’m saying? It’s true, and I gotta figure out how to explain it.
JR: I know. I know. Boss of Sexual Chocolate also gets a lot of mail about that.
AH: Just saying.
JR: But look at this woman, look at this woman!
AH: That’s ridiculous.
JR: I mean, she’s melting down here. And, by the way, when we’re shooting this? Crew is crying, people behind the set are crying, I mean, she’s just devastating here.
Dean Devlin: She nails this.
DD: It’s also this whole thing about she wants to do the right thing and trying to understand what the right thing is.
JR: That’s what’s great about Parker and what we so lucked into establishing this character first year and that Beth has done a great job of. Most shows have someone who’s just trying to do the right thing, we actually have a character who’s not sure what that is yet. And so it allows us an extra step of that character building. I mean, you know, that’s why we have to go so slow. We don’t want to fastplay this. These are real people in our heads.
AH: Now, what was the motivation between, I mean, as far as putting Parker and Eliot together in that particular situation?
JR: Because, I’ll tell you exactly why, because this is the year Parker starts to figure out that she’s actually a “better person” – quote, unquote – than she thinks she is. And this is the scene, right here. Eliot, because of the events of last year, has come to peace with who he is. And this is the thing, Eliot isn’t trying to redeem himself. A lot of people think Eliot, “oh, he’s doing good things to redeem himself,” Eliot knows he’s going to hell. But he can do some good along the way. And he can help his friends. And that’s his role this year, is a man who is very secure in who he is and who he isn’t in the world. Beth’s previous scene is amazing. This is some great acting, Christian is killing it here. Because what he has to do is he has to reach across this gulf, and, by the way, it only happened because of the way Christian and Beth have played this over the years. Eliot and Parker have a very specific relationship, it’s not brother/sister, it’s not boyfriend/girlfriend, but it is “I know the pain you’re carrying, because I carry a version of it.” And Eliot, at a lot of times, is the only one who can reach across to her, across that gulf, and in that moment, there’s no crying, it’s not showy, Christian acts the shit out of that moment. That is one of the keystone moments of the entire season right there.