[This story contains spoilers from the season one finale of Apple TV+’s High Desert.]
Apple TV+ comedy by Patricia Arquette high desert ended the first season finale with a literal bang.
Crime-focused series — focusing on the tumultuous life of Peggy (Patricia Arquette) as a recovering drug addict trying to find a new path as a private investigator. individual — ended the eight-episode season with a violent ending. Peggy and Guru Bob (Rupert Friend) find themselves kidnapped for a lost painting but are miraculously saved after Leo Gattchi (Michael Masini) and Nick Gattchi (Carmine Giovinazzo) somehow kill each other. Plus, Denny (Matt Dillon) dodges Heather’s (Julia Rickert) rampage after her father dies from a stray bullet.
In an interview with hollywood reporterArquette discusses the finale sensational character in regards to Peggy waiting for the explosion of a human cannon, the star’s conversation with her real-life sister changing the course of the role. Bernadette Peters’ late mother, her hopes for a second season and the changes that need to be made to the way society deals with addiction.
We have a bit of body count in that last episode. There’s Heather’s dad and the cop, then we see Dona’s death. Also, we don’t know what happened to Peggy in that human cannon. Does it seem inevitable that the series will head towards such heavy moments?
There’s a bit of a Hot sun quality starts happening in the final episode where there’s definitely a lot of crazy things happening after that. That’s high stakes. And even if it ends up with Peggy, what will happen to her? Of course, Peggy is in a life-or-death situation in the end. That’s part of what terrifies her siblings, it’s her ability to put herself in that position. And one of the reasons she joined [the cannon] is this another part of her, it’s codependency when she’s in charge, and she told Owen (Eric Petersen), and everyone depends on her, even though she’s the last person we should really rely on. But she’s in it, and there’s a part of her and a part of everyone addicted: Do they want to be here or do they want to go?
The highlight of the finale was seeing Peggy and Diane (Christine Taylor) talk about their mother. Does that sound like a breakthrough or emotional moment for Peggy?
I think so. And I think she really wants her sister to love and respect her. There was a time when she was the caretaker of the family, but she made choices the way of a 16-year-old. And Diane constantly struggles between trying to see the good in Peggy and also protecting herself from Peggy’s flaws. I think she wanted to heal her sister, and she wanted to heal herself and really didn’t know how.
This idea came from the moment we lost our mother, me and my sister Alexis. [Arquette] had lunch one day. I looked over and said, “Oh, my God, look at that woman. She looks exactly like her mother.” And from this three-quarters corner, she made it, and this woman is having lunch with her friends and enjoying her life. And we both stared at her for the longest time. My mom passed away at 57, and I was like, “She can’t go to lunch with her friends and do all this.” It was just a weird moment for me to watch some version of my mom. And I talked to the writers about that and then talked about the idea of Bernadette being another character, and they came up with this amazing Ginger character. (laugh.)
When you lose your mother, if you have a good mother, it’s a big, huge loss. And so is Peggy, her mother the only one who really doesn’t see her fault. Her mom loves her, thinks she’s cool, cuts a lot for her. Peggy likes herself when she helps people, and she likes herself when she takes care, and she has to do it with her mother. Her siblings left her because she was taking care of their mother and they didn’t have to. But when her mother passed away, she lost that usefulness in their eyes, and she lost some of her own personal goals and also the person she felt truly loved for. She knows Denny loves her as much as he can, but he will always make some bad choice that will push them all into some bad situation.
Wouldn’t it be fun to be part of a spoiler to keep the audience guessing?
Yes. We really wanted to do this kind of weird, crazy and wild trip – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. A wild adventure and don’t play it safe. It’s weird being an actor because you create this world, and you love these characters, and it’s like, “Oh, you’re going to have a second part? Where will they go?” And you don’t know, and you’re in this hazy place. It’s almost like taking off your whole body or exoskeleton and hanging it on a hook, and it’s in the freezer. You’re just in this man-free land waiting to see if you put it back on.
Apparently, the entire industry is in limbo amid the writers’ strike. But has there been any talk about the possibility of a second season?
I do not know. I guess it will depend on how effective the program is and how people respond. I just love Peggy, and I love this world, and I think it’s a really new thing that we just don’t see on TV at all.
Throughout the season, we see Peggy continue to be a chaotic character, and she still stumbles across LSD until the end. Has this unpredictability always seemed to be part of who Peggy is?
I don’t know for sure, but my instinct is, that’s always going to be something she struggles with. She’ll make all sorts of excuses like, “Oh, this is my spiritual path,” or “This isn’t drugs – I’m doing it for something else,” or “Oh, this isn’t a drug.” drug.” Because drugs are like that. They are absolutely fascinating. If you have that addiction, it will always whisper to you why this or that is okay. That is a really difficult thing.
We don’t see addiction as a health crisis that millions of Americans are grappling with — whether it’s alcoholism, drug addiction — but it is. And until we start looking at it as a disease, I don’t think we’ll make much progress. The way Peggy loves Tristan and Isolde, and they die, and one jumps into a tree, there’s a tragedy. To some extent, she also considers her life a tragedy but a wonderful work of art.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
High Desert’The first season of s is now streaming on Apple TV+.