THE RESORT Post-Mortem: Andy Siara Breaks Episode 3's Big 'Left Turn' and What's to Come - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE RESORT Post-Mortem: Andy Siara Breaks Episode 3’s Big ‘Left Turn’ and What’s to Come

July 29, 2022 by  

The Resort spoilers

THE RESORT — Episode 103 — Pictured: William Jackson Harper as Noah — (Photo by: Peacock)

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the first three episodes of THE RESORT.]

In Peacock’s new series THE RESORT, married couple Noah (William Jackson Harper) and Emma (Cristin Milioti) find themselves immersed in a mystery when she finds an old phone…that belonged to a young man, Sam (Skyler Gisondo), who disappeared alongside his new love, Violet (Nina Bloomgarden), from the Oceana Vista Resort 15 years earlier.

The duo chase their leads, focusing on Luna (Gabriela Cartol), the concierge at Emma and Noah’s current resort who also worked at the Oceana and Baltasar Frías (Luis Gerardo Méndez), the head of security at the Oceana, whose family connections might be sketchy.

Emma and Noah break into the old Oceana compound, trying to find where Sam and Violet had spent their time, and think they finally might have caught a break—only to lose the phone down an empty chute, discover a creepy painted mural, and come face-to-face with Baltasar.

What comes next? Executive producer Andy Siara offered a few teases about what the show has set up so far, the big swings, and what to expect in episode 4…

An old cell phone kicks off Emma’s journey into the mystery of what happened in 2007. How did that older technology impact the way you were able to tell this story? 
It was very frustrating, to be honest. When I first decided on a version of this story…I was moving houses and cleaning out the garage, and in an old box, I found a couple of old cell phones—my old Nokia from 2008 or ’09.

I hadn’t looked at this in a while; I tried to turn it on, plugged it in, and it wasn’t working. But I did the same thing that Emma did, which was take out the SIM card and put it into a different phone. And then I proceeded to sit there for two hours, scrolling through like 400 old photos of my life, and getting trapped in my own little nostalgia spiral.

A lot of it was: What is possible here? If I were to have this phone and I want to go back in time to my old life via my old cell phone, what do I have to play with? I have grainy photos and old text messages. I can try to piece together how they came about. And even in like me trying to remember, in reading like my old text messages, [I was still thinking] “What was this actually about?” I created a story in my head of what it was and it could have been wrong.

That’s what Emma and Noah do in episode 2, where they’re trying to create a story from these text messages and they are totally wrong. But it’s just what we do as people; we’re constantly trying to make sense of the incomprehensible.

In the first couple of episodes, we see the characters in various states of intoxication—Emma and Noah with literal alcohol, but Violet and Sam with their newfound affection for each other. How did that element of distraction play into how you were able to reveal the overarching mystery, writing-wise?
That is a really good read on it. I guess the simple answer is that when you are intoxicated with love, or that first love, everything kind of kind of drops out around you, in a way.

Looking to the mystery, Emma is very casual about her broken tooth. How much of the lost tooth is a sign of how much she is taking on versus a bigger tie to the overarching mythology?
I would say that it’s some of the physical representation of some of the thematic questions that we’re playing with. So I don’t think it’s really part of the mystery—or is it? It could be part of the mystery. It could be a little things that are hinted at here and there, but I would say that if you want to try to crack what’s going on, you can pull the thread of the tooth, but you might not need to pull the thread of the tooth. The tooth is more touching on the questions of what is the disappointment of time? One of those answers could be that it’s our aging, rotting, bodies. A tooth that dies and falls out is maybe representative of something larger going on.

A mysterious painting is revealed in episode 3, depicting a number of characters from 2007. What can you tease about the ramifications of it and how closely fans should be examining it? And what was the process in actually crafting it?
Freeze away! And the fan who freezes on that, they’ll be rewarded. They also might be disappointed. But that’s kind of how life is—there’s a lot of rewards and disappointment.

It’s a major player in the coming episodes. I would say that there is an answer to exactly what it is under the surface and I think it’s a little more for those who want to do the freeze framing.

Since we see the entire thing, we’re not trying to hide anything. But I’ll say that it’s a big painting. And if we lingered on the entire thing and showed you everything…I guess I could say we intentionally didn’t want to do that. We kept it on screen for the amount of time that we felt was it a good amount of time, without spoiling any of what is to come.

As for the production of it, that was very hard. It was wild. We had a great on-set painter that was just dabbling with it. We had ideas going into it, and he would just bring it to life. We did three versions of it over time, in various states of states of completion. And there’s a reason for that, in the coming episodes, to have three different versions of it. And now they’re sitting in a warehouse somewhere, like at the end of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.

The Resort spoilers

THE RESORT — Episode 102 — Pictured: (l-r) Nina Bloomgarden as Violet, Nick Offerman as Murray — (Photo by: Luis Vidal/Peacock)

The first few episodes showed a bit of Violet’s father, Murray (Nick Offerman), and his grief over losing his wife. How will that come into play later in the season?
A lot of that stuff really clicks into place in the back half. A lot of the story is about love and loss and how those two things are very interconnected. And it’s the things that we do for love and things that we will do to get back what we lost. One becomes a driving force of the other. We take a lot of big swings, and perhaps one of the biggest is with Murray.

One of the lighter moments of the show so far was Emma and Noah’s flashlight lightsaber battle as they were exploring the ruins of the resort. How did that come to be?
The story opens up with these quotes, and it’s about people trying to recapture feeling from the past. And from the moment Emma finds that phone, she’s essentially trying to go back in time, to a time before the shit that life throws at you is thrown at you. So I feel the lightsaber was almost a continuation…[of the thing that] kind of kicks it off, in the beginning of episode 2 where we see when Emma and Noah first met. And it’s, oh, you get that feeling, that undeniable feeling of connection and attraction to a person, to someone that you end up spending the next part of your life with. That initial feeling is unlike anything else and you just don’t want to leave that person.

We’ve spent episode 1 seeing where Emma and Noah are now. How did you get here? We’re almost rooting for them to get back to that.

And so the lightsaber scene, why I wanted to keep that in there, it’s just the reminder of where they ended up. Episode 2—we meet them in 2007 trying to find a pool and ends with them finding a pool in the present day. And they have successfully recaptured a feeling from their past.

The lightsaber is, like, they’re still okay; they’re still fighting through it. Even though Emma lost a tooth there, they still might be okay.

But as for how that came about, it wasn’t scripted at all. They were exploring these rooms, and it was honestly as simple as Ben Sinclair, our director, yelling, “Why don’t you guys fight with your flashlights like lightsabers?” We had one take of it and I was like, “Oh, that’s charming and lovely.” To me, love and friendship—and whether it’s a relationship or if it’s a friendship—it’s all about the goofy, silly stuff that you do together. And that’s pointless and silly, but so is so much what relationships are.

What can you tease about what’s ahead in episode 4, especially as Emma and Noah are now with Baltasar?
I think that the first three episodes are all about setting up what I think we, as viewers, assume will be the villain or the villains of the story; we’ve been trained to think certain things. And the first few episodes, we’re kind of leaning into that: What these assumptions are you know about Baltasar and his family—we never once say it’s a crime family; we intentionally never say that, but that’s [what] Emma and Noah are feeling.

They’re following that thread along, and then in episode 3, to me, one of the most important scenes of these first few episodes is that dance scene [in 2007], and what comes right before that, where you have this character who is supposed to be the bad guy, and then he gives this grieving father and husband a bottle of Mezcal at Christmas and then goes and dances with all these other staff, who are also supposed to be the bad guys. And if these are the bad guys, then maybe I like the bad guys more, because they seem a lot more fun.

So that to me is hopefully where we as an audience realize, “Oh, this is not the story I thought it was.” Some people might lean back, others might lean forward. But it was very, very intentional that we were like, “Okay, maybe I was wrong. And I’m not seeing the entire picture, because I was seeing how I’ve been trained to see a story like this.” So here is Baltasar and Luna and the Oceana Vista, and now I have other further questions; I have my doubts.

In episode 4, we continue that. If that scene acted like a left turn, episode 4 commits to that left turn.

THE RESORT, Thursday, Peacock


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