GHOSTS Post-Mortem: Joe Port and Joe Wiseman on the MIA Ghost and What Comes Next - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

GHOSTS Post-Mortem: Joe Port and Joe Wiseman on the MIA Ghost and What Comes Next

February 15, 2024 by  

GHOSTS Flower sucked off

“The Owl” – Sam, Jay and the remaining ghosts unravel the mystery of which ghost passed into the afterlife. Also, Sam and Jay must relocate an owl in order to do construction on the barn to turn it into Jay’s restaurant, on the third season premiere of the CBS Original series GHOSTS, Thursday, Feb. 15 (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs)*. Pictured (L-R): Tristan D. Lalla as Mark, Utkarsh Ambudkar as Jay, and Rose McIver as Samantha. Photo: Bertrand Calmeau/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the season 3 premiere of GHOSTS.]

With GHOSTS finally back, the comedy wasted virtually no time in answering its big season 2 cliffhanger: Flower (Sheila Carrasco) was the ghost who got sucked off.

As the ghosts grappled with their grief/jealousy/relief, Flower’s boyfriend, Thor (Devan Chandler Long), became temporarily convinced she was back—in the form of an owl.

But, at the end of the day, Flower was still gone…with both her undead and alive friends baffled by what actually happened. Here, showrunners Joe Wiseman and Joe Port talk with Give Me My Remote about what this means for the show.

How did you land on Flower being the ghost to be sucked off?
Joe Wiseman: I think the most important thing is that we wanted it to be an impactful ghost. We didn’t want to feel like the audience was faked out and it was, oh, some random guy in the background here. So we wanted it to be consequential. When we came up with the cliffhanger at the end of season 2, we didn’t know who it was going to be. We definitely had ideas and leading candidates and whatnot. And then, as it worked out, we had a lot of time to think about it. We walked down many, many different paths—we did the “What if it was this person? What if it was this person?” But ultimately, it was the right creative decision, because I feel who we landed on has a lot of threads that allowed us to have a lot of stories in the aftermath of their disappearance.

How did Sheila’s real-life maternity leave play into the decision?
Joe Port: She was going to be out at the very beginning of shooting. So that did present a challenge, obviously. And it was going to be hard to explain why there would be more than one ghost gone for prolonged periods. So it factored in. 

But we did go down paths of like, “Oh, she is not there for some other reason while somebody else is sucked off.” But ultimately we just thought this made the most sense. And it did lead to a lot…it’s a very twisty, turny season and it’s got a lot of surprises. And I think it’s going to be interesting for people to watch.

Speaking more specifically to the timing of her real-life leave, do you bring Flower back basically as soon as Sheila could film again? Or did you let the story dictate things and Flower’s off-screen longer than the maternity leave might have naturally been?
Wiseman: Um, that’s a good question. And I’m kind of not sure what to say, because I don’t want to spoil things; I don’t want to spoil timelines. But I will say that on our show, just because someone is sucked off, they’re already dead. It doesn’t mean they’re dead. There are ways of seeing ghosts—we’ve seen ghosts come down from above, we’ve seen ghosts go down below and come back. There are flashbacks. So there are various ways. As far as timeline, obviously she wasn’t available for a certain amount of time.
Port: I would say if she comes back, it may not be in the way that you think. Or she might not be in the place that…we might not see her in our plane of existence. We don’t know. We can see people up in heaven or whatever. There’s a lot of different ways to see people in this universe right now.

The premiere talks about reincarnation as well. Can you speak a bit about that and also showcasing a side of Thor we haven’t seen before? 
Port: We find it very funny that Jay ends up in difficult predicaments, just trying to be supportive and helpful. [Laughs.] Which seems to be like a constant—he’s such a good guy, and he only wants to help and be a part of a crew where he can only talk to one out of ten people. And so him trying to intercede and give Thor some sage advice, we thought it was funny that it then interfered with Jay’s restaurant dream.

And then Thor—Devan is this big, loud, very funny guy. But he does have that gear where he can play emotion really well and he gets a chance this season to do that.

The ghosts occasionally clash, but they do care about each other. How is this impacting them going forward?
Wiseman: I mean, it’s complicated because this is what all the ghosts want. This is stated from almost the very beginning: they all want to get sucked off. So I think when this happens, there’s a range of emotions. Obviously with Thor, that’s the person he loves most in the world. So he’s devastated. But there’s a lot of jealousy involved. There’s some ghosts who have been there a lot longer, who are sort of like, “Why her? Why not me?” 

And there’s a lot of curiosity. It’s still not clear exactly what triggers a suck off. There seems to be some sort of connection with breakthroughs or growth, but I still think it’s random enough where they don’t know exactly what it is and that creates a lot of frustration. So I think there is a range of emotions. But it’s also, even though you’re happy for the person, you’re still sad to see them go. So I think in the premiere episode, we have a nice little memorial where some of the ghosts can memorialize her and say what she meant to them.

When Flower returns, in theory, she’ll have some answers about what led to her disappearance—but she’s also Flower, so it’s possible she won’t remember any of it. How much are you wanting to be coy about what led to this or will the ghosts get a blueprint, even if it’s not repeatable for them? 
Port: I think we definitely want to delve into…even after she disappears, obviously, that’s a topic of discussion of what led to it. That’s big on the ghosts’ minds. And they definitely try to replicate it where they can. But Flower is, in a funny way, a very unreliable narrator. And she doesn’t really recall a lot of things. So she’s hard to trust on specifics, sometimes.
Wiseman: I don’t think a definitive answer to that question of exactly what triggers a suck off will ever be answered. Probably. I think there’s an advantage to keeping it mysterious.


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