If Dr. Mary Harris (Caroline Dhavernas) is looking over her shoulder worried about when the truth about what she does comes out, she may need to start worrying about those closest to her first. It may not be the cops or criminals after her that cause her the most drama, but in fact may be her daughter Jess (Abigail Winter) who seems keenly aware of the fact that her mother is keeping potentially dangerous secrets from her, and who has no intention of letting her off the hook. In fact, in this week’s penultimate episode of Season 2 of Mary Kills People, Jess may finally confront her mother once and for all to get the truth she desperately seeks.
It’s been a bit of an up and down season for Jess. On one hand, her relationship with her mother is more strained than ever, but thanks to some quality bonding with her Aunt Nicole (Charlotte Sullivan), Jess may be ready to demand some answers. In stark contrast, Jess’ love life has seen a significant improvement over the up and down relationship she had with Naomi (Katie Douglas) in Season 1, as she’s moved onto a much healthier relationship with Heather (Karena Evans). To break everything down and prep ourselves for another exciting episode, The TV Junkies recently spoke exclusively with Winter, who also has an upcoming role on CTV’s The Detail, all about Jess’ story this season and why she’ll be demanding answers from her mother.
The TV Junkies: How did the opportunity for Mary Kills People come about?
Abigail Winter: Two springs ago it was one of millions of other auditions I went out for. I went in and forgot about it, but heard a month or two later that they wanted me for a chemistry test with Katie Douglas who plays Naomi. I got the part, but it was very unexpected how it happened. I do remember when I first read the scenes that I immediately fell in love with this character and this story.
TTVJ: I think the show does a great job really fleshing out the younger characters, which are sometimes even groan-inducing on other shows, and giving them really nice story arcs.
AW: That was really refreshing about it for sure. There are a lot of other teenage plots centered around boys and high school drama, which is fine because that’s what happens, but to see that these characters have stuff going on underneath all that is fun. You don’t just see their outward teenage moodiness. You see why that is happening and what they are protecting underneath all that.
TTVJ: Obviously a lot of Jess’ moodiness comes from the strained relationship she has with her mother, and the fact that she thinks Mary is keeping the truth from her. Will she confront her mother about that and what can we expect when she does?
AW: Jess will not stop until she figures out what her mother is hiding. Jess even said in the last episode to Nicole that she’s starting to feel like a crazy person who knows there’s something wrong but can’t put her finger on it. Yes, Jess will continue to confront Mary until she gets the truth. I can’t say exactly what will happen if she does get the truth, but at this point I think Jess would be relieved to know any kind of truth rather than just what it is.
TTVJ: Speaking of Nicole, it was really nice to see she and Jess bonding a bit. Why does she feel so much more comfortable with her and talking to her rather than her mother?
AW: One of the things is that Nicole is so different from her mom. She has a huge sense of humor and is a more loose character, whereas Mary is so uptight. Nicole treats Jess as an equal, and not that Mary doesn’t, but Nicole is a person who can get to someone’s level quickly. So Jess feels that she’s seen and heard by Nicole, and also, everyone has a soft spot for the cool aunt. Nicole’s place has also maybe been one of those safe places she goes to when things are rough at home, so they have a very trusting relationship and it’s easy for her to talk to Nicole because of that.
TTVJ: As a younger actress it has to be so great to work with the likes of Caroline and Charlotte to build these relationships on screen. What’s that been like for you?
AW: Amazing! They are both the most generous humans. There’s a lot of really talented actors out there, but it’s rare to find ones that are also giving of their time and energy. One of the biggest things I’ve learned from both of them, that they both do really well, is just how very present they are when shooting. They are 100 per cent there with you and it creates an atmosphere on set where everyone is trying to do their best work. It’s a real treat to work with them and they are also funny, kind and the whole package.
TTVJ: In Season 2, we see Jess really growing and developing this relationship with Heather. Were you glad to see her move on from Naomi and into a much healthier situation in Season 2?
AW: Yes, I was because it’s really nice to start to see Jess know what being truly liked feels like. She thought she knew, but once Heather came along it was a whole new ballgame to have it reciprocated in a genuine way. It was really fun to be able to go down that story of an innocent, first love kind of feeling. I must say though, that Katie and I have had our speculations about whether or not Naomi has genuine feelings about Jess but just continues to cover them up. The jury is still out on that one, but for now Jess gets to have more of a true relationship with Heather.
TTVJ: I think that’s true and as a viewer watching I can see where Naomi may really care for Jess. Do you think though that Jess could ever forgive Naomi for what she’s done?
AW: I don’t know. I feel like it’s always possible, but this time it’ll take Jess a lot longer to forgive Naomi. In the past Jess has had looser standards, but I think she’s going to stop being so easy to forgive people. But who knows? Who knows what Naomi will try to do to redeem herself.
TTVJ: We’ve seen Jess struggle a little with her sexuality but I really love the way Mary Kills People has dealt with her story. Given the importance of LGBTQ representation on TV, is that something you and the producers and writers discussed a lot?
AW: It’s a credit to the writers really as it was all just in the script. There was no need to really discuss it and that was what was so great and forward about it. When I first read this character there was no talk about her sexuality, you just see her going through these things and that’s it. It was the same as any other teenager figuring themselves out. I’m really glad and honored to play someone who can represent without it having to be a big deal.
TTVJ: Is there anything else you’d like to preview about the last two episodes of the season?
AW: Well, definitely keep an eye on the USB that Naomi has. Also that snow globe that Mary gave her other daughter at the beginning of the season will return. Watch out for those!
Do you think Jess will get the truth from Mary? Sound off below!
Mary Kills People airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Global in Canada. Season 2 premieres on March 12 at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime in the U.S.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.