Sooner or later we all have to answer for the choices we’ve made in life and the time to do just that has come for Dr. Mary Harris (Caroline Dhavernas). The third and final season of Mary Kills People premieres Sunday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET on Global and in it, Mary must come face-to-face with her own personal choices, ethics, and demons in a way she never has before. As discussed at the end of last season, Mary has now opened up a death retreat with her partner Des (Richard Short) that covers their business by being a legitimate hospice. Soon that facade starts to crumble and it puts Mary’s family and the work she loves in jeopardy once more.
While the fate of Mary’s lover, Ben (Jay Ryan), still hangs in the balance, Mary does have a surprise in that she’s pregnant this season. How will this new life complicate what she does for a living even further? There’s also Mary’s other two children to worry about, with Jess (Abigail Winter) now fully aware of the truth about her mother’s career. The third season also promises more of Mary’s sister, Nicole (Charlotte Sullivan), who runs the hospital with her and Des, and there’s some new trouble on the horizon in the form of Canadian actress Elizabeth Saunders (Alias Grace, It). She plays a nurse that complicates Mary’s life.
To get a closer look at what’s to come in this final chapter, The TV Junkies spoke with Dhavernas, including for some time during a set visit earlier this spring. She shared how happy she was that the show is ending on their own terms and why she’s so proud to be a part of a series that tackles such a serious issue with grace. Dhavernas also previewed how Mary’s pregnancy affects her career choice and what her partnership with Des will be like this season.
The TV Junkies: As a viewer and someone who has loved the show, I was very happy to hear your team and your writers would be given the chance to end the series on their terms. What was that feeling like for you?
Caroline Dhavernas: I love what you just said because that’s exactly how I feel. It’s very empowering to know that you have, as a team, control over the end of the story. Most of the time you’re not told ahead of time if you’re going to continue on or stop, so this gave us the opportunity to write the story we wanted to write. We also got the chance to say goodbye to one another in the proper way.
TTVJ: Mary Kills People is a show that deals with a very serious topic but addresses it in a way that takes a lot care. What have you been most proud of or enjoyed most about working on this show for three seasons?
CD: I always loved the tone of the show and the moments where we kill people were always very moving and beautiful. We’ve had amazing actors come in, a lot of times older actors too, and that’s an opportunity to see work we don’t usually get to see. They’d come in and do their thing, have their monologue with us by their side, and we’d help them die with dignity. Richard, who plays Des, and I always said those are our favorite scenes on the show, the Des and Mary scenes where we’re together fighting about it or accompanying these people to make sure their wish of dying with dignity comes true.
TTVJ: Speaking of Des, he and Mary have now opened this hospice or death retreat, but in the past they’ve had some issues working together. What’s their relationship and partnership like this season?
CD: We start Season 3 in the death retreat and that’s a more controlled environment for what they do. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have obstacles coming their way, though. They have to be very careful about this retreat because what they are doing there isn’t legal. They will yet again be in trouble with the law and have different ways that they’ll have to evolve and work under these circumstances.
TTVJ: Also working at the retreat, which I was very happy about, is Mary’s sister Nicole. I’m always thrilled for more scenes with those two together and what’s it mean for their relationship to have her a part of this endeavor?
CD: I am glad you said that because I love Charlotte Sullivan. She’s such a talented actress and beautiful human being and we get to see more of her. The first two seasons Nicole was always Mary’s conscience and making her reflect on the choices she was making, but now she’s a part of these choices. Sometimes they will butt heads because they know each other so well and come from a very bonded relationship over what happened with their mother, and so sometimes they don’t always agree on how to do things. There will be a bit more tension this year between them.
TTVJ: How does Mary’s pregnancy affect her view on her business?
CD: It affects her confidence somehow about what’s to come. Of course she still has that urge to help people, still wants to do it under own terms, but now has that in the back of her mind all the time. Now, more than ever, her decisions are impacting the people around her — her kids, lovelife, friendships and her sister. Now she will have to be responsible for a little tiny human being who doesn’t understand what’s happening. She reflects upon what she’s done a little more this season wondering if it was the right thing.
TTVJ: We’ve seen Mary go head to head in the past with some pretty scary people like Grady (Greg Bryk) and Olivia (Rachelle Lefevre), but this season there’s a new antagonist, played by Elizabeth Saunders, and she’s a bit different. Can you discuss their battle this season and the threat she poses?
CD: She’s an ICU nurse that Mary meets on call at a patient’s home, and she, I think, is the scariest of all the villains we’ve had because she feels so real and also thinks she’s doing the right thing. Olivia and Grady were badasses and doing their criminal thing and knew what they were doing, but this one is different because she’s on the opposite spectrum from Mary. They both think they are doing the right thing, but Mary is letting people have a choice, whereas this person is a little off. Elizabeth is so amazing and she really brought everything to this character. I think you will be quite stunned by her performance.
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Mary Kills People Season 3 premieres Sunday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET on Global.
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.