‘Queens’ Boss Breaks Down That Brianna Cliffhanger in Winter Finale 

 November 12, 2021


[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Queens Season 1, Episode 8 “God’s Plan.”]

ABC’s Queens has been teasing a personality getting shot all season lengthy, and within the December 12 midseason finale, the present lastly solutions loads of questions, resulting in an enormous cliffhanger ending. The unique drama facilities on 4 girls — Brianna (Eve), Naomi (Brandy), Jill (Naturi Naughton), and Valeria (Nadine Velazquez) — who stage a reunion of their widespread hip-hop group from 20 years earlier.

Now we all know that it was their supervisor Eric (Taylor Sele) and Brianna who have been shot, however whereas Eric seems to be positive, Brianna is in crucial situation. When the episode ends, she’s in surgical procedure and we hear her flatline, however then on the final second, we hear the beeps return on her coronary heart monitor, indicating that she’s nonetheless alive.

TV Insider spoke to Queens creator Zahir McGhee to debate Brianna’s destiny, the id of the shooter — Jill’s ex-husband Darren! (Emerson Brooks) — and what we have now to sit up for when Queens comes again on January 4.

So I believe we have now to speak concerning the elephant within the room, which is Brianna. We do hear that beep beep beep of her coronary heart on the finish of the scene, so she’s not gone. I don’t actually assume we anticipated her to be gone midway by means of your first season, however nonetheless, you didn’t go away viewers hanging on that one.

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Zahir McGhee: Nicely, it’s attention-grabbing as a result of we went forwards and backwards on how a lot we should always hear. When ought to we hear it? So I’m excited and to see what individuals assume once they’re watching it. Clearly you had a sense that she’s undoubtedly alive. However, I believe that these beeps occurred in that second, and we don’t know what occurred after. Possibly she’s alive, and possibly she isn’t.

Did you all the time plan for Brianna to be the one to get shot?

We didn’t know who was going to get shot. It has been actually attention-grabbing to me to consider Brianna all through the season and her perseverance. I do know that isn’t all the time essentially the most enjoyable, however we’ve thrown rather a lot at her, and each time she appears to beat one thing, we’ve given her one thing else massive to take care of.

ABC/Kim Simms

I all the time thought it was nice to observe her come out of that. She lastly overcomes Jeff (RonReaco Lee) dishonest on her. She lastly thinks she will come to grips with what he did. After which she occurs to be giving this extremely lovely speech to a useless physique. She’s then in a position to lastly eulogize her husband, solely to seek out out that his mistress (Hannah Masi) is pregnant. After which she lastly does the fitting factor with the mistress solely to seek out out the mistress has left with this child within her. After which she has a second of triumph and is like, I’m simply going to be me and I’m going to be the Professor Intercourse of 1999, solely to have her children discover out. Watching Eve carry out that, after which watching the character superbly overcome these issues, there’s an final pleasure, and an final place for Brianna to get to, and that journey is simply midway there.

Are we gonna see her once we come again in Episode 9?

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I can’t say that.

Nicely, I needed to ask. We’ve achieved flashbacks earlier than, however we truly return additional to once they’re youngsters this episode(Kai Ture as Younger Brianna, Teshi Thomas as Younger Naomi, and Olivia P. Bucknor as Younger Jill). It’s actually thrilling to see them come collectively as a bunch. What made you wanna put that on this episode?

We had been bandying this concept about for a very long time, and I knew that I needed to indicate them as youngsters sooner or later. I give the writers loads of credit score right here. They actually pushed me to have this story on this episode, as a result of the one problem is that Valeria didn’t exist within the group again then. So, we’re telling a narrative about them within the hospital and them grieving their buddy, after which we’re telling a flashback that doesn’t embody Valeria. There was a scene that occurred exterior the place they have been leaving and there was one other teen woman attempting to get in with a faux ID, and that was going to be Valeria, and so they didn’t work together with each other, however she was there in the identical time, in the identical area as them. However we ended up not having the ability to shoot exterior, so it didn’t work out. I simply thought it was a good way to indicate the bond that they’d.

The teenager actors you bought have such nice chemistry.

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Aren’t they unbelievable? They’re wonderful. I felt like, nicely, let’s make this spinoff present about them. They have been additionally charming. It’s a extremely troublesome factor, as you most likely know…whenever you’re casting a film, and also you’re casting youthful variations of Will Smith or no matter, you’ll most likely spend a yr on it proper? In TV we have now like two weeks to seek out somebody that credibly resembles them, is an effective actor, and likewise is able to performing and doing choreography and recording a track for us.

They’re wonderful. I undoubtedly wish to see them once more.

It additionally gave us a extremely nice solution to incorporate a few of Brianna’s household as a result of that’s clearly an actual factor that may happen and making her mother (Gayle Samuels) part of the story in each the previous and the current was a extremely lovely means to do this.


ABC/Wilford Harewood

Brianna’s mother is form of scary. Are we going to see her in future episodes? Is she going to return again?

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I don’t see a world through which she would come again. It’ll be clearer why she wouldn’t come again within the subsequent episode.

With Jill’s husband, we’ve seen pink flags from him for some time now.

Oh sure, he’s been completely regular…setting divorce papers on fireplace and breaking into somebody’s home to prepare dinner breakfast, that kind of stuff.

Sure, these sorts of completely regular issues. You probably did seed in a little bit of a misdirect in that he signed the divorce papers, so I assumed, ‘every thing’s OK now.’ However then he comes again.

Nicely, I knew it was going to be Darren from the start. I had a normal thought of who I assumed I needed to be shot again in July, however I knew with 100% certainty that he was the shooter.

Oh, so that you knew from the beginning?

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We received to determining whether or not it was too apparent. Are individuals too on his path after he set the divorce papers on fireplace? Is there some other possibility? And definitely, in a author’s room, you undergo tons of permutations. We pitched variations the place it was Val’s mother (Elaine de Valle). We pitched variations the place it was Tina (Felisha Terrell). We thought of it, however I knew it was going to be Darren from the start. I didn’t care to humanize him an incredible deal, however I did discover from the start that his character might be attention-grabbing within the sense that Jill had damaged up with him primarily on nationwide TV. Nothing he did is true or is sensible, however that was an attention-grabbing character for me to take care of as the one that’s left behind, who has to observe the person who jilted them and really feel like one thing was achieved to them. Now they’ve to observe their accomplice be handled because the hero. And in watching the episodes, Jill hasn’t behaved all that nice. However I believe we did a great job of hiding the ball on Darren, after him being such a transparent suspect on the finish of Episode 5.

I believe as a result of he signed the divorce papers, it was simple for viewers to file him away in our minds. I believe it’s attention-grabbing although, as a result of once we first meet Jill, the best way that she talks about her marriage is, ‘Oh, my husband saved my life. He’s one of the best. If I have been drawn to him, every thing could be nice.’ However an individual doesn’t simply grow to be abusive in a single day. They don’t simply grow to be violent. Have been there indicators in her marriage that she’s going to must reckon with now that possibly she wasn’t being attentive to?

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Jill doesn’t have one of the best judgment. All through the season she’s been an individual who’s been dependent. She’s been depending on medication. She’s depending on her dad, who we will likely be seeing very shortly. She’s been depending on Darren. Then she was depending on Tina to assist her get to the subsequent stage of life. Then Alicia (Rana Roy) comes into her life and he or she instantly attaches to her. So she has dependency points. She’s somebody who’s uncertain of who she is. She seems to different individuals for validation after which she molds herself to these individuals, so I don’t assume she was able to seeing these pink flags. On the floor, Darren appears completely regular. I might think about that he was all the time a controlling individual, however Jill couldn’t see it. Once we get to her father you’ll see why she is perhaps somewhat bit keen to connect and mould herself to a partner or a male determine. She’s had a extremely tough go of life up till this level, and that doesn’t excuse the issues she’s achieved, however I actually perceive her and empathize together with her as a personality. It’s going to be good to see her journey of getting by means of this, getting by means of the guilt of this, as a result of it’s going to be arduous for her to to not see this as her fault to a point.

Is there going to be a time bounce once we come again?

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Sure, a small one, about three months. We’ll begin Episode 9 pretty quickly after the occasion in Episode 8. That’ll be the teaser, after which we’ll bounce forward in time. Persons are gonna be shocked by the opening. After which we have now possibly the most important second of the present on the finish of the episode.

I really feel like that is the most important a part of the entire season, and we will’t even discuss it.

I’ll simply say it has to do with Brianna. I all the time assume that TV viewers assume, ‘If I don’t see the physique within the floor, then I’ve to imagine that the individual’s alive.’ One of many nice issues about once we come again is there will likely be tons of music. Rapper Remy Ma goes to visitor star within the present as nicely. You’ll get a Remy track, Remy and Brandy get to do a track collectively. There’s going to be some rapping in Spanish afterward.

What are you able to tease about storylines that we’re gonna see within the again half of the season, whether or not that has to do with Valeria’s mother or anybody else?

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Valeria’s coping with each her seek for household and likewise the void that her mom, her faux mom actually, has left her with. I can inform you that fairly early in Episode 9 we’re going to take care of whether or not her actual mom is on the market and whether or not they’re going to doubtlessly have a reunion. Muffin (Pepi Sonuga) goes to be on essentially the most wonderful journey ever. She’s going to seek out herself actually impressed by the Supreme courtroom video that they did. She’s 24 years previous, and he or she’s attempting to determine ‘what do I’ve to say?’ However, there’s gonna be a extremely explosive begin to Episode 9 with the whole group that’ll ship them in numerous instructions. Then the top of the episode will likely be very satisfying in a stunning solution to individuals.

Queens, Season 1 Returns, Tuesday, January 4, 2022, ABC

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