ROYAL PAINS Executive Producers Tease End of Season Two

The second season of USA Network’s hit ROYAL PAINS resumes with six new episodes beginning January 20 on USA. When we last left the Hamptons, Hank (Mark Feuerstein) and Evan’s (Paulo Costanzo) father Eddie (Henry Winkler) had suffered a heart attack after his sons began to learn his secrets while Divya (Reshma Shetty) struggled with her feelings for Adam (Patrick Heusinger) and her engagement to Raj (Rupak Ginn).

Daemon’s TV was there when executive producers Michael Rauch and Andrew Lenchewski teased what will happen in the remainder of the season, discussing the romantic entanglements, the Boris-Hank relationship, and the evolution of Hank and Evan.

On the changing Hank and Evan dynamic

When we first met Hank in season one, he was, as Michael explained, “a nearly perfect character” and because the season was short, there was no time to examine potential flaws. For season two, Michael said they definitely had the goal of peeling away some of Hank’s layers and “revealing some of his imperfections.” While Michael thinks they have succeeded in that, he also said “We feel like there’s a lot more to go in terms of showing some of his vulnerabilities.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Evan was almost all flaws when we met him, but the unpeeling of his layers has shown his growing virtues. That will continue both in these upcoming episodes and next season. Michael explained, “The way we started the show, Evan was the one who was really, really flawed and Hank was perfect. In season two, they started drifting a little bit more towards the middle where some of the stuff that you’ll be seeing in the winter six, their arcs start to cross a little bit. We feel like in season three we know we’ll have some fun with Evan having a lot of his life together while Hank might have some of the parts of his life less in order.”

On Eddie

Before Eddie’s heart attack in the midseason finale, Evan had been much more forgiving of his father than Hank. Much of Hank’s arc in the first twelve episodes of the season had dealt with whether or not he could–or even wanted to–forgive/and or accept Eddie. The heart attack changes things for Hank. Michael said, “I think when you come face-to-face with the thought of losing a parent, no matter what your relationship is with them, it forces you to reassess things and reevaluate them and see if you need to change your perception of who they are and what you want the relationship to be.”

The question remains, though, will the heart attack change things for Eddie? Michael teased, “I think that we’re not so sure if the father will change or not and that’s part of what we’re dealing with in these back six episodes. Seeing the effects, not just physically, but what happens to Eddie. To be in the presence of his sons, if this can help change him. That becomes a big part of these six episodes. ”

Michael said the fact that Henry Winkler is such a beloved actor and all-around nice guy gave the show “a greater opportunity to play a range of things with both him and the influence it would have on Hank and Evan.”

One of the things they will continue to play with is the Lawson men’s memories of their shared past and whose perception of that past is most correct. Michael teased, “Is it Hank’s or Evan’s or is it Eddie’s? Maybe it’s all of theirs and maybe they all remember things a little bit differently and you have a situation where you’re not quite sure who’s telling the truth. What becomes more important is what we’re seeing in each episode than what we’re hearing about from when they were kids.”

On Hank and Boris

Since Boris’ (Campbell Scott) illness was diagnosed in Cuba, Andrew said that the story is now headed “more deliberately” toward finding a cure, but that Hank would actually be handling a different medical issue for Boris in the upcoming episodes. “The medical aspect to the Boris/Hank storyline for the rest of this season is going to focus more on the Marissa (Paola Turbay) pregnancy; how that impacts the Marissa/Boris relationship and ultimately how that translates into the Hank/Boris relationship with something fairly climatic happening at the end of episode number 17, and the aftermath of that into the season finale.”

On the romantic polygons

The different romantic pairings are so central to Royal Pains that Andrew called them, “to some extent the lifeblood of these characters’ storylines and they really give us a lot of stuff to play, not just in terms of each of [the] pairings, but the way that those pairings impact upon all the relationships within the show.”

In terms of specific couples, according to Andrew, the Divya/Adam/Raj triangle will peak in these last six episodes of the season and “We’re going to see a very big evolution in this Evan/Paige dynamic that we started to tease out at the end of the front 12 which is not only a lot of fun and a storyline that brings a lot of comedic energy to the show, but something’s that really helping to evolve Evan’s character in a wonderful way.”

As always, Hank’s romantic life will be front an center. Andrew teased, “We’re going to see Hank and Emily’s (Anastasia Griffith) relationship climax in a way that might be pleasing to some members of the audience and maybe less so to others.” As for Hank and Jill (Jill Flint), whom Andrew called “star-crossed lovers, “[They are] sort of a well that we keep going back to because it’s really interesting study in timing and fate in that it always seems to either be the perfect time for them to be together or the perfect time for them not to be together and we’ll continue to go back to that for story in the winter six.”

On Divya moving to London

Naturally, Andrew and Michael wouldn’t say whether or not Divya does in fact marry Raj and move to London, but Michael teased, “She’s a very important part of the fabric of the show and she’s also a character who’s torn between different obligations. That’s a big part of what we’re going to do in the back six episodes with her character. It really takes us all the way to the winter season finale where things really come together and she’s forced to make a decision.”

When pressed on the issue, Michael only said, “It would be a loss to the show if we didn’t see the lovely Reshma Shetty anymore.”

On a musical episode

When asked if Royal Pains would be willing to jump on the musical episode bandwagon, Michael replied they absolutely would if the network agreed. “This is something we talked about before it was a common trend from the beginning of season one. I would love it. I want to have our characters break out in song. I don’t know if it will ever happen but I think it would be a lot fun. Reshma is a trained opera singer and Paulo can sing and even Andrew can carry a tune so we might bring some of the writers and producers into it, also.”

Royal Pains returns to USA Network with all new episodes Thursday, January 20 at 9pm eastern/8pm central.

You can read all our Royal Pains coverage here.

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