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'Client List' Postmortem: Producer on Riley's Life-Changing Decision and What's Next

In a chat with THR, executive producer Ed Decter previews the season finale: "It changes things forever for Riley and everyone in her life."

The Client List Josh Hopkins Jennifer Love Hewitt 4/21 Still - H 2013
Michael Desmond/Lifetime
"The Client List"

[Warning: Spoilers from Sunday's episode, "I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent."]

Things have come to a head for Riley Parks (Jennifer Love Hewitt) on The Client List.

Sunday's episode saw the mother of two and The Rub owner take up one of her client's "indecent proposals," as executive producer Ed Decter likes to call it: $50,000 in cold hard cash for an intimate evening, including sexual relations. It's a line that Riley -- whose morals have centered the show for a season and a half -- hasn't crossed until now (though other employees at The Rub have given more than just massages).

With news that Kyle (Brian Hallisay) is about to get released from jail, the timing isn't ideal for Riley. As she grapples with her morals and internal conflicts, will this momentum-shifter be the catalyst for secrets revealed and lives of those closest to her forever affected?

STORY: 'Client List' Producers Preview Big Turning Point: Riley 'Changes Forever'

Decter talks to The Hollywood Reporter about just what Riley's decision means for her future, her relationships and if she will ever make a decision with regards to Evan (Colin Egglesfield) and Kyle.

The Hollywood Reporter: So Riley takes the money. Where does this leave her?

Ed Decter: On top of sleeping with him, she learns at the very end of the episode her husband [Kyle] is getting out of jail so that couldn’t possibly complicate it more. And also, her guilt for doing what she did. Obviously, we were very lucky to have cast Josh Hopkins, who is a desirable, very funny guy. Riley has a crisis of conscience after she goes through with it and I think we portray it very fairly -- that it wasn’t something she took lightly, it changed her. From this point forward, she will be irrevocably changed. She’s absolutely not the same woman her husband married.

THR: Will others find out about her double life by the end of the season?

Decter: That’s one of the most persistent things about the show is that she has the double life. Her best friend Lacey (Rebecca Field) knows her secret and eventually does find out what happened. That’s the person she tells everything to and some of her co-workers know. Once you’ve crossed that line, then the question for Riley is: Who are you? We throw her into the fire because in next week’s episode, a lot of it takes place in a church. You have to look at yourself and you have to think about what the big man upstairs is thinking too.

THR: What other internal conflicts will Riley be struggling with?

Decter: Poor Riley, she’s struggling with everything. She’s technically still married to this guy who deserted her for a year and went to jail, but he’s been proving himself to be on the road to redemption. So how far do the marriage vows go? What are the limits to your marriage vows after everything that’s happened? She’s going to be struggling with the fact that her mom is grappling with addiction and she’s not around to help with the kids. She’s full of conflict and that’s where we like to keep Riley because the most interesting stories are when your hero is facing the greatest obstacles.

THR: How does Riley balance maintaining her double life?

Decter: Riley is always riding a razor’s edge. Will the people whom she loves most find out about her secret life? Will they ever see her the same way again? We’re always worried about that. And how does she deal with her own regrets and her own feelings about it? And does she or does she not enjoy her work at The Rub? She’ll have to come to grips with that.

THR: Will the massage parlor fall into legal trouble again?

Decter: We don’t want to reveal all our secrets but I will say that people should stay tuned to our finale because everything they’ve ever seen could or could not go away. It’s a very startling finale.

THR: One of the big questions of the show is will Riley pick Kyle or Evan?

Decter: We certainly don’t resolve that by the end of the season. There are a lot of complications in the triangle.

THR: How would you describe the final episode of the season?

Decter: It changes things forever for Riley and everyone in her life.

The Client List airs at 10 p.m. Sundays on Lifetime.

E-mail: Philiana.Ng@thr.com
Twitter: @insidethetube