'Drop Dead Diva' Postmortem: EP on Jane's (Surprising) New Boss and What's Next
In a chat with THR, creator Josh Berman tells THR of the twist: "I just thought, what could heighten all the emotions that all these characters are feeling?"
[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen Sunday's episode of Drop Dead Diva.]
Harrison & Parker has a new boss.
On Sunday's episode of Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva, Kim (Kate Levering) revealed that she had recruited Owen (Lex Medlin) as a new managing partner at the law firm, following the revelation that Jay Parker (Josh Stamberg, who exited the series this season) was remaining in Canada with his son.
Owen, of course, is Jane's ex-fiance, having broken off their relationship after he witnessed Jane (Brooke Elliott) and Grayson (Jackson Hurst) kissing on what was to be their wedding day. The news means that Owen is now Jane and Grayson's boss, which pretty much ensures some awkward and uncomfortable days ahead for the trio.
In an emotional moment, Owen told Jane that, while he's "lonely all the time" following their breakup, he believes they can "never get back to the way we were."
So what's next? Executive producer/creator Josh Berman talked to The Hollywood Reporter about the decision to have Owen join the law firm and revealed that the Owen-Jane-Grayson triangle will see a resolution this season.
The Hollywood Reporter: When and why did you decide that Owen should quit his job as a judge and join Harrison & Parker?
Josh Berman: I've been promising viewers a great twist in episode three, and I've been planning this from almost the beginning of the Jane-Owen relationship. I just thought, what could heighten all the emotions that all these characters are feeling? Our set is deliberately built with a lot of glass. There's very little privacy in the law firm of Harrison & Parker. You know people's secrets or whether they have strong feelings for each other. They literally live in a fish bowl with one another. We've been building a love triangle over the course of two seasons, and with Grayson kissing Jane at the end of season four, that really heightened the stakes in our show. And now having them all work together, it's so chaotic and so much fun -- the story lines are endless.
THR: Why would Owen take this job? Is he seeking some sort of revenge against Jane and Grayson, or he really just want to be around her despite his heartbreak?
Berman: I think that Owen, despite himself, wants to be around Jane. He would never admit he took the job because of Jane, but I think deep down that is absolutely the reason he accepted the position. He of course will say it's about the lifestyle, more money, prestige -- but at the end of the day, despite what he says, I believe it's all about Jane and will always be about Jane.
THR: At the end of episode two, Grayson confessed to Kim that he kissed Jane. Then Kim turned around and hired Owen. What's her motivation?
Berman: I think Kim is doing what is best for the firm. She saw an opportunity and seized it. Under normal circumstances, there is no way she would be able to attract a high-profile judge to the firm. She took advantage of Owen's feelings for Jane. Putting it in a purely business context, she wanted to have her cake and eat it too. She has a top judge as a managing partner at Harrison & Parker, and she also knows he will be on her side in all issues -- he'll likely side with Kim over Jane.
THR: You've said previously that there is a chance Josh Stamberg could return. Have there been any discussions about that?
Berman: The door is always open for Josh to return. He and I are on great terms, and I'd love for him to come back. A lot of it is scheduling issues, but the door is always open for him to come back.
THR: Looking ahead, what's going to happen with the Jane-Owen-Grayson dynamic?
Berman: With Owen moving into the firm, the love triangle is really front and center for the series moving forward. The other thing I want to say [to viewers] is that I promise you, in this season, there will be a real resolution in this love triangle. It's important to pay off unrequited love and not just move pieces but move them forward. As a viewer, I get frustrated when I watch a show and am constantly teased and not rewarded. I want viewers to feel rewarded this season. Fans invest in these relationships and characters, who are living in more gray than black and white this season. I think Jane is aware that life is complicated, and for the first time, she's OK with that. I love [having her life] in that murky reality because it's true to life.
THR: Jane stated in this episode that she kissed Grayson because she "wasn't thinking" and was "confused." But despite her pleas to Owen, it sounds like she does still have feelings for Grayson as well.
Berman: She's still dealing with her feelings for Grayson. She has to deal with the fact that she's in love with two men, whether she likes it or not. It's complicated and messy, but she's going to have to pick a direction. She is caught between two roads, and has to go down one of them, but no matter which one she picks, it's going to be hard.
THR: Jane also has a new roommate: her guardian angel, Paul (Justin Deeley). How does that new living situation affect Jane's life?
Berman: What I love about the new angel is that he's truly a male version of Deb. He's gorgeous and superficial and kind of goes through life with ease. She's never had an angel like that: Fred [Ben Feldman] was full of anxiety and slightly neurotic, and Luke [Carter MacIntyre] was self-assured and confident. I love the fact that Jane will now see herself in Paul, and although she wants to push Paul away and wants to dislike him because he represents the rules of everything she can and can't do, the truth of the matter is that she finds herself liking who this guy is.
THR: Have we seen the end of Old Jane [Natalie Hall]?
Berman: She is gone for the time being, but we left the door open [for her return] and are currently working on a story line that we hope to involve her. I love Natalie Hall, and the response on Twitter so far has been amazing; people love her. It was great seeing her as the counterpoint to Jane.
THR: Stacy [April Bowlby] also had a life-changing moment in that she sold The Pakery [to an investor played by Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran]. What's next for her?
Berman: This is an important year for Stacy's growth, and there is a huge bombshell that's coming up with Stacy. Without giving too much away, there is a real arc to that character this season. She has to decide what to do with the rest of her life, and what she decides will be a big surprise for viewers.
Drop Dead Diva, from Sony Pictures TV, airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on Lifetime.