First Look at Renewed Will Trent for Season 2 at ABC – WATCH

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ABC has ordered season 2 of its latest procedural hit “Will Trent”.

The return of ABC‘s Will Trent, starring Ramón Rodríguez, is upon us as its nine-month hiatus ends and premieres its second season on Tuesday, February 20.

https://youtu.be/H2pAz_bqboI?si=2icz_jyqvfKG3WkG

Iantha Richardson as Faith Mitchell in Will Trent

Based on Karin Slaughter’s novels of the same name, the series follows Special Agent Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI). After being abandoned at birth and growing up in Atlanta’s overwhelmed foster care system, Trent is determined to use his unique point of view to make sure no one is abandoned like he was. Will Trent has the highest clearance rate in the GBI. The series stars Rodríguez as Will Trent, Erika Christensen as Angie Polaski, Iantha Richardson as Faith Mitchell, Jake McLaughlin as Michael Ormewood and Sonja Sohn as Amanda Wagner.

Clark Greg will appear in Season 2’s first two episodes as Arthur Highsmith, an accountant who gets caught up in a bad situation and tries to skip town.

This is us’ Susan Kelechi Watson will guest-star

The performer best known for playing Beth Pearson in NBC‘s former hit will take on a new role as a bomb expert named Cricket for the Season 2 premiere episode airing Tuesday, February 20.

Per Kelechi Watson’s character description, Cricket is a bomb expert who is really good at her job and tries to keep everyone calm in high-stakes situations. In other words, it sounds like Cricket shares some similar qualities with Kelechi Watson’s Beth. Check out a first look at her character, above, and below.

The installment, titled “Me Llamo Will Trent,” will see a car bomb ignite a thrilling investigation for Will (Ramón Rodríguez) and Cricket, revealing more than meets the eye. As the episode unfolds along with intrigue, Angie (Erika Christensen) battles to return to work, Ormewood’s (Jake McLaughlin) home life complicates, and Faith (Iantha Richardson) develops her relationship with Luke (Ser’Darius Blain).

The installment serves as an unofficial This Is Us reunion between Kelechi Watson and Richardson, who technically played mother and daughter on the series during flash-forward sequences in which Beth was much older and Richardson played an older adult version of Beth and Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) daughter, Tess (also portrayed by Eris Baker).

Tuesday night’s new episode will focus on Will as he goes undercover as Bill Black. A criminal with a troubled past, to take down a drug organization and find a missing DEA agent. The Season 1 finale is scheduled for Tuesday, May 2.

“We’re so thankful to our ABC and Hulu fans for joining us on this wild ride and watching ‘Will Trent.’ When we set out to bring the series to television screens, we wanted to do justice to the gritty, thrilling world that Karin Slaughter created with her bestselling book series”. Said producer and star, Ramón Rodríguez. “Liz Heldens, Dan Thomsen and the creative team have developed complex and nuanced characters that people are relating to on a human level. And it hasn’t hurt having our little star, Betty, on the call sheet. We’re so excited for the opportunity to dive deeper into these stories with season two.”

After 35 days of viewing across linear and digital platforms, “Will Trent” broke out as ABC’s top new drama this season in total viewers with 9.9 million and Adults 18-49. Scoring a 1.65 rating.

ABC boasts it has become the network’s strongest series in the Tuesday 10 p.m. programming block hour in total viewers since “Big Sky” during the 2020-2021 season and is improving the hour for ABC pushing it to a 143% increase in total viewers and a 25% jump in ratings among the key demo this season. Additionally, the show earned 6.8 million more total viewers over its initial Live+Same Day average after 35 days of multiplatform viewing.

Liz Heldens, Dan Thomsen, Karin Slaughter and Oly Obst serve as executive producers on the show. Rodríguez is a producer.

“There’s one part of it that I’m sure is really exciting [for Will],” Rodríguez says, acknowledging that there may be “good consequences, and there [may] be some things that trigger” his character along the way. “It presents a really interesting story for the season of, like, where does this go? How far down the rabbit hole does he go? And what comes of that?”

As he attempts to make sense of where he comes from and where he’s going, Special Agent Trent is not necessarily thinking about romance. He and on-again/off-again girlfriend Angie Polaski are “taking a bit of a breather” at the start of Season 2, and he’s not looking for love — that is, until he crosses paths with bomb expert Cricket Dawson (played by This Is Us vet Susan Kelechi Watson).

“We see him get really excited by this person, and… that’s new for him,” Rodríguez points out. “I feel like she presents, in a really nice way, a potential of hope — of something that might be good for him.”

TVLINE | First off, I love a good character name, and Cricket Dawson is a great character name.
I love it. I love that name. As soon as I heard it, I was like, “Oh, that’s fire!”

TVLINE | I like how Agent Dawson, on its own, sounds so official, and her first name, Cricket, adds a layer of whimsy. Would you say the name Cricket Dawson suits her well?
It just felt like her. Like, getting to know her, she’s this really nice, sort of down home, farm girl badass. With Cricket Dawson, it felt like all of that was bubbling underneath that name. You know, I did a character a long time ago on NCIS named Nikki Jardine, and I felt the same way about this name as I felt about Nikki. That name still stays with me. There are some names that are just so good, for a lack of a better term, and this was one of them. I dug it, for sure. It fit really well.

Michael Weatherly & Susan Kelechi Watson in NCIS Season 5 Photo by Michael Desmond/CBS

TVLINE | Tell me a bit more about bomb-diffusing expert Cricket. What’s she like? What gets her up in the morning?
I think she likes the thrill of it all. She likes a challenge. Her life has this fly by the seat of your pants [energy]. She’s very cool in the face of extreme danger. She’s able to keep calm and quite literally diffuse a situation. I like that about her, that she knows how to step into a situation and do that. That was very appealing to me, watching somebody walk into a room and know how to assess things.

TVLINE | I can only imagine how rewarding it must be, on a long-running show like This Is Us, to have the time to really get to know Beth, to begin to understand her more, to flesh out that character with the writers and be a part of that evolution. This, obviously, is a very different situation. You’re coming in as a guest star, and you probably have to make a lot of decisions in a very short amount of time about who you think this character is, where she’s been and what her motivations are. Does that come with its own set of rewards?
It’s so fun. That challenge of figuring out who this woman is, and who is so different from who Beth was. We all have qualities that overlap with one another — that’s the universal thing about being human — but I love finding the distinct qualities that makes one character so completely different from another. That’s what drew me to Cricket, that fun game of, like, what makes her tick, specifically?

TVLINE | I’m so glad you went there. I was worried I was going to have to be the one to make the “tick” pun, but you did it for me.
Listen, we’ll probably have a ton of these puns by the time this interview is over. I mean, this role is da bomb. [Laughs]

Photo by Daniel Delgado Jr./Disney

TVLINE | Cricket shows an immediate interest in Will. What do you think it is about Special Agent Trent that Agent Dawson finds so captivating?
She’s followed his career and his ability to solve the unsolvable. He brings resolution to people’s lives that have been turned upside down. That’s very appealing to her as somebody who is also very good at their job. She’s at the top of her game and she sees somebody else who’s at the top of their game, and that’s inspiring to her. And, you know, he’s cute, she’s fine… you know what I’m saying? [Laughs] So, she’s operating on both levels. She likes his quirkiness, and I think she sees him as someone to figure out. He’s a bit of a puzzle himself.

TVLINE | Iantha Richardson, who played Future Tess on This Is Us, plays Will’s partner Faith. Your characters only briefly cross paths, but was that a fun on-set reunion for you two?
Oh, it was great. We had a great time. She showed me the ropes. Off set, we kicked it. I was so happy that she was there. I didn’t know until right before I got on set [that was she on the show]. I just remember asking if there would be anyone there that could take care of my hair because you have to look for that as a Black woman, to make sure that the hair and makeup departments are able to cover you, and thankfully they were like, “Yes, we have Black women on the show, so there will be someone there,” and who knew that one of them would be Iantha? I was like, “Oh, this is perfect.” That was my mini-introduction to the fact that she was there, and then when I got on set, I saw that it was her and I was just so happy for her. She told me that she found out she got the role the last day of filming on This Is Us, so it was a really great ending and beginning for her. It was fantastic getting to see her in this leading role.

TVLINE | Getting to see Iantha shine here, was there any part of you that felt like a proud parent on that set?
Not parent. That was quite a future jump. [Laughs] But I felt proud of another sister who’s doing her thing in the business. With her specifically, she’d done such great work with us, and to see her shine and be a lead was such a wonderful thing. I love that. I love seeing another sister in the arts, and she’s just doing beautiful work down there.

TVLINE | You’re currently on set filming the new Shondaland show The Residence for Netflix, which is described as “a screwball whodunnit set in the upstairs, downstairs, and back stairs of the White House, among the eclectic staff of the world’s most famous mansion.” You play Jasmine Haney, “a young and rising White House Assistant Usher.” I know we’re still a ways out from release, but tell me a bit about that experience so far.
It has been amazing. I mean, a truly wonderful experience. The cast is outstanding, the writing is off the charts… I read 15 pages of the first episode and I said, “I have to do this,” which shows you just how strong Paul William Davies’ writing is. I’m a huge fan of anything Shondaland. If it’s Shondaland, I’m binge-watching it!

I really feel quite blessed to be a part of it. We’re having a great time on set. We’ve dealt with, and are still dealing with, the loss of Andre Braugher, who is still so much on our hearts and in our minds, and we send so much love to his family and to the people who were close to him. I truly hope that this show honors his memory and the greatness that he was and remains. I had the good fortune of being someone who worked by his side for most of his scenes. I was the biggest fan, and it was just a dream to work with him.

“We were really excited to keep diving into that [relationship],” series star Ramón Rodríguez tells TVLine.

“Greg [Germann, who plays Ulster] is such a great actor. It’s such a great role, and it’s a loaded role, emotionally…. [The writers] found a really creative way to bring him back into the fold, and into the investigation, where Will has to go to him for answers,” which we’ll see more of in Episode 2 (airing Tuesday, Feb. 27). “It feels kind of Silence of the Lambs-ish.”

“The fact that it’s opened-ended about his father… is really good, juicy stuff for story,” Rodríguez points out. “For Will, it’s complicated… and obviously, James has his own intentions and he’s very manipulative.” He’s preying on Will’s desire for family, and the GBI agent is rather vulnerable — as evidenced by several hallucinations throughout the episode.

“Something else from his childhood is coming up,” Rodríguez confirms. “We don’t know what yet, and we don’t know how it is going to impact him, but we know that it’s got an essence of a haunting vibe.”

Prior to Will and James’ reunion, viewers got a taste of Will’s efforts to connect to his roots: He’s taking a Spanish class to learn his mother’s native tongue. “He’s trying, he’s struggling, he’s fumbling… and we like seeing Will in that situation,” Rodríguez says. “He’s somebody that likes to do great at things, so when he’s publicly presenting himself,” and he’s not doing great, “it’s weird for him, and embarrassing, and vulnerable…. There’s some depth to it, which is really cool.”

“When we tried to figure out who would play this role, the bar we set was we really wanted the response to the episode to be, “Is there any way we don’t have to kill her,” co-showrunner Dan Thompson told TV Insider about how Watson got involved. “When we showed this episode to the network, they were very much like, “Oh my god, does it have to end this way?”

However, co-showrunner Liz Helden details, “We were really looking for a piece of trauma to kick off the season, so we could continue to explore Will’s inner life and what really makes him tick.” She concluded, which could be a theme of the season, “How much pressure is too much pressure for Will Trent?”

Following the death of Cricket, he sees flashes of violence from his past, alluding to his upbringing, as it’s known he was in and out of foster care during his adolescence. “We’re kind of breadcrumbing the story about a trauma from his childhood he buried,” Helden admits before assuring, “We’re trying to find ways to open that up and kind of tell that story by the season’s end.”

The episode ends with Trent and Ulster face to face, the latter believing he is his father and the former hoping anything but. When it comes to what we can expect next, Thompson says, “In Episode 2, we’re really excited about telling a story that is very much about Will and James.” He goes on to tease, “There’s a moment very early on in Episode 2 where James Ultser realizes that on some level Will is choosing to be with him. And that’s really exciting for Ulster. And so the episode kind of becomes about not just finding Cricket’s killer but also about what Ultser does, knowing that he’s got some power over Will.

“Will doesn’t want to interact with him much, but Ulster holds clues and pieces of his life. Will is willing to go pretty far to figure out who his father is,” Rodriguez says. “The question is, at what cost? What’s the psychological impact? It’s loaded, and there might be positive things. There might be some more triggered things that aren’t so great.”

There’s more history to be revealed around Will’s boss, Amanda Wagner (Sonja Sohn), who, Will learned last season, cared for him as an infant. Sohn hints, “In one episode, Amanda’s past comes back to haunt her, and Will learns information about her that creates an inner conflict for him that impacts their relationship — but also contributes to the bond. Then she’s upended by something she learns about Will.”

Click the video to hear about what’s next for Will’s friend-with-benefits, Atlanta Police Detective Angie Polaski (Erika Christensen), as she recovers from last season’s brutal kidnapping; her partner, Atlanta Police Detective Michael Ormewood (Jake McLaughlin) who’s stepping up to try to be a better family man; and Will’s partner Special Agent Faith Mitchell (Iantha Richardson) and her challenges in her new relationship with journalist Luke (Ser’Darius Blain).

Interview to Executive Producer Daniel Thomsen

“You’re picking up on our excitement to be back,” executive producer Daniel Thomsen tells TVLine. “Having been on strike, having been on the picket lines and unable to work, part of it was our excitement that the strikes were over. Let’s come back, let’s have Will walk directly onto that crime scene, we’re back and here are all the things that we love. Here’s Will’s tape recorder, here’s his handkerchief, here’s Betty.”

“We wanted to start the season with Will working on himself,” Thomsen explains. “He’s got a lot to explore with his new relationship to his family, and whether or not he is going to be able to find a living relative to talk to, so I think that put him in a place where he wasn’t as codependent as normal.” And when it comes to Angie, Heldens believes that “people are ready to follow her and her own stories,” independent from Will.

Season 2 picked up six months after Detective Polaski suffered a brutal beatdown at the hands of serial killer James Ulster.

Ever since then, she’s been itching to return to the grind. “She’s a workaholic,” Thomsen acknowledges. “Her job means so much to her, and when it’s gone, she truly feels like she’s teetering on the edge,” and struggling to find purpose in her sobriety. “That’s why [in Episode 2] she’s thrown herself into being a sponsor.”ù

“I think it was a really good, emotional story,” Thomsen says. “It’s also a story about unintended consequences. They tried to handle things on their own, outside the system, and look where it got them.” Crystal has since been abandoned by her mother, Lenny’s ex, and in Episode 2 wound up in GBI custody. 

“The intention of bringing Crystal back is to show the fallout, and not just pretend like that story never happened,” the EP explains. “Now that Angie has some more time on her hands, Crystal comes back into her life,” and subsequent episodes will explore “what that looks like. How can she take care of this girl?”

Polaski’s partner, Detective Michael Ormewood (Jake McLaughlin), also has found his life turned upside down early in Season 2, having discovered that his wife Gina (Sara Antonio) has been unfaithful. “The idea that the shoe was on the other foot was really interesting to us,” Heldens tells TVLine. “It feels like a way to throw a problem into his lap that he doesn’t see coming, and then watch how he recovers from that — to explore what’s going on with his wife, and to force him to play a bigger role in the lives of his children — and see how that unfolds over the season.”

Adds Thomsen: “We also [wanted] to do an affair story that feels different. We watch Ormewood realize that his wife may have done this for reasons that are different from the reasons that he [cheated on her] in the past.”

“I don’t think Faith has had a serious relationship, ever, in her adult life,” Heldens surmises. Before now, it had only ever been established that Agent Mitchell was at one point, several years ago, involved with her son’s father. “It’s been easy for her, with her son growing up and having a full-time job that she was really committed to, to put her personal life on the back burner. Now, she has this opportunity to see what it looks like to have an exclusive relationship,” the EP previews.

As Season 2 progresses, Faith is “slowly figuring out what this is and how to trust Luke. He’s a reporter, and the relationship between law enforcement and journalists naturally has some conflict, which is good for us, and they have great chemistry.”

Any scoop on Will Trent Season 2?

Sonja Sohn told at TCA that given what all went down at the close of the Season 1 finale, the relationship between Amanda and Will will be “a little warmer” moving forward, that “you see an evolution of that moment.” That said, “There’s an episode, which we’re [shooting] right now, where Amanda’s past comes back to haunt her, and more information about Amanda is revealed at that time to Will,” Sohn shared. “And a conflict comes out of that.”

Episodes

2×01 Me Llamo Will Trent

A car bomb ignites an investigation for Will and bomb expert Cricket, revealing more than meets the eye; Angie battles to return to work; Ormewood’s home life gets complicated; Faith develops her relationship with Luke.

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Source: TV Line

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