*** Please note the article contains spoilers from the season 2 premiere of FOX’s The Cleaning Lady ***
FOX’s The Cleaning Lady has returned for its sophomore season. And already, there is so much drama that will have an effected on the trajectory of the entire season. After Thony (Elodie Yung), Fiona (Martha Millan), and Chris (Sean Lew) finds Marco (Ivan Shaw) at the local motel, with Luca safely sleeping in the room, they confront him. As Chris attempts to get Luca, he accidentally causes Marco to fall down the stairs, killing him in the process.
“The thought of a teenage boy being responsible [for] someone’s death like that, that’s itself was just the biggest burden,” Lew tells The Nerds of Color. “I thought I had the weight on my shoulders as a normal person in general. Then to have that it’s something that will never leave you and that is what going to affect Chris the entire season.”
Chris is already dealing with so much as a young teenager, especially finding out last season that he, too, was undocumented. The only thing keeping him from really falling apart was his family, particularly his relationship with Luca. Now, with everything that has happened, Chris’ mental health will deteriorate even more.
“I’ll start off by saying Sean’s mental health is hanging by threads [because of this storyline],” Lew laughs. “So Chris’ mental health, I can’t imagine like what’s happening with him.”
Lew is excited to explore this side of Chris, especially since mental health is rarely talked about among Asians. He hopes it brings awareness to other kids who are dealing with so much on their plate.
“It’s like stacking a cake that’s gonna tip over one day and just completely break apart — depending on how he handles those situations and how much his mom can help him through those situations,” Lew explains. “There’s just so many factors to that. That is really just the tip of the iceberg. In terms of mental health, the coolest thing about it is, even though it’s so extreme, it’ll definitely bring awareness to people watching the show from a teenager’s perspective and just the vulnerable side of a [young] male having mental health issues.”
As for his Dreamer status left from last season, Lew says it’ll still play a part, but will have to be set aside for his guilt. Luca still looks upon Chris as a father-figure, moreso now that Marco is gone. That will weigh heavy on Chris, knowing the truth behind Luca’s father’s death.
“There’s just so many layers to the situation,” says Lew. “It’s far beyond just him killing his uncle. The situation affects my mom as well. It’s affecting Thony [too]. It’s like leaving a slight virus in this sort of other world as well, because Thony’s jumping through both worlds and it’s causing you to lean towards each other in a way. I think Chris doesn’t have enough space in his head right now to think about those types of dreams.”
The Cleaning Lady airs every Monday 9 pm on FOX.