*** Please note the article contains spoilers from the season 2 premiere of FOX’s The Cleaning Lady ***
Grief is a very difficult feeling to process, especially when it’s the loss of a close loved one. It becomes even more complicated when you find out it was at the hands of another loved one — although it was accidental.
With the return of FOX’s The Cleaning Lady last Monday, Fiona (Martha Millan) must come to terms with the loss of her only brother, Marco (Ivan Shaw), through his interaction with her son, Chris (Sean Lew), but also helping Chris get through what just happened.
“[This season, Fiona] is really carrying the thread of how far a mother will go to protect [her] son,” Millan tells The Nerds of Color. “[The premiere] is done in such an explosive way that was unexpected, especially after what just happened [last season]. You just didn’t think it could get any worse, but I love that there’s still hope.”
Fiona really doesn’t get time to mourn for her beloved brother because she’s so focused on taking care of everyone else. Though she loved her brother and all his faults, her main focus are the people who are still here — especially her son.
“This is where family values are really tested, and even like, what a family truly is, is highlighted through this incident,” Millan shares. “I think dealing with the trauma, not only [dealing with] being undocumented for so many years and trying to just survive to care for her children, now she has to deal with this situation [with her son].”
With everything going on, does Fiona blame Thony at all for what happened to Marco? Millan says that this incident actually will bring them closer than ever, despite the fact that Thony showed no signs of sadness immediately following his death.
“That’s something [Fiona] also has to deal with in terms of how unsettlingly and just how uncomfortable she is with the mechanics of [Thony] reacting in [that] way,” Millan ponders. “[Thony] has evolved as a mafia — as a monster.”
Yet, Fiona and Thony are survivors in a world that wants to deport them. So, their bond stretches far beyond friendship — even beyond Fiona’s relationship with Marco. Fiona believes that Thony is only doing what it means to protect the family.
“These women have gone through [so much together],” Millan explains. “They’re looking for the American dream. So I think [Fiona] doesn’t blame [Thony]. I think it’s just about what we had to do to survive.”
Fiona is going to be challenged more than ever as a mother and Millan is excited for audiences to see many layers in her character this season.
“It really adds to so many other layers of her emotional strength, her resilience, and just the resourcefulness of how she is going to get through this with Thony as well as protect her family,” says Millan. “[We will explore] the thread of just how far will you go for family [and that] is the core of the show. The character is going to be tested and she’s going to have to explore so many wonderful emotional things.”
The Cleaning Lady airs on Mondays at 9 pm on FOX.