‘The Mosquito Coast’ star Melissa George talks explosive season 2 finale and future of the show
Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Mosquito Coast season 2 finale.
On Friday, season 2 of thriller-drama The Mosquito Coast concluded in literally explosive fashion for the on-the-run Fox family of Melissa George‘s Margot, Justin Theroux‘s Allie, Logan Polish’s Dina, and Gabriel Bateman’s Charlie. Allie seemed to sacrifice his life to save Charlie, blowing up Ian Hart’s highly dangerous William Lee, and leaving the rest of his family to make a new home on a remote part of the coast. Indeed, the season finale had the distinct whiff of a series finale, although George is hopeful that Apple TV+ will commission a third season.
“I mean, I guess they leave it quite open, like usual,” says the Paris-based actress of the show’s behind-the-scenes creative team. “There’s people arriving to the Mosquito Coast that are runaways like us, you know. Boats are coming in. Does that mean that there’s other people in a similar situation to the Foxes? They leave it quite like a finale for a series, but I don’t really know what’s going to happen with the show. But fingers crossed!”
The Mosquito Coast
Melissa George in ‘The Mosquito Coast’
| Credit: Apple TV+
Below, George talks more about the season finale, the possibility of Theroux’s character having survived that big bang, and why her personal wrap party took place thousands of feet up in the air.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start at the end. Is Allie actually dead? Because we didn’t see a body and none of the characters even said anything about him passing.
MELISSA GEORGE: Yeah. That’s the beauty of television! I don’t decide these things. If I don’t go to their funeral, and I don’t put the sand in the coffin, I don’t know. There was none of that! Do we see his body? I don’t know. Did you see it? I didn’t see it.
I do feel confident that Ian Hart’s character is dead. Unless he’s secretly the Terminator, I don’t think he’s coming back.
Ian Hart is such an amazing actor, oh my god. Sometimes I would go to set just to watch him figure out how he’s going to play this moment with his hat on. He’s just insanely brilliant. When you’re working with the pros like that, it makes the job so much more worthy and wonderful. Yeah, he looked pretty dead.
You must have had some conversations with the producers about the possibility of a third season and what might happen.
Yeah, of course I do. I just smile, nod, wait.
What did you think when you read the scripts for the season, and particularly for the finale?
We had many many versions, to be honest, like all seasons do. Every show I’ve worked on, I often film three or four different endings. I think that’s just to leave the powers that be to decide how they want to see the show end, or continue. I don’t know. I have an issue that I’m not critical when I love a role, so I tend to just float. I’m not one of those actors that sit there and nitpick and demand more this season. I just kind of go, oh well, Margot’s going through a little moment, and I peacefully go on a journey with her.
In the finale, before the mayhem starts, the four members of the family have this intense what-are-we-going-to-do-now meeting at the hotel in which they discuss their situation and really explore, again, a lot of the emotional themes that run through the show. What was it like shooting that?
That scene we really loved, because it was one of the scenes that we’ve been asking to film for months, and it makes it special. It raises the question about being parents. Is it better to bring your kids along for this crazy journey or is it more wise to leave them with somebody more stable? At the end of the day these children, our children on the show, got this incredible life in a weird way, with all the craziness, with all the things that they’ve picked up. So it was a great moment, a great scene, and quite heartbreaking at the same time.
One of the reasons I thought this might be the series finale is that it ends with the making of the ice, which is such an important aspect of Paul Theroux’s original book and the 1981 film, as if it was a final nod to what had come before.
Yes. The homage to the ice was beautiful. I like the fact that the kids are obviously turning into their parents. The fact that we went and cleaned out his office, and we got all these ideas, and that Allie’s genius kids could actually follow the legacy of their father’s crazy ideas. I love the fact that it was the two of them that got to make that happen.
Was the season finale the last episode you shot?
Yes. [We shot] the moment where I’m sitting, and I see my kids, and then I said to my producers, “Where’s the boat? Is the boat ready? I’m going to have champagne. I’m going to take everyone on this yacht, we’re going to sail back to Tulum, and I’m going to go back to Paris.” That’s what I did. It was such an amazing thing, because sometimes you finish the finale somewhere, and then you’ve got to come back and do pick-ups. But this was really magical. I sailed away. I had on my outfit I wore on the episode, I had sandy feet, the boat pulled up, I jumped on, and went back to Paris. It was like that. It was really really emotional for me because I spent six months living this journey. Then my parents pointed out that it was one of the only shows that I got a season 2 off. Because I constantly do like, The Slap or In Treatment, these great character pieces that last a moment. My Mum was like, “Congratulations, this is your first time with a season 2!” [Laughs]
Did you have a wrap party?
My wrap party was Air France, flying through the air to see my babies in Paris. [Laughs] And wondering how I’m going to get all my souvenirs and rugs and mats that I bought back here.
Is there anything else from shooting the last episode you’d like to talk about?
I think it’s just bittersweet. When he wrapped, Justin went and changed his hair, and knocked on my trailer and said, “I love you so much.” It was beautiful. He looked so good. Because he goes back to, you know, his look that he has when I see him in New York City, and he looks so fantastic. It was just lovely that we went on this journey together and we’ll see where it goes.
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.