‘Not Dead Yet’: Gina Rodriguez Shares Hopes for Season 3

TV Shows

[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for the two-part Not Dead Yet Season 2 finale, “Not the End Yet/Not a Ghost Yet.”]

The charming ABC workplace/supernatural comedy Not Dead Yet finally addressed the lore of its leading lady’s supernatural abilities in its two-part Season 2 finale.

Gina Rodriguez stars in the series as Nell Serrano, a print journalist on the obituary beat at a southern California newspaper who started being visited by the ghosts of her obit subjects her first day on this new job. Nell, a mess trying to get her life back together, has spent the last two seasons learning valuable lessons about not wasting the time you have from these ghosts and her living friends at work. So far, she’s the only person in the series who knows about her powers.

In the April 24 finale, the comedy took its first swing at breaking the form of its typical ghost of the week format. The first of two episodes was spent with the SoCal Independent employees (including Hannah Simone and Joshua Banday) trying to convince a corporate rep (Quentin, played by guest star Malcolm Barrett) not to gut their jobs after CEO Duncan (Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Brad Garrett) put the paper up for sale. The second episode hit Duncan with a swift blow from karma’s swing.

“Not a Ghost Yet” was all about Duncan, who had a cardiac emergency that kept on pulling him back and forth from the brink of death. Every time he got close to death, Nell could see him as a ghost. She spent the finale teaching Duncan what the previous ghosts (one of whom was played by Jenifer Lewis in “Not the End Yet”) taught her: don’t waste whatever time you have left. Nell urged Duncan to meaningfully connect with his daughter, Lexi (Lauren Ash), should he survive. Nell’s talks with Duncan’s ghost also revealed a theory we haven’t yet heard: Nell believes her powers could possibly be inherited from her grandmother, a supposed medium. There was no explanation for why Nell can see dead people prior.

Thankfully for Lexi (who remains the funniest character in the series even in a serious spiral), her dad did make it through. He’s not a ghost… yet! At first, Duncan had no recollection of his time as a spectre. But he remembered everything in the final moments of the finale, ending the season on a major cliffhanger. What’s next for Nell now that the first living person has discovered her abilities? Rodriguez tells us what could be in store should the series be renewed (as of the time of publication, Not Dead Yet‘s fate is still up in the air).

Brad Garrett as Duncan in 'Not Dead Yet' Season 2 finale

Brad Garrett plays ghost Duncan in Not Dead Yet Season 2 finale (Disney / Temma Hankin)

This cliffhanger plot twist could set up some “really yummy and delicious” plot in a potential third season, Rodriguez tells TV Insider, “and set up a lot of obstacles for Nell, who’s still trying to keep this very close to the chest because she doesn’t really know what it is … It sets up just a lot of opportunities to open up a lot of storyline, a lot of fun.”

Through the finale, the series has affirmed that Nell’s powers are “less a breakdown and more something that she intuitively has,” the Jane the Virgin alum reveals. Being “able to touch Duncan when he was essentially not breathing” was the hint of this. “How much of the in-between can she meet people at?” she asks.

“That was an evolution of her being able to talk to those that are passed on,” Rodriguez continues. “He wasn’t quite passed on, but he was in this in-between place. And if she can meet people at the in-between place, what else can be done? What other kind of intervention can she do? So I am excited to see how deep that goes.”

Rodriguez confirms that the Duncan cliffhanger means Garrett will come back for Season 3, should it be renewed.

One of the main goals of Not Dead Yet Season 2 was to create an actual friendship between Nell and Lexi. Season 1 showed them competing for mutual bestie Sam’s (New Girl‘s Simone) full attention. With the addition of a romantic fling between Nell’s autistic roommate, Edward (Rick Glassman), and Lexi this season, Nell and her boss had no choice but to spend more time together. Adding Lexi’s ridiculously wealthy father to the ensemble added more intrigue and hilarity.

“When they pitched me the idea of what was happening to Duncan, I fell in love with it,” Rodriguez says of the finale. “It helps start the repairing of [Duncan and Lexi’s] relationship, and also continues to weave a relationship between me and Lexi, which was also tumultuous. Now with her and Edward being together, it sets up a lot of beautiful growth along with it being set in the backdrop of this workplace comedy.”

Gina Rodriguez as Nell, Lauren Ash as Lexi in 'Not Dead Yet' Season 2 finale

Nell begs the stubborn Lexi to save the newspaper in Not Dead Yet Season 2 Episode 9 (Disney / Temma Hankin)

Letting Nell and Lexi bond was a priority because, as Rodriguez notes, “the show is really about a love between the friendships, with Sam, with Lexi. This beautiful relationship [with Lexi] is like the rose out of a thorn.” But she definitely wants what fans have wanted since Season 1: a Nell and Edward romance.

“I also want to see what happens if we continue to pick away at the Edward and Lexi relationship, but then the Edward and Nell relationship that kind of started to be there. You saw that Edward was digging Nell [at the end of Season 1],” Rodriguez explains. “What evolves if that relationship doesn’t happen between Edward and Lexi? … We kind of took a side with that [last season], so I would love for that trio to continue to evolve.”

Nell and her romantic interest of Season 2, Jesse Garcia‘s TJ, maturely called it quits after a couple of great dates because they didn’t align on wanting kids (Nell decided to freeze her eggs in Episode 8), so she’s not taken yet! But more important than any romance in the supernatural comedy, Rodriguez says, is “the female friendship and how these women support each other through all their different journeys, whether it be divorce or freezing their eggs or having a nice, loving, healthy relationship.”

Rodriguez says this ensemble is “just butter” on set. The cast and crew all bring their kids to work because they trust the environment they’ve built. Rodriguez, who was “super pregnant” in Season 1, as she describes, says that her son, Charlie, was often in her arms during Season 2 rehearsals.

“It’s nice when people understand that you can make that a great environment or you cannot, and when everybody chooses to make it a great environment, it’s just great. And we also are doing funny work!” she gushes, adding, “I really hope we get another season. It’s like the house I want to go back to.”

Indeed, we also hope that this delightful comedy is not dead yet.

Not Dead Yet, Seasons 1 and 2 Available Now, Hulu

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