“Good Behavior” has almost wrapped its first season, putting its characters through the wringer in the penultimate episode, “For You I’d Go With Strawberry,” Tuesday (Jan. 3).

Letty (Michelle Dockery) desperately wants to have custody of her son, but so does the father, Sean (Todd Williams) — and the argument can be made that Sean may be the more fit parent. Or at least just as fit as Letty.

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When things aren’t looking like they’re going to go Letty’s way, she betrays Javier (Juan Diego Botto) not once, but twice; first by sleeping with Sean, then by helping the Feds go after Javier in exchange for pressure on the judge in Jacob’s custody hearing.

Screener hopped on the phone with executive producer Chad Hodge to discuss the final two “Good Behavior” episodes, which he says are definitely an emotional roller coaster — and Sean isn’t necessarily the villain Letty and Estelle (Lusia Strus) make him out to be.

Screener: Episode 9 was maybe the biggest emotional roller coaster of the series. Was that by design?

Chad Hodge: I totally agree with you, it’s such an emotional roller coaster. It’s one of my favorite episodes. I wanted everything to come to a head going into the last episode, but it was more just the natural progression of the story — not like, “How can we make this a big s***show of emotion?” [laughs]

We’re torn about how to feel about Sean. He’s not a straight-up villain.

No, he’s not. I love that you’re saying that, because no one on the show is a straight-up great person or a straight-up bad person, including Letty and Javier. It’s everything in between good and bad — and what do “good” and “bad” really mean? Our assumptions about people are usually wrong in some way. To Letty, Sean is this horrible, evil person who she blames in some ways for who she is and the things that happened to her, and the things she became…

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To Letty, he’s all these “bad” things, but people can change — and people can become better versions of themselves, which is exactly what Letty’s trying to do. For him to just be a straight-up villain would be boring, and it wouldn’t be human. I think there’s way more conflict in the story, and way more difficulty in… Letty getting custody, and Letty’s relationship with Javier, and … her mother [and with] Sean, if Sean isn’t just a straight-up bad guy.

Why does Letty sleep with Sean?

Letty sleeps with Sean for so many reasons. [laughs] One of the hardest things [with the show] was casting the role of Sean. The challenge was finding an actor where you would believe Letty was with this guy. Where you can see that, even though now she thinks he’s so evil and he did all these bad things to her, you can understand there’s a chemistry there — because the chemistry between Letty and Javier is so great. I was nervous that we weren’t going to find an actor where you would believe that Letty was with this guy, and I think there’s a chemistry there — it’s obviously very different chemistry than the chemistry she has with Javier, but you can tell that there was something there.

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So it’s that — but it’s also her anger at Javier, and it’s sort of revenge. In her mind, she’s pissed that Javier didn’t kill him — which I don’t know if she really wanted him to do — but there’s anger, that she feels she’s not going to get her son… It’s her lowest point. It’s sort of symbolic, it calls back to the pilot when Letty’s in the motel room alone, drinking, doing meth — and here she is again, alone in a hotel room, drinking, and then this guy comes from her past, and whatever power he had over her all those years ago, she gives into it. And then she hates herself for it, of course.

You touched on this, but did Letty really want Javier to kill Sean? It seems like she would have really regretted that if Javier had gone through with it.

Definitely. I don’t think she really wants him to kill Sean. Javier knows Letty well enough to know that, which is why he doesn’t do it. It’s just that desperate place you go to — and if you conveniently have a hitman boyfriend… [laughs] I think all of us have had a thought at some point, you have that one fleeting moment where you’re like, “If I could kill this person and get away with it, I would do it. I’m that mad.”

She finally got her son back and then here he is — this person who ruined her so long ago, here he is, to ruin her again. So it’s that ultimate rage, and then “…Oh, I happen to have a hitman boyfriend. Great!” But no, of course she would regret it.

Which will Javier have a harder time forgiving, the sex with Sean or ratting him out to the FBI?

Hmm. That’s a very good question. I think you have to wait and see — does he even find out? We know that he knows that she slept with Sean, but is he going to find out that she sold him out to the FBI? And if he does, that’s a great question. We definitely answer it in the finale.

Look for part two of our interview with EP Hodge after the “Good Behavior” finale, next Tuesday (Jan. 10) at 9 p.m. ET/PT on TNT.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."