If you watched last night’s episode of ABC’s Suburgatory, you, along with everyone else, found out that ice queen Dalia Royce (Carly Chaikin) has a same sex romance in her past and events in the episode drive her to a place that any woman scorned knows too well – a place of revenge.
While Dalia has never gotten along too well with classmate/neighbor Tessa Altman (Jane Levy), things went to new heights in last night’s episode when Dalia found Tessa spending platonic time with Jenna (Courtney Merritt), who we found out later in the episode was once a frequent hook up of Dalia’s. Jenna, however, broke it off with Dalia for her stalker tendencies and we’ll see just how unhinged Dalia is beneath her plastic facade.
In this exclusive first chat, AfterEllen talked to Chaikin and Andrew Guest, who wrote the “Decemberfold” episode, to find out how this storyline came about and what we can expect moving forward.
AfterEllen: What did you think of this turn in the story for Dalia since you know her so well?
AE: Do you think that Dalia is a little unhinged? Is that pretty much where we’re heading?
AE: Andrew, were there any concerns about taking all this too dark and too far?
We had to sort of tip our hats to it a little bit in this episode and in season one when Lisa became friends with Dalia, but we also like that both Lisa and Dalia have this darkness. That they sort of understand each other in a way that Tessa doesn’t, and this was a fun way to do a story. Hopefully it gets dark in a good way and also motivates it. I think we all love Dalia, but we didn’t want her to get too nice. We were cutting down this path of niceness between her and Tessa and friendship and we didn’t want to lose some of that edge and that darkness.
AE: So after seeing this episode, are we to assume the Dalia is gay or bisexual or…?
AG: I think from this point on we can assume Dalia is not labeled. I’m sure she’d like to keep all her possible options open.
AE: Is it safe to assume that everything Dahlia is doing is for Jenna? If Jenna wanted her back, would she go in a heartbeat?
AE: Tell me if I’m wrong here but I was watching it and I kind of felt a little sorry for Dalia just because I felt like we understand where she’s coming from a little bit.
AE: What’s coming after this episode and how far will Dalia go to get what she wants?
AG: I think we’re going to have a little redemption for Dalia, but first we’re going to have a big fight, basically. Where she thought they were becoming friends and then sees her hanging out with Jenna again and feels betrayed. And particularly I think, with that type of personality, when people are comparing notes about you and when you have a certain mask you wear or certain identity you have with one person and another you have with another.
When those people compare notes, it’s nothing more challenging and threatening and dangerous to you. I think it really strikes a chord and upsets Dalia and she takes revenge on Tessa in a direct way, with her relationship with Ryan. Then Tessa, in turn, tries to figure out how to get back at Dalia. In the end, they just have a big catfight.
And afterwards, hopefully there’s a little redemption for Dalia and a little help, because I think one of the things we felt too, is that Dalia needs a friend. It hasn’t been easy for her in her family or at school or friends and she can be pretty mean and pretty bitchy, but she’s also hurt and broken in some ways. You want her to have a helping hand and I think you will see a little bit of that at the very end of this season as well.
AE: Is it safe to say when the cat fight happens that Dalia fights dirty?
AE: Will Dallas (Dalia’s mother, played by Cheryl Hines) get a sense of some of this that’s been going on? Or Tessa’s Dad, George (Jeremy Sisto)?
Suburgatory airs Wednesdays at 8:30pm on ABC.