Warning: This story contains major spoilers for “BMF” Season 2, Episode 10, titled “New Beginnings.”
Seduction was the leading theme of “BMF” Season 2, but showrunner Heather Zuhlke and the rest of the creative team are ready to up the ante and take the show “out of this world.”
As the former “50 Boyz” end their season, brothers Meech (Demetrius Flenory Jr.) and Terry Flenory (Da’Vinchi) end the latest chapter with the hopes of expanding their drug business to Atlanta. Now that they have a new Colombian connect and a friend in the club business down South, Meech sets out on the road to Atlanta and Terry is left to defend Detroit.
Fans went on a journey with the Flenory family as temptations continued to pull each member in different directions. Consumed by their desires for forbidden fruit, the Flenory men explored their relationships with other outlets. The family patriarch, Charles (Russel Hornsby) begins to engage in an affair with their neighbor Mabel Jones while Terry finds himself in a love triangle with LaWanda (Sydney Mitchell) and Markeisha (Lala Anthony).
It all comes to a head in the Season 2 finale, as Charles and Lucille question whether or not they should stay together in light of Charles’ infidelity. In the next moment, Markeisha and LaWanda have an anticlimactic confrontation at the hair show after Terry announces his decision to take things to the next level with Markeisha, despite LaWanda being pregnant with their second child together.
As for the fate of Lamar (Eric Kofi-Abrefa), Zuhlke isn’t giving any hints as to what may come of the wildcard. After spending much of the season humanizing the man behind the madness by showing viewers a glimpse into what Lamar loves most, Zuhlke and the rest of the writers made an interesting choice to take those same loves out of the equation entirely. When he learned of Monique’s (Kash Doll) scheme to kill him, Lamar was left with no choice but to resort back to his wild nature.
But when Meech learns that Lamar killed Monique, he decides to handle it in a more inventive way, forcibly rendering Lamar incapacitated with a crack addiction that should keep him out of their business.
Ahead of the Season 2 finale, Zuhlke spoke with Variety about the season’s escalations.
What can we expect going into Season 3?
What you’re going to see is the fallout and somatically all of our characters are in a season of reinvention across the board – Charles, Lucille, Meech, Terry, Bryant (Steve Harris) and Jin. There’s consequences to all these things. So you’re going to see all of that dramatized moving forward.
You mentioned in our last conversation at another theme that you are looking to explore is addiction. How does that play out?
It’s a very universal theme too with addiction because everyone has a different bias. It can come in the form of a person, an object, a substance, a lifestyle.
What does this look like for Lamar? What does his future look like?
That’s definitely a spoiler that I don’t want to speak to.
When we opened up this season, Lamar comes back after we thought he was gone. We’ve seen him grow as a character and really up the crazy.
One of our writers, Mike Lee, had said, when you know who a character loves and what they love, it helps an audience to root for that person. We really loved Lamar, this whole arc and the introduction of his dog too. We know how much he loves Monique And Zoe. The introduction of his dog was just another added layer to humanize his choices and for our audience to sympathize with him.
It’s interesting that you gave us all of these added layers to Lamar, only for it to be taken away with Monique’s death and the loss of his dog. What went into that decision?
Monique was his Achilles heel, but he’s also very smart and was able to figure out that he was being used and trapped.
What do the viewership numbers that we’ve seen with Season 2 signify for you going into this next season?
I honestly don’t have any final numbers from the network. W had a huge premiere. There was just the baseline of 4.1 million, but that didn’t include all the streaming so I don’t have those numbers yet. But what I do know is everyone loves this story. The world was waiting for Season 2 very patiently. The docuseries was just a great lead in for us. People got to see the real story and then they also get to see our dramatized version that we get to do as a writers room. So, it’s just very humbling. We have a huge hit. Randy Huggins created a hit TV show set in his hometown, and I think it’s just been very moving to see the audience response — all the reenactments, the Yelp reviews that are being left at the Easy Rest Motel. We’re really impacting the culture.
And then to see Big Meech’s American dream come full circle through little Meech getting to play him — it’s cool! Our story behind the story is very, very moving. We’re all thrilled and we’re so grateful to the fans too for their support.
You stepped up to showrunner with Huggins’ absence this season. How involved will he be in Season 3? How do you continue to keep the story going along with his vision?
I had a very clear sense of what his vision was for Season 3. We talked in depth about it. He’s still very much focused on his recovery and his new daughter. So I talked to him quite a bit. I would go and visit him quite a bit. Now that I’m here on set, though, it’s more limited. He’s very, very present here and we have our #HuggyFridays. Our writers’ room theme for our characters was reinvention, but the theme that Randy had picked for us — our set theme — is “space baby.” Season 3 storylines are going to be out of this world. So we have our space baby shirts with Randy’s face on them. He’s in an astronaut outfit on the moon with his Detroit hat and he’s planting the “BMF” Season 3 flag in space. So he’s very much present and everybody gets to see his smiling face, which is pretty wonderful.
Season 2’s theme was “Elevate,” right?
Yeah, it was “elevate, elevate, elevate.”
The show is deeply embedded in the culture at this point. We’ve been seeing a lot of informational threads with the history of BMF online, but I think the most recent fireworks that happened on social media had to be from the last episode. This is a silly question, but people were really shocked to see Meech’s nudity in the finale. How did that whole scene take place?
Randy and I had talked in depth about it. We really wanted to sexualize black men. You’re often seeing white penises on TV. That’s what we’ve seen traditionally. So, Randy’s plan was to be a big moment for the culture. It’s always been told through one very specific lens. And the legend of Big Meech, we wanted to pay honor to him and we knew it was just an important thing to do. That was a big conversation that Randy and I had. I wasn’t part of his conversation with little Meech when that all came about, but just wanting to see that strong, powerful, beautiful, full glory — that was it.
I had written up an episode of Season 3 of “Power.” I wrote the episode when they showed Kanaan’s member. And there was a, I believe it was a New York Times editorial, that I had shared with Randy, how that was an important moment for the culture and that we don’t get to see that usually on TV. So that was an extension of that.
There was a separate conversation this season involving Lala’s character, MarKeisha, and the age difference between her character and Terry. Could you talk about that dynamic?
The draw is that he’s a hustler who’s successful and he wasn’t seen in that light. He was a hero and on his way to becoming an icon. We have fun getting to dramatize these stories, again, in the writers’ room. Terry very much had a maturity about him and it’s just always funny to hear the reactions. What’s really interesting is just what the chemistry is between Lala and Da’Vinchi. It’s off the charts. You’re really rooting for them to beat the odds and they’re great together on screen.
When it comes to this love triangle, a lot of fans really wanted LaWanda and MarKeisha to have that moment to go at it this season. Why did you all decide for them against a big blowout fight?
Randy wanted to keep it grounded in authenticity. He felt like a fistfight would have been too much in that moment. But you can look forward to some more continued confrontations between the women in Season 3 for sure. Neither of them are going anywhere.
How does what transpired throughout the season really affect those future plans?
It’s definitely pushing the story forward. Meech heads out to Atlanta in our finale. Terry is left to take care of Detroit. You’ll see that manifesting itself in Season 3 where Atlanta really gets to become a character of the show, which is exciting, and then Terry will be handling the D.
I’m sure with Meech building a new team in Atlanta, that means new cast members?
We have a lot of new faces this season, which is really exciting. We’ve cast Ne-Yo, we’ve cast 2Chainz who are just a delight on set and had so much fun and flavor. That’s been really fun to work with them. We have so many new faces. I just can’t wait for the world to meet all the the new characters because we’re expanding the world. We’re always working diligently on all of our characters’ — especially our new characters’ — backstories and what is the hole in the soul? What drives them? What happened in the past that informs the present?
This interview has been edited and condensed.