In The Dark's Perry Mattfeld on Murphy's Isolating Journey & How the Series Reinvents Itself!

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The third season of In the Dark is upon us, and we're hedging our bets that it's the BEST season yet.

And yeah, we probably said that last season, but it only speaks to how this "little series that could" finds new, innovative ways of reinventing and elevating itself.

It's one of the most underrated gems airing for a reason, after all, and you can trust that the excitement and anticipation for Murphy and the gang's return are warranted.

Perry Mattfeld - In the Dark S3 Interview

Ahead of the premiere, we hopped on zoom with a TV Fanatic favorite and star of the series, Perry Mattfeld, to discuss how the series reinvents itself, the theme of isolation this season, and Murphy proving herself.

Check out some of what she had to say about the upcoming season below, and hit the comments with your thoughts!

 I always joke that they should call the show Murphy's Law because anything that could possibly go wrong does. If it can get worse, it does.

In the Dark Season 2 Episode 13 ended that way, and based on the first couple of episodes for In the Dark Season 3, that pattern continues. How do you guys keep topping yourselves? I don't know how you do it!

What is so crazy, too, is yes, these things keep getting worse, but we had to be reminded recently that I think between three seasons, it's only been three months in story time. Maybe even less. That's part of what's so crazy.

Murphy Makes A Choice  - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 12

Yes, all of these bad things keep happening, but it's not like Murphy has been running for that long. It's not like this horrible Murphy's Law woman has been running for four years.

But to your point, you can only run for so long before ...

It all catches up to you. So, how is this season different from the previous ones?

Each of the characters are isolated from each other. Weirdly enough, because of everything we were going through with COVID and everything, obviously, Toronto was completely in lockdown, and we were going through that as a cast.

We were feeling that desperation, isolation, and that urge to somehow go back to normal, right? I think in the trailer, you see Felix saying, "let's just sweep this under the rug, let's just go back to work." And there was that desperation going on in real life.

Bickering - Tall - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 11

And following up on that, what does Murphy's individual journey look like in season three?

There's a lot of codependency with all of her relationships, and you're saying everyone feels isolated. Does she learn how to be self-sufficient this season? What does that look like for her?

It's a real reality check for her this season. I think of how she pushes people away and pushes people to their max and tests them, and yet in this season, she really has to ask for help, and she's completely alone at times, and um, helpless.

Murphy's journey especially is trying to prove to Jess -- she spends the entire season trying to prove to Jess that she cares about her as much as Jess cares about Murphy. Jess was like, "I killed for you."

Jess Saves Murphy  - In The Dark

Yeah.

"And my life will never be the same. And I will wear that forever." And Murphy spends the season trying to prove to Jess, "I love you. I would do the same. I care," but Jess has a hard time believing that just because of everything that Murphy has gotten them into.

There's an interesting thing where Murphy kind of, there's a role reversal where now Murphy tries to beg for Jess' approval rather than the other way around. But it is continuously part of an unhealthy, codependent, toxic relationship.

You know how much I love that bond! I think when I talked to you last time, I said it was the real love story of the series.

Yes, yes.

A Drug Mission - Tall  - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 8

And I absolutely adore that relationship. Regarding the other ones, like you said, it hasn't been long, so they haven't been able to process everything --

And season three starts, as you saw, within seconds of where we left off. I mean, I honestly suggest watching the finale again before jumping into season three to remember that momentum. Because it all goes down, we're not like "Last season... there's no briefing,"

Yeah, the adrenaline is right there! You jump right back into that feeling again. There was so much anxiety I felt just watching it!

[Laughs]

Dealing With the Fallout - In The Dark

How do you feel that the other relationships: there's Max, Felix, and Josh -- there are all of these other relationships that Murphy has, and to some degree, I'm sure all of them are like, "you did this, you got us here." How does all of this affect them throughout the season?

Um, well, one of the most important and anticipated relationships is that one between Murphy and Max, and at the end of season two, she told him that we're done after he helped her bury two bodies!

[Laughs] Right!

She's like, "I think we should break up." Are you kidding me?

Max Has it Bad - Tall  - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 13

And what's nice and interesting, and I always praise Corrine and Yael, our two head writers and producers, who keep these relationships interesting.

They're not linear relationships. They're ups and downs just like real life, and in the same way that there's a role reversal with Murphy and Jess, with Murphy trying to get Jess back on her side, it's kind of the same thing with Max.

He's given his deserved strength this season and tells her you've screwed me over too many times.

Yeah.

'I was on my way to getting my life back on track. I had a job. I was finally out of prison. I met you, Murphy -- I went to prison again. I buried two bodies in the woods, and now I'm running for my life.'

The Other Choice - Tall  - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 13

Yes, I was surprised by Max -- and the introduction to his journey in the third season. I don't know, but it seems like it's probably the meatiest stuff he's had on this show outside of Murphy just trying to figure all of this out.

Casey is so, so talented. But I think he should be the proudest of his work in this season. I mean, seeing him play the complexity of wanting to stick so badly to his truth, and I think [Max's] truth is that 'Murphy is not good for me. She has abused me. She has hurt me, knowingly.'

Obviously, there is a complexity because he cares about her and always will, but the way that he handled all of that and the way his strength is this season -- it's a different Max than we've seen. He did such a good job, and I'm so impressed with him this season. It's fascinating to watch their dynamic.

And if you can share anything, without getting into trouble, of course, but what was the most rewarding or challenging aspect of playing Murphy this season?

I've said before, what is the most challenging for me as an actor with Murphy is, obviously, the physical dynamic of playing someone without vision is one thing.

All Roads Lead to Max  - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 12

But one of the other most challenging things for me is continuing to make sure our audience roots for her and doesn't hate her. Sometimes when I watch episodes, I'm like, "Oh my God, just get her out of here!" You know? [laughs]

It's my job as the actor to look at the scenes on the page, and look at her actions, and look at her direction, and say, 'how can I make -- how can I put some nuance in there that makes her lovable?'

That makes people say, 'God, she's annoying, but I really hope she figures this out.' I mean that's my job as an actor is to find those moments that maybe only the audience can see.

You succeed in that, though.

It's so hard!

Worn Out - Tall - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 3

I mean, Murphy is a complex character, it's not too often that you see too many female characters who are allowed to be messy and unlikable and annoying and all of these things, and I think that's part of the draw to her.

But following up on that, this is probably the first season now where you guys are solidified as the bad guys.

I mean, you have Gene and Josh who are like, before, it was Dean, the corrupt cop, and it was like, 'yeah, whatever, screw him,' but now these two are like wholesome kind of characters.

Dedicated.

The Hardy Boys - tall - In The Dark Season 3 Episode 1

And they're just following the law and trying to do their jobs. Does it change the tone of the show?

Genuine, right? Two genuine heroes.

Right? They are who you would normally root for, and now there are two totally warring factions on this.

It's so interesting. I mean, no one has said that before, so that's really interesting that you say that.

Josh's Injury - tall  - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 7

Yeah, has it changed the tone of the show now that they're the ones coming after you guys?

Yeah, and you're right. I mean, who do you root for? And yeah, it's not like, I mean, I was saying before too, they are these criminals, but they're also just kids. They ran a non-profit guide dog school! [Laughs]

[Laughs] They're good people who just got caught up in bad things, and it spiraled.

Exactly. And I think what maintains through the show, even as it continues to reinvent itself, is that every season is totally different.

Yes.

Felix is Overruled - Tall  - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 11

But what maintains is that they're good people who made bad decisions. They're good people who continue to make bad decisions. But, what makes them, as we talked about, continuing to make them lovable is we have these fun moments and the goofiness that we get to sprinkle in as they clumsily try to run from the police.

It doesn't work, it doesn't go smoothly, you know, so I always appreciate that sprinkle in of the goofiness of these people who have not been trained in this and don't know what they're doing and are just completely lost.

Yeah, yeah. It's such a hard show to define. You have so many of these elements.

It's always hard to describe because it continues to reinvent itself. Season one was its own type of story, and it was the prologue to what then became the narrative for season two, which was this snowball effect of a couple of bad decisions.

And now, season three is a reaction to what happened in season two, but it's a completely different storyline.

I appreciate that with so much dark content out there -- somehow, there's an ability to keep people laughing because of the goofiness of these criminals. And then you just add this beautiful dog!

A Good Boy - Tall  - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 2

Of course, Pretzel has all the brains in the entire group. It's just Pretzel. [Laughs]

[Laughs]

Any other teases you can give us for the third season?

I said before; it's the ending of a chapter and a beginning of a new one. And, I think up 'til now, we haven't seen any pause. It's just been one thing happening after another. There's a really nice change of pace in season three.

Without saying anything else, it's the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another one. And luckily, we already got renewed for a fourth season.

Partners in Crime - Tall  - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 5

Thank God, yes.

Which is very humbling and is the best news ever because I love my job, I love my cast, and hopefully, we'll get to keep going.

I think so, and congratulations on your third and fourth season!

Thank you.

A Surprise Visit - Tall  - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 2

And, um, I can already tell it's probably going to be my favorite one.

I always ask our creator and producer what's her favorite season, and she's like this one, and I say, you said that last season!

Season one, she said this is the best ever, and season two, she's like this is the best ever, and season three she's like this is the best ever!

It's because you guys keep elevating it!

Rummaging Through Belongings - Tall  - In The Dark Season 2 Episode 2

The season premiere of In the Dark airs tonight on The CW at 9/8c. 

It's a must-see hour, and I assure you, you don't want to miss it. If you want a refresher on the series before the premire, you can watch In the Dark online right here via TV Fanatic. 

Tune back in tonight for a full review! 

Will you be watching tonight? What are you looking forward to most? Hit the comments below with all of your thoughts. 

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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In The Dark Quotes

It's the only time you don't have to feel blind, because we all do it with our eyes closed anyways.

Tyson

Tinder date: God, you're so hot. Do you know how hot you are? Murphy: No.