'Ghosts' Season 2 Tackles Afterlife Romances, Fame vs. Immortality, and a Musical?

The doors of Woodstone Manor B&B will open Sept. 29 at 8:30 p.m.
by Whitney Friedlander — 



The first season finale of the CBS comedy Ghosts ended with a bang — or, really, a crash.

The historic Woodstone Mansion that young married couple Sam (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) were shocked to inherit and — after a lot of hard work on their part and a lot of conversations with the ghosts who are stuck in the house that only Sam can see — they were ready to open their home as a bed and breakfast. 

Then the floor caved in just as their first guests arrived.

During the second season, Sam and Jay stumble out of the rubble to find new adventures and attempts at small-business ownership. And, Sam's friends may have some fun on their own as the audience learns more about their past lives. 

Series showrunners Joe Port and Joe Wiseman got in the spirit of the second-season premiere, which premieres at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 29, by telling Metacritic what's in store for both the humans and dearly (un)departed residents of Woodstone.

'Till Death Do We Part? Not Exactly.

It took two and a half centuries, but last season saw American Revolutionary war soldier Captain Isaac Higgintoot (Brandon Scott Jones) finally admit to himself and to others that he was gay — and that he was in love with Nigel Chessum (John Hartman), the British solider he'd accidentally killed on the battlefield whose spirit lives in a shed on the property.

"Now that Isaac is finally out to himself and everyone, we're going to do a relationship story," Wiseman says. "It's about the pitfalls of a new relationship. And, he's also someone who hasn't been in a relationship in a long time. One of the continuing arcs for season will be Isaac and Nigel."

But things may not be smooth sailing for the new couple. Nigel's shed mates are two other British soldiers, Chad Andrews' Baxter and Christian Daoust's Jenkins. Port says that they've previously hinted at a backstory between Nigel and Jenkins and that Jenkins is "going to play a more important role as we go forward in the season."

As to whether the couple may take the next step and try cohabitating, Port says that "Nigel and Isaac may talk about moving in together at some point" even if the the ghosts have an unspoken rule as to who get to live where in Woodstone (or even in the house at all). 

Isaac and Nigel aren't the only ones finding love in the after life, though. Archery victim and 1980s troop leader Pete (Richie Moriarty) has been harboring feelings for Prohibition-era jazz singer Alberta (Danielle Pinnock), while Viking Thorfinn (Devan Chandler Long) will begin searching for ways to profess his love for 1960s former cult member Flower (Sheila Carrasco). 

"A lot of our couples seem to be men with unrequited love in the house right now," Port says with a laugh. He adds that both of these storylines will bear fruit in the second season, adding that "there might be some other trysts."

He reminds that "we're seeing a glimpse of what is going on now. And there is a question of why haven't these people dated up until this moment when the TV show started."

"There is probably a romantic history amongst the ghosts in the house to explore because it's basically Friends season 300," he explains. "It sounds like probably everyone has dated everybody. But we haven't really gotten into that yet."

Ghosts, Past and Present

The showrunners stress that this means there could have been previous ghosts in the house who have since gotten "sucked off" (the terminology the characters use for a soul's full ascension). 

Last season introduced the nefarious husband (played by Matt Walsh) to house matriarch Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky), for an episode only to see him "go down" (to, presumably, Hell). This season, Wiseman says "we're going to meet some ghosts that are significant to Hetty, for sure." 

The show has also already introduced one of her descendants who — at least at the time — was among the living: Her great-great-great grandson David Woodstone (Brian Cook). He was instrumental in the death of finance bro Trevor (Asher Grodman). Trevor died without his pants on because he gave them to a hazing victim right before he OD'd. (As to where those pants are now, the showrunners don't yet have the answer.)

And there are ghosts in the house who just haven't had that much screen time. Hudson Thames' Crash, a decapitated 1950s greaser, has barely been seen since the pilot. 

"We haven't written it yet or shot it, but we definitely want to do [something] this season where we explain where Crash has been," Wiseman says.

Not All Guest Stars Play Dead

Wiseman and Port stress that it's better if storylines do involve the ghosts somehow and that they try to do stories that can only really be seen on Ghosts. But not all guest stars who come onto the show have to play a deceased being whose spirit lingers on Sam and Jay's property. Those who can play the still living, such as bed-and-breakfast guests or a new friend of Jay's introduced this season (played by The Other Two'sDrew Tarver) do have to get a certain supernatural component to fit into the world of Woodstone Manor, though.

Wiseman and Port haven't really broached the kids question yet when it comes to newlyweds Sam and Jay, but Port reminds that they've previously laid the groundwork for the idea that some kids can see ghosts.

Fame vs. Immortality 

Both Jones' Isaac and Pinnock's (definitely murdered) jazz singer Alberta Haynes have ruminated on fame during their after lives, something that will be explored more in depth this season for her in particular.

"Not everybody in life wants to be famous and that's true of our ghosts, too," Port says. "But I think everybody wants to be remembered — whether it's by millions of people or by a few people. And I think that's something that's thematic to a lot of our stories with the ghosts." 

But, while Alberta wanted to be famous while she was alive, pointing out last season how much it would justify the struggles her father went through in Jim Crow-era America, Isaac only seems especially interested in it after having learned that no one remembers American Revolutionary war hero Captain Isaac Higgintoot while his contemporary, Alexander Hamilton, has a legacy that lives on through money, books and a musical.

"I don't think he didn't want fame" when he was alive, Wiseman says. "I think he wanted to be important and accomplish something. But finding out that the people that he knew are now super famous, I think awakened something."

Conversely, Sasappis (Román Zaragoza), a member of the Indigenous Lenape people and one of the oldest ghosts, will deal with the other side of the fame coin this season: What happens when all you knew when you were alive begins to disappear.

"That storyline came about because we were trying to think of stuff that was around back when they were alive that might be around," Wiseman says, adding that there's a variety of trees that were common in upstate New York that happen to live about 500 years. 

Since this is about how far back Sas would have lived, Wiseman says, "We thought it'd be interesting if there was a tree that was of significance to him that was now about to die."

"He's seen a tremendous amount of change — not a lot of it pleasant — over the last 500 years," he continues. "We wanted to explore what that meant to him and that tree became a symbol of that."

To Sing or Not to Sing …

The internet got excited by a stunt the Ghostscast performed during parent company Paramount's upfront presentation this spring. In an attempt to rival Broadway smash Hamilton about his nemesis Alexander Hamilton, Jones' Isaac launched into his own autobiographical musical (that was really written by composers Adam Wachter, Jake Wilson, and Ryan Brockington). He was soon followed by Pinnock's Alberta, who believed she was entitled to her own show-stopping performance. Soon, everyone joined in.

So, does this mean that there will be an actual musical episode of Ghosts?

Wiseman says that, while they haven't shot a musical episode this season, there is potentially still time because the writers are still working on scripts. 

"We would love to do one," he says. "We can't say that it will or will not happen [but] it's something we definitely want to do."