EXCLUSIVE: Why You Need to Watch Freeform's Mystery Drama 'Guilt,' Summer's Best-Kept Secret
By Philiana Ng
Who killed Molly Ryan?
Freeform’s addictive freshman drama, Guilt, has been one of the summer’s best-kept secrets, and on Monday’s season finale, the identity of Molly’s killer -- a question posed at the start of the series -- will be answered within the first 15 minutes. One thing’s for sure: It will be juicy.
All season long, fans of the little-seen British-American mystery drama have been on an unrelenting rollercoaster ride, navigating through scandalous twists, mind-blowing bombshells and unexpected revelations. As the case of American student Grace Atwood (Daisy Head) -- accused of murdering her Irish roommate, Molly, in their London flat -- comes to a close, the ramifications of the killer reveal will be life-shattering for all involved.
Guilt is by no means a runaway hit, but there’s a reason why it has amassed its own loyal band of viewers who have become deeply engrossed with the salacious storytelling. Head, the 25-year-old star (and Anthony Head’s daughter!), encapsulates why Guilt has struck a chord with devoted fans.
“It really hones in on human nature and how you can’t always predict human response,” the British actress tells ET. “How you think someone should react in a certain situation based on how you feel you would react in a situation can be completely flipped upside down and can be the complete opposite of what you think should be the case. And I love that. I love that it sows seeds of doubt across the whole show and everyone is guilty of something.”
Billy Zane, who plays Grace’s unorthodox attorney Stan Gutterie, echoed Head’s sentiments, sharing his take on why the show has succeeded in its unapologetic pace and no-holds-barred creative direction.
“There’s no fat on this. There’s no fluff that stretches it across,” Zane, 50, tells ET. “As a result, you have bombshells dropping every episode. You have revelations every episode. There are major, major twists that make every episode seminal and stand alone.”
Storylines on Guilt are as salacious as they get. Key arcs have featured the British prince frequenting a high-end sex club, murders in point-blank range and a shocking suicide -- and that isn’t even scratching the surface.
“It’s very refreshing to be a part of a show that’s written and crafted that well and can set a very wide boundary, while at the same time being very precise -- capable of anything, yet still operating under the restriction of some degree of censorship,” Zane said of the cable drama. “Because of that restriction, it has to be dodged more cleverly and [be more] tantalizing.”
As Guilt heads into the final episode of its rookie season, Grace’s impulsive decision to escape from prison in the middle of her murder trial only expounds the level of desperation she feels about her dire situation.
“She is an incredibly hot-headed individual and she’s incredibly feisty, but also a little naïve. She is conflicted in her emotions of what she thinks and knows is the right thing to do but these opportunities that are presented, they’re just too irresistible to turn down,” Head said of Grace’s current mindset. “She makes rash and irrational decisions based on her emotions and sometimes, she realizes it’s not the smartest move and lives to regret it and tries to backtrack.”
“It’s the fight or flight reflex that is in human nature,” she added. “It’s one thing to stand your ground and fight, but sometimes the opportunity to run away from it all is just too great.”
Meanwhile, Stan has turned his attention to the sex-addicted Prince Theo (Sam Cassidy), in an effort to pin the attention on a worthy culprit for the crime of Molly’s murder. Nevertheless, Zane notes that Stan believes he can exonerate Grace -- to a point.
“It’s anyone’s guess,” Zane said. “You never know until it’s over. It’s tricky. I don’t think he’s overly confident at all because he knows that this girl’s life is hanging in the balance if he loses. At this point, he believes in her innocence. Whether it’s true or not, it has yet to be determined.”
Don’t forget to come back to ETonline.com on Monday for more on the explosive season finale! Who do you think murdered Molly Ryan? Tell us your thoughts by tweeting @ETnow!
Guilt airs its season finale on Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform.