'Love Life' Season 2: Inside Marcus' Happy Ending and Anna Kendrick's Return (Exclusive)
By Stacy Lambe
The latest installment of Love Life has officially come to a close, with Marcus (William Jackson Harper) falling in love with Mia (Jessica Williams) after unexpectedly finding himself divorced and single in his 30s at the beginning of season 2. This time around, the HBO Max romantic comedy anthology series channeled When Harry Met Sally as the two characters tried to navigate the ups and downs of romance and friendships until finally ending up at the same place, together. While speaking with ET, Harper and Williams as well as the showrunners, creator Sam Boyd, Rachelle Williams and Bridget Bedard, break down Marcus’ happy ending and the importance behind Anna Kendrick’s return as Darby from season 1.
[Warning: Spoilers for the final four episodes of Love Life season 2 finale.]
After finally getting together at the end of episode 6, Marcus and Mia’s initial relationship didn’t last long, with Mia suddenly questioning her love and life choices after returning home to see her parents in episode 7, “Suzanné Hayward & Leon Hines.” While it led to the demise of their romance, Williams says that “it was a great chance to show where [Mia] comes from and how sometimes your family and your habits can shape how you love.”
While Marcus attempts to recover from the unexpected end to another relationship with someone that he thought was the one, the coronavirus pandemic hits New York City, bringing life to a standstill. And during that time, which plays out during the penultimate episode “Marcus Watkins,” the character is forced to figure out himself before unexpectedly reconnecting with Mia.
In terms of the timeline of the show, Boyd says Marcus “needed to be forced to face himself and to be alone.” And that allowed them to think more specifically about the character. “It was really thinking about a guy who is sort of dragged down by what other people think or trying to do the right thing or be perceived a certain way.” So, that was the starting point.
“There is a level of self-obsession when you’re trying to figure things out... And when we have that much concentrated time where you are just with your thoughts, you get to that place of turning inward and then you realize that you need to,” Harper says, adding that “it was a very hard shift for Marcus.”
After coming out on the other side, as Marcus and Mia decide to commit to each other, the series jumps forward in time during the finale, which serves as the perfect coda to the entire journey of constantly being out of step before finally getting in sync with one another.
During the final half hour, the audience sees the couple get pregnant and have a baby while Marcus tries to write and publish his first book. The added stress of a child, of course, complicates things for the two as they choose to stay committed to the relationship and family they have created. And just when it seems like they hit another breaking point, Marcus bumps into Darby, who reassures him that “it’s all worth it.”
In addition to wanting the series to feel like a shared universe, Boyd says that Darby’s return was about “tapping into that feeling and trying to when Darby was struggling with X, Marcus was struggling with Y.” And during their brief interaction, Marcus is “comforted to know that it’s a struggle for everybody in some regard,” Harper adds, noting that finding “the one” isn’t where the story ends.
Their story does end on a happy note, however, as Marcus and Mia rekindle the romantic side of their relationship -- and Mia unexpectedly puking on the side of an Uber after drinking too much during their night out -- before they go on a surprise trip to Bahamas.
For Williams, “the ending is fitting because it shows their growth in that love is a choice. Like, you’re actively choosing to love your partner and I think it says a lot about Mia’s growth,” she says, adding that “as long as they’re working on it, they’re going to work on it together.”
Bedard concludes by saying, “We wanted to show that they came out on top to a large degree.” And in the end, “we did want to show these two people happy and successful.”
Love Lifeseason 2 is now streaming. Want to watch more? Season 1 is also available on HBO Max. (We may receive an affiliate commission if you subscribe to a service through our links.)