Published: Sunday, 04 February 2024 16:01 | Written by Jamie Ruby
Tonight, a new episode of the multi-generational family drama The Way Home airs on Hallmark Channel. Last week found Kat (Chyler Leigh) separated from her daughter, Alice (Sadie LaFlamme-Snow), in a different time in the past, but it turns out to potentially be where her brother Jacob ended up all those years ago, so she is closer than ever. Meanwhile, Elliot (Evan Williams) continues to struggle both in the present and his past with how their time travel has, he feels, made his life fall apart.
Stars Leigh and Williams recently spoke with SciFi Vision about season two, including Kat’s journey to find Jacob, if mother and daughter being separated in time will cause a rift between them, Elliot pulling away and what that is doing to his relationship with both Kat and Alice, if an adult Elliot would choose to time travel if he could, and more.
Watch the interview or read the transcript below and watch all-new episodes every Sunday on Hallmark Channel.
SCIFI VISION: To start out, Chyler, can you talk about how Kat sort of continues to follow the thread of Jacob this season, sort of tease where that's headed?
CHYLER LEIGH: …We pick back up in season two directly from the last bit of season one where Kat has this moment with Del, and she says, “I think I know what happened to Jacob.” So, I think the audience will be really happy that we're not just kind of coming back and going, “Oh, so three years later.” It's like, no, we pick right back up. So, I love the fact that she starts piecing all these things together. And pretty much right off the bat, we see her trying to, no pun intended, but dive right into the whole story…Then, that's the through line of the whole season for season two for Kat, going back into the 1800s, and finding out what that means and how that affected their current circumstances and how Jacob is missing and what that looks like. Where did he go? And understanding in the very beginning of the season, when we see that white witch that's running through the forest, and then we see at the end, that it's Kat, then where did that come from? And present day Kat doesn't actually even know. So, it's going back into time to figure out how the origins are now coming to fruition.
SCIFI VISION: Evan, Elliot, obviously made the comment at the end of last season that he wanted to stop being a spectator in his own life, and he took off. But do you think that he thought through that by him leaving, that he's actually not getting what he wanted? He could be there with her, and he left, and he's upsetting Alice. Can you sort of talk a bit about that?
EVAN WILLIAMS: Elliott is a scientist. He's not a fortune teller, right? So he doesn't know the future. He doesn't know how it's gonna go, and he's is at the edge of his limits. I think it's a very brave choice that he makes at the end of season one to kind of go it alone, especially when he seems about to get what he's always wanted. So, I think it's kind of a choice that almost kind of came blurting out of him when he realized he didn't have any alternative. Then, in season two, he has to figure out what that actually means. Also, when you make a strong choice like that, and you go off, in a way, if you come back as the prodigal son, you kind of have to earn that choice and defend that choice. So, Elliot is a little bit stuck between having made that choice and the dawning realization that may be that might have been a mistake, and how does one actually progress through the journey of self love? That it's not a choice one can make, it's an activity; it's a journey. So, we see Elliot flounder a little bit, and that's great, because we'll see through a lot of the cracks, and we'll get to know the heart of the character really well, and through what we know, through 1999, when we get to see David Webster as young Elliot again. There's just some great illumination that I think audiences are really going to love, and maybe Kat will too. Maybe.
SCIFI VISION: Chyler, you obviously travel separately from Alice this season. Is that going to at all drive a wedge between the two of you not? Because you were able to [travel] together before, and we don't know how much they're going to tell each other and how that's going to happen. So, can you talk about that? Can that pull them back apart?
CHYLER LEIGH: Yes, it can. In moments it does, just because Kat is so protective of her daughter. And obviously, what we come to see the very first time you see Alice pulled through the pond, it is not a pleasant experience. You are just sucked around and thrown all over the place, and it's a vortex, and then you show up, and you have got to climb…those rocks, and the water's cold and all the things…So, she's always going to be protective and concerned that something like that would happen again to Alice. And because they've gone through all of this, like some pretty harrowing moments that they've experienced together in the past, obviously with Colton, his death and the car crash, and you see all this really heavy stuff. I mean, you don't want your kid to have to go through that and to see those kinds of things. But at the same time, Alice has gone back and found all this really beautiful information, and she's being able to really understand her mom and her grandma and that family dynamic. So, it's a bit of a push and pull, because she wants her to be able to have these wonderful moments and discoveries, but she does not want her to have the bad stuff, and you can't have one without the other. So, sometimes in Kat's protectiveness, it's not just because she doesn't want her daughter to get [hurt], but it might be because she doesn't want her daughter to see certain things that could taint her view, again of her mother, and maybe some other folks.
EVAN WILLIAMS: Who knows? Who can say? But it's also interesting in the way that that reflects on Del and Kat’s relationship as well, by the same token.
SCIFI VISION: Elliot obviously does not like that they time travel and does not necessarily agree with it. But I have to ask, especially as an adult, Elliot, if he could go back, even against all his advice, do you think he would at all? Or do you think that he just would not want to touch it?
EVAN WILLIAMS: It's hard to say. Elliot, as a scientist, I think has a mandate to be responsible, and and there's inherently nothing responsible about jumping into a pond that's going to send you maybe to any other point in time ever. So, by that token, I think he's pretty against it, but he is also in the quest for knowledge as well. So, who knows. He might not be able to, at the end of the day, if given the opportunity, be able to avoid it. It's one of those things that I don't think you would know that about yourself until it was right in your face. But I think that what's cool about the pond is that since it's an unreliable device, meaning that sometimes you can travel, sometimes you can't, it will send you where you need to go. Things like this.
CHYLER LEIGH: Maybe not where you want to go.
EVAN WILLIAMS: Yeah, so because of that, the pond has limitless, different opportunities for different types of storytelling. So, with a show like this, with the show like The Way Home, you never know what's going to happen. So, anything is possible.
SCIFI VISION: That makes sense. Both of you have younger versions of yourself on the show, you mentioned that. Did you work with those actors to kind of become the same character at all? Did you talk to them about that and how you were playing your version? For both you.
CHYLER LEIGH: …Because we pick up Kat all these years later, she's now become such a different version of who she was when she was a teenager. Alex Hook, who plays young Kat, she's fantastic, such a lovely person, but what an incredible performer. So, we didn't necessarily talk about all the nuances of the characters and what that would look like, because they changed so much. So, it was like a great fresh opportunity for her to create this character that was so loving and vivacious and someone who was positive and was so well loved and protected, in a sense that she kind of got to make that her own. Because when we pick up on Kat later, yes, there's similar characteristics, but this is a woman who's now gone through having a child, and now she's getting a divorce. She just got fired. She's had 20 years not speaking to her mother. She's hardened in some ways, but there's still that vivaciousness…She still has that tenacity that's there, but it's just a whole different experience. But the one thing that we did specifically talk about was something that I'm so grateful for that we had the opportunity to show in a character, especially on a network like Hallmark, because it can be such a niche audience, to show something that really represents people who don't like to talk about it: my character has panic attacks. So, we come to see that the first time we see that is when Kat is an adult. So, when Alice is gone, she gets thrown right into these kinds of somewhat violent panic attacks. So, we see that then, and we were given the opportunity, or Alex was given the opportunity, to show the very first panic attack that Kat ever had. And I have them in my own life, so I know what they look like firsthand. So, the ones that Kat has in the show as the adult are like a replica of what happens to me. So, to have those conversations, and to be able to bring forth something like that, to an audience in general, I know is very appreciated. We've heard from the audience that anything that we've dealt with, with grief, mental health, or any of that, really struck a chord with our audience. Alex was super dedicated to bringing that same quality to what that would look like in a teenager. Because, I mean, you're still trying to figure out who the heck you are and what that looks like. So, we took our time for that particular moment. Then, I get to just watch her make all these wonderful choices as she was moving along as well.