Previewing THE GATES with Marisol Nichols and Frank Grillo

With all of the shows that are fighting for ratings on Sundays this summer, a few seem to have fallen through the cracks.  One show in particular is the supernatural family drama THE GATES that has a very powerful, intense episode airing this Sunday, 7/18 at 10PM on ABC.

To talk about the shocks, reveals, twists, and turns in this new episode, I spent some time talking with series stars Frank Grillo and Marisol Nichols, Sheriff and Mrs Monohan, who just moved to this exclusive community and aren’t exactly sure what they’ve gotten themselves and their children into (there are spoilers right off the bat, so read at your own risk)!

Talk to us a little bit about what’s coming up on Sunday’s episode!
Frank: I think most importantly, you finally get a sense of who Nick and Sarah are, and why they are in The Gates.  I’m glad it’s finally coming.  You see who this guy, who this woman, are, and what they’ve gone through, and even though they’re together, why they’ve drifted apart and are looking for something to re-ignite their relationship and I think what’s revealed in this week is really what had been the obstacle that has forced thsi family to move, to redefine themself.

Marisol: Sorted of hinted at in the pilot, you don’t know why she is so mad at him for staying out late, just like Chicago, and this is the why.  This episode changes the whole course the series.

After watching it, I feel the same way.  You mention the pilot and how it was hinted at, but of course you have all of these monsters and supernatural creatures. At the core there is a family drama and this supernatural thing, and they all really come together in Sunday’s episode, really ramping up the energy.
Frank and Marisol: Yeah, yeah

Frank: We’ve said that if we can get the audience to episode 4, then I think they would be hooked. It’s getting them here.  Once you find out who Sarah and Nick really are, Nick’s not just this dopey guy, living in The Gates, pulling his gun, chasing people around, not knowing what’s going on, once you find out what’s driving the behavior, who they are, and then we become privy, at least a little bit, on some level, what The Gates really is, then the rules change.  Then the show really becomes what it’s meant to be.

What originally drew you to the roles that you’re playing?  Did it have anything to do with the chance to work together again, was it the script?
Marisol: Well, actually the chance to work with Frank is why I didn’t want it [we all laugh].  Just kidding!  When I auditioned, Frank was already cast, so it was really nice to walk in the room and go “hey how are ya” so we sort of had that prior relationship already, from working with each other for 9  months, so to start together again was really nice.  For me personally, what drew me to the role and the show was she was so much more than a housewife and a mom, which I have never, ever played.  There was such a darker, darker element to their relationship and why they had moved there, and all these different layers.  Not to mention, to me, the show could go so many places, like I wasn’t going to get bored watching it.  I wanted to know what would happen next, and that to me is always a good indicator of a good show.

Frank:  Yeah, I agree. I  mean, both of us have been on a bunch of TV series.  I don’t think the ratings are indicative of how great the show is, and even get better.  I think it’s really great television.  And for me, that was the same reason.  It was like, wow, what an interesting place to play.  Like, what a great world, they’ve created, these writers have created a great world like Marisol just stated, so many things can happen.  The show can be so many different things, so that’s why we were hoping to get enough  people to stick with us until this episode.  Really, we’re shooting episode 11 now, and if you would know even a little bit about what goes on between now and episode 11.

Marisol:  Episode 11 is INTENSELY crazy!

You get the sense watching the show that THE GATES is a never ending community because there is so much to be mined from it.
Marisol: Exactly, which is what we were seeing when we first read the pilot.  You can go so many places with it.

Frank: And I think that’s smart.  I think that’s smart of the creators.  You know, Marisol and I did this show, which we’re very proud of, called BLIND JUSTICE, which didn’t last very long for many reasons, but even a show like that, there’s just so many stories, so many cop stories you can tell.  With a show like this, even a PRISON BREAK or 24, eventually, it’s the same thing week after week.  This could literally be a new television series every four episodes.

What would you say to people to get them tuned in this Sunday?  Maybe a quick background of what they need to know?
Marisol: I think personally now, it’s a different tone.  It’s a different tone of the show.  We are not DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, we are not “Twilight,” we are not TRUE BLOOD.  Watching this episode, you really, really see what we actually are. All of us, whether it’s me and Frank in our relationship or Claire and Dylan, everyone is sort of fighting for their survival in this episode.  It’s sort of a do or die episode.

Frank: For me, to add one thing, I think it’s exciting that Nick and Dylan, there’s a discovery for Nick of who Dylan is, and what he is, and oh my goodness, that’s why this place seems like it’s so strange, because there are vampires!  For me, as an actor, I’ve been looking forward to this episode for many reasons, but for that reason specifically, because now I’m catching up to the audience.  I’m not just this dopey cop any more.  I don’t mean dopey cop, I mean a cop who doesn’t know as much as he should!  But now, it turns the show, I’ve said it, it turns on its axis because now we’re exposed to the world we’re playing in.

Marisol:  It’s sort of like the first three episodes we set you up, we set you up, we set you up, and now we’re gonna drop ya!

And it really did – watching the episode,  it was like, yes, I’m on board, I see where we’re going!
Frank: And listen, if you didn’t like the episode, then maybe this series isn’t for you, because this is where the series turns into THE GATES.  And this is by the way, a taste of it.  From here on in, it just gets more and more, and all of the characters are involved.

What else can you tease about what to expect in future episodes?
Marisol: It gets worse!

Frank: I think there are pivotal roles played by Chandra West (Devon); her character becomes very integrated into everybody’s lives.  There’s a great triangle with Claire and Dylan, and Christian (Paul Blackthorne).  There’s a great triangle there.  And then you get to see the Romeo and Juliet section of the show, which I call it, of the kids. The wolves.  You see how that involves, with my son, which is, by the way, another nail biter.  It’s not a safe situation for us.

Marisol:  Not to mention, Nick and Sara are so not out of the woods because even though he just revealed one major secret that he’s been holding for the last year, now he has acquired a whole new one that he’s not telling her, so we start going down a whole other path.

I’m really enjoying the show, I really get a sense of the chemistry of your characters. I really enjoy the relationship!
Frank: Thank you, we really appreciate that.

Marisol: Thank you so much!

Tune into Sunday’s all new episode of THE GATES on ABC, 10/9c where the crap, if you will, is really about to hit the fan!