With the launch of Wednesday on Netflix, we meet a number of new characters when Wednesday Addams is enrolled into the Nevermore Academy boarding school that seems to exclusively teach supernatural misfits. We also get to know brand new takes on the iconic Addams Family characters Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, and Fester, along with an all-new version of Wednesday, herself, played by Jenna Ortega.
When it comes to a breakout character in the first season of the series, though, co-showrunners Al Gough and Miles Millar have a bit of a surprising pick. However, if you’ve seen the new episodes, it’s easy to understand how this particular character became their favorite.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for Netflix’s Wednesday. The entire first season is streaming now.
When asked about which character surprised them, GameSpot was not expecting their personal pick. “The character that we, I think, took a big risk with, and I think totally paid off is Thing,” Millar said, referencing the severed hand that has been a mainstay in Addams Family lore over the decades. “I think Thing is like the secret weapon in the show. We had this idea that Thing would be Wednesday’s confidant, where you could get a sense that only with Thing would she confess her true feelings or true thoughts.”
Or course, it’s not just that Thing is the only one Wednesday trusts, but that this disembodied hand is the only conduit to actually showing that she’s an emotional being and not just a goth deadpan machine.
“I think one of the most emotional moments in the show was when she discovers Thing impaled on the column in her room,” Gough continued. This moment comes in Episode 7, “If You Don’t Woe Me By Now,” when Wednesday returns to her room to discover Thing stabbed through the palm. Wednesday is shattered seeing her friend in such a state and it only gets worse when he nearly dies.
“The aim was that it should be as emotionally devastating for the audience, as it is for Wednesday,” Gough said. “It’s the only real moment in the show in which you see her upset, that you see her crying, and that she is shaken. She is someone who is not shaken by anything. That moment of finding him–the idea that she could lose him–is devastating.”
In a season of TV in which Ortega mostly scowls through her scenes, embracing Wednesday’s dark side, it’s these moments that show the range of emotions the actress can imbue into her character. While early in the season, Wednesday tells Thing he’s more or less under her control by threat of death, an actual threat to her friend is too much to handle.
That’s a lot of emotion to assign to a hand that is mostly seen running around scenes on its fingers, helping out Wednesday however it can. But, ultimately, it works. The attack on Thing is one of the most harrowing moments of Season 1. Thankfully, we know the hand survives the attack and helps save the day in the Season 1 finale. Here’s hoping we get more Thing and Wednesday action in Season 2.
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