With Wednesday’s launch on Netflix, we meet a number of new characters when Wednesday Addams is enrolled at the Nevermore Academy boarding school which appears to exclusively teach supernatural misfits. We also get to see all-new versions of iconic Addams Family characters Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, and Fester, as well as an all-new version of Wednesday, herself, played by Jenna Ortega.
When it comes to a breakout character in the show’s first season, however, co-showrunners Al Gough and Miles Millar have a bit of a surprising choice. However, if you’ve seen the new episodes, it’s easy to see how this particular character became their favorite.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for Netflix Wednesday. The entire first season is streaming now.
When asked which character surprised them, GameSpot didn’t expect their personal choice. “The character that I think we took a big risk with, and I think it totally paid off, is Thing,” Millar said, referring to the severed hand that has been a mainstay of lore. the Addams family over the decades. “I think Thing is like the secret weapon of the show. We had this idea that Thing would be Wednesday’s confidante, where you might feel like only with Thing would she confess her true feelings or his true thoughts.”
Or of course, it’s not just that Thing is the only one Wednesday trusts, but that disembodied hand is the only way to show that she’s an emotional being and not just some deadpan gothic machine.
“I think one of the most emotional moments on the show was when she discovered Thing impaled on her bedroom column,” Gough continued. This moment comes in Episode 7, “If You Don’t Grieve Me Now”, when Wednesday returns to her bedroom to find Thing stabbed through the palm. Wednesday is devastated to see her friend in such a state and it only gets worse when he nearly died.
“The goal was for it to be as emotionally devastating for the audience as it was on Wednesday,” Gough said. “It’s the only real moment in the show where you see her upset, you see her crying and she’s shaken. She’s someone who’s not shaken by anything. That moment of finding him – l idea that she might lose him – is devastating.”
In a television season in which Ortega mostly frowns through her scenes, embracing Wednesday’s dark side, it’s those moments that show the range of emotions the actress can imbue into her character. While early in the season, Wednesday tells Thing that he’s more or less under her control by death threat, a real threat to her friend is too much to handle.
That’s a lot of emotion to attribute to a hand that’s mostly seen running around scenes on her fingers, helping Wednesday any way she can. But, ultimately, it works. Thing’s attack is one of the most heartbreaking moments of Season 1. Luckily, we know the Hand survives the attack and helps save the day in the Season 1 finale. We’ll have more Thing and Wednesday action in Season 2.
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