Who shot Gamby? It’s the question that loomed over the darker second season of HBO’s Vice Principals. After Season one’s shocking ending, it would make sense for Jody Hill and Danny McBride to draw out that big reveal until this season’s conclusion, and thankfully it didn’t disappoint.
[Spoilers from tonight’s finale ahead.]
After misleads and false accusations, we’ve finally found Gamby’s shooter to be his colleague/lover/crazypants ex Jen Abbott. Driven mad (well, madder than usual) by him casting aside her feelings, she, in turn, had the reasonable response of donning a mask, setting fire to two cars, and shooting him twice. She was one of many possible candidates, from Lee Russell to Belinda Brown to even Lee’s mother-in-law (because people love to endlessly theorize), but in the end, it turned out to be the most obviously deranged character who can rock a karaoke duet.
We had the chance to sit down with Miss Abbott herself, actress Edi Patterson, to discuss the finale, keeping that reveal secret for so long, and Abbott’s delicious “sugar browns.”
I’m still getting my head around that ridiculous finale. How far in advance did you know you’d be the shooter and how did you react?
I didn’t know that was me until before we started shooting the second season, and I was stoked. [Laughs.] To know I got to do this Fatal Attraction arc was the most exciting thing I’ve ever heard.
I feel like the show did a good job of keeping it under wraps.
I agree, and it’s not an easy thing to keep to yourself. I was not telling people, and it’s quite a trip when almost everyone you know is asking you that question. I feel like people were obsessed with knowing that.
It’s one of those reveals that makes you want to go back and rewatch everything to find any clues. Are you aware of anything that pointed toward Abbott being the attempted murderer?
There’s stuff that when I watch it, I go, “Oh God, are people gonna know from that?” Like in Episode five, Gamby and Nash are measuring the bullet trajectory out in the parking lot, and there’s a point where I’m standing right where the shooter stood. And when I watched that, I’m like “Oh God, everyone’s gonna know!”
There’s also the big clue in episode six where Nash shows up at Gamby’s house and suggests the shooter was someone he was romantically involved with, and you come smashing through the window.
[Laughs.] Yes! That was the other one that I thought made it too obvious… Total hiding in plain sight.
If you had to guess, at what point do you think Mrs. Abbott decided to shoot Gamby back in season one?
First of all, she’s very single, so it’s Miss Abbott. [Laughs.] But I think it was the second Gamby was for sure not gonna keep seeing her even as his side piece. Because I think that she for real loves him. I mean, it’s to an extreme and it’s scary love, but I think that was the moment she realized she couldn’t even halfway have him, so might as well teach him a lesson or off him.
What do you think comes next for her after being driven off in a police car in the finale?
[Laughs.] Well I’m pretty sure you get taken to prison after trying to kill someone or you shoot someone, but I feel like she would be pulling some pretty major Orange Is The New Black shit and figuring out a posse to break out pretty quickly. The coolest would be for her to get into prison and realize she’s pregnant with Gamby’s baby…She’s definitely the kind of chick who would get a dude to marry her while she’s in there.
You have some of the funniest and obviously craziest lines in a show filled with other funny and crazy characters. Did you have a favorite scene to shoot?
Oh man. Not to sound cheesy, but every day was my favorite and more fun than the last. But there was a day that I was laughing so hard while we were filming that the thought ran through my head that I didn’t know if I’d be able to make it through. It’s where I show up to Gale and Ray’s house with the “sugar browns.” And before we started, David Gordon Green came up to me and was like, “What can we call these?” Because in the script it was brownies. And I was like, “I don’t know. Sugar browns?” And that made us all laugh really hard.
What impressions do you think fans will have after the finale?
I think people are mostly going to be so mad it’s over. It wraps up so nicely, in my opinion, but now that it’s had two seasons, people are so attached, especially to those main dudes, which is such a testament to those guys’ writing. I feel like people love Gamby and Russell. They’re such flawed guys, but people are really rooting for them now…People are gonna be sad because they want to watch those guys do more stuff.