“The Buccaneers” actresses Josie Totah and Mia Threapleton hope a happy storyline will continue to unfold for their queer characters in the Apple TV+ period drama.
The show, based on the unfinished and final novel of Pultizer-Prize-winning author Edith Wharton, was speedily renewed for a second season not even a week after the finale of Season 1 hit the streamer on Dec. 13. The finale, titled “Wedding of the Season,” contains many loose ends for certain characters and their various love stories. Honoria Marable (Mia Threapleton) and Mabel Elmsworth (Josie Totah), though, seem resolute in their commitment to each other, despite the disapproval of their queer love.
“I think there is hope for them. Our story is one of my favorites because it does have a lot more joy in it than some of the other ones and there’s a lot that comes with the ending as well that they’ll have to deal with in season two, but I’m excited about it,” Totah told TheWrap before news of the renewal landed.
The two experience a push-and-pull dynamic from the earlier episodes into the final few, with Mabel slowly revealing her nature to Honoria and Honoria catching on and flirting back with Mabel.
“Much the same as Josie, I just want them to be happy,” Threapleton said in the same interview. “Any potential future storyline I want it to be one of love and care, and them just being able to be their truest selves. Particularly for Honoria, she hasn’t let herself be like that. It was a lot for her as a character to realize, ‘Oh my gosh, this is who I am.’ [I’m] wishing joy and happiness for them.”
The love affair between Mabel and Honoria was an addition to the plot by showrunner Katherine Jakeways.
“It was not in the book. It’s one of the elements that Katherine Jakeways, our creator, was excited about putting into the series, which I think was really cool,” Totah said. “It felt like Mabel was, as the Gen Z kids say, queer-coded in the book because she was a bit of a wild card and had got[ten] into this relationship with Miles Dawnley (Shobhit Piasa) that wasn’t 100% true or accurate or authentic. It was a great add, and, of course, queer people exist now and they did then, so I’m glad that we got to show them in the show.”
Mabel almost marries Miles in the series, but his suggestion that they bear children sets her on edge. A heartwarming conversation with her older sister Lizzy about the nature of romance reaffirms her love for Honoria and her want to pursue a relationship with her.
“I hadn’t really seen a character like that written in a period drama. We had had many conversations with the writers and with our director, who directed the first few episodes, and our producers about what the trajectory was,” Totah added. “I think knowing that was helpful so that we could play into it, even in the smallest of moments, in a way that felt organic and that was building to there naturally.”