[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 2, Episodes 1-6 of Hacks.]
Hacks is back in all its hilarious glory for Season 2 and one of its best onscreen dynamics is between agent Jimmy (series co-creator Paul W. Downs) and his feisty assistant Kayla (Meg Stalter).
After Kayla began blurring lines in their work relationship in Season 1, this latest chapter of their story has focused on setting boundaries after a meeting with HR provides Jimmy with temporary relief from the hell he’s been living in. Ultimately, his big mouth gets him in trouble and he’s forced to take Kayla back as his assistant in order to salvage his career.
The question of whether these individuals operating on very different paths can get along will remain to be seen, but in the latest installments, the duo began to find some common ground. After faking anger issues in order to get Kayla removed from his desk, Jimmy is forced to take her back after he asks his boss (and Kayla’s father) for a favor.
Could the arrangement inspire some extra motivation on Kayla’s end? “I really feel she sees them as equals,” Stalter says of Kayla’s view on her relationship with Jimmy. “She sees them as friends who almost hooked up.” And so, when the pair do wind up in HR, Kayla’s biggest fear, according to Stalter is “not being able to be near [Jimmy].”
Now that the situation has been solved, sort of, the coworkers are connecting on a deeper level as Jimmy settles into a mentor-like role from his perspective. But don’t expect a lot of self-improvement on Kayla’s part. “Her love for Jimmy and wanting to be best buddies is so powerful, but I think she’s so sloppy, that it’s one step forward, two steps back with her,” Downs says of Kayla’s self-destructive workplace presence.
“She does make some good moves, but she also is inappropriate. She is true to herself to a fault. In that way, she’s very much like Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) and like Ava (Hannah Einbinder), who speak their mind, regardless of the consequences,” Downs adds.
In the show’s most recent batch of episodes, Jimmy decided to give Kayla the benefit of the doubt by allowing her to do some coverage on a couple of scripts he’s been assigned. The task seems a bit above her head as she begins googling “what is coverage, script?”
This lack of knowledge and Deborah’s decision to make her evolving act a stand-up special could make for some silly times ahead between Jimmy and Kayla, according to Downs and Stalter. “Let’s just say it’s Jimmy and Kayla’s best episodes of the series so far,” Downs promises of what’s to come. “I am really excited for people to see what happens with them because it’s a wild ride.”
Stalter echoes his sentiment, adding, “when I got the script, I was laughing and crying out loud. It’s really incredible. It was some of the most fun stuff I’ve ever gotten to film.” Consider us eager for more. Until then relive all of Jimmy and Kayla’s hilarious moments so far in Hacks on HBO Max.
Hacks, Season 2, New Episodes, Thursdays, HBO Max