After What Happened In Season 3, Good Girls Has A New Mission: Growth

Photo: Chris Haston/NBC/Getty Images.
Fans might have been disappointed when Good Girls season 3 ended five episodes early, but on the flip side, this means that season 4 of Good Girls will pick up without a time jump and with a lot of answers, especially about a new adversary, Beth’s (Christina Hendricks) latest criminal venture, Ruby (Retta), and Rio (Manny Montana), who is still at odds with Beth (still alive, despite some efforts to the contrary).
Now that we’re four seasons in, Beth, Ruby, and Annie (Mae Whitman) are far from unfamiliar with the world of crime. But this time, they’ll be teaming up with new allies, facing new threats, and even leaning into new versions of themselves. Here’s everything you need to remember before the season 4 premiere — and what you can expect this season, according to the minds behind Good Girls.

The Good Girls are facing a new villain

In the last few moments of the season 3 finale, Phoebe (Lauren Lapkus) finally gets her opening and seems well on her way to infiltrate the trio. She’s possibly the group’s smartest opponent yet, but her own hang-ups could get in the way of her plans to take them down.
“She has a lot of, as we all do, deep-seated issues from her adolescence that maybe she hasn’t really dealt with until now. And I think meeting Beth and the women sort of brings all of that up in a really sort of interesting, psychological way,” creator Jenna Bans tells Refinery29. “She definitely becomes sort of obsessed with them and obsessed with their idea of friendship, which is something she never had. And I think that will be a weakness for her going forward.” Game on.

Beth is leaning into her new operation… and a new alliance with Rio

Photo: Jordin Althaus/NBC/Getty Images.
Manny Montana as Rio
At the end of season 3, Beth and her husband Dean (Matthew Lillard) buy his spa business to use as a money laundering front. But Rio is still in the picture, and in the season 3 finale, he hints that she won’t be in control until he’s dead. These two are still on rocky terms, but according to Bans, their dynamic will take a turn when they’re pushed to join forces. “We will see them working together more. That doesn’t mean it will be completely harmonious,” she says. “There will be a big complication thrown in the mix when we meet someone who may make the audience realize that Rio’s criminal enterprise doesn’t begin and end with just Rio.”
Fans have also clamoured for more of Rio’s backstory since his introduction in season 1, and the Good Girls bosses say we’ll finally get his origin story, including flashbacks from his childhood. “We see why he behaves the way he does and how he’s been able to kind of tread through this criminal world sort of in a frictionless way for so many years,” executive producer Bill Krebs tells Refinery29.
And as for Beth? For a while now, she’s been well on her way to becoming a criminal mastermind. This season, her lifestyle “becomes sort of a necessity,” Bans says. “It’s part of who she is.”

Ruby and Stan are staying together

Photo: Jordin Althaus/NBC/Getty Images.
Retta as Ruby Hill, Reno Wilson as Stan
Organized crime can take its toll on even the most stable couples. At the end of season 3, Ruby’s marriage takes another hit when she steals from her husband Stan’s (Reno Wilson) strip club, but thankfully, their relationship perseveres. “I don't know where we're going. I just want to go there together,” Stan says.
As sweet as the moment is, it seems unlikely that there won’t be other obstacles ahead. But those problems probably won’t be dealbreakers: Bans says she doesn’t view Stan and Ruby as a couple that will break up. In fact, heading into season 4, their relationship is stronger than ever. “Stan before, the first couple seasons, was a little judgy of Ruby’s choices. He was a cop, and he always wanted to be a cop growing up, and Ruby sort of getting into crime was something he couldn’t really wrap his brain around,” she explains. “This season, as he sort of descends into more of a grey palette morally, he really understands his wife a little bit more.”
As Krebs puts it, the lies and deception put Stan and Ruby at odds. But now that they have some moral ambiguity in common, they’re actually more stable, which means Ruby will face some different issues this spring. “She’s sort of torn between friendship and family throughout the season,” says Krebs. “She has to figure out which is more important to her — and is Beth just a friend, or is Beth actually family?”

Annie’s on the path to growth without a boyfriend

When it comes to love, Annie doesn’t always make the healthiest choices: so far, she’s fallen for an undercover FBI agent (Sam Huntington), her married ex-husband (Zach Gilford), and her therapist (Rob Heaps). But this season, she’s finally making some changes. “I think for the first time, Annie sort of realizes she doesn’t necessarily need a man or a boyfriend to be happy and to be a whole person,” Bans says, adding that she’s making some strides “personally, professionally.” For example, she’s getting her GED.
“She starts to self-actualize and kind of go in a different direction, to kind of grow up this season in a way that she never had a chance to before,” Krebs adds.
At the start of Good Girls, our heroines were living double lives, but their criminal enterprises have gotten more tangled and messy with each season. This spring, Bans says viewers can expect a lot of fun moments between unlikely pairings, including Stan and Dean, Stan and Beth, and Beth and Annie’s son Ben (Isaiah Stannard). “We haven’t done a lot of Stan and Rio yet, but never say never,” Bans says.

More from TV