‘So Help Me Todd’ Star Inga Schlingmann Breaks Down Susan’s Elopement Cliffhanger

Susan genuinely loves Peter, but who can resist Todd?

Michael Courtney/CBS

Warning: The following contains spoilers from the Season 1 finale of So Help Me Todd, "Are You There Todd? It's Me, Margaret?"

The So Help Me Todd Season 1 finale comes with a lot of ups. Margaret (Marcia Gay Harden) wins a huge case that she couldn't have won without Todd (Skylar Astin) stepping up. After all that overtime, Todd gets his private investigator license back. But when Todd realizes that the first person he wants to tell is Susan (Inga Schlingmann), he discovers that she has jetted off to Las Vegas with Peter (Desmond Chiam). Francey (Rosa Arredondo) warns him to leave Susan alone, but the episode's ending moments leave it unclear what Todd's next move will be.

The Messenger spoke to Inga Schlingmann about Susan and Todd's complicated relationship, and how it might have strengthened her relationship with Peter instead of weakening it. She also weighs in on whether she thinks Susan went through with the wedding or not (she's as in the dark as we are), and explains why the choice isn't as simple as being drawn to Todd versus finding security with Peter. Susan is genuinely torn between both.

On what her previous relationship with Todd means to Susan...

Inga Schlingmann: In your 20s, and actually also probably prior to that, there's just this idea of discovery, like understanding who you are as a person…[Todd] is some guy who helped me love myself. I don't think that Susan would really be in such a great relationship now if it wasn't for that relationship she had in the past. That's what she's clinging to. Todd's fun, and he's smart, and he's charming, so it's easy in that sense.

On whether Susan went through with the wedding to Peter…

Schlingmann: To be honest, I don't know. We're gonna have to see together. It's so complicated because it's so obvious that Peter is such a great guy. It's not like he's this awful person. He's a great guy, and he really loves Susan. I think that Susan really loves Peter. I don't think it's just she's being shallow because he's rich and good-looking. I think they genuinely love each other. It's just that you have this thing in the past, like unfinished business, that makes things so complicated, which is why relationships are so great because they can be very gray sometimes.

On Susan's flip-flop attitude about eloping…

Schlingmann: Susan in general is very methodical, and she likes things being planned out, which is one of the reasons why she's such a good lawyer. ... When you spring something on her, it kind of makes her short-circuit a little bit. It's not that she maybe would not want to. I think [Peter's idea to elope] causes a short circuit. Plus, having an Asian mom, there's the idea of tradition, that it's exactly what she said in [the penultimate] episode, "My mom would literally kill us if we eloped," because she was a part of that process.

On whether Todd getting his license is going to give Susan second thoughts…

Schlingmann: I think there is professional maturity, but there is also emotional maturity. When the two of them are together, I think they emotionally go back to where they previously were. That requires some growth. But of course, when you're seeing the one who got away — even if I was the one who ended it — making steps to the place where you wanted them to go so many years ago, of course it's going to be complicated. It's going to be hard, and I imagine that's going to come up again.

On whether Susan gaslit Todd after that kiss…

Schlingmann: There's the idea of gaslighting Todd, but I think Susan was also gaslighting herself and trying to deny a lot of feelings that she has been feeling. It complicates things and makes her short-circuit.

The Messenger: I feel like she redeemed herself from the gaslighting when she told Peter everything, and told Todd that she told Peter everything.

Schlingmann: I was having a lot of trouble with this! I was like, "Oh my god, I don't want to be a cheater! I don't think Susan would be a cheater!" I don't think that Susan would ever survive in a world where she was constantly looking at Peter's face and lying to him. It was really important to me. I talked to Scott [Pendergast, series creator] about that, and he said, "Don't worry."

On what she wants to see for Susan in Season 2…

Schlingmann: I think a lot of people, myself included, want to see how Susan became the way she is, more of her backstory, her family. Susan alluded in Episode 19 to how she became a lawyer, and it had nothing to do with her parents telling her to do so. That is incredibly important. I want to dive a little bit deeper into the Susan-and-Todd storyline.

I would love for Susan to have some sort of secret talent. Maybe she is a good shapeshifter. Maybe she is great as a spy, or something along those lines where I get to go on more cases as a private investigator. That'd be really fun to do. I'm referencing Episode 3 when [Susan] and Todd went to the jewelry store together. It'd be more fun to do investigative work!

So Help Me Todd returns to CBS for a second season this fall. Season 1 is now available to stream on Paramount+.

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