[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 1, Episode 4 of The Time Traveler’s Wife.]
In the latest chapter of HBO‘s adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife, things are getting wacky for Clare’s (Rose Leslie) friends Gomez (Desmin Borges) and Charisse (Natasha Lopez) when she invites her time-traversing love, Henry (Theo James), to dinner.
Along with being Clare’s closest confidantes, Gomez and Charisse play a more significant role in her life than just friends as the series explores a deeper connection between her and each of these individuals. In the two years since Clare last saw Henry in the meadow on her 18th birthday, she dipped her toes in other pools, as the episode reveals intimate moments she shared with Gomez and Charisse.
It’s an intriguing layer to explore considering Gomez and Charisse’s own relationship as a committed couple and their view of Clare’s mysterious lover who brings some chaos to their loft. “I was really looking forward to exploring the minutiae between Gomez and Clare because I think they’re both aware of what’s bubbling underneath,” Borges says, hinting at Gomez’s unrequited feelings for Clare.
(Credit: Barbara Nitke/HBO)
Sure, he loves Charisse, but his hostility towards Henry is immediate upon his arrival, even before a few other unexpected guests arrive. “[Gomez is] still persistently trying to get there on the undercover even though it’s totally well out in the open and well known between everybody,” Borges adds, noting that despite his character’s best efforts, everyone can tell how he feels about Clare.
What ensues is a night of food saved from the near point of no return, loose-cannon girlfriends, and multiple Henrys. “I’m so grateful that David [Nutter] really prioritized rehearsal because [by the different Henrys],” Lopez says. “Gui [Agustini] who plays the other Henry looks so much like Theo that I was just confused from rehearsal to action,” she adds.
When an older Henry is pushed through time to this particular date, he runs to Clare’s loft seeking shelter and clothing. Needless to say, the 28-year-old version of him isn’t too pleased to be diving into the deep end of honesty with Clare’s friends on their first meeting. And when Henry’s current on-again-off-again girlfriend Ingrid (Chelsea Frei) shows up at the door, it makes for an eclectic mix that would make any semi-sane person’s head spin.
“It was an incredibly awesome and fun thing to shoot but also very exhausting and difficult because we did that for about eight or nine days,” Lopez reveals. “One day Henry would be one age and the other day he would be another age so you have to kind of jump back and forth. There was a lot of work put into that.”
As for Borges, he enjoyed the experience saying, “We really got to build an amazing foundation and rapport of getting our timing together. I felt like that was necessary in order for the rest of the scenes after that to take on their own dynamic because we know what we’re like when we’re together,” the actor notes.
During their wild dinner, older Henry tries his best to warm younger Henry and Gomez to one another, advising that they’ll be best friends in the future after Clare and Henry reveal his time-traveling ability to the whole loft. And as the Henrys play off of each other, it’s the individuals around them that are flung like tennis balls between the two rackets.
“You’re shooting Theo at 42 and all of you together and then the next day it’s the same way but Theo at 28 and all of you together and so you get this amazing opportunity, to have more ideas and come back to the table and try them out,” Borges remarks. As peculiar as Henry’s predicament is, it certainly gives viewers the option to see a wider range of scenarios play out. If anything, this episode explores the boundaries that can be pushed by his power.
“You get to exhaust every avenue so that by the end they just have a cacophony of options to choose from, and splice together in a frenetic style,” Borges says. “It was amazing and tough and challenging and probably the best way we could have started shooting the series.”
Look forward to more of Gomez and Charisse as The Time Traveler’s Wife continues on HBO.
The Time Traveler’s Wife, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO