With a whole season of exorcisms under his belt, Fugit explains his character’s evolved approach to fighting “the merge” in Season 2.

Cinemax: This is a big season for Kyle, as he learns a lot about what the merge is. How do you think his approach to understanding it has evolved since Season 1?

Patrick Fugit: In Season 1, it’s a lot about self-discovery for Kyle, and discovering the rules that govern his power. In Season 2, he starts to see that this ability can be a means to an end for him. He becomes more driven towards process decision-making, rather than emotion-driven decisions. Throughout the first season, we see him making overly-emotional decisions that put him in worse spots. It makes for a good story, but he gets the crap kicked out of him. This season, he gains a bigger picture of the scope of the battlefield. I’m hoping he can get to a point where he’s not just reacting, but dictating his circumstances.

Cinemax: He’s honing his power, understanding how it works more…

Patrick Fugit: …and when he can use it, and when it is more opportune to refrain from using it. He’s starting to learn the differences.

Cinemax: What is Kyle’s understanding of the merge at the start of Season 2?

Patrick Fugit: At the start of Season 2, I think all Kyle really understands is that Sidney has bad intentions. And that there was something Sidney wanted with Amber and Kyle in the basement of the department store at the end of Season 1, for some purpose that Kyle assumes is bad. So through the first bit of the second season, a lot of those episodes are about him trying to dig deeper.

But he’s also juggling trying to be a good father and a good husband, and figuring out how he’s going to fight this battle. He starts to grasp that they are not just going to come and inhabit bodies. These demons are eventually going to change the shape of earth and existence as we know it. There will be some sort of rupture where all hell breaks loose.

I think that’s pretty much what Kyle understands at this point. It’s also further along than he had hoped, which is bad news because these “things” made some progress while he’s been living his life.

Cinemax: Does Kyle think the merge can be stopped?

Patrick Fugit: I think initially he did, once he learned about what it is. When he sees the basement where Sidney and Kat got together in the end of the first season, [he understands] that’s a horrible place and these people are losing their lives to these demons.

He does feel like he can stop it, but the more he gets into it, the more he realizes it’s bigger than he initially understood. And he starts to be more selective about when to use his abilities.

Cinemax: Why won’t Kyle give up?

Patrick Fugit: He’s stubborn. When you present Kyle with the option of fight or flight, he chooses fight. And the reasons he’s fighting are to take revenge or gain back some of the lost childhood that was taken from him by these demons. So part of it is fueled by hatred, and the lighter side is that he’s fighting to be better for his family. All he wants is to have a happy family that lives in a rural house, has a cow… But we’re not making that show. That would be too easy.