How CBS' Mom Addressed Anna Faris' Exit in the Season 8 Premiere
Anna Faris announced in September that she would not return to Mom for the sitcom's eighth season
This post contains spoilers from the season 8 premiere of Mom.
Thursday's episode opened with a scene starring Bonnie (Allison Janney) and her husband Adam (William Fichtner). The pair was in the car heading back from the airport, where they had dropped Christy off to fly to the East Coast for law school.
“How you doing over there?” Adam asked, to which Bonnie replied, “I’m good, really good. Is it weird that I’m good?”
“Every mom dreams of the day when they drop their 42-year-old daughter off at the airport to go to school,” she joked, before reflecting on how she raised Christy “all by myself.”
“I mean, I wasn’t there the whole time, but I was definitely there for the beginning,” she said. “In and out during the middle, and rock solid from age 37 on — you know, the formative years.”
She then revealed that Christy was going to Georgetown Law School "on a full scholarship."
"A lot of parents would be a puddle of tears, but you know what I think of them? Selfish. Not me — cause I'm focusing on what she's going to get, not what I'm going to lose, which is the most beautiful little girl a mother could have," she continued, before beginning to sob.
Later in the episode, Bonnie again referenced Christy's departure during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
"It's been a month since Adam and I became empty nesters and we are loving it — we learn something new about each other every day and we learn a lot about Christy, too," she told the group. "Apparently she was the one vacuuming the living room. And another thing we learned about her — she doesn't understand time zones. She's smart enough to get a scholarship to law school but she can't grasp the fact that her 7 a.m. is my 4 a.m."
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Gemma Baker teased that Christy would "live on" despite Faris' departure from the show.
"Although our show has killed characters off in the past, we never considered this as an option for Christy," she said. "Our audience has been rooting for her for seven seasons and that loss felt like it would be too devastating for them and for our other characters. It was important to us that Christy moved on to bigger things."
"Quite often when people are in recovery their lives get bigger in ways they couldn't before have imagined. And so that will be the case for Christy," Baker continued. "She has been working toward her dreams for a while now and we feel like the audience will be happy for her. The character of Christy will live on and we will continue to get updates on what she is up to and how her moving on will affect Bonnie."
Faris, 43, announced in September that she would not be returning to Mom after starring as one of the main characters for seven seasons.
"The past seven years on Mom have been some of the most fulfilling and rewarding of my career. I'm so thankful to Chuck, the writers, and my amazing castmates for creating a truly wonderful work experience," she said in a statement. "While my journey as Christy has come to an end, allowing me to pursue new opportunities, I'll be watching next season and rooting for my TV family."
A source close to the show told PEOPLE at the time that the star's decision to leave the hit sitcom came as a shock to her Mom family.
"It was a surprise to hear that Anna was leaving," the source said. "None of us are happy about that."
"It's a huge loss for the show to not have Anna because she was part of creating a character, Christy, that everyone fell in love with, who was so lovable and warm and gullible and funny and we will miss her so much," she said.
"I think I'll miss the most, for me, the relationship between Bonnie and Christy, even though that will still continue," she added. "But she won't be present. That's what I'll miss."
Mom airs Thursdays (9 p.m. ET) on CBS.