Will there be a chance for a reconciliation in Wednesday’s (April 17) hour-long season finale? Yes and no, series creator Emily Kapnek tells Zap2it. We talked about their relationship, a certain spoiler in promos for the finale and Dalia’s (Carly Chaikin) strange recent behavior, among other things.
Zap2it: What can you tell people about where Ryan and Tessa leave things in the finale?
Emily Kapnek: I think there’s a lot of chemistry between them, and that’s one of the things you don’t really shake. Sometimes it’s easier to leave when you’re in an argument or in a fight, and I think in their case that’s what’s going on. I don’t think their relationship is necessarily dead and buried — they have a lot of feelings for each other. But given that he’s going away and Tessa knew that was the right thing to have happen, sometimes it’s just easier to walk away when you’re in that bad place. It’s harder to leave when there’s all that good stuff happening, so I think they’re kind of clinging to that.
But I think the door is left a crack open for them, which is good news. And best-case scenario, the first holiday brings him back to Chatswin, and who knows? Maybe there’s another version of things not working out for him in Florida.
How did you and your writers decide to make those two a couple?
I really think it’s the chemistry between them. Before we decided to get them back together, we had him always a little fixated on Tessa, and he would just occasionally say he wanted her back. He was so sweet and endearing whenever he played that, you just sort of got the feeling that, “Man, he’s so adorable.” Everything is right on the surface with his character, and you could imagine it would be endearing. Ultimately, we’ve had so many episodes that examine why they’re not right — and I think Tessa knows all the problems — but they’re just kind of drawn to each other. They’re just a couple that has chemistry, and those two actors have chemistry.
Can we talk a little about Dalia’s …
That’s a good word for what she’s shown in the past couple episodes.
Yeah. I think we always sort of had this intention that Dalia would have this dark side that got revealed. She’s had a really tumultuous year — there’s been a lot going on that she’s had to process, with her dad moving on, dealing with the George (Jeremy Sisto) and Dallas (Cheryl Hines) [relationship] and obviously now this little piece of back story about her history with Jenna. I do think we have a sort of two-dimensional understanding of who Dalia is, and getting these little glimpses of things that have hurt her and actually finding out she does have emotions and how things have affected her just makes her that much more complex and interesting, and I think it gets to a really cool place in the finale.
You kind of had the understanding that yes, a lot of the stuff she does is manipulation. She plays people against each other and people who have hurt her, she seeks revenge. But I think George has made a meaningful impact in her life, and even though at one time she probably saw him as a way of manipulating her father and hurting her father, who hurt her, I think her attachment to [George] is real, and her relationship with him and her interest in wanting to be close to him, is real. With all the dramatics aside, I think that’s a very relatable part of having parents who are divorced and start dating and forming these attachments with people who may not be in your life forever.
ABC sort of spoiled Malin Akerman‘s return as Tessa’s mom in promos for the finale, didn’t they?
You don’t sound thrilled.
No, they asked. I’m not sure which part they were going to show. [We tell her it’s a scene of Tessa and Alex meeting at a train station.] It would have better if they hadn’t shown that, but look, at this point we’re trying to use anything that draws interest and attention to bring people to the show. And I’ve always been the worst — I’m the most loose-lipped, I spoil everything. Every interview I have, I hang up and call [the show’s publicist] back and I’m like, “I think I might have said too much.” … And I do believe that getting the word out there hopefully just creates excitement, and people want to see it play out. I don’t mind reading spoilers — it makes me want to see something more. Hopefully that will work to our advantage with fans of Malin Akerman’s.
Parker Young is in a pilot for next season. How will you handle that if his show gets picked up?
I think the intention is to do something similar to how much we used him in Season 2. We would commit to him for a certain number of episodes. I think he’s hugely talented and an important member of the Shay family, obviously. We just adore him. One of the downfalls of having this huge, great cast is we have tons of regulars and it gets really expensive to make regular deals with every actor. But we definitely committed to a huge number of episodes with him this season, and we would do the same thing if his show doesn’t go forward. I told him that. He loves the show and we love having him. And in a worst-case scenario — or best-case scenario for him — if he finds himself with another show on the air, hopefully we’ll still get him to guest.
Malin Akerman is in a similar situation. Do you have contingency plans for her?
There are a lot of factors that could potentially complicate Malin’s future with the show, one of which is she’s just about to give birth to a baby. [Between our interview with Kapnek and the time of this post, Akerman did in fact have her baby.] Her having a show that’s in contention … coupled with her being a new mom could complicate things for her getting back on our show. But we do have some stuff we talked about, and we knew this and vetted all these ideas before we wrote the finale. We’re prepared for a couple of different scenarios, and even if we just had a little bit of access to her and could do a couple of story lines to explore a little bit of that co-parenting area, I would love that.
How are you feeling about your chances to return next season?
Hopeful. It’s always hard to say, and it’s such a — I’m really superstitious about it. I never count chickens. But I’m hopeful. I’m really proud of the show and I think our cast is fantastic. … I’m hopeful ABC will stick with us and let us keep telling these stories. But it’s been a crazy year from a scheduling standpoint, and I think the show got dinged up a little in the process of being moved around and premiering late and all the stuff everyone has clocked. But we’ve had an enormous amount of support creatively from ABC, and I know they like the show, so
The Season 2 finale of “Suburgatory” airs at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday on ABC. Check back with Zap2it after it airs for more from Kapnek and our thoughts on the episodes.