“Gang Related” left fans with a jaw-dropping event in its penultimate episode when Jessica Chapel (Shantel VanSanten), daughter to Sam Chapel (Terry O’Quinn) and girlfriend to Ryan Lopez (Ramon Rodriguez), was brutally murdered as retribution for Sam and Ryan’s law enforcement work against the gangs of Los Angeles.
Executive producer Scott Rosenbaum previews for Zap2it that Jessica’s murder takes center in the stage in the season finale, and it won’t be left as a cliffhanger.
“The episode is about finding who killed Jessica,” says Rosenbaum. “What they
discover is that the Metas, who they believe were responsible for it,
are down in Mexico and are in hiding. Because they don’t have any proof,
there’s no way to extradite them and even if they were to try to
extradite them, it could take months and months and any chance of
finding them again could be lost. So what Chapel decides to do is go
down to Mexico and arrest the men himself. … Not only will the audience find out, but Ryan will find out who did it, 100 percent.”
In order to uncover the truth, Chapel and Lopez are headed for Mexico, on a manhunt for Matias and the Metas, and both of them are going to stop at nothing to bring Jessica’s killer to justice.
“It’s probably a little bit worse for Chapel right now because it’s his daughter, but I think Ryan was in love with her,” says Rosenbaum. “And he also feels that although it’s not his fault necessarily, the fact that he and Chapel were going after the Metas, there’s that regret of ‘Is she dead because of something we did?’
“They still would have been good cops regardless of what the risks were, but when you see something that horrible happen as retribution, it can make you question everything — what you’re doing, why you’re doing it. You’re trying to work for the greater good, but when you lose something personal like that, it might make you question that. But for two characters who have clearly showed that they are capable of losing control in certain moments, I think both of them at this point are right on the ledge of completely breaking the law in order to find justice for her.”
Rosenbaum adds, “They will go down and they will uncover the person that killed Jessica and Ryan will enact revenge on that person.”
Jessica’s murder isn’t the only storyline of the finale. Rosenbaum also previews what Ryan’s friend Daniel Acosta (Jay Hernandez) is up to regarding Los Angelicos patriarch Javier Acosta (Cliff Curtis).
“The big thing for Daniel right now is he’s moving up the wedding because he needs to get the furlough for his father, for Javier to get out there and talk to the head of the Lords,” says Rosenbaum. “Things have been a little rocky for him and Sylvia because she really did not think the gang life would merge into her life as much as it did. Daniel really was going to be a banker and be part of another life and he truly felt that way as well.
“Not only that, but he’s still sort of suffering from PTSD from what happened in the Meta torture house. For me, it’s the kind of thing where he’s gotta try to repair that side of his life, his impending marriage, but also try to help out the family as much as possible. Clearly there’s conflict between what he feels he needs to do and what Sylvia expects of him as her husband.”
The “Gang Related” Season 1 finale, “Malandros,” airs Thursday (Aug. 14) at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.