‘Fire Country’ Boss Answers Burning Finale Questions & Teases Season 3


Bode (Max Thieriot), after walking out of Gabriela’s (Stephanie Arcila) wedding to Diego (Rafael de la Fuente), turns to his uncle, Luke (Michael Trucco), in hopes he can pull strings to get him back to firefighting ASAP. Manny (Kevin Alejandro), with a warrant out for his arrest, evades the law long enough to walk Gabriela down the aisle before surrendering to them. Eve (Jules Latimer), who has been crushing it as Three Rock captain lately, gets a job offer to oversee the whole program but turns it down. And Bode and Jake’s (Jordan Calloway) high school classmate, Rick (Adam Aalderks), returns to Edgewater and reveals he might be Genevieve’s biological father.

Below, executive producer Tia Napolitano breaks down the finale and shares a bit of what’s ahead in Season 3.

Bode’s free! Talk about having him come home and be home in the finale. When did you know you wanted to end the season like that versus having that be finale ending?

Tia Napolitano: The original pitch was that it was the finale ending. That was our first instinct. I think my favorite way to end a season—and we try to do it—is to give you the finale in the penultimate episode and then have you go, wait, there’s more, which is how this one shook out as [Episode] 9 feels like a finale. And then you get all of this emotional fallout and character-driven stuff in the finale and you get to eat your cake and actually see Bode be at Smokey’s, be in his parents’ house, walk out. It just felt like, why not? Let’s just do it.

Bode goes to Luke and asks him to pull strings so he can be a firefighter again. He says it’s the first healthy addiction he’s had in his life, but is it healthy for him to look at it like that and be so determined to get back to it in this way?

Yeah, it’s healthy according to Bode, not according to the dictionary. I think we’re going to toy a lot with that next season, of him walking the line of what’s dangerous and what isn’t, what’s addiction and what isn’t. Are all firefighters adrenaline junkies? Does it run in the family? Is it unique to Bode? What does freedom look like to him? We’ll really question it every step of the way as he fights to become a firefighter.

And talk about having him go to Luke, considering Luke is the one who recommended that Three Rock be shut down. There have been issues with Luke in the past. It’s not like this is the fun uncle everyone loves.

When we first meet Luke and he goes to visit Bode at Three Rock, it’s clear they have a close relationship. I think Luke doesn’t have a squeaky clean record as a human being in this family, neither does Bode, but I think they always see the good in each other. I think Bode has a unique perspective on Luke where they kind of get one another and so he’s asking for help from someone who he thinks is more willing to maybe bend a rule or look the other way, but also for the right reasons.

Then there’s the wedding. What can you say about how Gabriela is feeling standing there, seeing Bode, then seeing he’s gone?

She is trying so hard to listen to her head over her heart. And she sees him—who looks into the crowd like that on their wedding day? You are sort of laser-focused on your future permanent partner, and she looks over and sees him, wills herself to look back at Diego and then decides to turn and look back. I think she’s hoping to meet his eyes in a way that he’s going to stand up for her and stop that wedding. I really do. And then he’s gone, which sort of leads her to believe, I would think, that’s right. That’s Bode. He does things on a whim. He makes decisions for me. He’s not reliable. Diego is, I’m making the right choice.

Yes, because what she says about Bode is the guy who kisses you and Diego is the one who offers a life. But what can you say about the rest of that ceremony and Gabriela’s marital status going forward?

We will deliver all the answers in the Season 3 premiere.

And you did have Manny attend. He walked Gabriela down the aisle like he wanted. And Mickey had said he wasn’t technically evading the law. Does that mean there won’t be consequences for the fact that he didn’t surrender until that point?

So that’s the idea, that Manny is someone who understands the justice system, knows that he’s not technically breaking the law just by avoiding getting picked up randomly. He’s doing that purely technically by the book to walk her down the aisle. He understands exactly what he’s doing and that it won’t bring further consequences on him any worse than the trouble he’s already in.

So how serious is the situation he’s in? Should we be thinking that this will lead him being back at Three Rock as an inmate?

We’re going to explore that and live with him. His future isn’t absolutely decided yet, and we’ll live in that anxiety with him as he finds out his fate. Three Rock’s not off the table, prison’s not off the table, freedom’s not off the table. We really won’t know how it’s going to go until we know.

After you left Vince (Billy Burke) and Sharon (Diane Farr), in quite the painful place last finale, what did you want to do with them this season from their communication problems, the Liam (Jason O’Mara) of it and not telling each other everything leading up to the finale where, even though she’s mad that he didn’t tell about his health, there’s an understanding there?

Yes, there is an understanding there. I really want to get back to, Bode’s out and I think that a lot of things into perspective and I want to see them as this strong and happy couple they were—though Riley was dead and Bode was missing—in the pilot. They still were so obviously strong, they still had weathered this storm, and they were solid. And I think that’s the Leones that I want to live with at least for a little while in Season 3, so that you want to hang out with them in their living room. Bode gets to be there now. There’s so much to be grateful for that I think that really puts any past secrets in perspective,

That also shakes things up because each of their relationships with Bode is so different and it’s shifted so much season to season, but it’s completely different now that he’s out.

Yeah, what’s it going to be like? The last time he was out and in their house, he was many, many years younger. He’s a 30-year-old man. I think realizing the person they’re parenting isn’t a teenager, isn’t an inmate, he’s a 30-year-old citizen of the world, will be an adjustment for the Leones.

Vince seems to be somewhat optimistic about his health. Realistically, can he fight fires again the same way based on the procedure he had?

Yeah, it’s a real condition that happens to firefighters. The procedure is real and curative. So the intention is that he’s moving on with his life as much as Sharon did after her transplant surgery.

Gen’s biological father may have just been revealed. What can you say about Rick and what excited you about bringing that character in for what it means, not just for Gen, but also for Bode and Jake?

Poor Genevieve. We will get to know Rick a lot more, and he will surprise us. We’re going to break Jake’s heart. I mean, it’s breaking in that finale when he looks over and realizes her world’s about to get even more complicated. This poor kid is on a roller coaster. Bode will have feelings. I think our people will surround the problem and deal with it as a group and with love as best they can.


Is Rick definitely her father?

We’ll find out.

Jake’s been struggling with the risks of his job since Cara’s death when it comes to Gen and now he’s considering stepping into an inspector role. How seriously is he thinking about that and how is Rick coming in affecting that decision?

Rick coming in affects that decision greatly. I think Jake is very serious about it, but if Gen isn’t a permanent fixture full-time in Jake’s life, does Jake continue to go that inspector route? Does he lean in even more to the heroics? We’ve known him to be the guy who doesn’t blink in the face of a scary fire. We’ll explore all of that.

It makes me think he’d be more likely to run and grab the explosives like Manny did.


Sharon’s taking back the division chief position. Talk about having her be in the action more in Season 2 and then make that decision that’s best for the department.

Yeah, it was fun having her hold the hose, seeing her joy on that campaign fire. But I think at her core, Sharon loves power and it’s such a sign of her emotional and mental health that she’s ready to take her power back and she’s such a force for good. What she can do with that title in her hands is very exciting. We’ll still get her on calls. She’s just running them. She’s running the big calls like she did in Season 1, but I think it’ll feel like order is restored in Edgewater now that Sharon’s back in power.

It seems like Luke is in a position where he could make another decision that affects everyone in some way. Should we be worried about what he’s going to do next, especially how he might use Bode for it?

I think that’s the question, is with Bode out and that generation—Luke, Sharon, Vince—all having some power and a vested interest in Bode and now Bode has agency, he can participate so much more in this outcome. I think it’ll be surprising who falls on the side of, let’s pull strings, let’s help him, and who believes that Bode should earn this on his own. What does Luke do with what little or great power he has left? What’s running the clock on that? How can we continue to surprise the audience about how this messy family interacts with one another?

Eve turns down the job offer, but could we see her taking on more responsibility going forward? Cole (Tye White) points out what makes her a good captain for this program and she has really settled into that role.

Yeah, she really has. We’re going to see her invest deeply in Three Rock, get to know more inmates in ways that’ll tell us about her own backstory and we’ll see her grow even more. She’s not going to become complacent, that’s for sure. And I think Bode can’t keep his eye off Three Rock. Even in the finale he’s saying, well, what about that fire? So I think he’s still checking in on the guys and asking questions and has his own theories even though he doesn’t work there anymore.

When did you know this was how you’d be bringing back Freddy (W. Tre Davis)?

I think it was in crafting the finale when we realized Bode would be out for the whole finale. You start making wishlists, what do you want to see? What would feel really great? And what felt really great was when Freddy gets out at the end of Season 1, it’s bittersweet. He says, “They got Bode,” and it’s like, let’s have these two dudes have the joy together. It felt so right and like the icing on the cake.

Is everyone coming back for Season 3?

Yeah, everyone’s coming back for season three.

Will we see Freddy again?

I hope so. I hope so. We’re just in the early stages of the writers’ room, but I am just so curious about more and more of his happy ending. How’s that food truck doing?

What else can you say about Season 3? Are you looking at a theme of any kind yet that you can share?

Really with Bode out, it’s dialing up the joy and the fun and the levity. It’s living a lot in what a 30-year-old person who isn’t incarcerated is able to do. It’s going to feel like a lot of wish fulfillment and we’ll complicate it, but it’s something we wanted since the pilot, so the audience is really going to get to enjoy it.

Could we see Liam again?

Good question. I don’t know. I’m not sure at this point. I would love to. Jason O’Mara is so wonderful, and I think that character really made a splash and he’s such a complication for Vince and Sharon. It’s definitely a possibility.

That’s what I like about the show that I think we really saw this season was the different pairings.

Yeah, and we’re definitely planning that for next season. Let’s mix it up. Let’s have different people play together in ways that surprise you.

Anything else you can say about Bode and Gabriela next season?

Regardless of whether they’re together or not, their chemistry, their bond, the way they keep being magnetically drawn to one another is not going to go away.

Can you say anything about how much Diego we’re going to get?

Well, we’re going to see how that wedding ends, so we’ll see that much Diego and then after that, who knows.

So with the shortened season, was there anything you really wanted to do but couldn’t get to and can’t include in the future because of where Season 2 left any of the characters?

That’s a good question. I think we did it all. Instead of stringing a story out over 20 or 22 episodes, we just jam-packed those 10 episodes where so much happened every episode. We even met Gabriela’s mom (Paola Núñez). We just did big things every week.

Were there any conversations about bringing Gabriela’s mom back for the wedding? Or would there have been too much drama because of everything else?

We didn’t want to pull the focus away from the love triangle and Manny, and we had so much red meat already, but that doesn’t mean she might not come back in Season 3.

What did you enjoy the most that you got to do this season?

The wedding. I love a wedding. I got to pick wedding dresses. Steph was saying it was as if it was her own wedding, the amount of prepping and glam and skincare and all that fun stuff. But I love a wedding.

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