Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched the season finale of Fire Country.
How will Fire Country get out of this one?
The CBS procedural ended its freshman season Friday on quite a predicament, with Bode Donovan (Max Thieriot) being put back in prison after his drug test came back positive, even though he’s been clean. With uncertainty looming over how he’ll make his way back to the fire crew, if he does, there are certainly legal ramifications for how he’ll attempt to rectify his situation.
Meanwhile, Bode’s mother and fire chief Sharon Leale (Diane Farr), who has stage 5 chronic kidney disease, nearly died after collapsing at a mudslide emergency the team was responding to. In need of a kidney donor, the only person who matched is none other than Vince’s brother, Luke (Michael Trucco), making for a very interesting journey forward for the trio. It also adds to the growing tension between Sharon and Vince (Billy Burke), who don’t exactly end on great terms by the time the finale ends.
ET spoke with Farr about the freshman season, the biggest cliffhangers from the finale and how it will impact season 2.
ET: All the characters on Fire Country went through quite a roller-coaster ride this season. What are your thoughts on Sharon’s journey this season?
Diane Farr: Sharon is fun because Sharon’s allowed to be angry, and I feel like we don’t often let our women be angry on TV as if that’s unattractive. So she gets to be this whole person, but she’s also terribly codependent. As much as she acts like she’s right about everything, she’s also really over the line in her kids’ business and in her husband’s business. The wildest thing to me was Tia Napolitano, our showrunner, came to me months ago and said, “It may look like you die at the end of season 1.” The finale we ended up with is different than where it was originally going, so I was quite relieved.
My kids kept saying, “How are you going to pay for private school if they kill you on Fire Country?” which felt like the tip of the iceberg. I really felt like it was going to be a whole summer of me trying to pretend whether or not I’m dead or not. So the end of the story ends up clearing up whether or not Sharon has betrayed Vince, but it opens the door for this little triangle of what happens to a woman when she spends all of her time trying to take care of other people, and then suddenly somebody’s paying attention to her. So I think it would be a really fun journey for season 2 to watch her wrestle how to get in her own lane taking care of others.
Vince and Sharon were not on the same page and a bit on the outs by the end of the season. Can you speak to where you see that going and how they possibly resolve that?
Foreboding, right? Billy and I really enjoy it — as two people who are divorced who have children — looking at the idea that we are the couple that doesn’t go anywhere. We are the couple that remains. All of the young, sexy [characters] will move back and forth, but how do we keep us alive? And I think in that moment, by the end of that finale, is what if we just let go because now there is a third person in our marriage. Bode’s not this idea of a person that we love who’s having trouble and is far away. He’s there and he’s taking up too much room in their marriage. So they may have to figure out how to find each other without their kid in there in order for it to work. It just feels exciting to me to really work through some of those long-term relationship issues on TV because we don’t see it a lot. It’s all supposed to be sexy about the getting together, but it would be super fun if they let these two really fiery characters wind towards each other and wind away from each other.
Bode is back in prison at the end of the season after coming back with a dirty drug test. How is he going to get out of it this time?
I don’t know either because there’s the going back to prison, but then there’s a question of, how does he get back to this fire camp? It’s not a given. There’s two of them in California — one is in Northern [California] and one is in Southern [California]. So I kind of like the idea that he’s staying in fire camp rather than just being a visitor in the prison system. But I don’t know how he’s getting back there either and I don’t know how long he’s staying in prison. The prison is a couple of hours from where we’re all supposed to be living. I have no idea how they’re going to work that out.
Did that surprise you at all, that Bode would find himself in these circumstances by the end of the season?
It did, but I actually love it, in that it is showing how these people get to the fire camp because most people in prison didn’t have a lot of choices before they got there. Nobody wakes up saying, “I’m just going to do something outside of society to survive.” They’re doing it because they didn’t have any other choices. So putting him back in prison highlights the community that they have at the fire camp [and] they probably never had anywhere else. So we get to see the underbelly of it before he gets back to that camp. I just think it’s a cool thing to highlight how troubled these people are, rather than if they took our lead out of the prison part of the story, we would just be visiting prisoners every week.
And Sleeper is very much involved in Bode’s predicament, but Sharon didn’t have any interest in hearing any kind of explanation or defense of his failed drug test. What did you make of that?
That was pretty spooky to me also. When I first heard it, I was like, “Oh, she’s just done with him.” It was pretty cold-blooded, I agree.
Luke is a match for the kidney that Sharon needs. Will we see that play out in season 2? And how do you think that adds to the dynamic between Luke, Vince and Sharon?
I do think we’re going to get to see that play out, and I think Sharon has to get sicker before it happens. It should make a pretty interesting triangle now rather than somebody hitting on you in a romantic way. Someone paying attention to Sharon in a way that she usually pays attention to others. She’s the saver. She goes in there and she wants to fix everybody else, so somebody’s going to show up and actually save her. And then I’m super interested to see what happens to her, Vince and Luke from the change in that dynamic. Because they probably need some of that in their own marriage. So I’m really excited. I think it just looks like it’s going to be a really fun triangle.
Looking ahead to season 2, what are you looking forward to digging into? What are you hoping for?
Sharon’s a bit of a codependent and she’s generally outside of her own sphere of what she should be working on, and she’s trying to save somebody else instead of looking at herself. So it feels like the natural course will be what happens if she can’t save anybody else, if she’s so sick that she has to focus on herself. And to me how that affects her relationship with her son and how that affects her relationship with her husband should be really exciting. So that’s what I’m really looking forward to.
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