The Bold Type Boss Breaks Down the Series Finale — and What Could've Happened with More Episodes
The Bold Type wrapped its final season on Freeform Wednesday night, and showrunner Wendy Straker Hauser discusses the conclusions for Jane (Katie Stevens), Kat (Aisha Dee) and Sutton (Meghann Fahy)
This post contains spoilers from Wednesday's The Bold Type series finale.
After one last toast in the fashion closet, The Bold Type has come to an end after five seasons on Freeform.
Not surprisingly — but certainly satisfyingly — the series wrapped with Sutton (Meghann Fahy) reunited with her husband Richard (Sam Page), Scarlet's new Editor-in-Chief Kat (Aisha Dee) committing to Adena (Nikohl Boosheri) and a strong and single Jane (Katie Stevens) stepping away from Scarlet, ready to see the world.
And, of course, the trio having a number of touching final moments together, including a callback to screaming in the subway from the pilot and being caught laughing in the fashion closet together by Jacqueline (Melora Hardin).
Immediately after watching, PEOPLE jumped on the phone with showrunner Wendy Straker Hauser to get her take on why these were the necessary conclusions for our fictional friends, what might've happened with a few additional episodes and where the ladies might go in the future.
PEOPLE: Putting together this final season in the middle of the pandemic had to be so difficult with only six episodes to wrap up the story. And you had the first two mostly shot already, right?
WENDY STRAKER HAUSER: Yeah, it was really hard. We knew where we were going, and then we just knew how long we had to get there. It really was a challenge. [Episodes] five and six very much became a two-parter. So, in Kat's journey, it was like, okay, so in episode five, she's going to overcome her fear of commitment in work. And then that will inspire her to overcome her fear of commitment with Adena.
What would you have done if you'd had two more episodes to tell that story?
I think we just would have slowed it down. We would have slowed down and allowed Jane to be in Jacqueline's position for longer. We certainly would have been able to have Jane succeed more, so that Jacqueline could have really seen all the reasons why she was ready to step back and give that job to Jane. I think we would have had an opportunity to have more fun with Jacqueline and Ian as well and see how Jacqueline got to that place where she was really ready to step away. And Richard and Sutton's journey and therapy, I think we could have had more time to explore. But given the time constraints that we had, I'm really impressed with our cast and our crew and our writing team and how we were really able to really get to where we needed to go in a believable way that felt, I think, surprising, but also satisfying.
Why did Jane need to wind up single?
Ultimately it feels like she's at the beginning of her journey. Jane is somebody who's always had everything planned out, who in the pilot looked at Jacqueline's office, and you knew she wanted to sit in that chair. There was something very exciting about her having that moment, getting to that place, and then making that brave, bold decision to say, "This wasn't what I was expecting it to be. And this isn't me, and I'm a writer, and I don't know what that looks like, but I'm going to go figure it out." I think in that same way, she's going to have that journey in her personal life as well. There'll be fun in that and who knows where she'll end up, but I don't think she's ready to settle down with anyone.
Talk a little bit about bringing Pinstripe (Dan Jeannotte) back for that little moment in the finale.
I'm a Pinstripe fan. I firmly believe that he met the love of his life when he was probably not expecting or ready to meet the love of his life, when he was a 20-something, Manhattan bachelor who had a lot of girls at his beck and call. And then there was Jane Sloan and he hadn't caught up yet to how lucky he was and how in love he was. By the time he did, it was too late. He had screwed up, and she needed to go off and rebuild herself.
Are Jane and Pinstripe endgame somewhere in the future?
I guess there's a world where I could. Certainly, if they never got together, I could see him thinking about her for the rest of his life, which breaks my heart. But I think he would be an excellent father and husband. And I don't think he would ever, ever cheat on her again. He stupidly covered up a lie. That was a mistake that he made, but I think he's a good guy. So I did want them to see each other again. And I also think we all wanted, when they did see each other again, for Jane to be in a really good place and to feel solid and stable and not broken-hearted and crushed, and to see him from a place of respect and love, but not of pain.
Did Jacqueline really not have a No. 2 or a managing editor such that Jane or Kat were reasonable choices for editor-in-chief?!
[Laughs.] I know, I know. Don't look there. Look away.
So why was Kat ultimately the right pick to be Scarlet's new E.I.C.?
If you really look back at the pilot and season 1, Kat was a baller from the very beginning. And she was changing policy. If you remember that episode with Angie where she hired somebody who didn't have a college degree, and that wasn't part of Stafford policy, so we watched her get up in front of the board and change the mind for people whose minds are usually not changed. She was able to get rid of RJ. And yes, she lost her job in the process, but how amazing that she was able to get rid of that staple in the system that was holding everything back? So she had made real change in a way that our other girls had not, and she was confident about it. So the more we talked about it, the more it just felt really organic and right and like she was the future. And it really actually felt earned.
Do you think she has a future in politics down the road?
I really do. She'd be damn good at it.
When Sutton and Richard split in season 3, did you always know they were going to wind up back together, or was that potentially going to be a long-haul split if the show had gone on longer?
Breaking them up was really hard, and we had long conversations about how and what would actually make them break up. The only thing that we could come up with was this huge age difference that they had and the idea that one of them wanted kids and one of them did not. We hoped they would get back together. But of course, there's the logistics of getting an actor back on set and especially during COVID, and so, our fingers were crossed, but we didn't know. We planned for the best, and then if the best wasn't going to happen, we were going to have to figure out our plan B. If they didn't, Richard would have been Sutton's first amazing love that would always have shaped her. And she would've gone on and tried to find someone else. But when they're onscreen together, you just want them to be together. There's just such a chemistry and a magic there.
What was that plan B?
Here's the truth. We didn't have a plan B if we couldn't get [Sam Page] on set. Thankfully, that didn't happen. But we had gone back and forth and all around about what was the end for them, because they had such a serious differing in opinion, in terms of lifestyle. And we wanted to be sensitive to the fact that, what does that mean if Sutton changes her mind? And also what did that mean if Richard changes his mind? We didn't want to flip-flop. We didn't want to take away the seriousness of his desire to be a dad.
There was talk about Sutton going into intensive therapy and starting to realize that she was afraid of becoming her mom and she's not afraid anymore. And she would not be a bad mom and maybe she could come to a place where she actually realized she wanted to have children. But ultimately we did want to tell a story where one of our characters does not want to have children and she knows that and stands in that conviction and still gets her happily ever after. So once we really landed on that point, it felt like, you know what, this is the love of Richard's life. And if the question is whether he's going to lose her or not have kids, he's going to choose to have her by his side.
What was the scene in the finale that made either you or the cast cry the most?
That last fashion closet scene was really emotional. But the one that really made me cry was when they got on the step and repeat for the last Scarlet party because that was the last scene that they were all in together. And they were just laughing and enjoying the moment. I still get upset talking about it and knowing that it was the end. Each actress processed it differently. And I believe Meghann, it hit the hardest in that moment, because she probably put a wall up for a while before that. But that last step and repeat, that last party, that last moment where they were just all in character and taking pictures together, there was no dialogue but it was very emotional.
The Bold Type is available to stream on Hulu.
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