And just like that, Greek is gone. But what a sweet finale it was. Join me to find out why series mastermind Sean Smith chose to end the ABC Family charmer the way he did, plus get exclusive scoop on why and how there’s still new Greek to be seen.
[Warning: If you've yet to see Monday night's finale, steer clear -- West Coasters, this means you!]
Before we delve into the ah-mazing series finale, I have some exciting exclusive news: Greek may be over, but following its West Coast airing, fans can head to iTunes for the extended director’s cut of the episode, which runs five minutes longer than the broadcast version. Two additional scenes are available in the ep, including one in which Evan and Cappie (finally) making amends. A specific time for the iTunes posting isn’t available yet, but it will stick around for two weeks. And if you miss your date with iTunes, Netflix will also carry the extra-filled episode.
As showtime neared, TVLine spoke with Greek showrunner Sean Smith to discuss the final moments of his lovable coming-of-age story, which, let’s face it, was so much more than a series about fraternities and sororities.
TVLINE | How are you feeling now that Greek is officially over?
I’ve been a wreck leading up to it. It’s sadness and confusion and pride, and a gift to get to do as many episodes as we did with characters that I love so much and with people that I love working with.
TVLINE | Let’s talk about the finale: How was it decided to make Kappa Tau and their house such a pivotal part of the last episode?
The spirit of KT is kind of the heart of the series. It represented everything that Rusty had started the series wanting, it was the growth place and coming of age location for Cappie — everyone had an experience there in the house and it felt like it was the thing that represented the series most. We’ve had tons of finales about whether ZBZ was going to lose their charter, or if Casey was going to be president, but we’ve never put the house in jeopardy, so I felt like we’d earned that after four years. I knew coming into this season that I wanted to put the KT way of life in jeopardy.
TVLINE | Following through on KT’s demolition was a huge shock and incredibly emotional. How did that come to fruition?
Destroying the set was powerful. We took bulldozers down to our sets and ran them through the Kappa Tau house, and when it first hit, I gasped. For the longest time, I’d imagined that they’d save the house in the end and it would be great and Lasker Parkes (Jonathan Silverman) would listen to them, but it just felt too familiar and too easy — not Greek enough. So I called our line producer and said I wanted to tear down the house. I talked to the network about it and they said, “No you don’t,” and I’m like, “I do,” and they’re like, “No, you don’t” and I’m like, “I really do. We have to!” It took a lot of figuring it out logistically and getting the network to see what it represented — it had to mean something. It wasn’t about destroying something, it was about overcoming this adversity and knowing that our kids were going to be OK. It’s giving them the biggest loss, but showing that they can persevere. And that’s what I wanted to do with Casey and Cappie with their relationship, saying that as long as they’re together, no matter what, they can pursue anything.
TVLINE | Speaking of Cappie, what’s the deal with his real name?!
Cappie’s name speaks to that [perseverance] as Captain John Paul Jones and “We’ve only just begun” — to be a rally cry for millennials. People tell you the real world sucks, and you can change that.
TVLINE |The finale finally gave fans a gracious resolution between Evan and Cappie. Was rekindling their friendship always part of the plan?
Definitely. We realized the power of the threat to the friendship of Cappie and Evan once we were able to make them friends and Casey was not an issue. The will-they-won’t-they couple became will Evan and Cappie going to be friends? We explored that in the Beaver episode, when he pointed out that as long as Evan has feelings for Casey, he’s never going to be able to be friends with Cappie. I wanted him to purge her completely, something that took him four years to say that this is not meant to be, goodbye to Casey Cartwright.
TVLINE | And I have to ask: What was the real deal with Evan’s sudden arm cast?
I had to script in Evan’s broken arm the day before production on the finale began because Jake McDorman actually broke his hand. Still hate him for that. [Laughs]
TVLINE | A lot of key scenes in the finale seemed to parallel memorable moments from seasons past — namely those sibling-stairway chats between Casey and Rusty.
That was emotional. When I saw an early cut of that scene, it didn’t capture the depth of what that represented — they were both arcing, so this was huge! The focus of the series, to me, was always about this brother and sister coming together. If he hadn’t gone to Cyprus Rhodes, they might not have this good relationship. And they’ve now gone through this adventure together and are always going to be there for each other. And that’s what I always thought was so winning about that relationship; for Rusty, part of him wanting to be in the greek system was him wanting to be closer to his sister.
TVLINE | How did you decide what the final scene of the series would be?
I wanted this last scene to hearken back to our first finale which, if you’ll remember, was Casey and Rusty heading off for winter break together and she leaves Cappie on the corner and they drive off together. I really loved that moment and what it represented in their journey, as much as now it’s Cappie getting in the car with Casey as opposed to Rusty. There was symmetry there that I really liked.
TVLINE | You’ve said that you didn’t want complete closure in the finale so that the characters can live on in this world you’ve created. Where do you think Cappie and Casey ended up?
I’m fairly certain that Casey and Cappie died in a car accident — that they got about a mile down the road and then they got hit by a semi. [Laughs] I didn’t want closure so I could imagine where they were going. I think Casey and Cappie got to Washington, and I think he found something exciting and satisfying for him. I think Casey got to kick ass and I’d like to think that they ended up together forever, but it’s tough to say. For me, keeping it open allowed me to have the imagination to think of where I want them to go, as much as I want the audience to do the same.
TVLINE | What’s next for you?
I’m enjoying time off and I’m also developing whatever is next. I have a couple irons in the fire and a script commitment to Imagine Television, which I’m really excited about because I’m a huge Friday Night Lights and Parenthood fan. And hopefully I’ll get to do half of all the stuff I got to do on Greek, and have as good of an experience as I did for this show.
And that’s that. Post your goodbyes/thank yous/love letters to Smith and the cast of Greek below.