The River Star Weighs In on That 'Holy S—t!' Finale, Burning Questions Still to Be Answered

ABC’s The River wrapped up its eight-episode freshman run on Tuesday night by putting one of its main characters through quite the game-changing metamorphosis –- meaning, the river itself was reconfigured by the evil Boiuna spirit, effectively cutting off the Magus‘ escape route with the grimmest of dead ends.

Upon seeing that special effects sequence for the first time this morning, Leslie Hope tells TVLine, “I was like, ‘Holy s—t!’ I mean, I knew what we were supposed to be looking at [when filming the final scene], and the notion on the page was terrific and scary, but it was really well-executed.” (Watch that closing sequence here: )

And with that chilling closer, just like that it was made clear what Season 2 would be about. “Yeah, well – we should hope!” Tess’ portrayer says of the show’s prospect for renewal.

While The River never quite overflowed in the ratings, it did see a bump in its final week. Plus, Hope believes, sticking with a truncated episode count could be alluring as ABC makes its decisions for the 2012-13 season.

“[ABC president] Paul Lee is British, so he comes from a world where seasons are shorter,” she notes. And the actors benefit as well. “It’s a big show to maintain, just in terms of the emotional pitch you have to ratchet up on a daily basis, so that’s a good way to go.”

After all, so many cards were laid on the table — so many agendas and secrets revealed –in the finale and the weeks preceding, that a second season would not be lacking for material.

“[Our writers] could tell stories for the rest of our lives put together,” Hope declares. “They’ve always got something simmering between all three of them, so I have no doubt that would have plenty of stories to spin.” For example, young Jahel and what happened to her mother remains much of a mystery. There’s also the matter of Lena’s ominous birthmark, how she got it and what it means, and the nature of Kurt’s cryptic connection to the Source. “Not to mention, I imagine there will hell to pay when we all sit down and have a family chat!” Hope offers with a laugh.

Hey, maybe the Magus crew will even bail on the boat and take their trek to the jungle if the Boiuna is going to play hardball with the waterways. “The truth is,” Hope reiterates, “there are a lot of stories to be told when you put people together in a space like [the Amazon].”

But at the very least, if The River has met its end, Hope can cross “supernatural horror-drama” off her to-do list as an actress.

“I’m 46 years old, and I’ve been in the business for 30 years, and at this point in my life I’m only interested in trying for a big swing,” she shares. “I’m most interesting to step into a completely different world, and that’s what we got to do on this show.”

What did you think of The River‘s finale? And what lingering mysteries do you most want explored?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. TheRiffRaff says:

    Yeah… so uh when does this get picked up for a second season. It was better than most shows that premiered this year. And the Finale was crazy good!

  2. Srgg says:

    I totally agree. The season finale was really good. I was consistently more freaked out watching this show on ABC at 9pm than I ever was watching the critically acclaimed American Horror Story. This last episode’s possession was wicked. Please tell us we don’t have to wait until next spring for more episodes!

  3. Nicole says:

    While I would love a second season either focused more on Kurt’s guardian background or just why Lena is the chosen one, I oddly liked the ‘and they roamed unhappily ever after through the Amazon’ ending.

  4. Michelle says:

    While I enjoyed the season finale…until the end…What was that??? It felt like my dvr cut off the end…honestly I kept waiting for more. and not in a good way…ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh..Can’t they give us an ending..I am all for cliffhangers but that felt unfinished.

  5. Victor says:

    I love watching the river, I can’t believe it’s over. I hope there will be a season 2 as soon as possible. This guys are like my friends and I can’t wait to know that they all made it home safe. For me it’s been the best in a long time. Will miss it. Can’t believe it’s over.

  6. kirads09 says:

    It has really improved over the course of the eight episodes.
    I hope it gets renewed.

  7. June says:

    Reason I love this post and the comments –

    I have yet to see the season finale (I know), but I am now DYING to go home and watch it. And no one spoiled anything!

  8. Marcello says:

    Abc, I love this show. Please, don’t let me down

  9. kevin says:

    Despite so-so ratings, think it’s time that The River won’t survive for a second season now that the series is currently “on the bubble”.

  10. Bigdog5758 says:

    Normally I can’t get into the documentary style shows filmed from the cameras viewpoint but I really like it in horror films or in this case in this show. I hope they do another season and even though I hate it at the same time I also loved how it was short with only 8 episodes in the season.

  11. Lynette says:

    I really hope that this gets picked back up. I LOVED the way they ended it and I really would love to see what happened to the gang! :) Dear ABC please pick this up!

  12. TV Watcher says:

    The River ended great with the last few episodes really churning out the good … which I think is mostly to do with the Emmett Cole character just being very watchable.

    Unfortunately, the show was so in its own way the first few episodes what with the shaky cam “gotcha” moments substituting for organic drama and mostly unlikeable characters that it turned a lot of people off that never returned to see it improve. I’d tune in for a second season of “The river: The Escape from the Boiuna.”

  13. kaci says:

    Im not ready for it to be over!!!!! Its the one thing this mom marks on the calendar as a “mom must”! I dont schedule time for tv and i am severly against putting myself through horror movies however this series gave everyone a piece of it all! Horror mystery magic and lingering romance PLEASE COME BACK TO TV ASAP I HAVE TO SEE MORE!!!!! Ihave even told my parents to watch and now its over. :0(

  14. John says:

    I loved the fact that it was 8 episodes. nothing was dragged out and it felt fitting. A second season with another 8 episodes would be alright in my book

  15. Derrek Tassin says:

    The River is the next best thing to Lost! Please don’t get rid of something as perfect as the river, it deserves better!!!!!!

  16. Mark says:

    I’ll be upset if it’s cancelled, but thankful it answered some of its main questions, such as what happened to Dr Cole.

  17. amazing first season! I was really wishing that Emmet would die though. And Tess will be hurt so baaad she’s gonna kill herself. They’re annoying for mee

    Season 2 ABC PLEASE! Give this show a chance. The finale is wicked.

    And i think it would be more awesome if they will have less episodes (8-15 eps per season) just like in some cable shows so that the plot and storyline of each characters will not be dragging and repetitive.

  18. Jeff Hughes says:

    I couldn’t get enough of The River. Great writing. Excellent show. I was so looking forward to next season. Oh but Kim Krapofashow is still on the air. There’s something really wrong in Hollywood. M

  19. rebecca pearson says:

    GOSH …

  20. x says:

    xulos signify Tree in greek, xulos reversed it’s sol lux, light of the sun, the boiuna is nothing else than lucifer lux ferro the bearer of light who bring knowledge and the xulos the keepers of the tree of knowledge that god forbidden to eat the fruit because knowledge enjail people in the prison of matter and separate you from spiritual… and everybody know we don’t make deal with lucifer, it always have a price :^)

  21. Why is it when an original idea for a show that actually entertains with actors, not reality personalities, it gets cancelled? Programming execs, please reconsider. This was a great show with intelligent mystery, good writing and character portrayals that were very interesting….AND there are too many loose ends, unanswered questions. At least give us one more season to resolve the main storyline

  22. GJ says:

    Can’t believe they cancelled this. Figures. Probably going to replace it with a real reality show. Idiots.

  23. Donnetta says:

    I loved the river and want to see more please bring it back