Post Mortems

Red Band Society Winter Finale Post Mortem: EP Talks Leo-Kara Sparks, Emma's Collapse and a Looming Death

Red Band Society showrunner Rina Mimoun wants you to know two things: A central character will die before Season 1 is over, but the medical drama itself is not quite as certain to dance with the Grim Reaper — despite Fox deciding last week to limit its freshman season to 13 episodes.

“We were never pulled from the schedule. We were always airing our first 10 episodes, and then going off for the holidays. That’s why we built toward this cliffhanger,” insists Mimoun, who notes that shooting on the Season 1 finale begins Monday. “We’re going to air the last three. Yes, we had gotten an order for additional scripts, and now we’re not going to wind up shooting them, but it doesn’t mean we can’t come back for Season 2. It’s totally possible, and I hope you can clear that up, TVLine!”

With that request granted, TVLine also wanted to grill Mimoun about the aforementioned shockers from Wednesday’s fall finale: Leo and Kara’s day of outside-the-hospital bonding leading them to have sex in her car in the hospital parking lot; Emma returning home without having truly conquered her anorexia, and collapsing on her bathroom floor; Hunter heading to the operating room to get his new liver; and Nurse Jackson rejecting Dr. Naday’s romantic overtures on professional grounds, but reversing course and returning his kisses at the end of a long shift.

TVLINE | Knowing that Season 2 is very much uncertain, did you structure Episode 13 as a series finale? Will there be closure?
Absolutely. There’s closure for a lot of the current teen storylines that you’ve been watching, but the episode also shows you how the series itself is open-ended. Octavia Spencer is the lead of this show. She’s the heart and soul of Ocean Park Hospital, and it shows you that certain Red Bander stories may be all tied up, but we can tell other stories of people coming into the hospital using our amazing staff of Octavia [Spencer], Dave Annable, Rebecca Rittenhouse and Wilson Cruz — whose Kenji has become my favorite thing ever.

TVLINE | Maybe the biggest surprise of the fall finale was the Leo/Kara hookup. I loved that you went there because, to me, that’s been percolating all season. But of course, at the exact moment they’re going in for this kiss, Hunter is going under the knife for life-or-death surger,y and Emma is suffering an emotional collapse. There’s this sense of “Now? Now you kiss?”
The worst time ever. That’s the only time kids can kiss, have sex, is at the worst possible time ever. That’s the only way to make it exciting. Otherwise, it’s just a typical Thursday for them. But you really need high stakes.

RBS1_110_11-4_S27_GD_0067_hires2TVLINE | Were you always planning to explore Leo and Kara, or was it a decision that you made as Season 1 progressed?
Truthfully, we saw that chemistry in the pilot. One of the more memorable moments is when they’re riding in the elevator and you see Leo clocking her, and she looks around and takes notice of him. They also have that moment on the roof, and then we escalated it a little bit in the homecoming episode. In this weird way, everything about Red Band, especially when it came to the teen stories, was, “Who would these people be if they weren’t in the hospital?” And if they weren’t in the hospital, Leo and Kara are clearly the alphas. They’re the two that would have wrongly hooked up in school.

Leo and Emma are actually those soulmates that only occurred because of the circumstances that they were placed in. So we always knew that Leo and Kara had to get there, but this show doesn’t lend itself to that kind of crazy behavior because of all of the real drama that’s happening around these kids with their illnesses. So we had to take our time, but I’m hoping that people say we earned it. Or maybe they’ll throw tomatoes. I don’t know.

TVLINE | Talk me through Emma’s arc in this episode. The family dinner scene, in particular, was so uncomfortable and hard to watch, with her mother insisting, “You’re not leaving ’til you’ve cleaned your plate.” Emma’s monologue from last episode made it very clear she hasn’t made that much progress with overcoming her anorexia, and that she’s desperate for people to notice that she’s just pretending to be OK. And here, in the winter finale, she’s fighting that same fight, and ends up unconscious on the bathroom floor.
Ciara [Bravo] has been an unbelievable force of nature on this show. She’s just this serious little girl, and watching her experience this disease, to me, was so interesting. I knew so many people growing up who struggled with eating disorders. Women’s eating disorders is this topic that I could’ve written about forever and ever and ever.

So, what we wanted to do, getting her to the place where she is with her family, was to show just how truly horrible it is. One of the biggest fallacies that anorexic girls believe — and this is what Emma reveals in Episode 11 — is that they’re in control of the disease. The whole notion of the disease, to a certain extent, is that you’re controlling what you eat, that you have this amazing, unbelievable self-control. But once you really pull the veil off, the disease is completely controlling you, and that’s what Emma realizes.

TVLINE | I loved seeing her outside the hospital setting, too — really understanding the family dynamic.
And we’re not done, that’s for sure. This storyline does not wrap up in this episode. We go further with it, and you’re going to see her mom and dad again. We can’t leave them in such a terrible state. That would be too sad.

TVLINE | Moving over to Hunter and his liver-transplant surgery, how is Kara going to feel when she gets back to the hospital and realizes not only is he still there, but he’s on the table and may or may not survive the procedure?
She’s going to feel pretty bad, and she will react in a way that I would [describe as] “Pilot Kara.” She does not handle it well. Hopefully people see that there’s a sense of comedy in the way she handles it, but she definitely goes overboard, and [Episode 11] is a big, intense one for Kara and Hunter.

TVLINE | You mentioned at the start of this interview that there’ll be resolution for the teens’ story arcs. Will there be any deaths among our patients by the end of the season?
By the end of the season there will be a death.

TVLINE | Oh, wow.
I know. We had to go there. We had to. Come on. It’s Red Band. We had to do it, but it could be any one of them.

TVLINE | Was there debate about whether to go there or not?
In the very beginning, there was a debate. There was this thought that the show might be able to handle more comedy, and if it was going to skew in that direction, then tonally, [a death] would’ve been too hard to carry. But what we realized early on, and I was really happy to see that Fox agrees, is that the emotional stories were the ones where the show was really singing.

Once we saw that, we came up with a pitch, we took it to the network, and they approved it — and we were happy. I do think [a death] is incredibly emotional, and it feels real to what these kids are going through. It also gives us an opportunity to see how you come around the bend after something like that.

RBS1_110_11-4_S37_GD_0007_hires2TVLINE | Let’s talk about Nurse Jackson for a second. She has been a slow build; little by little, we’ve learned more about her. And now, finally, in Episode 10, her personal life becomes more of the focus, culminating with her lip-gloss application and this kiss with Dr. Naday.
We were so excited to get Adrian Lester. Octavia just loves him, and they just had a fantastic chemistry. When we brought him in, we weren’t sure exactly what was going to happen. But then the two of them together were just magical, and what we realized was, “Here’s this nurse who, from the very beginning in the pilot, she seems very closed-off. She seems very hard to penetrate.” The whole notion of bringing in Dr. Naday was that it opens her up, and that’s what we actually saw in Octavia, which was fantastic. We definitely play with that all the way through the end.

TVLINE | And our other adult romance, we’ve got Dr. McAndrew and Nurse Brittany, and in the wake of their one-night stand — his whole “get over it or get out” speech — proves he’s not the nicest fellow.
I know. He’s got problems. But that’s a storyline that for sure is one that we don’t wrap up this season. We definitely keep that going, keep that thread alive, the complication of Dr. Erin Grace and the way Mandy Moore fits into it. That’s something that we feel has a much slower build, and we do not tie up this season. Hopefully, we’ll have a chance to continue to play with it.

TVLINE | How much optimism can you have, considering Fox cutting the Season 1 order? Is there any reason for fan optimism?
I would say, if you want it, fight for it. Honestly, that is how these shows come back — because there is momentum from the people who love it. This small group, it’s prefect for Red Band because the show is about this tiny band of fighters. When fans fight, it forces the network to say “OK, wait a minute. Let’s rewatch. Let’s look at all the numbers. Let’s look at the live [numbers]. Let’s look at the DVRs.” And that’s the theme of Red Band: “Don’t give up.”

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166 Comments
  1. Lindsey says:

    I love this show, and I’m not totally hopeful that a second season will actually happen, but I would love it if it did. More than anything, I just want them to air the final 3 episodes – and soon! I don’t care if they have to show them on Hulu or whatever. There were way too many loose ends in this fall finale, and I’d hate for it to go down as one of those shows that doesn’t get to close any storylines.

    • catdog18 says:

      I agree there are alot of loose ends to tie up and hopefully they will give us some closure on most of them.

    • Vanessa says:

      I really agree with you, they need to keep this show it is to good of a show to just end it like that PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep this show on for at least 2 or more years there are no actual good reasons to end it. Fox or Tv line needs to keep it what would we have to do to keep this show on? Seriously.

    • Denise Henderson says:

      Keep the episodes together and keep the seasons coming. First there is way too many things to complete in 3 episodes. These kids have become a part of our families and our lives. Don’t take that away from the faithful watchers!

  2. Lauren says:

    Beyond excited that this interview was posted. I just finished watching the episode and LOVED it. It’s a show that isn’t on anywhere else and so strong in it’s own right. Fingers crossed for Season 2!

  3. Analisa says:

    Yay! Crossing my fingers that the show survives for at least another season. Thank you for a great article!

    By the way, Michael, I just wanted to let you know you spelled “perfect” as “prefect” in the last paragraph: “This small group, it’s prefect…”. I kept thinking of Harry Potter. Lol

  4. Jaime says:

    I have a feeling that death could be either Dash or Jordi. Hunter could die, but I don’t see him as a core, central character just yet. And I’d be so freaking crushed if it is Dash who goes.

    • schmed says:

      I think it will be Jordi, if only because his death would cause the most angst for Dr. McAndrew (given his investment in Jordi’s treatment), and in a way, the least angst for all others (given his loner status). Don’t get me wrong; I love the kid; just speculating.

    • aplwrites says:

      I think Dash is a likely candidate to get the axe. Hunter foreshadowed it in this episode; “The guy who holds this place together.” He doesn’t really have his own arc besides his illness. His character leaches off the stories of all the other characters. At the same time, he has had defining moments with each character as well, even Kara (the tagging the roof episode). Losing him would reverberate through every other character, greatly impacting all of them while not derailing any of their storylines. From a writers perspective (especially if this is the last season or they plan on bringing in new kids for season 2), Dash is the perfect character to kill off.

    • Meghan says:

      I remember reading an article a while ago in which a production member was talking about hopefully getting renewed so they can explore Dash a bit more, so it might not him! I’m thinking that the cause of death will have to be from their condition, right? So it wouldn’t be Leo, unless he dies in a freak car accident or something. And I want to rule out Charlie – he’s doing well. Emma was left in a very bad place, but I don’t think it’ll be her either. Maybe Jordi, since his cancer is getting more aggressive. It could be Kara or Dash if they don’t receive organs in time, but I’m betting that it’s Hunter due to transplant complications and they’ll flesh out the Kara & Hunter love story. If they actually kill off one of the core 5, I will be shocked and super sad, no matter who it is.

  5. I really like this show. I hate that we’re only getting thirteen episodes. Personally, I would like to see Mandy Moore become a regular, because I think she and Dave Annable have better chemistry.

  6. Anonymous says:

    They have to at least make a second season so we could actually get a proper ending instead of everyone being left in suspense. At least one more.

  7. Amber says:

    I love RedBand! Please keep it going!! <3

  8. Alexandra says:

    The pilot was so well written and Mimoon has taken the show into the toilet. The writing’s now horrendous. I heard her on The Nerdist saying she hated all the characters on RBS. So why is writing on it and ruining a fantastic show? Her credits are running that hateful show “MIstresses.”

  9. Joe says:

    Bloop seriously they can’t drop Red Band from the line up…it’s such an amazing show. This world is real. Kids all over the world have spent weeks, months, even years growing up in a hospital setting just trying to be kids whilst fighting for their lives…literally. I know first hand. This show is smart, touching and truly goes there. Please hear my plea and DON’T CANCEL RED BAND!

    • Caitlin says:

      YES! It’s so inspirational and I can relate to each character in some way or another

    • Caite says:

      I have anorexia and being able to see that other people other than me are living in a hospital due to it and that they try to lie just to go home and end up relapsing is so reassuring to me. Personally my group of three friends in my hospital, our nurse (occasionally our doctor) and I all sit down any watch red band together every Wednesday, it finally makes us not feel different

  10. Kate says:

    I love this show so much and I was totally not planning on even watching the pilot.

  11. I love this show, I find it hard to have to wait a week to find out what’s going to happen next. The cast is wonderful..please Fox don’t cancel this show….its such a great one….

  12. Steven says:

    I love this show and am would be so sad to see it go. As someone who’s lived with and through cancer I feel this show gives a view of that world to a generation that’s becoming detatched from it. If fox doesn’t pick it up is there hope an online streaming service to give it life?

  13. Steven says:

    Sorry spelling error… and it

  14. Carla Krae says:

    Can we get a date for the return episode?

  15. Tanya says:

    I want to see the last 3 episodes and I do hope they have a season 2 the end of this season was such a cliffhanger and I want to know what happens to all of them please bring it back and make the last 3 episodes

  16. Alexa says:

    I love this show. I can relate to it on a substantial level and I would be devestated if it was discontinued. I would love to see where these characters go and I will personally fight to see another season. I hope FOX sees the importance the show has to the viewers that have fallen so deeply in love with the show. Save red band society!!

  17. jennifer says:

    Fox!! Please do not cancel red band society. When I first watched this show I wasn’t sure I would like it, due to the setting of where it takes place. But I am surprised because I am waiting every week for the next new episode. I think a lot of people can relate to the medical issues these people have and there are a lot of topics relatable as well. I like the fact that it keeps me wondering what’s going to happen next. There is the cheerleader, the soccer player, the musician and in real life they may not ever get along in school. But this shows that no matter how different we are on the outside, we all have the same feelings and insecurity s on the inside. Pllllease keep this show for another season pleassseee!!!!!!

  18. Ellie says:

    PLEASE DON’T CANCEL THIS SHOW. It’s so relatable and addictive. I Love this show too much to see it go! ATLEAST ONE MORE SEASON PLEASE!!!

  19. Megs says:

    I’ll fight for the show to return!

  20. Olive says:

    I didn’t understand the premise of this show from the promos before its first air date (before the pilot aired). I was hooked from the start. I DVR’d and saved the episodes for my husband, and he was hooked as fast as I was. This is Appointment TV at its best. Keep it. Word of mouth will get around. We’re already posting on FB about it.

  21. jeff walton says:

    Hey, I’m a 68 year old codger who loves RED BAND SOCIETY. FOX got it right with this show. Keep it going. With all the reality crap on tv, this show is a breath of fresh air and the acting is superb! Lets fight for this one.

  22. Greatest depth in scripting. please renew this one!!

  23. I think what makes it a miss with ratings is that sometimes people don’t want to watch a show they know will end in sadness. The chances of death among the main teens is high and sadly as much as you have a focus on the Doctors they didn’t set the tone early enough and I relate the main characters to be the kids and when you take one kid out it leads a void in the cast. Overall I think bringing in a larger focus on the Doctors could make it easier to deal with patient stories, but that’s just that. Overall as interesting as it might be to see inside a hospital like this it’s still very very sad.

    • That’s what I was saying as well. The issue is they focused on the kids so early and chances for them dying is so high that why would anyone want to invest in something knowing that it will end up being sad. You had shows like ER and Greys that could kill characters because it was unexpected and left people feeling hopeful for happy ending, but here it’s just sad. I hate to say it, but I think the writers messed up and I’m not sure they can fix it. It’s a nice concept, but probably one that works better for the movies.

      • Fran says:

        Are you agreeing with your own post or did you mean to reply to another comment? But I do get what your saying in a way.

  24. johnhelvete says:

    I like the show but between the low ratings and being the only show airing a midseason finale without a return date for the remaining episodes, equals extremely likely to be cancelled.

  25. titi H says:

    I’ll fight for red band society to stay on!! Its such an amazing show and there’s nothing on t.v. like it!! Come on fox!! Get it together!!!!! #REDBANDERFORLIFE!!!!!

  26. Anna says:

    PLEASE DON’T CANCEL THIS SHOW! THIS SHOW IS AMAZING. IT HAS ALOT OF HEART, LAUGHTER, AND REALNESS. AIR THE LAST 3 EPISODES AND CONTINUE WITH SEASON 2! PLEASE DONT CANCEL THIS SHOW!!!

  27. Lainie says:

    So they are going to air the final 3 episodes then? Thank god. I love this show and I don’t think I would have been able to handle it ending like that. But I also really want a season 2 as well! If they want me to fight for it, then okay I’ll fight. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep this show on the air! That’s how important it is to me. And I’m sure it’s important to a lot of other people as well. But of course I want be able to do it alone I’ll need help from my fellow red banders. Come on guys, if we do this together I really believe that we’ll have a chance at getting this show the second season that it deserves!

  28. Riley says:

    In all honestly.
    Red band society is on of the greatest shows I have seen in a long time!
    Fox please, do not cancel the show. You reacted too quickly.
    It’s not all about the numbers and views. This show has potential!

    And if it does get cancelled, I hope it will get picked up by another network.
    Who wouldn’t want to watch Red Band Society?

  29. col says:

    I absolutely love this show! I dvr it and look forward to having it when i get home. Really, really hoping for more seasons! After reading this interview I’m saddened to hear of a death in the future but at the same time it’s inevitable. There are so many opportunities in a series like this and I am very intrigued to see where the show goes from here :)!

  30. genesis says:

    I love red band society, its one of my favorite shows to watch, fox please dont cancel it and keep it going!!! I have gotten so attached to the characters and the story line behind it, I hope they aired the rest of the episodes!!!

  31. Kay says:

    I really love Red Band but please no Leo and Kara…..

  32. Joey Padron says:

    Great interview and good and sad fall finale episode. Hope Emma is gonna be okay. Hope Hunter’s surgery goes well. Hope Jordi doesn’t keep selling drugs. Can’t wait to see what happens in next 3 episodes.

  33. Sam says:

    Red Band is a great show! It has to continue! Leaving us all in suspense and no actual ending!? Please FOX dont cancel it!

  34. Erika Vera says:

    This interview gave me such clarity. I was petrified when after the 10th episode, they did not tell us to stay tuned for previews of next weeks episode. This show is about different levels of passion and fight in various different types of people. In this series, we get to deal with every kind of person there could be and we begin to understand why they are the way that they are, progressively of course. I have 2 other shows on Wednesdays other than Red Band Society: American Horror Story and the another new series called Stalker. All I can say is, this is always the first one I watch on my DVR being school and work are a factor in having to delay viewing that same day. I watch it right away because I can never wait to see what happens the following week so I anticipate it until than. Not only is this show incredible as far as cast members and story lines go, but this show gives 2.49 million people, especially kids with these diseases, a sense of hope. Red Band Society proves that no one is alone and there are others out there fighting the same battle, it proves these hardships are dealt in life do not go unnoticed; however, they must not go without being fought by a good fight either. This could be the key to helping many out there of all ages! I am 21, I am a full-time college student as well as well as a full-time worker, I am also thankfully healthy but I believe this show is one of the most useful ones to continue airing. This show has a real purpose unlike many of the garbage “reality” shows that are scripted anyway. I am keeping my fingers crossed until us Red Banders get the good news on a return of the final 3 episodes of Season 1 as well as eventually airing a Season 2. Fox, don’t take this show away. It means so much to so many people, more than just entertainment.

  35. David says:

    It’s cancelled. Fox just hasn’t said so yet. The ordered episodes will air, but that’s all one should really expect. The show’s EP shouldn’t be getting fans hopes up. It’s cruel.

    • Nicole Vazquez says:

      I am sad to see only the best shows not survive.
      RED BAND SOCIETY has made us feel so much and connect so closely with the characters…it’s a real shame!!! My 12 year old daughter and I have made it our thing, every Wednesday at 9. Needless to say we are totally bummed!!!

  36. Betty says:

    I really enjoy the show, and hope they air the last three episodes this winter, and not wait until the summer to show them. I think all of the characters are interesting, and I think that Jordi will be the one to die. Dash is the other possibility, in my opinion. Once he tagged that roof a few weeks ago, I felt like he was leaving his legacy. I wish the ratings were better. I don’t think there will be a second season. Also, I really hope we get to see Charlie walking and talking in the finale. He is so cute.

  37. Carly says:

    Is Rina Mimoun saying that she feels that Leo and Kara are the ones who belong together? And it looks like based on this interview that Emma lives. And honestly, I didn’t have a problem with Dr. McAndrew telling Brittney to get over it because he is right that they are at work and their main concern should be about the patients and not about their one night stand. She’s being immature about the whole thing.

  38. sladewilson says:

    I see Dash as being the Red Bander that dies. Literally writing on the wall (his mural) and everything Dash says points to it. He’s ready to go. It’s everyone else that is not ready for him to leave. I would’ve liked them to have Dash and Kara bond further – almost like besties, because Dash seems like her one true friend, besides Charlie who has a serious love/hate going on with her.

  39. Anne says:

    I am a 41 year-old woman who began watching this show with my 11 year-old daughter because she wanted to. Over time, I found myself really getting into this show. My daughter and I really enjoy watching it together, even if some of the story is overly dramatic or not really realistic. (I’m a Nurse and I’m overly analytical of hospital stories on TV!)
    I hope FOX renews the show, though!!!

  40. Monica says:

    I absolutely love red band and would be devastated if it did not go on for a second season!!! I’d do whatever it took to get it a second season

  41. Julia says:

    Please get a second season!!! I love this show!

  42. Jaime says:

    This is an awesome show..finally a show that me and my teenage son can watch together and enjoy!#REDBANDERS4LIFE

  43. The Red Banders :) says:

    I really really LOVED this season of The Red Band Society! It is by far my most FAVORITE show yet!! I REALLY hoe that you make a second season. The show ended on to many cliffhangers and you can’t end a TV show on almost 10 cliffhangers. It would really break my heart to see this TV show end so quickly! I hope you at least consider making a second season.

  44. The Red Banders :) says:

    I loved RBS <3 Red Band Society is by far my favorite tv show in the WHOLE universe…I really hope that you guys make a 2nd season. I loved the 1st season so much yet the winter finale ended on so many cliff hangers! I really want to find out about what happens with nurse Jackson and nedaha-did I spell that right?- what happens with hunter and kara(*cough* what's in the letter)whats going with Emma is she dead? Any-hoo PLEASE come out with a second season…I can not live on these cliff-hangers forever!

    -Red Band Society <3

  45. The Red Banders :) says:

    Dear random person
    My name is red bander for life (jk) but I just want to bring up some things. YOU CANT END THE SEASON LIKE THIS please don’t I beg of you ! This season ended on so many cliff hangers. Like what’s gonna happen to nurse Jackson and nedaj or Leo and Kara (which I don’t ship ) and EMMA come on she has to come back what about hunter and Kara the letter Emma Charlie there are so many thing I could ramble on but please continue the show I love it DONT LEAVE ME HANGER I believe that dash is holding it together and what about Jordi and drugs ugh I can’t take it is Emma dead !??!??

    From

    RANDOM RED BANDER

  46. Random Red Bander says:

    Please no kara and Leo…I totally ship Leo and Emma I hope they make up <3

  47. Wendy says:

    Love this show. Impressive that Charlie is a central character even though he doesn’t talk out loud or move. He is always there for everyone, listens without judgement and the rest of them cheer him on. Grateful to know anorexia can be considered a genetic predisposition and how important it is to share family medical info. I’m always questioning which relationships are real, plus what does real mean; what are the motivations behind the characters’ actions. It is just a tv show, yet a great catalyst for looking at my own judgements about others and their actions, miscommunications, what we do when we are desperate and see no way out.

  48. percussionpanda says:

    Season 1 better not be Red Band Society’s last season! This show is too good to be cancelled. I will be absolutely devastated if I hear Fox has decided to cancel Red Band Society. Come people! Support Red Band Society. Do your part and keep Red Band Society alive. =(

  49. Jess says:

    Hopeful for a second season, I thoroughly enjoyed Red Band Society. A unique show with great story line and good acting. Looking forward to the last three episodes at the very least.

  50. Gina says:

    Please keep the red band society on fox for more seasons . There are many of us out there that love it . Those characters feel like family

    • Monica says:

      I simply love Red Band Society, I have just binge watched 10 episodes and I don’t know how I’ve gotten by without it! Please don’t cancel!!!😍😍