Change was the name of the game on Monday’s Chasing Life finale, as April re-entered the hospital, made a life-altering decision about her career and received a shocking proposal from Leo.
Below, executive producer Patrick Sean Smith gives TVLine the inside scoop on the finale’s biggest twists, as well as a look at what’s still to come in Season 2.
TVLINE | Even though April’s situation is more dire than ever, this finale felt really hopeful. Was it important for you to maintain that balance?
We try to have that balance in all of our episodes, which is something I wish non-viewers knew about the show, so they wouldn’t be too scared to embark on a series about a life-threatening illness. It’s always about finding the hope when things are at their darkest, and it’s such a part of her character that it always feels organic to go to that place.
TVLINE | I will say I was surprised to see her give up on her job. What could that mean for her future?
As we’re looking at where April goes in the second season, this finale gave us a great jumping off point to change the game a little bit for her. She’s always been so close to shore, still seeing her normal life, but in Season 2, she’s setting out into the open waters to see how she might be able to live her life differently.
TVLINE | Obviously, I’m thrilled about the proposal. What was your thinking behind that development?
An element of the show we’re going to explore more in the second season is “all bets are off.” What a normal character would typically do on a traditional TV series is the opposite of what April Carver can do because of her cancer. So the idea of accepting a marriage proposal in the heat of the moment felt right to her, deciding she has to give up her career to see what happens next felt right for her.
TVLINE | I hate to even ask this, but should Scott Michael Foster’s pilot be ordered to series, what could that mean for April and Leo? Is that a conversation you’ve had?
We have a strong sense of their storyline in the second season and, timing-wise, with our production schedule …. Everything has aligned itself nicely so that Leo will still have a strong presence in the second season. But in the same way April feels like she’s living on borrowed time, I feel the same way about Scott. [Laughs] But he and I go way back, and he’s really fallen in love with this character and this show, and while he’s not a series regular to us, he has made a commitment to Leo and to the show on a personal level.
TVLINE | Are you able to say how much time passes between Seasons 1 and 2?
We don’t jump ahead in the way that we did the last time. I won’t be too specific, but I’ll say we don’t jump ahead four months past everything.
TVLINE | Moving on to George and Sara, things between them seem all good, but not so romantic. Where will they go from here?
“All good and not so romantic” yes, but we’ve set up this opportunity for George to be bicoastal, so we’ll expect to see him from time to time throughout the season. And we’ll revisit their romantic relationship; there’s still a lot left there to mine, including his new relationship with the woman in San Francisco and how they ended things before.
TVLINE | And then there’s Natalie. I don’t expect her and Dominic to double date with April and Leo, but what can we expect?
The proposal is something that definitely shakes up a lot of relationships in the second season. What’s starting with Natalie and Dominic is something that’s tested in this post-proposal world. But we also feel there’s a lot to mine in these sisters and the backstory of their father. Looking back at Season 1, Thomas Carver got off pretty easily for a guy who had two separate families. We explored that backstory in a way that we did with Natalie in the first season, but there’s a lot more that happened in Florida than we’ve even hinted that.
Chasing Life fans, your thoughts on the season finale? Hopes for Season 2? Drop ’em all in the comments section below.