Post Mortems
Containment Recap

Containment Boss on 'Satisfying' End, 'Limited Series' Label, Season 2 Plans

OK, so it wasn’t exactly a happy ending. Despite Containment’s unforeseen cancellation, the show’s de facto series finale on Tuesday still managed to give its virus-plagued characters some hope.

Containment RecapA brief recap: While trying to get out of the cordon, Jana was reunited with Lex, who decided to follow her back inside the quarantine zone after their escape route was blown up — literally. Meanwhile, Lommers’ lies were exposed, and Dr. Cannerts discovered someone with the antibodies needed to make a cure. Elsewhere, Xander and Teresa got engaged, while Jake vowed to honor Katie’s memory as he spread her ashes.

But that wasn’t meant to be the end of the story, executive producer Julie Plec says in our Q&A. Although there was a sense of closure to some of the character arcs, the boss had plenty of material to keep the show going for a second season.

Here, she not only reveals her plans, she also explains how the drama became a “limited event series,” even though it wasn’t originally intended to be one.

TVLINE | I was surprised by how many of the storylines got wrapped up in a pretty satisfying way.
Yes, thank God. [Laughs] I’m a big fan of seasonal storytelling, regardless [of whether a show is renewed]. I don’t like the idea of not completing the small storylines in anything that I do. I usually like to wrap up everything that I can and then leave something hanging for the next season. So this finale really is emblematic of the way I usually like to do finales, minus a twisty, turn-y Katherine Pierce-size cliffhanger. Thankfully, it is much more satisfying than, for example, the last episode of Kyle XY, when they cancelled us after insisting we cliff-hang the final episode of the third season.

TVLINE | Was this always the ending you envisioned? You didn’t make any tweaks after finding out the show would not continue?
No. This [episode] was shot in December, delivered in February and aired exactly as it was intended.

TVLINE | Correct me if I’m wrong, but when the show was announced at upfronts, it wasn’t labeled a limited event series. That came much later.
Yeah. That came out of, I think, a desire to “eventize” the experience. They knew that since the show did have a satisfying ending that it was a risk they were willing to take, that it could work as a single [season] series if it needed to, or it could live on. Between the marketing point of view and wanting to get people excited and knowing that they weren’t misleading the audience — because if it did, in fact, end, it would feel like it had a proper ending — those were the choices that they decided to make.

TVLINE | Was there anything that you would have done differently if you had known it was going to be a one-season series?
Well, if I had known that from the beginning, I would have finished the story. I would have found a way to find a cure and see a sense of hope that the quarantine would be lifted. We got pretty close to that, coincidentally, so that’s good. But I would have liked to see it go on for another chapter in order to tell the other half of the story.

Containment RecapTVLINE | What was in store for a potential Season 2?
We had the conflict at the hospital. As the entire community is waiting for the virus to die out, knowing they won’t be free until it does, Dr. Cannerts comes up with a way to keep people alive, even though they’re symptomatic. So there’s a bunch of people, diseased and able to spread the virus, that he’s keeping alive and healthy but still infectious. Suddenly, these people who just 20 days ago were outraged to be placed in a cordon find themselves having to cordon off an area within their own zone so that they can potentially avoid infection from the people at the hospital. So we had a great cuckoo’s nest kind of division: the hospital filled with sick and dying people versus a community of people trying to build and hold on and survive in functional ways by deciding what to do about communication and law and martial law and how to feed themselves and how to teach their kids and how to be intimate with each other — all the things that you need to have when you’re stuck somewhere and you’re not going anywhere anytime soon.

TVLINE | How would Lex have adjusted to being inside the cordon?
The adjustment would have been complicated for him, because he’s used to being the guy in charge. He’s the Major, and here he comes into a town with less than 10 cops, where Jake has stepped into, basically, an ad hoc mayoral role within the community [and] where normal law does not apply. And yet, Jake is such a by-the-book guy, he would have had quite a wake-up call in terms of how to navigate within this new world.

Containment RecapTVLINE | Jake went on such a journey in Season 1 with Katie. What love interest could you have possibly introduced for him that fans wouldn’t have revolted against?
We had a new lady friend that we were planning on, quite literally, dropping from a helicopter into the middle of the quarantine zone, but certainly knowing that it wouldn’t be easy to get romantic anytime soon. But we definitely had a new scene partner for him that we were excited to explore.

TVLINE | After the finale, I had to wonder what Katie would think of the fact that Quentin did not get out of the cordon after all.
She would still be rooting for an alternate exit route. Season 2 would have continued to be about ways to eventually get healthy people out of the cordon. Quentin’s destiny, certainly — unless we had to “Walt” him because he was growing too tall [Laughs] — was to make it out safely. I can’t see it ending any other way.

What did you think of Containment‘s series finale? Grade it via the poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts on Plec’s Season 2 plans.

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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58 Comments
  1. Andy M. says:

    I’m highly disappointed that this was a limited series. This should have continued. It could have taken so many directions. Please bring it back. There are no good shows on basic cable any more.

    • Ken says:

      This is on CW, so its not basic cable. But there are plenty of good shows on broadcast, basic and pay cable, as well as Netflix, Hulu, and other services.

    • Bas says:

      The show was based on the Belgian TV series ‘Cordon’, which is getting a second season, in fact. I have not seen ‘Containment’ yet, but it seems to me the story is pretty much the same (even the names of the characters are identical). Perhaps you could watch the second series of Cordon?

    • BillyBobJohnson says:

      If The CW cancels something, then the numbers are even too bad for them. This is a network where show thrive if they consistently get 1 million viewers.

  2. Remy says:

    I want to know what happened to Meese & Sam!!

    • TV Addict says:

      They killed themselves. I don’t think there was any question about whether they survived their death cocktail.

      • Kay says:

        I believe you’re thinking of the old couple but Meese was the cop that went into the cordon, and Sam was the guy he refused to take out the escape route through the tunnels.

  3. Christina Cravin says:

    I as a Containment fan watched & recorded the series with religion. Very good show/season, but would love to see more after this one. The finale was good but we still will not know what else will take place. Read the plans for a season two and thought it would pick up very smooth from where it left off. Please bring it back. Ps. I will forever keep the show on my Hopper.

  4. Lauren says:

    Do you mean Lex is a very by the book kind of guy? Because I don’t think Jake is…

  5. Ashley de Vries says:

    Absolutely loved this season of Containment.. sad to learn there won’t be a second.. glad it almost closed everyone’s story..

  6. Jay says:

    Jake’s little rooftop rising-up was pretty cheesy, but the fact that he was tossing Katie’s ashes meant she was really and truly dead. So yay.

  7. Fiona Reynolds says:

    Awful finale. Sick of the (not so) epic romance of jake and Katie. Where does he get off scattering Quentins mothers ashes? He new her for like 3 weeks! I hope the kid pushes him off the roof when he finds out. There was zero resolution except “blame everything on Claudia Black’s character”…everyone else continue to die unless that one doctor manages to fix it. It was so cheesy and unsatisfying. The first half of the series was promising but very disappointed in the safe finale.

  8. Carol_R says:

    The only really interesting characters in this crapfest were Dr. Lommars played by the amazing Claudia Black and the elderly couple. Dr. Lommars should have been the main hero with the show more focused on her and her role rather than some whiny cops. The show completely failed by making Dr. Lommars the villain rather than the illegal Syrian immigrant. Trying to make heroes of the sleazy reporter, cops who whine and don’t do their job, and a school teacher who can’t manage to contain her charges was a huge mistake. Instead of being a patriotic movie, once again it seems that all they were interested in was being politically correct. Instead of radical islamist who want to kill us, they picked our own government to be the bad guys.

  9. Andrea says:

    I was so disappointed to find out Containment had been cancelled!!! Bring it back!!!! It has such potential and I want to see a proper ending!!!!!

  10. David Adams says:

    TV networks need to understand what the phrase “Limited Series” implies. It means “this is a story that has a beginning middle and ending.” It’s a miniseries. Do no label a show as a “Limited Series” and then construct it in a way where you want to/expect to be renewed. If you do that, you are just making a normal TV show. Do not lie to us and call the first season of your prospective TV show a “limited series” and then act like you want to be renewed. Just make a single story and be done with it. The same thing happened with The X-Files earlier this year.

    Also it would help if you make a show that wasn’t just bad.

  11. MTB says:

    This was a waste of time. So disappointed.

  12. El Bearsidente says:

    Good riddance. This was classic “this is how script writers think the magical stuff called medicine works” nonsense.

  13. Jamie Davis says:

    there SHOULD be a season 2 just as it was planned, they, just like us all, need more HOPE!

  14. Col whitey says:

    Watched this season last night
    There’s so much more they havnt told us.
    2nd season is a must!

  15. Chris says:

    Loved Containment and I was looking forward to a second season. I’m disappointed.

  16. James says:

    This is disappointing to learn there is no Season 2

  17. PAMELA HERSHEY says:

    Need more

  18. nicole says:

    Love the serries pls continue it

  19. jen says:

    There needs to be a season 2!!!!!!!

  20. Kelly says:

    I am seriously gutted that containment finished after one season it’s like star-crossed all over again.. feeling left in limbo..

  21. Annette Thomas says:

    I liked containment. Only show I watched.
    You need to continue the story.

  22. Alice says:

    PLEASE Tell Me What To Do – To Bring Containment To Season 2!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please :'(

  23. eliza says:

    i wish there was a season 2 but at least the show ended nicely

  24. Betcy says:

    Why dis they have to cancel the show it was getting so getting so good. I was at the edge of my seat the whole time untill i find out its the end. Im just so mad and sad as well.

  25. lisa fernandez says:

    My son saved the series for me on our tivo. because life is what it is, i just finished bing watching the entire series. i loved it and how it ended. its rare that a show can make me an emotional mess. if you dont make a season 2, at least the only cliffhanger was “will there be a cure”. i can live with that. what i will always remember is jake and katies story. touched me. good job.

  26. Natasha Walker says:

    Needs to be finished I’m lost now with out it I want to see more was looking when second season was starting and just found out there wasn’t going to be one guttered

  27. Tom K says:

    This series needs a season 2, there are plenty of other characters lives continuing that people are interested in and that need to be shown. Meece, Sam, Xander & Teresa and did Lex actually go into the corden to stay with Jana? These questions should really be answered, but money grabbing channels only care about numbers and results unfortunately..

  28. Camille Robinson says:

    My husband had to hold me during Katie’s death scene. Even now I’m still torn up about. I love this show and please don’t leave Jake’s story with lose ends, so sad.😭😭😭😭😭😭

  29. matthew says:

    should not have made Katie die, stupid decision

  30. Minmarty says:

    Bring it back please!

  31. SHAKEDA M says:

    SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.DISAPPOINTED. PLEASE GIVE US ANOTHER SEASON. YOU CANT LEAVE OFF LIKE THIS. SERIOUSLY!! WHATS GOING TO HAPPEN NOW. THE OUTBREAK IS STILL IN PROCESS.THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD. THE BEST OUTBREAK SHOW SINCE THE OUTBREAK MOVIE.

  32. Haley says:

    PLEASE MAKE ANOTHER SEASON, I need more!

  33. jeremy joel says:

    The thing that disappoints me is the fact that the creator cant continue the show with netflix.
    There are many netflix series like daredevil and more which are doing great. The show containment left us at the edge of our seats and it shouldnt have. I would like to see what happened with the virus and jake and everything like that. even though the creator said what she was planning it isnt the same. i would like if you could make it a netflix series.

  34. jeremy joel says:

    Why cant you just make the show a netflix based series.

  35. Nydia Neris says:

    LOVED the series but disappointed it was canceled! Requesting to bring it back please!!

  36. Kiki says:

    I wanted more. I loved theJake Katie story line. I wanted to see what was next door him…

  37. Andrea says:

    I just found this series on Netflix because I don’t have cable and I wish I was there to support it sooner! I really loved it and wish there was a second season!

  38. Brittany says:

    finals are over and I just binged watched the entire season….screen play was a lil typical maybe since I just watched Between on Netflix….but I LOVED the show and I cried so hard during Katie’s death…..hoping for a season 2

  39. Cindy says:

    The one thing that irritates me is when a very good show like containment and many more come out and after the first season it gets cancelled. I hate watching series when it only has one season because you fallen in love with the story line and the characters but never know any more if it will be caned or not. PLEASE reconsider bring out season 2 and advertise it more some more people know about it and the ratings might go up and be worth your while. thank you

  40. Melissa says:

    Please bring it back it was a really good show.

  41. Virginia Koerner says:

    I am so very sorry that I got hooked on this series, truly I am. I can’t be the only one having said this. From the first episode to the last, this program was totally engaging and I give it 4.5 stars; I give the network and the producers a D-.
    The acting was outstanding and I was totally taken into the story line. The actors I’ve never seen before and they were fantastic and made the story line believable. I was totally taken up by it, but I was well into season 1, really enjoying it, when I found out season 2 was cancelled, I mean, I was crushed. I dislike programs that don’t finish their story line and leave the audience hanging by a new rope.
    So…was it good..yes. Did it make you cry, yes. Was there sex..no, but the story had romance, the really sweet kind of love.
    I sure wish they’d bring it back.

  42. Alexis P. says:

    I actually bawled my eyes out when Katie started to hemorrhage and then Jake went in to be with her in her final moments.

    I couldn’t stop crying for 5 more minutes after knowing that Jake had to cremate Katie. I respect this show for showing such strength, truth and compassion for those moments that needed it most.

  43. Toroid says:

    Does anyone know what the square mileage of the Cordon I know there’s 4000 people but how much space with AN how close are they to each other

  44. Mylania Wilson says:

    Seriously……loved it..need to continue story line!!

  45. Mylania Wilson says:

    Loved it..please bring a 2nd series!!