Chasing Life fans breathed a collective sigh of relief during Monday’s winter premiere when Leo finally emerged from his months-long coma, alive and well. But he left us with one very important question: “Now what?”
TVLine posed that exact question — and more — to executive producer Sean Patrick Smith, who teased major developments for the show’s central couples. All of ’em.
TVLINE | First of all, on behalf of the fans, thank you for not killing Leo.
We actually wrote two versions, one where he lived and one where he died. There were many discussions about which direction we should go, and I’m very happy with where we landed.
TVLINE | He seems to be his old self, from what we saw, but how has the surgery affected him?
He made that joke in the holiday episode where he said, “It is brain surgery.” It’s something that affects your personality, your memory, so much. He’s going to have a struggle in [these 10 episodes], figuring out how to live his life now that the tumor is gone. He’ll need to find his purpose and deal with the physical and psychological repercussions of the surgery. This will all affect his relationship with April.
TVLINE | Will they walk this road to recovery together?
In a way, yeah. They’re both in a unique position from when we saw them in 1A. They’re both cancer-free, and things should be easier, but the fact that they were both dealing with this illness was sort of this epic bond between them. Once that bond is gone, it begs the question: Why are they together? What does work for them? Can they be each other’s caretaker? There’s a real shift in the dynamic of the relationship.
TVLINE | In your words, how does April feel about Dominic right now?
She’s racked with guilt. They still have feelings for each other. If neither of them cared about each other, that breeds indifference, and he was obviously not indifferent towards her in the premiere, nor was she to him. She feels guilty about the way things happened, and he’s still dealing with the betrayal, which is something we get into in 1B. We find out why he was so crushed by what April did.
TVLINE | I also love that George and Sarah are giving into their feelings, but I love even more that Emma is now in on the secret. How’s that going to play out?
Emma is somebody who has sat back and watched this family’s secrets emerge, and she’s seen how damaging they can be to the people she loves. She holds [Sarah and George’s] feet to the fire once she knows what’s going on, and she says, “If you guys are serious about this, when and how are you going to tell the girls?” They have to decide how serious they are about the relationship now before they go public with it.
TVLINE | And then there’s Brenna and Greer, who now have both of their families opposing their relationship. How’s that going to work?
Our intent with this story in the premiere was to up the obstacles and the stakes of their relationship. They’re having to sneak behind their parents’ backs — which is not something Brenna is necessarily new to — and they both have to get a little messy to be together. Brenna is so different now than she was in the pilot; we wanted her to do all the wrong things for the right reasons, which is to save her relationship.
Speak up, Chasing Life fans: How glad were you when Leo opened his eyes? And what do you hope to see next between him and April, as well as the rest of the show’s couples? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.