After all, following last week’s intense final scene — if you’re really quiet at night, you can still hear Jenna wailing, “I’m f–ing sorry!” — this Mirchoff-directed episode could make or break the Saga of Jenna and Matty.
“Things are on the mend, I think,” he tells TVLine. “[Jenna and Matty] start seeing each other for who they are, and I don’t know if that’ll lead to them getting back together, but it could. Regardless, there is a definitive comment made with respect to their relationship. There will be closure … with some nuance to the definition.”
Below, Mirchoff explains how he landed behind the camera, shares his favorite Jake-centric moment from the episode and previews what’s still to come with Matty and Jenna.
TVLINE | So, how did this come about? Had you been asking the producers for a while?
Pretty much. The first few seasons, we had our original showrunner and creator [Lauren Iungerich], so I was shadowing some of the directors and learning about directing. She was like, “In a few years, we’ll give you your shot.” She ended up leaving, and then the new guys came in, so I shadowed with them, and they gave me the opportunity.
TVLINE | Are there any moments from the episode you’re particularly proud of?
There are actually a few, but there’s one scene with Brett [Davern] that wasn’t even in the script. All it says in the script is that Jake is at the bar, talking to this girl, and we came up with a whole idea that he’s making this speciality cocktail to impress her. It’s pretty fun. … I told Brett this idea and he was like, “I’m going to practice at home,” so he got all these bar supplies. I didn’t know to what extent he was preparing, but he apparently did his homework, because he came to set looking like Tom Cruise from Cocktail.
TVLINE | This whole season feels like a different show. How do you feel about where Matty has ended up?
It was really refreshing to see the world change. I was as surprised as anyone. It gives it a little more gusto, a new vitality that I appreciate. In regards to Matty, underneath the party facade, there’s this world of hurt. But it’s still nice to see him letting his hair down and having some fun during the summer.
TVLINE | I sense the exhaustion in your voice; it feels like Matty and Jenna have been doing this dance forever. Any hope for them?
I had a high school sweetheart, I’m sure many of us have. You really want it to work, and it seems so important at the time, but I think it’s more important for people to really experience things in life, other people. If you come back to each other, that’s great, but there’s a lot out there.
TVLINE | What about for Matty, even without Jenna? If this season ends up being the last, what can you say about his ending?
I will say there are blue skies on the horizon. He’s still on the water, navigating things … I don’t know why I’m using all these nautical themes, by the way. He’s still very much dealing with a lot of difficulties in his life, but things are becoming a little more clear with what he wants to do. He knows where north is, and he’s on his way home.
TVLINE | Are you on a boat right now?
[Laughs] No, but I actually am looking at the water.
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