Warning: The following contains spoilers for Thursday’s The Bold Type finale. Proceed at your own risk!
Oh, Sutton Brady (Hunter?), you’re breaking our hearts. On Thursday’s The Bold Type Season 4 finale, the stylist ventured home for comfort, but instead found several bottles of booze in her alcoholic mother’s fridge. Then while drunkenly drowning her own sorrows, Sutton hooked up with her married high school sweetheart. But shockingly, showrunner Wendy Straker Hauser isn’t ruling out a reconciliation between Sutton and her estranged husband Richard in the following Q&A.
Elsewhere, Jane was not a fan of Kat’s flirtation with the “toxic” Eva. Kat eventually texted Eva that things between them were too complicated to continue. Jane also challenged Jacqueline’s decision to squash an inappropriate workplace story after it was revealed to have ties to a woman whom Jacqueline’s husband dated during their separation.
Below, Hauser talks about Sutton’s destructive ways and the status of her marriage, as well as Kat’s confusing feelings for Eva and Jane’s chemistry with her writer Scott.
TVLINE | I was kind of surprised that there were two more episodes that were supposed to come after this one, because this episode actually worked very well as an unexpected finale. Did you make any changes to it to help it better function as a season finale?
We did. We didn’t reshoot anything. We just sort of reordered a few things. It’s hard to get specific about it, but we did whatever we could just try to make a finale out of it and heighten certain situations. But it was a very jam-packed episode to begin with. Our journey was not finished. So we left it on a big bang, that’s for sure.
TVLINE | When I talked to Katie Stevens, she was raving about those final two episodes that you didn’t get to finish. What can you say about what was in store and how those episodes or storylines might be incorporated into a fifth season, if you get renewed?
For Katie, specifically, we had left off in Episode 15 [with] Scott [admitting] that he had feelings for her, and there was that complication of, “What do you do when you connect with someone you work with, genuinely, but you’re also in a position of authority?” and it’s a new job for her. So we were going to see that [play] out more. Her arc got cut short in that way. At the same time, she was gaining more traction with Scarlet, and Jacqueline letting her know that she’s the future of Scarlet. So those were interesting things that she was going to juggle. We’ll still explore those things.
It’s amazing when you have an opportunity to stop, especially in television, when production’s moving so fast. I love so much of [Episodes] 17 and 18, but at the same time, I’m really excited about some things that weren’t shot, because we have an opportunity to tell even better stories. We just had a breath to sort of look at some things. So while some things will remain, other things will change. But our characters were going to go through more twists and turns before they made their final decisions.
TVLINE | To echo something Sutton was wondering, are she and Richard over? How permanent of a breakup was it when he left the apartment?
I feel that Richard and Sutton have much more to explore. They both need to explore themselves first, though. They’ve been such an amazing, supportive couple, and Richard has been very accommodating in the past. Sometimes, there were probably things that were unsaid that we didn’t even realize were unsaid, which is what [Episode] 15 is about. It’s just sort of bringing up things that we all didn’t realize that probably bothered each one of them a little bit, but weren’t a big deal. But then when you come to this very clear impasse, where one of them wants kids and one doesn’t, and there’s a reminder that there’s a 20-year age difference, there are some real big issues to work through, if this couple makes it. We love Sutton and Richard. They haven’t hit real, huge roadblocks before. I’m hopeful that they’ll get to know themselves better, and we’ll see. I certainly don’t think the door is closed forever. But we’ll all discuss it in Season 5, if we get one.
TVLINE | Were there plans to see him in the final two unfinished episodes?
There were not.
TVLINE | You speak very hopefully about Sutton and Richard, possibly, finding a way to work things out in the future. How might Sutton sleeping with her ex-boyfriend play into that?
The real answer is I’m not really sure. She has a real journey to go through right now, and we’re excited to focus on that, first and foremost, and then see how her journey and where she lands leads to what her future is, whether it’s with Richard or not with Richard. I feel like your early twenties are about these big milestones and these sort of triumphant moments and a lot of new scenarios, and it’s exciting and scary. And then in your late twenties, some of your childhood issues or hang-ups or struggles come into play, and that’s happening with Sutton. She has an interesting relationship with her mother. The thought of becoming a mother has brought up some issues for her. She’s incredibly career-focused and in a great place right now, and she’s had a very visceral reaction to discovering that she really doesn’t want children, and she’s sort of unpacking what that means for her. There are a lot of emotions for her around that.
Right now, she’s just being a 26-year-old girl who has lost the love of her life for right now, who had everything, and very quickly, things have changed after discovering some huge differences, and she’s processing. She does what a lot of people do when they’re lost: They go home. She wanted to return to her mom. She wanted to go home, and when she went home, she sought comfort in an ex-boyfriend who always looked at her as this amazing Sutton Brady, who he would be lucky to spend some time with. She allowed herself to just give in in that moment, because she was feeling a lot of pain and because there was some comfort in home.
TVLINE | Home is also a place that’s filled with a family history of alcoholism, and Sutton has been known to enjoy a drink for fun. But now she’s using it to drown her pain. How concerned should we be that she’s following in her mother’s footsteps at the end of this episode?
She’s going to be challenged. She’s going to be a little destructive before she gets back on her feet. She’s feeling some shame, and she’s feeling some confusion. She feels a lot of loss, and I also think she’s disappointed in her own mom… There’s this feeling of, “Am I my mother? Was my beautiful, amazing, perfect life a fantasy? Am I really not worthy?” So there’s a little bit of self-sabotage that can happen, and it’ll be interesting to explore, and I think her friends will be there for her no matter what and, hopefully, help her through the process.
TVLINE | Moving on to Kat, how much of what Jane said to her is weighing on her decision not to pursue something romantic with Eva?
Kat is also processing her feelings. When we started breaking the story, we talked about Kat enjoying the debate. Eva and Kat butt heads. They challenge each other. They have a sort of spark that comes from being on opposite sides [of] the debate. They also have a respect for each other. But I also think Kat’s confused by that. Jane’s words do ring true. But more than Jane’s words, it’s been sort of an inner conflict for Kat, as well. She didn’t expect to call out Eva’s name with Marissa. She was caught up in the debating and the sparring on the podcast, and sort of conflated that in the moment. She feels conflicted about having some feelings of attraction with someone who has some differing views than her.
TVLINE | We have seen in the past that Kat does like a challenge, and she’s always very eager to take one on.
Yes, that’s true.
TVLINE | Is that part of the attraction with Eva? Like, “Can I conquer this difference of opinion?”
I think so. Had we had more episodes, we would have seen that certainly come to fruition more. Our hope was that we could bring both sides together, learning from each other, and also have Eva come to realize some areas where she may have been wrong or not thought something through quite the way that she does when she sees it through Kat’s eyes. It was a challenge for Kat, and had we had more time, we would have seen that challenge pay off.
TVLINE | Jane has always kind of put Jacqueline on a pedestal, but with this episode, is it the beginning of Jane starting to see her mentor in a new light and challenging her more?
I think that Jacqueline is being honest with Jane and vulnerable with Jane, and Jane truly believes that the story comes first and is reminding Jacqueline of things that she’s taught her in the past. They’re a little bit more on equal footing, where they’re just both being honest with each other. I don’t think that Jane is looking at Jacqueline any less so for being concerned about how a story might affect her private life. She recognizes it, but also is challenging her to remember what she taught Jane to begin with: It’s about the story. And Jane is confident that that she has the story, and that it’s not going to come back and affect Jacqueline’s personal life. And even if it does, if they’re helping that woman, then they can handle it together.
The Bold Type fans, what did you think of the season ender? Grade it below, then hit the comments!