Warning: The following contains spoilers for Monday’s 4400 finale. Proceed at your own risk!
The 4400 (season?) finale was lit up by a green light, and this time, it was taking people from the present to… the future?
Wounded and on the brink of death, both Manny and Logan (plus Hayden, who crouched over him) were plucked away by a green light. While Logan and Hayden were not to be seen again, Jharrel and Claudette got a surprise visit from Manny, who walked into his apartment and proclaimed that he’d only been gone for half an hour and Jharrel had already brought over a girl.
Prior to that memory-bending cliffhanger, it was revealed that Manny had spent two years in the future, working with Sienna Stone to change the world. But he was in favor of a more scorched earth approach and jumped into the green light, inserting himself into the 4400 sample. Unfortunately, Manny broke the “tower” for the time travel machine, so Sienna approached Andre in the present to help build a new machine, while swearing him to secrecy.
Below, executive producers Ariana Jackson and Sunil Nayar, who co-wrote the season ender, answer our burning questions about the finale’s twisty ending, those mysterious green lights and that giant dancing iguana. (Yes, for real.)
TVLINE | How much inspiration did you take from the original series for this finale?
ARIANA JACKSON | I feel like people, having seen it now, will understand that we really did want to go with the original premise of the show as to what happens to these people and who was behind what happened to them. So we always knew that was a facet of the original that we wanted to keep, because to be really honest with you, I watched it when it was on back in the day, and when that episode of the miniseries came on and revealed that it was people from the future who did this, that has always stuck with me as one of the greatest reveals and just really exciting.
TVLINE | In the finale, Andre asks a very important question: Might the green light be the thing that saves them in death? Is Manny’s reappearance at the end of the episode proof of that?
SUNIL NAYAR | Manny’s reappearance at the end of the episode definitely speaks to something is happening with time travel that is different than most time travel. And as we’ve seen Rev get plucked by the green light, Logan and Hayden get plucked by the green light, a version of Manny get taken by the green light, it really does start to beg questions of, what else was happening in the future? And what was Manny’s life in the future that we didn’t get to see yet?
TVLINE | What does Manny coming back mean for Logan’s fate? Is that a good sign?
JACKSON | What we’re really trying to say there is our characters don’t understand yet how these green lights work. They’re still trying to figure it out. Are these green lights saviors? As Shanice said, they’ve ruined everything in her life. I don’t think we know yet what’s going to happen, what the fallout is from the people who got taken by a green light at the end. We hope that it’s clear that that door is open for us to really figure out more what this all means.
TVLINE | Just to clarify, because with the others, it was only one person who was taken, but with Hayden and Logan, it was both of them, and I was unsure: Was the green light meant for Logan? Was it meant for Hayden? Did Hayden step in because he knew it was coming, and he wanted to also be taken, or he wanted to take Logan with him?
JACKSON | All such great questions and definitely something we want to be able to unpack in the next season, because it does seem pretty clear that Hayden saw something and threw himself on Logan. So it is a question of, did he cause something to happen that wasn’t supposed to happen? Or [did] one of them get taken who wasn’t supposed to get taken? We hope we get to explore that a little bit.
TVLINE | Someone we didn’t see in this finale was Reverend Isaiah. Is there hope for him to come back?
NAYAR | There’s hope for everybody.
JACKSON | We were really excited to get to open up the green light [story] and Rev’s disappearance a little bit before Episode 13… so we could really start exploring the green lights being back. But again, we don’t know what all this means yet with the green lights. And we certainly think that [getting taken by a green light is] not the end for anybody. As we’ve explored in the whole series, it was just the beginning for our characters back in the pilot. So it feels like there’s so much more story to tell even after after they got taken.
TVLINE | What does Andre’s secret partnership with Sienna Stone mean for the 4400 as a group? And if there’s a Season 2, are we going to be seeing more of Autumn Reeser as Sienna Stone?
NAYAR | We hope so. And we’re excited to have Andre start on a mission, because he’s been such the glue in some ways for everybody… So we think it’d be a really interesting position to put him in where he’s working for the greater good without being able to tell everybody what it is that he’s doing. It’s going to put him in a more unique position. And also, it’s going to really embrace his desire to solve the greatest mysteries of the world. It’s making his past crash back into his present for him.
TVLINE | I have to ask you about probably the most surreal moment in this finale: How did the idea for the giant iguana dancing to Dua Lipa come about? And was that always the song choice?
JACKSON | I forget that we had a giant dancing iguana in the episode. [Laughs] From the beginning of the season, we knew we wanted LaDonna to create a big illusion that would help them out of this big, horrible thing in the finale. It wasn’t always an iguana. The iguana just kind of developed and ended up being the thing that associated with the 4400 and that LaDonna dealt with with her dad. So at some point that just became the right thing. Dua Lipa, I don’t even know how that came in. It was just the perfect song, and it had to be done! And that iguana just had to dance! I don’t know. That’s all I got. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Do you recall what the reaction was in the room when that was pitched or when you saw the final cut?
JACKSON | [Laughs] We loved it! Of course, that was all CGI. That was all our VFX team at Zoic, and they did such an amazing job with it. I will say this is one of those moments where it’s one thing to write something on the page and even for all the writers to be like, “Yeah, this is cool,” and then for a VFX team to actually execute that thing. When we were seeing the first images of it, it felt like this big “holy s–t!” moment of like, “What is this?! What have we done?” [Laughs] But it was awesome. Everybody really got excited about it. Every single person, I think, on the crew got excited, maybe in different ways, about making this thing a reality. And people really worked their butts off to make it, and it was really fun for everybody.
TVLINE | How are you feeling about the Season 2 renewal odds? Are you getting any sort of indication which way it might be headed?
JACKSON | Unfortunately, we don’t have any indication. It’s one of those things where we’re sort of in radio silence, and The CW seems to be still figuring out what their plans are. So we don’t know. We’re hopeful, but we don’t know.
NAYAR | Both the studio and the network have been such great supporters of the show. So we’re keeping our fingers crossed, and we hope we get to keep telling these stories.
TVLINE | One of the things I really enjoyed this season was when you brought in Patrick Flueger as a very different character than he was on the original series. Were there other people you had also hoped to bring back this season? Anybody you reached out to?
NAYAR | Not yet, honestly. But we felt so blessed to have Scott Peters, who co-created the original, come and direct that episode. Patrick is in Chicago, shooting his show, and he had actually bumped into T.L. [Thompson], who plays Andre, and sort of expressed, “I would love to maybe be on the show,” and we’d already been thinking about how can we pay homage to the original. So when Patrick came to do this role for us, it was so great. Definitely, as the seasons go on, we would love to keep paying homage to the original, because they had such a great cast, and sort of bring them back into our world in a different [way].
4400 viewers, what did you think of the episode? Grade it below, then hit the comments!