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The Bold Type Boss Breaks Down How 'Sh-- Hit the Fan' for Sutton and Kat in Season 4 Finale

"I think it doesn't feel right at the end of the day," Wendy Straker Houser said

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Lindsay MacDonald

[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale episode of The Bold Type. Read at your own risk!]

The Bold Type was another victim of an unexpected season finale due to COVID-19 shutdowns, so while we might be eager to find out what happens next, we'll have to wait for the show to get renewed for Season 5 to get our answers. In the meantime, we'll agonize over Kat (Aisha Dee) and Ava's (Alex Paxton-Beesley) spontaneous hookup,  Sutton's (Meghann Fahy) slow downward spiral, and Jane's (Katie Stevens) budding romance with her new employee.

TV Guide spoke to showrunner Wendy Straker Hauser about crafting that impromptu finale and which unfinished story arcs will pick back up in a potential Season 5.

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What were some of the challenges you guys faced turning this episode into your new season finale?
Wendy Straker Hauser: We just had so many unfinished stories. This was sort of that moment, at least for Sutton and Kat, where - pardon my French - the sh-- hit the fan. And then you were going to have an opportunity to process that and adjust to it and then move in a different [direction]. And we didn't get that opportunity. So I guess on some level, it became a big cliffhanger, but the challenge was just saying, "Oh my goodness, we have some unfinished stories, and where are we leaving them? And OK, this is this is our new normal, let's do the best we can with what we have."

Do you plan to incorporate those storylines into the beginning of Season 5 if you get renewed?
Straker Hauser: Should we get a Season 5, I think we're all just going to sit down and have a lot of real conversations and just figure out if we want to make changes to certain storylines we have [and] how we'll make changes. I just think it's going to be interesting. When we first ended and got cut short I thought, "Oh my gosh, we have so many unfinished stories." And then I took a moment and continued to go back to those scripts and I thought to myself, "Wow, you know, maybe we have an opportunity to do something different here. And oh, we could explore this here." So what, at first, felt devastating now feels like a really awesome opportunity.

Meghann Fahy, The Bold Type

Meghann Fahy, The Bold Type

Freeform

Just to clarify, did Sutton actually sleep with her ex? 
Straker Hauser: We imagine that she did sleep with her ex. We imagine that at a time of devastation, she went home to be with her mom to return to something that felt familiar and then just happened to run into her ex-boyfriend and sought comfort in the familiar and allowed herself to do something that she normally would never have done.

I was actually talking with a co-worker about it and we remembered that guy in Season 2 that she found out was married and how she handled it so differently. 
Straker Hauser: 
It's interesting that you say that. I think she's so in her own head and so devastated and filled with so many emotions that she doesn't quite understand. I think she gives in, in a moment. We talked about it a lot in the room too. It's like, is she trying to hurt herself? Does she feel like a piece of crap, and so she's allowing herself to be that by sleeping with her ex-boyfriend, who does have a family? It's sort of one of those complicated moments in life when you do something you're deeply ashamed of because you're feeling shame and possibly a little bit of self-hatred. That has happened, and I know it has happened to people in their 20s. And so we just want to explore what that would feel like and the aftermath of that as well.

Does this hit the self-destruct button on any possible reconciliation with Richard (Sam Page)?
Straker Hauser: We didn't really talk about in the writers' room how this would affect her relationship with Richard. I think because we were so focused on Sutton processing something she had just recently discovered about herself, which is that she didn't want to have kids. I don't think she knew that all along. I think she's going through some deep pain that she doesn't quite understand yet. And so I feel, should we get a fifth season, we're really going to explore that pain for her and her trying to understand herself better and maybe dig a little bit into her relationship with her mom and her childhood and how that colors her feelings about being a woman and a mother. I think she has a lot to figure out before going back to Richard or having any conversation with Richard that would involve the fact that she did this.

Aisha Dee Criticize The Bold Type for Lack of Diversity Behind the Scenes

Jane and Scott (Mat Vairo) were sort of left in no man's land, but what are the obstacles in their way now that they both expressed that they're attracted to one another?
Straker Hauser: 
I think it's just an interesting dilemma for Jane. I really think she does have real feelings for him. I think there's a real connection. We've never seen Jane with anybody before, who knows what it's like to lose a parent, so I think that's a really interesting bond that they have. But at the same time, she is his boss. I think that's complicated for her, and I think we'll discover what decision she makes and possibly what decision he makes because she's got a lot to juggle next season. She is moving forward on really big stories, and as we saw in Episode 16, Jacqueline sort of tapped her to be the future of Scarlet. And that's a really big deal for her. So these are all things that she's going to kind of grapple with.

Aisha Dee and Alex Paxton Beesley, The Bold Type

Aisha Dee and Alex Paxton Beesley, The Bold Type

Freeform

Politics aside, what do you think makes Kat and Ava so attracted to each other?
Straker Hauser: I think they're both really smart women. I know we're trying to put the politics aside, but there's an element of debate and intellect, that I think Kat enjoys the challenge of. I also think there's a physical attraction, and I think there's a little bit of a mystery there that attracts the two of them. I think it's complicated for Kat. I think she doesn't quite know, and she's confused by her attraction to her. As you know, she decides she can't continue to act on that attraction, but there's sparring and there's an excitement in sparring, I think.

Was it just that her attraction didn't win out over the realization that being with someone with such different beliefs is going to be too hard for her?
Straker Hauser: We were always planning to get to this place in two episodes, where they would sort of, you know, put that attraction aside and move on. I think it doesn't feel right at the end of the day. I think that after she sleeps with her, it doesn't feel right. They're too different, and though sparring and debating and hopefully bringing each other closer to a more common ground on certain issues and understanding where those differences came from, can be separate from having any sort of sexual or intimate relationship. I think that's what Kat is realizing. She's learning from Ava and Ava is learning from her, and I think if we had more episodes, we would have been able to see how Ava would have changed and grown and what Kat sort of brought to that. I think at the end of the day after being intimate with Ava, it just felt like they were too different for that kind of relationship. 

The Bold Type is now streaming on Hulu.

Katie Stevens, The Bold Type

Katie Stevens, The Bold Type

Freeform