Fire Country’s Burning Questions Answered Ahead of Season 3

May 18, 2024 - Music

Do Fire Country s Max Stephanie Think Gabriela Married Diego or Chose Bode

Max Thieriot as Bode Donovan and Stephanie Arcila as Gabriela Perez.
Sergei Bachlakov/CBS

Fire Country ended its second season with so many questions — which is why Us is delivering the answers.

Executive producer and showrunner Tia Napolitano weighed in on the direction of the CBS show after season 2 ended on Friday, May 17, with Bode (Max Thieriot) planning his path back to becoming a firefighter after walking out of Gabriela’s (Stephanie Arcila) wedding.

With so many storylines still up in the air, Napolitano exclusively told Us Weekly about Fire Country‘s evolution and how a shortened episode order affected the sophomore season as a whole.

“From the get, we just knew we had to make 10 very special episodes. We only had 10, so the bases are loaded,” Napolitano explained about how the cast and crew came together. “We’re at firenado by episode 5 and the next episode was out Sheriff Country [backdoor pilot].”

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There were continuous attempts to make sure everyone was featured despite the setback, adding, “I think we included everything we wanted to. We just packed it in there. So all the episodes are very dense and satisfying.”

In addition to Bode and Gabriela’s arcs, viewers saw Manny (Kevin Alejandro) turn himself into the police after running from the law. But he got the chance to walk his daughter, Gabriela, down the aisle and then Manny was immediately on his way to prison.

Napolitano reflected on the big swings taking place on the show each week.

“Every season is a learning of’ what do we do great [and] what can we do better next year?’ If you think we can never really rest easy on an action show, it’s always how can we do a better, smarter, faster and continue to keep everyone happy and safe,” she detailed. “You just need to be open to learning over and over and over again on an action show.”

Keep scrolling for Napolitano’s insight on that shocking season 2 finale:

What Led to the Big Bode Decision?

Before the finale, Bode was surprised with an early release from Three Rock because he saved dad Vince’s (Billy Burke) life. The good news doesn’t mean Bode’s road ahead won’t be long and sometimes quite difficult.

“We felt like by the end of season 2, we just had been craving it and craving it and craving it for so long,” Napolitano noted. “And our show is all about redemption and we get Bode to this place where he’s really earning it and changing and really growing. We wanted that wish fulfillment and that satisfaction of, Finally, this man gets to no longer be incarcerated.’”

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How Will Bode Evolve From Here?

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“It’s freeing to have [Bode] out. The way it is now, we lived in two worlds and Bode — who is the lead of the show — lived almost alone. He would have scenes with Freddy or Cole or Eve or Manny, but he couldn’t be with the entire group,” Napolitano noted. “And we would have these great scenes of our characters having fun. Gabriela, Eve and Jake joking around or making food or enjoying a night at Smokey’s and Bode couldn’t be a part of it.”

The executive producer is excited to include Bode in the group moments, adding, “I think every set he’s on that we haven’t seen him on yet as a free person is just fan candy and really fun. We just want to make sure that we appreciate how special it is every time those things happen for him.”

What Are Bode’s Next Steps?

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Sergei Bachlakov/CBS

Bode took part in a firefighting program while incarcerated but it won’t be as easy for him to join the force now that he is out.

“Bode’s journey from free citizen to firefighter is going to be a long one. We’ve covered on the show how hard it is. There’s so many hoops and red tape to get through to get your record expunged as an inmate,” Napolitano explained. “I think seeing him fight for that is fighting for himself. They become one and the same.”

The motivation behind Bode’s decision is a welcome change.

“In season 1 and 2, he had a hard time just improving himself for the sake of himself. I think going after the goal he wants is, in a wonderful way, selfish for Bode,” she noted. “There are a lot of programs to transition people out of the inmate firefighter program to real firefighters. [He has] his family and the fire station is basically the Leone house.”

Napolitano reassured fans that they shouldn’t be worried about Bode not fighting fires. “He’s going to be all up in there,” she quipped. “He’s definitely going to be firefighting curious until he’s actually able to officially hold a hose again.”

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How Free Is Bode, Really?

According to Napolitano, just because Bode is out now doesn’t mean he is out for good.

“Prison — at least via fire camp — is always going to be part of the show. It’s part of the DNA of the show,” she told Us. “I have no hard line about Bode not going back to prison at this point. We’re only in season 2, but I do know from this point forward I want to see him free for a good minute — if not forever. Just to really enjoy it.”

What Are Bode’s Chances With Gabriela?

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In the season 2 finale, Bode left before Gabriela officially became a married woman. That led to questions about whether Gabriela went through with exchanging vows with Diego or whether she got cold feet.

“I love a good cliffhanger — especially a romantic cliffhanger. I think we’ve been teasing Bode and Gabriela since the pilots and to still not get that answer and to want them to be together so badly,” Napolitano noted. “But they’re apart and you don’t know how it ends. It just felt like a really propulsive way to throw us into season 3.”

She continued: “We wanted to end on an aspirational, hopeful note. It feels so good to see the Bode we’ve been rooting for. To see him root for himself and advocate for himself and know what he wants and go for it. It just felt like, ‘Let’s go season 3!’”

What Is the Season 3 Vision After Fire Country’s Renewal?

“I can’t tease too much. Our show is always going to be about redemption. That’s the heartbeat of our show,” Napolitano shared. “So that will continue to be true. And I talk about wish fulfillment. I think there is going to be a little bit of care for what you wish for in season three.”

How Do Manny’s Issues Play Out?

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Sergei Bachlakov/CBS

After losing his leadership position at Three Rock, Manny started out the second season at a crossroads. His decision to punch Luke resulted in him getting a warrant put out for his arrest and in the season 2 finale Manny was taken into custody.

“We’ll see Manny’s going to get put through his paces. I’m most interested in seeing if Manny can talk the talk about redemption. Can he walk the walk? Can he dust himself off and get back up the way we want him to?” the executive producer noted. “What does Manny’s redemption story look like all over again? And we will be on that journey with him every step of the way.”

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Are the Job Title Switches Legit?

Season 2 of Fire Country felt like a game of musical chairs. After Sharon told Luke she wanted her job back — which was his now — Napolitano discussed how that will play out in the third season.

“We’re going to lean into that next season of the shuffling that’s happened and people trading titles and positions,” she shared. “And is it that easy? I love the confidence that [Sharon has] assured. So self-assured that she thinks she can just take it.”

Is This It for Freddie?

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Sergei Bachlakov/CBS

The season 2 finale featured W. Tre Davis back in town as fan-favorite character Freddy.

Freddy was Bode’s best friend when they worked at Three Rock together. However, Freddy was offered a second chance when Bode took the fall for a drug trade that was almost falsely pinned on him. As a result, Freddy didn’t appear in more episodes when Bode returned to Three Rock.

Napolitano isn’t ruling out more appearances from Freddy in the future now that Bode is out of prison.

“We love Freddy. We were so excited to have him back. People were saying just seeing his name again on the page — people were crying. It felt so good to see Freddy and to see that he got his happy ending,” she told Us. “He got his food truck, he’s good with [his fiancée] Cookie and he has his baby. So I think with Bode out, there’s limitless opportunity for people to cycle back through our world.”

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