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‘Found’ Showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll Breaks Down Shocking Finale & Teases Season 2 Will Be “More Dangerous”

SPOILER ALERT! This post contains details from the season finale of Found.

Found creator Nkechi Okoro Carroll sure knows how to craft a season finale.

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The NBC procedural’s first season came to an end on Tuesday night with a jaw-dropping conclusion that is sure to tee up an interesting Season 2, since the series scored an early renewal back in November.

After Gabi [Shanola Hampton] came clean to Dhan [Karan Oberoi] about the fact that she’d been keeping her former kidnapper Sir [Mark-Paul Gosselaar] captive in her basement and using him to help solve their firm’s missing persons cases, it was only a matter of time before her secret wasn’t so secret anymore. After she was kidnapped again in the penultimate episode, Sir manages to escape, in a fit of panic about Gabi’s safety. But, she’s been found once again, and Sir is still missing.

Dhan takes it upon himself to search for Sir while the rest of the M&A crew makes progress on one of their longest-running cases, but everyone else knows something is up because neither Dhan nor Gabi are acting like themselves. When they pair realize that they may never find Sir, since Dhan received a tip that he’d jetted off to Amsterdam under a pseudonym, she does decide to come clean to the rest of the group, who are devastated by the revelation.

But little do they all know, Sir is not in Amsterdam. In fact, he never left the city. The episode ends with the reveal that Sir has tracked down Lacey [Gabrielle Walsh], his other former kidnapping victim, and is hiding inside her home. He previously threatened Gabi he would kill Lacey, should he ever get out of her basement.

Audiences will surely be on pins and needles as they wait to see how all of that plays out in Season 2. Carroll spoke to Deadline about the cliffhanger of a finale and what to expect from Season 2 in the interview below.

DEADLINE: How early on did you know you were going to end the show on such a cliffhanger?

NKECHI OKORO CARROLL: From the pitch. I always knew. Season 1 was always designed as sort of like this train collision course between the flashback telling her story of reverse chronological order that would build up to the day she was taken [from] the day she first met her kidnapper that set the whole thing in motion, and that would coincide with the present day storyline would be on a collision course to the day he got out and the havoc that he would wreak. So yeah, that had always been part of the plan since the original envisioning of the show and was part of the original document I put together for the overview for the first few seasons of the series.

DEADLINE: So the scene where Gabi finally admits the truth to her M&A colleagues…did she really tell them everything?

CARROLL: Given the visceral reactions that they all have and the effect it has on Gabi once they’ve all left and left her alone…in her grief, she’s told them more than enough to make them walk away from her like that. It’s been the message of the whole season. There’s very little of each other that they couldn’t forgive. There’s no judgment on how we all cope with our trauma. There’s no judgment on anyone’s pace of healing. So for them to react the way they reacted in that final moment, it would have to be their worst nightmare come true.

DEADLINE: The episode ends on a really shocking note, as Sir hasn’t run away to Amsterdam. He’s in Lacey’s house. Gabi also discovers the rat poison is gone. What can we expect to come from that in Season 2?

CARROLL: He might have tampered with people’s food when Season 2 premieres. What we’re supposed to take away from that is that the cat and mouse game that has existed between Sir and Gabi since the day they met, whether she knew she was playing it or not, is going to continue to exist. They’re just in a bigger playground now, which makes it more dangerous.

DEADLINE: Your writers rooms always sound like they are so lively. You’re all always having debates in the All American rooms…what was the atmosphere in the room while you were crafting these last two episodes?

CARROLL: It was a very, was a very animated writers room. I sat down with them at the very start of the season and walked them through what the season arc was and where it was ending so that it would feel like this bullet train accelerating towards that with every episode as we got closer and closer. So the room was equally as excited to be breaking the culmination of this journey they’ve been planting seeds for in all the previous episodes. It was a very fun time. It was a very animated time as we all pushed on like ‘Okay, wait, would he do this? Or do that?’ and finally landed on exactly how Sir would reveal himself outside of the basement. It’s good times in the writers room. I’m laughing because I literally just left the writers room to come to this interview, and if we thought the end of Season 1 was lively in the writers room, breaking the beginning of Season 2 is quite the amazing energy that everyone has come back with. I’m just so excited.

DEADLINE: Have you begun to discuss in the room how all of this is going to mess with Gabi’s healing journey? Obviously she couldn’t heal while keeping Sir captive, but now there’s a whole new can of worms with him out in the world again.

CARROLL: Absolutely. Of course it’s compounding everything she had to deal with. But at the end of the day, all the secrets are out, and that is always the first step of the healing journey. I’ve been describing it like a wound that’s healed over but it’s infected inside. Eventually, you’re going to have to do the very painful thing of cutting open that wound again, because the truth is, it’s not properly healed. You’re going to have to root out the infection and then watch it heal all over again. I’ve been referring to the end of Season 1 as she finally took the knife and cut deep into the wound to start to take out the infection. So we’re going to go on that journey with her, which is not going to be an easy one because the rest of her life is so out of order. It’s in complete chaos. She’s someone who tries to hold on to control as much as possible, and that is something she doesn’t have control of right now, because she has no control over the feelings her team has and the reaction they’re going to have and the consequences of those reactions.

DEADLINE: Are you planning to dive deeper into the other characters’ trauma and backstories in Season 2?

CARROLL: Absolutely. That’s the beauty of these characters and the actors we have playing the characters. They’re all onion that are slowly but surely being peeled back layer by layer, and each season is more of those layers. So we will absolutely see more of that in Season 2.

DEADLINE: In terms of the procedural aspect, how do you find inspiration for the missing persons cases?

CARROLL: I mean, really, it starts with the character of the person we’re trying to find, the character of the forgotten, because who were looking for is such an important part of the show — and why they’re looking for them. So that came from everywhere. It came from people I’ve known across my life and stories I’ve heard across my life, and I’m like ‘Man, if only that had to had a different resolution.’ Or experiences from my life or my childhood. The beauty of our writers room has been the generosity of the writers in also sharing their personal stories, which was not a requirement at all. We’re writers. We write for make believe. That is what we do for a living. But they’ve been so generous with stories from their lives and their past that we were able to incorporate, or broadly the cases were based on real-life stories. They were all personal cases to us in the writers room in terms of our blood sweat and tears and essence we poured into these cases and these characters…so I like to say they came from a gumbo pot of real-life of real life — all of us in the writers room’s real life, crew members who started to share stuff with us. Yes, stories we’d heard from the news. It all just went into the gumbo pot and got mixed in and shaken and stirred and then out of that came these cases.

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