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Good Trouble Boss Reveals the Series-Finale Ending She ‘Really Wanted’ to Do But Couldn’t Afford — Plus, Grade It!

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Tuesday’s Good Trouble series finale. Proceed at your own risk!

The Coterie has closed its doors.

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Good Trouble wrapped up its five-season run on Tuesday with a series finale that was recut and expanded to 90-minutes following the show’s cancellation in December 2023. In the added scenes, the Coterie residents said goodbye to each other and their home, which was being sold by the landlord.

As the group gathered for one last meal together three months later, everyone shared life updates: Malika was making strides in her campaign for city council and was back together with Angelica; Alice and Sumi were buying a house, and Alice was now the host of America’s Funniest Ferrets & Friends; Gael (who was still with Jay) announced that he’d been contracted to paint a mural in downtown LA; Luca revealed that he was going on tour to dance for… Olivia Rodrigo!; Davia was leaving for New York as the star of an off-Broadway musical, but she and Dennis were committed to a long-distance relationship; and Joaquin was mulling offers from different magazines and planning to visit his parents once Jenna — who helped him finally get Silas arrested and saved Mariana’s life when she shot Silas — was done with rehab.

That brings us to our original Fosters sisters: After moving on with Joaquin, Mariana was dealt a curveball when Evan revealed that he’d gotten his memories back. As the group dinner continued, Evan joined the festivities, and Joaquin made room for him to sit by Mariana’s side. Callie also came back to LA to bid adieu to The Coterie, sharing an emotional moment with her sister by the pool.

“It’s been quite the journey,” Mariana remarked, to which Callie replied, “It certainly has. And there’s no one that I would have rather done it with.”

But that wasn’t the ending showrunner Joanna Johnson originally envisioned for the series, she reveals in the following Q&A.

The EP also discusses how the season finale shifted into a series ender and mulls the possibility of a TV movie. (Plus, get scoop on whether Hulu might rescue the show.)

TVLINE | What did you end up adding to the finale? Was everything after Alice finds out the landlord is selling the building a new addition, and that was the original cliffhanger?
No, that wasn’t the original cliffhanger. The original cliffhangers were really on the Silas storyline, and Mariana and Joaquin and our triangles that we had. I did have to go in and cut some of those scenes that we had shot that we weren’t going to be able to pick up in a Season 6. It didn’t make sense to kind of boot those stories since we weren’t going to be able to resolve them. So I went back in and recut the finale and added these scenes, which are very moving and beautiful. Everybody was a trooper, and everybody was so happy. All the actors and the crew, everybody was so happy to have a couple of days to come back together and say goodbye, and it was really quite beautiful.

TVLINE | Is there anything you would’ve done differently or included if you’d had more time or more money?
I really wanted to do Jamie and Callie’s wedding. I really did. I’d always felt that that was going to be the series finale to the show, whether it was Season 6 or Season 7, who knows. So I was really sad, but we just couldn’t afford it. We just didn’t have the money to do it. I wanted to bring back every Fosters person and bring some surprise Easter egg characters back from The Fosters for people, and also from Good Trouble that we haven’t seen in a while. But unfortunately, we just didn’t have the time or the money to do it.

TVLINE | For the longest time, I thought that maybe Callie and Jamie’s wedding was going to be the finale, and I even said to Cierra Ramirez when I interviewed her, “Callie and Jamie met during an engagement. It seems fitting that this would end with their wedding.”
Yes, I know, but at least we had their engagement party [in Episode 18], where we got have our Fosters there and the moms. So that really served, for me, as at least a goodbye to them. Thank God we had that episode.

TVLINE | Were there any scenes cut with Lena and/or Stef from the series finale? I got the impression from talking to Sherri Saum that she was in the series finale.
No. When wanted to try to do the wedding, we definitely pinned them. That’s like when you call up and you just kind of pin an actor. But when we couldn’t afford it, we had to not do it.

Good Trouble Series Finale
Good Trouble Series Finale

TVLINE | Well, you did manage to get Maia Mitchell back. Why was it important for you to have the series end with Callie and Mariana and that final scene of the two of them by the pool?
I felt that Good Trouble started with the two of them coming to LA, and I felt like it needed to end with the two of them. So once all the other characters say goodbye, I thought it was important that just the two of them were on the roof for the final [scene] and by the pool, where they were in the first episode. It just kind of felt like the right thing.

Good Trouble Series Finale
Good Trouble Series Finale

TVLINE | That scene by the pool with everybody and then just the two of them, how much was real life bleeding into fiction in the dialogue in that scene? Or was that all scripted?
It was all scripted, but I wrote it so that when they say, “Do you think anyone will remember us?” that’s about the show, basically. And then Gael says, “I think we made an impact.” I’d like to think we made an impact of some sort. I was really writing about the show, itself, and all those actors and their journeys. Will we be remembered? Will people still talk about the show five, 10 years from now? Did we make any impact? And so that’s what that was all really about.

Everybody was crying, and everybody was trying to hold back the tears. Maia and Cierra were like, “I don’t know… How far do you want us to go? What do we do?” So we did a few takes where we told them to hold it back, and then we did a take [like], “Just let it go,” and we used the more “let it go” one. But there were so many tears. That cast loves each other, and they are really close and have always been amazingly supportive of one another and really grateful for the journey. And then, of course, Maia and Cierra, which is why we decided to do little flashbacks.

TVLINE | Oh, my God. That destroyed me.
Right? I mean, Cierra was 17 during the [Fosters] pilot, and Maia was 18, 19, and so, they grew up on this show. They were incredibly emotional. Maia said this was harder than when she left as a series regular, because she always knew she would be coming back, and that the show was still there, and that it was like home, and she could go and touch back in. She said this was harder, knowing that it was the end.

Good Trouble Series Finale
Good Trouble Series Finale

TVLINE | I wanted to also touch base on the love triangle that you had established this season between Mariana, Evan and Joaquin. We finally get a resolution in the series finale. Why did you decide that Mariana has to end up with Evan?
For me, it just felt like that’s the long love affair, and they’re so cute together, and they were adorable in Episode 18. I love how T.J. [Linnard] plays Evan. She loves him first, you know? I think she had real feelings for Joaquin, but I don’t know… And I think most of our audience wanted to see her with Evan.

TVLINE | When you think of their future together, do you imagine that they’re still working alongside each other as co-CEOs of Speckulate?
I do, yeah. Absolutely. I think they make a good partnership. Maybe in the TV movie, one day, we’ll do a double wedding, and we’ll have them get married, too.

TVLINE | Since you brought it up, what are the chances that you’re going to be able to revisit these characters someday?
Well, I would do it in a heartbeat, but you know, unfortunately, it’s not up to me. So I don’t know. I know that on Hulu, we’ve been trending for the last few weeks in the Top 15 of what people are watching. We’re number 7, and we’ve been there for a couple of weeks. I do think that there are people that do love the show and would watch a TV movie, but I just don’t know if people make those anymore, you know?

TVLINE | I’m really happy to hear that Dennis and Davia are going to try the long distance thing. I did wonder, though, if maybe there was going to be a marriage proposal. Was that something you ever considered? Or are they the type of couple that don’t need marriage?
I see them getting married sometime down the road. He said in the finale that he wants to be together for the rest of their lives. So I think they’re endgame for each other.

Good Trouble Series Finale
Good Trouble Series Finale

TVLINE | And you, basically, wrote almost an entire musical for the Davia storyline. Has there been any discussion about making it into a real musical?
Well, that certainly would be fun. The composer of the music, Heather Reid, who’s a wonderful musician and singer and composer… I think it would be a fun play to put on, but it’s a lot of work, and theater’s not easy. So, no, we haven’t seriously decided that we would do it.

TVLINE | Finally, what do you hope the legacy of the show will be?
I wish more eyes had been on this show and more people had been aware of it, because I don’t think there’s another show out there like it. I hope that the legacy is that the show was forward-thinking, that the show may have introduced people that watched it to people that might be different than them. I think that we have a strong LGBTQ presence in the show. We’ve talked about racism. We’ve talked about so many important issues, and I hope that those open some people’s minds. And mostly, I hope that people felt it was a place that they could turn on the TV and see their favorite characters and be entertained, and have a sort of heartwarming experience, watching the show. Ultimately, you want to entertain, and you want to open and warm people’s hearts. That’s what I want to do in my work.

Good Trouble fans, what did you think of the series ender? Grade it below, then hit the comments!

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