Fire Country Finale: Stephanie Arcila Weighs In on Bode's Lie, [Spoiler]'s Kid
The following contains spoilers from the Fire Country Season 1 finale, which aired May 19 (read full recap and Diane Farr Q&A).
Fire Country‘s Bode (played by Max Thieriot) pretended to choose drugs, not hugs, as Season 1 of the CBS hit drew to a close last week.
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When quietly pulled aside by an investigator for the state attorney’s office, Bode was forced to choose between denying any involvement in Three Rock’s drug trade — and, by association, forever delay BFF Freddy’s wrongful imprisonment appeal — or “admit” to being the camp’s drug peddler, and not only put the kibosh on his own parole but get him sent back to the hoosegow.
Do-right Bode chose the latter, utterly devastating his parents while similarly leaving would-be partner Gabriela (Stephanie Arcila) wondering, “WTF?”
TVLine spoke with Arcila about Gaby’s reaction, Cara’s baby bombshell and more.
TVLINE | Grade your Season 1 experience, filming 22 episodes of an effects-heavy, hit freshman show in Vancouver. I have to imagine it was intensive.
It was like a boot camp all at once. I had a blast, though. I’m in the best shape of my life now because of Fire Country, because I had to get strong to be able to carry all of the heavy stuff that we carry, and to be able to do all of our action stuff. I’ve learned so much from all of my castmates who are incredibly talented. And watching Max and Kevin [Alejandro, who plays Manny] direct their episodes was really beautiful. It’s so inspiring to watch your coworkers dive into other departments, because they know the story and they’re already immersed in it. I’m excited and I want to shadow every single department, so I can learn even more.
TVLINE | I cover SEAL Team and I covered Lucifer for the site, so I know Max, I know Kevin, and you really got lucky there with your leading man and TV dad. Like, two of the nicest guys.
I know. They really, really are. Kevin is like a younger version of my Dad, I swear they are the same person. They both love joking, and he cares about me like a father. It’s really beautiful the dynamic that we have. I adore him.
And Max, he really is a class act, and it’s so nice having him as our No. 1 [on the call sheet]. And having him as my love interest in the show has been really, really nice, because he is that he makes you feel comfortable. He makes sure that you’re OK. He makes sure that it’s a safe space for everyone, and he’s just an incredible human. If you know him, you know.
TVLINE | The mudslide visual effects were pretty solid for a network TV budget. But what was it like for you all, there at the location?
I definitely tripped a lot because there was a lot of debris everywhere — and they caught it on camera. But it was amazing. I mean, our job is to use our imagination, right, so while we didn’t get to see an actual, full-on mudslide, our props department and everyone did an incredible job setting up everything and making it look like the aftermath of a national disaster.
TVLINE | Speaking of the mudslide: Since Gabriela is regularly sooty and/or grimy, did it make you appreciate all the more the, maybe, three scenes where you go to wash your face and put on nice jeans?
[Laughs] Yes and no. I don’t mind getting dirty. It’s funny, because when I was little my mom was like, “You can go out in a white dress and come back with your dress super clean,” because I hated getting dirty. But now I don’t care, I’ll roll around in the mud. It’s actually more fun! Like, if it’s raining and there’s a puddle and I feel like being a kid and jumping in it, I do it.
TVLINE | Now remind me, because I missed a couple of words at the beginning of the scene: What Three Rock cabin did Gabriela have keys for, for her and Bode to have their first romp? Where were they?
They have their ways. [Laughs] She knows where everything is. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
TVLINE | Why do you think Gabriela gave Bode as much of a benefit of the doubt as she did throughout the season?
I think it stems from her father. She has watched her father have second opportunities as well, and grow, and she understands that at the end of the day we’re all human and our mistakes don’t define us.
TVLINE | Because it’s a big ask — not that Bode ever asked — for her to wait, to hope for his parole, and put her eggs in that one basket.
That is true, but Gabriela was an Olympic diver and she’s used to waiting. She waited how long to get to the Olympics? And she’s also going through the waves of getting to know herself. I feel like, for the first time in her life, she is having some grace with herself and allowing herself to move slowly and feel and, yes, maybe make some sporadic decisions. But I think she’s loving herself.
TVLINE | She had that nice speech à la “I want to be happy now.”
It’s true, though. Just in general, not even on our show, our tendency in life is to move forward, to not be happy, to not do the things we love and just push forward. I myself stopped saying “yes” to a lot of things that didn’t make me happy, and when I read those things in Gabriela’s character and saw that she finally came to a moment where she’s like, “That’s it, I can’t be happy waiting for everything else to happen”…. Everyone deserves to be happy now. If we are always, “I’m not going to be happy until I have my house,” “I’m not going to be happy until I have this,” “I’m not going to be happy until that,” then we’re never going to be happy, because we’re not actually being present. So, I’m really excited for Gabriela’s new moment and for her to be a little more present in her life. She’s releasing a lot of expectations and control that she’s used to having, because she’s got disciplined that was through diving.
TVLINE | Bode just tanked his parole hearing. And when Gaby called him out on it, he lied to her face about being a no-goodnik. Do you think she’s 100% buying what he’s selling in that moment?
No, I’m pretty she’s not. They have such a beautiful connection that I know she feels him. It’s one of those connections where you don’t even have to tell me, but I know when something’s up and you’re lying. So, I think she’s just really confused and heartbroken right now.
TVLINE | Elsewhere in the finale, Jake learned that Cara — Bode’s high school sweetheart — secretly gave birth when she was 19, and her “kid sister” is actually her daughter. If that kid is in fact Bode’s, how do you think Gabriela might react?
If it is Bode’s? Oh, goodness…. I have to tell you, I was in shock when I read that, by the way. I was like, “What is happening?! I want to know what’s happening!” But Gabriela, she’s an empath and she finds ways of understanding people. She’s human, so I think it would still hurt her, but like I said, there are so many things out of her control in her life right now and she’s just trying to pick up the pieces and do her best at everything. But yes, we shall see!
Want scoop on Fire Country Season 2, or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.
Launch Gallery: <I>Fire Country</I> Finale Recap: Did Bode Make Parole? And Who Has a Secret [Spoiler]? — Plus, Grade Season 1
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