‘The Way Home’ Creators Break Down That Mind-Bending Season 2 Finale Twist

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SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers from “Bring Me to Life,” the Season 2 finale of  Hallmark’s “The Way Home,” which streams on Peacock and Hallmark Movies Now.

“The Way Home” added another jaw-dropping twist in the Season 2 finale, “Bring Me to Life,” which aired Sunday night on Hallmark. Jacob (Spencer MacPherson) returned home to the present day, bringing Kat’s (Chyler Leigh) Season 2 quest to a close — but that wasn’t the most shocking moment of the finale. After Kat declared, “I wish Dad was here to see this,” to her little brother, the show moved to a flashback of a very young Colton in period clothing talking to an old woman about how it wasn’t his time to go in the pond. Another flashback revealed that it was actually adult Colton (Jefferson Brown) standing in the bushes watching himself with a young Jacob (Remy Smith) at the summer kick-off before Jacob disappeared in 1999.

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Those flashbacks  mean that Colton is a time traveler, and was using the pond long before young Jacob, Alice (Sadie-LaFlemme Snow), or Kat jumped into the mysterious water attached to the Landry farm. This revelation shifts a lot of things we thought we knew about the series, and raises a host of new questions.

In the finale, it also seemed like Elliot (Evan Williams) made a breakthrough episode about the rules of the pond, allowing him to travel back to 1999 with Alice to get his five extra minutes with Colton. Elliot postured that people can travel in tandem with the Landry women, but not go into the future. However, this Colton twist brings the second part of that theory into question.

The Way Home Season 2
Chyler Leigh as Kat.

But that wasn’t the end for Season 2 finale bombshells. The episode also raised questions about Casey Goodwin (Vaughan Murrae), who showed up miraculously to tell Del that the Goodwin family would no longer be purchasing the Landry farm. When they delivered the new paperwork, Alice noticed that Casey was wearing a ring around their neck that looked suspiciously like Brady’s (Al Mukadam) and Kat’s engagement ring that Kat had given to Alice earlier in the season. So now we must question whether Casey is also a time-traveler, and what is her true relationship to the Landry family.

Variety caught up with “The Way Home” showrunners Heather Conkie and Alex Clarke, a mother-daughter duo, to ask all of the burning questions about these shocking revelations and what they mean for Season 3.

How long have you been planning this Colton twist?

Alex Clarke: For a while. This show is so complex, and is three different shows at any given time. Everything has to kind of intertwine with one era informing another, so yes, you have to know the end before you begin. The idea of Colton as a potential time-traveler was in our minds in the beginning of Season 1. What is so nice is that Jefferson, who plays Colton, has always played the role in this incredibly enigmatic way where you are not sure if he’s recognizing people, if knows more than we’re sharing — and it’s really been such a gift to watch. Now, as we go into Season 3, you can look back and notice the little nuances that you don’t notice the first time you watch an episode. He did a miraculous job with that.

Does that mean he knew it was adult Elliot in the finale? 

Clarke: We can neither confirm nor deny! That’s what’s so great about Jefferson’s performance. All we will say is that we will answer a lot of these questions in Season 3.

Are there any scenes that you recommend fans go back and rewatch in light of this twist? 

Heather Conkie: I expect the audience will go back and do exactly as Alex said, and watch all of the Colton scenes and see them from a slightly different perspective now.

Clarke: I think one of the things we were heavily influenced by when we first got into the writers’ room was “The Sixth Sense.” Our goal was always that moment at the end of the season where you go, “Wait, what?!” And then you rewatch the whole thing with this new piece of information, and see things in different lights…

This massive revelation in Season 2 is not just that Colton is a time-traveler, but also why does Casey have a ring around their neck that looks like Alice’s?

What does the Colton revelation mean for Elliot’s “Flynn Factor” theory? Is that completely null and void, because Colton obviously can go into the future?

Clarke: Any rule that we explain in the show is usually the right one. At our core, we follow the rules of the pond, because the minute we stop following the rules is the minute we lose the trust of the audience. We have the whole list. We have them up in the office and are very, very careful not to stray from the rules. We can find loopholes, or we can approach that rule in a different way, and that’s hard. But Elliot’s Flynn factor is important to the series.

You also put in a scene between Del and Evelyn Goodwin a few episodes ago that felt ominous, and did not give a lot of context. Are we going to find out more about what happened between those two and Colton in Season 3?

Clarke: Nothing is throwaway in our show. We don’t have time in our 41 minutes and 57 seconds to have throwaway moments, because it is such an intricate and fast-moving show. So any moment like that — that asks the question or poses a new theory or shows you someone in a new light — is very purposeful. What viewers need to trust is that any question we raise, we will always answer. It’s just a matter of time.

The Way Home Season 2
The Way Home Season 2

Jacob returns to the present in the finale, but we do not see him reunite with Del. What made you decide to save that for later? 

Conkie: It felt right. As Alex said, we only have a limited time and it felt like that moment [between Del and Jacob] was too big a moment to squeeze in. It is inevitable. It will happen.

Clarke: This season was also really a story about Kat bringing Jacob home. It was about her quest to save him and the ultimate question was, can she bring him home? That question we did answer:Yes, and now her quest is done. She achieved that moment. Any reunion with Del is obviously something we all want to see, but that’s another story. The story that we were telling this season was about Kat. As a result, that moment of them heading towards the house and her being the one to say, “I wish dad could see this,” propels us to these big reveal moments. It was her story. We told her story.

Obviously, with all of our stories, there’s never really an end, or every end creates a new beginning. That’s something that we were really mindful of going into Season 3. The idea that every ending is a new beginning is quite a theme.

Does ending this chapter mean that Kat won’t be tempted to go back to 1814 even if she now knows Thomas is still alive?

Clarke: We only give you as much as you need. That’s kind of the motto of the show. [Finding out that Thomas is alive] is a moment that raises a lot of questions for Kat, if and when she and Jacob walk through that kitchen door and what comes next.

Kat and Elliot kind of end on a question mark this season. What do those questions mean for their relationship? 

Clarke: I think her closing that chapter is going to open up time for her and Elliot in a way that she never really has been able to give him. Kat is an incredibly impulsive person. She is someone that once she sets her mind to something, she won’t ever give up on it until it’s done, and potentially at the cost of a lot of other things that maybe she’s not even aware of. It will be interesting to see her character start to refocus her priorities.

Elliot has a “let there be light” epiphany at the end of the episode. Is he fully healed from the trauma of losing Colton now after getting to time travel? 

Conkie: That was him breaking through not just a wall, but a whole way of thinking and regret. It may open him up in a different way. I think it will change that. He’s taking that step, and just bursting through that wall he put up around himself.

Clarke: Here’s a guy who has spent his whole life living in that house, and then returning to it four or five years ago. He’s lived with that dent in the wall reminding him that he’s capable of being like that. I think the act of busting through that wall, breaking it down, has a sense of freedom — I think he’s made his heart bigger. At the same rate, I think time traveling with Alice allowed him to put himself in Kat’s shoes. He does want to warn Colton, despite everything, despite the fact that he is a guy who lives by the rules. He always wants to say to [Colton], “Don’t get in the truck. Don’t go to the carnival. Keep your eye on your kid.” In that moment, I think he has an incredible perspective shift on what Kat has been going through.

I think both Kat and Elliot are coming to each other with different perspectives now. Kat’s quest is done, but what’s next? Elliot also has way more understanding of why she has done what she’s done. That will leave them in a really interesting place next season.

Obviously, you can’t reveal who Casey Goodwin is to the Landrys, but what are your conversations like with your actors when you know there is going to be a major twist with their character? How much warning do you give them? 

Conkie: I’ve always felt as a writer that it’s better to keep actors in the dark in a way, because they react to it immediately when it happens, as opposed to them thinking ahead of time. It’s always the case, but with Vaughan Murrae it was different. I think they had a theory when they got the role. They knew a little bit. They were a person who watched Season 1 with their mom, and they were a fan. So it was incredible for them to come play amongst people that they’ve been watching.

Clarke: To your point, Mom, I think even that very first day they kind of had an idea of where we were going with the character.

Del was developing a romance all season and was finally starting to really open up in these final episodes. What is reuniting with her long-lost son going to do to her drive to be with someone again? 

Conkie: Alex and I have thought very hard about how would you handle that after 20-odd years of acceptance that it is never going to happen. It’s bound to change a person in a huge number of ways. Do you go back to treating that 32-year-old like an eight-year-old? Are you overly possessive? Do you push aside every single thing in your life? Other than that, just to get to know this person again, this adult, it’s bound to have a massive effect on Del. It’s going to have a massive effect on Port Haven, because they were such a part of this horrific disappearance and keeping her going in her time of absolute grief. It’s going to affect her relationships, for sure, with everyone.

Clarke: One of the things we always keep in mind is this idea of a happily ever after. That is such a happily ever after moment of a son who has been missing for 24 years walking through the door. What comes after that, though? It’s not like we freeze in time, close the book and we’re done. Happily ever after is a bit of a myth because there is always something after and inevitably it has its own challenges as much as it is a happy ending in the moment.

What is the overall percentage chance that we’re going to see Andie McDowell jump in this pond in Season 3?

Clarke: We are asking ourselves that exact question in the writers’ room. Never say never with anything on our show.We pride ourselves on jaw-drop moments, so there will definitely be more.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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