THE RESORT Finale Post-Mortem: Andy Siara on Emma's Decision, Alternate Endings, and a Possible Season 2 - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE RESORT Finale Post-Mortem: Andy Siara on Emma’s Decision, Alternate Endings, and a Possible Season 2

September 1, 2022 by  

The Resort finale spoilers

THE RESORT — Episode 108 — Pictured: (l-r) Cristin Milioti as Emma, Luis Gerardo Mendez as Baltasar, Nick Offerman as Murray, William Jackson Harper as Noah — (Photo by: Peacock)

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Thursday, September 1 finale of THE RESORT.]

It took one tooth extraction, a climb into a terrifying cave, a brush with the unknown, and a whole lot of danger, but THE RESORT’s Emma (Cristin Milioti) was able to find—and save the long-missing Sam (Skyler Gisondo) and Violet (Nina Bloomgarden) in the show’s finale.

Emma found the duo in a pool, having not aged a day in the 15 years they had been missing. Though she got a moment of peace from her own nostalgic trip, rather than fully embrace the past and refuse to live in the present, she was able to get the duo out and revive them, reuniting Violet with her father, Murray (Nick Offerman), who joined the mission to find the kids last week.

The decision to not stay there also (possibly) served to form a bridge between Emma and her husband, Noah (William Jackson Harper), after being forced to acknowledged the strains on their relationship.

So, with the story wrapped up, is there a future for the show beyond this? THE RESORT creator Andy Siara answered that and other burning finale questions…

When we spoke last week, you mentioned some of the stuff with Murray was in flux as you were crafting the series. Looking to the finale, how much of this was always part of your initial pitch, and how much was tweaked as you went along?
The Nick stuff, the final scripts weren’t written yet—there’s some turns he took. But as for the very end, from the original series bible that I wrote at the end of 2019, top of 2020, it was always that the penultimate episode is they’re venturing off into the jungle, and you have your core characters doing that, trying to find the entrance to the tunnel. The finale was always meant to be entirely or majority in that underground and navigating these tunnels and then eventually getting to some type of like threshold where we’re only gonna be going forward if it’s Emma [alone]. You can live in the memories of your past. You can be stuck in a nostalgia spiral. But in doing that, you cannot move forward; you are truly stuck and you’re losing time. And so that idea there, that was always a part of it. It’s always Emma finding Sam and Violet, having been in there for five minutes, but it’s been 15 years.

The actual movement of episode 8, that was changing all the way down to pretty much the day. It was constantly evolving, because the first episode is called “The Disappointment of Time.” The disappointment of time is this thing that’s talked about a lot throughout the whole show, as you and I have talked about. And my initial pitch was Emma decides to cross over into this room and it is ultimately a disappointment—it’s a dead-end of a cave, but that’s where Violet and Sam were. And that just seemed a little too disappointing; maybe I was tripling down on disappointment. And maybe that’s not how TV, movies, and stories should ultimately be.

I felt like throughout the writing of all this, and in watching Cristin bring this character to life, and then in discussion with our fantastic production designer Bret Tanzern, and Ben Sinclair—even though he wasn’t even directing the last two episodes, he was constantly thinking about this and wanting to set up images that can pay off in the finale—and then once Ariel Kleiman came around to direct, all of us together were really like, “What is Pasaje?” We know what Emma wants going in there. Ultimately, yes, you want to know what happened to the kids, but she wants to go back to a moment in her life, whether to live in that moment forever or just to glimpse it for for a second.

That idea has been in there since the beginning, but here’s how to prep how to actually do that. And I felt like we needed, for lack of a better term, to give her a little gift there; I wanted her to see something, being presented with the choice to go in or take a step back, and not commit to the thing that she’s truly been chasing the entire time. Rather than live in the memory of the past, decide to just live in the present so she can move forward.

Those little tiny details, that’s what has been evolving up until the day: how to actually do that visually, musically. And then the other little bits and pieces of the finale like geography of how they make their way through this underground world. What is Pasaje—is it that the entire underground or is it just the room Sam and Violet are in? All of that was constantly evolving.

The Resort finale spoilers

THE RESORT — Episode 108 — Pictured: Cristin Milioti as Emma — (Photo by: Peacock)

In any show with a central mystery, there’s the question of how much, explicitly, to show. How did you land where you did on what Emma experienced?
That was another one that we toyed with, more in the in the writing and discussions. Like, [do] we go straight to a rival world, I guess, and where we just go to a new whole scene, basically? Or the very opposite side of that spectrum is no visual magical images, but it’s just her face. And so that was the constant balance between those two poles. And I felt the language of the show was never going to show exactly what she sees, but if you’ve been watching, we all know what she’s glimpsing. It’s all a feeling, anyway.

We saw Violet’s reunion with her dad, but we only heard about Sam’s reunion with his parents over the phone. What discussions did you have about how much to show of their lives post-rescue?
There was a longer version that started to feel a little too much like, okay, let’s wrap it up a little bit. It’s like as if we’re like ending a five-season show. [Our show is] only just about four hours, so we don’t need the giant, giant ending.

There was an ending that took them back to the resort. And we actually do see like, going back to the very opening of the show, with that long driveway, and each person has a goodbye there, including Sam and his parents.

The episode got too big. We had to go to a whole other country to shoot all the stuff that was underground, and we only have so much time in a half-hour show.

Two movies that I constantly talked about for this was JAWS and JURASSIC PARK. When the emotional story is done, that’s when the movie should be done. And both JAWS and JURASSIC PARK, you have your big climactic moment…and the credits roll.

Production issues aside, that’s what got me to realize, okay, the story is done in the jungle as the helicopter’s approaching because there’s nothing more you really need to do. We don’t really have to see what happened to Sam when he went back home; we can imagine things.

That was the reason why one of the most important scenes for me—and still one of my favorite scenes of the whole show—is the final-final scene with Luna and Baltasar, where it’s in case people just look down at their phones a little bit, [it’s] just to remind everybody it is nice that they’re alive, but they’re still very f—ed up, too.

That moment where Emma asked Violet, “Was it worth it?” we intentionally show Murray right before that. And she sees her dad is now 15 years older; he’s not the same guy that he was 15 years ago. And we can imagine where Sam’s parents are also 15 years older. I decided to not fully commit to the sad part, but there was an earlier version where Sam’s dad was no longer alive, just to really hammer in the point that because they obsessed over this thing in the past, they lost the present. And in doing that, you lost time with with the people who are actually around you, who you can actually live with and move forward in life with, and experience a day-to-day life with, rather than obsessing over a fantasy that no longer exists, because it’s in the past.

Looking to Emma and Noah, there was an element of hope to their final scene. How did you ultimately land there?
We shot and wrote different variations of their final moment together, when Noah asked, “Why didn’t you get in the water? Why didn’t you commit to the memory and get stuck in time?” And we shot different responses there.

From the very, very early discussions of this show and with Peacock and when Ben came on, we’re setting up in this first episode a question we’re leading off the pilot with: If they solve the mystery of Sam and Violet, will this solve their marriage? And that should be a thing that is in the back of our mind as we’re going through the entire show. And that’s why we end their story with that question: Will they save their marriage?

I also never wanted to explicitly answer it, either. It’s kind of up to the viewer. I think there’s a takeaway where that final line and that little look and that hug is like, “Okay, we’re gonna go home and try to make things work. We’re gonna talk more. We’re going to get our lives back on track.”

I think there’s a whole other reading you can have, which is, “I don’t want to lose 15 years. I think we should get a divorce.” But I like it being…it’s up to each person’s worldview.

I think that whatever every audience member’s answer to that is, that should still be happy ending, too. Is the happier ending that they separate? Or is the happier that they try and make it work and have couple’s therapy?

The Resort finale spoilers

THE RESORT — Episode 108 — Pictured: (l-r) Luis Gerardo Mendez as Baltasar, Nick Offerman as Murray — (Photo by: Peacock)

Looking to the future, if the show returns, are you hoping to do a direct sequel with these characters or start with an entire blank slate?
I have ways to move this forward, for sure. That was always part of it, and to varying degrees of using our same characters. It was really important to me that wrap up the emotional arcs of what’s going on here—the story of Emma-Noah, Sam and Violet, with every character we have been grappling with the entire show, those arcs are complete. So a RESORT 2 would be like a sequel to a movie where there’s a new element involved.

But I love every single character and actor on this show, so the idea of doing something more carrying it forward with one of them or a couple of them—absolutely, that is all part of the thought process and discussion, and one of the things that I’ve talked a lot about in the writers’ room and talked a lot about with the cast and with Luis Gerardo Mendez.

This is why there are some some Batman references in the show: Who’s considered one of the greatest detectives that ever lived? It’s Batman. And he’s a rich kid, who is battling some demons, and have to face his fears, in a dark cave. There’s a whole way to look at Baltasar Frias, at the whole show, through this lens of a BALTASAR BEGINS story. That’s also why the show ends with him like, “I’m not gonna be a resort detective.” He has now taken all these pieces that he’s been grappling with over the all these years. And he becomes Batman.

We really need a second season with him having a killer utility belt now…
It initially ended with that same scene, basically, but then Baltasar gets into the car that he stole from his brother. And it’s not totally decked out like a Batmobile, but it’s, oh, now we realize that is his now-signature Batmobile-esque car.

THE RESORT, Thursdays, Peacock


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