Tension is heating up Brooklyn’s coziest fictional apartment building approaching “The Village’s” season finale.
The fallout from the series’ biggest secret — the truth about Katie Campbell’s (Grace Van Dien) birth father — is still unraveling entering the ninth episode, “I Am Defiant.” The pregnant teen has left The Village, along with her dad Nick who was consequently kicked out of his apartment by Katie’s mom, Sarah (Michaela McManus).
In the exclusive clip above from Tuesday’s episode, Sarah sits down with Claire (Katrina Lenk), the prospective adoptive mother of Katie’s unborn child, and hints yet another bombshell to come. Will Katie decide to keep her child?
“In the last two episodes, Katie is going to be forced to take responsibility for her actions,” the series’ showrunner Mike Daniels says. “It might feel a bit like we’re watching her fall apart, but we’re not. We’re watching her become an adult.”
Below, Daniels discusses what to expect from the remaining episodes.
“The Village” has not yet been renewed by NBC for a second season. A decision is expected after the finale, set for May 21.
From the teaser, it’s clear something is off with the adoption papers. How might this shake things up even more for Katie at a time when everything already seems to be crumbling around her?
Katie is a scared teenager with a broken heart. A lot of her decision-making so far has been impulsive and, understandably, motivated by emotion. As the initial sting of recent revelations wears off, she’s going to have to come to terms with the real-life ramifications of everything she’s set in motion — namely the estrangement from her mother, staying with Liam (despite the fact that he considers her a friend and she’s clearly falling for him), and, as you mention, the decision to give her baby up.
The relationship between Sarah and Claire is really delicate. What can you tell us about how we should interpret Claire’s intentions? Is she fully driven by her own desires to have a child or respecting the dynamic between Katie and Sarah?
I like working from the assumption that people are fundamentally good, but are driven by fears, desires, and instincts that put them in hard positions where mistakes and misunderstandings are possible. In other words, I’m not looking to trick the audience by revealing that somebody they like is “bad.” Claire is human. She is genuinely sympathetic toward Sarah and worried about Katie, but she is also driven by the desire for a second chance at motherhood.
Is she ready for that? Underestimating Katie? Guilty of wishful thinking? Moving too fast? I’m not telling. But any time you have to prioritize your needs, there’s fallout. That’s where we find our drama.
Should we expect to shed some tears in these episodes to come?
I don’t want to spoil anything too specific but suffice it to say this incredible cast knocks it out of the park in the last two episodes. I mean, they always elevate everything, but they’re all just insanely good in what’s to come. So, yes! There might be tears. But not just tears. You’re going to laugh and your heart is going to swell too. Maybe even all three of those things at the same time. Tune in!
The drama here is thought-provoking. How is “The Village” stirring discussion by creating conflicts that aren’t cut and dry?
I’ve really enjoyed watching the passionate discourse on social media during our episodes. It’s fascinating to see completely opposite reactions to the same scenes. One person will write a post defending Sarah and saying Katie is selfish and disrespectful for the same exchange that prompts another viewer to say Katie is sympathetic and Sarah is acting needy. We really try to avoid any story that feels like it’s overtly about right and wrong. That’s a slippery slope to being preachy and it rarely feels authentic.
The truth is, life is a lot grayer than black and white. To that end, all of our characters are flawed. All of them desire love and acceptance and fulfillment and peace of mind. Our conflict comes from moments when one character’s greatest need is in opposition to another character’s, but both needs are relatable. I believe that if you stick to the human story you can tackle hot topics like immigration and teen pregnancy without alienating half of your audience. In a perfect world, that gets us all back to thinking about people instead of politics. In the end, this is a show about people.
ON TV: "The Village" airs new episodes Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.