For Ryan Wheeler, Kingdom‘s midseason finale is about redemption. It’s about showing the world that he deserves to wear that belt — and that tattoo across his chest, for that matter — and making his dad proud.
“This is the last hurdle for him to climb to get back to where he feels like he needs to be as a fighter and personally in terms of his relationship with his dad,” showrunner Byron Balasco tells EW.
But Ryan isn’t the only character building toward something. For Alvey, this finale will provide the shot at closure that he’s been craving ever since Sean Chapas escaped town. Speaking to Chapas, Balasco says, “His story will be concluded in the way that only two old friends can resolve a relationship.”
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More generally, Balasco promises answers in the show’s final hour of 2015. “It will feel like a complete season that’s resolved,” he says. “Each season is a chapter. We go through it and it has a conclusion and then we move on. There’s always some emotional threads left hanging because we’re going to come back and be with these people some more, but major plot and story is resolved.”
However, there is one story — or rather, rivalary — that won’t come to any sort of conclusion: Keith and Shelby. “They’re not set to have a big showdown just yet,” Balasco says with a laugh. “But they’re going to be in each other’s lives for a while, so we’ll keep playing with that tension.”
Kingdom‘s midseason finale airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on DirecTV’s Audience Network — stay tuned to EW for a postmortem with Balasco.