By Samantha Highfill
July 19, 2016 at 03:15 PM EDT
Tina Rowden/The CW
  • TV Show

Heading into Containment‘s series finale, both Jake and Lex are trying to do everything in their power to save as many lives as possible. For Jake, that means protecting Dr. Cannerts within the cordon, even if putting his duty first means he has to say goodbye to people he loves.

“I think the way that Jake is dealing, as much as it’s even possible to deal with the grief of losing Katie, is taking her ultimate message to heart, which is that he’s a better guy than he thinks he is and he’s a hero. He’s not the guy who runs,” showrunner Julie Plec tells EW. “So even though it means sacrificing his personal wants and desires and going at it alone, he sees that it’s an obligation and his duty as an officer and as a human being to stick by the side of Dr. Cannerts to protect him to make sure that the singular hope for possibly finding a vaccine is kept in safe hands. I think that shows the story of a boy cop having grown into a man over the course of this experience.”

Then there’s Lex, who might not have to battle a virus, but he does have to battle the woman responsible for its creation: Sabine Lommers. “The showdown that’s to come between Lex and Sabine takes on a much more humanistic point of view than you might imagine,” Plec says. “He called her out on everything at the end of the penultimate episode and they remain in conflict about the fact that he holds her accountable for all of this and that she still fundamentally believes that she has done the right thing. But their remaining interactions are surprisingly compassionate in spite of the tension between them and ultimately, Lex still has a plan for how he can ensure that she will not continue to compromise the lives of the people inside the cordon.”

Overall, Plec thinks the show’s final hour will serve as a thank you to everyone who’s watched along the way. And for those of you who love a Julie Plec finale, she thinks this one fits the mold. “What I like to deliver in a finale is a reward for the audience for having been on the ride with us for the season,” Plec says. “It’s not just about resolving plot and creating excitement; it’s about sending you on an emotional journey as well. I like to jerk a few tears and get some romance in where I can. This finale, in spite of the circumstances, certainly delivers on all the things that I usually like to bring to the end of a season.”

Containment airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

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