Teenage Bounty Hunters creator unpacks season 1 finale, teases potential season 2
Warning: This article contains spoilers about the season 1 finale of Teenage Bounty Hunters.
As if Teenage Bounty Hunters wasn't already doing the most in its charming, boundary-pushing first season, the finale went a step further and threw in not one but two surprise twin twists — not only does the Wesley family matriarch Debbie (Virginia Williams) have a secret twin sister Dana (also played by Williams), but Dana is also the real mother of Sterling (Maddie Phillips), which means she isn't Blair's (Anjelica Bette Fellini) fraternal twin after all. They're actually cousins! Good thing the Netflix teen dramedy wasn't titled Teenage Twin Bounty Hunters.
The action-packed and thrilling finale ended with Sterling and Blair learning this devastating secret after Dana attempted to kidnap Sterling, forcing Debbie and husband Anderson (Mackenzie Astin) to finally come clean about how they've been covering up Dana's criminal past while sheltering her daughter as she went on the run. It changes everything for the formerly twin sisters, as they've built their lives and identities around being each other's twin. They can literally communicate via twin telepathy (or is that cousin telepathy?). How will this secret affect their bond moving forward now that the secret's out?
Teenage Bounty Hunters creator/writer/co-executive producer Kathleen Jordan reveals that this finale cliffhanger was always her plan for how she would end the first season. "When I pitched the show to [executive producers] Jenji [Kohan] and her producing partner Tara Herrmann, I pitched this finale," she tells EW. "There's nothing that I like more than a a twist in a TV show so I really knew that I wanted that to be a huge part of what we were building towards."
But this isn't just a shocking twist for shock's sake in the finale — if you look back at the entire first season of the show, Jordan explains this twin/cousin twist has been informing the Wesley family dynamic from the start. "That's been a part of the show from the beginning and it informs how we built their relationship and how we built their family," she says. "Sterling is her parents' perfect child, and that comes from the fact that they really overcompensated with their adopted daughter, they over-parented her, to Blair's detriment. That's something that we want to definitely explore in a hopeful season 2."
And the same goes for the Debbie/Dana twin twist, Jordan says. "Debbie is so good at being Debbie, because Debbie is a construction," she adds with a laugh. "She's such a perfect Buckhead mom because it is a studied creation. It's all born of love, she wanted to fit in and have this better life for her children. She saw the opportunity for upward social mobility with her husband, Anderson, and from there, she rewrote the script of her life."
While Netflix has yet to renew Teenage Bounty Hunters, Jordan is hopeful that she'll get the chance to continue this story in another season because "there's a lot of love still on the table, a lot of drama and cliffhangers heading into the second season," and not just when it comes to the Wesley family. "Will Sterling pick Luke [Spencer House], April [Devon Hales], neither? Will Blair go back to Miles [Myles Evans]?" Jordan teases. "How will this discovery affect Blair's relationship with Sterling? How will this discovery affect Sterling's relationship with Blair and also her parents and this huge what could be characterized as a lie, it could also be characterized as an act of service for so many years? There's a lot to unpack and I hope we get the chance to do it."
If Jordan gets her way, she knows exactly where season 2 would go next. "I would love to explore the question of what it means to be a sister, because Dana and Debbie, obviously, will have that to explore there, what does this relationship, if anything, mean between them and where they will be moving forward," she says. "And then with Sterling and Blair, they're not twins, they're cousins, and does it matter to them? And how will that create a fallout with their family?"
And considering how much the world has changed in 2020, the creator would love to infuse that into the series. Considering how much Blair and Sterling have already had to check their privilege in season 1 while living as young, rich, white teens in the conservative South, she already has ideas on how to tell stories through that lens.
"Especially just given all that's happening in the world with how both the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have done such an efficient job of exposing the vast differences between the haves and the have-nots, obviously these girls are in the category of the haves," Jordan says. "So we definitely would want to explore the theme of privilege and how that informs their lives and have them learn some lessons there. And we also would like to explore the idea of Bowser's [Kadeem Hardison] job and the morality of the cash bail system which has a lot of problems and is a part of law enforcement, especially with the extra spotlight right now on law enforcement, it's incumbent upon us to take a look at the structures of injustice that inform the jobs that these characters have."
Teenage Bounty Hunters season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.