Entertainment Weekly: How long did you have the finale twists planned?
Shawn Ryan: Around episode 7 and 8, we started talking about how we wanted to finish. So when we got to these last two episodes, we had a good idea what we wanted to do with Wyatt and Jessica, the killing of Carol and Nicholas, how we wanted to progress the Wyatt-Lucy relationship, and what we wanted to do with Rufus. We knew very early on in the season that we wanted to do this prophecy of Rufus dying and then actually live up to it, but the biggest twist, the one at the end of the future Wyatt and Lucy, was one of the pieces that we broke really late in the game.
So you had a different ending planned originally?
The initial plan was that season 3 would answer how…when you have a time travel show and can go back and change history, you want to be careful with the deaths you present on the show because there’s always the thought that they may not be permanent because you can go back and tweak things. Our initial plan was, they are hell-bent on a way to save him in season 3 but then when the pitch came in to have the second lifeboat arrive, it was a great idea. When I first heard the pitch I thought, “Wow that’s actually really cool because we can actually go through with killing Rufus but still have some hope at the end.” It felt like a great emotional finish for all the turmoil that we put Lucy and Wyatt through earlier in the season — and it gives us a ton of juicy moments to explore in season 3.
So will Emma be the big bad for season 3 if the show gets renewed?
That’s part a creative question and part a business question because Annie, who has been amazing, is a series regular on Marvel’s The Runwaways [on Hulu.] She was a recurring guest star for us this season, so we’d have to see what her schedule is going to be and if she’d be open to coming back. We have to wait until we hear about a season 3 pickup before we can have any of those conversations. If we can get her, I imagine we’d proceed with her, but if we can’t then we’d figure out going in another direction. I look at these business kind of things as a way to push you creatively.
What else can you tell us about your plans for season 3?
Well, I’m reluctant to say too much about season 3 — not because I want to keep secrets from people, but because I know things can change. At the end of season 1, we had a lot of season 2 planned, but a lot of that changed by the time we actually started crafting the episodes. I’d be lying if I said I knew for sure what happens in season 3 because you’re always one writer’s idea away from heading in a completely different direction. If and when we get the greenlight for season 3, we’ll assemble the team and see where we end up.
Should Timeless be cancelled after two seasons? Do you want Timeless Season 3? Didn’t realize Timeless even had a pulse?
Stay tuned as we continually monitor the cancel/renew status of the NBC drama…