“The three of us were acting a fool that day. Meghann, you know it. Katie, you know it too.” Aisha Dee, accompanied by her Bold Type co-stars, Meghann Fahy and Katie Stevens, laughs over Zoom. “I know for a fact that there was a bunch of shit in there that we were saying that was never going to make the cut.”
The trio is looking back on the very last scene of their Freeform dramedy’s series finale, “I Expect You to Have Adventures,” which premieres June 30. The episode closes with heroines Kat Edison (Dee), Sutton Hunter (Fahy), and Jane Sloan (Stevens) hugging in their unofficial clubhouse: the fashion closet of Scarlet magazine. The colleagues and best friends choke out optimistic promises to each other between tears and giggles, pledges of continued friendship that come from the actors as much as the characters on screen.
“The crying was all us,” Stevens recalls. “In that moment, it really was the three of us talking to each other as Meghann, Katie, and Aisha. It was scripted but the emotion was very much all us.”
Most series finales are emotional. But this one packs a particular wallop since it serves a genuine twist for its leading ladies. As Fahy says, “You’re being groomed basically from the pilot to expect Jane to take over [Scarlet].” That’s not at all what happens in the finale. Instead, Kat ends up with the biggest win: becoming Scarlet’s new editor-in-chief, a spot vacated by spiritual matriarch Jacqueline Carlyle (Melora Hardin) who decides to leave and travel with husband Ian (Gildart Jackson).
“There’s something about Kat doing it that feels so right. You’re just like, ‘How the hell did I not see this coming?’” gushes Fahy, whose character reconciles with ex Richard Hunter (Sam Page) in the finale. Dee, for her part, literally did not see her character's ending coming.
“I feel like I found out last. A few people came to me and were like, ‘So you know, when you’re editor...’ And I was like, ‘No I don’t know that,’” Dee says. “I felt like people were kind of fucking with me a little bit. I didn’t really believe it. Which I imagine is how Kat felt.”
Kat is so shocked by her unforeseen promotion at the midpoint of the finale, she has to sit down to steady herself. She recognizes she was only rehired at Scarlet just one episode prior after seasons of drama away (and one memorable firing). Kat is now expected to run the entire magazine in the place of her best friend, Jane, whose rise to the “dream” editor-in-chief position was all but set in stone. “Someone like me is not the future of Scarlet,” Jaqueline tells Kat. “You are. And I’m sorry that it took me so long to see it.” It’s impossible to ignore the fact that Kat’s identity as a queer Black woman and self-described “fighter” is an integral part of what makes her most qualified to take Scarlet into the future. Her excitement over a pitch document — the finale’s first signal of Kat’s destiny — didn’t hurt either. She can’t help but weep over the enormity of the occasion.
“In the conversations that we have with the writers, I was like, ‘I just want Kat to have a win.’ I feel like she’s constantly a punching bag and is constantly losing while trying so hard,” Dee says, stressing her continued “love” for her character. “I was not expecting the win to be that. But it’s really cool. With all three of the girls, you leave the show seeing them have a sense of closure — that they’re moving in the direction that they’re supposed to.”
Stevens feels the same, even though her character ends up in a very unpredictable place. After finding a photo of her late mother enjoying the Parisian sun, Jane realizes she can’t give up her passion for writing to do the top-level business strategizing that comes with becoming editor-in-chief. Stevens knew Jane would make this decision when production on season 5 began but wasn’t sure what her ultimate path would be. In the last scene of “Have Adventures,” we get the answer: Jane is leaving Scarlet to embrace the scary opportunity of freelance writing while traveling the world.
“It’s just like, ‘I want to give myself the space to do whatever I want to do. To go wherever I want to go.’ Jane wants to open herself up to spontaneous experience, which is not something we’ve ever seen her do,’” Stevens explains of her character’s mindset. Ultimately, she hopes that spontaneity is the lesson viewers take from the five seasons of The Bold Type, which tracked the complicated journeys of everyone in the series’ orbit.
“I hope that fans take away the fact that there are decisions that you’re going to have to make in your life that are difficult in so many areas,” Stevens says. “You have to do what’s right for you and love yourself in the best way that you know how.”
Stevens’ co-stars concur. “What Katie just said feels like the journey of the whole show to me,” Fahy says. “… To give yourself space to do the things that you need to do and to not to think too hard about how everyone else is processing it or receiving it is a really tricky thing to do. But it’s such a worthwhile pursuit.”
“I just have to concur with my bitches,” Dee concludes with a wide smile. “Also, you know what? Maybe one day in the future, Kat will learn how to schedule a tweet.”