‘Fire Country’ Finale: Max Thieriot Explains Bode’s Decision at Gabriela’s Wedding

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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Fire Country Season 2 finale “I Do.”]

Bode (Max Thieriot) may not have just made the best decision to end Fire Country Season 2.

Now that he’s free, he has to figure out what he wants to do with his life. A future with Gabriela (Stephanie Arcila), unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be in the (immediate) cards: She’s about to marry Diego (Rafael de la Fuente) as the season ends. Firefighting is going to take time, but to him, it’s the first healthy addiction he’s had in his life, so he goes to Luke (Michael Trucco) in the final moments to pull strings to get him back to that.

Below, Thieriot breaks down the finale and teases what’s ahead in Season 3.

Talk about getting into the mindset of a Bode who’s out, going to Smokey’s, making plans, figuring out his life, no longer wearing that orange…

Max Thieriot: It was really a different head space than obviously I’ve been in the whole series. I think one thing that I’ve really sort of taken to heart from conversations with people who have been incarcerated for long periods of time is just how big that transition is out and how much you basically feel like the world is continuing to move around you, but your world is frozen.

That adjustment is a lot of things. It’s getting used to not looking over your shoulder. Just the way of life and how you live when you’re incarcerated is much, much different than being out. I know some people said they can’t sleep in the same room instead that people, and there’s a lot of weird things that kind of go into it. So I think a lot of that was just trying to carry that sort of apprehensive, on edge and trying to take in the world around you and what everything looks like now and feel a little bit like a fish out of water. Obviously, it was weird wearing regular clothes again and having no orange. That was a crazy adjustment, but it was also fun. It was really fun getting to work and film in these places that I didn’t really ever get to film in and feel like I could actually be in them.

But then Bode goes to Luke at the end and asks him to pull strings so he can be a firefighter again. He says it’s the first healthy addiction he’s had in his life, but this is an unhealthy way to go about this. Talk about Bode turning to Luke, given what Luke has done in the past.

Yeah, I think he just knows that Luke can pull strings, and he has the power and he’s in a position to be able to try and get Bode on a fire line somewhere. Obviously, it’s a huge ask and the reality is there’s a lot of hurdles to jump over to get there. It’s not an easy process to be able to get in and then Luke would be putting himself out there to try and make such a request. But I think that even though Luke has sort of betrayed him in a way, the two of them have always understood each other because always kind of been the outcasts in a way. I think you see that even when Luke shows up the first time at Three Rock in Season 1, that they have a little bit of a different relationship than everyone else and Luke.

I think that Bode knows if he can’t be addicted to Gabriela, if he’s trying to continue to stay clean and sober… The reality is you can’t just replace one thing with nothing. You have to replace it with something and fill that void. And I have a great buddy who went through some really gnarly, hard stuff after high school, had a bunch of surgeries—he was a wrestler, his senior year of high school, a state level wrestler, phenomenal athlete, but got addicted to pills and sort of spiraled down from there. And he made that realization that he couldn’t replace his addiction with nothing. He needed something to get him up in the morning and something to fight for and a purpose. And so he became an MMA fighter and fought in the UFC. I think he’s like 16 years sober now. But he was like, I need to find another drive. And I think now he’s reached the point where it’s a little different and he speaks to kids and does a lot of things.

But his story was something that inspired me in a lot of ways, even from the beginning of the show, just to show what that looks like for somebody. And so for Bode, he’s found firefighting. Being a firefighter is something that is full of adrenaline and can replace that addiction.

Bode goes to the wedding, clearly planning to tell Gabriela he loves her, only to be stopped by Manny (Kevin Alejandro). Could anyone else have kept him from going through with his plan in that moment?

Probably not. And I think it’s also just what Manny said: She’s really happy. That’s something that really resonates with Bode because all along, all he’s been saying is all he wants for her is her happiness. And so the fact that Manny looks at him in the eyes and says, “Bode, she’s really, really happy,” I think that Bode then, even though it’s tearing him up inside, can’t take that happiness away from her because it is what he wants. And it’s a big change in him. I think Season 1 Bode probably would’ve said, “Well, she’s not that happy,” or… I don’t know. But I don’t think he would’ve stopped.

Stephanie Arcila as Gabriela Perez in the 'Fire Country' Season 2 Finale "I Do"

Sergei Bachlakov / CBS

Did Bode leave the wedding more to stop himself from speaking now or forever holding his peace or because he couldn’t watch her say “I do”?

I think because he couldn’t watch her say “I do.” And I think that he steps out of the church and you see him sort of take a breath and I think it’s like he’s trying to close this door. It’s him taking in everything that he’s seen and really trying to move on. And he sees his uncle and he knows, this is what I need, this is what I need to move on.

Does he think that she’s going through at the wedding or is there a part of him that’s like, maybe she’ll follow me?

I don’t think so. I think he thinks that she’s going through with the wedding,

What can you say about Bode and Gabriela next season?

Honestly, I don’t even know yet. I’m getting to hear it all [Friday]. But I think certainly we’ve seen this push and pull and push and pull and now this promise of what they will be like when they’re out together, but obviously there’s a major obstacle in the way of that now. And I think just for the longevity of the show, it’s like viewers want to see them together, but you really don’t because then what? And so I think Season 3 could be a fun time for us to explore not so much that push and pull, but really what their lives look like when they’re not together on the outside.

Something the show has continued to do so well is Bode and Jake’s (Jordan Calloway) friendship because it’s not perfect, but there was that nice moment in the finale of them making plans. 

I think the viewers really want to see the two of them being the brothers that we’ve talked about they were and these two guys hanging out and having fun and going out and sort of have a little glimpse of what they were like when they were in high school together and the fun and the trouble they’d get into and the good times they’d have. And so I think going into Season 3, it could be a lot of fun to see the two of them in a much different place and two single guys in the streets of Edgewater.

But now they have the complication of Rick (Adam Aalderks) possibly being Gen’s biological father, and they have the history there. What can you say about what we’re going to see with them dealing with the fact that he may actually be Gen’s biological father? Because it seems like every step of the way with Gen, there’s another twist.

I haven’t heard what their pitch is yet on this storyline for the season. But in my mind, I think certainly there’s a lot that’s unfinished there and getting to see Jake really fight to want to be her father and getting to see Bode, one, have Jake’s back, but two, look out for Genevieve’s best interest because it’s what he promised Cara… I think that there’s a lot of runway for us to explore there and a lot of, I would say traumatic intense stuff. But I think also there could be some really fulfilling scenes between the three of us in this next season because she’s still a big part of both of their lives. And I think it could be a lot of fun.

W Tre Davis as Freddy Mills, Max Thieriot as Bode Leone, and Diane Farr as Sharon Leone in the 'Fire Country' Season 2 Finale "I Do"

Sergei Bachlakov / CBS

Bode’s relationships with his parents have really shifted, and now he’s free. But there’s the Luke of it, because Vince (Billy Burke) and Sharon’s (Diane Farr) relationships with him are so complicated.

Their relationships with Luke are certainly super complicated. Bode and Luke have both been sort of the outcasts and I think that they kind of see eye-to-eye, even though Luke has done some things that have kind of been against and wronged Bode. I think that the reality is Bode also knows how to deal with him a little more. Luke is kind of always moving and he can be shifty. And I think the thing about Bode is, because he spent a lot of time incarcerated, he spent a lot of time with a lot of people with many different personalities. You get used to guys who run game all the time, being in prison. That’s what people do. That’s why they have the nickname con, you get conned. And I think that Bode is somebody that doesn’t easily get conned because he’s been surrounded by these people, and so he’s able to sort of navigate Luke a little differently. But certainly. I’m sure that the two of them having their own thing will be a cause of drama in the family.

I love the Freddy (W. Tre Davis) returned in the finale. Talk about bringing him back and getting to play that relationship again, but in a very different situation since they’re both out.

So fun. I love Tre, and honestly, I love all my scenes with Tre and we have a great time and we’ve sort of really established this rapport just from the beginning of the show and the pilot. And I think that there’s still a lot of stuff to play with there with our relationship, especially getting to see more of what these two guys are like when they’re out versus only see them when they’re in. And the reveal that Freddy finally opened that food truck that we talk about in the pilot and just all of it was really exciting and rewarding for me. But I think it was fulfilling for Bode as a character to get to see his friend and get to see that he’s really done these things that he promised he was going to do. I think it also gives him some hope as well. But yeah, I’m hopeful that we can continue to tell more of those stories and incorporate Freddy in the show. I think he brings a wonderful dynamic.

What are you hoping to explore with Bode in Season 3 now that he is out that you haven’t talked about?

I think just the adjustment to being out and the adjustment to the real world and what that looks like and how you sort of walk that line and also just to see little cracks of somebody who, even though we see glimpses of the guy that he was before he went away and then ended up going to prison, the reality is that prison changes you. It certainly changes you. And something that I’m hoping to get to play a little bit is the people in Bode’s life get to see Bode out and get to watch this guy that they always knew, but then see these little glimpses of, the things that he’s done and the things that he’s seen and the people he’s been surrounded with have rewired him in a little bit of a way and have changed him. And so to try and basically get some of these characters to break down some of those walls and get him to open up and try and heal him even more. Certainly he still has a lot of healing to do.

Fire Country, Season 3, Fall 2024, CBS

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