‘Ordinary Joe’ Showrunners on Those Finale Twists & Hopes for Season 2

Ordinary Joe Season 1 James Wolk
Spoiler Alert
Matt Miller/NBC

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 2, Episode 13 of Ordinary Joe, “Aftermath.”]

Ordinary Joe‘s first season has officially come to a close and it’s leaving plenty of loose ends to pick up in a potential second season.

After a chaotic conclusion of the penultimate episode, the finale episode, “Aftermath,” offered answers regarding Musician Joe’s (James Wolk) fate, teased what’s next for Cop Joe, and revealed what that kiss with Kinsley (Lili Mirojnik) means for Nurse Joe. Thankfully, all of the Joes walked away from the season mostly unscathed (physically) as Musician Joe ended up in rehab following his drunk driving accident.

As the episode neared its final moments, each Joe’s future was set up. Musician Joe showed up at Jenny’s (Elizabeth Lail) door seeking a second chance at love and life together. Meanwhile, Nurse Joe showed up at Jenny’s door with their son Christopher, only to find out she was in Atlanta with her colleague Barrett (Brandon Sutton). And Cop Joe was left uncertain about whether he should follow girlfriend Amy (Natalie Martinez) to Florida, where she wants to run her mother’s campaign for political office, or stick around New York with his family.

ordinary joe season 1 james wolk

(Credit: Matt Miller/NBC)

Showrunners Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend are breaking down all of the big twists and reveals and offering insight on what could be ahead should the show return for another season.

Melding Worlds

In the episode’s earlier moments, Musician Joe is carted into the hospital following his car accident and he sees the alternate versions of himself caring for him in real-time. Although it’s a hallucinatory moment, it was something both Lerner and Friend were excited to explore. “We love the idea that these worlds are always interacting and speaking to each other, so I think we just thought it would be really fun to hit it harder in the finale,” Friend says.

“That’s what we call a room idea,” Lerner chimes in, “I remember everyone flipped out immediately, like, ‘We have to do that, we have to do that.'”

Joe’s Alcoholism

Throughout the season Uncle Frank’s (David Warshofsky) struggle with alcohol was explored, but leading into the finale, we saw just how deep that addiction can run in the Kimbreau family. Whether we could see Cop or Nurse Joe lured in by booze remains to be seen, but Lerner says it’s possible.

“I think all Joes are prone to it,” he shares. “I think what would ultimately decide [whether we include it] in Season 2 is if we feel like we’re treading familiar territory.” One example Lerner offers is the role reversal seen between Nurse Joe begging his uncle to get help and Frank begging Musician Joe to get help. “It made it feel completely different, and if there were new ways to explore it, we would probably be very interested.”

A Chance for Musician Joe With Jenny?

So, why did Musician Joe end up at a married Jenny’s door after leaving rehab a little early? “I think it’s a fantasy that’s playing out in his mind coming off this horrible crash and his addictive behavior,” shares Friend. “We as writers think that that’s not right, he’s a little bit crazy, and probably what Jenny should do is give him a glass of water and drive him back to rehab,” he adds.

With his wife Amy all but forgotten in this timeline, it is certainly a shock to find him knocking on Jenny’s door. And “that’s what was exciting to us about this finale,” Friend says. “We’re not exactly sure the direction we want to take it in, but we’re hoping whatever we do obviously still feels real and authentic. In that particular case, it does feel to us like Joe is probably not in the best place to make a big life decision.”

Where Does Kinsley Stand?

Obviously, there are issues in Nurse Joe’s marriage to Jenny and following his kiss with Kinsley and her one-on-one time with Barrett, they’ve never been further apart emotionally. While answers about the effect that these situations will have on Jenny and Joe’s marriage, we can’t help but wonder whether Kinsley will begin popping up in other timelines as a possible love interest in Joe’s life.

“We have not talked about that, but certainly I think in the [Cop Joe’s world], she is a nurse in the hospital,” says Lerner. “People live their lives, and her life was not affected by Joe’s initial decision at Syracuse, so in all the worlds, she’s a nursing student at a hospital. If Cop Joe were to come across her, it would need a certain set of circumstances [to work].”

Ordinary Joe Season 1 James Wolk Charlie Barnett

(Credit: Matt Miller/NBC)

Will Cop Joe Follow Amy to Florida?

One element that exists in all three of Joe’s timelines is his tie to New York, but in the finale, there were a few different possibilities presented which could have him leaving the Big Apple behind. “We’ve definitely discussed potentially having Nurse Joe end up in Atlanta,” Friend says, acknowledging Jenny’s possible future in-law down there.

“I’ll say for Cop Joe, he’s the most awkward Joe who really does need to break out of his shell. He hasn’t really had a serious significant other in the past 10 years, but now he finally has Amy,” Friend continues. “It could be most interesting to see Cop Joe in this new world.” We’ll keep our fingers crossed for what Friend describes as a “fish out of water” story.

Where Does Eric Stand?

In Musician Joe’s world, Eric (Charlie Barnett) is torn between his best friend and colleague Amy. So, where does he stand when it comes to their withered relationship? “We always felt in the writers’ room from the beginning, if we’re doing our jobs right, every choice is not only difficult, but half the audience would feel one way, and half the audience would feel the opposite way,” Lerner admits.

“There are no easy answers. That’s what the whole show is, essentially,” adds Lerner. “That’s why we left off where we left off, where everyone’s got really difficult decisions to make.” Here’s to hoping we get to see them through.

Ordinary Joe, Mondays, 10/9c, NBC