‘Vida’ Series Finale: Will Lyn & Emma Find Their Happy Ending?
Like any good show, when you head into the series finale, there should still be a whole lot of questions left to answer. Starz’s dramedy Vida, about two sisters — Lyn (Melissa Barrera) and Emma (Mishel Prada) — who returned home to East Los Angeles when their mother, Vidalia, died unexpectedly, is ending May 31 after three seasons and definitely has some loose ends to tie up.
We chatted with creator/executive producer Tanya Saracho about whether we’ll find out if Lyn and Emma’s newly-turned up father (Jesse Borrego) is good or not; what the future holds in the romance department for Emma and Nico (Roberta Colindrez), recently on the outs but (maybe) drifting back together; as well as for Lyn and Johnny (Carlos Miranda), who seem to have found a new kind of relationship that doesn’t necessarily involve sex.
Tanya, I’ve been talking to you since Day 1 about this special show but, tell me, how do you even prepare for these final episodes? Did you know that it was wrapping up?
Tanya Saracho: I did know. I didn’t believe it, but I did know because the phone call came and it was, ‘Hey, prepare for this to be the ending.’ But I didn’t. I was like, ‘Oh no, I’ll change their mind. I’ll make six masterpieces and they’ll have to renew us.’ But then, throughout the process, it sunk in and I went through the phases, but now I really am truly in acceptance. I am so proud of the three seasons. I love the story we told and I’m at peace with where we’re at and that we’re not coming back.
Of course, I had more stories to tell. I was going to do a love triangle between Baco (Raul Castillo) and Nico and Emma. I was going to burn up the bar and so much stuff was going to happen, but this is still the essence of the ending I was always going to do. I’m proud of the things we did.
I have to say, there’s a very full-circle feel to to the finale.
Yes! We quote stuff from the first episode. ‘Remember, I told you that your true love was downstairs?’ And it was true then and it’s true now! I’m glad it does feel full circle.
Let’s back up to last week’s episode that had so much with Lyn and her and Emma’s Papi (Jesse Borrego). Will we get some resolution as far as he’s concerned? I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop !
Yes we will, because this is Vida so no one’s good or bad. They just have their points of view and they act on it and I think that’s true with Papi, too. He has a strong point of view, a strong set of moral direction and compass. He saw something in Episode 5 that didn’t sit well about the bar, and we will find out in Episode 6 what that is and how that affects the girls. It challenges and risks everything they’ve built.
Let’s talk about Emma, because I feel like she’s kind of let herself lose control a little bit for a lot of the reasons that we’ve seen play out up to Episode 5. But I love at the end of the episode where she says to Lyn that she really needed her; I feel like the Emma we met in the first season would never have said those words.
Absolutely. That she says, ‘I needed you,’ that’s huge growth. The old Emma — in not just Episode 5 but all throughout the series — there’s a couple of moments where you think, ‘Oh, Emma’s gonna have a panic attack again,’ and she catches herself. But now she doesn’t go ballistic or run away like she usually does. This season, Emma’s growth is really big and it leads to that moment of, ‘I really needed you today.’ She’s vulnerable and on the verge of tears. And then, she does let someone take care of her, the right person. It’s Nico and it’s akin to that moment when they were spooning in Episode 8 last season. But now it’s like, ‘What’s the most lesbian thing we can put on TV? Wiping your hair as you’ve thrown up with a Gatorade right next to you and holding you.’ And the song [playing in the scene] says that, like ‘Let me hold you.’ The song was written for that scene, and it’s so beautiful.
I don’t think I’m alone in waiting to see if Lyn and Johnny are going to circle each other again. Will there be some resolution there?
They’re friends. This season, for the first time, you see them connect on a human level. They’re both orphans now, and she comes to him for the first time with a white flag of peace and friendship and a need for him as a friend. When she has no one else to tell about her dad because Emma is not receptive to that information right now, she just needs to share it with someone she trusts, and the only other person she trusts is Johnny. It’s a new relationship for them. I do think that Lyn is taking her relationship with Rudy (Adrian Gonzalez) seriously, for whatever reason she’s convinced herself, and she’s seeing Johnny as a viable friend, the only friend she’s got. That’s something to keep in mind.
Vida, Series Finale, Sunday, May 31, 9/8c, Starz