SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details about tonight’s series finale of Schitt’s Creek.
In the penultimate episode of Schitt’s Creek, we hit one of many emotional mile markers on its journey to Tuesday night’s final hurrah with the Rose family. The scene in question shows David (Dan Levy) and Stevie (Emily Hampshire) sitting on a car in front of a house that David’s soon-to-be-husband Patrick (Noah Reid) wants to buy for them. It is here, where David shares one of the most touching scenes of the series with Stevie, where she tearfully asks him not to leave to New York. David cries and in turn, we all cry…and then we laugh when David asks Stevie if she was wearing deodorant. Even so, this was not the last tear shed as there were buckets more in the finale.
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“You know, a lot of the tears were real and some were from the character,” show co-creator and star Dan Levy told Deadline in regards to shooting the series finale. “Knowing that it was the last day we were shooting on our sets, that played a part in just how special the day was. I think getting to watch our entire cast all dressed up was really emotional for all of us as well.”
Levy says that if you look in the background during one scene, Rizwan Manji who plays real estate agent Ray, is legitimately crying while videotaping David and Patrick’s wedding.
“It’s moments like that where you just realize we had a really great team and we had a collection of actors who loved each other so much and loved what they were doing and cared so deeply for the work — and you don’t get that often. Shooting that wedding scene was just so special for all of us.”
David and Patrick’s wedding was the perfect way to cap six seasons of the Pop TV series that Levy created with his father Eugene Levy, who plays his father Johnny — but the episode does not kick off perfectly.
On the morning of David’s big day that he has been meticulously planning with painstaking aplomb, we find out that his outdoor festival of matrimony has been rained out. Obviously, David is freaking out while his father, mother Moira (Catherine O’Hara) and Alexis (Annie Murphy) attempt to do some damage control.
Moira agrees to be the officiant after David’s “haiku-ist” is unable to attend. Meanwhile, Johnny tries to find an alternate venue — but naturally, David is still in full panic mode. Luckily, Patrick has been prepared for this. He is one step ahead of the game and has scheduled a relaxing massage for David because he had a feeling something like this would happen.
As the team rallies to save the wedding, David gets his massage…but then he gets surprised with a happy ending. Patrick and Stevie come back to find David stress-free…but then they found out about the happy ending. David thought this is what Patrick wanted, but it wasn’t what he ordered. Patrick is furious then realizes that he gave the masseuse an envelope of money and instructions to “take very good care” of David. It’s clear that he sent the wrong message to the masseuse.
With the wedding mere hours away, David finds that Alexis has opted to wear a white dress and his stress resurfaces. Alexis argues that “the theme was black and white” and wearing the dress is not a big deal. David panics and says that now when she gives him away, they will look like bride and groom. Stevie says, “I’m sure this town has seen far weirder things.”
At the wedding, Moira serves a look with a full-out papal attire — mitre and all. As David and Alexis walk down the aisle to an a capella rendition of Tina Turner’s “The Best”, Roland (Chris Elliott) asks Johnny, “Is it me or do they look like husband and wife?” Johnny answers, “Kind of.”
The tears start to well up in David’s eyes as Moira attempts to hold it together while performing the ceremony. It isn’t long before the two of them exchange vows. Patrick sings a rendition of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” as his vows as everyone starts crying — but it doesn’t stop there. David, while wearing Thom Browne, gives his heartfelt vows through tears and says “You are my happy ending.”
After a wild night of partying, Moira and Johnny are leaving Schitt’s Creek and David, Patrick, Alexis and Stevie are there to bid them farewell. It’s one of the most authentic goodbyes in a series finale — with even more tears.
As they leave town in a black SUV, Johnny tells the driver to stop the car. Moira asks, “What is it?” He rolls down the window and looks at the “Welcome to Schitt’s Creek” billboard. “I just wanted one last look.”
Deadline talked to Dan Levy about saying goodbye to Schitt’s Creek, how it championed authentic storytelling with a gay love story and how long he will wait until a reunion show.
DEADLINE: How has your vision of Schitt’s Creek changed from when you first launched in 2015 to now?
DAN LEVY: I really don’t think it has. I think the structure of the show was that this family slowly but surely learn the value of love — and the structure of the show was built in from day one. So, you had to show people who these characters were in order to also show them who they’re going to become.
With that in mind, the character growth was intentional from day one. Our hope was that if we were afforded multiple seasons of the show, we would continue to peel back the layers on who these people were and what truly made them happy. The gradual sentimentality of what became this show was really there from the beginning — it’s just there was no place for it in that first season or even the first and second season.
I think it’s why Johnny’s speech to those old friends at the end of season two, where he’s saying, “This place isn’t called Shitsville, it’s called Shitt’s Creek and it’s where we live,” was the first morsel of sentimentality. That really led to season three, which I think cracked open the emotionality of the show in much bigger and broader ways, but you had to earn that.
DEADLINE: The characters on the show could easily fall into “rich people” TV tropes that can be compared to the Kardashians or, more specifically, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in The Simple Life. What were the challenges when it came to crafting these characters and balancing privileged, wealthy personality with heart and empathy?
LEVY: Well, I think a lot of it was the casting. It was important for us to cast actors who had an inherent empathy built into who they were. I think, particularly with the character of Alexis, it was in the character description when actors were auditioning that Alexis have an intangible likability, which is hard to write. That is something that has to come with the actor. Fortunately, we were very lucky to have such a strong cast who could handle the depth of these characters and not just play one note.
If we never showed any of the vulnerability they would be a lot more unlikeable than they are. It was important for us to show how flawed these people were. That offers a point of relation because all of us have flaws and all of us have vulnerabilities. The minute you show us that someone is not perfect or the minute that you show that someone is not completely one note, they’re not insensitive for the sake of being completely sociopathic, they’re insensitive because they’re scared. They’re insensitive because they have had a really traumatic experience happen to them and they don’t know where they are and they don’t know where they’re going. That fear and vulnerability is what helped to create a kind of empathy for these characters, eventually.
DEADLINE: Many people are just now discovering Schitt’s Creek while the existing fans are super loyal. What made you want to end now?
LEVY: I listen to the characters and I listen to the stories and I listen to myself and my own instincts. This show was not made to be a business, this show was made to be something, hopefully, more artful and meaningful. When you develop a relationship with the viewer where they commit to taking time out of their lives to watch something that you have made — that’s not nothing.
I really value the experience, commitment and time that our viewers put into staying with us. The idea of compromising anything when it comes to the relationship between the show and the viewers, it wasn’t worth it to me. I had that experience happen to me one too many times where I’ve watched a show and I felt like, “Ooh, this really fell off rails” and I leave. All the shows that I come back to, all the shows that I re-watch are the shows that have really stuck it out until the end in meaningful and specific ways and who ended while they were still on top and left me wanting more, that’s why I go back.
I wanted the relationship between the show and the viewers, to remain strong from beginning to end. I never wanted our viewers to feel we were taking advantage of them by stretching ourselves too thin for the sake of money or success. So with a focus on story, it was just the right time. Quality over quantity — it was important that we end on the highest possible note we could.
DEADLINE: I’m sure you navigated through many endings for the show, but what was the thought behind the one you finally landed on?
LEVY: I think there were a bunch of different options that we could have played with and it really came down to Andrew Cividino, who was my co-director on this episode, and I sitting in the edit suite deciding what would best serve the show. All we wanted to do was tell a great episode of our show. We didn’t want it to feel any bigger or grander than any other episode.
Obviously, this was centered around a wedding, so it had a slightly more elevated nature to it but the happy ending was very David and Patrick. For them, because David is so open about [his sexuality], there’s not a ton of fear associated with that kind of thing. That’s why we’ve been able to tell the stories that we’ve been able to tell. Because their relationship is contemporary and open and honest, there’s nothing to hide and there’s nothing to fear.
The show started with the four of them arriving in town and it ended with six of them saying goodbye. To show that a found family can be just as important as your own was important as well. To end the episode simply by just people saying goodbye really felt it was honoring what the show was about, which was family and growth.
DEADLINE: One of the standout things about the show was the unbelievable care and thoughtfulness with the show when it came to the relationship between David and Patrick. What were some of your hopes and apprehensions about presenting a gay relationship in a way that is seldom seen on TV and film?
LEVY: I had no apprehensions because I was just so grateful for the opportunity to hopefully tell a story that resonated with me and friends whose stories haven’t been told. I was, obviously, very careful and tried my best to honor all of the stories that we did tell as authentically as possible. I have seen just one too many stories where queer characters are handled with different gloves than the straight characters. Out of fear or out of a desire to show that they are telling diverse stories. In actuality, what you end up doing is separating the queer relationships on your show or in your film from the rest, which doesn’t necessarily do much good. So for me, it was about ease, it was about telling the story with the same nonchalance that you would tell a straight love story. I didn’t ever want to overthink anything and the bottom line was if a straight couple has done this on television before then why can’t we? And why can’t we push it even further?
DEADLINE: The portrayal of David and Patrick’s relationship is considered by many, groundbreaking. However, the way their story was told was a big deal without being a big deal.
LEVY: Well, it’s a shame that it’s such a big deal — I wish that it wasn’t. I’m always uncomfortable with the idea of “groundbreaking” being thrown around when it comes to the story because I’m just telling my own experience and the experiences of my friends and people that I love and respect. I don’t think it should be groundbreaking. I think that’s the heartbreaking part about all of this is that it’s 2020 and just a simple love story about two men is being considered groundbreaking.
That said, I feel a tremendous sense of pride in the stories that we told. I was very lucky to have a scene partner in Noah. I felt he really handled those heavier moments with such care and respect. Chemistry like that is really rare. We’ve been fortunate enough to have it in spades on our show.
DEADLINE: How was it like, sharing this journey with your father and sister? How has it changed your relationship with them and helped develop your own craft as a storyteller and actor?
LEVY: Anytime you get to work with your family it’s a very special thing. We have managed to navigate those waters really respectfully over the years and I think for the three of us to have six years of our lives documented on television is a really special thing that we’ll get to look back on really fondly and re-watch and celebrate. It’s made it all the more meaningful and all the more emotional.
DEADLINE: I know the show has just ended, but fans are probably hoping for a reunion show further down the road. How long are you willing to wait to have a reunion episode?
LEVY: Well, we waited about three whole seasons to give Ted to Alexis (laughs) — so if that’s any indication of the amount of time I’m willing to wait for the right story to come, then yeah. I think it’s obviously very flattering to know that people want more. That shows that we’ve done something right, but at the same time I do know that time is important and I think why people have become so demanding of more really speaks to the quality.
I think people are responding to the fact that the show is good and you can never really push that, it has to come naturally. If something crosses my path in the next few years that I feel like is meaningful and won’t let the fans down, then great. The last thing you want to do is make a Christmas special or a movie or whatever and put it out into the world and have it not be good. I’m very respectful and protective of the show itself and would never want to change that for people.
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