[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers from the Season 4 finale of Chesapeake Shores, “Watercolors, Wishes, and Weddings.”]
The fourth season of Chesapeake Shores ended with big moments for the couples. Abby and Trace kissed! Jess and David are engaged! Kevin and Sarah are talking about having kids!
Though the episode may have felt like a series finale, that wasn’t intentional. “It was to be a moment for the fans to have that closeness and have something they’ve been demanding all season, but to leave it up in the air, where the final kiss is going to take them,” showrunner Michael Berns told TV Insider.
While there’s no news yet on Season 5, he broke down the finale’s biggest moments and teased what could be ahead.
Abby and Trace explored life apart this season, and not just romantically. What did you want to do with them?
Michael Berns: The big thing at the start of this season, because Trace left last year, was for Abby to finally stand up and say, “No, this is not going to work. I can’t live this way anymore.” In some respects, the same way she stood up to her company, she finally realized that was one thing with Trace that she couldn’t bend, rather than take him back immediately. It was important for her as a person to finally look at her life without Trace and for Trace to see what his life would be like without Abby.
When Nell is giving her final speech to the family, it opens up Abby to realizing that while Jay is wonderful — and Jay might still be in the picture — there’s this passion she’s had with Trace and will always have with Trace that always will pull the two together no matter where they are.
And I liked that you didn’t make either of the love interests the evil, obvious non-choice. They were both good characters and been good for Abby and Trace if not for the history.
We purposefully tried to make Jay pretty amazing just because if, as you said, if Jay or Emma were completely the wrong choices, it’s not a choice at all.
Abby now has a decision to make about her career. Conflicts could arise at her old job, but working in the family business may not be the best idea.
There’s always issues when one child out of many is designated to take over the family business. Abby, in a lot of respects, is perfectly suited for it. … There is a lot of potential for a lot of family conflict especially [involving] Abby’s employment from her father — what does that mean for money for the family — and what does it mean for who’s going to control the O’Brien business? I don’t know if Abby and Mick can work together terribly well either.
We saw Connor was taken aback.
Connor in the best of ways wanted to just help out his dad knowing his dad was stressed. Finding out that his dad trusted Abby, the conscious, adult Connor would go, “That is actually a good choice. I just want to start my career right now. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life working in real estate if I really wanted to spend my life as a lawyer.”
On the other hand, Connor’s gone through so much for so long, especially if you go back to the first season where he really feels like a second class citizen in the O’Brien family. For Connor, the subconscious part being the younger kid — “I can do it, dad” — is the one who’s going to be the most affected by Abby taking over.
Is Trace in the best position with his career that he’s ever been? Getting to stay at home and make music with a studio?
For Trace, the idea of the road is certainly better than the reality of it. Trace needed to take those trips out to realize how important Abby was and that you can’t pursue two dreams with the same vehemence if one dream kills the other.
Jess and David are engaged! What did you know you wanted to include leading up to the proposal? And what do you imagine their wedding looking like?
We wanted to have some fun with [the proposal], but just on a dramatic basis, we wanted to put the proposal in Jess’ hands. If Jess doesn’t get rid of the city inspector, she can’t get engaged, so that gives her something fun to do.
Something terribly [would have to] go wrong during Jess and David’s wedding. It’s not the perfect wedding, where everything is lovely and things go off without a hitch. It’s going to be a giant mess in some respects, but beautiful and sweet nonetheless, because they’re really meant for one another.
Bree’s taking her play to the West End! She’s come a long way with her career and I especially liked seeing her family in the audience given the tension of her book. The sky really does seem the limit for her.
There’s a giant pull to Chesapeake, and if Hallmark wants to do more seasons, she’s not going to be in the West End for very long. The great thing about who she is as an artist is she’s growing. … Bree’s getting to a point where she’s becoming more in control of who she is as a writer and understanding the effects she’s having.
What about Bree’s love life? Is she getting a better idea of what she’s looking for after Simon?
Simon was always the perfect rebound just because he’s so nice, so giving, and so sweet, but not with the fire Bree ultimately needs in life. It correlates to Abby and Trace this year. As you get older, you pare down what are the essentials in a relationship that you need. There’ll be elements of Simon in whoever she ends up dating because he’s a sweet guy for her.
Why did you decide to have Kevin and Sarah get married offscreen?
It was a joint decision between us and the executives at Hallmark. They [suggested], “What about elopement?” It was a nice twist and it allowed us to have some fun with family expectations in a wedding. Sarah and Kevin both live their lives independently of the family, more so than any of the other O’Briens, and it made sense if the family was really pressuring them, neither one of them is a dress-up-and-walk-down-the-aisle type of person.
Connor made a big career decision, but then found out Thomas’ plan and got a warning about his new firm. Will he regret his choice?
Definitely, there’s regret, but Connor has always been fairly headstrong. While Connor’s grown tremendously from Season 1, there’s still a part of him that’s very ambitious but also doesn’t want to feel second best around his family. This firm is not a bad firm, but they certainly have potential to be. On the other hand, working for your uncle because that was the one job you got might not have been the best choice, even if he had decided to stay.
Mick and Megan seem to be on the path to their happily ever after, too, but I especially liked seeing them watching their children be happy in the finale. How important was it to get them in a good place with each other and their children before starting their reconciliation?
There was so much pain and heartbreak prior to the series beginning that had to be dealt with. They just needed time and the ability to understand and trust one another before they could move forward. We flirted with it last season, and it just wasn’t right. They started to bicker again and realized to pull back was the smartest way to do it.
If there is another season, what kinds of challenges are in store for everyone?
For Mick and Megan, it’s about redefining what a new relationship would look and feel like, and with that, there’s the growing pains of essentially starting all over again. Their last relationship was pretty much a dismal failure.
For Trace and Abby, it’s whether or not they’re going to get back together again and the heat of the emotions of wanting one another. If they are going to be back together again, how is that relationship supposed to look and is there a marriage in the future?
For Abby, it’s the issues of working with her father. For Trace, it’s his new position with the studio and is he going to be taking over the Bridge from Mick?
For Kevin and Sarah, there’s married life, maybe starting a family. When you have two working parents, how does that work out and how are they going to dictate their life? For Sarah, being a firefighter and being pregnant is an issue, and is it something she wants to not deal with and not have kids?
With Bree, there’s her career and what is a new relationship going to look like?
What is Connor’s new career going to look like? How is it going to pit him against the family? How is his relationship with Abby going to survive?
For Jess and David, it’s getting married, which, if you include trying to add unicorns into the mix, will be quite difficult.