My Life with the Walter Boys series creator, Melanie Halsall confirmed what fans assumed about the show's surprise ending and how it leaves the main character, Jackie.
Netflix's latest teenage drama, based on the hit young adult book by Ali Novak, follows a grieving teen named Jackie. After a tragic accident, Manhattan native Jackie is forced to move in with the Walters, a family with 7 boys in rural Colorado.
While the series remains pretty faithful to the books of the same name, it does deviate pretty heavily with its ending.
Walter Boys Showrunner on the Series' Shocking Ending
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for My Life with the Walter Boys
Following THAT surprise twist to end Netflix's My Life With the Walter Boys, series creator Melanie Halsall broke down what happened.
To many fans' surprise, instead of Season 1 following the first book's ending, seeing main character Jackie kiss and stay with Cole (played by Noah LaLonde in the series), the TV series leaves things much more ambiguous.
Speaking with Variety, Halsall commented on Jackie instead leaving Silver Falls at the end of the series, proving she did not need romance to define her, as many fans had thought the ending was going for.
The showrunner remarked, "We were always very conscious" of honoring the book, but also knew they would have to "change things for a TV adaptation."
She looked back on going "back and forth" on who Jackie should end up with at the end of the series:
“In the book, she’s with Alex for quite some time, then they split up and it’s quite mutual. Then she and Cole decide they’re going to be together once she comes back from New York. I knew I didn’t want to do that.”
But instead of closing the series in the arms of one boy or the other, Hasell came up with the idea of Jackie not "[end] up with either boy." Instead, the series lead would be seen as "a successful young woman, striving out on her own, without a romance:"
“The thought I had in my head was that she wouldn’t up with either boy — that she’s a successful young woman, striving out on her own, without a romance. So that was one idea.”
She also brought up the delicate dance of making both boys believable as potential romantic partners from an audience perspective, something she used to make the surprise ending even more shocking:
“I wanted to make Alex a viable option, so we did change his character slightly in order to do that. What I really wanted to do was to surprise everybody.”
This is in line with what Halsall has said about the ending elsewhere, telling The Wrap she "wanted to blow [up]" the fairly predictable ending of the book:
"Her relationship with Alex is going well. Alex and Cole have a truce. She and Cole seem to be getting on OK as friends — and then I wanted to blow all that up. That was always my intention, to lead the audience down a certain path and then blow it all up."
The Walter Boys creative remembered having this idea of a different ending "quite early on," but still wanted to incorporate elements from the novel:
"I kind of had the ending in my head quite early on. Some of that is in the novel. Jackie does in the novel leave for New York, but it happens in a slightly different way. And she’s going to come back in the novel, and that’s when she and Cole will try and have a relationship. Episode 10 is about 'everything seems to be OK.' We’ve had lots of ups and downs, but by Episode 10, everything’s settled down. Jackie’s settled in the house, now she feels like she’s found her family. The wedding is wonderful, Will and Haley have overcome their difficulties."
Will My Life with the Walter Boys Get a Season 2?
One of the (unspoken) reasons My Life with the Walter Boys may have ended the way it did, is because the series was maybe only envisioned as a single-season affair.
With Jackie now back in the big city, and things seemingly wrapped up nicely between both Alex and Cole back in Silver Falls, it provides enough ambiguity that if they were to get a Season 2 there are some narrative threads to tug on, but there is no cliff-hanger-type ending leading fans to assume one is coming.
Given the success of My Life with the Walter Boys has seen in its short time on Netflix, a Season 2 announcement feels like it is only a matter of time.
Even though Season 1 deviated from the books to end its 10-episode run, a second book in the series has yet to be written. That means the TV show could go any direction it would like with what happens next (of course, under the purview of author Ali Novak).
If/when Season 2 is rubberstamped one can assume Jackie will be headed back to the throws of romantic drama yet again, likely at the hands of Alex and Cole Walter.
While it seems likely Jackie is drawn back to Silver Falls somehow, what could be fun is some of the Walter boys headed east for New York City, and the entirety of Season 2 taking place in the Big Apple.
For now, though, that is all speculation, as a Season 2 has yet to even be announced.
My Life with the Walter Boys is streaming now on Netflix.