Season 5 of The Bold Type has already seen the core trio of Jane (Katie Stevens), Sutton (Meghann Fahy), and Kat (Aisha Dee) continue to grow as three young women working at a fashion magazine in New York City. But with Wednesday’s episode, fans will have to bid them goodbye for good.
The Bold Type’s end was announced alongside the show’s fifth season renewal in January. Although no official reason was given for the cancellation at the time, both the cast and crew have said that they appreciated the chance to wrap up their stories.
“It’s definitely bittersweet, but I think it’s a privilege of having the information that you are ending… it allowed us to be intentional in real life when filming the show,” Stevens told Deadline. Not that wrapping up the show was easy after a tumultuous 2020: Season 4 of The Bold Type was already impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the show to shut down production and fashion a makeshift a Season 4 finale out of the episodes already filmed.
“We were in a really tricky spot because we lost two episodes at the end of Season 4,” Fahy told Entertainment Tonight. “Then when we got picked up for Season 5, we only had six [episodes] to wrap it all up. So the writers had a really, really hard job … to kind of figure out a way to get everybody to a place that felt really good in that amount of time.”
Indeed, the crunch was really on: Season 4 saw Sutton separate from her husband Richard and struggle to cope with post-married life. Jane, meanwhile, was adjusting to life as a boss of her own vertical at Scarlet Magazine, while also being groomed to take over for editor-in-chief Jacqueline Carlyle (Melora Hardin).
Kat has had perhaps the biggest shift over the course of the fifth season, as her character moves on from bartending at a The Wing-analogue and starts an activist movement focused on helping women who have been to prison. Dee spoke out following Season 4 about how the show’s lack of diversity had started to negatively affect her storylines. “The level of care, nuance, and development that has gone into the stories centering white hetero characters is inconsistent with the stories centering queer characters and POC," she wrote in an open letter. “It was heartbreaking to watch Kat's story turn into a redemption story for someone else, someone who is complicit in the oppression of so many. Someone who's politics are actively harmful to her communities."
While Dee has said that change takes more than “an Instagram post and a phone call,” she teased that Kat’s ending is something she personally approves of. “I didn’t really believe it at first, but it does feel very right to me and it does make me very happy,” Dee told TV Insider. “I really hope that for fans of the show, it feels like a satisfying end for them as well. It definitely felt like that for me.”
Of course that doesn’t mean everyone will be happy about the final Bold Type arcs. One of the biggest outcries on social media around the show has been whether Jane has what it takes to run Scarlet Magazine as editor-in-chief. Needless to say there’s a lot of disbelief, given her etiquette over the whole show.
But mostly fans are just sad to be saying goodbye to a show that dealt with so many serious issues with compassion. During its five seasons, The Bold Type didn’t shy away from topical and complicated subjects like #MeToo, cancel culture, reproductive health, and substance abuse. It’s a legacy that the creators took very seriously throughout.
“I think the show is going to be discovered for years to come,” showrunner Wendy Straker Hauser told Deadline. “We have made this really impactful show and I don’t think we have even scratched the surface for how impactful the show’s going to be.”