Brace yourselves, Team Kevin.
I recently had a candid Q & A with Jason Ritter, in which he shared some tantalizing teasers for the remainder of Season 1. In the conversation below, we discuss how Bret Harrison and Tyler Labine reprise their ‘Reaper’ roles, marvel over Leslie Jones’ genuine support for the show, explore Yvette and Dave’s dilemma, and drop a finale bombshell.
Before diving into a preview of Tuesday’s highly anticipated episode, “Old Friends,” let’s take a crash course in Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas’ previous series, ‘Reaper.’ It was a fun and fascinating gem of a show that ended too soon after only two seasons on the CW (airing from 2007 to 2009). I was a fan of the hour long supernatural comedy and I’m now realizing the key similarities it shares with ‘Kevin Probably.’
Much like Kevin, Sam Oliver (Harrison) is an average guy who is suddenly given a life-changing mission. Here’s the short version: On his 21st birthday, Sam learns that he is a bounty hunter for Satan. In order to save his mother’s soul from immediate and eternal damnation, he must comply with the Dark One’s commands. Instead of receiving signs from the Universe, Sam receives different weapons that are unique to each escaped soul from Hell. Sam and his best bud, Bert “Sock” Wysocki (Labine), track down and trap each damned soul in the weapon, which they must turn into the DMV to be sent back to Hell.
Butters and Fazekas know how to capture the perfect balance of light-hearted humor and heavy issues. Kevin and Sam carry an immense amount of weight on their shoulders. They both are lucky to have loving support systems, even though everyone doesn’t know their secret. Given the similarities, you’d think these two guys would be fast friends. Right? Well, maybe not so fast.
Here is ABC’s official description of the episode airing on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 10 p.m.:
Desperate to repair his friendship with Tyler, Kevin enlists the help of Kristin to pull off a grand gesture to win him back. While working to do so, his relationship with Kristin deepens, and they meet a mysterious, strange duo who are hiding out in the middle of nowhere (guest stars Bret Harrison and Tyler Labine, reprising their “Reaper” roles). At the same time, Kevin tries to help Marc, a young man who has left home in search of adventure; and Yvette and Dave continue to struggle with human tendencies.
“Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” stars Jason Ritter as Kevin Finn, JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Amy Cabrera, Kimberly Hébert Gregory as Yvette, Chloe East as Reese Cabrera, J. August Richards as Deputy Nate Purcell, Dustin Ybarra as Tyler Medina and India de Beaufort as Kristin Allen.
Guest starring in this episode are Will Sasso as Dave, Rhenzy Feliz as Marc, Lesley Boone as Lucille Russo, with Bret Harrison as Sam and Tyler Labine as Sock.
“Old Friends” was written by Chris Dingess & Craig DiGregorio and directed by Michael Patrick Jann.
Check out this slideshow of hilarious and heartwarming images from “Old Friends”:
We can already tell that this is going to be a really fun episode and we can’t wait to see Kevin and Kristin grow closer. Tyler has a right to feel betrayed and it is so sweet to see how much effort Kevin puts into his apology. Given Tyler’s caring and kind nature, he’ll most likely forgive Kevin. At least that’s what it looks like in the photos! Stay tuned for my podcast interview with Dustin Ybarra tomorrow, in which he teases Tyler’s journey and shares some entertaining behind-the-scenes stories.
Now, without further adieu, enjoy Ritter’s juicy scoop on what we can expect from the final three episodes in Season 1.
Tiffany Tchobanian: There are so many great guest stars coming up, starting with Bret Harrison and Tyler Labine reprising their ‘Reaper’ roles. I’m wondering since Sam is a bounty hunter for Satan, will he and Kevin bond over having such important, anonymous and supernatural jobs?
Jason Ritter: You know, it’s one of those things where I wish they had the time to have a glass of…It’s one of those things…It’s passing ships in the night where you have a random encounter with someone, you have no idea how much you may or may not have in common. Kevin, he’s not allowed to – Every time he tries to tell anybody the truth, he says something horribly embarrassing, as you know [laughs]. And Sam and Sock are both very secretive about their jobs. It’s funny, these two guys have way more in common than they know about. They’re sort of sizing each other up. It’s a really funny scene. I love the fact that those universes collide. They seem to fit in very a strange and opposite way. It’s a lot of fun.
Will we get to see them work on a case together in some way?
You know, in the future, perhaps. That would be super fun. I think that’s up to the writers and Bret and Tyler’s schedule. Boy that would be a fun thing to do. As of now, it’s sort of this kind of little Easter egg where ‘Reaper’ fans will be able to pause and look at the background and see all these little things from episodes that they recognize and it’s fun to see what these guys have been up to for the past several years. [Laughs]
Yeah because the photos all look awesome!
And then the other really cool thing is that Leslie Jones actually got to be on the show…
Which is super exciting! Fans are living vicariously through her. So…?
[Laughs] I know. It’s very cool. It’s very cool how the whole thing happened. It seems almost like, very sort of in line with the show. Like it could be a storyline on the show. Here we are, a first season show. We’re trying to get the word out and we have an incredible fan base, as you know. It’s been incredible. And then just to see Leslie Jones tweeting about it and tweeting her love for the show.
We initially, it’s sad. [Laughs] It’s a sad state of affairs. Initially we were all like talking to each other – Did you see Leslie Jones? Do you know her? Is there any connection that anybody has to Leslie particularly that would make sense as to why she’s being so nice? And there was none. She just purely loved the show and was tweeting about it.
You know, we’re not even on the same network. So it was really incredible that just out of the kindness of her own heart, she decided to give us that extra little leg up and tweet about the show to all of her followers. Yeah, it was amazing that it all worked out and we got to have her on the show. It’s all pretty amazing.
Yeah! And the press release revealed that she’ll be filling in for Yvette as another celestial being. I don’t know how much you tease about that. How does Kevin feel about that late in the game? He got used to Dave and Yvette, now there’s another new person bossing him around.
Yeah, exactly [laughing]. Kevin has not been privy to the struggles that Yvette, and now Dave, are going through as they’re becoming susceptible to pain and they’re becoming more human. You know, Yvette’s sort of powers begin to change and her ability to do things, and she gets worried about being able to protect Kevin.
Kevin keeps on trying to reassure her. He’s like, “This is all fine, we’re doing it, and we’re helping each other out.” Yeah, so when Yvette enlists Cindy, Kevin is a little surprised and shocked. And he’s sort of like, “We don’t need a new person.”
Also because Cindy, who’s Leslie’s character, is very intense. As you’ll see. [Laughs]
Yeah, I can imagine [laughs].
She has a whole different way of going about the Righteous than Yvette does. And I think Kevin prefers Yvette’s way [laughs] for now.
You kind of answered one of my other questions too. Is Kevin noticing these changes at all? Is he picking up on it himself? Because Dave dropped the fish in “Fishtail,” you know? Are there slip-ups that’ll clue Kevin in?
Yeah it becomes – just like any lie or any sort of dishonesty – it becomes harder and harder to keep things from Kevin, for Yvette and Dave. I think Kevin sort of missed why something went wrong with the fish thing. He didn’t sort of quite understand.
But as other things start to go wrong, he starts to pick up on something being very, very wrong. It’s disconcerting for him too because he’s counted on them both. There are some big things that happen that are completely unavoidable to notice, so Kevin catches on.
When it all started, Yvette told Kevin that he needs to build up his supernatural or spiritual mojo, so to speak. Will we see him kind of gaining more, I don’t know if it is intuition or you know…?
Yes, exactly. I think he’s sort of – I think he’s still at this point stumbling through. I think he’s gotten a little bit better. I think his spiritual power, at this point, manifests in things that maybe other humans have already been better at. I mean even in just empathy and things that Kevin was lacking in the first place…As opposed to down line. I know he was excited about – He was like, “Am I going to be able to read people’s minds and stuff?” and she says, “No.”
I think as of now, his ability to put himself in other people’s shoes and apologize and mean it, just opening his eyes to not being so focused on how everything makes him feel and how everything affects him. For someone who is – I don’t think he’s a narcissist, but I think he’s acted in a self-serving way. When you’ve operated a certain way your entire life, it’s difficult to reprogram your way of viewing other people and the world.
I think those spiritual powers manifest in subtler ways as of now. But it would be very cool if he gets more superpower type of stuff.
Yeah because then it would make sense that there’s a type of balance. As Yvette and Dave become more human, Kevin gets some of their mojo as he becomes more spiritual.
For sure. That would be awesome.
Last question. Can you just say if there will be a killer cliffhanger in the season finale? Without spoilers, of course.
Yes, I can. There is a killer cliffhanger. It’s the kind of thing you can’t go back from. Everything – there will be a huge shift in the dynamics of the main characters at the end of Season 1. It will definitely have to be dealt with at the very beginning of Season 2. I bet Season 2 picks up right where Season 1 leaves off because it’s that much of a thing like – “Oh my gosh, what happens now?”
Yeah, you’ll see. Hard and fast rules are broken. It’s very intense.
Wow. All right. Thank you. Just so we can brace the fans accordingly.
WHOA! We need to fight even harder for Season 2. ABC cannot leave us hanging!
Are you as excited and nervous as I am? The last three episodes are going to be bittersweet. There is so much to look forward to. We just don’t want this wonderful show to end!
UPDATE: TVLine posted a sneak peek from “Old Friends”! Watch the hilarious and heartbreaking clip below:
Remember to keep spreading the word about ‘Kevin Probably.’ There is still plenty of time for new viewers to watch Season 1 on ABC’s website.
There are also more details on the #SaveKevin campaign here: How fans can help save ABC’s ‘Kevin (Probably) Saves the World’
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‘Kevin (Probably) Saves the World’ airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.