Fire Country Season 2: Preview on Episode 3 – WATCH


On March 1stEpisode 3 of fire drama Fire Country Season 2, entitled See you next Apocalypse, is airing on CBS. Let’s a take a first exclusive look!


When a family refuses to evacuate their property during a massive wildfire that is escalating quickly, Jake is faced with a heartbreaking decision.

Talk about directing Gabriela’s cave rescue.

Kevin Alejandro: It was an adrenaline rush. I’d never directed anything like that specifically underwater. Stephanie was a genuine rockstar because she did probably 90 percent of her own stunts, swimming and holding her breath. She got trained. We did one day with our stunt team, and then the next day, Stephanie came in and was able to do everything. We were like, let’s just shoot it again. [Laughs] It was awesome. As an actor, I kind of stay inside the head of the character, so it was really interesting to direct her, not only as a director, but also in my head as my daughter. It really helped to kind of feed that adrenaline and the heartbeat and the danger for me, and I thought it turned out just absolutely beautiful. Our show hasn’t seen underwater like that, so I’m really stoked.

Then you have Manny as both the concerned father and the firefighter who’s getting orders from Vince (Billy Burke) when she’s not coming back up. Talk about playing and directing yourself for that.

It was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, two people doing something. I got lucky this season because my wife [Leslie Alejandro], who’s also my directing partner, was approved to shadow direct me, so I had her by my side. Last year when I directed, I had to run back and forth between the monitors to check to make sure that we had everything, but it was really comforting to know that she was there on the other side of the monitor giving me notes, and we prepped the whole thing together, so it worked out a lot smoother than people would anticipate. I trust her, we finish each other’s sentences. It was good to have her by my side. So it’s definitely a Los Alejandros perspective, if you will, when it comes to me being onscreen.

Stephanie Arcila as Gabriela Perez — 'Fire Country' Season 2 Episode 2

Sergei Bachlakov/CBS

Manny seems to be adjusting to being at 42 and not in command pretty well. How is he feeling about that transition?

I think he’s still struggling with how to make it work. He has to catch himself every now and again where a question will be asked to the Cap, and then he’ll be like, “I have an answer, but I’m not Captain anymore.” So he’s having to catch himself and step back and remember what it’s like to just take orders. I think it’s really good for his character to step back and analyze his choices and how to acclimate within the world of a team as opposed to trying to lead it. And I’m really interested to see how much further they take it throughout the season. Manny is flawed, and that’s what I love about him, so watching him trying to decipher which line to walk has been pretty awesome.

Manny encourages Gabriela to invite her mother to the wedding. Things seem to be going well for him. But is he in the right state of mind to see his ex now, if she does show up?

We’ll see. I think it might be jarring in any situation to see your ex, especially in real life if you haven’t seen each other for years. So I’m certain that if they introduce her character, there’s definitely going to be flashes to what was good and flashes to what was bad in his mind. They’re kind of secretive with the amount of information they give us, I think so that we’re pleasantly surprised as well when it comes through. So I don’t know that Manny will be 100 percent strong enough to handle seeing her again, but I’m looking forward to seeing what’s down on paper and how those past emotions are going to affect his future choices.

I want a Perez family reunion. I feel like that would just be so good.

Me too.

Will what Manny told Gabriela affect their relationship?

No, I think the beauty of the relationship that’s been created between Gabriela and Manny is it’s probably the strongest relationship that a father-daughter could have. I know that she knows that Manny has nothing but her best and strongest intentions for her. So I think there will be a moment of her self-doubt; however, she trusts her dad. And whether it’s the right choice or the wrong choice, I think she’s going to listen to it and hope for the best. Then whatever happens later, Manny will also be faced with, should I or should I not have told her to invite her mom?

How is Manny and Bode’s relationship? We saw Bode’s reaction when Manny visited him in prison. He was not happy.

He was not happy. There’s definitely a respect still between the two guys. I think Bode’s decision not to want to see Manny could be based on Bode’s own self-doubt and questioning his choices. And the last thing he needs in a place like prison is this little “angel on his shoulder” trying to spout wisdom when really what he’s trying to do is survive in an environment like that. I’m looking forward to seeing how that affects their relationship outside of that.

Right now, we’re separated. We all have different worlds now. We all have different responsibilities, different relationships that are popping up that we’re trying to deal with, but I know that—and the audience may not see this right off the bat until they watch it two or three times—whenever Bode and Manny are around, there’s always a connection. There’s always a mutual sort of respect, even if it’s just through the eyes. If we’re passing each other, there’s never, I’m just going to walk past you. They’re always some sort of sign, some sort of signal that, “Hey, I still got your back,” from both perspectives.

When it comes to Gabriela/Diego and Gabriela/Bode, does Manny have a preference beyond what makes his daughter happy?

Manny thrives on his daughter’s happiness, so he’s going to support whatever decisions she makes as long as he genuinely feels a sense of truth behind what she’s feeling. There’s no rationalizations, there’s no excuses for moving one direction or another, but I think he’s very keen to that, to her sensitivities, to her emotions, which is why they listen to each other. But I think if Manny had to choose, at the end of Season 1, Manny was already at the point in his sort of acceptance of who Bode is and seeing similarities between he and Manny that he was ready to call him mijo, to embrace him. If he had a choice, I think Bode would be the perfect son-in-law.

Eve (Jules Latimer) has a very different way of commanding at Three Rock. What does Manny think of her approach?

Manny’s very prideful in the way that he handles his responsibilities because it’s the only way he knows how to do things, so it’s jarring to him. [He thinks], “I wouldn’t do it that way.” But he has to force himself to step back to watch a new strategy. To start off with, it’s a real struggle for Manny to watch someone else run his department, to do what he did and in a different way, to change things. It’s a real puzzle for him to try to piece together that there are other perspectives that could work. And I think that’s a really good challenge that he’s faced with this season.

Is his goal to get back to Three Rock, or will he find himself more settled at 42?

I think at this point, because his world has been sort of ripped away, he is searching for where he belongs, and I think it’s given him the opportunity to really question, is that where he belongs? Is that what he wants or does he want this? Does he want to advance? He’s juggling a bunch of balls of goals right now, and I think he’s trying to figure out where he wants to be. Of course, he is in love with Three Rock. Three Rock is what changed his life, is what gave him another opportunity to reclaim his position in society for people other than himself. So they’re doing a really beautiful job of watching him try to balance that and trying to find exactly what and who he is and how he wants his trajectory to go.

Kevin Alejandro as Manny Perez and Diane Farr as Sharon Leone — 'Fire Country' Season 2 Episode 2

Sergei Bachlakov/CBS

This episode ends with Liam (Jason O’Mara) approaching Sharon, and clearly there’s something going on there. The photos for the next week’s episode show that he’s at a call with a fire, and we are seeing Manny and Sharon working together, which I love, so is Manny going to get a front row seat to all that drama?

I mean, probably. [Laughs] I’m glad that you said you love seeing Sharon and Manny working together because both Diane and I love working together and we’re really establishing subtextually between us—and I think the writers and our team are starting to notice—that there is real chemistry and a real dynamic between the two. But we’re trying to set up that we are homies, that we’re both parents, we both are flawed, we both have these things to deal with, and somehow our energy connects in a way of, “I got your back and I feel comfortable talking to you,” and we have a really nice rapport and I’m really loving that they’re exploring that a little bit more.

What else is coming up for Manny?

I keep getting hints that he has a really unexpected arc that’s coming up, and I’m not sure if that deals with the mom or Three Rock or what, but they’re like, “Just get ready. You’re going to go on a big emotional arc.”

Interview to Diane Farr

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your reaction when you learned about the character of Liam and how he would enter Sharon’s life?

DIANE FARR: I was a little nervous. The world is not usually that forgiving of women having needs outside of marriage, children, and maybe earning a living. Then when it was going to be Jason O’Mara I was like “Oh my God, he’s so dreamy” and he’s never gotten to use his real accent on screen ever, so the Irish of it all made it very exciting.

It’s clear that he and Sharon have very different takes on the time they spent together. What does Liam mean to Sharon and what did their time together mean to her from your perspective?

Sharon may have been a little bit of denial over what an emotional affair is. What she needed was a friend and Sharon is the kind of person that is better friends with a guy, so she was looking for a friend and found someone close enough to her husband with a slightly different vibe.

Our writers really touched on this thing. That women can make friendships that are asexual and often when you do with a guy there must be a sexual nature because they’re sharing intimacy. That any form of intimacy is then translated into something sexual. The writers are really hitting this gray line that I hope Sharon doesn’t get hung for because it’s about what is missing from her marriage.

Sharon and Vince end the episode in a much better place. At this point, what work do they have to put in to continue to keep moving in a positive direction?

In season one, the thing I said all the time was [Sharon’s] actual primary commitment was to Bode (Max Thieriot) and the person she had to hide that from was Vince because your primary relationship is supposed to be your partner. The truth of season 2 is she’s getting down to the core of “I didn’t do my son any favors by doing that. How much can I lean into my husband?” Getting called out in tonight’s episode is sort of a gift, but now she’s got to be more vulnerable and figure out who they are to each other if not just somebody’s parent or parents of this firehouse.

FIRE COUNTRY Pictured: Diane Farr as Sharon Leone and Billy Burke as Chief Vince Leone.
Diane Farr as Sharon Leone and Billy Burke as Chief Vince Leone on ‘Fire Country’. CBS

What was it like filming that fire truck scene where Sharon is trying to drive everyone to safety through the fire?

The fire truck scene was hard on every level. There’s two guest stars who come up and they are so ready to do everything and people in the back are on top of each other. We were in there for 12 hours. The camera just kept moving around us the whole day in the fire truck. There were six scenes and I could not get them in my head. I don’t work really hard at learning lines, but I spent the whole weekend.

It was a terrific idea to put [Vince and Liam] next to each other to see who actually works for [Sharon]. One was a fantasy and one reality, and when my life is in jeopardy who am I going to trust? There was so much going on there emotionally and physically.

Sharon has stepped away from a leadership role to get back in the field. What does that change say about where Sharon is as a person?

It’s making [Sharon] look honestly at where she is here. It becomes easier to be the boss if you’ve been the mom and the parent for a long time and you know the answer of how to do things. Sharon has to get in there and do the actual job and catch up to the fact that her body’s older and has been through a lot. Her priority isn’t necessarily to save the people in my family, is she interested in the work for the sake of the work? It’s pretty effacing and there’s an amazing thing that happens in midlife when you start saying, “What is the actual point of why I’m here? If I’m over the halfway point in my life, what do I want to do with the second half?” I’m grateful to see where she ends up, but it’s a fun ride letting her figure it out.

You wrote an essay for Entertainment Weekly about age parity that highlighted what Vince and Sharon bring to TV. Similarly, Sharon herself, by stepping back into the field, is doing something similar. Can you talk about the character in that respect?

This character is such a gift as an actor to play at 54 because she’s a fully realized person. She’s not just somebody’s mom or just the boss. The pilot was one of the best written pilots I’ve ever read and I didn’t see the ending coming. The trap would have been if [Sharon] was just the boss sitting in an office giving them directions, but our writers gave me the chance to be a flawed human. It’s not only that they let me be a peer with my romantic interest, the article’s talking about age gaps hurting women, but also hurting the show because woman are much more developed and can speak up for our characters. We just don’t get to see it enough for women my age. This is how we replicate it. When one couple in their 50s is working hopefully next season we’ll see another. Each time we give television permission to let someone else be of interest, then it opens the arena.

What’s ahead on Fire Country?

This whole season is about redemption and each of these characters are figuring out their thing. In 204, there’s a chemical fire and then in 205 the whole town gets put under this microscope. We really get back to that idea of this was a family drama and not just the Leone family, but the family of this town and how they’re also interconnected. The episode feels like a turning point for who they’re all going to be going forward. It’s the most exciting episode I’ve shot yet.

An upcoming episode is introducing Morena Baccarin’s sheriff. What’s Sharon’s relationship like with her? I feel like Sharon needs another woman in her life.

Diane Farr: Doesn’t she just! I had such an amazing time working with her because, like we were saying, she’s a peer. The other women in the show are all in some way like a daughter to me. Eve [Jules Latimer] was my daughter’s best friend, and Gabriela was my son’s girlfriend. [Winces] We can only hope. So just to have another woman there who is like a peer, I think it’s great. It’s a male-dominated field, firefighting, and it’s one of the best representations I’ve seen of different races and different women and different sexual orientations in the house, but she doesn’t have peers, so we can only hope there’ll be a lot more Morena.

Also, Eve’s her son’s boss now. She holds his fate in her hands. So that’s also complicated for Sharon.

I would imagine if I had to pick somebody, it might be her because I kept holding hope that Manny [Kevin Alejandro] was going to take on this other role, and Manny ended up getting in more trouble with Bode. So maybe I’m just working through the people I love to be like, let’s see if you can hold your own, and Eve is probably the best chance we have.

How do you think Sharon will react to Genevieve possibly being Bode’s daughter and his motivation right now?

I don’t know. I wonder in some ways if she’ll be more nervous about it. People that live in a house with addiction generally end up having a control issue: The only way that this is going to work is if I save it, if I fix it. And Bode putting his worth into being a parent, into being somebody else’s something, is probably a pretty rough ride for him. I would imagine she’s going to stick her nose in there.

I do love that Sharon is healthy enough to be fighting fires, but is it feasible for that to be a permanent thing versus her old position?

We talk about this with the writers all the time. If I am a 54-year-old woman, how long can I really carry the equipment? If you look at firefighters in their third decade of doing the work, they’re usually moving up because they have more experience, so they’ll be able to make better calls. But real firefighters are amazing. Their job is so hard. Since the first firefighter role I’ve ever played, people will come up to me on the street saying, no way can you actually carry that gear. You couldn’t carry me out of a fire. In truth, you don’t carry people out. You pull them out of a fire because if you both fall down, nobody’s getting out. But I don’t know. I don’t know where they’re going yet, and I enjoy both of them, so we’ll see.

What else is coming up for Sharon?

In [Episode] 204, there’s a chemical fire, which is the first time we get to see her in a structure fire with all the gear and with the people where she is not the boss. I can tell you as an actor, it was hard. I just did the ADR for it [yesterday]. There’s some big giant epic swells coming. Then [Episode] 205 feels the most like a family story, and it’s not just the Leone family, it’s the town of how these people interact. [Episode] 205 feels like a dream. Everything they’ve been laying out for the season starts to really come to a head beginning in 204 and then sort of sprouting in 205.

This episode was amazing.

Diane Farr: I’m so glad. I love this episode. The stuff in the truck was not easy to shoot. There were 11 of us in that truck, and it was mostly background actors and they don’t get a lot of say, so they were left on top of each other for 12 hours.

Sharon loves being in the action and fighting fires, but this was a whole new level.

I know. This was like, your life’s in jeopardy and it’s going to be your fault if something happens to all of them. It’s been a really fun thing having Jake be Sharon’s boss because he’s like my surrogate son. He grew up in my house. I love the idea that when push came to shove, she’s still somebody’s mother. So at the end of the day, I think that what was pressing the most was these two kids that I love are on top of this truck and just what the bond is when you trust somebody, when you let your nervous system calm down and let somebody else be in charge of you. I think that’s really hard for Sharon, and it’s really hard for Diane. If you really had to drive a car and not be able to see and somebody else was going to direct you, it is almost the most romantic thing I can think of.

I think it’s possible that I like Sharon and Vince’s relationship even more this season because of the new layers to it, and now she says she’s ready to fight for them. So, is she feeling more optimistic about their marriage?

Who’s optimistic about marriage after 30 years? I think zero people, but she’s willing to throw her skin in and fail, which I think is the important part because I think Sharon feels like she failed at Bode. I think she feels like he went back to prison because I did it wrong. Therefore, it’s like, what is the marriage? We talked a lot in the first season that Sharon’s first priority is really Bode and the person she has to hide that from is Vince.

The whole of the second season is her unloading this secret that this marriage really wasn’t her first thing. So it’s like a different layer of committing, and God bless our writers for dealing with not only the possibility of an emotional affair but that a woman might think she’s friends with a guy, and just by the nature of him not having female friends, he thinks it’s something else. It’s such a gray area they’re delving into, and I hope Sharon doesn’t get hung for it because I think it’s real in society.

Is talking about Bode being priority part of what fighting for them means to her? Are we going to see her saying everything she needs to? I feel like Vince and Sharon need to sit down and talk about everything they haven’t, not just the Bode of it.

You ask such a good question because to me, I feel like part of marriage is seeing where the problem is and getting through the day without talking about it because that’s another day that you’re in your marriage. And sometimes I think the truth of partnership for people that are on their second marriage or people who don’t feel like they’ve promised everyone in the world they’re going to do this is they go at the heart of the problem. So if we take two people who are both super strong or both natural leaders and they have to talk about the thing, it’s like opening Pandora’s box. So the whole season is them sort of lightly stepping into, how much can I really tell him about what’s going on? The Liam of it all was really like, alright, I needed something. It might be more dangerous to you that it’s talking, but I needed something, you didn’t do it. It is definitely getting them closer, but it could lead to an explosion. We’ll see.

I liked that Sharon was so confused about how Liam saw things, but it also seemed like he was part of the therapy that she needed while she was away, not in the sense of who he is specifically, but someone she could talk to who isn’t part of Edgewater because everyone else knows both Sharon and Vince. She can’t talk to, say, Manny (Kevin Alejandro) about this even though they’re becoming closer.

You so nailed it of the rub of a small town. If you really keep all the people you started with, there’s not a lot of chance to do a reversal on some opinion you’ve had your whole life. If Vince and Sharon have been a thing for longer than Sharon was ever a person by herself, the idea of talking to someone else could be amazing. I don’t know if everybody deserves the chance to see that fantasy conversation person right next to their husband. If you really put, this is my escapism conversation and this is my real life, side by side and see who’s truer, I mean, what a risk. But in this scenario, it’s very clear that Vince is the guy for her. So, I think the universe gave her what she needed.

Billy Burke as Chief Vince Leone and Jason O’Mara as Liam — 'Fire Country' Season 2 Episode 3

Sergei Bachlakov/CBS

Will Liam be back?

I sure as hell hope so. Do you know that Jason O’Mara has never gotten to use his real-life accent on screen? He’s Irish and it couldn’t possibly be any cuter, and both of our DPs on Fire Country are Irish, and when they would start to talk to each other, they’d get more Irish. The accent kept coming out more, and me and the other women were like, just let that on screen. It’s so sexy. It’s ridiculous. So I can only hope he’ll be back.

Fighting fires has been her therapy, but she’s now back. Is she ready yet to step back and face everything she’s not by still being out there in the action?

Oh, you are good with these questions. I don’t know. I don’t know what happens to Sharon if you take the adrenaline junkie out of her. She has a bit of a savior complex. Bode probably got it from both his parents. I think Sharon and Bode both think with their heart instead of their head. I think Vince is better at thinking logically and strategically, where they both jump. I’d love to see who Sharon is if you take the adrenaline away from her.

Sharon and Bode are on a path to a different but better place for them. What does that look like?

I don’t know yet. There was this question at the end of the finale last year—Gabriela was standing by him in a way that his mother wasn’t, and at some point, I think that’s supposed to be the goal. We don’t want to be attached to our mom and dad in a way that prevents us from taking flight. I don’t know who they’re going to be to each other. They’re so similar, and their lives are so entwined. I don’t know if he’s getting out of that prison, but if he does, they’ve never had normalcy because he’s been a drug user since high school. The two of them have to figure out what they do, and they may just be like two incinerators, they may be two things that keep starting a fire. We’ll see. I think it’s better that Vince is in there now. Vince has some skin in the game because he might be a grounding factor with Bode around Sharon.

Diane Farr as Sharon Leone, Max Thieriot as Bode Donovan, and Billy Burke as Chief Vince Leone — 'Fire Country' Season 1

Sergei Bachlakov/CBS

They had that conversation in Episode 2 when she went to see him—I loved that scene. But how hard is it going to be for Sharon not to slide back into who she used to be with Bode?

I think it’s borderline impossible. If you study anything about addiction, it’s a family disease. There’s the person who’s having the addiction, and then there’s generally the person who’s addicted to keeping them alive. Kevin Alejandro shot that scene in Episode 202, and he saw that scene right from the beginning. I thought it was going to be close and intimate, and he saw us as two people [holds hands up to show them standing apart]. It was so beautiful. But my favorite thing is the last clip is Sharon is actually over the 50 percent line on Bode’s side. So I was like, she’s never going to let go of doing too much. She’s too fiery. [Laughs] Pun. She’s too passionate. It’s a nice long journey she’s going to have to figure out where her kid, her only surviving kid, is and where she is, finding that line.

When I spoke with Kevin last week, I told him how much I’m enjoying Sharon and Manny working together, and he said he likes that, too. How much does Sharon need someone like Manny in her life, especially now?

God does Sharon need a peer and a friend. It’s one of my favorite relationships also because from the beginning, he’s the one that she told she was ill. When they thought Jake was the arsonist, she goes to Manny and not her husband. They have this brother sister thing to me where they’re a little quick and fast and humorous. Earlier on in Episode 3, she was like, “You’re my friend. I don’t want to sleep with you. Do I need to explain that?” And he’s like, please, no. So there’s so much humor. There are so many funny actors on our show. Anytime we get a chance to be funny, it’s a dream.

Promotional pictures

CBS has released the promotional pictures from Fire Country Season 2×03 – We’ll upload them as soon as they’re available!


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