[Editor's note: The following contains spoilers for the Station Eleven finale.]It finally happened. After about two decades apart, Kirsten (Matilda Lawler and Mackenzie Davis) and Jeevan (Himesh Patel) finally reunite in the Station Eleven finale.
At the end of Episode 9, “Dr. Chaudhary,” we come to learn that Jeevan returned to the cabin one last time to confirm Kirsten wasn’t there. After that, he moves on and in year 20, he lives by a lake with Lara (Tattiawna Jones) and their children. Taking a cue from his experience with Terry/Deborah (Tara Nicodemo) at the birthing center, Jeevan now works as a doctor and at the end of Episode 10, he’s off to make a house call. That house call is for the Museum of Civilization — where Kirsten is.
I don’t know about you, but the second Jeevan walked into that airport, I couldn’t help but wonder when it was going to happen. Yes, it was most important for Jeevan to tend to Clark (David Wilmot) and Sarah (Lori Petty), but once that’s done, it felt as though it could happen at any moment. Randomly passing one another in the building was an option, but it seemed as though the performance would have been a prime spot for the first stage of their reunion. Perhaps Kirsten catches a glimpse of Jeevan in the crowd. But that sequence was rightly focused on other characters.
But then the moment comes with about 10 minutes left in the series. During a post-play reception, Kirsten and Jeevan finally spot each other. The reunion is an achingly beautiful two-minute scene with zero dialogue that ends in one of the most cathartic on-screen embraces I’ve ever seen.
We were lucky enough to have Mackenzie Davis on an episode of Collider Ladies Night back in December for Station Eleven’s premiere, but we saved a little bit of that conversation to share with you for the finale — and it focused on that reunion. As one might suspect, Davis was well aware that it would be a much-anticipated story beat for viewers. She began:
“There are moments in the script and in the series that I knew were these big emotional moments that people would be like, ‘You know, we’re really gonna wanna see some pretty big emotions,’ and I was like, ‘I know! Stop putting pressure on me! I know. It’s just gonna block me up if you do that.’ But this wasn’t one of them.”
How could this extremely emotional highlight of the entire series not have been one of the most high-pressure scenes for Davis to tackle? It has a lot to do with the filming schedule. Davis explained:
“You know what was really amazing and helpful is the very first episode that we shot was Episode 7, so my first episode was Episode 7 where I’m just standing in an apartment as a ghost watching my experience unfold from the perspective of an adult, and watching my child self originate both the trauma and the narrative about why that trauma happened and how to keep herself and people around her safe. And that was so emotional to film and gave me so much information about that time that otherwise would have been this sort of imaginary stuff in script pages and maybe I would have seen dailies, but I lived and watched this thing, and watched Matilda interact with Nabhaan [Rizwan] and Himesh as their characters. It did that thing I was saying about working on a TV show where it gives you the memories of a person, where you don’t have to imagine it. You own those memories. So I have the memories of being in the house in a way.”
That was also when showrunner Patrick Somerville and director/executive producer Hiro Murai detailed their rough outline for the arc of the show for Davis. She continued:
“The end of it ended with Kirsten and Jeevan meeting again and it wasn’t the version that we have in the show. It was something quite different. But I just burst into tears when they told me that and then I never stopped being deeply moved by the rendition of these two people finding each other again. It just got me, and it just kept getting me in a way.”
What exactly was the original version of Kirsten and Jeevan’s reunion? Davis explained, “The other version, it happened more within a performance, like she saw him in the audience.” Davis also added:
“I think there’s something really beautiful about that as well. I think the role of Station Eleven, the document, the book, in Kirsten’s life and how it became this almost like magical object of so much power and darkness type of power in a way that she could have it sometimes, but needed to not have it all the time and then it was in her life again and darkness started coming around again. I think the release of that and then the immediate payoff of getting to reunite, it gives credence to the magic and that felt really — it was like stop telling yourself the narrative of how this all happened and you’ll learn something else new and beautiful. It’s quite pat to put it that way, but I just thought it was a really beautiful risk and reward relationship.
Looking for more from Davis on her experience making Station Eleven and her journey in the industry thus far? Be sure to listen to her full 45-minute Collider Ladies Night conversation in podcast form below:
Ortega gives us some spoiler-free insight into filming one of the trailer's most debated scenes.