'Trinkets' Creators on Ending the Series After Two Seasons and the Bittersweet Finale (Exclusive)
By Philiana Ng
Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched season 2 of Netflix's Trinkets.
Trinkets, Netflix's teen series about three high school teens who form an unlikely friendship over their mutual shoplifting habit, wrapped up its two-season run Tuesday with a hopeful, yet bittersweet ending. For co-creators Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer -- who worked with author Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith to adapt her novel for TV -- finishing out the stories of Elodie (Brianna Hildebrand), Moe (Kiana Madeira) and Tabitha (Quintessa Swindell) after two quick seasons felt right for the characters' journeys.
"We knew going into season 2 that this could be an opportunity. We were so happy to get a second season, and we also knew going in that it would be the natural conclusion of these characters in their journey. So it gave us a really great opportunity to bring their stories to this sort of dynastic, and I believe, very satisfying conclusion," Andelson told ET. "It was very exciting for us as storytellers to be able to tell the complete story of these characters."
"Of course it's bittersweet, but we feel like we're leaving our three leads in a place where they're ready to face the world," Meyer added. "And we leave feeling really proud of them."
The series ends with Elodie, Moe and Tabitha on the beach as Elodie pours her mother's ashes in coming to terms with her grief over her death.The scene represents just how far the trio has come to reach a point where they're able to come to terms with their pasts, be free with who they are and move on: Elodie embraces a blossoming new relationship with classmate Jillian (Chloe Levine). Moe has her sights set on MIT after a surprise reunion with her estranged father and her romance with Noah (Odiseas Georgiadis) seemingly still going strong. Tabitha overcomes her abusive relationship with popular jock Brady (Brandon Butler), familial pressures and chooses herself, starting a new life as a fledgling photographer.
"When we reached the conclusion of the series, we really felt like it was important to feel like they're in a place that they never would've gotten to if it hadn't been for finding each other, for loving each other and for being there to support each other," Andelson said of the ending. "For each of them, it looks a little different."
"Elodie, for example, isn't able to really move into her future without first dealing with her past and for her, that really involved the grief about her mom's death. And Tabitha has to confront the abusive demons that have haunted her and really find who she is separate from the expectations of her mom or the different men in her life and the family pressures. And for Moe, she has a lot of past family issues to deal with and a lot to figure out about who she is and who she wants to be in the world and in high school," she continued. "Getting to that end moment, it wouldn't have been possible without each other. They're ready to move on so that they're able to tackle whatever's ahead because of the relationship they shared and the time they had together."
Added Meyer: "For us, the biggest love story of Trinkets is the friendship. Wanting to really celebrate that in the end was important for us."
Madeira and Swindell both expressed contentment with where their characters ultimately end up.
"The last episode, it highlights where Moe's at and Moe's in a really good place," Madeira told ET. "It's a really brief moment, but when people watch it, they're going to be filled with a lot of joy and hope. I'm really glad that the writers wrote that for us too to just give an idea and just to let the audience know that everything is OK."
"There have been a few scenarios that pop into my head," Swindell, who identifies as non-binary, told ET of where they thought Tabitha is now. "From my perspective, Tabitha probably left Portland to go to a more robust city. I always pictured her moving to New York working at a gallery or as a gallery assistant. Her photography is thriving. Her closet is thriving. Her hair is on point, edges are laid. She's living. She's in a very beautiful place, but I think she's elsewhere."
One of the most powerful scenes from the Trinkets series finale is the public call-out in the high school cafeteria of Brady's emotional and physical abuse toward Tabitha and his new girlfriend, Kayla (Jessica Lynn Skinner). As Andelson explains, it was crucial that the series-long arc of Tabitha battling her own insecurities over her toxic relationship with Brady concluded with his comeuppance.
"Season 2 is a lot about dealing with the consequences for all the characters of season 1, whether it’s for all three leads or whether it's for Brady. It was really important that we see that in the court of public opinion," Andelson said. "He's gotten away with so much gaslighting, so much abuse on so many different levels and it was important that he had to really face the repercussions of that and the truth would now come out. We're really proud of what the writers came up with to let that truth be seen and have our girls tell their story and Tabitha be able to tell her story."
From Swindell's perspective, that moment in the cafeteria was a long time coming for Tabitha in her search for peace.
"As writers, as directors, and as actors, or just as a person in general, we've all heard stories of people who've endured abuse, and so when it's finally our chance to display the visibility of it onscreen, there's a duty to do it in the right way that we can," Swindell said. "I remember we were shooting something and then we started to move over to another area, and they started setting up the cafeteria scene, and I was like, 'Oh! It's going to look like this?' It was phenomenal. It was beautiful."
"Honestly, for me, it was a little hard to look at it sometimes because I'm like, 'Damn.' Young women and a few of my friends where I grew up in Virginia, just having gone through experiences like that, I felt like it was such a beautiful way to portray the fact that no abusers should go unnoticed. They're repercussions that someone should face who has actively participated in abusive practices," she added. "When they did that scene, I was so taken back, and I'm really hoping that when people watch it, they really take that in and understand that no conversation should be less un-had [sic], and the trust that one has within their community to rise up for them is inspiring. I was so proud and so happy that we were able to put that in its place."