‘The Way Home’ Creators on Kat’s Love Triangle in Season 3: Elliot or Thomas?

For anyone who watches “The Way Home” knows that sometimes, it can get a little confusing with so many different time periods going on at once. That’s the case for the executive producers too. During an FYC panel for the hit Hallmark Channel series on May 8, the showrunners admitted that it takes a lot of work and research to keep everything straight.

“We start at the end and then kind of work backward. We had a wonderful plan right from the start when Marly Reed created the show and wrote a beautiful bible for it. Alex and I were just so lucky to be part of it and develop it,” said co-showrunner Heather Conkie, referring to her daughter and co-showrunner, Alexandra Clarke. “We really had a three, four, five-year plan? And we’re now working on the third year. We see what worked from the first two years and it’s a process. It’s mind-bending, because of all the Easter Eggs… I can’t even keep track of them!”

During Season 2 of “The Way Home,” a new timeline was explored; in addition to the present day and the 90s, Kat (Chyler Leigh) went back even further to 1814 to find her brother, Jacob (Spencer Macpherson). While in that timeline, she began developing feelings for Thomas (Kris Holden-Reid), the man who shot her at the beginning of the season. (It was an accident, but still.) During the finale, she also rekindled her relationship with her childhood best friend Elliot (Evan Williams); she shared a kiss with both men.

So, will she be with her longtime best friend or a man who was alive 210 years ago, who she can only see when diving into a pond — and how does planning that out not get confusing?

“It’s always confusing,” Conkie said with a laugh. “We know that Kat can’t leave her daughter and stay in the past, because that would be the ultimate sacrifice. At the same time, it’s wonderful to keep Elliot’s love story with Kat and the Thomas slow burn. They really didn’t like each other at all and we watched it go step by step by step until they were actually kissing for the first time in episode 10.”

Reed also wanted to point out that “Kat married her high school boyfriend,” so she didn’t get the chance to date a lot, hinting that there may be more of single Kate in the future. “I don’t think the Tinder scene was all there.”

Ultimately, however, the writers understand that there is a bit of pressure to get Elliot and Kat together, since fans love the idea of getting together childhood best friends.

“We never really set out to pit them against one another, it was just, here’s this and here’s that. It was never an intention to you know make it a competition per se,” Clarke said of Thomas and Elliot, echoing her mother’s comment about how it’d, logistically, be difficult for Kat and Thomas to have a real relationship. “It is an impossible situation really, if you actually take that step back and think about it, in a very similar way that the Alice and Nick relationship was in Season 1. That was something that was really intriguing to us as Kat experienced being there for Alice and this weirdness of that.”

In the finale, Andie MacDowell’s Del also began opening up again to the idea of dating for the first time since her husband’s death, connecting with her neighbor, Sam (Rob Stewart). During Season 1, Del met a new man, Byron (Nigel Whitmey) — but MacDowell wasn’t into it.

“These ladies are fantastic because I didn’t feel that season one was the right chemistry for Del. I just felt like she’s been through so much and she needed someone tougher,” McDowell said. “I think it’s working a lot better. It has great potential. She was so in love with Colton, and he’s still. He still haunts her.”

While the creators wouldn’t reveal whether or not Del will ever take a dip in the pond, it’s likely she will find out about the time traveling this season, thanks to Jacob’s arrival at the series finale’s end. Reed noted, “Jacob’s about to walk in that door in his 1800s clothes, and he’s going to have to have a pretty good reason.”

“The Way Home” is available to stream on Hallmark Movies Now and Peacock.

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