The Irrational Finale Reveals Who Was Behind Alec’s Bombing! But There’s a New Mystery for Season 2, Show Boss Says

This post contains spoilers for The Irrational’s Season 1 finale. Proceed accordingly.

In The Irrational‘s Season 1 finale, Alec & Co. figured out who was behind the 2002 church bombing — did your top suspect match up?

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As the hour progressed, it looked more and more like Sen. Sanford was behind the violence. But his motive remained murky: Why would a politician blow up his own event? The guy who killed Wes Banning claimed to be Matthias the mastermind, but Alec and Marisa quickly realized that he was “the perfect patsy” whose history didn’t match the bomber’s M.O. Eventually, they deduced that Matthias either had an informant in the FBI or was in the bureau him- or herself.

There are a lot of steps in the middle, but eventually Alec and Marisa find out that Sanford slept with a lot of women associated with his campaign. And one night, a young staffer named Natalie wound up overdosing while she and Sanford were alone together in a bedroom at a fundraiser. Turns out, the church bombing was designed to cover up the fact that Sanford had his war buddy — who was Marisa’s FBI mentor Bob Caswith — dump Natalie’s body at the church, aka a place people would have expected her to be, and somewhere that her death wouldn’t have been questioned after the blast.


Marisa and Alec lure Bob out and are just about to get him to surrender when Sanford arrives and shoots Caswith, claiming that he was saving Alec and Marisa’s lives by doing so. It looks like the senator is going to get away with it, paving the way for his presidential bid, but Alec gets him alone just ahead of a big press conference and tricks him into admitting his role in both Natalie’s death and the bombing. And when Alec reveals that Kylie had turned on the senator’s microphone, and his confession was broadcast to the press who were waiting outside, that’s that. Plus: Bob died of his gunshot wound, so Sanford was responsible for another killing.

Six weeks later, Rose — who returned earlier in the hour and picked up right where she and Alec left off, romantically — gets a flat tire. A tow truck driver who is conveniently parked nearby offers to help. And then suddenly, she’s under attack from the driver and two of his cronies. They eventually pull a sack over her head and toss her into a van, speeding away.

Below, TVLine chats with showrunner Arika Lisanne Mittman about what solving the bombing mystery will mean for Alec in the show’s already-ordered sophomore season. We also discuss the new big question — who took Rose? — which highlights exactly how far down the rabbit hole this show has sent us. Read on to see what she had to say. (And make sure to check out Mittman’s thoughts about Phoebe’s future on the series, too.)

TVLINE | In the episode, Alec talks about the fallacy that big things must have big reasons behind them, and I know I’m butchering that in the extreme, but —
ARIKA LISANNE MITTMAN | [Laughs] Proportionality bias.

TVLINE | Thank you. That’s much smarter than what I just said. Even with everything Alec knows about how people think and feel, do you think he secretly hoped that there was something bigger — or not quite as personal — behind what the bombing and what happened to him?
Yeah. I’m sure he did. There’s definitely something for him that feels like, “OK, now I know.” The biggest thing to say about how it affects Alec is, like, he says it towards the end of the episode. It’s like, “I know, and yet strangely, it doesn’t change anything, like I’m still the same person. I still have these scars.” I think, on some level, he’s thought that knowing was going to make a big, huge change in his life. And while he does have that closure — it’s not nothing, and he knows it — at the same time, it’s not like it changes everything. And in some ways, he feels like it doesn’t change anything. It’s the question he has to ask himself: who he is. He’s still the same person. He gets to feel that closure. He gets to feel more at peace, but it doesn’t change who he is.

TVLINE | I’m wondering if you can help me out here. At the end of the episode, Rose is grabbed and thrown in a van. Am I reading too much into the shot of one of the attackers’ boots, or are we supposed to think that maybe the mystery of who killed Jace is not necessarily connected to the previous mystery?
No. A shot of the boots, huh? I mean, there is a shot of him holding a gun, but the gun in his ankle holster. There’s that?

TVLINE | Yes! I’m definitely in too deep with this one, because when I saw that, all I could think of was Alec in the finale making a point of saying that Jace’s attacker wore a size 12 boot. I was like, “Oh my God, is that boot a size 12?! Is it the same person?!
Oh wow, no. [Laughs] It’s not meant for… maybe I’ll go write it into the story now!

TVLINE | We see Marisa starting to work through the trauma of Jace’s murder in this episode. How may that act affect her as we move into Season 2?
I mean, one of the reasons that we built in the six-week time jump is that we don’t want to be living too much in the aftermath of Jace’s death for her. We want her to be able to find some light and be able to move forward with her life. We built in a time gap because, you know, she certainly wouldn’t bounce back right away, because it is something that is going to stay with her. We’re definitely going to see a reluctance to jump into any new relationships anytime soon. There’s some emotional work that Marisa has to do to get there, in terms of relationships.

TVLINE | And Season 2 will pick up right from where we left off in Season 1?
Pretty close to it, yes.

TVLINE | We saw Rose getting kidnapped at the end of the episode. Can you speak to how much we’ll see her in Season 2?
You will see her. [Laughs]  I mean, it would pretty much suck to if she just got kidnapped [and was done]. “Rose is gone because she got kidnapped and killed and it was sad.” [Laughs]  No, I’m not about that. We’re grateful, we’re very grateful to see more Karen David in Season 2.


TVLINE | Cool. Kylie is now an independent contractor working for the FBI. Tell me about how that’ll bring her into the action a little bit more.
Yeah. That’s the exact intent of bringing Kylie into the FBI because, candidly, we just love Travina [Springer, who plays her] so much as an actress, and we love the character of Kylie, and we didn’t want her just to be boxed into the apartment all the time — although we still continue to love the apartment scenes and the dynamic with Alec. We just wanted to give her a little bit more to do on the show, and the perfect way to do that was to bring her skillset into the FBI. It also creates a really great and interesting conflict for her character, who is somebody who has had a complicated relationship with law enforcement and doesn’t necessarily see them so favorably. Now she’s going to be on the inside of that. So how does that affect her life going forward, and what does that cause her to grapple with in her personal life, I think, are really interesting things to explore.

TVLINE | When I spoke with Jesse L. Martin a few months back, we talked about the possibility of his singing in the show next season. Have there been any conversations about perhaps a musical moment for Alec?
Maybe. Just going to leave that at “maybe.”

What did you think of The Irrational’s finale? Grade it — and Season 1 as a whole — via the polls below, then hit the comments with your hopes for Season 2?

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