Daisy Jones & the Six showrunner answers all our finale burning questions
Warning: This article contains spoilers about the finale of Daisy Jones & the Six.
The legendary (fictional) rock band Daisy Jones & the Six have officially taken their last bow. In the Prime Video series' finale, we followed the band across their tempestuous last day and night as a cohesive unit, the fateful evening of their final 1977 concert at Soldier Field in Chicago.
In between some truly stellar songs, we find the entire band in disarray. Billy (Sam Claflin) falls off the wagon, taking a drink after Camila (Camila Morrone) confronted him about his feelings for Daisy (Riley Keough). Meanwhile, in a tale that's as old as rock'n'roll, Eddie (Josh Whitehouse) finally reads Billy the riot act, taunting him with a hint at his liaison with Camila.
Warren (Sebastian Chacon) tells Eddie he's wasting their rare gift of success being angry all the time, but by the time Eddie realizes that Warren is on to something, it's too late for a drunk and coked up Billy. Karen (Suki Waterhouse) and Graham (Will Harrison) implode, as Graham is hurt by the revelation that Karen had an abortion. He tries to win her back by saying he doesn't need a family and is happy to stay with her on the road and in a band forever, but she lies to him because she can't bear to cost him the life he truly wants.
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video Sam Claflin and Riley Keough as Billy Dunne and Daisy Jones
In his addictive stupor, Billy pivots to Daisy, kissing her and making her an offer every girl dreams about: "Let's be broken together." But Daisy realizes that's not the life either of them need nor truly want, and she sends him off after Camila. Billy doesn't win his wife back immediately, despite a heated conversation, but we know they repaired their relationship because an older, wiser Billy tells their daughter(!), who it turns out is also the documentarian, about his years in therapy winning her mom back.
In the future setting of the documentary, it's revealed that Camila died of a terminal illness. One of her last wishes was for Billy and Daisy to reunite and write her that song they owe her. Billy does as his wife asks, and we end on a hopeful shot of Daisy's face.
Lovers of the original Taylor Jenkins Reid novel will note a fair amount of changes from the book here, as well as plenty of ambiguity and unanswered questions. We called up showrunner and executive producer Scott Neustader to take us behind the music of that finale.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Daisy and Billy do admit their feelings for each other, as opposed to refusing to admit them to each other on the page. Why was that the compelling choice to you?
SCOTT NEUSTADTER: It really felt like going into the last episode, the biggest, most propulsive beat would be if Daisy came out with it. Billy had to react and she finally put the screws to Billy's insistence on gaslighting her and pretending. It got to a place where post her overdose, they were almost friends, and they were in a new place with their relationship. It became undeniable, at least to Daisy, that the best-case scenario for her would be if they were together.
Another big change here is that instead of having Camila talk to Daisy and asking her to leave the band, you have her confront Billy about it. Walk me through that shift.
This was a very big discussion because the scene that Taylor Jenkins Reid wrote in the novel is so beautiful. It works really well because of the writing. But in the TV show, what we realized when we got under the hood of it, is that is essentially Camila telling everybody what they're going to do. Nobody has any agency of their own. We wanted to restructure it in a way that all three of them could make a choice for themselves. Maybe the wrong choice, maybe the right choice, but the necessary choice as opposed to having anyone dictate their futures.
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video Sam Claflin and Riley Keough as Billy and Daisy
Billy manages to resist temptation in the book, but here he falls off the wagon in rather spectacular fashion. What made you want to do that as the last beat of his story in the 1970s?
We talked to a lot of addiction experts in our writer's room and did a lot of research. One of the things that we found is that the Billy from the novel was an addict in name only. Because after that one rehab stint, he was able to resist temptation for the rest of his life. Everyone we talked to was like, "That is such a rarity. It happens, it's possible, but it is really unlikely." And Billy was having all of this turmoil. Daisy has confronted him and forced his hand to make a decision. Camila is telling him that she knows he's done the one kind of betrayal that she asked him not to do. Billy finds himself in a bar at wit's end and someone offers him a drink. We didn't believe that he wouldn't take it. Also, that propels the truth for Daisy, which is that the Billy that would be available to her is always the worst Billy. It's not the aspirational one that she would love to love, but the one that wants to go down in flames and take her with him.
Before he makes that choice, he calls Teddy. What is he hoping to get out of that call that he doesn't get?
Post his rehab stint, Teddy comes over and he says to him, "This is a fight you're going to have to fight for the rest of your life. You're not going to be able to do it on your own. If ever you find yourself in a low point again, know that I'm at the other end of the line." So he calls him and there's this moment where he could tell him, "I need you," but he can't say it. He backs down. He hears Teddy's voice, and he cares about Teddy so much and doesn't want to make more trouble for him. Or maybe he's embarrassed, or for whatever reason he can't go through it. He's asking for help there. But he has a lot of growing left to do still.
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video Riley Keough as Daisy Jones
The episode wings in and out of the final concert at Soldier Field, which is super epic. It's finally a chance to really see Daisy and Billy letting their chemistry out on stage. What was it like filming that?
The idea for the episode was something that I had even when I was reading the book. The Talking Head's Stop Making Sense is one of my favorite movies. And I said, "What if we could do the last episode as a concert film and weave the drama through the music?" Because we haven't really seen full performance stuff up until now. We've seen glimpses of it. But to be able to watch it all and appreciate it and experience it as if you were at that show, would be a unique experience. We took over a soccer field in New Orleans. We built that stage from scratch. I guess we had it for like four days or four nights. It had to be in the evening. Everybody was so pumped and ready; we were all fueled by adrenaline.
Eddie has a much more dramatic exit here. How did you figure out the beats of that from his and Billy's fight in the hotel room to Eddie realizing he's wrong and he should stay and Billy not wanting to hear it?
We loved the idea that Warren is the one person who keeps his head level the whole time and appreciates the ride that they're on. He finally says to Eddie, "You're gonna go through this whole thing angry with a chip on your shoulder. You're missing the fun, man." Eddie has got to wake up and realize that this is a very singular experience that they're having. Eddie looks up to Billy, despite the fact that he's got the chip on his shoulder and is constantly competing with him in his head. They grew up together as kids, and he's the big older brother that you idolized. On stage at the end there when he's hearing Billy say nice things about him, he's hopeful that their relationship can get back to what it was, but he's crossed too many lines and it's not going to happen. Once he realizes that, there's no turning back from him.
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video The band: Will Harrison (Graham Dunne), Sebastian Chacon (Warren Rojas), Suki Waterhouse (Karen Sirko), Josh Whitehouse (Eddie Roundtree), Riley Keough (Daisy Jones)
Do you think Billy knows that Eddie is talking about Camila when he says, "Use your imagination"?
Yeah, I do. Based on the Camila conversation earlier in the day. He can put two and two together. That it is a gut punch to him because he's been so blind this whole time to all of the things that are going on. He's been so self-centered and focused on his own needs and wants, and he's really not been paying attention to what's going on with the rest of that side of the street. That really is like an eye opener and it propels him into the rest of the episode and his decision making.
Not that Camila's not empowered in terms of her talk with Daisy in the book, but she really decides here that she sees this and she's not going to accept it, she's going to leave. How did you make that choice and how did you and Camila work on that in terms of that line between clearly still loving him and feeling like she can't do this any more?
What she says to him is, "You can't fall in love with her. That's the line that you cannot cross." And once he crosses it, it's way worse than any actual physical line that he might have crossed. She's not going to accept it. She decides that she's going to leave, and when he comes back and says to her, "Don't go," she listens, but she still kicks him out. It was important for everybody to know that Billy does not win her back that night. It's going to take a lot more than just this conversation for him to earn her trust and her love again. If we had 10 more episodes, we would explore that, but we just want to make sure it's very clear that he's got to work on himself before he can deserve this person back his life.
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video Camila Morrone as Camila with little Julia
Billy tells Daisy, "Let's be broken together." What dp you think would've happened if she said, "Okay. Yeah, sure. That sounds good."?
They probably would've made a pretty chaotic album. I would've probably loved it a lot (laughs), and then the two of them would've been in a lot of trouble emotionally and physically and who knows what else. I don't think they would've been long for this world if they had decided to couple up after that. It's the timing thing. This is the wrong time for them to couple up because they're both such emotional wrecks. It probably would've turned into some kind of Sid and Nancy situation.
Why do you think Daisy tells Billy to go in that final moment? She gives him that nudge and sends him after Camilla.
She puts the pieces together that he's behaving this way because he's losing the true north of his life. She loves him enough to realize that the best version of him, the one that she fell in love with, is the one that belongs with Camila. He shouldn't let Camila go. He should fight for her. He's feeling like he has crossed too many lines and it's hopeless. And what she's saying is, "It's never hopeless. You've just got to work." He is someone who's worked on himself for a really long time. He's resisted temptation and he's tried. She's just saying to him, "Try harder." It's a nice gift that she gives him. It's very similar to the gift that she gives him in the novel as well.
I love this exchange between Billy and Camila where he says, "I couldn't let you see all of me." And she says, "You don't think I see all of you?" Do you think she does?
I do think she does. She's the character who knows more and sees more than a lot of people think. There's the wife of the rock star trope and she transcends it. She's wiser than her years. She's observant. She's pulling some some strings the whole time that they might not recognize. So I do think that she understands what he's dealing with. She can't really empathize because she doesn't have the same demons, but she loves him. She wants what's best for him. I do believe that she's saying to him, "You know, you're hiding nothing from me."
Why do you think he can't see that?
It's a question of Billy wondering how someone could see that in him and still love him. The more he thinks about that, the more he would probably be embarrassed and want to hide it even more from the person that he loves. He loves seeing himself through Camila's eyes, and he thinks that she's seeing him in such a way that shields him from the ugliest parts of himself, but it isn't true. A good marriage and a real, healthy, love affair is two people who can see the truth in each other and love immensely.
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video Suki Waterhouse as Karen and Will Harrison as Graham
In the novel, it genuinely feels like Karen really doesn't feel the same way about Graham that he does about her. But here, she very clearly does and makes the choice to lie to him so that he can go off and have the life he wants and not end up resenting her. Tell me more about that choice and pivoting from her colder approach to things on the page.
Our theory was that Karen was somebody who loves the music first. She wants a certain life where she's on the road playing music, and that's what makes her happy, and she just wants to do that. But we all got the sense that she also would love someone who felt the exact same way that she does. Someone that she could go on tour with, that she could be with and he wouldn't preclude her from living that lifestyle, but also, he would be there at the end of the night. Just because she wants one thing doesn't mean she doesn't also want romance and love. The difference here is that Graham doesn't want that. He lies to her first and he says, "Oh, I'll give it all up. I don't need a family. Let's just you and me go on the road and be happy." And she's like, you're lying. It's a heartbreaking thing for her. And not an easy decision for her to make, but it's the only decision she can make because he doesn't want the same things as her.
Theoretically, the band is going to see this documentary. I guess it's up to them if they watch it or not. Do you think Graham watches it? And if you do, how do you think he feels about that revelation from her?
If we continued the story, we would keep that scene in where he's discovering the truth and what it would do to his family and his situation. I really don't know, but it's a fun thing to think about.
Do you have in your head an idea of what happens after Daisy opens that door?
I have a ton of different ideas. It can go in a lot of different directions. The one thing I don't think happens is that they immediately fall into each other's arms. There's definitely a lot more going on there, and they have a lot to talk about.
Do you think they'll definitely make more music together?
She doesn't need him where she is in her life. She's done really well and she has the successful solo career and everybody loves her. He might need her more than she needs him, but at the same time, I do think both of them know that the best music they make is with each other. And so if that's important to them, they'll probably find a way to to do it again. Especially now that it's been sanctioned by Camila.
Well, and they do owe Camila a song.
Both Riley and Sam said they would be up for performing. Would you guys want to do any real life Daisy Jones & the Six performances, or a mini-tour with all of the actors?
I would love it. I would definitely buy a ticket to that. But the biggest challenge we're going to have is that all of these actors who are so great are getting so much love right now that they'll probably be too busy soon. Figuring out their schedules is going to be the hardest challenge. But I sure hope we can find some time to do a show or a couple shows. I know they can do it really well, and selfishly, it would be super fun to watch.
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
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