In just a few short weeks, the creators and cast of ABC’s October Road will reunite at ATX Television Festival to celebrate the show’s tenth anniversary. The show told the story of Nick Garrett (Bryan Greenberg), an author who returns to his hometown of Knights Ridge to face the people he left behind ten years earlier and based his best-selling novel on.
The show spanned just 19 episodes but was on-air long enough to develop a significant fan-following. While I was not a fan while the show initially aired, the show drew me in with its charming small-town setting, genuine friendships and unexpected plot twists.
I have to admit, though, that I was upset with the hasty ten-minute “series finale” that the creators and cast put out with the season two DVD. It takes place on Hannah’s almost wedding day as well as seven years after that. Don’t get me wrong; I love the way the show ended. I just wish it hadn’t been so rushed. There are so many aspects and relationships that I wish could have been shown and developed on the show before seeing how things ended.
With that being said, here are ten things I wish I had gotten to see on October Road.
1. More girl time between Hannah, Janet and Pizza Girl
I’m always down for some girl-bonding time. Some of my favorite scenes in the series were the ones between Hannah, Janet, and, later on in season two, Pizza Girl. There’s nothing better in life than spending some time chit-chatting about all aspects of life with your best girlfriends, and I think October Road really did a great job at showing that. However, there always could have been more, especially once Pizza Girl started hanging out with Hannah and Janet.
2. The Commander’s life pre-death
The last time we saw the Commander at the end of the season two, he had just been diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. It is clear he died sometime between the end of the second season and the series finale. But I wish we had gotten to see more of his life pre-death. Did he choose the chemo route or did he just choose to live his life to the best of his capabilities until his health declined? How long did he live after the second season finale? Was he able to get to know Sam as his grandchild? While it would have been sad to see, I think it would have given his character closure, something that was lacking from the series finale.
3. More Sam hanging out with the boys
Some of my favorite scenes of the show were the ones where Sam was hanging out with the boys. Sam did not get to spend time with his father growing up so when Nick comes into his life, first as a friend, he attaches himself to someone he sees as a role model and potential father-figure. The scenes were always filled with fun moments and sometimes even some heart-felt advice. Those moments always left me smiling and I wish we had gotten to see more of this, especially after Sam learned that Nick was his father. I would be curious to see how it changed the dynamic, if it did at all.
4. More Ikey with his friends
Because Ikey slept with Owen’s wife and his friends found out about it at the end of the first season, he spent most of the second season as an outcast. Therefore, we didn’t get to see a lot of interacting between him and everyone else. But one of my favorite scenes in the whole series is when they finally reunite “the band” and have one last jam session in the final episode. It is clear that these boys had a friendship that was more like a family and I truly wish we had gotten to see more of that after they all repaired their friendship.
5. Physical Phil’s re-exploration of the world
We learned in the series finale what it took for Phil to finally leave the house: the new Lord of the Rings movie in 3-D IMAX. It seems, based on the way the scene went, that it’s a relatively new change as Pizza Girl is telling Hannah what finally got him to leave like it’s new information. But, I would have loved to see him re-exploring the real world for the first time. Physical Phil is smart and it would have been great to see him explore all of the new things, especially technology-related, that the world has to offer.
6. More about what happened in the ten years that Nick was gone
The only fault I found with October Road is that once Nick apologized to his friends and family for leaving the first time around, they pretty much dropped talking about what happened in the ten years that Nick was gone. Ten years is a long time; a lot changed, both with the relationships and the people themselves. But for the most part, nobody really brought it up. Did Hannah ever doubt the choice she made to keep Sam and not tell Nick? How did she end up with Ray “Big Cat” Cataldo? How did Eddie react when he realized Nick wasn’t coming back to the Ridge? What made Nick want to go to New York and write a book? I wish we had gotten to see what everyone experienced, how they came to those experiences and choices, and ultimately how it changed them over those ten years. I think I would have gotten a better sense of who these characters were and become more attached to them than I already was.
7. Actual Hannah & Nick and Aubrey & Robbie relationships
It was clear from the beginning that Nick and Aubrey never belonged together. Nick always belonged with Hannah and I liked seeing Robbie’s crush on his older brother’s girl. That being said, I loved seeing that Hannah and Nick, and even Aubrey and Robbie, ended up together in the series finale all of those years later. But what I would have loved more is details on their relationships and how they got to the point that they are at in the series finale. In terms of Sam and Hannah, are they married? If not, do they live together? Have they been together for the seven years since Hannah’s almost wedding to Big Cat or is this a recent relationship? In terms of Aubrey and Robbie, how did their relationship progress after their kiss at Hannah’s engagement party? Do they start a relationship right away or is it a recent development? Are they married or are they just having a baby together? As a hardcore shipper, I wanted these answers and so much more.
8. Learning how Hannah told Nick plus the reaction
I never for one second doubted that Nick was Sam’s father. I think Hannah was stupid for trying to deny both Sam and Nick that chance to develop that relationship, especially after Nick returned to the Ridge and became a big part of both of their lives. With that being said, I need to know how Hannah told him. Was that what she was running to go do when we see her in the beginning of the “series finale”? Where did she find him? Also, how did Nick react? Was he immediately happy or did it take some time to process? Did he immediately start playing the role of father?
9. Owen’s life
I was really surprised to see Owen not present in the finale, especially considering how much he was a part of the show’s subplot. With that being said, I need an update on what happened to him. Did he move on or did he get back together with his ex-wife? Why wasn’t he there to see Sam off on his adventure? Is he still living in Knights Ridge? Did his and Ikey’s friendship ever fully recover? I need the answers to all of these questions and more.
10. Janet and Eddie’s reconciliation
One thing that I never expected to love as much as I did was the relationship between Janet and Eddie. Eddie is a former high-school football star who remains as charming and popular with the women as he was ten years ago. In terms of his past relationships, he tended to only date the model-type beauties, which is why Janet was hesitant about his interest in her. But, she gave him a chance despite that. While at first Janet believed that he did not wish to be seen with her due to her physical appearance, at the end of the first season, Eddie confesses his true feelings for her and they start a steady relationship. That is until the end of season two where she cheated on him with Rooster, after which Eddie angrily broke up with her. However, the two had reconciled by the time of the series finale. As someone who became heavily invested in this relationship, I need to know how they got back together. Was it soon after the season two finale? Or was it years later? Who made the first move to repair the relationship, Janet or Eddie? Now that they are back together, are they married or just together? Do they have a family and if not, are they planning on starting one soon?
What are some things you guys wish we would have seen on October Road? Are you excited to see the cast reunite at the ATX Television Festival in a few weeks? Let me know in the comment section below.