Hit the Floor Creator James LaRosa Talks Raquel, German and a Finale Where All Hell Breaks Loose
It’s finally time for VH1 to roll out another epic finale of its juicy soapy drama, Hit the Floor. Raquel’s gone. German’s in jail and the preview gave us a quick sneak peek of what’s about to go down in the final episode of the third season.
An Ahsha vs Jelena showdown? Yes. Derek meeting up with some woman named Mandy? Also, a big yes. In this interview with HTF creator, James LaRosa, we talk about a lot including Raquel’s death and sending German — alive and well — off to jail. Then we break down the finale as he previews the season ender character by character. If you recall, the synopsis to “Possession” alludes to the final 30 seconds changing Devil’s Nation forever. You won’t believe what he has to say about that.
TV GOODNESS: What was behind the decision to kill off Raquel? It was so sad!
James LaRosa: It was sad for us too. I love Valery (Ortiz, Raquel). Everybody loves Valery. Sheâ€™s just a bundle of feels and the sweetest person on Earth, possibly. So when this came up I knew it was not going to be easy. But it was because of that I knew it was going to be good. My feeling was, we kind of go big on Hit the Floor and we really donâ€™t want anyone to ever feel safe. I wanted to do something that would affect everyone. And she has a really interesting relationship with everyone on the show. She doesnâ€™t hate anybody, no one hates her. Sheâ€™s had a few run-ins here and there but in general, sheâ€™s the one you go to when everyone needs help. And, right now, every character needs help and now sheâ€™s gone. So that sets up a season finale where all hell breaks loose and no oneâ€™s there to hold your hand.
TV GOODNESS: Talk about German â€” are we going to see him again?
James: What I love about this storyline is that when he was revealed as the person who killed Olivia â€” and by the way, he did. There are all these theories on the internet that at the last minute something came along and thereâ€™s a twist. Sorry, guys. He did it. I wouldnâ€™t do that to anybody one more time. Thereâ€™s only so many ways you can kill somebody and so many people who could do it. But as soon as it was revealed that he did it, everyoneâ€™s like oh, heâ€™s off the show. And I was like, not so fast. I love the idea that he was the only one that knew. And that weâ€™re following this series regular who had this major secret and watching him unravel has been great for the character and great for the actor.
I think Jonathan McDaniel has been flawless this season. And, you know, heâ€™s an original cast member of the show. I donâ€™t know if weâ€™ll ever really be done with German. As far as future story tease, I donâ€™t really have one. But I will say that heâ€™s part of the show so in a similar way â€” not the same â€” but in a similar way that characters like Rick Foxâ€™s Chase Vincent is part of the show â€” you never know when they could pop back.
TV GOODNESS: The finale â€” Ahsha vs Jelena showdown. What can you tease about that?
James: I can tease thatâ€¦the audience has been, frankly, waiting for Ahsha to get physical. For me, Iâ€™m kind of like canâ€™t two women have a problem without one giving the other an open-handed slap on the mouth? Particularly on this show, minus one little extension track yank, in general, theyâ€™ve been pretty respectful of each other. But Ahsha is pushed in the finale. She has had it. And, unfortunately, she knows where Jelena lives. For the first time, we see her at her home and Ahsha has a few things to say. I think fans will be interested to see how that goes down.
TV GOODNESS: I know thereâ€™s bad blood there but this season their rivalry was on simmer. What can you tease about the conflict that arises that causes Ahsha to get volatile?
James: This season, Jelena and Ahsha have had different goals. And only toward the end of the season have their goals started to mingle in that Jelena wanted the team with Terrence and this drew Derek and then Ahsha into it. So Ahsha was able to make a sort of Jelena-esque move and become captain. So really their stories and what theyâ€™ve been after havenâ€™t really mingled so much. Ahsha isnâ€™t totally aware of everything Jelena has ever done and something comes to Ahsha and finally, sheâ€™s basically â€” oh f–k this shit. Jelena is and has been someone who gets under Ahshaâ€™s skin in a way no one else does. Jelena has targeted her from the beginning and Ahsha has, in general, been able to contain herself. But as the series has gone on â€” I mean the finger in the face â€” it starts to escalate so Jelena has a special place under Ahshaâ€™s skin and we see how that bubbles up in the finale.
TV GOODNESS: As for Derek, heâ€™s got some sort of secret. Is it going to leave fans elated or devastated?
James: Let me see how I say this. I would say, just when you think their relationship is a certain kind of way, there always seems to be some kind of a detour. And so the question is, can Ahsha hang on when this one happens?
TV GOODNESS: Talk about Zero and Judeâ€™s relationship this season and tease what weâ€™re going to see in the finale.
James: Their relationship has been really spectacular for me this season. When we left them in Season 2, Jude had all these feelings for Zero and really didnâ€™t know where to put them. Zero was closed off. Zero had his own agenda. And heâ€™s never let anybody in, in the way that Jude would need. And so what I loved about the finale last year was Jude basically drawing a line. A line that I have heard in life is a great thing to draw. Sometimes I havenâ€™t done it soâ€¦people ask me, like how much of this is autobiographical? Now Iâ€™ve never been with an NBA starâ€¦yet (laughter) but having a situation where you want something so much from someone. And you know they want that same thing from you but thereâ€™s just that block there. Being able to go, uh, this is my line, buddy, is a very powerful thing.
And I really love the way that Zero was forced to come around. Jude basically was crossing his arms and even though he caved a little in the closet and they had that epic sex scene and even though you knew Jude still had those feelings, he still wasnâ€™t going to give in and so Zero basically had to. And that really showed Jude how much Zero was willing to sacrifice. And seeing how that was only the beginning of their storylineâ€¦okay, now weâ€™re both in the same room together. Now weâ€™re open to each other. We look into each otherâ€™s eyes and now what? Now you really have gotten to learn a bit more about what â€” you learn more about Zeroâ€™s backstory. You learn more about what theyâ€™ll do for each other.
Theyâ€™re actually the most functional couple on the show. The way they tackle things â€” theyâ€™re a team. When one of them does something thatâ€™s not great, the other one calls them on their shit. And at the end of the day, theyâ€™re always looking out for each other and if thatâ€™s not a relationship goal I donâ€™t know what is. And we learn about Zero. Zero has a sister. That definitely comes to play in the finale. Now Oscar, though, is back in charge. In the preview for the finale, it doesnâ€™t look like Jude and Zero are necessarily skipping along the shore holding hands. So it seems like somethingâ€™s up.
TV GOODNESS: And speaking of Oscar, what can you tease about his vendetta against Sloane. How is he going to make her suffer?
James: Oscar has always had sort of aâ€¦heâ€™s always been safe in his office. Kind of like, oh you know, Mia went off the side of a bridge. Whoops, I had no idea what that was all about. Sloane was kidnapped. Heâ€™s never in the vicinity for anything bad. And now heâ€™s like for the first time, Iâ€™m going to do this thing. He is coming for Sloane. And weâ€™ll see how that develops. But Oscar doesnâ€™t really fail. Well, he spends time in jail. But considering everything heâ€™s done, heâ€™s free. So he’s not somebody I would ever take lightly. That said, Sloane is busting vending machines and stabbing dudes in the leg and she’s on the firing line with a gun. This season, she’s been developed into quite the badass. I think she’s always had that in her. She’s always had a strong sense of self but now she’s like getting in on it. So having these two people who are really titans — I’m not sure who to put my money on is what I’m saying.
TV GOODNESS: How about Pete — is he going to step up?
James: He is. He actually is going to do something a bit heroic in the finale. And we’ll see how that goes. Pete has always been extremely supportive of Sloane. The things that he’s done. He’s broken the law for Sloane this season. She’s like, hey buddy, I know someone just put all the doubt in the world in your head about me and all things I’ve never told you, but there’s a gun in my house and it’s unregistered. I’m gonna need you to just put that under a pillow somewhere, will you? And he did it. He brought the gun to his office and he has been by her side. And so it’s another relationship that I love. It’s more sort of a mature and have so much history kind of relationship. But now he’s all in so what that means for Pete, we’ll see. He’s still Team Sloane, a hundred percent.
TV GOODNESS: Lionel’s in a bit of a predicament. When her back is against the wall, she can get pretty fierce. What can you tease about her story?
James: So Lionel is such an amazing character this season. I think Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, we basically gave Lionel the team and said, okay, now you’re just going to be the bad b–ch. And she’s so strong and so kind of fierce, absolutely. There are similarities with her and Jelena but I think the difference is that Lionel has a little bit less emotional control. Jelena can look you in the eye and you’d never know her blood is boiling whereas Lionel, we saw over the season, she started to unravel. I mean, Oscar’s out because of Lionel. Now she’s in a position where it’s time to pay the piper.
TV GOODNESS: She did it to herself.
James: Yes. But I mean…she’s still extremely smart to me. It was a moment of weakness when she really thought she had nobody. I totally understand why she did it but I think having the belief that you can somehow keep Oscar under your thumb hasn’t really worked so well for anybody else. If it could have worked out for someone it would have been Lionel. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. But when her back’s against the wall, I would say, I’m almost as worried for Lionel as I am for Sloane. It’s not like Lionel can go anywhere. She’s famous. She’s not going to hide under…oh I’m just going to go to Morocco and hang out in the streets. She’s an A-List actress on record. It’s not like she’s not going anywhere. She really is trapped in that mansion.
TV GOODNESS: Poor Lionel.
James: Poor Lionel. We may see a little bit more from her by the end of the season. She may have one more trick up her sleeve. Who knows?
TV GOODNESS: The Terrence and Jelena baby situation. She hasn’t told him yet that she may not be able to have kids. And he’s dead set on having kids. Does that become a problem for them in the finale?
James: It’s something that has been building all season in a very subtle way. We see them at the beginning of the season and really at the end of Season 2 being such a team. Jelena was right there by his side during his recovery. They hatched this plan that they want to take over the team. And they’ve been single-minded together. They’ve been Butch and Sundance, however, you want to say it. Now this chick comes along who’s claimed Terrence has a kid — it’s his. It winds up not to be the case. And you think good for Jelena, she managed to save Terrence from this opportunist, oops, now you can’t have kids. I don’t know how something like that can stay under the carpet for very long but if it does, what that does to a relationship. I think that because they have been so together this whole time, this is clearly an obstacle. The question is gonna be, a) Does this rear its head; and b) What would happen? But Terrence is very, very much on the daddy track right now.
TV GOODNESS: What can you say about those final 30 seconds of the finale?
James: Here’s what I can say. I can say that for anyone who knows the show, they know to watch them. I can all say that the cast — again and I’m so sorry to them that I keep doing this to them — they don’t know what is going to happen. So, once again, we’ll all be watching it together. And once again, they’re going to be like, hey, what’s going on? What’s? Oh, look…what? What? What? And so they’re gonna have, once again, the joy of learning what goes on at their own job, with America. It is no doubt that this is our season finale. We have big endings every week but there’s no question that this is our season ender.
The Hit the Floor Season 3 finale airs Monday night at 10/9c on VH1.
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