The Way Home’s Chyler Leigh, EP Talk Kat and Susanna’s (Non-Platonic?) Bond: ‘There Were Vibes’

The Way Home’s Chyler Leigh, EP Talk Kat and Susanna’s (Non-Platonic?) Bond: ‘There Were Vibes’

Ever since Susanna saved Kat’s life on Hallmark Channel’s The Way Home, the two women have shared a strong connection — but is it strictly platonic?

The pair first met when Kat (played by Chyler Leigh) time-traveled to 1814 in search of her MIA younger brother Jacob and a “healer” — whom Kat later learned was Jacob’s fiancée — took care of her after she was shot. As the second season progressed, Kat and Susanna (Watson Rose) formed a friendship of their own, full of respect and admiration for each other. Kat even tried to bring Susanna to the present, but when that plan failed, the two shared an emotional goodbye while holding hands in a candle-lit room.

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“This… What we have, I need it in my time,” Kat told Susanna.

“You can miss me then, and when you do, just go to the fireplace. It will be our constant amidst the change, and I will do the same. Our hands will touch through time,” Susanna replied.

Kat later learned in the Season 2 finale that it was Susanna who painted the portrait of her, lovingly titled “My Katherine.”

The Way Home Kat/Susanna
The Way Home Kat/Susanna

“Listen, there were vibes. The vibe was vibing. You can’t stop the vibes when they’re vibing,” star/executive producer Chyler Leigh admitted to TVLine during a recent Emmy Awards For Your Consideration event for the show.

Given her Supergirl fanbase and the LGBTQ character she played on that CW series, Leigh wasn’t surprised that a ‘shipper faction developed around the Kat/Susanna relationship. “I knew it was going to happen. I just wanted to know what the [‘shipper] name was going to be,” Leigh said. (The fandom seems to have settled on “Katanna.”)

While the actress acknowledges the chemistry between the characters, she has no desire to toy with viewer expectations when it comes to the storyline. “We wanted to be really careful so we weren’t leaning into something and then pull all the way back. We’re just trying to thread a careful line with our audience,” Leigh explained.

The Way Home Kat and Susanna
The Way Home Kat and Susanna

During a finale post-mortem Q&A with TVLine, co-showrunner Alexandra Clarke described the Kat and Susanna dynamic as “such a special one” when asked if Susanna’s feelings for Kat went deeper than friendship.

“We were all really invested in telling it in a really unique and sincere way,” Clarke said. “We loved the idea of these two women kind of being in awe of one another across eras. Susanna is in awe of Kat for the kind of woman that she is and the promise of that kind of woman being the norm in a future time. And I think Kat is in awe of Susanna for believing in almost the opposite. Kat seems so practical and so take-charge and so completely independent. In the meantime, Susanna is someone who is quiet and introspective and believes in magic, but also is an incredibly strong woman in her own right.”

“It was so lovely to tell the story of these two, the meeting of the minds of these two women,” Clarke continued, “and I think their friendship is kindred spirits versus just, ‘Oh, you’re my best friend.’ There is a connection between these two women.”

The Way Home Kat/Susanna
The Way Home Kat/Susanna

Clarke went on to note that Kat doesn’t have a lot of female pals in the past or present timelines, so the bond with Susanna “was something Kat needed, and certainly something Susanna needed.”

Whether or not there are romantic feelings between Kat and Susanna, the Hallmark Channel drama does feature LGBTQ representation with Nick’s moms. In Season 2, the show also introduced a non-binary character, Casey Goodwin (played by Vaughan Murrae), who was part of a major finale cliffhanger.

Clarke shared that she and co-showrunner Heather Conkie have had “really amazing” conversations with Hallmark around those characters and storylines.

“These are stories we all want to tell, and we glean from the representation in our writers’ room and in our cast. We want to tell the stories that are reflective of reality,” Clarke said. “It’s always been really important to us to not only tell the stories, but also tell the stories with characters who represent the stories and written by people who represent the stories. That’s always been an incredibly important aspect of the show for us.”

The writers are also careful to “never make it a point of, ‘Oh, look at this. Aren’t we special in showcasing…?’ No, because that’s not what life is,” Clarke added. “Life is just everyday people trying to get by and loving who they love, and that’s what we try to do continually in the show.”

(With additional reporting by Megan Vick)

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