Warning, majors spoilers for The Following's last episode (and death!) ahead.
Ding-dong, the most loyal Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) follower is dead!
In season two's penultimate episode, The Following's fans were shocked to see Emma (Valorie Curry), arguably the show's most polarizing character, finally die at the hand (or, um, stake?) of Claire (Natalie Zea), Joe's believed-to-be dead ex-wife. And before you get to thinking Emma isn't really dead (Hey, crazier things have happened on the Fox hit series!), Curry, who had been with the show since the pilot, tells E! News, "She's so dead. Like, really, really dead."
We chatted with The Following's latest (and most major) casualty after the shocking episode to find out how she felt about Emma's ultimate fate and how she originally thought the character would die. Plus, find out why she got mad when we compared Emma's death to Game of Thrones' latest shocking kill. (Spoiler warning: The Following and Game of Thrones spoilers ahead!)
We have to tell you, we were both happy and sad to see Emma go, considering we loved to hate her. Kind of like Joffrey on Game of Thrones.
Oh no, I've been hoping nobody would compare it to Joffrey! Nobody did until now. You just ruined by day. I'm hanging up on you! [Laughs.]
It's a compliment, we swear. Like, Joffrey was so fun to hate that we actually are going to miss having someone around to hate that much.
Nobody's going to miss Joffrey! I'm not going to miss Joffrey at all. I never want to see that horrible purple face again! [Laughs.]
Agree to disagree! When and how did you learn Emma would be dying?
I found out about two weeks before we filmed it while we were shooting episode 13. We didn't have a script yet and Marcos Siega, our executive producer, knocked on my door to give me the speech. He didn't have to. By the look on his face, I was like, ‘I know!' I was expecting it at that point, so it was fine.
Were you actually surprised by how long Emma had managed to make It given how quickly Joe's followers tend to die?
Emma's like a cockroach! Even in the end, trying to kill her…Claire had to kill her, like, three times. I've obviously been grateful for every episode that I've managed to stick around. But Emma always expected to last until the end. I think I had less faith in that and I knew she would die at some point and that it would be the win for the audience and the good guys as it was having Claire kill her. All I wanted was a spectacular death and I think I got a pretty spectacular horror-movie death there.
Did you think it was a fitting end for Emma and were you at all surprised that it was Claire that ended up killing her?
I understand it, it makes sense in terms of the story and bringing it full circle. Personally, I always wanted it to be Joe and I think Emma would've wanted it to be Joe. It was more of an action death than I expected. My favorite death in the show was Jacob's death in season one, just because it was such a lovely character-driven scene and it was so intimate. I guess I was sort of expecting something along those lines, but a knockout, drag-down fight it pretty great, too.
We know your death scene was the last day of filming for you, but were you able to celebrate with the cast and crew at all after?
I mean, if we had a party every time someone died on The Following we'd never get anything done. But we actually were up at Bear Mountain for two days shooting those last scenes, so the whole cast and crew that were working stayed in a hotel overnight, so it was kind of like a party.
Of course, one of the biggest shockers of the season was the reveal that Claire was actually alive. Did you and the other actors know the whole time?
Yeah, we did. We did know she was going to come back.
And you guys were sitting on that huge reveal the entire time?! No one had any idea. That's crazy.
I know! I'm actually impressed by everyone in the production's ability to keep that secret a secret the whole time. Considering how long we knew and how far we shoot things in advance, but they did a lot of work to keep that under wraps and I think it paid off because it was a huge shock to the audience.
A lot of fans are debating whether or not Joe sent Emma off knowing she would die. How did you interpret their final scene?
I don't think he sent her off knowing she would die. I think, he sent her knowing that she very likely could and she's very aware of that, that he's willing to sacrifice her. She's not blind anymore in season two…she knows he doesn't love her the way that she loves him and it's part of why she's ready to go. She's miserable with him, but she can't be without him either. Death is going to be the only peace she's really going to find.
What do you think you'll miss the most about Emma and are you a little glad to take a break from the dark subject matter The Following tackles?
Frankly, yeah. It's nice to be able to put that world and that character and that darkness that we're constantly immersing ourselves in away, and to be exploring other characters and other possibilities. For me, I was sort of relieved that Emma found some peace, but it's sad to leave this group of people. Our cast and crew are just phenomenal and it's really like a family. My life has changed so much being with them the last two years, so that's what gets me emotional, just not being a part of that anymore.
Finally, what do you think Emma's tombstone would say?
I think it would be something literally, probably not from Poe. Probably something from Shakespeare. I know, for me, when I was shooting the scene where Emma killed her mother, I actually used a Lady Macbeth speech, before she commits murder and is asking for the strength to do it. Maybe something from Ophelia.
The Following airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Fox.