This story contains details about Monday’s episode of The Following. Proceed with caution!
While we certainly didn’t see Lily Gray’s demise in the cards, Connie Nielsen says she saw her character’s death coming “a mile away.” From her perspective, Lily’s days were always numbered. But sad as Nielsen is to be among the casualties this season, she tells EW, “I think [she died] exactly how she came in – she came in really just outrageous and strong and unafraid.” “I feel like she went exactly the way she would have wanted to go.”
But how did she go? That’s yet another twisted chapter to this story.
In a scene that mirrored one viewers saw in the season 1 finale – where Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) murdered the guy who was responsible for the death of Agent Parker (Annie Parisse) – Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) suddenly finds himself with Lily, the woman who killed his father, on her knees and a gun in his hand. Clearly fueled by rage and a desire for revenge, Mike pays no attention to Ryan, who attempts to talk sense into him, and shoots Lily in the head. (More on making the scene in the exclusive video below.)
On one hand, the moment marks a farewell to the Moral Compass Mike Weston fans got to know in season 1. On the other hand? Hello, sweet revenge. But it’s revenge that will come with a price. “The ramifications of [this] continue for the last couple of episodes and everybody has to deal with that – not just Mike,” says Ashmore in an exclusive chat with EW. “I was really excited that that event was going to happen because it was just a challenging sort of thing to wrap my head around and something interesting and dramatic for all of the characters to sort of move on from after that.” Which won’t be easy – especially with a pair of the world’s creepiest twins (Sam Underwood) on their tail.
“All hell breaks loose,” Ashmore says of the next few episodes, leading to the season finale on April 28. “Obviously, Lily is killed, so Mark and Luke are on their own and obviously have their own plans in mind and want to exact revenge and they do it in a very interesting way. It’s not exactly a direct way. … It’s very chaotic.”
Nielsen’s one regret is that she won’t get a chance to be part of said pandemonium. “I was very disappointed [Lily and Joe (James Purefoy)] didn’t get to have a showdown,” she says. “I gotta say, that would have been a lot of fun. That’s where I thought we were going.”
Ashmore has learned quickly, however, not to have expectations but to simply enjoy the ride. “It’s like I’m reading a chapter of a book,” he says of getting the scripts, “and I can’t overthink it. I just jump in and do my job, and, you know, hopefully I don’t die.”
Ashmore admits that was actually one of his concerns in seeing Mike take this big, deadly leap. “I always want to get gritty with Mike. I always want to make him as involved in making dramatic decisions all the time – because to me, that’s just what pays off on this show. Those are the scenes that I love doing, those are the scenes I love watching, those are the moves that this character makes that I just think are great.That being said…when those great, big, exciting things are happening, there are always repercussions. There are always stakes,” he says. “If you are killing somebody, you better believe there’s somebody out there who cares about the person killed who might be coming to get you, and this is no exception.”
He points to the recent death of Mandy (Tiffany Boone) as an example of the show’s no-one-is-safe approach to death. “That’s sort of what’s great about this show – Kevin [Williamson] builds these characters the audience grows to love and then kills them,” he says. “I thought Tiffany was such a great actor and that character was so interesting and had an interesting dynamic within the compound and with Joe. You really got to see Joe’s vulnerability with Mandy, and then she was gone. And you’re just like, ‘OK, we lost another character, another great actor.’ So it’s always a concern. But that’s the show. It is what it is. Will there be close calls and death? Possibly. “