Fox's hit thriller "The Following" seems to be attracting a cult of fans not unlike Joe Carroll's trio of kidnappers. Tonight's episode promises to delve more deeply into the background of Emma, Paul and Jacob, as their devotion to Carroll's master plan is explored. The three actors spoke with TVGuide.com to give viewers their own perspective on their characters.
"The three of us kind of have this Wizard of Oz sort of joke about Emma being the brains and Jacob being the heart and Paul being the courage," joked Valorie Curry, who portrays babysitter-turned-killer Emma. "We work well together when we're getting along, in that sense."
The key phrase there may be 'when we're getting along', and viewers may have noticed that tenuous alliance is already beginning to show signs of wear and tear. "They've been separate for so long and they've all sort of been in control of their own mission that they were on, whether it was the guys with Sarah Fuller or me with Joey," says Curry. "Now we're having to work together and we're having to be together and share a lot of space. And there's a lot of friction because of that, and Emma has to try a number of tacks to control Paul. She has a relationship with Jacob, but she doesn't have that sort of intimacy with Paul. So they're all sort of finding their way around each other."
At least part of the tension is rooted in the fact that Jacob and Paul worked their way into the life of past victim Sarah Fuller (Maggie Grace) by pretending to be a loving gay couple. As hinted at last week, at least one half of that relationship may not have been entirely playing. "You spend three years with somebody in a house pretending to be in a relationship for the entire public, there's bound to be mutual attraction," said Nico Tortorella, who portrays Jacob, one half of the faux gay couple.
"Specifically for Jacob, he has a slew of daddy issues and at the point where he needed that void filled the most, there was Joe waiting with open arms," Tortorella continued. "And he just completely fulfilled that in him, and same thing with Emma and same thing with Paul. We're just looking for this higher power to give us some type of validation in this life, and acceptance. And he's the perfect person to do that."
Adan Canto, who plays the jealous Paul in the trio, agreed, "[Joe] gives us a philosophy, a way in life in which we can actually feel free, where we can feel that there's a reason for us to be who we are and to enjoy what we feel passionate doing. ... He kind of encourages that, the sense of finding the beauty in those desires, in those behaviors."
That devotion for Emma has genuinely spread to her bond with Carroll's son Joey, who Curry insists is more than a ploy to bring the sadistic killer together with his ex-wife and Kevin Bacon's character. "She genuinely loves Joey and cares about him, partly because she's been with him for two years and has helped raise him, but also because he is Joe's son," she said. "She would love to be with Joe and be a mother to his son ... and she has this really important, prestigious position to be [Joey's] caregiver. And that's a point of pride for her as well, to be that close to Joe through Joey. Her love for him and her protectiveness is very real."
"At the same time," Curry cautions, "everybody always has to keep in mind that the most important person is Joe. [Emma] is capable of doing absolutely anything for him. But that's sort of the tragic thing about her -- she does love Joey, she does care about Paul, she does love Jacob -- but at the end of the day, she will do anything Joe asks her to, because her love for him is just more important."
Don't miss tonight's new episode of "The Following" on Fox!