The Final Season of the post apocalyptic series The 100 is knocking on heavens door, and it won’t be long now until we are bidding adieu to some of our favorite characters on television. It’s been a great ride. But all good, sometimes terrible, emotionally charged and heart-wrenching things must come to an end, and The CW series is no exception. Although we don’t know an exact date for the final season (most likley in April 2020), Season 7 promises to tie up loose ends, and solve every mystery in the show… just kidding. The 100 is known for its nail-biting, show-stopping finales and the conclusion of The 100 won’t spare any of our feels. To gear up for one helluva resolution, I spoke with the incomparable Luisa d’Oliveira, who plays Emori, everyone’s favorite misfit Grounder.
We don’t know much about what’s to come, but what we do know is that we are without a doubt going to be exploring the anomaly, and seeing if our heroes can make peace within the Sanctum society. Plus, we may find ourselves peeking in on our Kru on more planets… With nearly seven seasons under our belt, we are bound to see some change for the better, and worse. D’Oliveira spoke exclusively with Fandomize to recap last seasons events and to discuss what we can expect for the final season…
MCKENZIE MORRELL: Let’s try to recall last season since it’s been a hot second. Your character has come a hell of a long way since we first saw her on The 100. Instead of having future Emori giving the advice, what do you think past Emori would say to present day Emori?
LUISA D’OLIVEIRA: Oh that’s interesting. I think past Emori to present day Emori would say ‘Don’t trust it. Whatever those good feelings are, that you’re having. They’re probably lying to you. Don’t trust the people that you think are going to take care of you.’ I think that Emori was desperately afraid, had very little good experiences to prove that the world was a good place, and was extremely protective and defensive. Which is interesting too, because she had what she called ‘her brother’ back then, which is probably the one thing that broke through all of that, but I think that Emori saw him as an anomaly as opposed to the rule. And it’s never been established whether Otan was her actual brother or sort of a chosen brother. I always kind of felt like he was a chosen brother. They were both outcasted together and been through horrible situations and drew on each other for support and then sort of adopted each other as brother and sister by choice. I think that all the goodness that she thought came from that she saw as a one-off and not the general rule. But ‘let people prove again and again and again that they’re trustworthy, and then you can trust them’ might be another piece of advice that she would give present day Emori. Poor girl.
MM: I know. She’s one of those characters that we wonder ‘will she ever find her happiness?’ It was definitely touch and go there for a while with Emori and Murphy’s relationship… the stabbing, the disdain for each other for a long time. Not a great mix for a happily ever after, but ultimately they’re still together. Why do you think she keeps coming back to John? What is the reasoning behind that?
LD: I think they’re both very broken people who desperately want love and who genuinely do love each other for very real, grounded reasons. But their ways of handling difficulty are just not that well developed. I think they make a lot of mistakes and they can’t always communicate in effective ways. Sometimes when things get difficult, their go-tos are both very defensive and to kind of lash out, protect myself, which is difficult when you’re in a relationship, and that person reacts in a similarly maybe aggressive or defensive way that you do. One of the things that I think has always connected and drawn them together is the fact that they just recognize a similar level of suffering and a difficulty in dealing with that suffering in each other. And it’s something to look at someone and really get them and know that when they’re looking at you, they get you, with the difficulty that they might have on and off in their relationship. I think that keeps her coming back to him and keeps him loving her.
MM: It’s kind of like two broken halves making one.
LD: Yeah. And it’s painful and it’s messy and it’s not always pretty. I know you can just describe things as abusive or ‘I don’t know if this is good for her’, ‘I don’t know if it’s good for him’, there’s all sorts of sides that you can argue to this. But I think at the end of the day, they’re two people who have a good heart underneath it all and they’re trying to figure it out. We’re all trying to figure it out.
MM: There was a moment when all of them were about to be burned at the hands of Russell. What do you think was running through Emori’s head in that moment? Do you think she had any regrets in life?
LD: There would be a level of shock almost, that this is how she was going to go. And I feel like it was probably hitting home for her in a very scary way because on Earth she felt persecuted by Grounder society for her whole life and probably thought that one day that’s how things might end with something like a lynching or being hunted down. And here is that similar end happening on a different planet in a different society, it’s kind of ironic. What kind of regrets would she have? I think, how could she let this happen? How could this possibly be alongside so many people who she has come to love and who have become her family. She never thought that the kind of relationships she has now were possible, and she has them and yet somehow the old ways have still caught up with her. I don’t think these were very concise thoughts that she was probably having in the moment, but in the midst of the chaos I think those are things that went to her mind.
MM: I can’t imagine you’d have many concise thoughts while you were being faced with imminent death.
LD: Yeah, and she’s a survivor. She’s a hard survivor, so her number one focus in moments like that is desperately just survive. Find a way through.
MM: Emori isn’t going to go out like that! Surprisingly it wasn’t all gloom and doom last season. You guys got to have some fun. You and Richard got to pretend to be Primes, doing some weird rituals wearing fancy clothes, all that fun stuff. Did you enjoy getting to embody someone else for a change?
LD: Yeah! It was super interesting. It was fun being Emori pretending to be someone else. Also just seeing Emori in those clothes was so bizarre. It was so bizarre. I thought Emori would both be very uncomfortable in it but also secretly really sort of reveling in the change because she’s, kind of by nature a bit of a shapeshifter. This is sort of a massive avenue of shapeshifting that she can now do. At least earlier on she’s been able to go unnoticed in places and convince people she isn’t what she is or she has good intentions when she doesn’t. She’s been very good at doing that and this is a whole other level of doing that. I think there’s a part of her that was disgusted and also reveled in holding that kind of power. She has complicated feelings towards authority in society, obviously.
MM: So many complicated feelings, for sure.
LD: It was fun, though. Fun to see Emori basically have a shower.
MM: Right? It’s always fun seeing clean characters.
LD: Oh yeah. Because sweat and blood and dirt are like, the top three pieces of makeup that go on every character, basically.
MM: And excluding your own, whose journey this past season were you most excited to see unfold on the screen?
LD: I loved Richard’s storyline. John Murphy’s was such a great avenue for him and for the character to be pushed to that level of desperation and fear. He’s always been the survivor but this was a different level of fear and to see how that played out was really wonderful. I’m really happy for Richard too, because I know that he was super stoked about this storyline. I’m glad he got to have a lot of fun with it. I was also really, really excited for Clarke’s journey, and Josephine’s journey because that was just so fascinating. Eliza killed it. Not an easy thing to do. She played basically four characters. She played Clarke, she played Josephine, she played Josephine pretending to be Clarke and Clarke pretending to be Josephine. That’s not easy. It was just a cool storyline. I also really loved Russell. It was so wonderful to see him come in as a benevolent, powerful leader and slowly disintegrate into either– we’d argue, is he breaking into something different or is he revealing his true colors? There’s an argument on both sides. I really loved his storyline, too.
MM: Yeah, you can’t go wrong with Russell and kind of getting to peel back those layers and see, hey, was this guy always like this? Was he putting on a front? Or is there something else going on here?
LD: And what they do is so horrific, but at the same time they had a really organized society. Not that that is okay morally. It brings up interesting questions. I personally think a lot of people found it so entertaining and I really enjoyed the storyline in Sanctum.
MM: There was definitely a moral back and forth debating is this right? What are their intentions? Is the reasoning behind it justifiable? Going back and forth was definitely fun to experience throughout the season.
LD: Especially as you start to learn more about the horrific things that were going on in Sanctum.
MM: And now, if you were offered immortality in real life, would you take it?
LD: First question would be: What’s the cost? Because listen, I don’t have a billion dollars. I don’t know, that is an unanswerable question right now, I think. You never know. We might get to the point where we are capable of that kind of technology. The science is amazing. I’ve been reading up on genetics and treatments and just where the science is going is pretty incredible. As far as, not only halting aging but reversing aging… obviously we’re not there yet. I mean hey, if I could get a shot and give myself another ten years of health and life, I’m not opposed to that. That sounds great.
MM: If everybody could do it, your loved ones and all, and you’re not stuck being the only person left on Earth who’s just living forever, that might be–
LD: Oh, that might be pretty horrible. But you got a life. A full life is much better than a long and empty life, I would think. I definitely would not body snatch. I’ll say that.
MM: No body snatching? Aw, man.
LD: No body snatching.
MM: We talked a lot about trust in the beginning– do you think Emori actually trusts John? If she does, is there anybody else that she would have those similar feelings to in terms of trusting them?
LD: Yes, I think she definitely trusts John. And I think the other thing is she really knows John. She really knows his limits. And I think part of the trust is she knows and has learned, especially between seasons four and five, what will push him to lash out and to be cruel. In a weird way, I think knowing someone’s ugly parts is easier to trust them than the unknown. If you’re hiding things from her, I don’t think she’d be able to trust them as she does from having seen so much of his ugly side. And he’s seen hers, too. It totally goes both ways. I think she’d really trust Echo, Raven, Bellamy… I think she really trusts them after those years up in space. And again, the same thing with John, a big part of it is she knows where their loyalties lie and she knows the level of honor that they all have. She knows Raven is always not going to be okay with things that are morally an issue and that’s probably going to cause them problems on this planet. She knows Bellamy is always going to try to take care of everyone and she knows Echo is always going to want to save her friends and Bellamy and that she values this family as much as Emori does, having come so far and gone through difficult things to be here now with their own Grounder society. I think that there’s such a level of trust because of how deeply she knows them, which is why that very close betrayal was very difficult for her. In episode seven, I think it was, when John wanted her to be immortal with him at the cost of Clarke.
MM: After all of that, roles have been reversed, and you have to ask yourself… ‘hey, after everything, we’re going to do this thing at the cost of our friend’.
LD: Yeah! Yeah, I mean, it sounds pretty damn good to her. And John is obviously very excited about it. And she loves him, and it’s exciting, and he’s been in such a dark place and now he’s not…. It’s just that thing where the person you love is suddenly on a different trajectory than the rest of your family and now you have to ride the lines between them and then sometimes make a really difficult choice.
MM: During our interview in 2018, I asked you kind of what type of donut you thought Emori would be based on her personality and you answered somewhere along the lines of ‘the kitchen sink with meat and honey and some pepper’, and some other random things. Kind of revisiting that idea, what type of donut would you concoct if it was based off of your personality in real life?
LD: Oh man. Okay. I would love a mint chocolate chip donut, I think. I love chocolate, and I love the freshness of mint with chocolate.
MM: You can’t go wrong with that.
LD: I don’t think I’ve ever seen one.
MM: A mint chocolate donut? I think it might exist.
LD: I probably haven’t hunted very hard.
MM: We’ll have to track it down in Boston. We’ll find one for you. You’re obviously part of Sachin Sahel’s Ships Alliance. What drew you to that cause and why do you think his initiative is so important, especially in today’s climate?
LD: Because Twitter can be very cruel. Because it’s just not cool how free people feel to be vicious to each other. It sucks. That sucks, nobody likes that. I think having different opinions and debating them is great. It’s so important. We need to be able to do that in a way that is still respectful where you don’t want to emotionally destroy someone. A lot of that comes, too, with finding your own strengths and if someone attacks you online you look the other way. Obviously it’s not easy and if there’s a lot coming at you in particular, that’s a different level. I’m not an expert on any of this by any means. I think there’s mostly really, really good people out there, but some of the loud voices are the really cruel ones and I think a lot of times people who are really angry online are maybe not so happy in their real life, so even they’re people and they’re making choices. They’re lashing out. But I really love Sachin’s movement because it’s just about the positivity. Just focus on the positivity. It’s not about focusing on stopping all the bad stuff, just do what you can do to keep things positive and recognize that at the end of the day, with ships, no matter who you ship, you’re all people who love the same show, and you’re celebrating the same show and that’s what’s most important. There’s no right or wrong answer to who to ship or who not to ship. It’s totally everyone’s choice. But let’s appreciate that we’re all fans of the same show.
MM: Right? We’re all rooting for the same show that nobody knew would get seven seasons. We’ve had extensive conversations in terms of in your life and friendships and having differing opinions when it comes to fandom and I definitely think it’s an important conversation for him to be having and also just spreading the positivity because there’s not enough of that, clearly, especially online where everybody is super hateful behind the computer.
LD: Yeah, it’s easy to be very brave but the second you see a person in front of you, you realize ‘oh yeah, this is a human being’ and a lot of that anger dissipates and it’s so much easier to recognize someone else is a person with feelings when you’re there and unfortunately the computer takes it away. But I agree, just do what we can do. I mean, it’s impossible to take on all of Twitter. It’s a beast.
MM: That’s an endless battle. You’re just going to be going around and around and around. One step at a time. One smile. One positive tweet. Whichever route you want to go. But you’re obviously attending Conageddon3 this year. What do you love most about going to conventions and had you ever been to Boston prior to doing Conageddon?
LD: No, I’d never been to Boston and I was so excited to be there. It’s such a cool city. The conventions… it’s such a wonderfully intimate way to hear how and why people love the show or different characters. And I love this show. I love this job. It’s just a beautiful way to connect with the people who love it, geek out over it. It’s always great. I usually cry once a convention ends. It can be very emotional, especially because some of the fans are lovely enough and open enough to share part of their story about how the show has affected them and a lot of that comes with a lot of personal information. It takes a lot to be very open with someone. I don’t know what their feelings are say, towards me, but to choose to be open and share that stuff with me, I’m very grateful for it. It instantly bonds you when someone’s open with you about that stuff. It really reminds me, and I guess I can say ‘us’, of what shows really do for people sometimes. It’s just incredible. We’re acting, we’re making entertainment, and sometimes it is just entertainment, but sometimes in certain situations it’s just so much more than that. You can be a life raft. That’s very humbling, and it makes me very grateful.
MM: It definitely resonates with people on deeper levels. It’s always great to see the fans and especially with Conageddon, it’s a more intimate experience than some of the other conventions that are out there.
LD: It was so great. I had such a good time there. Yes, it was, it was totally intimate. It was really nice.
MM: You’re all BFFs by the end of the weekend, right?
LD: Yeah, exactly. You’re going to be back at the next Conageddon?
MM: Yes! I will be there and I owe you all of the drinks and shots and we’ll raise more money for kids, it’ll be great.
LD: I’ll just take one, because otherwise I’ll get drunk and I don’t want to be messy [laughs]. Fun is good. Messy, not so much.
MM: Fun is good. There’s that fine line between one and too many. We’ll do one drink, at least. And now just to kind of conclude everything, any hopes for season 7? What would you like to explore when it comes to Emori?
LD: I would really like to see Emori address her feelings over being in a society again where they one, value Nightblood, and two, cast out their own people, because they’re doing very similar things to what happened on Earth. I would also like to see her explore the feelings that she gets when she has some power and influence, because I think she’s always had to fight and she’s always felt like such an underdog. Then when she didn’t really have to fight too much anymore, that’s because she was in a safer environment and the forces against her were– it was pretty clear cut, it was sort of war situations, but now we’re back in a more subtle, polished society environment, or at least it was before we kind of burned Sanctum down. I think she was put in this faux position of power and I think it’s just interesting that now she’s stepped into those shoes, I think she’s going to have to deal with her own feelings about it.
MM: Is she going to like it? Is she going to hate it?
LD: Yeah! Is it going to make her despise herself? Is she going to enjoy it in ways she didn’t expect and where is that going to take her? I just don’t know. I think it’s interesting. I would like to see both of those things.