The Canadian actress looks at her character’s growth since her introduction and the obstacles ahead in season six.
When Emori first graced audiences’ television screens in season two of The 100, she immediately sparked new energy into the show. Not only is there undeniable chemistry between Emori and John Murphy, but she also incorporated a new aspect of Grounder culture with a fresh perspective.
Born with a mutated hand – effects of the high radiation levels on Earth following a nuclear war nearly one hundred years prior – Emori was cast out by Grounders. “My people saw me as a stain on the bloodline… something to erase,” she told John Murphy as she showed him her hand. Already making her unique mark on the show, Emori continued to shine through. At first, she only fights for her own survival but that soon extends to Murphy and then to SpaceKru come season five.
Luisa d’Oliveira is the woman behind Emori. A natural born performer since she was young, pursuing acting was inevitable. She told TalkNerdyWithUs that acting was always an outlet for her and that, despite journeying into other fields, acting pulled her back in once and for all. So it’s no question that being able to develop Emori as a character over multiple seasons has been a joy for the actress.
“Her growth has been wonderful,” Luisa gushes. “She’s always been resourceful and resilient at the expense of relationships. Over time she learned to open up, to trust and love. She found a family and learned to put the group before the individual, learned morality was a choice, saw the value of good leadership. She learned that just because a once loving relationship has become painful, the love isn’t gone, just buried in anger and pain.”
I think she’s questioning her mind more than ever before.
Through it all, Luisa cites Emori’s humor and curiosity as what she loves most about portraying her character. Emori’s curiosity is sure to only grow as the season goes on, the actress describing it as, “New, unexpected and full of questions.”
Teasing her character’s arc for season six, she says, “This season we get to see Emori challenged in a way not seen since she’s evolved into a more moral person.”
One way might be from the fallout of the eclipse.
Emori is the first character shown to be affected by it. As the eclipse begins, she starts to grow angry before eventually lashing out and attacking Murphy. An intense scene that showed a darker side of her character, Luisa says of filming it, “[It was] cathartic! And fun! I slept very well that night.”
There was also pressure that accompanied crafting those scenes. “That episode was the first time we established how people behave when affected by the eclipse and I had questions,” she confesses. “Also, I was very focused on not accidentally stabbing Richard in the face during the stunt, and not losing my voice. Mission accomplished!”
Unfortunately, this was not the first time that Emori had been influenced by outside sources. In season three she found herself chipped by ALIE, an artificial intelligence program whose objective was to create the best kind of life for mankind. When a fan asked how being affected by the eclipse impacts Emori, especially given her previous experience with ALIE, Luisa can’t help but exclaim, “Good question!”
The actress goes on to contemplate just how her character feels. “Extremely off-balance, fearful, and angry,” she starts. “She’s always worked to stay two steps ahead of everyone, and these experiences made her into another force’s puppet. I think she’s questioning her mind more than ever before.”
Another way she is affected by the eclipse, like many others who are exposed to it are, is that she is forced to face her inner demons. Fans are already aware of Clarke’s inner demon – herself – but Emori’s is still a big question mark.
I think to each other they’re the place of real and true acceptance.
“I imagine her demons whisper to her that she can’t really trust her family, that they’ll betray her one day, they’re manipulating her, and she doesn’t deserve their trust anyway because she’s done terrible things,” Luisa theorizes about what might be haunting her character in these dark moments. “Now that she’s grown morally, I also think deep down she feels remorse and self-hatred over a lot of her choices. Deep, deep down. She might not be too aware of it yet.”
What Emori is conscious of is the consequences of her actions during the eclipse, though she may not have been fully aware of what she was doing. Briefly shown in episode three, she will continue to deal with what she’s done. “Emori is devastated by her actions of course. She’ll cope by trying to put care where she inflicted pain,” explains Luisa. An example of this was already seen in the aforementioned episode when she took care of Murphy, whether it was protecting him or trying to reassure him that he’s okay.
“Collectively, there’s a lot of guilt and fear, and she’ll try to work through this with the group,” adds the actress.
However, there is still the question of how these events affect Emori personally as well as her relationships.
“Emori’s had two very intense experiences where John’s been in a dire situation recently, and it’s put her feelings into perspective in a stark way.” Luisa considers, “I imagine she knows her feelings better than before.”
No matter what, the impact that Emori and Murphy had on each other is everlasting and have forever changed them. “I think to each other they’re the place of real and true acceptance,” Luisa says, answering a fan inquiry as to what the two mean to one another. “They know the good and the ugly of each other. Often they thrive and sometimes they implode but they still accept each other. Together their self-worth flourishes and life is thrilling, their moral greyness needs no excuse or explanation, and sometimes they even make each other better.”
Outside of Murphy, Emori has strong relationships with the rest of SpaceKru – the name of the group of seven people who went to space in the season four finale. The season five finale did see the departure of two members Monty and Harper while also introducing their son Jordan. Having not been able to say goodbye to her friends and now suddenly faced with their spitting image is a lot for Emori to take in.
“Seeing their son and how much he looks like them – Shannon [Kook] legit could be their kid! – is both painful and beautiful. She’s definitely mourning their loss,” the actress explains. “I think she’s a bit raw right now, full of high highs and low lows. She never imagined she could lose them like this, and I think it’s intensified her feelings towards everyone else she loves.”
That is equated to how highly she trusts others. Besides Murphy, Luisa says that Emori equally trusts Raven, Bellamy, and Echo. “I think those six years in space with them deeply changed her ability to trust.”
When asked if audiences will see more of Emori’s relationship with Raven, she is tight-lipped. “You’ll see soon!” is all she says.
Emori also has a close connection with Bellamy. Her friendship with him was shown throughout season five through his support for her abilities and is being displayed again in season six in a similar fashion. He is the first one to show confidence in what Emori can do and shares his strong faith in her proudly.
I think sacrificing herself to save John and the family would be her ultimate arc.
“I love that Bellamy’s faith in Emori has become one of the things that brings out the best in her. It boosts her confidence, which genuinely makes her better and more capable. I don’t think she ever wants to let him down,” Luisa reveals.
On the other hand, Emori’s rocky relationship with Clarke is currently going downhill. Despite her desperate pleas to wait longer for the leader in the season four finale, Emori resents her actions in season five. “At this point [Emori’s] feelings are all pretty fresh,” the actress says of the two. “Yes, we’ll see her explore how deep her resentment [towards Clarke] runs.”
Surprisingly, Emori may have gotten over most of her resentment towards the Grounder faith that held beliefs that ostracized her for almost her entire life. In fact, that faith lives on through Madi as the new Commander.
“In a weird way, I think she’s a little bit glad Grounder culture lives on,” Luisa reveals. “It’s like a horrible family she’s run away from and hated from afar, resented for not accepting her, fantasized about being special and accepted, only to find out the whole family has died.”
She continues on to further explain, “I don’t think it holds power over her in her mind the way it used to. Maybe a small part of her will scout for a sign that old prejudices will return in Madi and the surviving Grounders. Until then, she doesn’t have to hate it anymore; she can finally make peace over its grave.”
Speaking of graves… No character is perfectly safe in this show, as showcased most recently by Monty and Harper in season five and Shaw earlier this season. If given the chance to decide how to give her character a sendoff, whether as a goodbye before departing on another adventure or through death, Luisa looks for the best possible completion to Emori’s story.
“I think sacrificing herself to save John and the family would be her ultimate arc,” the actress decides. “She started on the show being dominated with her own self-preservation at the expense of all relationships. Seeing that fully reserved would be a pretty powerful way to go out. Plus, she knows it’s possible to actually make that choice. She’s seen it and benefitted from it when Clarke made the choice to save them all at the end of season four.” Luisa considers, “If not that, could she have a happy ending like Monty and Harper? Maybe, I’d like that for her?”
Hopefully fans will be able to cast away any thoughts of saying goodbye to Emori for a long while. Until then, they can look forward to one of Luisa’s favorite dynamics this season which is between Emori and a new character. “It’s going to be very interesting! There’s going to be a whole lot of interesting. That’s all I can say.”
Luisa can tease something about season six that surprised her the most. “This new world has ways of operating that I didn’t and couldn’t have predicted! And I love it.”
The 100 fans are incredibly dedicated and they passionately flooded TEENPLICITY’s social media pages with questions, some of which were incorporated above. Featured below are a few stand-out fan questions.
LUISA: Hi all! Thanks for the questions!
FAN QUESTION: Will we see more of Emori working with tech?
LUISA: Yes indeed. The world is technologically advanced enough to have a radiation shield, and that’s just the beginning.
FAN QUESTION: Do you have a favorite The 100 set?
LUISA: There are many incredible new sets I can’t yet talk about! You’ll see and love them. The new town center is pretty fantastic though, isn’t it?
FAN QUESTION: If Emori had a YouTube channel, what would it be about?
LUISA: “Garbage Wealth. Build everything you need from what’s in your trash.” Also, “Escape With Me. How to get out of sticky situations. We talk manipulation, disguise, stealth, and fighting.”
FAN QUESTION: Will Emori ever smile again this season?
LUISA: I hope so!
FAN QUESTION: Do you have any role models or strong women in your life that inspire you?
LUISA: Definitely, my mom and aunties are some of the strongest women I know. I admire them very much, more so every year as I understand them as an adult more and more.