'Revolution' postmortem: Tracy Spiridakos on killing [spoiler] and Charlie's character arc

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Image Credit: Felicia Graham/NBC

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen last night’s episode of Revolution, “Austin City Limits,” stop reading now.

Over its past season and a half, Revolution has proved that it’s not shy about killing off characters — even some of the most prominent inhabitants of its postapocalyptic world. (R.I.P. Danny Matheson, Ben Matheson, and Maggie Foster.)

But last night, when Tracy Spiridakos’s Charlie Matheson pulled the trigger on her brainwashed former lover Jason Neville, we were treated to an entirely different level of shock. EW spoke with Spiridakos about her experience filming those final moments, and what Charlie’s actions will mean for the rest of season 2.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How long did you know that this was something that was going to happen?
TRACY SPIRIDAKOS:
Oh, they tell us very little. [laughs] We know…you know, they give us a heads up when someone super close to us is going, so we know that’s happening and so we don’t get a shock. But we definitely didn’t know super far ahead. We kind of found out a few episodes before.

I literally just watched the episode two hours ago and I’m still emotional. Talk to me about filming that final scene.
It was fun! It was intense, it was very intense. We spent the whole day on that fight and that ending sequence, and you could feel the weight in the room, the heaviness that was happening — not only character-wise, but trying to wrap my head around the situation. Because, you know, we’re all super close, and knowing that this chapter between Charlie and Jason was over in that moment was super intense for me. But we had a good time. I loved it. It was great combination of everything. The scene itself is so meaty, as an actor, it’s fun and satisfying. And then there’s all the stunts which I personally just love doing. So it was an all out pretty intense day in a lot of ways.

In my opinion, out of everyone, Charlie has really experienced the most transformative character growth since season one. We’ve seen her essentially go from an innocent girl to a hardened killer. But given her emotional response to Jason’s death, she obviously isn’t as hardened as we’ve been led to believe.
I don’t think she’s a killer. I think she does what she feels is necessary to survive, and in a world where one of the options is either her or the other person, she has to take that matter into her own hands. But I think of her more of a survivor than a killer. I think the thing that differentiates her from other people is that she does have her humanity. Even though at some point she wonders if it’s gone, she does have it. And having her pull the trigger on her lover, on somebody that you love and care for, and not just that but your first love — no matter what she’s gone through, having lived through that situation, I really don’t know how hard you would have to be to not have that effect.

One of the things I’ve always found fascinating about Charlie is her relationship with Rachel — how she’s spent so much time being angry at Rachel and her actions, but now she’s pretty much doing the same thing in terms of making sacrifices to protect the people that she loves.
It’s one of those things where she’s kind of evolving, and I think this season was interesting and fun for me because that whole moral compass sort of goes in and out for Charlie. She thinks she has a handle on it, but she knows what she’s done. And she’s in places all the time where she’s put herself in a situation that she doesn’t want to be put into, and she has to make a decision that she doesn’t want to have to make. But it’s either that or her loved ones. And when it comes to those two options, obviously, she’s going to choose her family and her loved ones.

Speaking of family dynamics, will we see Charlie bond more with Rachel or Miles as a result of her actions in this episode?
I won’t give too much away about that, but I can say that everything that’s happened, and the guilt of everything that Charlie’s dealing with, it affects her arc in a big way in the rest of the season, and going forward hopefully into season three. What happened has changed her in many ways.

What can you specifically tease about Charlie’s journey for the rest of the season?
Her guilt is quite heavy carrying forward, and that’s going to be a thing that propels Charlie in many different ways throughout the rest of the season. But the one I’m looking forward to seeing myself is the one where Charlie and Neville face off.

I’m looking forward to that! What can you tease about Charlie’s upcoming confrontation with Neville? I imagine that’s going to be pretty intense.
She comes face to face with Neville, and she has to deal with her own guilt. I’m pretty excited to see that episode; I haven’t gotten a chance to see it. And then as far as the rest of the season goes, I mean, there’ a battle with The Patriots and The Patriots increase their efforts to go after Monroe and Miles, and so it kind of ends up being kind of against them in a lot of ways. They want to start a war between Texas and California, and we’re trying to get in the middle of that to stop it from happening. So we’re trying to save as many lives as we can.

Revolution returns with all new episodes at the end of April.

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