Warning: The following contains spoilers for Sunday’s The Company You Keep. Proceed at your own risk!
One of The Company You Keep‘s big secrets is out: During Sunday’s episode, Charlie was kidnapped… by the CIA and interrogated, before learning this his girlfriend Emma is an officer at the agency!
Knowing the truth about Emma, Charlie set out to do one huge con job in the hopes of then going straight for her. As a masked Charlie handed over $10 million to Connor, Emma watched the exchange from a nearby car. Now the question is: When will Emma learn his secret?
“That’ll also be sooner than you think it’s going to be,” her portrayer Catherine Haena Kim tells TVLine. “It’s not one of those things you’re going to have to wait [for] until the end of the season and that’s the cliffhanger. It’s going to happen very soon.”
Below, the actress reveals how this week’s twist will impact Emma and Charlie’s nascent relationship and talks about establishing chemistry with her costar Milo Ventimiglia in the wake of his beloved This Is Us role.
TVLINE | I was actually quite surprised that Charlie learned Emma is a CIA officer so soon in the season. Did you know that was going to be coming so early? Did you have any talks with the producers about the timing of it all?
Yes and no. It’s been a very collaborative experience, which is really exciting, especially on the relationship and, I guess, all aspects, the character development and even the family dynamic… Usually, you’re waiting the entire season. You’re like, “Will they? Won’t they? Are they going to get together?” It’s like, “No, they do”, and we do very quickly, but it’s all based on lies. So once the truth comes out, it’s like, “Are they going to still? And what happens now?” And I think that’s what’s really fun about it.
TVLINE | How does that shift the dynamic between the characters and the central concept of the show, now that her secret is out?
We just finished filming the finale this past week, and I was reflecting that everyone you meet in the pilot is completely different from who you see in the finale, and everyone goes through an entire journey. You’re going to get big reveals every single episode. Honestly, from this point on, it only gets bigger and better, even the cons.
TVLINE | At at the end of the episode, she gets a glimpse of his eyes in that exchange with Connor, and it’s kind of ambiguous whether she recognized him or not. What was your take on it in playing that final scene where she comes over to his apartment and she says she finally has a break in this case?
She can tell that something’s off with him, but also, he just found out she’s a CIA officer. So she’s a little confused why he feels off, and she just kind of chalks it up to it’s been an intense week.
TVLINE | Does the fact that he now has to lie about who she is to his family create any tension for him, either with Emma or with his family members?
I think because he’s not going to tell them for quite some time, until things come to a head and he has to… It’s so hard when you have to keep things from the people that you love. That’s also why I imagine for Emma, being a CIA officer, [and] for anybody in real life [with that job], that must be so hard to have to keep that from your family, sometimes from your partner, and this is a form that they actually have to fill out. I don’t think it’s the same name, but when you start seeing somebody, there’s a honeypot for a reason, and so you do actually have to fill out a form saying that you’re dating somebody, and they do a background check, and you do sometimes get put into surprise interrogations, even if there are no red flags, just to make sure all the bases are covered.
TVLINE | Both Charlie and Emma are these master pretenders, so to speak, and they’re really good at reading people, but neither one of them figures out the truth about the other on their own. So what does that say about how good their skills really are? Do they have a weakness, or are they just so good that they can fool even the best?
I think all of the above is probably true. Also, when your emotions get involved and love is on the line, I mean, there’s that phrase “love is blind” for a reason. I think both their guards were down when they met because they were both nursing heartbreak.
TVLINE | This show relies so much on chemistry, with this type of premise. When did you feel like you and Milo had that chemistry?
I want to say hopefully in our chemistry read because I got the job. [Laughs] Which was also insane because it was my first audition of any kind in-person in over two-and-a-half years, because everything was done on Zoom or it was self-tapes that would be submitted. So to find out that I have a call back for such an exciting role, but also it’s in person and it’s with Milo and it’s a chemistry read, I was just like, “OK…” [Laughs] Milo and I have talked about this so much, [that] chemistry is something that’s so intangible, and it’s really flattering to hear that people like our chemistry and that they’re feeling it. I think it honestly goes back to trust, and it’s an emotional connection, and we had the luxury of some rehearsals before we ever stepped on set. But also, he’s a producer on this project, and because he’s just boots on the ground and in the trenches with me as an actor, there’s trust on multiple levels, which feels good, and I think that’s why there’s space to play and be spontaneous and create that chemistry.
TVLINE | He’s coming off playing one-half of this beloved couple on This Is Us. Did you feel any pressure having to establish this instant connection with him, between your characters, in the wake of Jack and Rebecca Pearson?
I know. Well, I feel like what an iconic couple, and I’m so grateful that we have that, and now we get to create something new. I always joke that — related but not related — in life, I always like to think that I leave my exes a little better than I found them. I hope that I do! It’s not always, I think, on purpose. But I’m always grateful to all of the amazing women who have come before me whenever I meet somebody new who’s fantastic. I get the impression that Milo was pretty great as an actor and a person before he ever met Mandy [Moore], but the way she’s talked about on set, I mean, I know that he’s that much better because of his six years with her. And actually, she did me a favor and made me a really, really beautiful video for him as part of his wrap gift.
The Company You Keep fans, what did you think of Episode 4’s twist? Hit the comments!