Nico Tortorella, Adan Canto
Monday's episode of The Following revisited what's becoming a recurring theme on the show: a character sacrificing his life because he wanted it "to mean something." The victim in question this week was Paul (Adan Canto), who had contracted sepsis while he and Jacob (Nico Tortorella) were on the run and told Jacob to kill him in order to save himself.
"He saw the situation he was in. There was no way out," Canto tells TVGuide.com. "He cared for Jacob so much and he cared for the cult and its philosophy so much that he was willing to give his life for it. He really did want his life to mean something. ... It's a selfless move directed towards the cult, towards the family. But at the same time, it's a great opportunity for him to rest and to really find his peace."
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The sense of peace, according to Canto, is one Paul was able to find with Jacob and Emma (Valorie Curry) — but he knew things would never be the same between them.
"It kind of relates to the kind of desperation Paul has to find his way in life, to find this safe haven, this place of security he always looked for," Canto says. "I think those three years he spent with Jacob was one of the only moments in his life where he felt at ease, and he felt understood and felt part of a home somehow."
Canto said he was told early on that his character probably wouldn't live to see the end of the season.
"I knew beforehand that something like this was supposed to happen in order to push the story forward," he explains. "Once I read the script, I totally understood why and I loved it. I just loved the way this guy passes. The way he goes out is amazing. I wouldn't have changed a bit of it."
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Of course, with his death, Paul also enabled Jacob to commit his first murder and overcome a fear that (as viewers were shown in flashbacks) he's struggled with for years. Jacob crossing that line probably doesn't bode well for Emma, who's been ignoring his phone calls ever since she abandoned him and Paul.
"Having Jacob and Emma back at the mansion, it's going to be interesting to see that dynamic ... seeing how Jacob changed after this situation with Paul," Canto teases.
What do you think will happen between them? Is Jacob out for revenge?
The Following airs Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.