May 23, 2012 at 08:30 AM EDT

What’s going on with Revenge‘s dynamic, scheming duo Emily (Emily VanCamp) and Nolan (Gabriel Mann) in this photo? You’ll find out more in tonight’s season finale, but EW enlisted the show’s creator and executive producer Mike Kelley to answer the big question this shot begs: Did Emily and Nolan get caught?

You’re not going to get the answer that easy. “It’s either a predicament… or it’s Emily’s plan,” Kelley teases cryptically. Last week’s episode detailed the beginning of Emily’s hunt for the elusive white-haired man (played by James Morrison) who killed her father in prison. “He has all of the information, and there’s this weird kind of respect between the two of them,” Kelley continues. “What we tried to do was try to emulate the Clarice Darling and Hannibal Lecter relationship, because it’s oddly sort of sympathetic or empathetic. It’s really interesting — they’re both cut from the same cloth. They’re mortal adversaries, but they have a respect for each other, and it’s a really interesting relationship.”

The search for the white-haired man, of course, will vault Emily into various situations, like the one pictured here — and yet another when she does finally track down the man. “The question is, Is Emily willing to kill? Is she willing to take that final step?” Kelley says. “For this show, the punishment fits the crime, so she’ll be faced with that decision, and, oddly enough, Nolan will try to be the voice of reason. It’s an eye for an eye. That’s how revenge works on this show.”

Whether or not Emily is the one to actually do any killing, at least one character is going to die in tonight’s episode. One of the characters who was featured in the May 9 origins episode will “resurface in the end run and that character will pay the ultimate price for coming up against Emily,” Kelley explains. “I won’t say which one, but out of all the conspirators, someone is going to fall.”

Outside of such macabre happenings, there is romance in tonight’s season finale, too. Sparks will continue to fly between Emily and Jack (Nick Wechsler) after last week’s episode, which found the childhood flames passionately kissing. “Jack’s third of the love triangle between Jack and Daniel and Emily will start to solidify,” Kelley says. “I think that we’re aiming toward a very satisfying push there. We want to make sure that the romantic tension of this show is ramped up about as high as it can get.”

Besides just Emily’s quest for vengeance, others are on the warpath, too, says Kelley, explaining that a stunning revelation will send Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) on a revenge quest of her own — and give some direction to Revenge‘s second season, which will launch in the fall. He adds with a laugh, “And if that doesn’t help set up next season, we’re all in trouble.

Want more inside scoop on Revenge? Come back to at 10 p.m. ET while the season finale of Revenge is airing, when Gabriel Mann — who plans Nolan — will offer his play-by-play commentary on every twist and turn as the hour of television unfolds.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Read more:

‘Revenge’ season finale: Chat live with Gabriel Mann tonight at 10 p.m. ET

‘Revenge’ boss teases tonight’s origins episode: ‘It’s a love letter to fans’

‘Revenge’ scoop: Connor Paolo on Declan saving Jack, his new enemy, and the season finale

‘Revenge’ recaps

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