Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Revenge’s winter finale. Read at your own risk.
It looks like Josh Bowman’s wish came true.
After appearing to express his want to be killed off Revenge last season during an interview, Bowman’s character, Daniel Grayson, met the Grim Reaper during Sunday’s episode. Of course, he went out a hero, shielding Emily (Emily VanCamp) from Agent Taylor (Courtney Ford), who turned out to be the daughter of David’s (James Tupper) nemesis, Malcolm Black (to be played by Tommy Flanagan).
Jack (Nick Wechsler) arrived to take down Taylor, but not before Daniel was shot multiple times—all just moments after he finally reconciled with Margaux (Karine Vanasse). EW spoke with Bowman to find out how his big death came together and whether he’ll be back. (Read our interview with showrunner Sunil Nayar to find out what’s next.)
How long did you know Daniel was going to be killed off?
I knew before we started shooting this summer.
Was this stemming from your wish last season to be killed off the show?
I think I was definitely wrongly quoted by that particular reporter. It wasn’t a plea to leave the show at all. I mean, I love working on the show. I’d do it for six seasons. I had a sit down with Sunil at the beginning of this season, before the writers were in the writers’ room, and we just discussed my character and the arc, where he could go, where he shouldn’t go. We thought it was very important to have him be redeemed and have some sort of heroic last act for Emily. We thought that would bring the character full circle considering where he’s come from. We’d lead him right back to where he was in season 1. By having him save Emily and sacrifice himself, it was the perfect, fitting end for the character. Sunil and his team of writers did a fantastic job. As actors, you always just want what’s best for the story. I think, collaboratively, for the show, we thought it was a good idea to have a domino effect moving forward. It’s not a good thing to leave a show, but it’s a good thing for the story to help move it forward.
How do you feel about the arc for Daniel this season? Are you glad that Daniel and Emily reconciled?
Yeah, I loved it. I honestly think they executed it very well. I thought it wasn’t too rushed and it wasn’t too slow. It was just right. At the beginning of the season, people wouldn’t be rooting for Daniel. I’ve seen a lot of things, “Kill him off! Kill him off!” Now, they’re like, “No!” Once something happens, people go, “Well, he was actually a good guy.” That’s a testament to the great writing on the show and how they engineered it. They redeemed him, which was good. I thought that was the only way he could go. He’s always been this tragic character of this show. He’s an innocent victim, who got wrapped up in this world because of his family and because of a woman.
What was your last day like on set?
Sad. It was very sad. I didn’t think it would be as sad as it would be, but it really pulled on my heartstrings a lot. I’ve grown up on this show, really. It’s been four years. I’ve made some amazing friends. Honestly, it was very difficult. It was difficult to leave the lot as well for the last time. I mean, I’ll go back and catch up with them all the time. I was just did with Nick and Connor [Paolo] the other night. We went out for food and caught up. The show has created a great bond for all of us.
When you hit that last scene, were you ready to say goodbye to this character?
No, I don’t think you are. I’ve never really done this before, so it’s all new to me. I’ve never been on a show for this long. I’ve never consistently gone through the character motions like this ever before. I guess it just happens over time through osmosis or something. I guess it’s just something you slowly let go of. It will forever be etched in my brain and heart for sure. It was a great, great, great, great ride. I’m very appreciative of the opportunity and to everyone who helped me every day. We’ve got such a great cast. They’re all just lovely people. I miss them very much.
Daniel’s death will obviously affect a lot of people on the show, but how do you think it will affect Emily and Margaux in particular?
That line of, “It wasn’t a lie.” Obviously she knew I was dying. It could be read both ways. It could be, “I admit that I did have feelings for you,” which I think she did. Or it could be, “You’re dying. I want to tell you something that will make you feel better.” Either way, Emily Thorne doesn’t want to see innocent people die. She’s never killed anyone on this show. She just wants to make them feel the pain that she’s felt. I think Daniel is innocent collateral damage. Obviously, Margaux is going to be affected a lot. The person that Daniel really loved was Emily. He never loved anyone as much as he loved her. That was his true love and it was so fitting for him to die in her arms. It’s probably going to be difficult for Marguax in the next episode. I was in a couple flashbacks in [episode] 11. There’s definitely some beef between Margaux and Emily. You’ll see what happens.
Do you think the Graysons were always destined to lose?
Yeah. He’s the tragic character of this show. Like they say, karma is a bitch. Victoria losing her son is probably one of the worst things, if not the worst thing, to happen to her. This is definitely going to move the story forward. Who knows? It could potentially reach its conclusion by the end of this season. It encourages the story to move forward in a good way. That’s why Daniel had to go. It was the right timing.
Revenge returns Sunday, Jan 4 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.