[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the Season 1 finale of Emily in Paris, “Cancel Couture.”]
At the end of Season 1 of Emily in Paris, things seem to be going great for the titular American abroad — Emily (Lily Collins) has managed to get un-fired by Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu) after successfully coordinating a big fashion stunt for Pierre Cadault (Jean-Christophe Bouvet). And the love triangle that’s been brewing between her, Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), and Camille (Camille Razat) hits a new twist thanks to Gabriel’s decision to move home to Normandy, which means he and Camille seem to have broken up… just in time for Emily and Gabriel to finally surrender to the chemistry between them.
However, things get complicated the morning after Gabriel and Emily spend the night together, when Antoine (William Abadie) teams up with Gabriel to finance his restaurant — meaning that Gabriel can stay in Paris, and that everyone’s relationship status can now be defined as “it’s complicated.”
Collins says that when the cast read the episode at the table read, the ending came as a big surprise. “I just didn’t see it coming. I didn’t see those two guys collaborating, and I think that it also opened itself up to a very interesting experience with Camille in a new way,” she said. “I think it really threw things for a loop.”
Creator Darren Star said that his thinking in setting up that cliffhanger came down to him wanting Emily “to have a lot of complicated choices with a lot of the men in her life. Certainly with Gabriel, who’s been the primary relationship, but also her primary relationship is also with Camille, who she really became very good friends with — and I think Emily’s the kind of girl that would never want to betray a friend. So I think it’s given Emily a real moral dilemma.”
For Bravo, the final moments of the season finale are all about Gabriel basking in his moment, after Antoine’s investment means he can stay in Paris and not have to leave Emily. “He’s just ecstatic,” the actor said. “He’s going to think about the repercussions afterwards, but at this precise moment, he just learned that he’s going to stay, so that’s where he stands at this moment.”
But those repercussions could be pretty massive. As to the question of whether or not Emily thinks Camille and Gabriel have truly broken up, Collins said she’s not sure. “That’s the thing is, we don’t know. And that’s why as an actor it’s so funny, because in TV you sometimes don’t know what’s going to happen next, and there are so many possibilities for the future with this show, in so many different ways with all the characters. And so that was kind of the experience of reading the episode during the table read is like, we were all turning pages going, ‘Where are we going next?'”
When asked the same question, Bravo said that “I think in his mind, yes, I think he’s broken up with Camille. They’ve been fighting a lot lately and he feels very emasculated by the fact that her family wants to help him. And he always wanted to be that self-made chef, and he’s been feeling so little for so long that, now that they have broken up, I don’t think he wants to get back to that, or at least they deserve to have a conversation about it. I think he’s really drawn to Emily and all the opportunities that are coming with her.”
That said, however, from Razat’s perspective, their relationship is still up in the air. “I think he didn’t properly broke up with me, which is a problem. Which is not cool. And I think he needs to see me face-to-face, and tell me why he’s leaving me. And if he’s really truly leaving me, we understand that we have an issue together,” she said. “He needs to tell me properly. He needs to end it properly.”
And Razat feels that there will definitely be at least a little drama between her character and Emily. “I think that Camille may be more upset with Emily. Because she was so nice to her, and she just welcomed her,” she said. “And in that matter, I think Camille will be mad for a little amount of time, but she really loves Emily. So she’s just going to, as an adult, just discuss that with her, and try to understand why they did this. And how are they going to manage this? Because obviously, I think Camille, anyways, wants to stay friends with Emily.”
To be clear, Razat feels that Camille’s response will probably be pretty different from how an American would respond. “I think French people, we’re a little bit less black and white. We’re more in the gray area, meaning nothing is really bad. Nothing is really good. There is good in the bad, bad in the good. And I truly believe that of the person. And I think it’s adding more richness to my characters when I play them. Because nobody’s really bad, and nobody’s really good. There is dark in the light, and light in the dark. And so I think Camille’s going to deal with it in a classy way. I think she’s going to do her best not to be mad at anyone and just accept it, and try to understand.”
Beyond the complications of the love triangle, Star also pointed out that the fact that Gabriel’s new business partner might lead to bigger issues in Season 2. “I think that Antoine is an untrustworthy guy and his motives… I don’t trust him. I think it’s a dangerous combination working with Gabriel.”
And there’s also Mathieu (Charles Martins), Emily’s other charming love interest — Star said that “we haven’t really seen the potential of that relationship yet. I think Emily’s is going to have some surprising choices to make next season.”
Where those choices might lead is yet to be determined exactly, as Star and his writers have yet to get the greenlight for Season 2. But with decades of experience working in television, Star isn’t worried about taking these loose ends and moving the story forward. “I trust future me to know. I like keeping the mystery alive, for me. I really do, and debating with myself and the other writers how all these possible future scenarios could play themselves out,” he said.
And yes, he added, “I do have a few ideas in mind.”
Season 1 of Emily in Paris is streaming now. For more on the show, here’s the cast and Star going into detail about the potential for a Season 2 ménage à trois.