This article contains spoilers for Episode 1 – 4 of Rewind.
Last episode’s cliffhanger dropped some heavy shocks on the audience. It is perhaps no surprise to anyone that Louis John Brzozka’s script borrowed material from the original game and killed off its second lead, Charlie Price, with a swift gunshot to the head. However, few predicted the reveal of the true villain of the game. While we had spent a few episodes now, pinning most of the blame on Bethan Harris’ nasty gang member, it turns out that the true brains behind the operation was none other than the girl Max and Charlie have been trying to save for the entire season, Jade Alexander. It was a perfect time to not only catch up with Emily Holyoake, the talented actress who brought Bethan to life, but Jemma Carlin-Wells wolf in sheep’s clothing.
“To put it simply they were shocked,” actress Jemma said, when asked about how that twist went down after Episode Four’s release. “Those who had played the game were waiting for the Jefferson type character to be revealed. There were even comments on episode 3 asking when the Rewind version of Jefferson would be introduced. Little did they know that she already had been!” Jemma clearly revels in pulling the rug from under the audience’s feet, clearly comfortable in portraying the character through her shocking swan dive into the role of antagonist. “Once I found out that she was also based on the game’s villain Mr. Jefferson I was delighted, as it gave me a chance to explore darker aspects of her personality and use my trade mark bitch face!” However, Jemma wasn’t always aware she was going to be the head villain of the series. “I think that the fans as well as I only saw Jade as the Rachel Amber character so expected her to become a victim of the gang, so when it was revealed that she was behind it all they were understandably shocked. Jade is an interesting character as her personality has developed and changed during the series. Initially, I wasn’t given much information about her other than she should be played as confident and bubbly.” We saw this side of Jade in the previous episodes of Rewind, her appearance in Episode Three setting the character up as the likeable, charming cousin. Her disappearance throughout most of the story set her up as the Rachel Amber character of the story, the narrative device that spends most of the game a talked-about but absent figure and the motion that gets the heroes set for their adventure. “I researched Rachel’s backstory and sort of based my characterisation on that,” Jemma recalls from the early days of Rewind. “Whilst researching Life is Strange I discovered that Rachel Amber is found dead in episode 4 of the game. I honestly thought that she would end up in a body bag! Louis was very clever not to reveal too much information about how he intended to shape the character of Jade as he didn’t want the outcome to influence my initial portrayal.”
However, in the final moments of Rewind, Jemma is allowed to go full villain, something that both her and Emily Holyoake revel in. “Actors always love playing a villain, don’t they?” Emily Holyoake reflects on whether Bethan does have a lighter side that we haven’t seen yet. “I think Bethan sees herself as a baddie, and she hides behind that. She’s not willing to try to be anything else, because if she’s ‘bad’, no one will expect anything better of her.” Jemma is basically rubbing her hands in glee (in a very Jade-like fashion, we assume), at the chance to flex her bad guy muscles. “After episode five, she is going to be the character that everyone loves to hate! It’s also a personal ambition of mine to play a villainous role as I had previously been cast as principal girls and Jane Austin heroines. I worked closely with Louis to develop her character during episode 4 as we wanted it to be shocking and completely unexpected when she is revealed to be the main villain of the series.” It is very clear that both of the actresses are keen to show the finale to the public. Emily is very keen on tying up the character arc of Bethan, who, after shooting one of the main characters in the head last time, is due a particularly sticky end. “I think you see Bethan at her lowest point in Episode 5. She’s made bad choices and she has to deal with the fallout.” However, while the character might be in for a world of trouble, the actress playing her is clearly having the time of her life. “I really enjoyed working on Episode 5. It was definitely my favourite and I think it’s got some powerful moments in it.”
Seeing as we have only just learned that Jade is behind it all, it is going to be interesting to see how the two villains interact with each other. We get to see some scenes between Bethan and Jade in Distortion, a chance to get a peek at the relationship between the two baddies of the show. “Bethan cares about and trusts Jade. She sees Jade as a sister, and to start with, she can push aside any negativity in their friendship as just sisterly squabbles.” Of course, the last time we saw Jade and Bethan in the same room, Bethan was getting knocked out cold after shooting Jade’s cousin in cold blood, suggesting that Bethan’s villain could find herself in the same situation as Max. Emily Holyoake smirks at this suggestion. “Bethan isn’t the greatest judge of character, unfortunately.” There is also the chance to see Jade show her true colours in front of Max, perhaps our first true look at the real character. However, Jemma isn’t giving away anything. “Jade and Max are in my opinion the great relationship that never happened. It is hinted in the fourth episode that in the alternate timeline that they became very close and possibly more than friends. It is also made clear that Jade is attracted to Max, which both Bethan and Charlie tease her about. However none of this has happened in the fifth episodes timeline, therefore they have a very different relationship!” And what about Charlie? Charlie’s main character arc has been fuelled by his love for his cousin, something that has been twisted horribly, seeing as he has ended up with a bullet in the head, as a result of Jade’s actions. “Charlie is her cousin and the family relationship and banter is present in the third episode. It is clear that she cares about Charlie from her initial reaction to his death at the end of the forth episode,” Jemma affirms. “Their relationship is explored further in episode 5.”
But to see exactly how is something we will have to wait for, as the finale looms closer on the 8th May. However, from the anticipation we get from both Jemma Carlin-Wells and Emily Holyoake, we could be onto something quite special.