"Maybe he's not so bad. Maybe we just don't understand him."
Emma Hill, also known as Denise Harris, was one of Joe's Followers and is his most loyal and trustworthy follower to date and the secondary antagonist of the series. She served as Claire Matthew's nanny for her son for several years, but in truth she was keeping tabs on her and her son. While Claire viewed her as family at the time, Emma held nothing but contempt towards Claire and a desire to kill her, to which the two have become antagonistic towards with a desire to kill each other.
Since her introduction, Emma has loyally done anything asked by Joe without question, having watched over his son and willingly kidnapped him so that Joe may meet him when the time comes. Her loyalty to Joe has led her to commit anything in his name, even murder any follower who opposes him, even her boyfriend Jacob, to which Emma loves Joe more than Jacob. Following the take over of Korban, Emma becomes Joe's second in command once again. She is killed by Claire Matthews after the two engage in a ferocious and deadly fight with one another.
Emma was born to Sharon Cooper on July 8, 1987. Her mother, who apparently raised her on her own, was openly unloving and would often bring men home and have loud sex with them while Emma was nearby. Emma first met Joe when she procured his signature at a book signing for his release of his critically panned book, The Gothic Sea. After his conviction, she started visiting him in prison and cut her hair short on his suggestion. On one of her numerous prison visits, Caroll set her up on a blind date with Jacob Wells, one of his Followers, and since then they have continued to date. At a dinner introducing Jacob to her mother, Emma stabbed her mother to death in a fit of rage after her mother made one too many coy and rude comments. Emma and Jacob hid the body in the wall of Emma's house.
Living under the alias of Denise, Emma began working for Claire Matthews as a babysitter for Ms. Matthews' and Joe Carroll's son, Joey. After Carroll escaped from prison, Emma kidnapped Joey and reunited with fellow followers Jacob and Paul. After reuniting, Emma, Jacob and Paul made their way to a house in the country, where they intended to keep Joey. ("Pilot")
In the events of Chapter Two Emma, Paul, and Jacob all arrive at the farmhouse. She has Joey convinced he is on an adventure. But tensions rise as Paul becomes jealous of the relationship of Jacob and Emma. He becomes even more jealous in The Poet's Fire and has developed a hate toward Emma. For Jacob's sake and the mission's sake he tries to confront Emma; but she cuts his arm. He calls her a bitch and later goes to the convenience store and picks up convenience store worker; Megan Leeds. This displeases Emma as it not only puts everything at risk; it also risks Joey seeing her. Despite her protests Jacob and Paul bring Megan to the basement.
Things begin to heat up at the farmhouse in Mad Love when Paul tells Emma about how Jacob has been lying. She states that she knows that they have been lovers before and she doesn't care, but Paul reveals another secret he's been keeping from her: Jacob has never killed anyone before. She forces Jacob to be the one to kill Megan but he cannot do it and lets her go. Emma and Paul go after her and Emma stabs her; giving her only a flesh wound. Megan is tied back up and Paul and Emma go to the shower to clean themselves off. Jacob walks in and apologizes almost in tears and they forgive him; Emma stating that they aren't giving up on him and Jacob joins them in the shower with his clothes on.
We learn in the very beginning of The Siege that the shower scene from Mad Love led to a threesome with Paul & Jacob. After Paul catches Joey, Emma talks to him to try to comfort him, but Joey overhears a conversation between her and Paul, during which Paul remarks that "sooner or later, [Joey's] gonna realize [they're] lying to him," causing Joey to run off. Emma finds him but not before he talks to the neighbors who recognized him. Emma tells Paul to go "Thank them" for finding Joey. They go back to the farmhouse as Paul kills the neighbors. Emma locks Joey in his room and meets Henry Flynn she starts to pack up and explain the situation to Paul and Jacob when they come in. As they are packing up; they hear gunshots and find Hank and a police officer dead. They split up and search the area.
Immediately following the events of The Siege, The Fall starts with Emma running into the house with Jacob, seeing Paul and Ryan with a gun at Ryan's head. She puts Joey to sleep using "Special Milk", she is in control in this episode while she tries not to freak out herself. She talks to Agent Debra Parker on the phone and we learn that all of the artwork done by Emma, refers to her mother and shows that despite what her mother did and who she was, Emma still loved her. She calls Roderick and he gets Emma and Joey out of there to safety; but forcing her to leave Paul and Jacob. Emma and Joey follow Officer Ava Marsden who shoots Agent Weston in the chest; saying she is with Roderick. Ryan catches up to them and shoots and kills the Officer but Emma and Joey escape. She gets a tearful call from Jacob, demanding and begging and questioning answers why she left them. She begins to cry and hangs up.
While on the road she and Joey stop off at the new temporary location. It looks to be a mechanics shop run by Bo. As Joey is using the bathroom, he stumbles upon the Warden's daughter, and Bo yells at him but Emma jumps to his defense, showing she really cares for Joey like her own. Later when Joey lets the Warden's daughter go, Bo tries to attack Joey but Emma holds a gun to him. She is quickly subdued but saved by Charlie Mead. They later leave the mechanics shop after Bo is killed by Charlie. They are seen once again at the end of the episode when Joe Carroll arrives at the property. She hugs Joe and watches as Joey meets his father for the first time. ("Let Me Go")
Emma begins to comfort and try to make a move on Joe. Joe tells her that she was an instrumental role in bringing Joey back to him. He tells her if now he only had Claire things would be better. She tells him that everyone is waiting and shows him a mass gathering of his followers. She talks with Joe outside as he looks around at all of his followers. Joe asks if there is any word from Paul or Jacob but Emma sadly says no and Joe says we have to assume they are safe since there is nothing on the news and no word from them. A police car pulls up and Emma; looking scared is pushed behind Joe. The officer walks over and hugs Joe, revealing himself to be the mysterious Roderick. She and Joe are later seen getting sloshed; she tells Joe he can't handle his liquor since he's been completely sober for a long time. She tries to have sex with Joe but he responds that he loves his wife. She is seen later; watching sadly as Charlie Mead asks Joe to kill him for failing to beat Claire's location out of Mike Weston and letting Claire get away not once but twice. After Joe kills Charlie, sad about killing his friend, Emma brings him towels and then one thing leads to another, Emma this time having a response for "I love my wife" she responds with "She's not here," and they have sex. ("Welcome Home")
The next day, Joe attempts to deny what happened last night and focuses more for Emma to have Jacob back. Roderick later confronts her if she really misses Jacob, to which she says she does, but Roderick hacked her phone and found numerous messages, all from Jacob, and Emma has yet to respond to even one, causing Emma to stare enraged and even more after Roderick shouts out one of the messages, to which Emma stares even more angry as he walks away. Later that day, Roderick leads her to the hallway as he introduces Jacob to her, shocking her.
The next day, she tries to talk to him, but he ignores her for most the day till Joe persuades him to talk to her stating she was protecting his son. She says she's sorry for what she did, but had to do it as Roderick ordered her to do it, but Jacob says he wouldn't have done what she did and leaves. She later says she loves him and at night, attempt to have sex, but Jacob, after having images of Paul come to him, returns a new person and tells a scared Emma he was forced to kill Paul cause of her and tells her to watch her back stating the Jacob she fell in love with is now dead.
Once Claire is now in their home, Emma tries to figure what to say to her, but is interrupted by Roderick about what to say to Joe's wife, to which she points out she's his ex-wife, causing Roderick to reveal he knows she slept with Joe. Emma storms off asking why he's such an ass. She then talks with them and happily greets Joey, but Joey, know knowing her real name, hides behind his mother and Claire tells her to stay away from her and her son. Emma tries to tell her she's considered her family and always admired her, causing Claire to tell her to shut her mouth, calling her a sick little girl. Emma believes it's "too soon" and leaves promising to play with Joey later. Claire then confronts her stating she will never let her near her son or her ever again as of now, to which Emma says that's not for her to decide. Claire then angrily slaps her, causing Emma to call her a stupid bitch and slap her also. Claire then grabs her chocking her, stating she will kill her, but Roderick stops them and Emma storms off. Later that night, after Joe got in a fight with Claire, he approaches Emma. Emma pours herself a glass and Joe says she's mad and its cause he's ignored her, to which he makes a move on her and proceed to have sex again.
The next morning, Joe tells Emma to keep a close eye on Claire and Joey, but Emma says Claire hates her over having stolen her son and sleeping with her husband, but retorts she hasn't told Claire about it stating it's more fun this way she doesn't know. After Joey is kidnapped, Emma tries to console Joe, but he pushes her away as she makes moves on him, stating she needs to stop this. She mentions that what they do is sex, but Joe says that's all it is and should be more worried over being responsible over Joey being kidnapped. Shocked that Joe is blaming her, he berates her stating she had one job and that was to watch over Joey, but Emma states Claire wouldn't let her anywhere near her and was gonna kill her, prompting Joe to slap her. Distraught, Emma asks why he's doing this and before he can apologize, she walks out with tears. After Jacob returns without Joey, Emma enters his room trying to comfort him, which Jacob mentions they're all going to die soon after everything that just happened.
Jacob soon reveals that he plans on leaving. As Joe escorts Claire to a boat at the docks, Jacob sees it as an opportunity to escape and asks Emma to go with him. Emma discreetly cuts Jacobs throat, showing her full commitment to Joe.
Emma's final appearance is in "The Final Chapter". She gives Jack Foster, a young boy, a poe mask to wear to the FBI town Headquarters. In it, a phone number to the cell phone where Parker was buried. Later, she distracts Ryan while another follower sneaks up behind him and sedates him. She isn't seen for the rest of the episode; while it's mentioned that seven followers were arrested in connection with the lighthouse incident, but Emma escapes, and at the end she is found at a diner in Mobile, Alabama. She storms out upon a TV report of Joe Carroll's death.
A year has passed since Joe's death, as Emma, with a new look and style, has been in hiding with 7 remaining followers since then. One day, she hears the news of new followers of Joe during a massacre of the subway, shocking Emma and the others, questioning what is going on. Wanting answers, Emma questions Carlos, to which she is shocked to discover that Joe may in fact be alive. She leaves her group and meets Mark Gray, to which she holds a knife on him demanding answers. Mark reveals they did this to lure Joe out, to which he offers Emma to meet his group.
Emma goes to meet them, to which he meets Gisele, Carlos, and Mark's brother Luke. Though distrusting of her, they allow her to stay now after they reveal that the FBI found Emma's friends and are either dead or in custody, to which Luke states she owes her life to his brother. She then witnesses Luke murder Carlos, to which leaves Emma unresponsive, yet seemingly shocked by their behavior.
She later is taken to the home of the twins mother, Lily Gray. Though untrusting, Emma hesitantly greets Lily as the mother tries to open up to Emma. After hearing on the phone that Joe is alive, Emma and Mark go out to find him and Emma has a hysteric reunion with Joe in tears angry over faking his death.
They go back to the house to which Joe tries to apologize to Emma, but Emma is still upset revealing all the followers are either dead or in jail. Emma is later together with Mark in a special art room, to which as they are about to kiss, Mark pushes her away. A confused Emma questions his behavior, to which Mark reveals he has Haphephobia, a fear of being touched. When he says she'll need to learn about this so that it will "work out" for the two of them, Emma angrily smothers his face with her hands which causes Mark to frantically fall backwards rubbing his face from the touch. As she tries to leave, Emma discovers she's locked in and demands to be freed. However, Mark says mother doesn't want to be bothered, as he and Emma are left in the room all night.
In the morning, after freeing herself, Emma has a talk with Joe and, followed by an apology on his part, agrees to follow in his plan without Lily or her group. After Lily goes to save Luke, Emma and Mandy find Joe unconscious, to which they wake him up and escape after killing Lily's daughter. They escape via vehicle after discovering the plane Lily had for them was caught. Emma then receives a call from Lily about losing Luke, to which Emma laughs as Joe expresses his contempt for Lily and her family, which causes Lily to have an emotional breakdown.
The trio arrive to a camp called Korban, to which they are masked by members Robert and Julia. At night, Emma is chosen as a sacrifice by Julia for her husband and leader Micah, to which she is placed on an alter and has her wrists slit and passes out, but survives. In the morning, an angry Emma demands to leave, but Joe says they can't, as they have no where to go. However, she is pleased to see that Micah murdered 5 of his own members at a party, which caused his wife to be enraged and blame Joe, to which Emma sees that Joe is trying to manipulate Micah. She asks Joe what's next and Joe says its time for the world to know he's alive.
Micah and Joe start filming a video of Micah making an announcement but are interrupted by Robert and Emma, who are preparing to go on a mission for Micah. Micah tells them they'll be joined by Lance, an ex-killer who has been locked up with other killers for bad behavior. Before they leave, Emma and Joe share a kiss and Robert questions their relationship, though Emma denies there is anything serious going on. Robert, Emma, and Lance enter a book store and walk around separately. A book signing with Carrie begins and Emma waits on line. She asks for the book to be signed out to Joe Carroll. Carrie recognizes Emma and screams for help. Robert and Lance begin killing the bookstore shoppers and employees at random while Emma hands Carrie a video clip and instructs her to share it with the world, threatening they will come back for her and those she loves if she doesn't. Robert and Emma escape before police enter, but Lance stays behind, ditching his mask and weapons. Joe passes out drinks to Micah, Robert, and Emma as they begin watching Carrie's news report where she plays the clip Emma gave her. Micah realizes the clip they're watching is not the one he recorded, but is one of Joe revealing to the world he is alive and nobody should feel safe. Micah begins to foam at the mouth and dies from the drugs Joe put in his drink with Emma smirking over his death. Robert has the Corbin cult proclaim Joe as their new leader, informing them all that Micah and Julia have joined the afterlife with Emma praising Joe along with the other cult members.
As Emma resumes a relationship with Joe, she tells Joe to not leave her out of the loop like last time. Later, Emma and Mandy argue after Mandy walked out of a gathering with Joe and other Korban members, to which Emma responds she knows Mandy will let Joe down. Later, Robert confronts Joe about his reason for choosing Carla to be killed, as she was close to Robert. Joe calms him down and asks Emma to follow him and ensure she's able to keep him close enough to stop worrying. Joe and Emma also discuss Mandy's lack of progress at Korban, with Emma feeling like she's a lost cause.
When Mandy is nowhere to be found, Emma discovers that she left and went to Lily, leaving her the least surprised. She tells Joe she'll betray them, but is unable to stop Joe from calling Lily. When Lily says she'll release Mandy if Joe gets her himself, Emma says not to. He agrees and leaves Mandy, all the while blaming Emma over her death, but Emma says Joe should have never brought her in the first place.
After Joe was almost killed during a ritual by Ryan, Emma says they need to leave as the FBI must be close. However, Lily's group finds them first and Emma angrily tells Joe to kill Ryan, as they found him but is confused as to why he won't do it. They leave, letting the remaining members get killed by Lily's men. At a house they regroup at, Emma watches the news and is shocked to hear that Claire may be alive.
Despite Emma telling Joe that it doesn't matter if Claire is alive, Joe needs to know so he sends her and Robert to discover the truth. Emma watches shocked at the location Claire told Joe and sees that she really is alive. She confronts Claire and is seemingly impressed that Claire is able to use a gun. She continues to get closer to Claire while mocking her choice to come alone, something Claire agrees with due to her irrational behavior. When Emma mockingly asks "how's Joey" prompts Claire to swear she will kill her without a second thought. Robert then tackles Claire and Emma chooses to kill Claire now. Robert says they can't disobey Joe and Claire states Joe will kill them both if they kill her. Emma states they can lie and that cause Claire had a gun they had no choice since she "killed Robert". Emma then betrays Robert and kills him, allowing Claire to escape.
Emma chases her and tells her to come out, promising she'll make it quick. She shouts that Claire is no good for Joe and it's her turn now to have Joe. She admits she knows Claire hates her but the 2 years she lived with her was the best she had and was far better than with her mother. The two then engage in a viscious struggle with Claire stabbing her twice and sending her out a window, seemingly killing her. Emma survived and sends Claire to the ground. She takes one last attempt on her life only to be stabbed in the chest with a wooden stake, killing her for good this time.
Though Emma was expendable in Joe's eyes and their relationship was diminishing in value, it did not stop Joe from reacting with dismay after being made aware of her death. Even more so, he became infuriated when he learned shortly after that it was Claire, his ex-wife, who had killed her. This revelation marked the first time Joe Carroll reacted with disgust at the extinguishing of a human life; an act he was passionately accustomed to.
- August 29, 2006: Sharon Cooper (mother; stabbed to death; buried her body within her house)
- Emma drives a green KIA Soul.
- Emma stated her mother was a slut who slept with many different men and hated her for that.
- In "The End is Near", she does love Jacob, but loves Joe more and choose to kill him over his refusal to die for Joe's cause.
- Emma is the third main character who kills another main character: Jacob Wells.
- Emma is the only female to appear in every episode of season 1.
- Her recent death in season 2 has not been taken seriously from viewers as Emma is believed to be the opposite of an easy victim. After the airing of "Silence", many viewers took to the official Facebook profile for the show to address various theories regarding the events of the episode, particularly that of Emma and Mike. Most believe that Emma is still alive; however, actress Valorie Curry, who portrays Emma Hill, has confirmed that the character of Emma was fatally defeated by Claire but, in Curry's words, "She's found her peace now". Curry was apparently notified in private by executive producer of the show Marcos Siega that her character would be written off. Curry said her reaction to this was not at all surprising as she had saw the distinctive change in Emma and Joe's relationship and knew where the story was heading toward. She even anticipated her character being betrayed and killed by Joe himself.
- As was the case with the killing of Debra Parker's character in the first season, critics and viewers alike responded with outrage after the character of Emma was killed off as they considered her to be a critical piece of the shows foundation. Critics had also complimented favorably of actress Valorie Curry's portrayal of the character and praised the on-screen duo between her and Joe Carroll.
- Emma's death was foreshadowed in "The Curse" as Claire said she would kill her for what she did. In "Silence", Claire carried out this statement.
- Emma is the last of Joe's original followers to have been killed off.