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Perry Mattfeld Was Actually Behind The Camera For That Gut-Wrenching In The Dark Death - Exclusive

This article contains major spoilers for the ending of "In the Dark."

The CW's "In the Dark" has never shied away from putting its characters through the wringer. Given the series' tendency for dark storylines, it isn't exactly a surprise that Murphy (Perry Mattfeld) and Max (Casey Deidrick) don't get to walk into the sunset at the end of the show. Yet fans couldn't help but hope, even if it was just for a moment, that the once happy couple might get their happily ever after.

To make matters more gut-wrenching, the show lets fans see through Murphy's eyes in the hospital as she waits for a verdict on Max's condition post-surgery. Fans are in the dark as shadows and light pass while Murphy copes with her loss. It's easily the most hard-hitting and emotional scene in the series, yet one behind-the-scenes detail makes it even more powerful.

During an exclusive interview with Looper, Perry Mattfeld described what it was like filming Max's death — and revealed that she operated the camera during the scenes through Murphy's eyes.

Saying goodbye to Max

Mattfeld had a selfless approach to filming Max's death. "I mostly was worried about everyone else who was going to watch it," she said. "I knew that was going to be devastating for everybody. But even since the beginning, the writers have made such brilliant choices of testing Murphy and her strength and pulling her apart and back together again with the people most important to her."

Murphy lost a laundry list of people throughout the show. Mattfeld noted, "It was Tyson first. Jess eventually got ripped away from her. At the end, it's ultimately the love of her life. I feel like because the show ends an episode later, it's okay. I don't know how fans would've done if we did another season without him."

If fans were bummed out by Max's death, it was nothing compared to what the cast felt. "We did a pretty beautiful job of expressing that devastation on camera. We felt it off [camera] as well. It was really emotional, the way that our directors shot all those scenes," Mattfeld explained. "I loved that they shot a lot of the ending in what would be Murphy's point of view, which is that very blurred, disorienting state. Not only is that her physical state, [but] her emotional [state] — she's completely lost. That was cool that I actually got to operate the camera."

Seeing through Murphy's eyes

On why having fans experience Murphy's grief through her eyes was such an important and powerful way to set up that scene, she said, "I love that they went that route. That's very unconventional for TV to have minutes on end of nothing." People may not realize that not all blindness is pitch darkness, but the series corrects that assumption.

"You can't see anything. [It's] realistic to what Murphy's vision would be like, or some individuals with [her] condition. They do get light there. They can see some light," she explained. "It was cool to operate the camera and be able to put ... I was able to watch what I was shooting. I almost felt like, for the first time, I got a little bit of say in our shots, because I was looking at my monitor while I was also doing my lines and trying to also think about how Murphy would feel in that." 

"In the Dark" took more than a few risks at the end of the show, and they all paid off. Mattfeld added, "It was a bold choice, and it's really cool, and it leaves the audience inside her internal claustrophobic panic. That was a cool way to get the audience to feel everything she's feeling with her."

Fans can watch the final episode of "In the Dark" on The CW's website.