This Tuesday in FBI‘s Season 5 premiere (CBS, 8/7), a sting being run by the team threatens to blow up in a most unexpected way, when the bomb that an undercover OA is set to buy goes missing.
TVLine invited Zeeko Zaki to preview the new season ahead, including OA’s shedding of his “supersuit,” some personal drama for Jubal, and Maggie’s eventual return. Plus, how that postponed Season 4 finale will (eventually) shake things up….
TVLINE | Tell us what the team is dealing with as Season 5 opens….
You know, the team is in a really good place. We always have the opportunity to do really big premiere episodes, and our producing director, Alex Chapple, really gets to come out of the gates heavy. It was our opportunity to kind of show the health of the series, and this an interesting one because we do have our Season 6 pick-up, so the end of the day, we’re hoping to stay earning that as we move forward. But it’s a really big episode. It’s got some really good stuff from all the cast that we’re really excited about.
It also has quite the undercover look for OA.
It does! It does. It was really, really fun.
Looking just a bit nerdy!
[Laughs] Exactly. Exactly. The glasses were really fun, filming with that [prop]. I think about how Meryl Streep uses her glasses in every scene she does, so it was a fun time to use a new prop. Also, OA has always been suited up for four years — it’s kind of become my “supersuit,” when the tie goes on and the jacket — so it’s interesting to do it a little dressed down.
TVLINE | Jubal (Jeremy Sisto) is going through some personal things in the premiere. Is that anything the team is going to start to pick up on?
Absolutely. I think it’s really, really nice to have Jubal’s character be a father figure to the agents and then also to get to play that storyline, outside of work with a family with his kid. It shows all the different realities of the FBI. We have agents that don’t have families, who can go hide underwater for 10 days to solve a crime, and then we have the ones that do [have a family]. It’s all part of it.
I’m looking at the Episode 2 photos, and OA is partnered with Wallace (Katherine Renee Turner) for a bit. Is it fun to explore the different dynamics between each of the characters?
Oh, absolutely. There’s a character in each of ourselves, and then there’s a character when we get combined with another agent, and you have that chemistry…. It’s just so fun because each actor works 10 months a year on their character, and this is a really good way to kind of keep it fresh. It gives us the opportunity to work off of all these great actors that we’ve been so lucky to have on our team.
TVLINE | Did the original finale for Season 4 — which got postponed (in the wake of a school shooting) — tee up things which will now come up, eventually, at a later point?
At the end of the day, I’m kind of on the same side as the audience with that. I’m excited to see what happens with it as well. We usually have start-to-finish storylines, and having this episode still “out there” is kind of interesting. I’m excited to see where we go with it as well.
I know Missy Peregrym is not showing up for a bit, but are we going to get any updates or mentions of Maggie proceeding her on-camera return?
Her energy is always with us, but there is nothing specific that I can think of right now…. But that is kind of nice, because at the end of the day, when in a few years you binge this show, her character will just be out “from lunch to dinner,” for just a few hours.
Do you foresee OA being a bit protective of Maggie when she returns, given all she’s been through?
Absolutely. Absolutely. The “protective” thing, I think I’ve gotten to kind of scatter it over the last few episodes, with all the different partners and things like that. At the end of the day, a lot of things correlate with the real world. We have a long season ahead, with the protectiveness of my character and her character….
TVLINE | That was quite episode, quite the crucible they went through together for those few minutes.
It was, it was…. That was just such a treat.
TVLINE | Is there any early-season episode you’re especially excited about?
I’m really excited about Episode 3, so stay tuned. I get to step out of my comfort zone, and getting to do that on the show is always very exciting.
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