The lives of every agent — and their families — are on the line as the team hunts down a desperate Russian oligarch in the Season 3 finale of “FBI: Most Wanted,’ which aired Tuesday, May 24.
On a recent phone call, Dylan McDermott broke down what was at stake for his character, Remy Scott, as he tries to stop Russian oligarch Timur Sarkov (guest star Rudolf Martin), whose tactics include a deadly chlorine gas attack on the subway, hits on government officials, and even the murder of his own men.
[Mild SPOILERS for the Season 3 finale, “A Man Without a Country”, follow]
TheWrap: Sarkov is the most formidable opponent Remy has encountered since taking over as leader of the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force from the late Jess LaCroix (Julian McMahon). And then he makes things personal by threatening Remy’s sister and mother and the families of the other agents.
Dylan McDermott: For Remy, his family is everything. The idea of them being threatened in any way, he took that very seriously. So this episode is obviously very heightened because of that, because it’s personal. It’s not just that we’re tracking down someone, now, they’re following our families and we have to take them to a safe place and it’s next level.
Remy doesn’t get to face off with Sarkov in person for most of the episode, but he does have a very confrontational scene where he goes to the Russian embassy and gets in the ambassador’s face.
The good thing about this episode is that you get to hear Remy speak Russian. [Laughs] I studied it a little bit. Not an easy language to learn. Luckily, we had a few Ukrainians and some Russians on the set. I thought it was important to put that in there. It wasn’t in the original script. I like the idea that you see Remy speaking Russian.
There’s a real game of cat and mouse going on here. Remy is really good at getting into a fugitive’s mindset and predicting their next move.
When I discussed this role early on, it was my idea to have something personal [the murder of his brother] that drives Remy. It’s really been helpful because he’s not just a cop trying to catch a bad guy. There’s something going on inside of him that he’s trying to resolve psychologically. And that’s proven to be true in the six episodes that I’ve done. It’s something I can rely on and go back to from time to time. I like that he’s so driven and there’s a need inside of him for justice somewhere, and that’s really helped me as I’ve moved through these episodes.
Since you’ve taken on this role, where your character is constantly assessing risk everywhere he goes, do you find yourself doing that off-set as well?
Yeah, I think growing up in New York, you always had to kind of manage your risk. When I was a kid growing up in The Village in the ’60s and ’70s, I had to wear brass knuckles walking around. So it was always risky. The way I grew up, I think I naturally [was on guard].
Do you still have the brass knuckles?
No, I think I lost them. But I don’t think I need them as much anymore. [Laughs]
It seems like no matter the crisis, Remy’s relationship with Kristen (Alexa Davalos) has been flirty, but still professional.
He really admires Kristen. He admires her intelligence. They have a great working relationship and it’s fun to have fun together. They kind of rib each other and tease each other. I studied the show before I came on it and the different dynamics of the characters and I really wanted to implement more humor into the show, more playfulness, because I thought that that was sort of lacking. I’m happy that Kristen is up for it, to have fun.
What kind of reaction are you getting from fans so far? Taking over the lead in an established series is always tough.
Fans were heartbroken over Jess leaving. He was such a beloved character. And then [some people said], “That’s never gonna work. I can only accept him as Richard Wheatley [McDermott’s character on “Law & Order: Organized Crime”].” I know people were concerned about it, but I think as people accepted me, all that stuff faded. But it’s always difficult to come into a situation like that and to take over for someone. I think that we’ve accomplished something in these six episodes that was great because, frankly, it was a tall order. I was concerned about it, but I also love the character so much.
Do you have input into where your character goes next?
I make suggestions. Mostly I’m concerned about his emotional life, where he lives, where is he going? That trajectory is the most exciting for me. Because that’s what I like when I watch television, to see where characters end up.