A lot is taking place on the island of Sainte Marina, but on the mainland, Last Resort isn't pulling any punches.
In Thursday's episode, "Nuke It Out," Sam's wife Christine (Jessy Schram) and D.C. lobbyist Kylie (Autumn Reeser) dig deep to try to find out more about the enigmatic Paul Wells (Jay Hernandez), whose main mission is to get to Sam. What the two uncover, however, may change their perspective for good.
"Paul has lost somebody he's trying to get back -- and that is how the government is using him," Jay Hernandez told The Hollywood Reporter, adding: "Paul sees how alone she is and that's something that can be empathized with."
The actor chatted with THR about Paul's big secret, the chances of him going against his original mission and the possible consequences he'll face if/when he does so.
The Hollywood Reporter: Christine is starting to use Paul to her advantage. What can you say in terms of how that may affect his ultimate mission?
Jay Hernandez: It's becoming a little more complicated. She has more insight as to why I'm doing what I'm doing. The interesting thing for me is that you have the challenge of playing your specific motivation in terms of what you're trying to accomplish. He has the government telling him what needs to be done, things to manipulate Christine to try get things out of her and trying to help them in terms of ultimately manipulating Sam. In doing this, Paul starts to develop feelings for her so there's that I have to play against. There are layers within layers in the scenes; there's leverage [between the two].
THR: What is it about her that reels Paul in?
Hernandez: Outside of the obvious, there's a certain understanding that they both have. Paul has lost somebody he's trying to get back -- and that is how the government is using him. She knows exactly how that feels, with losing her husband [Sam] and trying to get him back. Paul knows all too well how that feels and emotionally the toll it can take to go through that situation. In that sense, there are a lot of parallels. There's also the vulnerability. Paul sees how alone she is and that's something that can be empathized with.
THR: Will there come a point where Paul goes against his original "job" and sides with Christine?
Hernandez: Paul's emotional investment reaches a point where he decides to make decisions without the government telling him exactly what to do. He starts taking chances and you'll see that in future episodes. That's when it gets really interesting.
THR: Clearly there will be consequences to that. What does that mean for him?
Hernandez: For not doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, I can be putting myself in danger. [Laughs]
THR: Meanwhile on the island, Sam is getting closer to Sophie. Will news of Sam's actions somehow make its way to the mainland?
Hernandez: Emotionally, it's human nature to find some sort of place to find strength in or escapism. That's the natural course, and Christine is finding that with Paul and like you said, Sam is finding that with somebody else. It's a fine line the writers have to walk because they are married. [Laughs] It does get complicated when other people start coming into their lives. Eventually, the characters will have to come to a place where they resolve this situation or move on. Is their love or their belief and trust in each other strong enough that they can get through these difficult times? You'll see that come to a head.
THR: Is there something about Paul that we don't know about that will be uncovered?
Hernandez: There is more to his motivations than purely manipulating Christine and the way he's being used also. He's a piece of machinery that he's not controlling, he's just the cog. He's trying to accomplish in his own life also. Paul's story will be more full than it is right now; it does complicate the relationship between he and Christine. He's definitely a victim. At one point he'll make a decision that can change things.
THR: The D.C. and island worlds have been pretty separate for the most part. Will they be more interwoven in the near future?
Hernandez: It's inevitable that the two worlds will collide.
Last Resort airs 8 p.m. Thursdays on ABC.