‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’: Robin Lord Taylor on McClane & Richard’s ‘Dance’
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 Episode 11 “As Nottingham Was to Robin Hood.”]
Sure, Angela Wheatley (Tamara Taylor) says she’ll help him do some good, but he’s with Richard (Dylan McDermott) yet again by the end of “As Nottingham Was to Robin Hood,” rather than back in FBI custody as he’d attempted. (He thought he was turning himself in after visiting the family of the security guard whose death he caused.) And together, the two men just evaded Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and Sergeant Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt).
Taylor tells us what’s ahead.
Sebastian remains free, but now he is with Richard. What was it about Angela that made him trust her? Because they both want to do good?
Robin Lord Taylor: That’s exactly it. They both are under the thumb of this man. The only way out is to work together. That’s the only chance that they have.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?
Should Richard be worrying about what McClane may do to him?
It’s interesting. He should be, but I don’t know if Wheatley is worried about anything, honestly. I don’t think worry is a thing that he experiences. He’s a plotter. He’s a snake. He’s looking ahead. He’s a manipulator. He’s not afraid of anything.
What can you say about what McClane and Richard are going to be up to next?
Because they see the world differently, there’s inevitable conflict that’s going to come up, and it’s just gonna be about a struggle to see who can one up the other one. This dance between the two of them goes on, and the stakes only get higher and higher.
Can McClane do any good while he is with Richard? Is he going to be trying to?
In next week’s episode, that’s sort of a little bit what we see, of how he’s using Richard so that he can sort of right some of the wrongs that happened and absolve himself of the crushing guilt that he feels. For him, that’s the real prison. He was locked up for years, but that wasn’t the prison. The prison was the guilt, the pain that he lives with every moment because of the death of that security guard.
He was going to turn himself in before he ended up back with the Wheatleys. Will that come up again or can he not even think about that because of Richard?
He is in Richard’s web, and it’s a game of survival at this point. He wants to do the right thing, but you can’t do the right thing if you’re dead.
Does McClane have any idea what he’s gotten into the middle of with Stabler and Richard?
I’m pretty sure he has an idea. It’s pretty legendary, the Wheatley and Stabler dynamic. He would like the two of them to just go at each other full-on so that he can get out.
So are we going to see McClane reach out to Stabler to try to help him to take down Richard?
We shall see. I don’t wanna spoil anything. But I’ve gotten to work with, in these episodes, both Christopher Meloni and Dylan McDermott, and I have to say that they are just two incredibly kind generous guys. I just feel so lucky that I get to play a character that gets to be on both sides. It’s been really fun.
Going forward, with which character does McClane have the most intriguing relationship? Because he’s with Richard, had that conversation with Angela, and talked to Stabler on the phone …
They are all intriguing, but there’s something about his connection with Angela Wheatley that I think is really special because it’s just seeing two very damaged people who are in very deep, existential pain sort of find each other, and there’s a connection there. That’s a really human part of this story that I really love doing, and it really brings so much about these characters into the light.
What else can you tease about what’s coming up with Sebastian McClane?
You’re really gonna learn how extensive his influence is out in the world. My first day of work, a producer was telling me about the character and he just said Edward Snowden. He was like, “think of that. That’s who we’re dealing with here.” And as we know, Edward Snowden, everyone knows who he is because of what he did. And regardless of how people feel about what he did, you know he did it. And so we’ll see more of the extent of Sebastian McClane, AKA Constantine, his influence out in the world.
In his first episode, they said “Constantine” and knew exactly who he was.
Right, exactly. He’s a legend.
What’s been your favorite scene to film?
I got to shoot a scene where McLane is out in the world in New York City. We shot in Madison Square Park, which is just right smack in the middle of Manhattan. This is my first job working in New York since I wrapped on Gotham a few years ago. So just being back in Manhattan, shooting on the streets just is a dream come true. It’s one of those moments where I feel like I have an out of body experience and I’m like, “Whoa, this is really happening. This is really happening.” There’s nothing like that feeling. So I gotta say, even though it’s a tiny scene, there’s a scene of me on a park bench in Madison Square Park, that’s my favorite scene.
Speaking of Gotham, Penguin vs. McClane, who would come out on top?
It’s hard. I’m gonna say probably Penguin, just because he’s the Penguin, he can’t die. [Laughs] But I think he would definitely try and do a Wheatley and really try and get McClane to work with him. So use McClane for everything he can and then chuck him.
McClane’s desire to do good can be a weakness.
It’s true. And it’s funny, too, because I love this character. It reminds me a little bit of Penguin. They’re similar in that Penguin is a very bad person, but you can see the sliver of humanity inside of him, whereas McClane’s the opposite. He’s a human person, and then bad things happened and it wasn’t necessarily his fault. They’re complicated. They’re tragic figures in their own way.
Law & Order: Organized Crime, Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC