‘FBI: Most Wanted’: Dylan McDermott on How Remy’s Loss ‘Looms Large’ for Him
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for FBI: Most Wanted Season 3 Episode 17 “Covenant.”]
The Fugitive Task Force officially has a new team leader, Supervisory Special Agent Remy Scott (Dylan McDermott). And how better to get to know each other than by sharing what led him to law enforcement over some hatchet-throwing?
That’s exactly what happens at the end of McDermott’s first FBI: Most Wanted episode. “Covenant” begins with Remy returning to New York, getting his car out of storage after four years, and the team (Roxy Sternberg’s Sheryll Barnes is on maternity leave) barely having time to sneak a look at his file — with the Bureau for 23 years and graduated top of his class, spent time in the NYC field office, worked with violent crimes out of Philadelphia for six years, his last job was with the Vegas Fugitive Task Force — before they have to immediately focus on the case. (He’s done his research on them, too.)
After the case, while out hatchet-throwing and drinking, Remy tells Kristin Gaines (Alexa Davalos), Hana Gibson (Keisha Castle-Hughes), and Ivan Ortiz (Miguel Gomez) about his brother, who died. “I like talking about it,” he says. His younger brother was 18 and had a baseball scholarship for Syracuse, when he went to Florida for spring break. His friends lost track of him, and he didn’t return to the hotel one night. The cops brought someone in for questioning, but while he had a criminal record and had been seen hassling Remy’s brother, the detectives said they didn’t have enough to hold him and let him go. A couple hours later, he was found dead, in the suspect’s tent. Remy never bought that his brother had been dead all that time and thinks he was still alive when the cops let the guy go.
“Changed my life, you know,” Remy says. “After Mikey, I just got real. Three months later, I was at Quantico, and I’ve been at the Bureau ever since.” Ortiz says it’s why he does what he does. “Yes, it is,” Remy agrees, “Every bad guy I catch, I do it for him.”
For McDermott, “it was important that there was a personal reason that he was doing what he was doing. It fuels me as an actor when I have that,” he told press recently. “I always like to find that few things that I can keep going back to and keep going back to and refreshing it for myself. And I think we found that with Remy when we talked about the backstory. I know that I’ve used it several times already and hopefully going forward I continue to use it.
“What’s different about Remy than other procedurals is a lot of these shows, they’re just people doing things because that’s their job and they do a good job, but with Remy, it’s very personal what he’s doing,” he continued. “He’s on a mission, he’s on a quest, and there’s a dynamic inside of him that he’s trying to figure out, his own psychology. He’s on a journey, and I love playing that, to have that in my toolbox, every time I go out and do a case.”
Showrunner David Hudgins says that adding that backstory “was a melding of the minds.” The writers had already been discussing what drives Remy, and that was one of the first things Hudgins and McDermott talked about. “We didn’t want to come in and play it as this big, heavy, dark secret that’s gonna always be underneath: What happened to this guy? Who is he?” Hudgins added. “I love the way at the end of this episode, he says, ‘Look, I’ll tell you about it. I don’t mind talking about it.’ … The fact that he’s an open book about it, I thought, was also fresh.”
According to McDermott, that scene is a great example of how his character isn’t just one thing. “He’s complex,” the star said. “You think he’s one thing and all of a sudden he’ll do something completely different or say something, and he has a great sense of humor.” For example, with that scene, he turns right to the hatchet-throwing after sharing about his brother. “He will go deep, but at the same time, he can only take so much.”
That’s something that we’ll see in an upcoming scene as well. “I had a scene [recently] with my mother, and I noticed at the very end of it again, he bounced back and I loved that quality about him, that he bounces back very quickly from any situation,” McDermott teased. “So the loss of his brother looms large for Remy in every single way. But at the same time, because he’s on this journey, he can only go so far. That’s gonna be a wonderful thing to play as he deepens over time. You never wanna start a character when he knows everything. I want this guy to evolve over time and to find out the secrets inside of himself that maybe that he doesn’t even know.”
In fact, it sounds like Remy’s family plays a role in the arc Hudgins previously teased that will lead into the finale. “The story with Remy and his brother, and he mentioned an upcoming episode with his mother, there’s more to that story that informs Remy,” the EP previewed. “There’s also some interactions with other team members that deepens the relationship as they all get to know each other, and then it will make sense — or at least it will reach a crescendo by our season finale.”
During his first episode with the team, the others witnessed him bring the woman behind a cult they’d stumbled upon while investigating homicides tied to a young teen and her older boyfriend into a hotel room to confront her. We won’t be seeing that every episode, according to Hudgins. “We always try to vary what we call the takedowns and act 4 on the show,” he explained. “in this particular case, it felt totally organic to the story.”
He pointed out the moment in this episode where Remy watches the preacher’s video and cocks his head. “You can see the thought process going through Remy’s brain, and you’re wondering what this guy is thinking, and by the time we get to the end of the episode, I think he’s figured out — at least the intention of the writing was he’s figured out — who this woman is, what she was all about. She’s gotten away with essentially reinventing and conning herself her whole life. And what he’s saying to her is, ‘I see you, I know exactly who you are. You’re full of s**t. … You made this one mistake. That’s why we’re here.’ I thought it was a moment for Remy to really shine.”
While cases won’t necessarily get under Remy’s skin like this one did, McDermott likes that “his justice meter is maybe a little bit different than everybody else’s. I go back to the mission. Remy is on a mission, and that brings passion when you’re on a mission. This is not just police work for him. He’s answering questions inside of himself, and in [his first episode’s] case, he was deeply involved in it.”
FBI: Most Wanted, Tuesdays, 10/9c, CBS