‘FBI’: John Boyd on Scola Learning to Lead With His Heart, Plus Maggie’s Return

John Boyd as Special Agent Stuart Scola and Shantel VanSanten as Nina Chase in FBI
Spoiler Alert
Bennett Raglin/CBS

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for FBI Season 5 Episode 2 “Love Is Blind.”]

FBI takes a look into Scola (John Boyd), and Nina’s (Shantel VanSanten) lives off the job in “Love Is Blind” — and while partnered in the field, they’re tested.

After a “fun” (as they agree) night together, she insists they take separate cars to a crime scene. Then, during the course of the investigation, Scola risks his life when he thinks Nina’s shot and struggles when she goes undercover as a paramedic in a hostage situation. So what’s next for them? Boyd takes us inside this episode and teases what’s ahead, including Maggie’s (Missy Peregrym) return.

At the beginning of the episode, does Scola think his feelings for Nina are stronger than hers for him? She insists they keep things between them for now…

John Boyd: That moment where she wants to keep it on the down low and take separate cars, I think it catches him a little off guard, and as the episode progresses, he’s coming to terms with a feeling that he probably hasn’t had in a pretty long time, which is developing actual, real, genuine feelings for someone and his instinct to protect her more and look out for her. Of course, she’s a person that doesn’t need that or seek that in any way, so it makes for an interesting dynamic between the two of them. But yeah, at the top of it, I think Scola has reached a new place just emotionally after everything he’s been through and what he’s learned from his partnership, too, [with Katherine Renee Turner’s Tiffany] about opening up. He is really definitely caught off guard by the fact that she wants to keep it private.

Twice, Scola thinks with his heart, not his head, when Nina’s in danger — in the alley when he thinks she was shot and he risks his own life to get to her, then when it comes to her going in as a paramedic to talk to Skyler. That’s not exactly great for an FBI agent. Does he think that could be a problem, or is it just part of figuring things out right now? Maybe them partnering in the field isn’t the best idea?

Yeah, this is what they do so well is they put these characters in situations that they have to figure out as they go. There really isn’t time for him to decide how he feels once the case starts and he’s just in it, and they’re flying by the seat of their pants. He’s really just holding on for dear life, but I don’t think that he would ever want to not work with her in the field.

Shantel VanSanten as Nina Chase and John Boyd as Special Agent Stuart Scola in FBI

Bennett Raglin/CBS

With the “the things you do for love” and “love will do that” lines in this episode when it comes to Scola and Nina, is it love? Do either of them know yet? Might it be for one of them already but not the other?

It’s such an interesting question. They’re teetering on that place of, do we know what this is? Is it possible? This show asks the question of, with this job I do and the service that I do, is it possible for me to get to have those things? I think that Scola’s willing by the end of that episode to ask the question, and the way that it’s juxtaposed with the storyline between the two young lovers, Scola believes in his heart that that type of love and that type of closeness is reserved for people that don’t do what we do and that he’s not fully allowed or maybe fully capable of getting to have that. I think for the first time, we see the character in a position where he’s thinking maybe that is possible and seeing that thing in himself, that that could grow, and maybe it’s a possibility.

Because of that, he’s much more likely to risk himself again, like he did in the alley when he thought she was shot, right?

Oh, absolutely. He 100 percent would be willing to risk anything. I think he knows enough about how he already feels, that love will make you do things like that.

Looking at what’s next for them, what does he want? Does he know what he wants?

I don’t think so. That’s a really interesting question, and I think he’s someone who’s experiencing what it’s like to lead with your heart for the first time in your life, and it’s such unfamiliar territory for him. He always had such good control over his quote-unquote love life, right? So I don’t think he really knows where he is going. I think he’s in this position where he is sort of looking to her, and she’s the one at this point, in this episode, that’s setting the line: We’re taking separate cars to a crime scene. He’s a little taken aback, but of course, no problem, no pressure. But yeah, I don’t think that he really knows or anyone knows, which is what makes it more interesting that they’re just gonna kind of follow their hearts.

Shantel VanSanten as Nina Chase and John Boyd as Special Agent Stuart Scola in FBI

Courtesy of Universal Television and CBS Studios

Will we see that line move going forward?

You do. We will see more of their relationship and how it develops.

We’re seeing a different side of Scola when it comes to Nina, especially in this episode, one that’s more open, more vulnerable. Talk about playing that side of him. How much more will we see of it?

We start to see it in everything between them. When the audience knows that two people have an intimate connection that’s more romantic, it sort of permeates all of their interactions, which has been so fun to play, because he has such a deep connection to his partner, but this type of romance. But yeah, we see it. It’s in the subtext, it’s in the way that he says hello to her, it’s in the way that he asks her questions. It’s always there.

Next week, the Season 4 finale is airing. What can you preview about that episode? Will we see the team rallying around Jubal (Jeremy Sisto) since his son is involved?

Yeah, it’s such a powerful episode. We’re gonna see, first of all, Jubal in every parent’s nightmare situation. It involves a cache of automatic weapons, and one of the culprits is tied back to Jubal’s son. So it’s just gut-wrenching stuff and really, really interesting. Jeremy’s so fabulous. I can’t wait for it to air, he’s just so wonderful. It’s gonna be an intense episode.

Maggie’s return is also coming up. How’s she doing when she gets back? Is it immediately back to business as usual for the team, or is there an adjustment period?

Of course, we know Maggie, so she’s rearing to go immediately. There’s a little trepidation around her about whether or not she’s ready, but Maggie always is ready to hit the deck and get down to business. But there’s stuff between OA [Zeeko Zaki] and Maggie that they need to work out about her return and whatever she has to deal with. She went through a lot, so it’s something that they’re gonna have to figure out together, and it’s an interesting episode.

Are Scola and Tiff on the outside of that?

Scola and Tiff are affected by the bumps in the road, of course, but there’s really one person when it comes down to it in these partnerships. And that’s the partner that can be there for someone like no one else.

How soon before we see Scola and Maggie partnered up for a case once she’s back? Or will you be sticking with your regular partners?

Scola and Maggie have a deep respect for one another, and especially as Scola opens up and changes into someone that’s more in touch with his heart and his emotional life, Maggie is such an empathetic feeling character, I think that would be so interesting to explore. But I don’t know of any plans about any of that.

John Boyd as Special Agent Stuart Scola and Katherine Renee Turner as Special Agent Tiffany Wallace in FBI

Bennett Raglin/CBS

Speaking of partners, Scola and Tiff are so much fun to watch together. What’s coming up for them?

We haven’t gotten to anything yet too much. We’ve been exploring the Scola and Nina stuff, but I’m sure at some point he’s gonna need his partner.

Vargas (David Zayas) is still a threat to the team since, as we saw, being in prison can’t stop him. Is that something Scola’s at all thinking about?

I think Scola thinks about that once a week kind of, “that was really not fun. I wonder what that guy’s doing.” But they’re focused on what they’re doing when they’re doing it. But yeah, in his private time, does Scola think of Vargas? Absolutely. Vargas was a massive supervillain and an amazing addition to this show, so I’m sure he is on his mind.

Outside of the Nina stuff, what else is coming up for Scola?

Personally, just how I’m playing it and seeing it — it’s interesting, there’s something that happens when we’ve been doing this show together in the field together long enough that how we just gel as a cast, it starts to relay into how we shoot and relate to each other in the moment, in these action scenes, how we can sort of know each other’s next moves and thoughts. We’re really just getting more and more gelled. So I think he’s sort of tactically just more of a teammate. I think he’s more of a part of a team than ever.

FBI, Tuesdays, 8/7c, CBS