‘FBI’: John Boyd on ‘Full-Tilt, Unhinged Scola,’ Future With Nina & Crossover Meetings
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the FBI–FBI: International–FBI: Most Wanted crossover “Imminent Threat.”]
The second global, three-show crossover for The FBIs is action-packed, and the stakes couldn’t be higher — especially for Scola (John Boyd) and Nina (Shantel VanSanten).
Nina joins Jubal (Jeremy Sisto) in Rome to kick it all off and is shot while in the field. And with Scola undercover and Nina pregnant with his child, Isobel (Alana De La Garza) decides it’s best not to tell him. Needless to say, he does find out in the worst way, and to say he’s furious would be an understatement; at one point, Remy (Dylan McDermott) has to talk Scola down while he holds his gun on a perp in their custody. But by the end of the crossover, the three teams — FBI, International, and Most Wanted — have not only stopped a terrorist attack but Scola’s also flown to Rome to be with Nina, and the two have said, “I love you.”
Boyd takes us inside the crossover and teases what’s ahead.
Would you say this was the least in control that we’ve seen Scola, especially after he found out what happened to Nina?
John Boyd: Yeah, I call it full-tilt, unhinged Scola. It’s definitely the most intense we’ve ever seen him. It’s like nothing before. It’s such an interesting, complicated situation for him on so many levels.
The good news is that it seems Nina and their baby will be OK. But is there a concern there for their health moving forward, or is it now more a question of figuring out how they’re going to be parents?
The next step is just sort of the focus on processing what happened to them and her recovering. I think it’s really focusing on her recovery, and we don’t exactly know yet what their decision is. I hope the audience wants them to be together, and I know that I think that Scola wants them to be together. But I think there’s always a part of Nina — what’s interesting about these characters is just, do we get to have that life? Is it something that would work? Is it really possible to do this right?
Just because they love each other doesn’t mean that everything else will automatically work out.
And that’s really the story that we’re telling is that it’s not just to get the girl in the end. There’s something deeper about what these people do and how they care about each other and that’s what’s important in their story after these three hours is that they know that they love each other in a way that they didn’t understand before.
And Luke [Kleintank] came to New York to film the Rome hospital scene.
Luke was great. We got to have a little chat about Bones because Luke had done a show I worked on. We weren’t there at the same time. But it was interesting to talk about that world.
Is the fact that Isobel and Jubal withheld that information about Nina being shot going to affect how Scola considers them moving forward? Or is that something that once he takes a step back, he can understand where they were coming from?
Yeah, I think that Scola can understand where they were coming from once he takes a step back, but I don’t think it’s something that he will ever recover from. It will always affect their relationship going forward. When someone in your family betrays you in a way that’s such a breach and [goes] too far, it doesn’t mean that you don’t still love them. It just means that there will always be a scar, and he’ll have to carry that, and they will, too. And it’s only going to enrich and deepen their relationship going forward.
Do you think Isobel made the right call in withholding that Nina was shot from Scola when she did and for as long as she did?
Absolutely. I think Alana does such an amazing job on our show, and Isobel’s character is so interesting the way the fans respond to her and think about that character because someone has to hold the line. Someone has to be the ultimate decision-maker, and that’s what’s so great about the position that she’s in. She has to double down. It’s her only choice. She has to tell him, “It’s not about you, do your job.” And that’s what makes the relationship so interesting. It’s so hurtful. If there’s ever a time he needed his boss to understand him and tell him something, it was this, and instead, she does the opposite, and when he confronts her, she doubles down on it. She’s amazing.
I just have so much respect for Isobel for what she had to do. But I, of course, empathize with Scola. It’s not OK. We spoke to FBI agents about this, and sometimes we ask this question of people that have done the job, and it is like any job: You work, but we all understand that we have families, that we have loved ones. It’s not OK what they did, but they absolutely had to do it. And I respect that. I think Scola respects that.
Talk about filming that scene when Scola confronts Isobel and Jubal after he realizes Nina was shot because it was so intense, and you were so good in it.
Thank you so much. Yeah, it was one of my favorite scenes that I’ve ever gotten to do on the show because the thing about that scene is it was agent to agent. Even though it’s the Special Agent in Charge and the Assistant Special Agent in Charge, it’s three agents, and they’re right, and Scola’s right, and they’re all in the same boat. And what’s so interesting is just the hurt, how much that hurt that the people he trusts, that he relies on, would deceive him and hide that from him. It’s so painful.
But getting to call them out like that, I mean, when we got there, I just said, “I’ve been waiting to do this scene since I got here.” Who doesn’t want to call out their bosses? They’re always telling us that we’re in trouble. So it was fun to do one where they were in trouble.
This was a heavy crossover with very high stakes, but the scene where Scola meets Remy might have been the most lighthearted of the event because of Remy’s line about the fax machine. And then, later, we get a couple of conversations about Nina and focus on the case. Talk about working with Dylan.
It was so fun to work with Dylan. He’s really exploring and pushing the boundaries of creating this character. It’s such a great, interesting thing for that show and for that time slot in that world. It’s really cool. The thing that I had so much fun with was responding [to] Scola’s reactions to who he is and what this guy’s going to do. Remy operates in a different realm, in a different world. Even though it’s the same bureau, it’s a different world. And it was so fun to play a less seasoned agent that’s enlisted the help of a guy who’s a bit rogue, and me having to respond and react to who he is and what he does. I had a great time doing it.
This undercover op didn’t exactly go as they had hoped, but do you think Scola wants to do more undercover work now or maybe take a step back because of what’s happening in his personal life?
Going forward, we do explore what effect this incident with Nina and the baby has on him. In processing this, he’s going to question everything, and you don’t just come right back from that. So undercover, among many other things, will be what he’s questioning for himself.
Who’s he talking to while he’s questioning that? Just Nina? Is he talking to Tiff (Katherine Renee Kane)?
Yeah. Scola’s going to talk with his partner about that. He’s going to have to think about his career and what’s best. When someone goes through something like that, you can’t help but have the need to take time to think about what’s best for your life and your child. So yeah, Scola will bring Tiff into that conversation.
We already talked about that scene when Scola confronts Isobel and Jubal, but what were some of your other favorite scenes to film from the crossover?
The muster room stuff with the Most Wanted cast was really interesting; to get to be with them, to get to play a character that’s in personal dire straits and desperate to get a job done, and to have people that aren’t his usual team intervene to bring him back. That was really one of the high points of getting to stand in the muster room with the Most Wanted cast, and it was really, really great. They’re wonderful.
What else is coming up on FBI going forward?
We’ve got much more to come. Maggie’s [Missy Peregrym] sister’s coming back. We’ve got Scola questioning his future as an agent. Yeah, it’s going to be good.
FBI, Tuesdays, 8/7c, CBS