Giancarlo Esposito Joins Allegiance

Ingela Ratledge
Christopher Polk/NBC/GettyImages

Giancarlo Esposito

When in doubt, bring in a ringer! On the March 19 episode of NBC's Allegiance, the freshman spy thriller will introduce its main bad guy—or in this case, Breaking Bad guy. Giancarlo Esposito—who memorably played Gus Fring, a ruthless methamphetamine distributor with a chillingly calm demeanor on Seasons 2 through 4 of AMC's critically acclaimed series—has been cast in the role of Oskar Christoph. "He's our master villain, the one we're never gonna catch," reveals Allegiance executive producer George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau). "Giancarlo is essentially playing Gus Fring as an international terrorist, and we were so excited to get him."

Inspired by real-life '70s-era terrorist Carlos the Jackal, Esposito's character is a gun-for-hire who has been enlisted by the Russian government to carry out Black Dagger, a top-secret infrastructure attack on America. "Christoph's specialty is making things look like an accident," says Nolfi. "He's setting up all the dominoes and they're going to start to fall." Fledgling CIA analyst Alex O'Connor (Gavin Stackhouse)—with help from his parents Katya (Hope Davis) and Mark (Scott Cohen), sleeper cells for Russian espionage unit SVR—will spend the remainder of the season attempting to stop him before things literally go ka-boom.

It'll be no small feat, considering that Christoph's true loyalties—and identity—will remain intentionally opaque. "He transforms like a chameleon into about 15 people. In every episode, he'll have different accents and nationalities," says Nolfi. "Giancarlo has taken to the role with relish. When he wants to, he can be very scary and focused!"