'Deputy's Bex Taylor-Klaus: Bishop & Paula's Conversation 'Shapes a Lot of What Happens Next'

Meredith Jacobs
Bex Taylor Klaus Deputy Season 1 Bishop Non-Binary
Q&A FOX

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Episode 7 of Deputy, "10-8 Search and Rescue."]

While the focus of Deputy thus far has been on Bill Hollister (Stephen Dorff), Thursday's episode was the beginning of a very important arc for the person who serves as his personal security detail and driver.

Following a car accident, Bishop (Bex Taylor-Klaus) comes out to Paula (Yara Martinez) as non-binary. (Bishop is the first non-binary character on broadcast television.) "Until recently, I didn't have a word for what I felt like on the inside," they say. "This accident made it very clear that tomorrow is not a guarantee, and I need to be me. I'm getting closer every day to exactly what that is. But for now, I know I'm not all woman."

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Here, Taylor-Klaus, who identifies as non-binary, breaks down that conversation and previews what's ahead.

Bishop and Paula's conversation was one of the best scenes of the series so far. Was there anything you wanted to make sure was or wasn't included, especially at this point in the storyline?

Bex Taylor-Klaus: Yes, I wanted to make sure we included the conversation about what it's like to discover that your gender identity may not exactly match what everyone expects it to. I think we did a really sweet job of that. In this scene in particular, we got the chance to say, "I'm still discovering exactly what that is." It wasn't a fixed moment. It was a moment where we got to get that really honest glimpse at Bishop going through the process, knowing they may not have hit it yet, but for now they know that they're not what everybody else thought.

Yara Martinez Deputy Season 1 Paula

(Richard Foreman/FOX)

Bishop mentions that the accident made them realize "tomorrow is not a guarantee," so what might have happened if Bishop and Bill hadn't been in this accident?

Bishop would've been struggling internally and without an outlet and a support system for a while. It might not have been pretty. If we hadn't had this catalyst for Bishop to really examine their life and their choices, they would've stayed closeted and stayed miserable. They might have been able to keep it going for another year maybe but eventually would've boiled over and would've come out in a very different way, as everything always does.

Paula brought up doctor-patient confidentiality, but what has Bishop seen in her that made her the right person for them to talk to? How much did that confidentiality play a role?

Big time. Bishop had to have been working really hard on making that decision to actually speak to someone, and then after hearing Paula say "doctor-patient confidentiality," having that confirmation, that "this is for us, this is not something I'm going to go tell Bill about before you're ready, this is something that is solely for you and I am here to support." That changed all the fear into something new, something safe. It wasn't quite eagerness. It's never quite eagerness when it comes to coming out for the first time, but as soon as the fear dissipates, it's something new and almost exciting. That's what Paula provided with those simple words.

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What's coming up in terms of this arc this season? Will we see them talking to others?

We will definitely see this conversation come up at least one more time. It's not something that just gets touched on and abandoned. When you come out, you come out over and over and over again, for the rest of your life essentially, and this was just Bishop's first round of it. I'd like to think if we do get a Season 2, fingers crossed, we'll be able to explore that, the concept of [how] it never ends, it just evolves, the coming out process.

We've seen bits and pieces of Bishop and Genevieve's relationship so far, and now Bishop's worried about Genevieve's reaction. Can you talk about that relationship and what's coming next?

When we discussed how we were going to do Bishop's coming out and this whole storyline, we actually discussed my experience and what happened for me, and it was scary and it wasn't gentle or beautiful or cinematic what happened when I started trying to talk about gender. The creators were really receptive to that and ready to have those discussions about what happens when someone you love and you've sacrificed everything for doesn't quite get it, and also what happens when someone does? We really had fun establishing which one of those two Genevieve was going to be.

Bex Taylor-Klaus Deputy Season 1 Bishop

(Richard Foreman/FOX)

Personally, I like the one we chose. We're going to have some drama. This is of course a dramatic show. Without spoiling too much, I do want to have that conversation of what does happen with Genevieve and how it impacts Bishop and how they deal with it because it's something important and something that doesn't always happen, but when it does, it's important to see and important to talk about.

Bishop was worried about Genevieve rejecting them in the conversation with Paula, but Paula told them they're remarkable and if Genevieve rejected them, she didn't deserve them in the first place.

That was beautiful. That thought process really impacts Bishop. It's not a phrase they're going to forget anytime soon. As we move forward, this conversation with Paula really changes things for the better for Bishop. This conversation is exactly what they needed. Paula was the perfect person to speak to first and foremost. As we see everything play out, it's important to remember this scene and how it went with Paula because that shapes a lot of what happens next for Bishop.

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Something that has been entertaining to watch from the beginning is Bishop and Bill's dynamic. What's your favorite part of that and what’s coming up?

Things are changing. Bill likes to ride off on his own. That happens in this episode as well in particular because Bishop is knocked out of commission. As much as they want to get back in the game in this episode, they're not allowed. They're physically restricted. This is not the first time Bill's gone off on his own. It's different circumstances, and along with all the conversations that have happened in terms of this episode, the other thing that really pushes Bishop forward in the next couple episodes is that feeling of, "Well, what am I doing? What am I doing personally and what am I doing professionally? I gotta be me, and not just in one facet of my life, in all of them. How am I being utilized?"

Speaking of professionally, we've gotten bits and pieces about Bishop's past, such as mention of work at the Pentagon. Will we see their past come into play moving forward?

In Episode 8, Bill brings that up. I'm pretty excited to see what people think about just another quick glimpse. That's the beauty of Bishop is even when we dive into their life, there's still so much more under the surface that we've only just tapped into. For the rest of this season we do see a little bit more about where Bishop comes from, what they used to do.

Bill Bishop Deputy Season 1 Stephen Dorff Bex Taylor-Klaus

(FOX)

We've only really seen them with Bill at work. Will we see them with the others?

Yeah, we are. Things start shifting. I'm really excited about Episode 8. [That] is a beautiful episode for Cade and within all of that, things are moving for the other characters as well. That includes Bishop. Bishop definitely gets to try something brand new in [upcoming episodes] and try some new things out.

Speaking of things shifting, there's quite the power struggle going on at work. How does Bishop feel about that, especially since they're getting to know Bill and his family? There is that countdown...

Of course Bishop likes Bill Hollister [and his family] on a personal level, what's not to like? They're wonderful people. But on a professional level, Bishop watches the closest Bill's moves out of everybody else and really sees the changes he's making. Bill has a really, really big decision to make. Is he going to run for sheriff and try to continue this and continue making the difference he's making? Or does he want to go back to making a difference from the base level? It's a hard decision to make, and no one can make it for him. ... After working so closely with Bill and seeing how he does things and how he cares for the innocent, it's safe to say Bishop's going to be Team Hollister.

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... Sure, he makes decisions Bishop would not make, but at this point in the season, Bishop finds that slightly endearing. Bill is not what anybody expected, except maybe Paula, because she knows him best, but he flew in and he's doing things his own way and it turns out, that's not terrible at all. It seems to be working. Even with all his bravado and craziness, Bishop is gonna continue to push him and to do the right thing, which is not a hard push. This is Bill Hollister, he always wants to do the right thing. He's got very strong morals and values, I love that about him and so does Bishop. ... He's not politically savvy, that's why he's got Bishop.

How would Bill be doing without Bishop?

He would've thrown someone out a window and gotten himself kicked out of office. We know Bishop offers to throw people out the window, but Bishop can throw them out the window in a diplomatic way, Bill cannot.

Deputy, Thursdays, 9/8c, Fox