‘Pandora’: Priscilla Quintana Says Jax Is ‘More Confident’ in Herself & Her Relationship

Priscilla Quitana Jax Pandora CW
The CW

Jax Zhou (Priscilla Quintana) may be a student at Earth’s Space Training Academy, but she’s going to be busy in Pandora Season 2 doing what she should be training for: trying to save the Galaxy from alien and human threats.

At least she and Captain Xander Duvall (Oliver Dench) are finally together, right? But the fact that her ex-boyfriend Greg (John Harlan Kim), who died at the beginning of the first season, popped up alive in the finale might complicate things. Still, she, Xander, and the alien Ralen (Ben Radcliffe) have much more important things to worry about, like an alien race that threatens the universe.

Here, Quintana previews how Jax is feeling heading into the new season of the CW sci-fi series, her relationship with Xander, Greg’s return, and what’s coming up for her on Good Trouble.

How is Jax feeling about herself? She got a lot of information last season, including about who she is (a Pandora, sent to judge the universe).

Priscilla Quintana: She’s still trying to figure everything out. There’s been a lot of curveballs thrown at her, and she’s had to quickly adapt, react, overcome, so I think this season, she’s more confident in herself. She’s more trusting and confident in her relationship, which just makes her a funner character overall, someone that you can be even more invested in and root even more for. That’s what we’re really going for this season.

And she’s not just a student now. She’s also working for the Earth Confederacy Intelligence Services with Xander. How’s that work and balancing that with her studies going?

I hate to say it, but Jax, much like me, is not a straight-A student, so it’s possible that saving the universe might just be a notch above getting an A+ in class for her this season. [Laughs] But that’s actually something that comes in often. She’s like, “Can I just go back to class?” and the authorities are like, “No, you have to save the universe.” I’m like, “Right, that thing. Let me go do that.” Maybe Season 3, she’ll make it to Space Harvard or something. I think that would be dope.

Jax and Xander are finally together. How’s their relationship? Stable?

Stable, well, what is stable? Technically we’re in space, so nothing’s stable, right? At first, yes, I think so, but I think there’s a lot of pressure on both of them to — much like in modern day, people want to go after the careers they want, they want to pursue their own dreams and their own goals, and you kind of just have to figure out how to balance that while staying true to yourself. I think that’s something Jax and Xander are both navigating at the moment.

Priscilla Quintana Oliver Dench Pandora Season 2 Xander Jax

Priscilla Quintana as Jax and Oliver Dench as Xander (The CW)

There is the complication of Greg being alive. How’s Jax dealing with that shock?

You know what, every time he comes back into the script — look, John, if you ever read this, I love you, but I’m like, “Didn’t he die in Episode 3 of Season 1? [Laughs] Why is he back messing up my relationship again?” No, but really, John is an amazing actor. It’s so fun to work with him. He always brings something fun and new to the show. This season, I don’t think he really stirs too much up, but I guess that just depends on who you ask. I’ll just leave it at that.

And a couple of people in Jax’s support system — Atria Nine (Raechelle Banno), Pilar (Banita Sendhu) — chose not to return to the academy at the end of Season 1. Who’s in her orbit now?

We have Xander, we jokingly call him Xan-daddy. We have my new roommate, Zazi (Nicole Castillo-Mavromatis). She’s different than Pilar. They’re both very, very loyal to Jax, but Zazi’s a little more bubbly, a little more outgoing, so it offers kind of a nice contrast from Season 1, just as far as the dynamic goes between the roommates. I can’t tell you the second one, but he was in Season 1 and caused a lot of trouble and now he’s back and supposedly reformed. We’ll see. And then of course we have our staple Ralen, who’s amazing, his lovely wife, and then we have a trickle of new characters as well that’ll come and do some amazing work that I think the audience will love.

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Things were a little complicated and awkward with Ralen last season. Are they on more sturdy ground now?

I do think so. I think it’s sometimes important to set those boundaries if you’re not feeling it. I feel like a lot of time as women — I can only speak for myself — it’s hard to put those boundaries up for fear of hurting someone’s feelings or being a bitch or whatever they’re going to label you as, but I think it is important to set your boundaries and say what you want, say what you expect, and just be real about it. I’m actually really proud of Jax for doing that last season, and that actually sets amazing groundwork for them this season because they both are on the same page and they’re more like teammates rather than one’s fawning after the other and maybe some mixed signals getting in the way. We are on very stable ground and at a great understanding.

And will we get more scenes between his wife and Jax?

I would love for them to be friends. Yes, you will definitely see their relationship develop — whether or not it’s positive or negative, we’ll see.

Priscilla Quintana

(Mario Barberios)

And you have more Good Trouble coming up. Can you tease anything about Season 3 and what’s next for Isabella?

Yeah, I go back to shoot that on the 5th. Oh, I’m so excited. We actually had to stop shooting that in the middle of COVID. We were shooting a scene, and there were talks of production getting shut down and I had to do a big hug with the person I’m in the scene with and we were so paranoid that we were both going to give COVID or get COVID, that was insane. But we’re going up to wrap that episode.

As far as Season 3 goes on that show, you can expect a lot more just sexiness overall. As far as my character goes, I think that she’s always been very vulnerable and extremely eager to be liked, but I’m thinking she might shed that a little bit and come into her own a little more, which might continue to shake some things up.

Pandora, Season 2 Premiere, Sunday, October 4, 8/7c, The CW