The April 17 episode ‘Quantico’ was explosive, to say the least. Caleb made his big return and someone ended up dead. HollywoodLife.com talked EXCLUSIVELY with producer Beth Schacter about Caleb’s role ahead, Ryan’s journey, and Shelby’s romantic woes with the Haas brothers.
Sasha is D-E-A-D after that shocking explosion. How is Ryan going to be dealing with that?
Beth Schacter: He’s going to be asking the questions that the audience has been asking in the past couple of episodes: was she an asset or do I care about her? I think that’s actually going to bring him to where we find him at the end of the season. It’s a good journey for him and a different journey for him, which has been a lot of fun to work on.
The team now has all the names of the collaborators, so what is next for the task force?
They’re no longer searching for the collaborators. Now that they know who everybody is on the big board, it’s now going to be a matter of trying to figure out what their plan is and how to stop it. So from 19 to 22, it’s really a roller coaster of, now that we know who they are and we know the mass of this, what are they actually planning and can we stop it in time? It stops becoming a hunt and starts becoming this big operation to try to stop them. We’re still playing in the same idea of these are people who are the 1% and they’re immune to all sorts of prosecution, so how do you stop people who run the government and the internet? It’s really cool to watch our task force come together and take down the elite.
Miranda came back in this episode, will we see her again?
Her story through the rest of the season will be — what does it mean to go back into law enforcement after you’ve been someone who’s broken the law to do good? We’re exploring what that battle is for her, and it will harken back to her season one backstory, so it’s really fun and we’re really glad to have her back. Aunjanue Ellis is a delightful on set. She is an SAC, which is a Special Agent in Charge, so they get assigned to different places. She’s a movable piece. She is able to come back to the task force in some surprising ways.
In this episode, Caleb finally made his triumphant return. Going forward, is Caleb going to become more actively involved in the task force?
Caleb has a very particular role to play in the story going forward, and without him the task force wouldn’t be able to win in the end. He kind of has the secret formula to win, but I’m not going to tell you what it is because that would totally spoil it. He is this force for everybody and this personality that they really desperately needed. They won’t know that they really desperately needed him right away, but they really did. Of course, he’s there to, as he says, protect his big brother. They might fight, but like all brothers, eventually it really comes down to that they love each other. He thinks he knows what’s best for Clay, and he’s not going to let Shelby hurt his brother. Caleb is very protective of Clay, especially because they lost their father and with their mother, they’ve bonded together in a way that brothers and families often do.
How is Caleb feeling now that Shelby is once again kind of going after another Haas?
He’s going to call her on it, and it’s funny because that was the way we and the writers designed the season. We were thinking of it as, let’s get Clay and Shelby to that place where there’s some chemistry there, and then let’s introduce Caleb and see how that messes the whole thing up. He’s really there to be a spoiler but also to try and open their eyes as to what he believes could be a really big mistake. And we will not forget Maxine in all of this. It’s a really fun, somewhat tortured, romantic quadrangle that’s been great. You have Krysta, Graham, Hunter, and Jo, so it’s so much fun, and they’re just fantastic. They play it with so much passion, and they really love playing those characters with each other.
I talked to Josh Safran earlier in the season and he said that Shelby and Clay are not going to act on their feelings (at least for now), but every time they’re in a scene together it’s just electric. Does Shelby realize what she’s doing with him?
Yes. Shelby’s a character who understands, and who very early on the second half of the season, said, “I’m not my mistakes.” There was that scene in 14 where her and Nimah were talking about how they’re not the worst thing that they’ve ever done. You’re not your biggest mistake. That’s something that’s really stayed with Shelby’s character. She’s not the mistake she made with Caleb’s father. She’s really very good at saying that I’m not going to make the same mistake again, and the question becomes then, if you’re denying something, does it become even more attractive to you? Is that really where you should be? All those are real questions that we ask ourselves about the forbidden relationships, the things we’re not supposed to have. She just goes through all of those emotions, and they’re all very real. She’s very aware of them. Shelby’s never been a character who’s been unaware of the mistakes she’s making, she just sometimes makes mistakes.
I’m a terrible person because I want them together.
The audience was very skeptical of Clay when we introduced him because the characters were very skeptical of Clay when we introduced him. And then as our characters have started to realize, especially in last 2 episodes, where Clay really is the hero in the storyline or one of the heroes, they are starting to see what a great person he is. It’s been funny to watch the audience as our characters are seeing how great he is at his job. The audience is starting to realize, “Oh, we like this Clay guy!” Once our people start liking him, the audience is right there with them. I think everyone is a little bit rooting for them to be together. Just a little bit.
Is there hope for Shelby and Caleb?
I will say this, Shelby’s story with the Haas men is not over. I don’t even know if it’s over at the end of the season. But it will always be part of who she is. We talk a lot about what life would have been like for her had she never met Caleb, Clayton, or Clay or met them in a different order. But that’s not where she is. They’re still very much a part of her life. It also makes for wonderfully delicious storytelling.
Alex really took the role as the leader in this episode, are we going to see more of her taking control?
It’s funny you say that because her journey in the back half of the season is that she is someone who has always had instincts but maybe hasn’t yet gotten the reigns to run with those instincts. This season is really about her taking the reigns, trusting those instincts, and running with them. For good or for ill, whatever it does to the relationships that she has, she knows how to lead. It might make her a good teacher, it might make her a good operative, it might make her a good FBI agent, who knows what it will make her if there’s a next season. She’s very much in that place of I’m learning to accept the power that I have. It’s a really fun, empowering story to tell about a woman saying I have a lot of power, strength, and knowledge and instincts, and I’m going to put all of them to use.
The opening scene with Priyanka Chopra & Blair Underwood was really cool. Was that really him swimming?
Oh, that’s totally him. He was a competitive swimmer. I don’t believe there was anyone there as a stunt double at all. He’s phenomenal. He really pushed for it. He said, “Don’t worry, I can do it. It’s going to be great.” That was so much fun to do. It was a really nice, fun, breath of fresh air in the beginning of an episode. And not too shabby to see Blair Underwood run around in his bathing suit.
Sebastian is in this episode, and we pretty much find out he’s doing the same thing as the task force. Will he be of help in future episodes?
What he’s doing now in terms of giving them all the collaborators is hugely helpful, and that starts helping them put maps together through the rest of the story. I don’t want to give away whether or not we’ll see him again.
Harry has run — is there a chance to see him again?
Oh, we would love to have Russell [Tovey] back. He’s doing Angels in America at the National Theatre right now. I know we still have story left to tell with Harry. Harry’s a really rich character, in a way a lot like Caleb. As soon as you introduce him into a room, the temperature changes, and it just becomes something new and exciting.
Nimah is currently in prison posing as Raina. Are we going to see what she’s facing in prison?
Nimah and Raina are going to be reunited, and that is all I will say. I think the story for us right now, telling the story of Raina being unable to help her sister is where we are. What does it feel like to be helpless when the person you’re most connected to is somewhere and you can’t get to them and save them? What does it feel like for Raina knowing her sister is somewhere and she can’t save her? That makes her even more committed to the task force. That’s really the storyline right now, but coming up, it’s not the last of the twins.
HollywoodLifers, do you think Shelby should be with Clay and Caleb? Let us know!