FBI: Most Wanted actor Julian McMahon discussed the struggles his character Jess LaCroix has between raising his daughter and being an agent.
“I think he’s at a crossroads, and he’s finding it difficult to raise his daughter at this point in time with the type and amount of work that he does,” explained McMahon. “And also his inability to kind of understand the effects that previous circumstances and situations such as the season finale of Season 2 [had on] his home life. I think that there’s a lot that has to be fleshed out there. And I think it’s for particularly all of those three characters, the Sarah character, Jess and Tali.”
Central to his character development, LaCroix tried to be a good father to his daughter. His stresses from work didn’t help. Because of that, it is hard for the FBI agent to let go of his daughter when she is accepted into an exclusive Canadian boarding school.
“As we’ve grown with Jess, we’ve learned that he’s learning how to communicate with his daughter,” the FBI actor continued. “This one’s a real tough one because what she witnessed in her home clearly is gonna have an effect for years, but how do you handle it? How do you deal with that?”
McMahon is referencing the season two finale of FBI: Most Wanted. In the episode, the ex of LaCroix’s girlfriend invades the house. This event traumatized young Tali, and it’s hard to fault her for needing a change. LaCroix is less sensitive to these issues because he is used to life-threatening situations.
“So his perception is that, you know, you have to compartmentalize it and move on,” said McMahon. “And home is one place and work is another, but this home is now the scene of the crime.”
FBI Hits Home for the Holidays
Additionally, the midseason finale of FBI: Most Wanted moved the focus towards the character’s home life. Taking place in a shopping mall, LaCroix spends time with his family, then runs into coworker Sheryll Barnes and her pregnant wife. Three masked gunmen open fire, disrupting the holiday.
“We usually start with a Muster Room thing where we get the information about what happened, and then we go into an interrogation process and end up catching the bad guy in the end,” McMahon explained. “[It] starts out as our Christmas episode. Then all Hell breaks loose, so to speak, and it becomes a format unto itself — something we haven’t done on this show.”
According to McMahon this episode resonates because here the potential victims are their families. The stakes are higher for the FBI agents because now their loved ones are in danger.
“Emotionally, the connective tissue of this episode is different,” McMahon said. “You’ve got all of your family members pretty much in the mall. An emotional through-line connects of all of them as this tragic moment touches everybody’s lives in a way you can’t do without an extreme reality. Usually, you go to Jess’ house, or you go to Barnes’ house… but this is everybody.”
“They’re all connected, and they have a common goal,” the actor stated.