Though Patrick and Terry's story has been off to a slow start this year, it will pick up quickly once we learn what happened to their squad in Iraq through flashbacks. This, of course, is the catalyst for their friend Brian Eller (Brian Geraghty) apparently burning down everyone's homes — though he may not actually be to blame. To get the scoop on what's in store, TVGuide.com turned to Foley, who also discusses his upcoming comedy The Goodwin Games and dying far too many times in his career — Grey's Anatomy, Scream 3 and in Felicity's alternate universe, to name a few.
We'll finally get to learn what happened in Iraq to spark Terry's PTSD and Patrick's arrival in Bon Temps. What can you tease?
Scott Foley: Well, the reason that I'm back and have found Terry is because of what happened back in Iraq. An event like what Terry and Patrick and the rest of their squad went through is so mind-bending and life-changing that it has to be dealt with one way or the other. Of course, True Blood being True Blood and staying true to fashion adds this fantastic supernatural element to this horrific event.
We come to learn a lot about Patrick, not just then, but who he is now and what the horrors of war can do to a person, can do to someone who was a good guy before the war and is — not necessarily a bad guy — but people do things under stress during times of war. War is, by definition, a terrible thing.
Can Patrick actually be trusted?
Foley: Now or then? I think that's a question for Terry to answer. It depends on who you talk to. If you ask me, I say yes, Patrick can definitely be trusted. If you ask Arlene (Carrie Preston) or Terry, I think they might have a different answer. I think Arlene would definitely have a different answer than Patrick. The guys built bonds and relationships going through traumatic events. I think there was a point where Terry trusted Patrick explicitly and I think maybe questions himself.
What can you tell us about Terry and Patrick's trip to hunt down Eller?
Foley: So they've driven across the country looking for this buddy of theirs, another guy from their squad. We find him in abject terror. He is fearing for his life, much in the same way, but to a greater degree, than Terry and Patrick at this point. The way that this character has chosen to protect himself from the larger, supernatural element is incredible. The funny thing is, when we were shooting this, there was a reality show that premiered on TV about people constructing these bunkers on their property. I think it was called Doomsday Preppers. That's exactly what they find. They find this guy holed up, terrified. It could be for the end of the world, but it turns out it's for this larger supernatural element that they're all afraid of.
Will they be able to stop this supernatural element?
Foley: That's a great question. There will definitely be a resolution. There will possibly be a confrontation. But will they be able to take it down? I don't know.
We've seen the effects of Terry's PTSD, but Patrick's seems just below the surface, ready to burst out at any moment. Will we see that explored while they deal with this supernatural element?
Foley: There is something else that happens to people who've been through traumatic events. Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of those things. It manifests itself in different ways. Terry's is very visible. Patrick's seems initially not as apparent, but at a certain point you get to see all that stress, everything that he's dealing with, all the emotions of having been through not just a war but this specific event and this specific traumatic decision that they made out in the battlefield. It will come to the surface and it's a great moment.
Could going after Eller ultimately backfire? Terry and Arlene's relationship already seems to be suffering because of it.
Foley: There's every possibility that what these guys are attempting to do to try to right this wrong that happened out in the field could blow up in their faces in a number of ways. Eller, who they've gone to see and who is living his life in terror, could snap and do something to them that's irreparable. The greater supernatural element could be too much for them to handle. There's a lot of questions as to whether this could backfire, as to whether Terry and Arlene will actually make it through this. I think any time you do what Terry did, leave your wife to go and right the wrongs that you've done in your life, there's a lot of questions that need to be answered.
Please tell me that you're not going to die twice within a year on two different shows. The Grey's Anatomy death was enough for a lifetime.
Foley: There is always a possibility. I can't give anything away. I've got to tell you, at a certain point, you start getting sick of these roles where, "We like you enough to have you on for a little while, but not to really keep you around." It seems like a fantastically horrible movie called I'm Gonna Git You Sucka that I've watched since I was a kid. There's a part in it where one of the guys is an actor and complaining about his role. The other actor says, "Does your character die in this?" He says, "No." The guy says, "Well, then it's a good role." I thought, "Oh Christ, am I not taking good roles?" [Laughs]
Well, Goodwin Games is coming. I don't think you could die on that.
Foley: Well, I mean it hasn't aired yet. We haven't even shot the second episode, so anything's possible. But I'm praying to God I don't. That would put me over the edge; to be the lead in a show and die would be too much. That was like Sean Bean on Game of Thrones. He's dead. When they killed him, I was like, "Oh my God, what's going to happen now?"
You're going from Grey's Anatomy and True Blood to new comedy Goodwin Games, are you excited to have some lighter moments?
Foley: Yes. I shot the pilot for Goodwin Games during my stint on True Blood. The people at HBO gave me the time off to shoot the pilot. I had more fun shooting Goodwin Games than I've had in a long time. Not just because of the group of people. But doing a comedy again is so liberating. For me, this time particularly, was so collaborative. There's something about a drama where you're in your own head. Doing a comedy, we would do a take and I'd cut and I would have Becki Newton or one of the guys, Carter Bays, Craig Thomas or Chris Harris from How I Met Your Mother say, "Okay. That's great. What if you did it like this?" I was like, "Oh. Oh yeah." Where in a drama if one of my actors would have turned to me and said, "That was great. What if you do it like this?" I'd kind of think, "Go f--- yourself." [Laughs]
I think ultimately it's sort of like the How I Met Your Mother hook. Each episode is really about the friends under the guise of this is how I came to meet the woman who would become your mother. This show is going to be about a family reconnecting. That's what I'm looking forward to.
True Blood airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.