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Bull: Is Marissa the One Who Got Away from Bull?

Geneva Carr weighs in

Liz Raftery

We're starting to get a feel for some of the supporting players on CBS' Bull.

On Tuesday's episode, Dr. Bull (Michael Weatherly) & Co. successfully helped a female pilot avoid charges of negligence after a plane she was flying crashed and killed everyone on board (except for herself). We also learned another fun fact about Dr. Bull: In addition to having three psychology degrees, he's a pilot. And plays the guitar. Is there anything this man can't do?!?


Here's what you may have missed this week! TV Guide's weekend editor breaks down the week's best, worst, and weirdest TV moments.

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At the end of the hour, as the team celebrates its latest victory, it becomes clear that Bull's right-hand man -- or woman -- is Marissa (Geneva Carr), a neurolinguistics expert who devised the very matrix Bull uses when analyzing potential jurors. The two share a nice moment, literally leaning on each other at the end of a long day. So, what's their history? And is it possible sparks will fly between them?

Bull: Here's what we've learned about Jason Bull chatted with Carr to find out, and the short answer is don't hold your breath.

(Responses have been edited for length.) What's the back story of Marissa and Bull?
Geneva Carr:
The episode we're shooting this coming week, you learn more about our relationship. ... Down the line, [you'll find out that] I'm the first one that he hired to start this company. In one of the episodes coming up, you learn why he started this company, what case drove him to decide to do his own thing. And I was the first person he called. ... I think I'm probably the only one that can call him out, you know what I mean? Everybody else can get in trouble, but I can't get in trouble. He can get in trouble with me, and that's what I like.

What I like to say, because I get to make up my own backstory, [is] she was an analyst at Homeland Security. That's what Marissa did. And he pretty much dated all of my colleagues and when it became my turn, I said, "This is never gonna happen." And so, that's why we're still friends, and that's why there's chemistry between us. Because I put the kibosh on that possibility. He gets them all but this one.

Jojo Whilden, CBS

So, is there anything sexual going on between them now?
What I really like about it is, most TV shows have a sexual chemistry between two characters. And I always say to people, [Marissa's] the only woman in the room that Dr. Bull does not make weak in the knees. So, what's amazing is, Marissa has such incredibly chemistry with Dr. Bull, but it's not sexual. It's two people meeting on the same level. If I had to call it brother and sister, I would. But it's friends. It's a friendship, and people who respect each other, and it's something that I don't know that we've seen a lot on TV.

Do you think she's possibly being positioned as a long-term will-they-or-won't-they love interest for Bull?
I like that for now they're really developing a friendship between the two of us. Could it go somewhere else? Gosh, I'd never say never. And if I had to fall in love with him on screen, I'd do it. But I really like that it's two people who really support each other and are friends and really respect each other and lean on each other. He gives me a lot of advice on guys.

Michael Weatherly reveals how Bull lured him back to TV

For how long have they been friends?
Probably over a decade, because he was at [Marissa's] wedding. He knew my ex pretty well. ... He was married after me, and I went to his wedding, and his was shorter than mine, his marriage. ... In one of the episodes, he figures something out just by the way I'm dressed. He can tell who I'm dating again. Because Marissa has a bad habit of going back into the pool when she's gotten out and dried off.

What else will we learn about Marissa?
Marissa's from Homeland Security. She's divorced, poor thing. She hasn't had a lot of luck in love. ...
She's a career woman, but has a really intriguing life. She doesn't have children ... and she just is doing her own thing. She doesn't judge herself by whether she's married or has kids. And it's exciting to play someone like that, who's really passionate about her career and what she's doing. ... As successful as she is in business that she's been pretty unsuccessful in her romantic life, which I can completely understand. (Laughs)

You play a psychologist on the show. What's the most interesting thing you've learned about trial science from working on the show?
Dr. Bull explains in the show how there's usually one person on the jury that can sway everybody, whose personality is too dominant. And I sat on a jury and I was that person. I know I was because those lawyers called me afterwards to talk to me about what had gone down. Just realizing what goes on in a case is astounding.

You come from a theater background. How are you finding working on a TV series? Do you miss stage work?
I do miss it, because [on stage] when you do something funny, people laugh. Or when you say something profound, you can hear the silence happen. So it's very different. But what I didn't expect was how creative it is to make up these characters with other actors. ... You can even see from the pilot to the next episode how our clothing changed, our hair changed, our body language changed just a fraction of a bit, because they're letting us be who we think these people are. ... The workload is really hard. It's really long hours.

Michael gave me the greatest advice a few days into the first episode. ... He said, "What you need to know is, on camera, they can see everything. And the closer you let yourself be your character, the more they believe you. So, every character should just be a facet of your own [personality]." I feel like Marissa's just me with better clothes.

Bull airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CBS.

(Full disclosure: is owned by CBS.)