Thursday's episode of The Blacklist: Redemption will bring Scottie Hargrave (Famke Janssen) one step closer to realizing that her mysterious new employee, Tom (Ryan Eggold) is actually her son Christopher, who she believes is dead.
Our exclusive sneak peek from the hour shows Scottie and Dumont (Adrian Martinez) realizing that they've lost communication with Tom and Solomon (Edi Gathegi), who have gone undercover on an international flight (knowing it will likely be hijacked), to track down some stolen classified material. But it's possible Scottie has other motivations in pairing Solomon and Tom up, since she assigned Solomon to track Tom's movements in last week's episode after he showed up with information from a mysterious "source" - aka his father, Howard (Terry O'Quinn), whom Scottie also believes to be dead.
"Every episode, there's more drama and we're coming closer to ... the truth of what's going on between Scottie, Howard and Tom. Or whatever everybody's interpretation of the truth seems to be," Janssen says cryptically. "We of course have a very exciting episode with lots of action coming up, with a plane crash and all of that. But there's more and more intrigue going on behind the scenes between ... Howard and Scottie and Tom. There's a bunch of stuff coming up. It's very exciting. It's very juicy. It's starting to unravel, bit by bit."
Will we learn the full story about "Whitehall" by the end of the season?
Famke Janssen: Yes, we're going to find out a lot about that. We're not going to leave people hanging. We are going to have a big cliffhanger, obviously, at the end of the season, but you're going to find out a lot in the last couple episode, especially 7 and 8. ... Very soon, we're gonna know. Just a few more weeks and everybody's gonna know.
Tom's sort of playing the part of the audience, caught in the middle of these two people and not knowing whom to trust.
Janssen: Yes. That's really our main throughline for the first season, is that triangle, him as a child being stuck between these two feuding parents, and sort of having to try to understand who speaks the truth, if anyone. Maybe nobody speaks the truth. This is something that we'll find out.
We saw such a vulnerable side of Scottie last week, when she thought she was so close to reconnecting with Christopher. Did you enjoy being able to expose that different aspect of her?
Janssen: I think we've really seen the vulnerable side to Scottie from Day 1. In the first episode, you see her at the funeral of her husband. So, what you see of Scottie is actually... when she tells Tom how she feels about her son and when she shares things with other people, she's very truthful and open and vulnerable about it. It's only when you listen to Howard you think that she's malicious and a Russian sleeper or whatever he comes up with. But what we've seen of her, it's quite the opposite. ... But it's great to play that part of her, because I love the juxtaposition of her character. She's a very strong, tough woman on the one hand. She has to be to survive in that world and run that business. And at the same time, she has this major loss in her life and there's an enormous vulnerability there. So it's really nice to have those different parts of her personality, and as an actor, of course, it makes it even more interesting.
The person she seems to want to turn to in good times and bad is Trevor (Dan Amboyer). She says she likes their arrangement, but does she have deeper feelings for him?
Janssen: No, not at all. I don't think she has any feelings like that for Trevor. I think he's a prostitute who she hires, but at the same time she seems to like to talk to him. But she definitely does not develop any feelings for him in that regard. Which I love about her. She's very much like a man in that regard. She can separate the two - which most women can't, in my experience.
What is she going to do when she finds out that Trevor/Dan has been texting Kat (Theodora Miranne)?
Janssen: We're going to find that out pretty soon. [Laughs] Something will happen, of course, once that comes into play. ... It will be part of an upcoming episode.
Will Scottie and Howard come face to face anytime soon?
Janssen: We will see them together, for sure.
It's clear that Scottie does have some suspicions about Tom at this point, since she sent Solomon to track him. What is she concerned about?
Janssen: She's just beginning to suspect that maybe something is going on there. Obviously not anything related to him being her son, but just what, really, are his motivations? Where does he get his information when he's talking about a "source"? There are just things that she's aware he's doing that are not in keeping with who he says he is, specific things that he's doing that are making her question his honesty and motivations. ... Something's happening, and she knows it.
How much did you know about Scottie and whether she's "good" or "bad" when you were filming?
Janssen: I asked a bunch of questions, and I kind of knew where it was going. ... I did have a conversation with the [showrunners], so I kind of knew overall where they were heading with this and what they were doing and where it was going. But there are surprises for all of us, I think including them, as they're writing it, where things that I wouldn't have foreseen, or an audience wouldn't foresee coming. ... It's something that I always struggle with on television, because I want to know what I'm playing. Know, overall, how is this going to make sense?
Did you incorporate whatever knowledge you gained into individual scenes, i.e. playing them as if you knew information that the audience didn't?
Janssen: The only way that I can play that is to be truthful to what is on the page. Because, let's say Scottie is duplicitous and there is a different agenda, she would be very truthful in the moment of playing it, because ... she would believe her own innocence in the way that a lot of people do. Because that's just the way people operate. So, I have to be truthful to my character. I have to be truthful to what's on the page. I have to play it as honestly and real as I can, otherwise it wouldn't work.
I guess she could be a super-villain and still be grieving the loss of her son.
Janssen: Yeah, exactly. Or, she may not see herself as a super-villain. That's another scenario. Or Howard may not see himself as a super-villain and he may believe that whatever he says is truthful. It is to him. So that's what I mean. The truth is this very subjective thing.
The Blacklist: Redemption airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.