FBI: Most Wanted's Julian McMahon Explains The 'Extremely Unique' Relationship Within The Team

fbi most wanted jess and barnes guns drawn mall
(Image credit: CBS)

FBI: Most Wanted wrapped the first half of Season 3 with an episode that forced the team to get creative to save as many lives as they possibly could when a day of holiday shopping at the mall went violently wrong. The team was split with Jess and Barnes on the inside with their families, and Gaines, Hana, and Ortiz trying to help from the outside. All hands had to be on deck in the midseason finale, and the crisis with the mall shooters showcased the Jess/Barnes dynamic within the team. Star Julian McMahon spoke with CinemaBlend to explain why it works for FBI: Most Wanted.

I spoke with Julian McMahon about the midseason finale and what comes next for the show in 2022, and when I noted that Barnes (played by Roxy Sternberg) seemed to be the ideal person for Jess to have by his side in the high-stakes situation in the mall, the actor shared his perspective:

I think that Jess and Barnes have an extremely unique relationship. And it's a relationship that was born from working together and has developed and evolved from the type of work that they do together. And then also the type of personalities that they are. You'd have to ask Roxy [Sternberg], from her point of view, but I certainly don't think that Jess would do quite as well without her. There's this perfect balance when you have the two of them together, and it goes into the way they communicate, the way they interrogate, the way they interview, the way they study things, the way that they work on cases together. It all just is part and parcel of a really good duo, a really good team.

Jess and Barnes hit the ground running in the midseason finale as just the latest episode that featured them as a solid unit. They had more at risk personally than usual, with their families in the mall when the shooting started. Jess had his daughter, his father, and Sarah on hand, while Barnes had to deal with the uncertainty of whether the very pregnant Charlotte made it out in time. 

As Julian McMahon noted, the balance between them as well as their talent for teamwork can make all the difference in making a case, and the episode came to a happy ending that seemed to only solidify their working relationship. Plus, Charlotte safely gave birth in the back of an ambulance, and now she and Barnes are parents to a baby boy as well as their young daughter! Episodes of FBI: Most Wanted don’t always end on such happy notes, so it really did have some holiday cheer to it. 

And all signs point toward Jess and Barnes' “extremely unique” relationship continuing to serve them well when FBI: Most Wanted picks up in the new year. They made the point of promising to look after the other’s family in case the worst happened in the mall, and they’ve been the anchors of the team over the years. After all, Hana was gone for a while, Kenny had to depart to recover from his injuries and isn’t expected back, and Ortiz and Gaines have had to build places for themselves as newcomers in light of cast exits.

FBI: Most Wanted is currently in its winter hiatus, but will return to CBS with new episodes early in 2022. Find out when to expect Most Wanted (as well as FBI and FBI: International) to return in the new year with our winter and spring premiere schedule now!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).