FBI: Most Wanted's Julian McMahon Talks The 'Chaotic' Midseason Finale For The Team

julian mcmahon as jess lacroix fbi most wanted season 3
(Image credit: CBS)

The first half of FBI: Most Wanted’s third season is nearly at an end on CBS, and will wrap with a midseason finale that puts Jess in a situation filled with a kind of “chaos” that he and the team don’t usually have to face. The episode, called “Run-Hide-Fight’ and airing at a special time at 9 p.m. ET on December 14, is going to put more key characters than usual in serious danger, and star Julian McMahon opened up about what’s on the way to end Season 3 in 2021. 

The promo for “Run-Hide-Fight” teased that all hands will need to be on deck when a day of holiday shopping goes wrong with a mall shooting, with Jess needing to protect his family and the rest of the team other than Barnes stuck on the outside. When I spoke with Julian McMahon, he shared how the show will handle the holidays when things are rarely merry and bright for too long on FBI: Most Wanted:

Well, for FBI: Most Wanted, things can always come back to merry and bright. As you know, we have to kind of take our journey and our journey usually involves some kind of tragic event, and hunting down bad guys. So that's thematic of the show that we do, and that's what we have here. But at the same time there is this kind of beautiful and very kind of holiday-esque kind of bittersweetness to it.

Episodes of FBI: Most Wanted generally start with a crime before the team is brought in, but aside from intense cliffhangers, episodes can also come to more uplifting endings. Fans will have to wait and see whether “Run-Hide-Fight” will deliver a cliffhanger or a holly jolly final scene, but all signs point toward the show putting its own twist on the holiday season.

Of course, it was inevitable that there would be some twists in store with the midseason finale, since Jess’ family will be in the middle of a crisis rather than safely at home, like he can usually count on. And he can’t count on the full rest of the team coming to the rescue in the same ways as usual either. Julian McMahon previewed how Jess will approach this crisis with his family involved:

I think he's trying to find that balance. There's a scene between him and Tali… That’s an interesting thing. I thought it was really kind of fascinating, if you think about it from Tali's perspective. You think, like, 'Okay, my dad goes to work. He's an FBI agent. He comes home from work. I see him and then he goes off again.' I really wanted to get this kind of, you know, when you go home, you're a different person than the person you are at work. And I wanted to try and find some kind of balance. So that for Tali she actually gets to see her dad, her real dad, what he's like, out in the real world, right? For the first time. But balance that between the necessity for him to still be a dad.

Poor Tali has already gone through a lot over the years of the series so far, with the Season 2 cliffhanger leaving her fate in question during the months of hiatus. Hopefully FBI: Most Wanted won’t deliver a holiday-esque episode that ends in tragedy or trauma for her as she sees her dad as the FBI agent for the first time . 

But what of the danger that’s on the way? FBI: Most Wanted often goes big with premieres and finales, and the promo alone proves that this won’t be a midseason finale to miss. Julian McMahon explained what’s on the way that sets this episode apart:

I'm particularly proud of the fact that we set out to do something very different in a structural and thematic type of form than we've ever done on the show. Each episode has its particular case, and whatever else, and we follow different character things and different storylines, and that kind of stuff. But this one was so far from what we normally do. So far from what we're familiar and kind of secure with, let's say. We know we can make a good episode, we know we can do that on a consistent basis. This was completely throwing all of those thematic ideals that we follow each episode, just out the window and completely coming up with something new. And so that was a real challenge. And when you're challenging yourself like that, you'd never really know what the final result is until you get the final result. Usually I can walk away from [an episode] and I pretty much know what it's gonna look like. Walking away from this episode, absolutely I had no idea.

Doing something that is “so far” from the norm of what works means that fans should prepare for something new when it comes to the midseason finale, and the star made it clear that the end result is something worth getting excited about, complete with some “chaos.” McMahon continued:

I knew we'd shot some good stuff, and I know we tried really hard to keep an emotional through line throughout it. I know that we tried to get characters and new characters to connect, and all characters connect, all characters to see new traits and all of these kinds of things... But I couldn't see the end result. It was such a long and thorough, let's call it, shoot that at the end of it, I just walked out going 'I'm not sure what we have there.' And it was chaotic. It was chaotic, which actually suited the piece because that's exactly what it is. It's chaos. But you never know what translates, you know what I mean? You never know what you have until you have it. And then to have the result, which I think is a really, really, really good episode of television. It's just really pleasing.

Fortunately, fans don’t have to wait much longer to see what happens in “Run-Hide-Fight.” The midseason finale of FBI: Most Wanted airs on Tuesday, December 14 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS, an hour earlier than usual. FBI: International with its Fly Team usually holds the 9 p.m. slot on Tuesdays on CBS, but aired its midseason finale last week. Be sure to check out CBS for FBI: Most Wanted in its special time slot! For when Most Wanted and plenty of other shows return in the new year, be sure to swing by our 2022 winter and spring premiere schedule.

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).