FBI's Zeeko Zaki Previews OA Losing Control After A Traumatic Event In New Episode

Zeeko Zaki as OA in FBI Season 5
(Image credit: CBS)

On the heels of finally airing the complicated Season 4 finale as part of Season 5, FBI has another intense case on the way. The October 11 episode will see OA trying to balance an investigation into some brutal attacks with his own traumatic event… that he tries to keep from his fellow agents. Star Zeeko Zaki spoke with CinemaBlend to preview what’s on the way and why the new episode will be must-see for FBI fans.  

The October 11 episode of FBI is called “Victim," and OA will have more on his plate than usual after he is mugged in the morning before the team catches the case of brutal assaults. He chooses to withhold the information about what happened to him, and while fans will have to wait and see the fallout, Zeeko Zaki opened up about the decisions that his character makes when he’s on the other side of a crime this time. 

Speaking with CinemaBlend, he shared what motivates OA to withhold from his fellow agents: 

I think this is an exciting moment for the audience to witness something that happens very personally to one of the characters, and then to show the balance that all agents try to do in keeping their personal stuff out of the work. Our work deals with people's very personal lives, and it's an exciting opportunity to kind of see how we pull off or don't pull off blending the agents' personal lives, especially when it comes down to traumatic events that have a right to affect one's work.

FBI is very much a procedural show that keeps the action moving from case to case each week, but “Victim” will also focus on OA’s character a lot more than usual. OA has personally struggled with some standout cases in the past, such as when he was triggered by a crime involving sarin gas just last season (which ended badly for Maggie to explain Missy Peregrym’s maternity leave absence). 

Still, being attacked and then working an investigation is something he hasn’t had to face, and even OA may not be able to prevent a personal trauma from – as Zaki put it – having a ”a right to affect” his work. The actor went on to share the kind of support that his character is getting (or not getting) from the rest of the team as he tries to keep information from them: 

The fun part to play is that these agents, regardless of anything, are the best of the best. All of our characters stay so strong at their jobs, which is really exciting, and then for me to be having the secret around these people, whether or not I'm aware that they're aware, is one thing. But it's really fun to get to play off of the personal things when we're in the characters, and I think it's more fun for the other characters as well. Episodes like this just give us a whole different layer to play, and it's one of those layers that you kind of just check in with yourself. If it felt real, then it'll play real. So it's a fun layer to sprinkle on top, for sure.

The core unit of agents on FBI has shifted since Maggie’s exposure to sarin gas and the arrival of Nina Chase to fill the vacancy, but they’re no less capable with Nina on board as opposed to Maggie. In fact, as “the best of the best,” they may be more aware that something is off with OA than he realizes while dealing with his trauma. There are some new layers to look forward to seeing in “Victim.” When I asked Zeeko Zaki if it’s hard for a character to keep a massive secret about himself when he works with a crack team of investigators, he responded:

Exactly, exactly! It is, and I think that's a really fun end of the spectrum to play. Keeping a secret from a team of investigators really shows how no matter what circles you're in, or no matter what your work environment is, when we get into these stubborn, frustrating, 'I know what's best' kind of positions, they're there at every level.

It sounds like OA might not be able to prevent his coworkers and friends from picking up that something is off for him, since they know him as a friend and a fellow agent. Whether or not that’s a good thing remains to be seen, and Zaki went on the share that his character will be losing control during the course of the episode. The actor previewed:

I think the lesson is you just have to look around and see what your support system is and really kind of honor that you wouldn't have landed in a place with a support system like that if it wasn't a real one. OA is just trying to hit a perfect game and he wants to put these mess-ups behind him, especially with his partner. So I think it's just fun to get to see him just kind of lose control for a little bit.

OA potentially losing control comes just one week after the Season 4 finale released as part of Season 5 and showed Jubal losing a bit of control himself due to his son’s involvement in a terrifying case. The fifth season also opened with an episode so explosive that it shifted OA’s priorities, and the intensity doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. Plus, Zeeko Zaki has already shared why fans should be excited about Missy Peregrym’s return as Maggie, so there’s a lot to look forward to. 

See how OA deals with personal trauma when “Victim” airs as the next episode of FBI on Tuesday, October 11 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, followed by new episodes of FBI: International at 9 p.m. and FBI: Most Wanted at 10 p.m. You can revisit past seasons streaming with a Paramount+ subscription, and check back with CinemaBlend for more from Zeeko Zaki!

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).