How FBI's OA Would Have Handled His Trauma Differently If Maggie Was Already Back, According To The Star

FBI Season 4 OA and Maggie
(Image credit: CBS)

OA hasn’t exactly had the most stress-free few months on FBI, and now he has gone through another personal trauma. He was attacked and mugged before he had to dive into another brutal case, and lost some of his usual control in the aftermath. Nina Chase (who joined the team to fill Maggie’s vacancy while she recovers from the sarin gas) was there for him once he opened up, but how would he have handled the situation differently with Maggie? Actor Zeeko Zaki opened up. 

The character spent most of the episode trying not to let his fellow agents in on what happened to him, but ultimately couldn’t keep it all bottled up. Of course, OA’s partner for most of the five seasons so far has been Missy Peregrym’s Maggie, and the two characters are longtime friends as well as coworkers. When he spoke with CinemaBlend about the latest episode, Zeeko Zaki weighed in on whether OA would have handled his secret differently with Maggie as opposed to Nina:

I think we're much more ready to be open to a stranger on a bus than someone that's been in our lives for a majority of it, at the end of the day. I think OA has a very intense relationship to protecting Maggie. Showing weakness around her as things have been, I feel like would probably be harder than to show it in front of Nina. So I think it's an exciting opportunity to have the space to be vulnerable, before we discover if that's the space we'll be living in with Maggie when she comes back.

Even though OA has years of history and a close bond with Maggie, opening up to Nina about being unable to escape the muggers despite his size and skills was easier because they didn’t have all of that backstory. As Zeeko Zaki noted, OA has been protective of his partner over the four seasons that they've worked together (with Missy Peregrym not returning until later in Season 5), when it comes to everything ranging from her relationships to putting herself in danger. 

It’s also easy to imagine that OA might feel more protective than ever once Maggie returns. He was already triggered by the case involving sarin gas last season due to his experiences with the army, and seeing his partner nearly killed after being exposed was rough on him, especially since he was the only one who could save her. There have been far fewer emotional strings attached with Nina, so it should be interesting to see what OA is like as a partner to Maggie once she’s back.

While there have been no announcements just yet about when Maggie will be back, Missy Peregrym previously said that she’d be returning to work in September, which presumably means that she’ll be back in action on FBI before the end of the year, and Shantel VanSanten still has some time left as Nina. Zeeko Zaki previously shared why fans should be excited for Maggie’s return, and he was enthusiastic when speaking about their reunion following OA’s traumatic episode:

Oh, I'm definitely excited for the reunion of Maggie Bell and OA Zidan. I just think so much has just happened over the past few seasons on and off camera. It's just really nice to get to Season 5 and all to be together on screen.

While Maggie isn’t back yet (and fans only just got to see the long-delayed Season 4 finale with Jeremy Sisto giving multiple versions of his performance), the action is still going strong in the hit CBS drama’s fifth season. Keep tuning in to CBS on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET for new episodes of FBI in the 2022 TV schedule. You can also revisit past episodes streaming with a Paramount+ subscription.

CBS has Tuesdays packed with crime-fighting action, with FBI: International following the parent series with new episodes at 9 p.m. ET. FBI: Most Wanted closes out the night at 10 p.m. ET. While the three shows haven't crossed over since last fall (as opposed to the three Law & Order series returning in September with a crossover event in the same TV universe), the agents are all plenty busy with their separate crimes each week.

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).