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Law And Order: Organized Crime's Robin Lord Taylor Explains Sebastian And Wheatley's 'Dance' To Achieve Their Goals

Law & Order: Organized Crime returned in 2022 to reveal that Richard Wheatley isn’t done going after Stabler and the NYPD after all, and he has recruited a pair of potentially very dangerous allies to his cause: Tamara Taylor’s Angela Wheatley and Robin Lord Taylor’s hacker extraordinaire Sebastian McClane, a.k.a Constantine. Wheatley broke Sebastian out of prison and seems determined to have him on his side, but is Sebastian willing to just go along with Wheatley’s plans? Actor and Organized Crime newcomer Robin Lord Taylor weighed in on why Wheatley shouldn’t count on absolute support from Sebastian.

The midseason premiere of Season 2 debuted Sebastian McClane as somebody whose hacker skills led to the death of an innocent man and participated in a mass breakout from prison, but also had a tragic backstory to explain why he is the way that he is. When I spoke with Robin Lord Taylor, he broke down his reaction to that opening scene and what viewers learned about his new character:

Oh, it's the stuff you dream of. It's like when you're a kid, you're playing pretend like... and then as an actor, like going forward, it's just endless ‘pinch me’ moments. And again, with this character, too, it's so nice to play someone who's complicated, who has different layers, a different level. He is at his heart a good person who has gone off because of circumstances, because of life. That's the kind of character that you want to play, as an actor.

Robin Lord Taylor was previously best known for playing the fan-favorite Penguin on Gotham, but has gone in a very different direction for Sebastian on Organized Crime, even though neither character was exactly known for sticking to the letter of the law. Sebastian showed remorse throughout his first episode for the accidental death of a man during his hack of the Fed, and Taylor went on to explain that the pain, guilt, and angst from that is “really eating at him and really destroying him,” and he’s living in his own “personal hell.” The same definitely can’t be said of Wheatley when it comes to crossing lines!

Of course, the show dropped some big hints that Sebastian isn’t just going to become Wheatley’s willing partner in crime even beyond his remorse for the accidental death. He was actually a pretty fine, upstanding citizen before breaking bad for a very personal reason, and Robin Lord Taylor elaborated:

Served his country with honors, honorably discharged, yeah. And then because of the loss of his sister, he just took a turn and decided to take his brilliance and use it to take down these big systems that he viewed as responsible for what happened to his sister. So it's just a really dynamic character who makes maybe just like a brilliant, bold choice, and became legendary for it.

The predicament of his sister and then her tragic death set him on the path that led to him hacking the Fed, meeting Wheatley while both were still in prison, and then breaking out with Wheatley’s help. When they sat down to dinner (with Angela, after she switched sides herself), he seemed to be on Wheatley’s side, but Taylor shared that Sebastian isn’t willing to just dance to Wheatley’s tune. When asked if Law & Order: OC fans will see more of his character’s backstory, Taylor previewed:

Yes, we will. What we'll also see is this really fun dance that he and Richard Wheatley are doing for the next couple episodes. Wheatley is using him to achieve his dastardly plans. And at the same time, though, McClane is using Wheatley, because there are things in his past that because of the things that happened, because of the death of the security guard, there are things that happen that he feels just genuine pain. The guilt, the pain that he feels every day is a billion times worse than being in prison. That is the prison in which he lives. So while Wheatley has gotten him out, there are things that he wants to address, things he wants to make right. Because again, in his heart, he's a good person who believes in people. He isn't cynical like Wheatley is.

Wheatley may seemingly have the most power in the dynamic as somebody free to walk around publicly showing his face vs. public enemy Sebastian McClane, but the hacker will be using Wheatley as much as Wheatley is using him. Robin Lord Taylor shared that Sebastian will indeed be “out in the world” and fans will see him “making his own moves” after plotting while in prison. That seems likely to be good news for the citizens of New York, if Sebastian truly has a good heart and wants to make up for the pain he caused! 

Find out what Law & Order: Organized Crime has in store with Sebastian and Wheatley in their “dance” vs. Stabler and the NYPD with new episodes on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET, following Law & Order: SVU at 9 p.m. ET, all on NBC. The network will expand its Law & Order lineup in the not-too-distant future with the return of the original series for Season 21 (and move The Blacklist back to Fridays), so be sure to keep tuning in on Thursday nights.

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