Ah, yes – the elephant in the hospital room. “Have you seen the poster [for Season 3]? You know he’s on it, so he’s definitely in this season,” Eastin allows. The question is just for how much (maybe a final, open casket scene?), and in what capacity (ghost?). The EP then adds, “The season does hinge a great deal on what … happened in the six minutes” that followed Mike’s flatlining at the hands of insidious Sid Markham (played by Carmine Giovinazzo).
PAUL BRIGGS (FBI)
When the audio tape of him (accidentally-ish) killing colleague Juan Badillo lands in the hands of FBI Special Agent in Charge Sean Logan, Briggs is pressed to help take down the Sarkissian crime family, which has left many a dead lawperson in its wake. Specifically, he is given “the unpalatable mission of riding shotgun with this psychopath,” Ari Adamian (played by Entourage vet Rhys Coiro). “We really based Briggs’ story this year on Whitey Bulger,” Eastin says. “There was an FBI agent who was with Whitey and got to see all these really terrible things he did. And when they finally took Whitey down, this agent also went down and is still serving a life sentence in prison for the things he looked the other way at.” Eastin says that soon enough, Briggs will realize, “‘They can pinch me with the tape or they can take me down with this, but somehow I’m going down,’ and so the entire season is how he figures his way out.”
PAIGE ARKIN (DEA)
Eastin reveals that “in the audience testing, Paige was one of the most popular characters last year — and then was probably the most unpopular character after the finale,” seeing as in a bitter rage she snitched to Sid that injured Mike was checked into a hospital under a fake name. As such, having paved the way for Mike’s murder, “Paige spends a great deal of time this year really trying to come to grips with what she’s done.” Because regardless of what any housemates may think of her betrayal, “It’s really about Paige’s forgiveness of herself that really motivates her this year.”
‘CHARLIE’ DEMARCO (FBI)
Charlie is still pregnant even after that brutal Season 2 finale, but she does pay an informational visit to Planned Parenthood early in the season. “Vanessa [Ferlito], who is a mother, pushed pretty hard for this [pregnancy] storyline,” Eastin says. “And for a lot of our women in the writers room, the story really became important, so that was one of the reasons we decided to really embrace it” – even though the derring-do Charlie endures in her ongoing pursuit of British money launderer Germaine will continue to put her (and the baby) in jeopardy.
‘JOHNNY’ TUTURRO (FBI)
When last we tuned in, Johnny’s cover had been blown, so hot-headed cartel leader Carlos Solano held the fed at gunpoint, forcing him to keep the U.S. government-operated drug planes running — or else his honey Lucia dies. Lest you fear we have another whole season of sun-baked, yellow-tinted Mexico scenes ahead of us, Eastin says, “Johnny’s storyline wraps up relatively quickly, in the first four episodes. That situation gets solved.”
DALE JAKES (U.S. CUSTOMS)
“Because we have such a big ensemble, Jakes is sort of our utility player at the beginning of the year,” Eastin admits. “But his storyline evolves in the last half of the season to really, I would say, take the most important spot.” In fact, Eastin shares, “Our entire [Season 3] cliffhanger is based on Jakes,” involving a crisis of both a professional and personal nature.
SEASON 3 GUEST STARS
In addition to Entourage alum Rhys Coiro’s aforementioned turn as undercover Briggs’ latest target, Season 3 guest stars include Peter Stormare (Prison Break) “as the head of our Armenian mob” and Lawrence Gilliard (The Walking Dead) as Special Agent in Charge Sean Logan aka the guy who forces Briggs into his dire assignment. “Those are sort of our big three,” says Eastin. Behind the camera, meanwhile, Elementary‘s Lucy Liu has directed en episode.