Most Wanted’ Drops Bombshell on Barnes — Roxy Sternberg Teases What’s Next


[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for FBI: Most Wanted Season 5 Episode 4 “Hollow.”]

FBI: Most Wanted gave us two reasons to want to not watch what was playing out on the screen with the latest episode: what the serial killer was doing with the organs he took from his victims (yes, eating them) and what awaited Barnes (Roxy Sternberg) when she got home.

Sure, the latter wasn’t bloody or tragic, but considering we love Barnes and her wife Charlotte (Fedna Jacquet) together, it wasn’t good! At the beginning of the episode, Charlotte’s heading out of town for a trial, and the conversation turns to the anniversary Barnes missed due to work. The two obviously need to reconnect, but then a call about a case comes in. As Barnes sees it, it’s the life they chose. Charlotte doesn’t exactly agree. Then, when Barnes gets home, she finds Charlotte waiting in the dark. The kids are with Barnes’ mom, and they need to talk (never good words to hear). Charlotte reveals, “I met someone.” Wait, what?!

TV Insider spoke with Roxy Sternberg to find out where that leaves Barnes and Charlotte’s marriage.

That ending was so heartbreaking. Barnes was completely blindsided when Charlotte’s like, I met someone. But saying “we need to talk”—that’s not a good thing.

Roxy Sternberg: Yeah, it was almost jokey. That’s how I read it. When someone says we need to talk, it’s like, oh God. But then she drops it.

How is Barnes going to be able to process that? She was not at all prepared for that.

I think there are so many different emotions that you’ll experience at once. There’s denial, there’s anger. You go through the whole array of emotions. They’re going to try and work on it and see what happens.

An amazing thing about the show, amazing and also kind of crazy, is that we only get our episodes an episode before we shoot them. So I don’t have much time to go over it to process it, to discuss it. So that was kind of dropped on me as a bomb, the same way it was dropped on Barnes as a bomb. I was like, “No, how much room is there to change this?” I cried when I read it, and I wanted to call up David Hudgins, our showrunner, and see why. And I couldn’t get hold of him, which was so frustrating. He was like, “Let’s speak later. I’m in a meeting.” And I was like, “Well, I’m going to bed now.” He said, “Let’s speak tomorrow.” And I’m like, “I’ve got a full day at work.” So it was this struggle, and it is a struggle as well: How can I stop this from happening in the script and in real life?

Fedna Jacquet as Charlotte and Roxy Sternberg as Special Agent Sheryll Barnes — 'FBI: Most Wanted' Season 5 Episode 4

Mark Schafer/CBS

You said they’ll be working on it. Is there hope?

There is hope. There’s always hope. I discussed briefly what their plan was, and they gave me ever so a little bit of something. I don’t like knowing too much; I think it throws me and it might affect my performance. That’s why it’s so real. We don’t have months and months and months to rehearse this stuff, which, in a way, is a shame. I would love one day to experience that in film where you’ve got so much time to play with it. We don’t have so much time to play with it, but I feel like it is real. We’re learning stuff, and then we’re delivering it almost immediately. I think there’s always going to be hope. I hope there is hope.

Are we going to see Barnes leaning on anyone? 

There is a great scene that’s coming up in Episode 7—and I won’t tell you with who—but she ends up being in a bar with someone, leaning on them, and that’s really lovely scene. I really enjoyed that. It’s really fun and very different.

How is that for her to be talking about this? Because of the nature of these cases, there’s not much time to really talk about personal stuff. It briefly comes up in this episode while they’re working.

No, but I think because she’s so enthralled and so full-on in her work, the only place and the only time she really has to talk to anyone about it is once she’s at work. And so I think she’s having to shed some layers and lose a little bit of her pride or whatever it is and actually become vulnerable at work and open up and get advice. And she does get some advice, which is interesting advice, especially given this person’s marital status. But she needs all the advice in the world. I think it’s also a new thing for her, having to shed some layers and having to become vulnerable. I don’t see her as the most vulnerable character, which is also, I think, why she’s in this predicament with her wife.

Is this someone from the team?

It’s someone from the team, yeah.

What else is coming up for Barnes? Anything professional? There have been all these changes. Is she thinking about, does she want to stay with the fugitive task force? Does she want to do something different?

I think she loves what she does. I think she loves her position. I think she’s loved it from the get-go, whether when she was working under Jess [Julian McMahon], now working under Remy [Dylan McDermott]. I don’t think she has any aspirations to move on or to try something different. I think she’s always wanting to grow, always wanting to thrive and be the best that she can, challenge herself as always. But it’s interesting, how does someone that’s trying to save their marriage focus on these two things? Something will have to give. And so let’s see whether there’s going to be her taking a little bit of time to try and fix stuff at home.

What about the cases? Do you think anything is going to beat what the guy was doing with the organs in this one? Because that was…

That was dark. Reading that, I was like, “These writers, what’s wrong? What’s going on with this world? Where do they get this imagination from?” That was a pretty dark, disturbing episode.

Would you say the next episode’s case is more regular case-of-the-week type compared to this darkness that we just got?

The next one that we’re shooting, absolutely. I would say it’s really interesting. We talk about Africa, which is really exciting. I don’t think we do that often enough. And there’s going to be quite a few different African characters, which is amazing to be able to have on our show. And this one that we’re shooting right now, this is a heavy one for Nina’s [Shantel VanSanten] character. Oh, this one’s pretty dark. I mean, they’re all dark. The show’s pretty dark. They all have their dark elements. But [Episode 4] was, especially with the organs, messy dark, almost you couldn’t believe it in the moment. Some of the stuff that you were reading, and some of the stuff that you were doing, it’s like it’s almost borderline comedy. It’s so ridiculous. So awful.

FBI: Most Wanted, Tuesdays, 10/9c, CBS

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