(Courtesy of ABC/Giovanni Rufino)
With ABC airing the conclusion of the two-part mystery behind Deception, Villain Media has an exclusive interview with executive producer Chris Fedak discussing Multiple Outs, starring Ilfenesh Hadera and Jack Cutmore-Scott. Get ready to learn how magician Cameron Black (Scott) and FBI agent Kay Daniels (Hadera) fight crime through the art of magic.
As we previously mentioned, the career of superstar Las Vegas magician Cameron Black (Jack Cutmore-Scott) may have been ruined by scandal. But he’s found another place to put his skills of deception, influence, and illusion to use; the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As a consulting illusionist, Cameron uses every trick — even while inventing new ones as necessary — to help the government catch the world’s most elusive criminals and solve crimes that defy all explanation.
Before an all-new episode airs Sunday, May 6th, 2018, showrunner Chris Fedak and I will be dissecting the episode, Multiple Outs, which featured the return of The Mystery Woman, aka The Femme Fatale (Stephanie Cornelissen), told from Cameron Black’s perspective. We’ll also be talking about the inspiration behind the cliffhanger and what these last three episodes mean to Fedak. So if you love director’s commentaries as much as I do, you’re definitely going to enjoy these behind-the-scenes tidbits!
[Spoilers: In case you haven’t seen the episode, please read our recaps and watch the installments on ABC.Go.com. From this point-on, we’re diving deep into the episode.]
In Multiple Outs, we discover what happened to Cameron Black after he was kidnapped by the Mystery Woman. In order to get hold of the evidence clearing his brother of murder, Cameron reluctantly joined forces with the Mystery Woman. Leading up to the diamond heist, Cameron was secretly in contact with Jordan (Justin Chon).
VM: I really loved how each episode, Sacrifice 99 to Fool One and Multiple Outs, is divided between Jonathan and Cameron. It reminds me of those Elmore Leonard novels. Tell me about taking a storytelling technique into serialized arc.
CF: High praise! [Laughs] Well it’s something we won’t do all the time. It’s something that we can do. It was really exciting! I love TV shows that do that. Using Jackie Brown as an example, you take this moment and you see it from different perspectives. What you’ll find out is magic is really about perspective. It’s about where you are in the moment and what you’re supposed to be doing at a specific time. And storytelling is very much the same way.
What is the story we’re telling? Is it about Jonathan or Cameron? It changes. In terms of the show, we can do these moments where we can go back and deconstruct what happened, and look at it from a different perspective. Even though it’s not specific to magic, it’s specific to Deception and the show.
Not only is Cameron working with the Mystery Woman, Bishop (Billy Zane) reveals his true allegiance to her as well. Though Bishop figured out Cameron was in communication with his magic team, the Mystery Woman didn’t believe him. She pulled out her gun and shot him.
VM: Tell me about the return of Billy Zane as Bishop in Multiple Outs.
CF: We had Billy in episode 5. We had a big criminal in a small amount of material. We knew we wanted to set him up. We needed Bishop to be cool. So when we had the opportunity of bringing in Billy Zane, I was like, “Yes! We have to get him!” He was someone I wanted to work with in a while. He had recently done a great spot in Legends of Tomorrow. We had him in episode 5 and I knew we had to bring him back in episode 8.
Episode 8 really gave us an opportunity to spend more time with him. It was nice to have him and Cameron be charming and funny. For me, I find people who can do comedy and dangerous and scary, that’s what I like. It’s just like Stephanie Corneliussen! She has to be funny, scary and real, all the same time!
In the shocking last moments of Sacrifice 99 to Fool One, the alarms to the vault had been triggered and set off the air systems, With the air being sucked out of the room, Jonathan discovers the diamond thief was Cameron disguised all along.
Villain Media: Tell me how the idea of the cliffhanger came about from Sacrifice 99 to Fool One to Multiple Outs.
Chris Fedak: It first started off with me, the writers, and the magicians coming up with crazy ideas. We’ll start with something that seems absolutely outrageous! And then we’ll be like, “How do we do that?” With the oxygen being sucked out of the room, I spent years, before I become a writer, working with the Academy in the Film Vault. They have an air system like that, which sucks the oxygen out from a fire. It’s something I’m scared of because I worked in those vaults. In the back of my mind, it comes from there.
The other thing is, we love coming up with big bold things, hopefully that will fit into big summer blockbusters, and we did it in episode 7.
Finally the events of Sacrifice 99 to Fool One coincided with the events of Multiple Outs. We discover Jordan knew all along that Cameron, disguised as the diamond thief, was going to punch him out. With very little air left, Cameron managed to escape from the vault and found himself back in his brother’s arms.
VM: Was that a challenge? Retelling the same moment without the scenes becoming repetitive?
CF: I should tell you, Episode 8 broke my brain! I did have moments where I woke up in the middle of the night and in my sleep, I was breaking an episode. My wife said, “You have to stop doing that and waking me up in the middle of the night! It’s getting strange!” [Laughs]
Though Jonathan has returned back to prison, there are still unresolved issues between him, Mike Alvarez (Amaury Nolasco), and Dina (Lenora Crichlow). The Mystery Woman’s face has been recorded on a surveillance camera, all thanks to Kay Daniels (Hadera).
VM: The trilogy — from Black Art to Sacrifice 99 to Fool One to Multiple Outs — moves Deception with new love triangles, more potential story arcs. Tell me about pushing the story forward with these last three episodes.
CF: We got to a certain point in the season. In the beginning of the season, we were figuring out how the procedural elements of the show would work and how the team would come together. Like you said, when we got to episode 6, everything was gelling and working. You feel that thing in the back of your head. Now we want to get to the mythology part of the story. We have exciting things we want to show the audience, in terms of the Mystery Woman and how it all connects to Jonathan and Cameron; and why it all happened in the first place. This was a way for us to dig into that world and show you this heightened world of criminals who use deception to commit crimes.
— Deception (@DeceptionABC) April 27, 2018
VM: Tell me how Deception has changed you as a storyteller.
CF: It made me older! [Laughs] I think for me, here’s what I learned from Deception. Here’s what I’ve learned from every show that I’ve done. For everyone working in TV, we’re always learning. We’re always figuring stuff out, which ones work and which ones don’t work. TV is always changing and evolving. A show like Deception cannot be just like any other procedural.
We know we wanted to do big and bold things, like in 6,7, and 8. Also, what we’ve been doing off-season, we’re solving crimes by using deception as opposed to capturing the bad guys the traditional way. We knew we wanted to do that. The thing that always comes to mind first, I learned a lot from our magicians. How they put on a show or creating a new magic trick, there’s a mathematical, engineering quality to it. I’ve really come to respect the illusion building, how we build our puzzles and create our deceptions. David Kwong is a excellent magician; he’s also an incredible puzzle master. To watch that work and see how it fits into the narrative, the dramatic storytelling, it’s great!
I’m also in love with New York! We wanted to make the show about New York too! This show was able to allow us to do bold, crazy sequences throughout New York. If you always wanted to shoot there, I couldn’t be more excited!
— Deception (@DeceptionABC) April 27, 2018
[Writer’s Note: Links are highlighted in bold. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.]
Deception continues on Sunday night, May 6th, at 10pm.
By Jorge Solis