Deception Post Mortem, ABC

(Courtesy of ABC/Giovanni Rufino)

After ABC aired an all-new episode of Deception on a special night and time, Villain Media has an exclusive interview with executive producer Chris Fedak discussing Sacrifice 99 to Fool One, 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 airing on April 29th at 10pm, showrunner Chris Fedak and I will be dissecting the episode, Sacrifice 99 to Fool One, which featured the return of The Mystery Woman, aka The Femme Fatale (Stephanie Cornelissen). We’ll also be talking about how the FBI and magic team found themselves with a new member, Jonathan Black (also played by Scott). So if you love director’s commentaries as much as I do, you’re going to love this!

Deception Post Mortem, ABC
DECEPTION – “Sacrifice 99 to Fool One” – The FBI calls on Jonathan Black to help stop the Mystery Woman from committing her next crime, on ABC’s “Deception,” airing TUESDAY, APRIL 24 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Giovanni Rufino)

[Spoilers: In case you haven’t seen the episode, please read our recaps and watch the installment on From this point-on, we’re diving deep into the episodes.]

At the shocking finale of Black Art, the Femme Fatale (Stephanie Corneliussen) suddenly appeared and knocked out Cameron unconscious. In Sacrifice 99 to Fool One, FBI agents Kay Daniels (Hadera) and Mike Alvarez (Amaury Nolasco) reluctantly call in the help of convict/magician Jonathan Black (Scott). With the release of Jonathan Black from prison, they believe he will assist them in finding his missing brother.

Villain Media: Jonathan Black took over for Sacrifice 99 to Fool One when Cameron is kidnapped. As a viewer, I thought I was watching a different kind of pilot for Deception. Was that the intention?

Chris Fedak: You know it’s funny! That was the intention! After episode 6, with what happened to Cameron, we knew he was going to be trapped off-screen in a way, how do we do it? Do we do two stories at once? Or do we do one story at a time? And then the more we thought about it, Jack as Jonathan Black is so different from Cameron in a way. They sound a little bit different. Their performance is different. The character is an edgier guy; he’s more cerebral. He’s more sardonic, sarcastic. That gave us a chance to ask, What happens if he solves a case? What if he is working with Kay on this one? And that’s what got us excited!

You have to do it now! So we pitched the idea to the studio and they were like, “That sounds rad!” They didn’t say “rad” though. They used some other technical term. [Laughs] That was really a test for the show. And it was great!

It was a fun opportunity to see Jonathan out in the world and see how the dynamic is different between Dina, Gunter,and Jordan. Jonathan has the emotional water under the bridge with Dina. That sounds exciting! It’s a cool episode!

During the episode, Jonathan Black’s arrival wasn’t so well-received by the magic and FBI team. Dina (Lenora Crichlow) was having problems confronting her own romantic feelings with Mike and Jonathan. Kay also appeared to be hesitant to openly trust Cameron’s brother. Kay appeared to be more worried about Cameron’s whereabouts than getting along with Jonathan.

VM: Ilfenesh Hadera is such an amazing actress! She’s working with the same actor, Jack Cutmore-Scott, who’s playing a different character. It’s such different chemistry between them. Tell me about watching the performances.

CF: That’s the revelation! The crazy thing is this, from the very first time we saw the director’s cut from Rob Hardy, I was like, “Oh my God! They’re different! The chemistry is different!” What Ilfenesh and Jack do, they’re brilliant! It’s hard to define the chemistry! It feels uniquely different! When we showed it to the network, they said their chemistry is potent as Jonathan and Kay! That was a unique thing to realize in episode 7 and you see how it impacts the rest of the season. This is an interesting triangle that we weren’t quite aware of between Jonathan, Cameron, and Kay.

Deception Post Mortem, ABC
DECEPTION – “Sacrifice 99 to Fool One” – The FBI calls on Jonathan Black to help stop the Mystery Woman from committing her next crime, on ABC’s “Deception,” airing TUESDAY, APRIL 24 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Giovanni Rufino)

Now that the magic and FBI team discovered the Mystery Woman’s heist plans, Kay Daniels managed to stop her from running away with the diamond. Daniels pointed her gun directly at Mystery Woman, who genuinely appeared to be surprised. Think about it, the Mystery Woman was defeated by a woman!

VM: My favorite part of Sacrifice 99 to Fool One was the confrontation between Kay Daniels and the Mystery Woman. Did the Mystery Woman underestimate Kay Daniels?

CF: You know that’s a great question! I think she does! A big part of that episode, the thing is she gets photographed. She’s caught on surveillance. In a way, Kay gets a win! She does underestimate Kay. The Mystery Woman is constantly learning over the course of the season. She learns Kay Daniels is not to be trifled with. She’s not a normal, regular FBI agent.

During the climax, the Mystery Woman evaded Kay’s capture after revealing a major clue. 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. Is there enough time for Jonathan to save his brother from death?

VM: Anything you can say about that cliffhanger?

CF: That thing with Cameron! We knew we had something big and epic there. We love cliffhangers! Let’s leave the audience with a huge cliffhanger. And we’ll answer that in episode 8!  

[Writer’s Note: Links are highlighted in bold. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.]

Deception continues on its regular Sunday night, April 29th, at 10pm.

By Jorge Solis