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Robin Lord Taylor discusses secrets of his Law & Order: Organized Crime hacker

Robin Lord Taylor
Robin Lord Tayloy as McClane in Law & Order: Organized Crime. Pic credit: NBC

Law & Order: Organized Crime’s new villain…may not be that bad of a guy.

Robin Lord Taylor is opening up on how his hacker Sebastian McClane, aka Constantine, may be working for villain Richard Wheatley but his ultimate agenda may differ from what fans (or Wheatley himself) suspect. 

Meet Constantine

The latest episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime began with McClane breaking out of prison after a hacking code was sent out. 

McClane had been a decorated Marine who later worked for the CIA as a legitimate programmer. But his life changed when a computer snafu caused his sister to be saddled with college debt, which drove her to kill herself. 

McClane switched to becoming a freelance hacker going after what he saw as the rich and corrupt, almost a Robin Hood figure giving money to the poor. But when he hacked the Federal Reserve, he accidentally locked a guard into a vault, resulting in his death.

Following McClane’s escape, the NYPD was hit by a ransomware demand. This forced them to reach out to Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) to pay it off. 

However, in the final scene, the audience learned McClane and Wheatley were working together all along so Wheatley could win the trust of the NYPD.

Talking to Give Me My Remote, Taylor (best known for playing the Penguin on Gotham) shared that he wanted to make McClane a more sympathetic figure. 

“I really wanted to know is this person cynical? Does he respect other humans—and this, I guess, is a broader way of [how] I would say I approach any character, [but] where’s the humanity? And if it’s not there, why is it not there? And [if it isn’t there,] how can we flesh this out into a three-dimensional human being that could conceivably exist. So that was my first question: ‘Where is he coming from?”…

Then, learning his backstory, learning that he is a good person. He experienced tragedy in a profound way in his family and decided to do bold things, because he is also a brilliant coder—he’s just a genius. So it was just the fact that he was complicated, that he had all these different layers, but then at his heart he was a good person [that drew me in]. I was like, ‘There you go. That’s what I’m looking for.”

That dynamic plays into the complex partnership between McClane and Wheatley.

What’s coming for the McClane/Wheatley “partnership?”

Law & Order: Organized Crime
Angela (Tamara Taylor), Sebastian McClane (Robin Lord Taylor) and Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott) have dinner on Law & Order: Organized Crime. Pic credit: NBC

Wheatley is already setting McClane up with a new hacker identity to make some moves. However, Taylor points out that this doesn’t make them true allies as McClane and Wheatley will clash. 

“He doesn’t trust him at all. He doesn’t like him. They’re opposite in terms of their character, in terms of their morality. Sebastian McClane, he served with honors in the military. He served his country and believed in that—he believes in things. Wheatley is cynical; he doesn’t believe in anything except his own power. That’s all that matters to him. So I think because of that, McClane does not trust [him and] desperately needs to stay a step or two ahead of him in order to survive.”

Complicating matters is that McClane knows Wheatley’s ex-wife Angela (Tamara Taylor) is faking her supposed “ill health” and working with her ex-husband for some reason. Yet that odd connection could benefit both of them. 

“There’s a connection there, because they both are doing that same thing: they are both under the influence of this awful, awful person,” Taylor points out. “And it’s just about survival. So there’s a connection there. Maybe they can help each other to get through this. Maybe they can help each other pull one over on Wheatley; we’ll see.”

Right now, McClane is hoping to reach out to the family of the guard who died even as he aids Wheatley’s mysterious plans.

Exactly where McClane falls in the coming conflict is a mystery, but the complex relationship between him and Wheatley promises to spark this current storyline on Law & Order: Organized Crime.

Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.

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