The next two Sunday nights belong to ABC's adultery thriller, "Betrayal." The show crescendoes over two incredibly well-paced, game-changing episodes. You are thus advised to set aside a few hours to catch up on the first five episodes of this Chicago drama that is equal parts sex, love, family, and suspense. "Betrayal" is just as addictive as Season 1 of "Revenge." And if you think Olivia Pope is the only character in primetime who knows how to fix things, then you clearly haven't met sexy, conflicted company man Jack McAllister, played by Stuart Townsend.
Classically handsome Townsend brings just the right amount of mystery to Jack, a guy you might describe as a relationship-adrenaline junkie. Work for a violent criminal boss, Thatcher Karsten (James Cromwell)? Done. Marry the boss's daughter (Wendy Moniz) and have two kids, thus ensuring a lifelong attachment to Karsten? Done again! "Betrayal" is about what happens when Jack, still married, starts dating Sara (Hannah Ware), who is also married. Her do-gooder husband is a prosecutor named Drew Stafford (Chris J. Johnson), and he's on a mission to take down Thatcher and McAllister.
[Related: Speed Date With 'Betrayal' Star Hannah Ware]
The show has been slowly boiling for weeks, and it bears repeating that on Nov. 3, things explode. The catastrophic episodes are especially rewarding because the writers never take the easy way out. Ever. We're talking uncomfortable conversations, serious stalking, and cold, harsh consequences.
Marriage can be ugly, and that's why it doesn't hurt to cast supersexy leads in a series that delves into the ugliness. Case in point: dreamy, appealing Townsend. We got nine minutes to question the dashing Irishman about the future of "Betrayal." We promise there are no spoilers for the upcoming episodes. We'd never betray the fans.
1. This Sunday's episode description says, "Jack makes a difficult confession that leaves him vulnerable and exposed, but brings him closer to Sara than ever." Can you tell us about that decision?
Well, yes, that's a bit of a moment. I can't say what the confession is, but it is definitely a moment where I open myself up like you have never seen before. I go into this very kind of vulnerable, open place in front of Sara. And when two people have a moment like that, it definitely strengthens our relationship. You see from there on he really trusts her, to be able to open himself up like that. And what he tells her is pretty revelatory in the story of the show, and the audience will be like, "Oh, we never knew about that." And it kind of puts a new angle on Jack's character, as well.
2. Where is the relationship between Jack and Zarek (Jason Butler Harner) heading? Surely Jack will punch him eventually.
He's trouble all the way. (Laughs) He's a great actor. You know, that's another thing that comes out of nowhere, and we know that he's not good news because he instantly has something on Jack, and he seems like the kind of guy who would do anything to get what he wants.
3. We're worried about T.J., and we see that Jack and T.J. get into a brawl. How is that possible?
(Laughs) That could happen. There is some history there that needs to come out, and when it does, it's very interesting, about what happened between those two.
4. Please tell us no more nail guns. No more nailing anyone's hands.
You know, I think that was a very important moment for Thatcher to show the audience this guy is a shark. He got to the top by being that guy. And it's a moment for Jack because it's not the way Jack works. He likes to take people out for lunch and pay them off. It's Thatcher will nail-gun a guy if he gets in his way, and these are two very different approaches that these characters take. I don't mean to make a bad pun, but it is a nail in the coffin of the relationship because Jack is not cool with that. And also, the fear that now it could be Thatcher nail-gunning Jack. It could be anybody. Jack sees that and goes, "Wow. This is not the way forward."
5. Jack definitely plays it cooler, just like Sara, who went into Elaine's restaurant to do reconnaissance. Is Jack going to find out about her snooping?
He will, yeah. And actually, that's just a moment, an interesting moment for the audience, you see — what do you do when you're with somebody? Do you suddenly snoop around and stalk their life? I think it's very interesting. What's great is that we're at Episode 11 right now and that that moment actually comes back, way later, in a really, really great way. It's not a big deal, it's just this thing that happens and references that moment, and it's so good.
6. Do you think Jack's son, Vic, has the potential to become a mini-Thatcher?
That's very interesting. Yes, he is sort of on the periphery right now, but his character is a very important character, and he is behaving very erratically. He may just be being a teenager; we don't know yet. He definitely comes into play, and Val too, both of the kids. If the relationship gets found out, that's also a huge moment for those two. We have to see how they deal with that, if it happens. So yeah, both of those kids come more into play later on.
7. We know that Jack and Sara love each other, but are we going to see a divorce or a separation this season?
I don't know, to be honest. That's kind of a question I would like to know myself. You know, where do you go? If everybody finds out, where do you go from there? When does it stop being an affair and start becoming, you know, an actual co-habitable relationship? I don't know. But in the episode we're doing right now, you'll see where their relationship has gone. And it's different.
8. Give us some intel on Elaine and Aidan, the wine guy.
Ah, that wine guy! There's something not right about that wine guy. As soon as I read about him, I was hmm, like, wait a second. And of course, not that I catch them, but there's this moment where they're having this flirtation out in the alleyway, and I don't really notice because I'm in such a head space myself, but yeah. I think the audience is definitely going to be asking that question. I don't think Jack is yet, but there are only so many times you can mention a wine guy and then it becomes something. I think Jack is so kind of preoccupied with everything else that he's kind of ignoring Elaine — what's the word?
9. You and Hannah do such a good job of hiding your accents. And Jack and Sara are way into role-play in the bedroom. So will we see them slip into native tongue at some point?
(Laughs) You never know! They have sort of made this story that I'm an immigrant, so my parents were, in fact, Irish. But I don't think so. You know, I think when you're born and raised in the country, then that is your place. I think of Jack as Chicago.
Watch an exclusive preview of Sunday's "Betrayal":
"Betrayal" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Stuart Townsend