“Black Box” brings Season 1 to a close with its two-hour finale. In Zap2it‘s exclusive clip from the episode, fans see Ian Bickman (Ditch Davey) confront Catherine Black (Kelly Reilly) about her bipolar disorder for the first time.
That is just one of many season-long payoffs that fans will get in the final two episodes of Season 1. Zap2it spoke with Davey about the changes in Bickman over the past few episodes and what fans can expect for Bickman and Catherine as a couple going forward.
Zap2it: In this clip, Bickman finally confronts Catherine about her bipolar disorder. That’s a pretty huge moment in the show. Was it as important a moment to shoot?
Ditch Davey: I think it was. Because we were in the reality of the show, Bickman’s oblivious to it. So much of the show is about Catherine’s bipolar and her living with that. As Bickman, I never took an interest in it because I never had to. I never had to think about it, I never had to talk about it. It was just one of those things that you just go about your business. Kelly was wonderful. You really saw a very scared little girl kind of being exposed to her secret. I thought that she was really, really wonderful in that scene. It was a delicate scene and a delicate moment.
I think he would like to, but this is what I love about the way the show is written. It’s not always as clear, and life is a little messy sometimes. I know that he would really like to, but then the questions within himself and the questions about his own abilities, I think the final episode starts to put their feet back on the ground a little bit. Rather than being caught up in the life and the lust that they’ve been exploring, they’re more based in the reality of their worlds now. It’s a little messier than just that one kind of idea.
We like messy on TV, though.
I know. It’s so cool, isn’t it? That’s what people really connect with is the question of which way they’re going to go. “Oh, I like this side of that character or that side.” There’s stuff to talk about, and there’s conversations to be had about “messy,” because that’s life.
Do you think Bickman would have gotten involved with Catherine had he known she was bipolar since the beginning?
For Bickman, at the start of Season 1, he’s very black-and-white. He knows what he knows, and if things are too hard, they get pushed aside. For him, emotions are that. When things get too deep, he doesn’t want any part of that. I think, if he had known, no, he wouldn’t have gone anywhere near her because of the ramifications of it. But I think the way it played out, he fell in love with Catherine despite himself and his own beliefs. Part of her character that interests him is the bipolar. It’s kind of funny that, yes, if you had reversed it, he probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere near her, but that’s probably the very thing about her character that he really admires and really loves.
When you play Bickman, do you play him as having met anyone like Catherine Black before?
I was always surprised and always questioned her response, because from his point of view, he had never met a person like her, and he’s always been the king of his domain. To be in a situation where there is another person there that can go toe-to-toe with him, that’s something that he’s ever experienced before. He finds it amusing, he finds it grating and he finds it magnetic — but all are things he’s never experienced before. That was a really interesting part of playing him, because there are so many things that he goes through in this season that he’s never experienced before. [laughs] Love; feeling like he’s not the top dog; feeling like he’s not the smartest guy in the room; feeling that feeling of the fear and being out of control; having almost killed the closest person in his life, which is sadly his doorman — all of these things for him. It was a wonderful season to play.
Was that dark, doubt-filled arc of Bickman’s always planned for this season?
I’m sure it was penciled in. I’m not sure to what level it was. I didn’t know that arc until we were into the series, but for any character, that’s what I like doing: Building them in one direction to go in another, just to turn on a dime and to show different sides to a character. I thought it was really brave of the writers and of Amy [Holden Jones] the creator to go in that area, and to show the head neurosurgeon doubting himself, because what are the ramifications of that.
In a “Black Box” messy kind of way, there is a resolution for all the story arcs that we’ve gone on. All the different characters get a chance to close out their storylines, but in a different kind of way. There is resolution, but it certainly leaves us with the opportunity that “Black Box” Season 2 can happen. It’s in a messy kind of way, but you will get a resolution. We all really like it. I think it does tie everything up, and you do get to see all your characters earning their resolutions in a really wonderful season. … It was a great project to be a part of, and I think it’s very special. I would dearly love to go into Season 2.
“Black Box” begins its two-hour Season 1 finale at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.