When the Fly Team of CBS' FBI: International reunites them with Europol agent Katrin Jaeger, played by former series regular Christiane Paul this week, they get an assist from a familiar face.
With the episode "Glimmers & Ghosts" (airing Tuesday at 9/8c), TVLine chatted with Paul about returning for no mere encore but a "deep dive" into Jaeger's past. And while we had the German actress on the Zoom, we had to ask her thoughts about Starz's gone-too-soon spy drama, Counterpart, and the literally viral story she was a part of.
TVLINE | Was there a handshake agreement that they'd bring me back for an episode if it's possible? [showrunner] Derek [Haas] made an incredible contribution to Jaeger's life.
TVLINE | In this episode, the Fly Team is on the lookout for the Stasi killers — who might be dubbed "East Germany's KGB." What particular insight does Jaeger offer? Jaeger, like always, has special connections everywhere, and here she knows someone who worked in counterintelligence in West Berlin. And of course the victim is German, and that's why she is the perfect connection for the Fly Team.
TVLINE | What was taught in schools about the Stasi? Of course we knew that the Stasi is a thing, and that we have this kind of intelligence service all over the world. Because what happened, and you can see it in this episode, is that they really infiltrate families. It's beyond all the imagination we have about a secret service.
This was something I'd discover at some point in my family. but it's really tough because your whole value system just breaks down. I was 15 years old and I had a wonderful childhood. I didn't know anything at that time about all the crimes that occurred, but I later discovered it. When you realize what happened, that the state in which you grew up did such terrible things, you suffer great harm. And this is something Jaeger undergoes in this episode.
Do we learn anything new about Jaeger in this episode? We learn that her family left her at one point, and she didn't know why. She moved to West Berlin where she had some relatives, and she got to know her mentor/stepfather, who she believed was a spy or counterintelligence employee. There were a lot of lies that she had to discover.
TVLINE | What was it like for you to return for such an intense episode, to do such a deep dive? I didn't expect it. I was just so surprised. I was like, "Oh, you're coming back for an episode! You're coming to Berlin, to my hometown!" I then read the episode and said, "Holy s—t, are you serious?" I feel really honored that they did something like that for my character.
TVLINE | What kind of weather did you get for this episode? Because it was looking pretty frosty in that park scene.... Yes, it was snowing! I think it was the coldest week of the year when they arrived, like -3° [Celsius]. But it's so funny because the last scene was written like that, with snow, and we had snow. It's a miracle.
TVLINE | I hope that was an actual coffee Luke [Kleintank] gave you. It was hot chocolate and it was warm, yeah. That was lovely.
TVLINE | Would you like to do an occasional comeback as needed? Of course. Why not? That would be wonderful.
In 'Counterpart,' Christiane Paul plays Mira.
TVLINE | I found it interesting that the elite Stasi group the team is after is named "Indigo," which was the name of the school run by your character, Mira, in Starz's Counterpart. Perhaps it's because the writer for this episode, Edgar Castillo, loved Counterpart as much as I liked it.
Do you think your Counterpart season has shifted a bit since it was a weaponized flu? Is it a little eerie? When I told the network that everybody who has the flu on the one side in Counterpart would wear masks, the network responded, "No, no. That's not even possible." Two years later, masks were everywhere. But they couldn't imagine that such a situation would occur.
TELEPHONE | Several people have suggested that the writers knew about the season 2 cancellation and that the scripts would be changed toward the end of Season 2? I really don't know. I think at that point Starz was established enough, in a way. However, I don't know.
I think Mira died. In at least one world. But in another, she's still alive! What's funny is that, in a way, the moment I had with [REDACTED] in the interrogation room really reminded me a bit of Mira.
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