THE IRRATIONAL Writer Kirk Moore Previews Alec as an Expert Witness—Including the Introduction of His 'Nemesis' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE IRRATIONAL Writer Kirk Moore Previews Alec as an Expert Witness—Including the Introduction of His ‘Nemesis’

October 30, 2023 by  

THE IRRATIONAL Point and Shoot preview

THE IRRATIONAL — “Point & Shoot” Episode 106 — Pictured: (l-r) Emidio Lopes as Mason Hill-Jones, Jesse L. Martin as Alec Mercer, Neville Wingo as Donald Sales, Travina Springer as Kylie — (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Alec’s (Jesse L. Martin) behavior science skills are required in a different way on the Monday, October 30 episode of THE IRRATIONAL: As the expert witness for a wrongful death trial. 

“We were trying to figure out how we could get Alec involved in a different type of case,” Kirk Moore, who wrote “Point & Shoot,” tells Give Me My Remote. “We had seen him involved in kidnappings, murder cases, and the poker scam episode. So we’re trying to figure out what would be a different way for Alec to use his skills.”

“I thought it’d be neat to put Alec on the stand and he’d be an expert witness for a trial,” he continues. “When we were trying to figure out what trial to do, the room was throwing out ideas. I’d come across a lot of statistics about raids going wrong—you’d be really shocked by the amount of raids going wrong that happen across the country; it was pretty startling. We’ve seen episodes about an officer-involved shooting before, but I thought that this would be…a good fresh way to look at it, having Alec [use] his skill could help aid in the case.”

THE IRRATIONAL Point and Shoot preview

THE IRRATIONAL — “Point & Shoot” Episode 106 — Pictured: (l-r) Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Dustin Atwood, Jesse L. Martin as Alec Mercer — (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Of course, Alec isn’t the only expert at the trial—Malcolm-Jamal Warner plays Dustin, a quasi-contemporary, who has a prickly relationship with Alec.

“We wanted to find an interesting nemesis for Alec in this episode,” Moore says. “We were like, ‘What would it be like to have a colleague, someone who is just as well respected as Alec, go against him and what would that look like?’ It [also] shows different perspectives of policing. But at the same time, for Alec, give him someone who can go with him tit for tat, line for line. It was nice to get someone who Alec could potentially be intimidated by. It was really fun to create and to craft.”

Alec may be facing off against a nemesis, but that isn’t the only personal connection he has to the case: The victim had ties to Kylie (Travina Springer), Alec’s sister.

“With each episode, we’re always trying to deepen the characters and deepen our understanding of their backgrounds,” Moore says. “And so as we were moving through the season, one of the things we wanted to do was really kind of get to know Kylie; understand where she came from, where she went to college, and also deepen her and Alec’s relationship. I went to an HBCU—I went to Morehouse College in Atlanta—and so I was like, it’d be interesting if we can meet one of Kylie’s friends at an HBCU and just take it from there.”

“That’s the impetus for the Kylie story and the arc,” he continues. “We just really wanted to give her something. We get to see her be so fun and lively throughout the season. So we wanted to really deepen her in this episode, and show that she’s passionate and that she’s concerned about her friends. We really got to put a different color on Kylie, which I thought was nice.”

THE IRRATIONAL: 'Point & Shoot' Photos

THE IRRATIONAL — “Point & Shoot” Episode 106 — Pictured: (l-r) Jesse L. Martin as Alec Mercer, Travina Springer as Kylie, protesters — (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Though THE IRRATIONAL, like most procedurals, focuses on a new case every episode, showrunner Arika Lisanne Mittman previously called the NBC drama a whydunnit—rather than a whodunnit—which allows them to tell stories filtered through Alec’s specific skill set and change up how they explore the new arenas.

For the writers, getting to work within the elasticity of the series, “you want to find a balance,” Moore acknowledges. “Typically we do want to focus on the case and make sure that the case, or in this case, the trial, is interesting. We want to show how the characters are impacted.”

“For the most part, it’s really fun,” he continues. “We get to put Alec in all these really, really fun environments. I would say the challenge is making sure that Alec doesn’t feel like a cop—making sure that as he’s moving through the case, as he’s getting clues, he’s getting those through behavior and his psychological skills; not through normal procedural tech work. And so that’s usually where we have to really put our heads together and figure out how we’re gonna see how Alec is going to approach these situations.”

Of course, Martin has played a cop several times before, notably on NBC’s LAW & ORDER…making the line a bit more murky. Moore allows that’s its own challenge, in a “fun and refreshing way,” because the characters are so different.

“[Alec] is a lot more laid back, a lot more introspective,” he says. “And so we get to see Alec on the stand [in this episode, but] he has his own conflicting views about being an expert witness.” 

“With this character, you really get to see a softer, more tender side of Jesse,” Moore continues. “He pulls it off so well because he’s such a relatable guy and he makes Alec—someone who technically could be the smartest guy in the room—always feel like a friend of yours. And I think that that’s the strength of Jesse.”

THE IRRATIONAL, Mondays, 10/9c, NBC


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