‘FBI’: Zeeko Zaki on What OA Remembered, Plus Would He Have Confided in Maggie?

Special Agent Omar Adom “OA” Zidan (Zeeko Zaki) faces the same pressure that victims feel when he’s questioned them in the latest FBI episode, after he’s attacked one morning before work.

The NYPD detective on the case, Chavez (Carlos Gomez), pushes OA to identify his two attackers, though he insists he didn’t see their faces. But, after a victim during the FBI’s case revealed she could help more than she’d thought, he wondered if he could do the same in his own — and he was able to ID both people.

Here, Zaki discusses how much OA actually remembered, whether he would’ve opened up to Maggie (Missy Peregrym), on leaving after an on-the-job injury, and more.

How much did OA remember? He was able to ID his attackers after looking at the photos, so did it come back to him? Was he suppressing it? Or did he want to think he couldn’t remember?

Zeeko Zaki: I think OA honestly was so affected by what happened that if you were to immediately line up 100 people, there’s no way he would have confidence IDing [anyone]. But I think through the journey he takes in this episode, what we’re encouraged, I think, is the human’s brain’s response to trauma and what the effect of time and clarity can do to these traumatic events. So the idea is it doesn’t matter what you think you know, you have to sit with it, if that is the journey that you’re going to go on, and allow for your subconscious to kind of fill some of these holes. [It’s] just kind of stepping up to that space and being willing to allow your brain to fill these gaps that you’ve kind of shut down because of the traumatic event or the embarrassment of it happening.

So I think a fun journey throughout this episode was being asked that question and asking that question a lot: Do I remember, do I not remember? And at the end of the day, I think it came down to “I just know that I can’t help in the capacity that I should be able to, so I’m pulling the cord. I’m saying I don’t remember.” But then I think throughout the journey, you have to discover it and OA discovers it, and I think that’s just an important kind of visualization to put out there, that it is possible to figure things out with just time and patience.

How’s OA feeling about how everything went down and the way he handled it by the end of the episode?

I think by the end of the episode, what’s really nice is the support system that he does have at work, and it kind of comes together and there is this feeling of no matter how alone you feel in something, there are people around you that care and if you just allow them in and do have some vulnerability with the people around you as you wish they [have] with you, then that’s a nice balanced place to even begin to approach these traumatic events. But we definitely leave off in a space where OA does feel like his team is there to support him. And I think moving forward, he’s feeling a little more secure than in the beginning.

OA does open up to Nina (Shantel VanSanten) a bit in this episode. Talk about that dynamic, especially for OA. I’m really enjoying her being on the team, but having her there also has to be a reminder for OA why Maggie isn’t.

Correct. The pace that we move through these insane cases on the show has to then sort of affect the way that the characters move through their personal situations and issues. If you’re expecting a mother to be able to hold it together for a few hours to have a conversation about a lost loved one, then we have to have that strength with our own things. It just comes down to who do you want and who are you going to allow to help you through these very personal things.

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