'Something's Gotta Give': FBI: Most Wanted's Roxy Sternberg Previews The 'Real Disturbing Stuff' As Barnes Faces Family Drama

Roxy Sternberg in FBI: Most Wanted Season 5 premiere
(Image credit: Mark Schafer/CBS)

FBI: Most Wanted returns to CBS on March 12 after a brief break in the 2024 TV schedule to shift the focus over to Sheryll Barnes, played from the beginning by Roxy Sternberg. Of course, on a show in the FBI franchise, a character stepping into the spotlight doesn’t always mean an easy case for them, and that will be the situation with Barnes both on the job and at home. Sternberg spoke with CinemaBlend about Barnes’ family struggles and the case that is dark even by Most Wanted standards. 

The next new episode of Most Wanted is called “Hollow” and will send the Fugitive Task Force to upstate New York to hunt a serial killer who has been murdering Indigenous women. The clock will be ticking for them as always, and Barnes won’t be able to count on a happy ending regardless of whether or not the team catches the bad guy this week, as she and wife Charlotte haven’t had much time to bond lately. 

I spoke with Roxy Sternberg about Barnes and Charlotte struggling in their marriage, and the actress shared her thoughts on exploring this part of her character via this episode:

I love the character stuff. I love the family stuff. I love when there's a bit of adversity, a bit of friction. Whenever I get episodes and it's to do with family stuff, I get really excited. It's just a shame that this one's not the usual easy, you know, kiss one another at the end and make it all better. This one just seems like it's a bit different, which I also love as well. I don't like when things are so easy. Not in life necessarily, but as a character, I think it's nice having a little bit of friction, having something to work with, work towards, work up against. I enjoy it, but it is sad.

A bit of friction may not be what most people look for in their own lives, but would Most Wanted really be as interesting as it is if everything – or anything – was easy for the agents? The extreme hours of Barnes’ work have caused some tension between the spouses over the five years of the series so far, which you can revisit streaming via Paramount+ subscription and/or Peacock Premium subscription

It remains to be seen what, if anything, has changed since fans last saw Charlotte, played by Fedna Jacquet. I went on to ask Roxy Sternberg – who has also weighed in on Most Wanted hitting a major milestone – if it would be a little unrealistic if there wasn’t some friction in light of the demands of Barnes’ job, and she responded:

I think it would be unrealistic. I think that would be so simple, so easy, maybe boring even – to watch someone that's out on the field working the crazy hours she works and comes home and is an amazing wife. The truth is I work these crazy hours. Not the same crazy hours as a real FBI agent, but we work crazy hours on the show and I sometimes come home and I'm an absolute terror. I'm like, 'Why is the place a mess?' That's what happens, but what it is, is it's everything. It's the whole day that’s been simmering, and so I think it would be unrealistic for me [as Barnes] to come home and be an incredible mother as well as a great agent on the field. An incredible mother and wife. Something's gotta give. I can't be great at my job, a great spouse, and a great mother. I think something is definitely being compromised.

While Ray seems to be achieving a pretty solid work/life balance in Season 5 based off of the episode that introduced his dad and ended on a big step forward in his relationship, Remy hasn’t had a particularly easy time. Based on Roxy Sternberg’s comments, Barnes isn’t dealing nearly as well as Ray this season. Apparently, “something’s gotta give.”

Charlotte and Barnes in FBI: Most Wanted Season 5x04

(Image credit: Mark Schafer/CBS)

And on FBI: Most Wanted, pretty terrible things can happen when something’s gotta give, although it should at least be safe to say that Charlotte won’t be part of the case of the week with the upstate murders of Indigenous women. According to Roxy Sternberg, however, the case will make her feel more stretched thin than usual by the end of the day:

It's a pretty dark one, and the things that we see on this episode we don't usually see. I think I'm especially exhausted [as Barnes], and I've seen some real disturbing stuff. So coming home, just wanting to just have my wife hold me and love one another and just kind of just review the day and just lay in bed together and spoon one another. This would feel like this is the episode that I think Barnes would need that, but I don't think she's expecting it just because of the way that they started.

Considering Most Wanted has aired more than 75 episodes at this point and even killed off the original leading man in pretty brutal fashion, it says a lot that Sternberg will describe a case as “pretty dark” with “some real disturbing stuff.” The show has just evolved the dark storylines ever since she first spoke with CinemaBlend about them back in 2020! The actress continued:

I think she knows that Charlotte's not overly happy, overly thrilled with [her]. [As Barnes], I don't know to what extent but I think I'm aware that the wife's not very happy. I think I'm taken by surprise as to what extent my wife is not happy, but yeah, I think I am especially stretched thin with this case. I've seen some real crap. I think we always see some real crap. [laughs] We see some real dark situations, real dark circumstances, and this one feels especially dark.

Fortunately, the wait to see what’s particularly dark about “Hollow” and what happens between Barnes and Charlotte isn’t much longer. The new episode airs on Tuesday, March 12 on CBS in FBI: Most Wanted’s usual time slot of 10 p.m. ET. All three shows of the franchise will be back, with FBI’s newest episode of Season 6 in the wake of OA’s heavy storyline at 8 p.m. ET and FBI: International’s newest case at 9 p.m. ET. A Chicago Fire veteran will soon return to the franchise as well, with Monica Raymund slated to direct another FBI episode this season. 

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).