The Irrational: Preview on Episode 3! – PROMO

On October 2, 2023, Episode 2 of The Irrational Season 1, entitled Dead Woman Walking, is airing on NBC. Let's take a first look at the episode with its synopsis, photos and promo!

On October 9, 2023, Episode 3 of The Irrational Season 1, entitled The Barnum Effect, is airing on NBC. Let’s take a first look at the episode with its synopsis, photos and promo!


NBC has released the synopsis for The Irrational Episode3, The Barnum Effect. Take a look! Keep following us for more news on the show, we’ll upload more as soon as available.

After a passenger plane crashes into the Potomac River, suspicions focus on the pilot; Professor Mercer and the team are asked to investigate the pilot’s personal motivations and piece together clues in the hopes of revealing the truth.


Over on NBC, The Voice (6.4 mil/0.6) was steady week-to-week and led the night’s non-NFL fare. The Irrational (3.94 mil/0.3) held steady following Week 2’s uptick.

Alec learns that not only is Marisa seeing someone, it’s someone he knows. Talk about introducing that element to their relationship at this point.

Arika Lisanne Mittman: From the start, we wanted this show to not only be a really fun, interesting, different kind of procedural but also to have that really human element of a couple that still care for each other very deeply, but they can’t be married to each other anymore. They’re going through a divorce and as there often is, there’s one party with a little more certainty about the whole thing at the moment than the other party, which is that Marisa made this choice.

She felt like the best thing for us to do is to end this marriage. She’s making a lot of choices with her head right now, and she’s very actively trying to move on and take the next step in her life. Alec’s not quite there yet, and so it is going to be difficult for him to process and difficult for him going forward. We want the audience to be a little bit rooting for these two to find their way back to each other. But that’s going to take some time because there’s a reason that they split up in the first place and there’s a lot they need to work through. And I think Marisa needs to see what’s behind door number two.

You said she’s making decisions with her head, so are we going to see her making a choice with her heart soon?

Eventually, she will. Yes. And it’s not to say her heart’s not in this new relationship because it is, but I think it was a very conscious decision on Marisa’s part to try to move on. When you’re an FBI agent — we learned this because we spoke to FBI consultants — you’re working all the time. There’s not a whole bunch of opportunities to just go out and meet people, and so it’s very common for FBI agents to have relationships with each other. She’s looking at somebody she’s been working with in a new light now that she’s divorced and available. She’s exploring this option, [with] someone she cares about very much. So I think there’s definitely something real there going on Marisa and Jace. Whether it will be as special as what she had with Alec, that remains to be seen.

Jesse L. Martin as Alec Mercer and Maahra Hill as Marisa in 'The Irrational'

Sergei Bachlakov/NBC

Alec and Marisa are working together on the church bombing case, and the emotional heaviness of that is bound to affect their relationship. What’s coming up there for them on a personal level and with the case?

On a personal level, like I said, they’re struggling with, what is this new dynamic between us? How do we stay friends? How do we have an appropriate working relationship together, given the past that we have, given that we used to be married? She’s trying to figure out what the boundaries are.

This case that’s very emotional for both of them ties them together. It was kind of a seminal case for both of them. It’s the case that inspired Alec to do the work that he does now and irrevocably changed his life because of the scars that it left him with physically and metaphorically. And for Marisa, this was her first real case as an FBI agent. It was a big test case for her, and it was the case in which she met her husband. So for both of them, this is a very important case and a very emotional case that they’re both very connected to.

Then there’s the mystery man who scared Wes Banning in court and led to him not only making sure he didn’t get parole but also making sure he was put in solitary so he wouldn’t have to answer any questions. What can you say about that person and how we’ll learn more? Slowly? Soon?

That is a mystery that we are exploring throughout the first season. I’m not going to say too much more about who that is, but the mystery of what happened in that church bombing is going to unfold over the course of the season.

And so it’s going to take a while before we get really much more about that person?

Yeah, in terms of revealing who that is, it will take some time. But we’ll continue to play pieces of that story as it starts to unfold because it’s a lot more complicated than what it looks like and that will unfold over the course of the season.

Is that a one-season story or something that could take multiple seasons to get the full picture of?

As of now, we have it planned as a one-season story, but there certainly may be some mysteries that still come out of that. There may be some questions remaining.

What kind of irrational behaviors might we see from Alec as a result of trying to get answers about what happened to him?

What’s great about Alec is he doesn’t consider himself to be above all of the irrationalities that he studies. All of the elements of human behavior that interests him and he talks about and are present in his studies, Alec is not immune to any of them. There will be blind spots in that case. He is emotionally connected to that case and he tries to, I think, distance himself from his cases so that he can be objective.

Well, this is a case that it’s hard to do that, and I think we’ll see a lot of his conflict as he attempts to keep a professional distance and study this the way he would any other case and the practicality of the emotional connection. He even uses his emotional connection to that. We saw that in Episode 2, where he uses his sense of smell and he’s trying to tap into his emotions so that he can remember more.

Alec talks to Rizwan (Arash DeMaxi) near the end of this episode about how their work can be fulfilling but all-consuming, and the cost of burying yourself in it. How much do you explore that this season for all the characters?

One of the things that I love about all of these characters is Alec, Marisa, Phoebe [Molly Kunz], and Rizwan are all very dedicated to their work, and Kylie [Travina Springer] is going to find inspiration in that. We will see Kylie start to realize, hey, all of these people are so passionate about their work. Whereas Kylie doesn’t live to work, she works to live; she sees work as a source of income, nothing more. She likes to play, she likes to take vacations. And so that character is going to be inspired by these other characters, as is Rizwan to a degree. Because what you see in some of the other characters and Alec and Marisa and Phoebe is a little bit of an imbalance in the other direction.

In Episode 3, Rizwan tries to be more like Alec. And in that conversation, Alec’s kind of warning him. The lesson is that it is good to find your passion in your work. It’s good to find fulfillment in your work. It is not good when your work takes so much of yourself that it pushes other things away. That’s really the crux of the Alec-Marisa conflict is that Marisa always felt like she came second to the work, the work was so all-consuming to Alec. Of course, she is going to have to explore that in herself as well. Does she do the same thing without realizing it?

Speaking of Kylie, what can you say about what we’ll see of her outside of that brother-sister relationship?

We were very excited to finally start getting Kylie out of the apartment, and you’ll see, over the course of the season, Kylie really come into her own and find some passion for the work that she does in a different way. That’s definitely part of Kylie’s journey for the season: to get out of just being Alec’s sister and get out of the work that she’s doing that’s purely for pay and not for purpose. She’s going to find her purpose by the end of the season.

Travina Springer — 'The Irrational'

Robert Falconer/NBC

Who will we see her interacting with the most outside of Alec?

We are going to do more with Kylie and Marisa because we always had in mind — or I always had in mind when I created these characters — that there was a really close relationship there before the divorce. They’ve got a little bit to work through because they’ve been a little bit distanced from each other since the divorce.

That’s been hard on both of them, too, because — again, I like to keep this really grounded human element to it — something that happens when couples get divorced is that there’s collateral damage and people who have friendships, people outside of the marriage itself, are affected by it and find their relationships impacted by it. How does Kylie continue to be a good friend to Marisa and be a good sister to Alec? Can she be both? Can she continue to have good strong relationships with both? We’ll call that into question, and we will land hopefully on the other side of that and see Marisa and Kylie spending more time together again.

Alec dismissed the idea of talking to Dr. Stevens because he knows everything he does and then some. Should we expect something to come up that forces him to change that opinion?

That’s going to take some time for Alec. I love imperfect characters, and I think Alec is such a great mentor and such an admirable character that we’ve got to find some space for him to have flaws and for imperfections. One of those is he can be overconfident in his own ability to do what he does and that he lowers his confidence in others. We’re going to continue to see him wrestle with those challenges.

Is there anything you wanted to do with the cases?

One thing which we definitely wanted to do, which we’re doing in Episode 3 with the plane crash, is explore cases that aren’t always murders. There are different types of crimes. You’ll see a kidnapping, you’ll see a mystery of somebody who keeps winning at poker. It’s not even always crime necessarily — though it is often — but they are puzzles for Alec to solve, and they’re puzzles of human nature.


NBC hasn’t released any promotional pictures for The Irrational Episode 3, The Barnum Effect, yet. Keep following us for more news on the show, we’ll upload them as soon as available.


NBC has released the promo or sneak peeks for The Irrational Episode 3, The Barnum Effect. Keep following us for more news on the show, we’ll upload them as soon as available.

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