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'Perception': Eric McCormack previews the 'shocking' summer finale and season 3B

'Perception' season 3
'Perception' season 3
Jennifer Rose Clasen, used with permission

"Perception" season 3 will air its summer finale next week, and on Thursday, Aug. 14, we joined a conference call with series star Eric McCormack during which he previewed what's coming up in "Dirty" – and the remaining five episodes of the season that will air in the winter.

When it comes to playing Daniel, "I have a lot of energy in life anyway, so…I'm better off in a part like [him] where my brain is racing…and I love playing a guy that is much smarter than I am," McCormack admitted of his "Perception" character. "He's a workout, but you feel good after a workout."

When season 3 began, Daniel was in Paris, trying to live a life that was different from what we've seen of him before and from what we've come to expect from him, but could that ever last? "He did believe he could be there. He did believe he could change his life, again without meds, and he could just make a giant shift and everything would be alright, and in fact it was completely wrong, and I think that was a good thing to show the audience, to remind them that this man that so often seems quite confident is in fact at the whimsy of his disease," he shared. "So Paris was a great reminder that there's a lot of adventure out there but he can't necessarily handle it all."

Daniel's father, played by Peter Coyote, returns in the summer finale, when Daniel must deal with him after he assault someone at the assisted living facility. "The exciting thing about TV sometimes is that you can play on themes that show up and grow later on. When JoBeth Williams appears as a hallucination of my mother in the second season, she mentions that my father and I have a very distant and not good relationship," McCormack said. "It was one line, but I loved that that planted a seed for this year. …For someone who's constantly wrestling with the idea of his disease not debilitating him, that he's going to get the better of it, that he's going to use it to his advantage, to see his own father, another very hard-headed man being brought low by a brain disease, it gives him that much more fuel and it makes him that much more sympathetic."

"Dirty" is also going to see Donnie finding himself in a compromising situation, and he's going to be calling Daniel for help. Last week and next week's episodes "go together very nicely," the actor previewed. "What we tease at the end of the episode that aired the other night was that Donnie's pursuing being an alderman in Chicago and the relationship he has with this woman Shelby. That's the big drive of the next episode. Quite frankly, I kind of wish it's something we teased out a little longer because the idea of Scott Wolf as a candidate is a great idea, but actually in fact a lot of it is going to come to a head next episode in a very shocking way. The episode opens quite shockingly."

As we stated above, there are still five more episodes after the summer finale, and those will be airing in the winter as season 3B. "Those get into a new area, which I think is a logical extension of what happens Tuesday," McCormack teased. "As Rachael and Scott's characters start to head towards a second marriage, a second wedding, Daniel as a result of what happens in this episode next week starts to come out of his own emotional shell and starts to speak up a bit more. I think it's an interesting dilemma with people online in terms of how happy they are or not happy they are that Kate may end up with Donnie again. There's a whole contingent of the shippers – I love the shippers – the shippers that want Kate and Daniel together. And there's those that actually like Daniel meeting these women he's had over the course of the season and actually getting some action. As much as I love our crimes of the week, I do love the emotional territory that we're starting to get into, particularly with Kate and Daniel."

But what if there isn't a season 4? Will 3B end in a way that would serve as a satisfying series finale? No. "We certainly didn't shoot anything with the idea that this is the ending," McCormack said. "It's an ending to an element of the story, but it in fact sets up a lot more stuff for the hopefully future season."

"Perception" season 3 airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on TNT. The summer finale, "Dirty," airs Aug. 19.

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