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10 TV shows to watch if you like FBI: International

TV shows like FBI: International
Criminal Minds: Beyond Broders, The Bridge and Crossling Lines. Pic credit: CBS/FX/Sony Pictures Television

FBI: International is a unique type of procedural drama. 

While it plays on an FBI team helping those in need, it’s notable for how each episode takes place in another European country with its own flavor. This leads to issues such as clashes with the local police and cultures. 

Yet there are other series that also play on this type of adventure. Some are police dramas or involve the FBI or another federal agency abroad. Others may not use the FBI itself but are still unique with the globe-trotting action.

Many play on Interpol being an “international FBI” while others showcase the clash of police in different jurisdictions and nations that complicates cases.

It helps that many of them are also well-acted and made and so pull viewers in with their dramatic cases. These are ten shows fans of FBI: International may enjoy to show how justice goes beyond borders. 

Departure

Archie Panjabi
Archie Panjabi in Departure. Pic credit: Peacock

Emmy award-winner Archie Panjabi is the focus of this thrilling British-American series.

When a plane vanishes over the ocean, an aviation expert (Panjabi) is assigned to discover what happened. Before long, she’s untangling a twisted web of a suspected terrorist, a pilot with a double life, and a survivor unable to recall what happened. 

There are clashes between her department, the police, and British intelligence as she’s aided by a powerful ally (Christopher Plummer in his final role). 

Season 2 shifts the story to a train crash as Panjabi’s search for answers leads to her clashing with the FBI chasing a wanted fugitive. 

Season 3 is set to start filming and no doubt continuing a thrilling international case.

Seasons 1&2 streaming on Peacock. 

Absentia

Absentina
Stana Katic in the Canadian thriller Absentia. Pic credit: Sony Pictures Television

Stana Katic (Castle) has a stellar showcase in this Canadian TV series.

Six years after going missing and presumed dead, FBI agent Emily Byrne (Katic) returns with no memory of what happened to her. This naturally jars her husband, who is now married to someone else.

The first season focuses on what happened to Emily and whether she was a victim or a killer. The stakes are raised in Season 2, with Season 3 turning into a thrilling international hunt for a possible terrorist.

Katic is the reason to watch as a woman who can’t trust herself yet is determined to get at the truth of her ordeal while aiding others.

While canceled after three seasons, it’s still a good thriller resting on its stellar leading lady.

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Seasons 1-3 streaming on Amazon Prime. 

The Defeated

The Defeated
Taylor Kitsch in the Netflix police drama The Defeated. Pic credit: Netflix

While it’s in a different time period, it’s hard to find a bigger “police culture clash” show than this.

In 1946, a Brooklyn cop (Taylor Kitsch) is sent to post-World War II Berlin to help the police force get back into shape. He’s also searching for his brother, who went missing after the war.

Needless to say, there’s tension between the Allied police and soldiers and the Germans who are trying to put the horrors of the war behind them and rebuild their nation. 

Kitsch and the female German superintendent (Nina Hoss) work on cases involving the black market, smuggling, and people still living out their grudges from the war.

The retro feel adds to the show’s appeal while also showcasing that solving crime so soon after a global conflict is a war of its own.

Season 1 is streaming on Netflix.

The Bridge

The Bridge
Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger in the FX drama The Bridge. Pic credit: FX

There are versions of this story in other nations, but this FX series is one of the best.

An American judge is found dead exactly halfway on a bridge connecting Texas and Mexico. A troubled Texas cop (Diane Kruger) and a semi-corrupt Mexican police officer (Demian Bichir) must work together to solve the crime. 

While clashing at first, the pair soon begin to trust each other…mainly because the blatant corruption on both sides makes it impossible to trust anyone else.

The case soon takes some major turns, complicated by the realization someone is trying to cover up an even bigger crime. 

While the first season wraps up the initial murder, the second has the cops being targeted by a ruthless cartel, leading to a bigger player in the game. While lasting just two years, it’s a gripping look at how corruption spans any border.

Seasons 1-2 is streaming on Hulu.

Whiskey Cavalier

Whiskey Cavalier
Whiskey Cavalier is a brand new show on ABC. Pic credit: ABC

This too-short-lived ABC series is a delightful crime/spy caper romp.

Scott Foley plays an FBI agent rocked by a bad breakup. He runs into Lauren Cohan’s colder CIA operative, and the pair soon form a joint task force for international cases.

The banter of Foley and Cohan is wonderful, with her all-business approach clashing with his laid-back style. They’re aided by a team that includes Ana Ortiz’s sharp operative, a couple of arrogant hackers, and Foley’s best friend, a loveable moron.

The missions take them from exotic locales to Cohan’s hometown in Connecticut and always have great action. There’s also some fun banter between the characters and a wild twist that shifts the entire series.

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Sadly lasting just one season, this is a fun crime-spy show that deserved a lot more love.

Season 1 streaming on CW Seed.

The Enemy Within

The Enemy Within
Morris Chestnut and Jennifer Carpenter in the thriller The Enemy Within. Pic credit: NBC

This underrated NBC series puts a spin on the “recruiting the criminal” formula.

When deadly terrorist Mikhail Tal is threatening attacks, FBI agent Will Keaton (Morris Chestnut) needs help. He thus decides to recruit CIA operative Erika Shephard (Jennifer Carpenter), who betrayed her country to help Tal.

At first cagey, Erika starts to aid as it turns out the reasons behind her “betrayal” aren’t as clear as they seemed. Yet her insight leads to the discovery of Tal having other sleeper agents prepared to strike at any time. 

Carpenter’s performance makes it unclear whether Erika can be trusted or not, while Chestnut balances her as a man out to get the truth no matter the cost. 

While the finale leaves a lot up in the air, it does turn a regular FBI show into a thriller that keeps the viewers guessing.

Season 1 streaming on Apple TV.

Crossing Lines 

Crossing Lines
William Fichtner and the cast of the international crime drama Crossing Lines. Pic credit: Sony Pictures Television

This international production puts together a team of law enforcement agents from various countries into one team.

William Fichtner plays a former NYPD cop selected to join a division of theInternational Criminal Court that hunts down fugitives across the world. Composed of agents from Italy, Germany, Ireland, and France, the clash of cultures can cause some tension in cases. 

The actors (including Grey’s Anatomy star Richard Flood) track everything from a kidnapping to a possible terrorist attack. It can be dangerous as several characters meet brutal ends, and the final season has a vast cast turnover.

Despite the ups and downs, it’s a fun show examining how different police units around the world work and a fine crime drama in its own right.

Seasons 1-3 are available on Apple TV and Amazon Prime. 

Legends

Legends
Sean Bean in the thriller Legends. Pic credit: TNT

This TNT series offered a great leading man in a show that looks like a standard crime drama only to get wilder.

Martin Odum (Sean Bean) is a veteran FBI agent specializing in deep cover missions. He creates alternate identities or “legends” so perfect, even other agents can be fooled. 

But in the wake of an assignment, Martin is confronted by a mysterious man who gives him the disturbing idea that he himself is just another “legend” and his entire life is a lie.

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As he tries to figure that out, Martin continues to go on challenging undercover operations where he seems to forget who he truly is, leading to thrills.

The second season shifted it up with Martin heading to London on a quest to find his true identity. Bean is sensational in the lead as a man eager to expose the truth when he has no idea who he really is.

While axed on a cliffhanger, it’s a great ride for the complexity that leaves the viewer wondering how much is true.

Seasons 1&2 streaming on Hulu. 

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

Criminal Minds Beyond Borders
Gary Sinise, Alana de la Garza and the cast of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. Pic credit: CBS

FBI: International owes a lot to this spin-off of another hit CBS procedural.

Much like the current FBI spin-off, this series focused on a team of agents who travel across the world whenever Americans are endangered.

The team is led by Gary Sinise and FBI’s Alana de la Garza, handling a diverse group of investigators. The cases are thrilling, using the exotic locales alongside some local customs. 

The cases involve kidnappings, murders and even terrorist activity. The “UnSubs” can be a twisted group, yet some are oddly sympathetic even as their victims are prominent.

It never lasted as long as the main Criminal Minds show, but this spin-off will very much appeal to fans of FBI: International for showing the agency helping those in need around the world.

Seasons 1-2 streaming on Pluto. 

Blood & Treasure

blood and treasure season 1
Sofia Pernas as Lexi Vaziri and Matt Barr as Danny McNamara in Blood & Treasure. Pic credit: CBS

This surprise CBS hit is a great adventure romp for those loving globe-trotting action.

Former FBI agent Danny McNamara (Matt Barr) discovers that an international terrorist is hunting the legendary treasure of Anthony and Cleopatra. To stop him, Danny enlists his ex-lover, master thief Lexi (Sofia Pernas).

Together, the pair are on a quest taking them from England to Egypt to the Caribbean, staying a step ahead of various forces also after the treasure. 

The show rests on the great chemistry of the leads who work alongside an Interpol agent and Danny’s priest friend while trying to solve the clues to the treasure. It also has a great twist regarding the real villain behind it all. 

While the planned Season 2 is delayed, it’s a good time to hook onto a surprisingly fun global adventure.

Season 1 is streaming on Amazon Prime.

FBI: International returns Tuesday, January 4 at 9/8c on CBS.

A long-time freelance writer with a major love for movies, TV, books...read more

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