In war, truth is often the first casualty.
After a tough smuggling case caused Forrester to ruin a good relationship, the Fly Team had to handle an attack on science that put the truth in the crosshairs.
However, the bigger effect was on Jaeger as the episode titled Get That Revolution Started may cause a massive break in the Fly Team that will shake up FBI: International for a while.
Science comes under fire literally
As the episode opened, Kellett talked to her mother, Julianne, about how it was “your sister’s day” and that she should do something special. Kellett brought up her mother’s drinking during the day, which caused a brief argument about Jamie’s late sister before Kellett ended the call. Forrester had overheard it with Kellett insisting she was okay.
At a research lab in Belgium, some scientists talked about their work when someone began shooting at them from across the street. They fled into a containment vault, but one American doctor was killed.
Raines told the team that the victim was Dr. Christopher Staton, a bioengineer working to track any new mutations of the coronavirus. Forrester recognized the lab’s head, Dr. Luc Michaud (Joseph Balderrama), a top advisor to the EU during the pandemic.
With as many enemies as those praising him, Michaud might have been the target. As Belgium was the heart of the EU, Jaeger was already there, introducing them to First Inspector Beckers (Thirsa van Til), who wasn’t happy about the “trigger-happy” mentality reaching her country.
Beckers admitted feeling guilty as Michaud and Staton had reported getting death threats, but she couldn’t find out more. She showed them the crime scene, Forrester suggesting they were sending a message hitting the lab.
Michaud was already back at work trying to focus on any viruses and considered his team a family and doubted any past worker did this. He admitted he’d often mocked people “who think they know more about a pandemic than scientists,” and threats were so common that he barely paid attention to them.
Michaud even felt guilty that calling out his haters might have brought this attack on his lab. “All I wanted was to tell the world the truth. Some ignorant people apparently would rather shoot the messenger.”
The first roof the team checked out didn’t match the trajectory of the shots, but Forrester figured the nearby one was the right place. They found the sniper’s nest, figuring this had to be the work of a trained soldier.
The ammo left behind matched the type of sniper rifle the Belgium armed forces used. Jaeger reported a base was not only missing a rifle but also its sniper, Corporal Patrick Jans, a former top soldier who was demoted and moved to the armory after several disciplinary actions.
The base commander, Lieutenant De Hondt (Magnus Brunn), had to break it to the team that Jans had left with a sniper rifle, grenades, and a rocket launcher.
He also left behind a note complaining about the EU’s COVID-19 policies along with some racist talk and a list of potential targets that included Michaud’s wife and daughter.
Jaeger runs into an unusual complication
Raines led Michaud to a safe house where his family was already placed. Forrester wanted to know why a man who fought other soldiers and used photos of liberal politicians as target practice hadn’t been court-martialed.
Things got tense with De Hondt before Vo used her own experience as a soldier to know how, too often, the upper brass turned a blind eye to a soldier’s extremist views. She suggested someone might have agreed with Jans’ views.
Corporal Dennis (Balázs Csémy) reported Jans hated Michaud, and it was obvious he agreed with the man’s beliefs but doubted this was really him as “he’s not a killer, he’s a soldier.” He suggested Patrick would never leave without his mother.
Celesse Jans (Dendrie Taylor) was proud of her son, refusing to believe he would murder someone. She was a conspiracy freak who thought the government was behind this “to push through their next mandate.”
Kellett talked to Celesse alone, using Celesse’s own beliefs to try and get to Patrick. She said she knew what it was like to “lose someone and spend your life wishing you’d done more to save them.” That got Celesse to talk on the promise they would bring Patrick in alive.
Patrick was hiding somewhere near the Meuse River, which ran about 500 miles, giving a vast range to search. They figured he was returning to a camping site he’d visited in the past. Raines was curious why Jans would take both a grenade launcher and a sniper rifle.
They were interrupted by Willem Smit (William Ludwig), Deputy Executive Director of Europol and Jaeger’s boss. He seemed friendly to the team but was tense on Jaeger ignoring his calls.
Heading off, the pair talked as Smit had been telling Jaeger for months to “rein in the Americans” and said that, like Jans, she was a “soldier gone rogue.” Smit made it clear that Jaeger still had a job because the Fly Team got results but “as soon as that changes, you’re gone.”
Forrester and Vo found Jan’s car with the launcher and rockets inside. They were confused at leaving the weaponry in the open only to realize it was a trap with a sniper firing at them.
Some deadly shots are fired
They called for backup with Jans (Vinzenz Kiefer), keeping the pair pinned down. They realized Jans was aiming for the rockets and ran just as he shot one to blow up the van.
With Jans having run, Jaeger talked to Michaud, who wanted to put out a statement on how he wasn’t going to back down over this. He also wanted his team to get back to work, which was more important.
“There is a war going on between the forces of knowledge and the forces of ignorance in the world. Right now…ignorance is winning.”
Vo was surprised to see Dennis among the soldiers hunting Jans, with Kellett wary of trusting anyone sympathetic toward Jans’ views.
Raines had noticed something about the letter as not only were some of the targets too obscure, but it was far too well written for the former soldier. He was using e-mails sent by someone who had a beef against Michaud.
The e-mail belonged to Marc Claes (Felix Uff), Michaud’s own lab assistant. A horrified Jaeger realized that because Claes kept his name off the hit list, she’d let him go with the location of the safe house.
The police raided Claes’ dorm room, with Raines catching him. Facing life in prison, Claes admitted he’d sent the location of Michaud’s safehouse to Jans. Kellett theorized Jans wanted everyone focused on the woods while he doubled back to the city.
They found Jans’ bag in the woods with the burner phone from Claes left behind. Forrester and Kellett were searching for Jans only to hear Smit had removed Jaeger from authority to move the family.
Smit blamed Jaeger for letting the location slip while Forrester focused on the family. As they were moved to a car, Jans fired at Michaud, hitting him below his protective vest.
Kellett raced to the roof only for Jans to get the drop on her. She tried to talk to him, but Jans was too far gone, considering everyone around him his enemy and on a mission as “I die, a hundred will follow me.”
Kellett brought up Patrick’s mother wanting him safe, and things could get better. He seemed to listen, putting down his gun only to throw himself off the roof before Kellett could stop him. Forrester could only embrace the crying Kellett in the aftermath.
Michaud was going to pull through but was saddened by how Marc couldn’t accept the team wouldn’t use his alternative vaccine idea. He then began posting online to find someone who shared the beliefs and radicalized a good soldier to become a killer.
Forrester found Smit putting all the blame on Jaeger and defended her as they did the best they could. Smit revealed that he’d already put in the paperwork to remove Jaeger as she realized Smit had deliberately exacerbated the situation just for the excuse to fire her.
Smit declared it was a done deal, leaving a stunned Jaeger and Forrester behind.
The aftermath of this decision will no doubt affect the show for some time and make the last episodes of the season a wilder ride.
FBI: International airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CBS.