FBI: International wrapped up its first season in a surprising way.
After working on a case that got Jaeger her job back, the Fly Team handled a terrorist attack that led to Forrester reuniting with his mother (Elizabeth Mitchell) and going on the run.
That made Crestfallen a fantastic finish to the first year of the show and set up a strong Season 2.
Returns and a bittersweet farewell
In Chelm, Poland, a man (Phillip Rosch) boarded a private plane, looking nervous. Not far from the airfield, two men played cards as the plane took off. They received word from communicators to act, taking out a rocket launcher to blast the plane out of the sky.
At the office, the team was bidding a bittersweet farewell to Jaeger as her new promotion at Europol meant she couldn’t be their liaison. This made the shooting down of the jet their last case together.
As the two pilots and the owner, Greg Hutchinson, were American, this made it the Fly Team’s job. Hutchinson was an industrialist working in Russia, but Forrester told Kellett he recognized the name from the file his mother had wanted.
Forrester then got a private call he recognized, heading to a cafe where a man dropped off a phone hidden in a newspaper. Answering it, Forrester saw Angela, who told him that a man named Pavel Novikoff was supposed to be on the plane. She hung up before she said more.
The team found Novikoff (Alon Aboutboul) was known as a master spy and a high-ranking member of the Kremlin’s inner circle. They theorized Hutchinson may have sought a favor from Novikoff.
A search found the men who shot down the plane were Vladislav and Stefon Popovich, freelance assassins. Kellett was worried about Forrester trusting his mother, but they were interrupted by a phone call from Michael Rafferty (Aaron Serotsky), the CIA operative they’d clashed with before.
Meeting at a park, Rafferty wanted to know about the team looking into Novikoff and warned Forrester he was being played by her mother wanting blackmail material on Hutchinson. It seemed Novikoff had fallen out of favor with the Kremlin to go on the run, and the “loyalist” Angela wanted to find him.
Forrester realized how Rafferty had been Angela’s handler, but he felt she turned to Russia for real to betray him. Forrester suggested bringing in Novikoff with all the information he had on Russia, but Rafferty told him to stay out of it, reminding Forrester of his oath.
Forrester got a call from Angela telling him Novikoff was in Croatia and wanted to defect but hung up without more info. The team was called in to see Ken Dandridge (Michael Torpey), the new liason to Washington. He wasn’t happy about the calls he was getting about the file and warned the team to focus on the case but not travel to Poland.
The team showed up at the office only to find Forrester had already left for Croatia.
Forrester goes rogue
In Croatia, Forrester met Astrid Jensen (Lotte Verbeek) of the Dutch police, an old contact of Jaeger’s. She didn’t know about Novikoff’s whereabouts and little hint the Russians were looking for him here. She warned Forrester he might be on his own on this.
Forrester set up shop in a police boat to contact the team, telling them they had to keep this quiet. Hutchinson had been in contact with someone who was expected to be on the plane and likely it was Novikoff, who was the true target of the crash.
Jaeger related that Hutchinson always used the same hotel in Croatia as Forrester said if this was a lie, Kellett would be the new boss, “and I’ll be your first arrest.”
Enter Dandridge with General Finley (Moe Irvin), not happy to hear Forrester was missing. Kellett brushed off being called “the ex-girlfriend” to make it clear they’d back Forrester. She gave Vo and Raines a chance to walk, but naturally, they refused.
Forrester got another call from Angela, who seemed harried as she told him to trust her. Forrester realized Rafferty was following him, who was warning him he was being used but suddenly gunned down.
Forrester exchanged fire with the gunmen, who were the Popoviches, just as Jensen drove up in a car to rescue him.
Forrester recovered at the boat to update the team on Rafferty’s death, with Kellett knowing they had to pull their superiors into this. He then checked out a flower shop to be met by Novikoff.
Forrester brought the spy to a safehouse, showing him on video to the team. He wanted to hand him directly to Dandridge and Finley.
Novikoff detailed that he had recruited Angela, who then flipped back to being a double agent for her son. Forrester was pleased to learn his mother was still loyal to the U.S. He was told there would be a jet waiting for them at a nearby airfield.
Jensen drove the pair as Novikoff shared his old advice to agents on “death’s embrace will always be right over your shoulder.” He got a phone call saying Angela was in Croatia just as a car smashed them off the road.
A tough choice to make
Forrester and Novikoff raced through the streets while Jensen held off the brothers. Novikoff was wounded as Forrester aided him and cleaned up his own wounds before trying to lead him to safety.
As they headed through the streets, they were attacked by Vladislav, Forrester managing to kill him after a brief struggle.
Forrester got Novikoff to a car just as Novikoff got a call that Angela wanted to meet. After an agonizing moment, Forrester decided Novikoff was more important. He took off to the airport with Stefon right behind him.
After a wild chase through the streets, Forrester led Stefon right to the police while he escaped with Novikoff. Just as they got to the airport, Novikoff got another call from Angela with “Crestfallen” in Russian, a code for her being compromised. Scott got a simpler text of “I’m sorry.”
A frustrated Forrester handed Novikoff to Finley to seek asylum. They complimented Forrester on “making up for your mother’s damage,” as Forrester wanted them to make sure Angela had helped here.
Forrester thanked Jensen for her help as they parted on good terms. He then got one last phone call from Angela telling him not to find her.
Scott returned to the office to a grateful team, brushing off the case to throw Jaeger a farewell party. The team enjoyed swapping stories, unaware that across the street, a vengeful Stefon was glaring at them all.
It was an intriguing possible farewell to one team member as well as a powerful episode for Forrester to close out FBI: International’s first season in a strong way.
FBI: International Season 2 premieres this fall on CBS.