There’s nothing worse than handling a family drama amid a challenging mission.
Last time on FBI: International, Forrester met his long-missing, assumed traitor mother (Elizabeth Mitchell). The fallout from that made last night’s episode titled One Point One Million Followers one of the Fly Team’s most challenging missions yet.
A not very happy family reunion
Picking up right where we left off, Forrester couldn’t believe his mom popped back into his life after so long asking for help. Andrea snapped that “[she] did what [she] had to do” and sacrificed everything for her country as her “betrayal” was a deep-cover assignment for the CIA.
Forrester wasn’t interested in her excuses, he was too focused on his mother abandoning him for half his life. She asked him to get her a file; Forrester asked if she was insane wanting him to get something from the FBI vaults.
Forrester pulled his gun when Andrea tried to leave, but she simply said she loved him before walking off.
In Frankfurt, a man was confronted by neighbor Federick on knowing some secret. When Frederick walked off, the man shot him in the back.
The rest of the team were struck at Forrester yelling on the phone and on hearing of his breakup with Kellett. Even Tank seemed thrown but pulled it together when Forrester said they had a case.
The killer was Michael Vestal (Gabriel Olds), who ran a major anti-virus software company. He had been suspected of murdering his partner when the latter tried to push him out of the company and fled to Germany. However, he still kept online, claiming he was the victim of persecution.
That rang hollow considering they had video of him shooting his neighbor.
Kellett also pressed Forrester on the call, but he brushed it off.
Jaeger was happy as a clam to be working a case in her home country, introducing them to Detective Kripo Adler (Jeremy Xido), who admitted with embarrassment Vestal had contributed to the police force, among other causes.
With the DOJ freezing his assets, Vestal was low on funds, explaining his modest apartment. The victim’s widow, Lena (Xenia Kitzmann), was thrown to hear they’d been living next door to a fugitive, and her husband didn’t know the truth about Vestal.
They found a score of tech in Vestal’s room that he’d used to hide his digital footprint as well as a book that might belong to a mistress. They tracked a clue to a security firm run by Harold Pesch (Alexander Devrient), who claimed he had been approached by “Thomas Smith” for funding, accepting it, and only learned via the news who he was. He gave Vo a laptop Vestal had used.
As the team hunted him, Vestal posted a video claiming he was being framed by the FBI and the German government, putting pictures of Forrester and Kellett up. He encouraged his followers to find out whatever they could and “make life hell for them like they’re doing to me!”
The team are the ones being hunted
Forrester and Kellett weren’t happy about this, especially given the heat on Kellett already. Kellett knew Forrester was hiding something, but he insisted it was nothing.
Raines managed to make a pair of fake online bios for the pair to buy time in case some “doxxers” stumbled onto them. Vo figured out where Vestal had made the video which Adler recognized as a local tattoo parlor.
Jaeger took the lead talking to the tattoo artist who passed on Vestal’s message that if he died in custody, the world would think he was murdered. Jaeger played true “bad cop” with threats to rip out the woman’s piercings to get her to talk about Vestal.
Forrester and Kellett picked up the trail to a nightclub where before they knew it, they were brawling with some customers before Kellett broke it up at gunpoint. Forrester was confused why Vestal would be playing some sort of game with them; Kellett suggested the guy just got high on the attention.
Vestal posted another video, revealing he’d been right in the club to film the “maverick agents.”
Forrester then got a phone call from his mom pushing him to get the file. He reached out to his old friend Gary Murdoch (Mark Ebulue), claiming he needed the file on a case. Kellett had figured out Andrea was calling Forrester and couldn’t believe he was considering helping her.
Raines realized Pesch had given them a fake laptop as a stalling tactic. They chased him down only to confront a small mob at the police station. Jaeger told them off on how they should be ashamed protecting a killer.
A surprising turn to the hunt
Pesch confessed that he had just made a huge deal that could net him millions, but if it got out he’d hired a killer, it would be ruined. He’d known for a while who Vestal was but kept quiet in desperation to put his company on the map.
The team realized Vestal was in town in hopes of collecting his share of the deal as Pesch would have kept it quiet for a big cash transaction. He had no idea Vestal killed his last partner and had a way of paying him off.
The team pushed Pesch into meeting Vestal at a park for the “payoff.” Vo relayed that Vestal had just posted another video, meaning Pesch had warned him in hopes of salvaging the deal. As they took Pesch away, they were confronted by a mob of Vestal’s followers before Jaeger and Adler showed up to rescue them.
Forrester was still bugged by why Vestal killed his neighbor, with Vo realizing someone was filming Vestal in these videos. Finally, Kellett put it together that Vestal was sleeping with Frederick’s wife, Lena, which was the real reason for the murder.
Lena was caught at a checkpoint with Vestal hiding in her trunk. Lena claimed Federick was just “boring” and that she was caught up in the excitement of an affair with Vestal. Adler took pleasure in how the Frankfurt police would be posting their own video of Vestal’s arrest and admitted “this was fun.”
As the team headed off, Kellett warned Forrester to be careful “at a crossroads.” In Budapest, Forrester found the file only to turn it in to a counter-intelligence agent. He wore an earpiece as he prepared to meet his mother with the agent saying, “this is a patriotic thing you’re doing.”
Forrester realized there was never any file, and this whole thing was meant to trap Andrea. Forrester saw his mother coming at him as he waited on a bridge and managed to make a slight shake of the head. Instantly catching the warning, Andrea walked right by him as Forrester stood alone, caught between duty and family.
As wild as the case was, the drama was Forrester wondering just whose side his mother was on…and which side he would have to choose.
FBI: International airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CBS.