Like a fine wine, a murder case is often deeper than it first looks.
What looked like the work of a local hate group turned out to have a different motive, while Forrester found a new connection in last night’s episode titled Uprooting.
A sour case begins
In Budapest, Forrester met Sara Molnar (Katalin Ruzsik) at a cafe to show off his Hungarian lessons. Their banter seemed flirtatious before going back to their lessons.
At an estate in Occitanie, France, a party was breaking up, the guests musing on how this was the first night in a while to feel “normal.”
As the pregnant Shannon Spencer (Alana O’Brien) brushed her teeth, her husband Daniel (Tony Nowicki) heard noises downstairs. He headed down to find someone smashing up their vats of wine and was suddenly shot by a sniper. A hysterical Shannon raced to him as he died in her arms.
Jaeger told the team how Daniel owned the vineyard with partner Henry Martin (Jeff Ayars) and his wife Amanda (Angela Lin), who had been the party guests. She related the area was home to CRAV, a local hate group known for violent protests, which could mean the murder was the start of a terror campaign.
The team arrived in France, noting the rough area and less than cordial welcome by the locals. They checked the crime scene with security footage not able to show who the sniper was.
Detectives LeGrand (Laurent Maruel) and Dupuis (Joffrey Platel) arrived with LeGrand stating CRAV was “extreme, but their hearts were in the right place.” Dupuis added how the local farmers hated outsiders uprooting them and hurting the local economy to sell to “foreigners with no respect for the land.”
Kellett talked to a heartbroken Shannon, who related how she loved the idea of owning a French vineyard. Amanda was helping her cope as Shannon blamed the locals harassing them with the attacks escalating.
Henry said he had seen a truck around the previous night but knew little else. He was happy to see the FBI involved as the local cops weren’t much help.
Vo brought up the story of a local bully killed by a town united against him and worried this was a version of that. She and Forrester found a crowd standing around Henry’s wine truck which was knocked off the road.
Henry argued with the group’s leader, the confrontation becoming physical with Forrester firing his gun in the air to break it up.
The leader, Guillaume (Raphael Roger Levy), said they simply wanted to protect their land as the agents led Henry away.
Squeezing some info
Jaeger questioned local wine owner Oliver (David Coburn) about the attack. He claimed the Spencers were engaged in fraud, buying cheap Spanish juices and selling it as French wine, and was defending his land.
Guillaume was the local head of CRAV, a former soldier and trained sniper. While his attacks were often brutal, the locals saw him as a hero defending their way of life.
Forrester found something off as CRAV had never flat-out murdered anyone before. Vo suggested the Spencers had somehow set the group off.
They headed to a local restaurant owned by American Jeremy Sheridan (Julio Gabay) for some information. He related Daniel and Henry were too impatient trying to make a splash rather than settle in as Jeremy had. Henry was open to meeting Guillaume, but Henry seemed to ignore it.
Forrester found a cell phone with the CRAV symbol on it. A cook ran out, pulling a knife before Forrester subdued him.
The cook, Nicholas, had been paid to get info for Guillaume. Jeremy defended him as being a nice guy, but Forrester wasn’t having it. He told the detectives to get Guillaume for a meeting, or he’d call in some Paris cops.
Guillaume showed up to deny CRAV had anything to do with the murder as it would cost the group sympathy with the people they were trying to help. He openly said no one would defy him there.
In the woods by the estate, the cops found the sniper rounds with CRAV carved into a tree. That seemed a bit too obvious for CRAV to leave behind a calling card.
Both Henry and Guillaume had been in contact with Tristian Moreau, a former soldier so radical even CRAV kicked him out. He was also a trained sniper who had called Henry just hours before Daniel’s murder.
A cell phone track showed Moreau was headed toward the winery…which was right where Kellett was headed to help Shannon.
The bittersweet truth is revealed
Shannon was still hurt over her husband’s death as Kellett got a warning phone call from Forrester. She sent Shannon into hiding when she heard someone breaking in downstairs.
Moreau attacked Kellet, who managed to fight him off. He refused to talk as the team theorized Henry had hired Moreau to kill Daniel.
Raines used his skills to crack Moreau’s phone, sending a message making it sound like Moreau was blackmailing Henry for money. Forrester was concerned about Kellett, who assured him she was okay.
Rather than Henry, it was Angela who arrived at Jeremy’s restaurant with the money, which she claimed to know nothing about. Henry was arrested, claiming Moreau had threatened them on behalf of CRAV.
Kellett showed how the agreement between Daniel and Henry said if one left the winery for the U.S., the other would take the place over but only have to pay a twentieth of the current price. He continued to claim CRAV was behind all this.
When asked what he thought, Forester noted “there’s one last drop in the bottle.”
The “drop” was Angela, as Forrester offered her a deal before he offered one to Moreau. She finally confessed that Henry wanted Moreau to hassle the Spencers so they would return to the U.S. and leave the Martins the winery.
Henry was always angry Daniel treated him like the help rather than a friend. When Daniel refused to buckle, they had Moreau shoot at him to scare him, not expecting him to kill Daniel.
Shannon was rocked to realize her “friends” were why her baby wouldn’t have a father. She had one last dose of anger for the pair before focusing on her son.
The team bid the detectives farewell as Guillaume offered Forrester a bottle of wine as a peace gesture. Back in Budapest, Kellett offered to crack the wine only to be thrown when Forrester said he had plans.
Forrester met Sara at the cafe, where she teased him about quitting before continuing their lessons over dinner.
It was a unique case of hunting an unexpected killer while also opening the possibility of Forrester having a new romance.
FBI: International airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CBS.