FBI: International had a tricky time fighting for a suspected killer.
With Kellett on the shelf, Forrester needed to step up more as the team had to protect an American suspected of murder while wondering about his guilt.
A man on the run even when ‘safe’
The episode called American Optimism kicked off with Drew Edmonson (Ivan Mok) racing through the streets of Madrid just ahead of police cars.
He came up to the American embassy to claim asylum and that “I didn’t kill him,” even with blood literally on his hands.
In Budapest, Kellett and Forrester were at his apartment, Forrester placing a kiss on the scar of Kellett’s now healed gunshot wound.
Kellett was happy to be cleared for work, but Forrester wanted her on desk duty. Kellett snapped that she didn’t want their relationship to affect how they acted at work.
Raines and Vo had a “welcome back” sign at the office while laughing at how Forrester and Kellett honestly thought they were keeping their relationship a secret by showing up precisely five seconds apart.
Raines briefed how Edmonson was suspected of the murder of his boyfriend, Rafael Delgado.
Heading to Madrid, Jaeger told the group how Ambassador Gary Berger (Armand Schultz) had gotten the job just for being a big political donor, so was in over his head and only cared about a ball he was hosting later. Liaison Emma Healy (Erica Lutz) was also way too chipper for her work.
Drew talked of how he and Rafael got along great, with him working for a local real estate company, although Rafael’s family wasn’t happy to discover he was gay. Drew claimed to have seen a man exiting Rafael’s apartment and found Rafael dead. He tried to help him but panicked that he’d be blamed for this and ran.
Inspector Mateo Diaz (David Norona) made it obvious he assumed Drew was the only suspect. Rafael’s mother (Pat Garrett) and brother Thiago (Rodrigo Penalosa Pita) removed items from the apartment, which meant the crime scene was contaminated.
To top that off, due to local customs, Rafael’s body was already being prepped for burial. Jaeger had to calm Forrester down before he went off on Diaz.
Forrester clashes with the brass
A couple of neighbors claimed to have heard an argument between Rafael and another man. Jaeger broke the news to Forrester that Berger was ready to toss Drew right to the Madrid police. Diaz then gave the team a “command room” barely larger than a closet to show he could care less about this.
Forrester and Jaeger talked to Thiago at a cafe, who always suspected Rafael was gay and had his doubts Drew was the killer. He said Rafael worked for a real estate firm where his co-workers talked warmly of Rafael being a good and trusting person.
At which point, Raines and Kellett discovered Rafael had been stealing from the firm in a shell company scam with the money put into an account…signed by Drew.
Diaz just saw this as more motive, with Drew claiming he had no idea he was signing for an account, only a work visa, as he didn’t even know Spanish. He wanted to stay at the embassy, but the team had to hand him to the cops even as Rafael’s mother believed Drew to have been “stalking” Rafael.
Kellett checked in via video to relate Drew might have been innocent while they found a video of him at a bakery at the time of the argument. Before they could do more, Diaz ordered the team out of Madrid.
The team has a ball
Kellett relayed that someone had withdrawn money from that account. Forrester camped out in front of the ambassador’s office until Berger finally agreed to see him. He told Berger he’d made a mistake by being too eager to please the locals rather than stand up for himself and other Americans.
When Berger mused that he didn’t know whether to “help you or hit you,” Forrester cracked, “you’re not the first.” Berger was thus able to get the Fly Team back on the case.
Drew identified the surveillance photo of the man withdrawing the money as the man he’d seen leaving the apartment. A quick check revealed him as Pedro Munoz (Mario De La Rosa), who Diaz was forced to admit was known to the cops for a long list of crimes, including extortion, forgery, and assault.
The cops and feds hunted Munoz, leading Raines on a foot chase across the city rooftops and into a pool before he was arrested.
Munoz didn’t even bother denying how he was blackmailing Rafael for money to keep his sexuality quiet. When Rafael tried to defuse the threat by coming out, Munoz killed him.
Drew blamed himself for Rafael’s death, but Thiago told Drew he made Rafael “more free” than he’d ever been in his life and thanked him.
While the case was solved, Forrester did discover a drawback: The team had to attend the black-tie ball where Diaz, to his credit, apologized for being wrong while Berger acted like he’d had the team’s back all along.
While Jaeger and Raines cut a rug on the dance floor, Forrester called Kellett, who insisted he come over soon as Tank kept her company.
While having Kellett on the sidelines made for a different case, it also showed how intense Forrester could be trying to defend an innocent man.
FBI: International returns with new episodes Tuesday, November 2 at 9/8c on CBS.More: FBI: International