Forrester’s past came calling on FBI: International.
As the team found a simple murder becoming a spy chase, Special Agent Scott Forrester found a clue to a family tie he’d long wanted to ignore.
A big story turns deadlier
As the Soul of Chess began, a man (Kumbi Mushambi) in Krakow, Poland, got a text on his phone forcing him to leave a cafe. Heading to his hotel room, the man found a dead maid before taking a bag from a safe and heading into the street.
He only got a dozen steps before coughing and then collapsing, dropping the bag. As another man pulled something from the bag, the text on the dead man’s phone said, “I’m sorry.”
In Budapest, Vo and Kellett’s jogging was interrupted by the team briefing on the murder victim, freelance journalist Philip Blake. It appeared to be poison with the Russians, the immediate suspect, although Jaeger pointed out it would be a huge escalation to target an American.
Forrester was concerned about Kellett being back in the field, but she was eager.
In Krakow, the team met Alesky Zielinski (Pawel Szjda), an old friend of Jaeger’s working for the Polish counterterrorism division and (in a nice break) was instantly warm for the team. He shared they had a suspect, Alina Nowak (Magdalena Korpas), a Polish reporter who was the last one to speak to Blake and had been on the street when he died.
Alina was not happy to be speaking to Americans, relating she and Blake had met on a previous story, but Blake didn’t share details on what he’d been working on. The team suspected there was more to her story but nothing worth holding her for.
Forrester and Kellett checked out the hotel to find Blake had been waiting for someone but left alone. Raines said the “poison” was a rare radioactive metal designed for a local effect, sprayed across the hotel room (which also killed the poor housekeeper). Kellett figured something in the room was important enough for Blake to come back.
Using a Geiger counter, the team found a room containing the same radiation that the killers used. Noticing someone watching them, Forrester led Raines outside to lure the man out so they could grab him, discovering he was a (literally) card-carrying member of the CIA.
Spy vs Spy vs reporter?
The agent, Michael Rafferty (Aaron Serostky), refused to divulge any information on Blake or what he was up to but shared the data file he’d taken from Blake’s bag. “This is a chess game. All that matters is checkmate. I can’t stop and worry about every pawn on the board.”
FBI’s New York office ordered the team to just let the CIA take charge while Vo saw the data drive had thousands of files. Forrester pressed Jaeger to call on some old contacts for help.
At the Russian consulate, Jaeger met Piotr Efremov (Alexander Sokovikov), an old “frenemy” who laughed off Russia being involved in Blake’s murder but warned Jaeger to stay out of this.
Vo finally found a hidden file showing Blake was investigating a breakthrough top-secret Russian missile, which seemed a terrific motive for murder. Blake’s widow, Julianna (Toni Belafonte), was tearfully convinced Russia had her husband silenced.
Julianna did reveal that it was Alina who gave Blake the story in the first place. They headed to her apartment, where a paranoid Alina was worried that “anyone who knows Dasha” was in danger.
Tank started barking a warning with the killers showing up at the building. Forrester and Vo exchanged shots with them as Tank took down one trying to kill Alina in the bathroom with the other getting away.
Who is Dasha?
Rafferty confirmed the team’s theory that Dasha was the code name for a high-up source in the Russian military, and the CIA was using Blake to try and flush him (or her) out.
When Forrester asked why the CIA didn’t loop them into this, Rafferty dryly said that just maybe he wasn’t inclined to trust the son of Angela Cassidy, one of the most infamous traitors in recent history.
Rafferty had zero qualms using Alina as bait to flush out Dasha while letting the Fly Team take point just in case things went wrong.
The team managed to contact Dasha through Blake’s phone to arrange a meeting. Vo was worried about using Alina like this, with Kellett suggesting she pose as Alina. Forrester at first refused, with Kellett snapping that Forrester had to focus on the mission, not his feelings for her and that if he couldn’t trust her to do her job, “then we’re done.”
Kellett headed to a local church but was trailed by a Russian assassin. She managed to kill the man with his own poison needle before the team helped her. Raines saw a man (Nicholas Gauci) watching and realized he was Dasha. He chased after him, but Dasha escaped.
Kellett tried to send messages to Dasha offering protection, with him responding, “I’ve been dead for 204 years.” Forrester realized Dasha was leaving a clue to a gravestone containing a data drive.
Rafferty showed up, demanding the drive with Forrester holding out on it. Jaeger and Piotr agreed both sides would keep this all quiet. Jaeger cut a deal to allow Alina to go free in exchange for not revealing Dasha’s existence, and Russia wouldn’t target reporters again. Julianna wasn’t pleased but figured Philip would want other journalists to do their jobs.
Forrester gave Rafferty the drive with Rafferty handing a “thank you” in the form of a photograph showing Forrester’s mother in Moscow.
While the thrills were good, the episode also had a strong connection for the Kellet/Forrester relationship and the hint Forrester’s motherly issues may be a big concern soon.
FBI: International showrunner Derek Haas recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Monsters and Critics. He spoke about this significant episode and the problems that journalists face in real life while trying o report the news around the world. Follow the link to catch up with that interview.
FBI: International airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CBS.