FBI: Most Wanted recap: Barnes makes a huge choice in a family drama

FBI Most Wanted
Ortiz (Miguel Gomez), Barnes (Roxy Sternberg) and Gaines (Alexa Davalos) track a suspect on FBI: Most Wanted. Pic credit: CBS

At the end of the day, a family has to come before duty.

After dealing with the fallout of Jess’s death, the FBI: Most Wanted team had another personal drama while handling a case of a murderous couple which left Barnes making a big decision about her career.

That made Decriminalized another big shift for fans of the show.

A “law-abiding” couple breaks all the rules

In Vermont, a couple (Nick Thurston and Keely Miller) was shown getting out of a car, complaining about a ruined night out, only to hear noises outside. They found Lupe (Wendy Guiterrez) and Victor Ruiz (Mario Peguero) stealing bags of money from a nearby barn. 

Victor drove off and the couple soon chased them, the wife ramming the van off the road. Victor begged for help but after finding out the money burned in the crash, Will (Nick Thurston) killed both Victor and Lupe. 

Hearing moans, they looked in the back of the van to see other people inside. As the wife talked about getting to a Rachel, Will finished off the van’s occupants. 

Barnes was shown feeding her baby while admitting to her mother that she and Charlotte missed each other because of their jobs. She was also wary of the team moving on from Jess with no replacement being named yet. 

The couple was identified as Will and Marianne Conway, supposedly mild-mannered people who had killed six people, four of them undocumented immigrants. The agents then got a call from a nanny, Natalie (Lili Stein), about Rachel (Aria Ashlyn Goodson), the Conway’s daughter, because the couple never returned for their daughter the night before.

The agents discovered there had been an accident (the murders) that led back to the Conways. Rachel talked of the pair owning a barn, but ultimately had no idea what her parents had done. Outside, Marianne and Will saw the agents around the house and decided to leave Rachel with the agents for the time being.

Marianne declared she would come back for Rachel soon. They then headed to the house to find an “insurance policy.”

Gaines and Hana talked about Barnes being distracted, with each agreeing Barnes should put her family ahead of the job. Hana suggested Gaines use her own wishes to have spent time with her kids to talk to Barnes.

They found a cellar door in a field that led to an underground chamber housing a marijuana farm. The two were baffled why the Conways would be using illegal help and then murder undocumented workers to cover up growing weed in a state where it was legal.

The Conways showed up to get something out of a safe and Gaines and Hana engaged in a gunfight which caused some chemicals to ignite. The Conways escaped, barring the door, but fortunately, Barnes arrived to rescue her teammates. 

A unique drug scheme unfolds

The agents realized the Conways had been after the safe, which contained a pack of seeds. Realizing they needed fast cash, the Conways pulled a gun on some dealers at another pot distribution store. 

Ortiz advised the Conways had spent a lot of money setting up their farm only to be denied a license. Hana suspected the pair had not only run the farm illegally but turned to laundering money for someone deadlier. The seeds were a rare batch used in drug fields in Columbia for another connection. 

Marianne’s sister, a college professor named Laura (Enid Graham), was shocked to hear what was happening while admitting she hadn’t spoken to Marianne in years. She was relieved to hear Rachel was safe but reluctant to take on the responsibility of watching her. 

Gaines and Ortiz arrived at the dispensary to find the dead bodies of the owners who had gotten the license the Conways had been denied. The detective on the scene revealed the Conways had stolen the entire supply before splitting up in separate vans. 

In New Hampshire, the Conways were going over their supply while the agents tracked one stolen car to a motel. They arrested a man there (not Will) while a woman sent a text and then shot herself. 

The man, Michael (Michael Garrett Boxleitner), was distraught, saying he and his wife Julia had been pulled into what amounted to a multi-level marijuana marketing plan, and if they didn’t meet a monthly quota, they would face punishment.

That included beatings from their bosses and Julia felt it was better to go out herself than face a darker fate. He finally relayed they were supposed to meet the Conways by the Canadian border before he was led away.

Footage showed the Conways stealing another car. In the meantime, Hana went on an old-school records search to uncover a secret pot/money-laundering operation run by the Russian mafia. 

At a separate safe house, an unknown man got out of a car, shot a cop and Natalie, and then kidnapped Rachel.

For the love of a daughter

Thankfully, Natalie survived the shot. The Conways got a call from the kidnapper about Rachel. Will wanted to run, but Marianne said a life without Rachel wasn’t worth living, so he turned around.

At a courthouse, Hana was actually excited being “so non-analog” going through paper files on the Conways. They discovered Marianne’s original name was Matrushok, daughter of Vasily Matrushok (Zach Grenier), who they realized was the couple’s mob boss.

Elsewhere, Marianne and Will headed into a shop with Marianne declaring, “I’m home.” Marianne met Vasily, begging for forgiveness as she had kept Rachel’s existence quiet because of how dangerous this world was. 

Vasily had to break it to Marianne that he was no longer in control of the family and hadn’t abducted Rachel. He revealed that the new boss was Marianne’s respected and allegedly innocent sister, Laura. 

The team mused on how the Conways had been used to launder money, but all it took was their employees trying to rob them to mess everything up. The agents raided the store and Vasily calmly waited to tell them everything about Laura being the boss and Marianne going after her.

Marianne called Laura, who had one more twist of telling her sister to ask Will about something. Will confessed he’d set up a secret growing farm and personally hired those workers in hopes of getting enough money to escape. 

Marianne was outraged Will had done this behind her back as she and Laura bickered like they were kids, albeit now about the family’s criminal enterprise. Marianne was ready to give the whole thing to Laura as long as she got Rachel back. 

Laura decided to go back on the deal and the FBI arrived just as the sisters pulled guns on each other. Barnes took out a gunman to rescue Rachel, while Ortiz took out two others.

Both he and Marianne shot Laura but not before she shot Will. Marianne was more interested in saving Rachel than her duplicitous husband. 

Barnes revealed that she understood Marianne and let her hug Rachel one last time before she was arrested. 

Back at the office, Barnes told Isobel she needed to take time off to focus on her home life and daughter. She admitted Jess’s death made her realize “you never know how long you have” and wanted as much time with her kids as possible.

Isobel assured Barnes it was fine and wished her luck. Just as Barnes was leaving, Isobel got an e-mail on the new task force leader and seemed surprised at the name. 

It was a big push by the series to excuse Roxy Sternberg’s absence while setting up the intro of Dylan McDermott’s new boss

FBI: Most Wanted Season 3 returns with new episodes Tuesday April 12 at 10/9c on CBS.

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