FBI had a few of their ladies in the spotlight.
After last week’s harrowing episode where Maggie was severely injured, Special Agent Nina Chase (Shantel VanSanten) joined the team.
Her first case was a huge one of a deadly hunter which found Isobel in the crosshairs and made Face Off a thriller of an episode.
A brutal home invasion
At an apartment, Olivia Blake (Ellen Adair) was telling her daughter Brooke (Casey Hilton) how she had to skip a friend’s party because of illness as Olivia’s wife Maria (Shina Ann Morris) helped cook.
Later that night, a stalker crept into the home to brutally stab Maria in her bed. Olivia raced to put the daughter in a closet before the man caught her, Brooke watching in horror as he stabbed her too.
At the office, Assistant Director Hawkins (Chance Kelly) was reaming Isobel over Maggie and OA going into the lab without authorization. He warned her the upper brass was getting wary of Isobel’s “cowboy tactics,” and she needed to watch her back.
OA related to the others how Maggie had some nerve damage, but they were confident of a recovery. Scola was surprised to see Nina with the group as she said, “don’t make it weird.”
Jubal related how Maria was a talk show hostess and Olivia was still alive. The attack matched those of two other women, one a real estate broker and the other an executive, all powerful women of the same age.
As a clock marked the time on screen, the team checked out the crime scene with Brooke’s dad, David Owen (Patrick Mulvey), helping her tell the agents how her stepmother had been arguing with a Black man a few weeks earlier.
Isobel met with profiler Deon Marshall (Joe Tuttle), who’d been assigned to the case by Hawkins. It appeared that, like the other victims, the killer had taken Maria’s wedding ring.
The team focused on Jeremiah Carver (Leon Andrew Joseph), the construction worker Maria had argued with. Marshall warned Isobel about going after a Black man off the description of an eight-year-old.
Scola and Wallace found Carver at his workplace, where (of course) he took off running and was quickly arrested. He denied being involved with the murders.
The agents were interested in how the Blakes had photos of Carver, which meant there were hidden cameras at the apartment. They managed to download them to see the killer breaking in and was obviously not Carver. Isobel then broke in with news of another victim.
Isobel is in the target range
The new victim was a surgeon, which fit the M.O. OA noted the killer was increasing his kills and took an earring from the body.
Marshall theorized the killer was a bitter man striking at women he felt more powerful, which undermined him.
Isobel wanted to call a press conference, but Marshall said that something felt wrong as there were few Black serial killers and they generally struck at lower-class victims. He warned this could empower the man, but Isobel said he was going to kill again anyway, so stopping him was the priority.
Isobel’s press conference emphasized the killer was a coward and not that smart. That sparked scores of anonymous tips, almost none of which were worth listening to. However, one woman reported seeing someone with that description exiting a church.
The team raided the church, finding some bloody clothes and a notebook showing the killer had been stalking each victim. Nina relayed a new address written in the book…which Jubal identified as Isobel’s home.
Isobel was just enjoying some wine when Jubal called with a warning, and she saw the man entering on her security cameras.
As the intruder entered, Isobel hit him over the head, and they struggled for his knife. Isobel clawed at the man’s face and was surprised to find it was a mask. He fled just before Jubal and the cops arrived.
The pair realized the killer had been wearing a mask to hide the fact he was actually white. Isobel realized too late she’d played into the killer’s hands promoting a Black killer, but Jubal told her not to blame herself.
A deadly house call
To his credit, Marshall didn’t gloat on being right but mused on the mask being a racial motivation, while Scola suggested it was just a good disguise. Nina related that the man had been following Isobel for some time.
Scola recognized the codes on the notebook as the shorthand restaurant employees used. A quick search led to an upscale restaurant that just happened to employ David Owen.
Once a theater worker, David had lost his job in the pandemic, then his wife divorced him to marry another woman. Their wedding date was the same night as the first murder, as Marshall theorized that had set David off to go after women like Maria, who he felt ruined his life.
They raided David’s apartment, finding the mask and the trophies he’d taken from the victims. They quickly realized David had kidnapped Brooke and was on the run. Olivia had come out of surgery, shocked at all of this.
Hearing her car was spotted at an upstate park, Olivia said her family had a house there. The agents and cops arrived with David firing his gun at them while holding Brooke hostage.
The agents knew going in would put Brooke at risk. OA tried to talk to David, who was on the edge of losing control.
Isobel and Marshall argued about this with Marshall revealing he’d been put here because his bosses felt Isobel listened to her gut too much. She fired back that her gut told her David was going to kill his daughter and himself and would take the heat for her choice.
On Isobel’s orders, the agents moved in, David threatening Brooke before Nina grabbed him from behind. She and OA were able to subdue David and get Brooke to safety.
Marshall dropped by Isobel’s office to say goodbye and bluntly told Isobel she “got lucky.” She fired back she’d “gotten lucky” for twenty years to become one of the few female SACs in the FBI. Marshall smiled with respect as he left.
It was a major episode for Isobel while also giving Nina a baptism of fire for the FBI unit.
FBI Season 4 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.