Trust can be a very tough commodity for an FBI agent.
While still reeling from Rina’s shooting, the FBI team found themselves tasked with stopping some dangerous robbers. However, Tiffany Wallace’s personal interest in one youth nearly jeopardized the entire case in Fostered.
A deadly robbery
The episode opened with a couple heading into a jewelry shop where owner Gus (Anthony Coppola) welcomed them. Jack (BJ Gruber) was proposing to Melody (Alexandria Benford) when a pack of masked men entered with guns.
When Gus grabbed a gun, the leader of the group opened fire to kill him and Melody.
With OA and Scola busy with a grand jury hearing, Maggie and Wallace took up the investigation with poor Jack still shaken at the loss of his girlfriend and unable to give much info.
Tiffany realized one of the watches was a decoy with a tracking device, and that the robbers may have taken another. At FBI Headquarters, Jubal touched on Rina still being in a coma before getting into the case as the getaway car was found.
Tiffany and Maggie found a dealer wearing the watch with the man saying it was payment for a deal and giving info on the car with a license plate matching the late rapper DMX.
The car belonged to pawn shop owner Kimball, but when the team raided his store, they found him already dead with some of the stolen jewelry. A witness claimed to have heard the gunshots and seen a figure running off.
Video found the man selling off the jewelry, but it seemed odd he’d double back hours later to kill Kimble. They soon identified him as 16-year old Jamal Carter (Dante Brown), who had been in foster care since he was nine.
A not-so-innocent teen
Wallace and Maggie headed to foster care worker Sheryl (Libya V. Pugh) to argue for his records, with Sheryl refusing to believe Jamal was a murderer. She did agree to share his address, repeating how smart Jamal was, with his mother dying when he was young, and his father shot dead by a police officer on Christmas Eve seven years earlier.
Maggie sensed something was on Wallace’s mind as they went to the home run by Percy Jones (Royce Johnson), with Jamal agreeing to go with as long as they didn’t handcuff him in front of the kids. However, Wallace was more concerned reading about the death of Jamal’s father.
Jamal claimed to have nothing to do with the robbery and that his foster brother Kevin (Luis Avila) had said he “found them in an alley.”
Jamal’s alibi checked out for both the murder and he was too short to be part of the robbery crew. However, his foster brothers, Kevin, Tyler (Drew Schonenberger), and DeMarcus (Jordan Floyd) all matched the height of the robbers. Knowing they wouldn’t talk, the agents pushed Jamal to wear a wire. He refused at first as he didn’t want to ruin a new home, but with his own freedom in jeopardy, he soon agreed.
Wallace gave Jamal his earpiece and words of encouragement as he headed into the house with his brothers and Percy. Maggie and Tiffany encouraged him not to talk too much as he checked the rooms upstairs.
Kevin found Jamal rummaging through his room with Kevin soon pushing Jamal for messing up the pawnshop deal. He pressed on how they were true brothers, and Jamal was part of that. Just as Kevin was about to confess more, the camera suddenly went out.
Jamal exited with Maggie confronting him about shutting off the camera, which he claimed wasn’t his fault. Wallace got Maggie to back off as they called in a warrant to raid the home. But when they found the place cleared out, Maggie was convinced Jamal had played them.
A wilder robbery and a secret
Amid the evidence was Percy’s notes on foster care as Wallace found a bank stub in the trash. They also found a small arsenal which had them realizing Percy was training these kids into his robbery crew.
As OA tried to find the team and their stolen car, an angry Tiffany railed at Jamal, who protested his innocence. Maggie talked to Scola, who was surprised at Wallace taking up the interview, but when he heard Jamal’s story, he suddenly realized what was bothering his partner.
Jamal was arrested but his words on ”they didn’t leave me behind” made Wallace realize the gang had used Jamal to case out a bank for them to rob before they fled town.
The agents raced there to find a wounded security guard stumbling out as Percy and his “family” took hostages to lock the bank down.
The FBI swiftly surrounded the bank, but breaching could jeopardize a dozen hostages. Tiffany called Percy, who snapped no one cared about these kids more than him, and he was “leveling the playing field.” He refused to give up, convinced the FBI would kill them anyway.
The gang rolled out smoke canisters as cover before sending the hostages off with gunshots sending them running. The team realized the gang had swapped clothes with the hostages, but it didn’t help as Tyler and DeMarcus were quickly caught.
Percy and Kevin tried to escape the bank, but Kevin gave up fast and, after a tense stand-off, Percy agreed with Wallace’s words to not leave these boys without a father and surrendered.
With the case wrapped up, Maggie talked to Tiffany as the truth came out: Tiffany was the cop who shot Jamal’s dad in self-defense. She clearly couldn’t believe running into Jamal, and obviously, her guilt had driven her on in this case. Maggie told Tiffany that she considered them all a family and she could turn to anyone for help.
Tiffany went to see Jamal in lockup, the youth apologized for trying to cover for the gang as he thought he’d finally found a home. When he asked if Tiffany ever wished she could make different choices, she could only reply, “more than you’ll ever know.”
It was a personal hour for Wallace, shedding insight into her past and a reminder of one of her biggest mistakes.
FBI Season 4 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on CBS.