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FBI - Hacktivist & Trauma - Double Review

13 Oct 2021

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After such a fast-paced start to the season with that three-hour event of The FBIs that reached an international scale, and that I hope we can get many more times in this and in the coming seasons, you might think that the more local cases of the mother series of this franchise might feel smaller or not as interesting, but the truth is that FBI rarely fails to keep the excitement and interest present with each episode and that’s what we had in the second and third installments of the fourth season which we will comment below. 

Hacktivist - Review: Desperate Measures
This episode started by picking up a story that was left pending from last season, the illness of Tyler, Jubal's son. I like that there is continuity in the plots and that no storylines are left up in the air, especially when it comes to learning more about the lives of the main characters, because that makes us feel closer to them. 

Continuing with the story, while Jubal and his ex-wife accompany their son while he receives treatment, the children's hospital where they are is attacked by a hacker. When I started watching the episode, I thought the ransomware premise was something original as I didn't remember right off having seen a case like this in another show, but then I found out that several series have used this theme in this and last season, so I realized two things: that it's not that original and that I probably need to watch more shows to expand my knowledge of certain plots, but still, it seemed like a good topic for our team to solve.

Returning to the episode, the fact that Jubal is personally involved in the case generates different reactions, since Isobel believes that it is best for him to stay away but Rina, who is again present in the story and with the team, initially supports him to participate in it but then seems to change his mind, because the ASAC, in order to speed things up, takes charge of the investigation and begins to make requests unlikely to reach or even outside the protocols of the FBI.

The hacker finally makes contact after she infiltrates six more hospitals in the city, and that's when they discover the rather peculiar intentions behind the hack: the investigation of a series of apparently suspicious deaths of several former patients of a psychiatric center. The team, somewhat skeptical, starts with the investigations of these deaths, while they continue with the search for the hacker and manage to find her, and discover that she was also a patient of the same psychiatric center where the victims were.

In the midst of all the chaos, it is discovered that Tyler requires an emergency operation without which his life is in danger, so the desperation to help him, motivates Jubal to rejoin the investigation and the first thing he does is try to convince Lydia, the hacker, on the sentimental side, telling her the story of her son, but she is simply convinced that she will not reverse the hacking until she is sure that they found the person responsible for the deaths of her friends.

And if the team doubted the girl's sanity, with the appearance of another dead former patient and the certainty now that he was poisoned and did not die of an overdose as apparently had happened to the others, they are convinced that her story is real, so Jubal tries to speed up the investigation as much as possible and in that desperation he skips more protocols to get some files that can lead them to the murderer of the psychiatric patients.

Finally they find him and when he attacks Tiffany, Stuart has to kill him to save his partner, so the situation generates doubts in Lydia, who thinks that the FBI wants to deceive her and that this man is not the real murderer. It is here when Maggie's great ability to generate empathy with others comes into play and manages to convey confidence to the hacker, through her personal story with her sister who is in rehab (which is also a way to give continuity to this other plot, as I mentioned at the beginning of the review) that finally convinces her that everything is over and she decides to return control of the systems to each hospital, which allows Jubal's son to go to surgery and thanks to that, get out of danger. 

And although the episode ends on that note of hope and relief, Lydia's story cannot end so well, as news are received that due to the hacking, a girl died in one of the hospitals as she was unable to get the medical assistance she required, so despite Maggie's intentions to intervene for her so that she would be given a reduced sentence because, despite everything, she acted arguably for a good cause, she will be charged with manslaughter.

Trauma - Review: Social Reintegration
I don't know if ti was on purpose, but I think it was a good idea that this case was shown during the week of Mental Health Day, as I consider it important to address the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder and its consequences in the lives of those who suffer from it and those surrounding him.

Although those of us who watch FBI are already accustomed to things happening in the opening scene that will trigger the central investigation of the episode, they usually manage to surprise me and this time was no exception, since it was quite shocking that explosion of the backpack of the boy who had just arrived accompanying his mother, a lawyer, to work, and which turns out not to be the first bomb to explode in a federal building in a few days, so Rina pressures Isobel to close the case as quickly as possible in order to benefit her own career.

Maggie and OA manage to find, through a security tape, the person who exchanged Evan's backpack, the boy, for the one that had the explosive that killed his mother and has him in a serious condition in the hospital. This man turns out to be a Navy SEAL, who before being arrested receives them in his house shooting them as a sniper, but from whom they are unable to get any information out of the interrogation, although they finally find a private club where veterans meet and which seems to be common ground between the detainee and the one who planted the previous bomb, and which also happens to be frequented by a friend of OA, Chris Zapata.

This link is not very productive at the beginning, since Chris is reluctant to help OA to go in to investigate, but still through the interrogation of the owner of the place, they discover that he approves the attacks and it is then when Rina returns to pressure Isobel to speed things up and the case is closed as soon as possible. This causes Isobel to put pressure on OA to involve his friend, to which he refuses because he considers that Chris is just readapting to civilian life again, but finally ends up agreeing and manages to convince the young man to help them by telling him the story of little Evan.

In their preparation to enter and leave a device that will allow them to hear and see what happens inside the club, OA discovers that Chris is carrying a gun and although he takes it away, this situation worries agent Zidan, who implies to Maggie that his friend took justice into his hands against someone who put a bomb on a bus while he was in Iraq. And it seems that this force that drives Chris is still present in him, because when he enters the club, besides planting the device, he brings up in a very direct way, the story of the bombs which makes OA to feel alarmed and want to get him out of there, although Maggie asks him to wait as she trusts that something good can come out of it.

Finally, Chris confronts the military directly and although they beat him up and kick him out of the club, he gets a direct image of them that allows the team to identify them through facial recognition, which leads them to a motel where the bombs were made, although they also discover that there is a missing one that could detonate anywhere in the city at any time. Eventually, after following several leads, they find the suspect and where he is headed and in a tense scene, Stuart ends up throwing the bomb into a dumpster before it explodes, but barely causes damage.

But when they seemed to be about to close the case, it is discovered that Chris seems to have one more pending to do justice, as he arrives at the club armed to kill Hawthorne, who is the one who was prodding the military to carry out the attacks, and so on. end the root problem, a situation that once again makes Rina go to Isobel's neck to end this case once and for all. Maggie and OA go to the club to try to stop Chris, and when Zidan seems to be convincing his friend not to ruin his life by taking justice into his hands, a struggle occurs between Hawthorne and Zapata, and the latter ends up unloading his weapon. on the criminal. But when they seemed to be about to close the case, it is discovered that Chris seems to have one more pending to serve justice, as he arrives armed at the club to kill Hawthorne, who is the one who was prodding the military to carry out the attacks, and thus end the problem at its roots, a situation that once again makes Rina to urge Isobel to end the case once and for all. Maggie and OA go to the club to try to stop Chris, and when Zidan seems to be convincing his friend not to ruin his life by taking justice into his own hands, there is a struggle between Hawthorne and Zapata, and the latter ends up unloading his gun on the criminal.

This scene was very shocking, as well as sad, because we could see OA suffer deeply for not being able to help his friend to get ahead and now having to see him end his hopes for a new life. But despite OA's suffering, Isobel asks him to lie in his report so as not to look bad because everyone knew that Chris was not quite well and in their eagerness to close the case quickly, they ended up dragging him to a path of no return. And although Zidan agrees to do the report she asks him to do, he makes very clear his opinion on the matter, closing the episode on a bitter note that reminds us that there aren't always happy endings and we can't always get what we want.

Once again, this series leaves you reflecting on an important topic, because through the case, not only of Chris but of the military with PTSD who planted the bombs pushed by a man who took advantage of the mental health issues they faced instead of helping them, they highlight the importance of not taking these issues lightly and keeping them on the agenda.

And although I rarely talk about the technical aspects, in this episode I must say that I liked several of the shots that were used. I can specifically highlight the scene of the initial interrogation of Ryan Davis, as I liked the back and forth close ups of the man's eyes and Maggie and OA, which created a tense moment. Also, the final shot zoomed out and into the shadows as OA walks away leaving Isobel alone in her office after arguing with her, in my opinion gives the episode a great closure.

Thanks for reading. Now it's time for you to share what you thought of these two episodes, below in the comments section.