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FBI: International – The Secrets She Knows - Review

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In this episode, as we saw in several shows this past few weeks, Wolf Entertainment dealt with the reality of mental health distress in people employed in high risk and high stress jobs in a very real and sensitive way. Thank you Dick Wolf and your amazing team of writers for your willingness to bring light to these very real issues, and start important conversations that will hopefully assist in reducing stigma around these very real struggles for many people in government, security, military, law, healthcare and first responders. Thank you for seeing us and letting us know it is okay to be seen.

As the episode opens, there is a man and woman in a bar in Paris. They are drinking and she tells him her job is top secret. She tells him she works for a small paper and then she invites him back to her place. She starts to get dizzy and looks like she is passing out. The camera work was extremely well done in this scene, showing the scene through her eyes with the focus blurring in and out, increasing the realism and understanding for the viewer of what the woman was supposed to be feeling and seeing. We then flash forward to two women arriving at an apartment, calling for someone named Bridget. When they go inside, they see blood everywhere but Bridget is nowhere to be found. One of the women wants to call police but other says that they know the protocol and that they need to call the pentagon.

We then move to Budapest, and see Vo and Raines meeting up at a coffee shop. Vo brought a mug with her as she wants to use it as it was her grandfathers, but she never gets a chance to drink coffee at home. The Barista says he would have been friends with her grandfather and that he has her usual order memorized. Vo asks him to prove it, while Raines looks on, suspicious of this gentleman. Seeing the developing friendship with these two characters, and perhaps some hints of underlying romantic feelings, is such a fun and welcome break that is woven neatly into the intense storylines of this show, and again demonstrates the great work the writers are doing in creating these episodes.

We then move to Forrester’s apartment. Scott is online and looking at maps and pictures and the photo of his mother, and Jamie comes in and asks if he slept. He says a little and that he is looking for his mom. He has figured out the neighbourhood that the picture was taken in, and has been trying to figure out if she is there hiding, or still running, or if maybe that is where she always intended to go. He asks Jamie what is he doing and says that this goes nowhere good for him, and Jamie says possibly that may be the case. It is nice to see the connection these two characters have which is obviously a well developed relationship, where he can really explore how he is feeling about this situation. Scott then gets call, and they have a new case.

Back in office, the team is together and Forrester tells them that they are taking orders from Department of Defense, from General Finley. They join the General online for a briefing where he tells them that Bridget Rapp is missing. She works for the Department of Energy Intelligence and Counter Intelligence and Scott states she has Q level clearance, which is one of the highest there is. General Finley says that Bridget basically has all the countries nuclear secrets in her head and someone has her. Everyone from around the world are in Paris for a Nuclear Conference so there are many potential players who would want to take her in town. Agent Katrin Jaeger has already tracked down footage from bar where she was, and it showed her meeting with a man, and the man paid cash, so as not to be traceable. They all agree they need to find out who has her fast and they go to the jet to head to Paris.

They arrive in Paris and meet Katrin at Bridget’s apartment. Tank is there and as they investigate the scene, Scott asks him to seek and Tank detects no cadaver scent, which is a good sign, but there is a lot of blood present. It is always great to have a scene with Tank, and it was nice to draw back to the roots of his storyline of being a cadaver dog for this storyline. They were able to pull footage from the front of the building camera which sees Bridget and the man from the bar arriving but not leaving, but the camera in the car garage is not working. Katrin indicates the forensic team could use more help so Raines and Vo jump in to assist. Jamie calls the public liaison officer in order to get the man’s face on the news. Katrin is not having a good day, because she says there are a lot of eyes on her and she needs Scott to do this one by the book. He asks when he has ever made her job harder, and they share a smile. It is clear there is a lot of respect between these two characters, and that Katrin knows she can trust Scott if she needs him to do things a certain way.

Scott and Jamie go to interview Bridget’s co-workers. They were supposed to have brunch, but with the news they received at office the previous day, they were afraid she was wollowing. When Jamie asks if they recognize the man she took home, they tell Jamie and Scott it is forbidden to do that with the level of clearance they all have, and that they have to file paperwork before can even go on a date. Jamie and Scott learn that the upcoming talks with Iran turned into a farce which may be why she was upset. With the Iranian negotiator they achieved success with in 2015, they negotiated a deal for uranium but now the negotiator has been forced to hand over the deal to a new regime. Scott wonders with the stress and secrets that are entrusted to people, and then we just hope everything is okay, was she really being careless, or did she want to leave and there was no way to do that.

Scott and Jamie then meet with the Iranian negotiator, Ali Majidi, who Bridget had worked closely with since 2015. The new negotiator declined to join them as he said he needed to prepare for the talks next week, and this is his first year assisting Ali and he describes him as an enthusiastic aide. Ali tells them he was fond of Bridget though and wants to help. Scott and Jamie are hoping he might know who would benefit from her abduction, and Ali says everyone would because she has the perfect knowledge of all the players and secrets everyone has that they wish to keep hidden or use to get results. Majidi shares with them that Iran, like Pakistan, is one of 9 nations with nuclear weapons. Pakistan has been under a lot of attacks with terrorist plots like Iran, which make intentions for nuclear proliferation very worrisome. Scott says he recognizes their jobs are very stressful, but they are there to find Bridget and he needs to know why someone would want to take her. Jamie asks if Bridget's knowledge is a bargaining chip for countries to get others to bend to their will and Ali says yes, if they are aggressive. He says his job requires more diplomacy and that his new partners do not see things as diplomatically as he does, so he will not be visiting any large city centres in the near future. This scene really helped to give weight to the danger behind the job Bridget has, and that she could indeed be in serious danger if she was taken.

Vo is searching Bridget’s apartment and finds some medications. She does not recognize the name so takes a photo to look them up. In the trash, she then finds evidence of blood draws. She then goes and asks Raines when they think the incident happened, and he says maybe 8 hours ago. Vo points out that the blood should be congealed/clotted by now and she suspects Bridget drew her own blood and stored it in tubes which contain an anticoagulant, which is why the blood is not clotted and then she planted it at the scene. Raines and Vo feel that the crime scene may have been staged and that perhaps Bridget has gone rogue.

They brief Jamie and Scott on their theory and that they feel if someone does something like this it is usually to give themselves time, so there is usually time to stop them. Jamie asks if they have any idea why she would run, and Scott goes over the acronym MICE, which is the most common reasons someone would betray their country - Money, Ideology, Coercion and Ego. They start to discuss how these reasons may apply to Bridget, and Scott says he knows discussing a woman who might betray her country with a man whose mother betrayed their country may feel strange, but don’t let it hold them back. TV surveillance has been widened, and they found footage of Bridget leaving a bank and Raines and Vo leave to find out more. They have also identified the man she was with, and the French police are holding him in his hotel room.

General Finley asks to see Forrester and Kellett privately and Katrin says to go to the secured room. They go to secured room, leaving their phones outside. The team was cleared to access Bridget’s work record and classified history and they hope to find out more by accessing her computer records and personal computer. Scott and Jamie enter their credentials to see the secured document for their eyes only. It indicates there is an authorization to use Deadly Force to bring Bridget in, which Scott says is rare for a US citizen. General Finley tells them that the USA has an undisclosed number of weapons in Europe, and Bridget has knowledge of their locations and codes and could get in and arm and send one of those weapons. Therefore, they are authorized to use deadly force. Scott says they will find her.

Vo and Raines go to the bank, and the employee remembers her and says she took almost a million euros out of the bank but had no record of an account there. They request the security footage and discuss that it appears it was a secret account. They discuss how someone could devote 15 years of their life to saving the world and go to this and that perhaps money was a motive.

Jamie and Scott interview the gentleman she was with in the bar. He said that Bridget said her job was to save to world from destruction and he thought she was creating an elaborate fantasy life. He was tipsy and she was cute, but when they got to her place, she asked them him to leave. He was in apartment for 2 minutes and then she insisted he leave through garage, which he said he was happy to do as she seemed nuts. He was in the same clothes and there was no blood on them, and he said she was fine when he left. Now his wife is talking about leaving him and he is insistent nothing happened. Scott tells him to calm down and that he has to stick around.

Jamie and Scott head to Bridget’s work. They are revamping all security procedures as fast as possible. Jamie says if she was already paid for her secrets though she is likely on the run, and Scott indicates perhaps this is why General Finley would rather see her dead. He discusses that perhaps they will find her in a major city like Moscow one day, and Jamie says more like a cottage in the Iranian countryside. He asks Jamie if she is a major city or quaint cottage girl and she asks where he will be. Scott says they need to book their Portugal trip and she says to book it already then. This was a nice little interlude in the midst of this stressful episode, that showed how much they care for one another and that they still want time alone and to build their relationship, which is great to see as they navigate working together now.

Jamie finds that Bridget was researching antipsychotic medications and where there have been busts of people selling them. Scott suggests perhaps she was looking where to buy them, and they discuss that perhaps she was afraid to ask for help due to her high clearance rating, and was trying to buy the meds/self medicate in secret. Jamie brings up the fact of how many people have to choose between their mental health and their job and is it possible that Bridget had a breakdown. Scott also discusses that they have met so many people who cared about her, and wonders did they really know her.

Scott finds note in book while searching that says “I need you like oxygen – A”. Scott thinks it is the Iranian negotiator Ali, because he talked too much. They go to speak with Ali, and Tank comes in with them and keeps him from leaving. Scott says he will tell his boss he is sleeping with Bridget and he says they already know. He tells them that in 2015, they needed a little more political pressure and Bridget helped provide that. Bridget would help with just the right information at the needed time to the right person. Scott asked if she had been selling American secrets for the last 6 years, and Ali says no, it was a one time skirting the rules to make sure the original deal went through. He said the situation was intoxicating but it was a flirtation, and their relationship was truly physical. The new Iran negotiator made him end the relationship and wanted her to be a full time spy and she said no. Ali tells them that when she gave him information in 2015, she had no idea that she also gave him information about two of his countrymen who were working for America, and that that would be a death sentence in his country. She was told that if she did not come to their side she would be exposed to the American Government as being responsible for those executions, which is a death sentence in America. Ali said the deadline to accept the offer was this weekend and he arranged some money for her to run. Scott asks if Ali thinks she is she trying to disappear for good, but he replies that the government will never let someone like her disappear, just like his government wouldn’t. And although some people feel like running their entire life, Bridget is not one of them and would rather die. Ali has not been in contact with her since she disappeared, but she is angry with his new negotiating partner, and he wonders if he should have warned him. He then concludes the interview and says he hopes they find her safe.

The team begins to follow the footage of Bridget after she left the bank. She was heading west but then doubles back, and enters a building. Raines and Vo see that one business inside the building is a mercenary, and they go inside to see if that is where she went. The proprietor of the business, Kim Ashenden, tries to show them his observational skills and the three of them banter back and forth as he tries to look clever but they are not impressed. He says he was employed by Bridget and that was all he was telling them. Raines reads him back and throws him off his game when he realizes they know all about him. He gives them her file, and says all she wanted was a tour of certain parts of the border, and that his team was smuggling her and Ali out of the country that night. It appears that Ali’s room was bugged and when Scott and Jamie go back to see Ali, the new negotiator tells him Ali was reassigned and tells them not to come back.

Bridget did not make her meet up with mercenaries and they think she is running with Ali, and the Iranians are threatening to pull out of negotiations now due to “security concerns”. Vo asks Raines to pull up Bridget's financials again, and Katrin says she may think she only has one option now. Jamie and Katrin think she would pick somewhere with significance, and because she lost her love, they think it is the lock bridge, and the team goes to search. They have also widened the search to other areas where people sometimes commit suicide.

Vo finds out that she cancelled a subscription to a fitness tracker a few months ago, and they use the tracking history to discover a different bridge that is more out of the way and use cameras to figure out that this is the bridge she is going to. Scott and Jamie arrive at that location, and see her on the ledge on the bridge. Bridget says “Give me a reason not to,” and Scott says there is a bed in a classified secure health facility and she says it is a lie and she is not going to prison. Scott says their focus is getting her better, but she says she knows how these things work and the focus is getting her off the streets. Scott says he will help her and wants to help her to gain back her life and be sane enough to keep her secrets and earn back trust. Jamie says the system is broken and it is an unfair system as she did the impossible and had to feel the impact of that stress at the end of the day. Bridget says she did do the impossible and people who didn’t know anything took it all apart because they wanted to show they were tough on Iran and chose her to be the easiest thing to throw away. Jamie says don’t be like them but Bridget says it is too late and they pull her back right as she is about to jump. Scott tries to comfort and reassure her as they wait for authorities to arrive.

The General and the authorities show up, and Scott asks for a word with Bridget before they take her away. After she is secured, he goes to speak with her in the ambulance. Bridget asks what he wants from her and he says to understand her better. He asks her if she has heard of the acronym MICE and tells her what it means. Scott says she is going to hospital he told her about, that all the therapists have clearance and she will be helped there. He tells her he had someone in his life who made a similar decision to what she was trying to do, and he is not trying to jam her up but he is just looking for the truth. He says he will check in on her, and as he is leaving she asks which MICE category covers love.

The episode then shifts to the team hanging out eating pizza. Katrin comes in and says the talks are going through and she gets drink from a hidden bar and Raines is shocked as he did not realize it was there. Scott is in other room on his computer. He gets text and then prints out a page and posts it. He puts the sign up on bulletin board (a crisis number that says that it is ok to ask for help) and tells them to use it if they need it. Raines and Vo discuss that it is great he put it up, but people are unlikely to use it. This is sad, but it is an all true reality that for those in high stress jobs in law enforcement, there is a great deal of stigma associated with asking for help.

Scott then goes outside and meets with the General, who confronts him about looking into his mother’s case. The General orders him to cease and desist and says to put photo and items into a burn bag. He tells Scott he did a good job and could be going places. It almost feels like this is a warning to Scott – drop looking into this and you can move up but keep it up and there will be problems for you. It will be interesting to see if he continues to try to find his mother and seek out more truth in the season to come.
Let us know what you thought about this week’s episode in the comments below.

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