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FBI: International - One Kind of Madman - Review

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If you are looking for an episode to pull at your heart strings and watch some growth within the FBI Fly Team, this was one not to be missed!

The episode opens on Scott and Jamie at a veterinary hospital. Scott tells Jamie the story about how he came to work for the fly team when he was ready to leave the bureau, and how he found Tank in a crate in the apartment of the man he went to see about the job. The man was going to send Tank to a shelter, and so Scott said he took the job and the dog. The veterinarian comes out to talk to Scott and says Tank has a lump in his throat and that is why he has been having difficulty swallowing and becoming weaker. They did an aspirate of the lymph node and it was bloody inside the lump meaning the lump is not benign. He says they cannot be sure without a proper biopsy but suggests a full blood panel and CT scan. Scott agrees and asks if he can see him, and Jamie gets a call about a case. Scott goes in to see Tank. Scott agrees to leave him at the vet office and have the blood panel and tests done right away. Tank wants to go with him, but Scott tells him to stay, and asks the vet to call him or Jamie with any updates. This scene really made your heart ache, as not only have viewers become big fans of Tank on the show, but you can really see the bond and love Scott has for him, and for anyone who has had a sick furry family member, the sadness and concern was palpable watching this part of the episode.

We then move to the office and see Raines and Vo doing paper work. Forrester is having them do “mop up duty” on an old case, and Raines shares with Vo that he feels that Forrester and Kellett steer him toward the numbers and spreadsheets, and he feels he has more to offer. Vo tells him that he needs to tell them that and not be afraid to ask for what he deserves.

The scene then moves to a young student, Jason, preparing to perform in a musical concert at a performance hall and is very nervous, and his teacher is providing encouragement. She gets a call from her son and goes outside to speak to him on her cell phone. As she leaves, several men come in armed and lock all the doors with chains. The teacher gets locked out and is trying to get in. Suddenly armed men go into concert area and start shooting into air. They tell all the students and patrons to get down and take everyone hostage.

Forrester comes in to the office and tells the team that 30 minutes ago, armed men took over the Bulgaria Philharmonic, and have taken 200 people hostage including 15 American students. It was during a cross-cultural collaboration event for high school students from across the world, including kids of foreign dignitaries and businesspersons, and the kidnappers say that they only want to talk to the FBI. The Bulgarian police have the building surrounded but have been told to stand down because the assailants have the outer hallways rigged with explosives and if they attempt a raid, they say that the whole place will go up in smoke. Scott say to tell the pilot he wants to be there in an hour and the team leaves for Bulgaria.

When they arrive on the scene, Raines tells Scott he ready for whatever they need. They meet up with Katrin and local enforcement Aleks Yanev, who are setting up outside the theatre. Yanev says they have been trying to make contact but the kidnapper who appears to be in charge says he says he will only talk to the FBI. There are hostages from a dozen countries inside so Katrin says Europol is nearby and ready to assist. Scott says this is a terrorist event so they need to find out who they are and bring them to table to discuss a resolution to the situation. Jamie has informant from the Albanian National Army and she says in this area, it is likely someone affiliated with them and that her contact may be able to help to know who it is inside. Vo and Jamie go to find him and try to obtain more information.

Yanev says that they have been communicating with a teacher who has students inside. She had gone out to receive a call and when she could not get back in and heard the gunshots, she called in the emergency. She called in to try to reach her student and see if he was okay and they have been using her student’s cellphone to make contact with the kidnappers. Raines goes over to interview her and see if she has any new details she can remember and she says when she went outside a polite man held door open for her and he seemed normal. Raines tries to reassure her, but she says that she knows he is saying what he is trained to say, just like how she was trying to reassure her student Jason. Raines says they are doing everything they can to get everyone out safely.

The assailant in charge says he only wants to talk to Forrester as says Bulgarian police just want bullets and bloodshed, so he wants to talk to the FBI to negotiate and make a deal. Scott says that he needs to know if anyone is hurt or dead and he needs to turn on the cameras so that Scott can make sure everyone has a pulse. The man turns on the camera’s in the main area and they are able to see that everyone is gathered at gunpoint in fear.

He says that he wants 10 million dollars in crypto currency. Scott says he has to run it up the chain at the FBI, and the kidnapper says he will put his trust in him but wants him to know he is serious and shoots a person in the head in front of everyone else to show that he means business. He then gives them one hour to pay him, or he will start killing hostages.

Katrin tells Scott there is nothing he could have done to prevent him from killing the hostage and it was a scare tactic. He asks Katrin to work on getting $500,000 in cryptocurrency transferred to his account by Europol. He says it will buy them more time by showing they are trying to get him the currency. They are then informed that the Police Commissar is returning from holiday and is on the way. Yanev warns Scott that Commissar Iliev will want to handle things differently and wants to handle it with bullets and bloodshed. He says if Scott thinks he can get the kidnappers before Iliev gets there, to do it. Raines asks what the plan is and Scott says it is to get whoever they can out of the building.

Scott contacts the kidnapper again and says that this is a game of trust and he broke the agreement and so Scott wants to get in and check on everyone. Scott says that they will not harm him or any hostages. The kidnapper says there are 3 people who need medical attention. He agrees to 4 paramedics and Raines going in, and he says they have 2 minutes to get in and out and then they will become target practice. In light of the conversation that Raines had with Vo earlier in the episode, it is clear that Raines is asking for an opportunity to become more involved in the tactical operations of the team, and demonstrate his skill level with these types of operations. It was nice to see Forrester put his trust in him to have him be the agent to go in with the paramedics.

Jamie and Vo go to meet informant, Gjorg. Jamie says he isn’t a friend, he is a rat who is always looking to make a buck, and unfortunately she does not have much to offer him. Kellett tells Vo a bit about the location they are in, which was an old cold war era bunker, which had been converted into a novelty space. Jamie asks Gjorg if the men who have taken the hostages are Albanian National Army and if he hired them, and when they are less than helpful, Vo leaves a bug so that they can hear what they say when they leave. As they listen in, Vo translates and says that they are discussing the theatre and that they don’t like the man. They call him unhinged and that they don’t know his real name possibly, because they call him “the snow leopard” (Snehjen) which they think is a code name. Jamie tells Vo to search the name they heard through every database to get what they can to help Scott. She calls Scott to update him and warns him that if this man was too extreme for a guy like Gjorg, things are likely only going to get worse.

Scott is preparing Raines to go inside and tells Raines to confirm the 200 hostages and that no one else is injured, and Raines goes in with the paramedics. He is checking on people and trying to reassure the students, and one assailant tells him not to talk and orders a young assailant to hold a gun on him. The young man shows his hand to Raines when the other men are not looking, and it has a note written on it that says “I want out”. The paramedics are preparing to take out the wounded, so Raines tells him that when they get outside to drop his gun and run and what direction to go in to get away. When they get outside, he does as Raines said and drops his gun and runs. The other kidnapper at the door tries to shoot him and Scott shoots the man at the door, and the young man gets away and is taken into custody. The head kidnapper is angry and is about to shoot a female hostage but Scott tells him that $500, 000 in cryptocurrency has just been deposited. He settles down but says for every 20 minutes they make him wait, he will execute another hostage. Raines says it does not look like things are actually wired and that the threat of the explosives is likely a lie to keep the police out.

Vo and Kellett may have a lead. They tell Scott about a man named Ivo Kostov. Raines and Scott question the young man who is the deserter from the kidnappers, who is name Petar. He says he met Kostov last night and this was not what he was hired for, and it was supposed to just be a quick go in and out. The plan was to kidnap a man named Oligar, who came to see his daughter play in the concert, and hold him hostage for ransom because this event was the only time that he was to be out of his security at a private family event. Petar and his cousin were hired to help with the kidnapping and he did not know about hostages. He tells them that Kostov shot Oligar in the head, and that he was the first man to be killed. The team deduces that Kostov does not care about Oligar, and it was a cover for his plan. Petar says he is not a killer or terrorist and begs Scott to believe him, and Scott gets him to tell them everything they know about people inside and layout of the theatre.

Katrin is able to get some history on Kostov, and find out that he is sick with clots and had a stroke and has a possible aneurysm. He went for a consultation for surgery and did not return. Scott says based on this information, he likely went in to this situation not caring about coming out alive, and this is a suicide mission. Kostov gets back on the phone with Scott and Scott tells him another $500,000 was just deposited into his account and that a sum this large takes time and there are to be no more casualties or he will not get the rest of the money.

While this is happening, the vet calls Jamie, as they could not reach Scott, and says Tank started vomiting, and they found another lump in his small intestine and want to do immediate surgery. Jamie consents to the surgery.

Commissar Iliev arrives and Yanev says Forrester has kept the hostage takers calm. Iliev says there is a man dead on Yanev’s watch and Scott says the situation is very delicate. Iliev replies that he appreciates their efforts but he knows how to handle the situation and wants to deploy opiate gas to diffuse the kidnappers. Iliev says history has shown them that opiate gas is an efficient course of action and Scott objects as it harmed/will harm hostages as it did in an incident in the Moscow theatre. Iliev says that it may have killed hostages but also killed the assailants successfully at the same time. Katrin says she can try to intervene but Scott says this man is going to get the hostages killed. It is evident that we have seen a real evolution in the writing of Forrester’s character when dealing with difficult members of foreign law enforcement, and cannot say for sure if we would have seen this type of response from Scott earlier in this season. There seems to have been real growth in the diplomacy that is being used with members of these foreign police departments now, even with ones that are difficult, and the leadership and efforts for collaboration seem to be growing with every case. For any viewers who had concerns about Forrester’s approach in our early episodes, one can hope that they have continued to watch and are enjoying this ongoing development of this character.

The team discusses with Katrin that they are at the mercy of a mad man inside and one outside also. Katrin says they are at the mercy of the host country law enforcement but that perhaps they can try to go in. Scott speaks to Iliev and says it will only be 10 minutes until Kostov shoots another hostage but Iliev says he will not risk any of his men to try to go in and diffuse the kidnappers. Scott says just he and his team will go in, and that after 10 minutes if they are not successful, what he does is up to him. Iliev agrees to let them proceed and says to his team to give them any equipment they need.

Raines briefs them on who they know is inside and their last known locations in the theatre, and Scott says Raines confirmed there were no explosives and that the safety of the hostages is the top priority. They want to minimize casualties at all cost. Scott and Jamie get in via air vents with Raines and Vo following, in order to diffuse the terrorists while law enforcement preps the air vents for opiate gas if they are not successful. The two men who knew Petar surrender when they see the team just as Petar said they would and Vo cuffs them to the stairwell. Raines distracts one man who is guarding some hostages and shoots him. They are all trying to get eyes on Kostov. Scott and Jamie diffuse most of the terrorists but Kostov is holding young boy at gunpoint (Jason, the student from beginning of the episode) and says he told them not to come in.

Scott puts down his gun. Kostov is holding Jason at gunpoint and asks how much his life is worth. Scott is trying to talk him down and Iliev gives the order to deploy the gas because time is up but Katrin asks for a few more minutes, and that hiding behind protocols will not bring back lost lives if this goes badly. He tells an officer to deploy the gas. Raines says he has a shot and Katrin tells them they need to get out. Scott tells Kostov the transfer went through to distract him and says to see the money he just needs to refresh the laptop. Kostov leans to check computer and Raines shoots him. Katrin yells to the team not to deploy the gas and that they have diffused the situation.

All of the hostages are rescued and Raines speaks to the teacher and wishes her well. Scott shakes hands with Iliev, who says he had full confidence in him. Katrin thanks Scott and Yanev. Scott goes to talk to Raines and tells him it was a great shot. Scott says he is really proud of the team and says Vo will be the lead on the post-incident inspections. Scott asks if there is word from the vet and Jamie tells Scott they need to get back. Scott asks Raines if he is ok and he says he is going to ride the train back to Budapest and take time to clear his head and Scott says ok. It seems that his increased involvement in the tactical operations of the team weighed heavily on him, and perhaps this may be a reason that Kellett and Forrester had not had him as involved in these team activities to date. Time will tell how this experience ultimately affects Raines and his role on the team. Vo shows up at the station and asks if she can ride back with him and he says he would like that. The two get onto the train and sit in a car in silence together as the train begins to move. The continued friendship of these two characters is a storyline that is certainly enjoyable, and one that we can only hope will continue to evolve through the season, but it is clear they are definitely a strong source of support on this team for each other.

We then return to the veterinary office in Budapest and Tank has had surgery and Scott is with him. Jamie goes in and tells him the doctors said that they won’t know anything for a few more days and he needs to get some sleep but he says he is fine. Jamie leaves and Scott sits down and pats Tank and tells him to hang in there. Another tearjerker moment for sure, as we see poor Tank ill, and how this is ripping Scott apart to not know how or even if he can help Tank.

So as the FBI: International fans continue to hold their breath and cross their fingers for a full recovery for Tank, we can also prepare for an exciting second half to the season for the Fly Team. It will be exciting to see what our Wolf writers have in store for all of our characters next!

Let us know what you thought about this episode in the comments below.

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