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FBI: International – Money is Meaningless - Review

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This episode was filled with mystery, advocacy, the balance of friendship and family and some of the most beautiful scenery we have ever seen to date on this show.

The episode opens at a gorgeous estate in Mallorca, Spain. Protestors approach the gates and break them open. The gate alarms is triggered as the protestors ascend on the house and property, breaking things and vandalizing the property. They hang a huge signs as police arrive that say This property has be liberated.

The police indicate they are trespassing and to come out or they will be forceably removed. The person who is the leader speaks back to them, and then someone comes to get him. They take him to a room and there is a woman lying dead. The police come in and tell them to get down on their knees.

We then move to Budapest, and Scott’s young neighbor, Zsolt, is working with Tank. He is taking care of Tank while Scott is away. Scott tells him that Tank used to be a police dog, and he thanks the boy and his mother, Dóra. He then gets a call to come to the office. It is wonderful to see Tank in these episodes and I am excited for when he travels and works on a case this season.

Vo is leaving for a training course. Scott says he is jealous and Vo says it is a full week of tacticle training and it will be fun and he should have signed up. Kellett pipes in and says they have a strange definition of fun. This was such a great interaction to start the show, and it is so enjoyable to see how Cameron really jokes around with the team this year and seems far less formal and like she is trying to prove herself. She is here and a valuable member of this team who has proven she deserves to be here, and this fun bantering with the rest of the team is so endearing.

Raines briefs the team on the new case. The Spanish National police in Mallorca have asked for their help. Emelia Sofer was killed by blunt force trauma to the head. Her body was still warm when found by police during the protest by the group “ETR” which stands for "Eat the Rich". The mansion was owned by her billionaire father-in-law, Ronen Sofer. Ronen is under investigation for earning the bulk of his fortune through corruption. There are rumors of him skirting laws in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He gives pennies on the dollar for diamonds to the people in the Congo and then sells them for huge profits. Their assets have been frozen but some activists feel the punishments have not gone far enough. There are 28 protestors in custody. Jamie says ETR is the next generation of occupy wallstreet, and says they squat in millionaires mansions and stage sit ins around their yachts, but their tactics have always been non-violent. It is always so smart of the Wolf writing team to weave in references and examples of real news and events happening as this really brings the realism to the storylines of this show.

The team arrives in Spain and are briefed by Chief Inspector Gutiérrez, who says they were alerted to the intrusion by the gate alarm but there are no cameras on the property. Ronen is very concerned about his privacy and Megan says that is likely because there is an active Europol investigation against him. She says that they have taken statements from all the protestors and only 3 were seen going into the room where the body was found, and so far none have admitted to the attack. The Inspector says that despite the families situation, Emelia’s loss is a tragedy, as she was a lovely young woman and she will not be satisfied until they bring her killer to justice.

Jamie asks Megan what that was about (Gutiérrez getting upset) and she says the Sofer’s sanctions have been devastating to the economy but she does not see how that is her fault. Perhaps this scene was a bit of foreshadowing of the later concerns about Sofer's influence on the police department. Raines and Megan head to the crime scene, and Jamie and Scott interview the protestors.

The organizer, Quinns, says that yes he organized the protest but is was supposed to be peaceful. Jamie asks how thousands of dollars of damage and a corpse are peaceful. They said they read his posts on her social media “Die rich bitch die” and he says that is protected free speech. He says none of his people would do this as they are peaceful and about getting attention of the captocrasy of the rich. He says he was on the balcony talking to the cops the whole time and they have the wrong guy. He says he has absolutely no idea who went into the back bedroom.

Arturo, one of the protestors, says she was already dead when they got there. He is insistent and keeps saying she was already dead when they got there.

Lizzy, a female protestor, said this was not what they signed up for and that Quinns said it would be a peaceful protest and maybe a trespassing charge, and she thought she would get more hits on her Insta by participating. She says they chose the house because they knew it would be empty because the owners were kicked out of the country. They tell her the men are saying she was the first one into the room and ask her how 8 years in a Spanish prison will look on her Insta, and so she tells them that she saw Arturo go into the bedroom alone, and he was carrying a golf club he had been using to smash up the place. She said he came out a few minutes later and it looked like he had seen a ghost, but she says she did not actually see Arturo hit Emelia Sofer.

Megan and Raines are at the crime scene with the crime scene unit and they tell Megan that the time of death was between 1pm and 3pm. Raines points out that the alarm did not go off until 2:15pm and so it is possible she was killed before they got there. Garretson also tells him that beating someone to death is very messy and there were only a few droplets of blood on Arturo’s clothing. Raines shows Garretson that there is a golf bag in the other room and it is missing the nine iron. He says that he thinks they should assume the murder weapon is the one club that is missing. Garretson asks how the killer would have disposed of it, when they hear yelling outside. It is Emelia’s husband Levy, and he is demanding to see his wife, and Andre tells him that she is gone, and he breaks down sobbing.

When he calms down, he tells Raines and Garretson that he should have known something like this would happen and since the sanctions, they have been persecuted relentlessly. He says they lost their house in Barcelona and have been living in motels, and been receiving threats from people and investors. Raines asks if any of the threats were from the “Eat the Rich” members, but he is not sure as they all blend together. He says imagine all the rage and discontent of the world focused on you, and that it is terrifying. He says if his father’s company needs to be sanctioned for its actions he can accept that, but to kill Emelia is too much, as she had nothing to do with the diamond business and had nothing to do with it. He tells them she was not on the board and never even set foot in the Congo and now the angry mob thinks they can just kill her.

Levy says he last saw his wife yesterday after he flew out for a meeting in Barcelona. She had not said anything to him about going to his father’s house and that there is a café where she spends a lot of her time in Pacific Court. Garretson asks if she was meeting with anyone but he tells them she did not say and he did not ask. He said she valued her independence and he respected that.

Back at the station, Forrester and Kellett interview Emelia’s parents, Erin and Richard Potter, and ask if they knew of anyone in her life that would want to cause her harm. They tell them no, and she would have never been a threat to anyone and she did a lot of charity work and was a generous and kindhearted person. She had been raising awareness for the environment for years. They said recently that Ronen’s legal troubles were wearing on them both and she had told them the last time they spoke that she wanted to move back home to Minneapolis, and she had not told her husband yet, because she was worried he would not want to leave his family and their lifestyle. They tell Scott that Levy would never hurt Emelia, and he adored her. Her father says that they love the boy, but that family will do whatever they have to to keep what they have. This was definitely the first real revelation that firmly identified that the Sofer family could definitely be involved in Emelia's murder.

The team reviews the information they have so far and Kellett says the simplest explanation is that the protestors were not expecting to find Emelia there, saw her as a symbol of wealth and corruption and “whack”, but Forrester says something isn’t right and why was she at the house in the first place. Raines says maybe to pick something up or meet someone, but Forrester says if she was she didn’t tell her husband about it, and they need to dig deeper into any motive from the Sofers. Kellett says it is really bad luck that the protestors just happened upon a murder scene, and Raines says it does happen and if they sleep around in enough buildings, they are bound to find some skeletons in the closet. Garretson comes in and says that Emelia’s favorite café has security cameras and brings in footage of her a few hours before her death meeting someone.

The man’s name is Brian Clarke and Scott and Jamie go to talk to him. They tell him she was killed and ask how he knew her. He says they met at the café, and she noticed the shirt he was wearing and they both went to the same school, and she approached him and introduced herself. He says whenever they would see each other they would share a table or go on a walk. They ask if there was anything more to their relationship and he says not for lack of trying on his part but she was very in love with her husband. He says yesterday they went for a walk around the shopping district for about an hour and then he went back to the office and he says his employers at the bank can attest that he was at work all afternoon. Jamie asks what they would talk about on their walks, and Brian says mostly family. Emelia was horrified by their business practices, and she had asked him as an accountant to explore what her options were separate from the Sofer family, and that she felt trapped and afraid of her father in law. She had told Levy she wanted to move home to the USA but Ronen would have no part of that. Jamie said he was not allowed in the country, but Brian says, “since when do people that rich care about the law”. This scene was particularly interesting as this man seemed to both really love Emelia but also have a huge distaste for her family, which definitely is such a conflict.

Scott calls Megan and says they need to interview Ronen Sofer and she tells him he is not one to jump to comply when asked to do something. She says it might take months to even get a statement from his attorney, and Scott says they will have to get creative. It is always so much fun to see the team take their "creative" approaches to be able to get to the final result they need, and it is great to see that Megan, who is new to the team but knows Scott, has trust to allow him to do what needs to be done.

They bring in Levy and say they need a full account of where he was the day Emelia died, and they want the truth. He insists he would never hurt his wife. Raines says she was leaving him, and he says she was not leaving him, that they were considering relocating together. They tell him they are having a hard time verifying his alibi and no one seems to be able to tell them who he was meeting with, and they tell him they think he was meeting with his father. They think that he found out Emelia was looking into the family and asking questions, and he came back to take care of it personally. They tell him they believe Ronen summoned her to the mansion, and killed her. Levy says this is impossible and that they are making things up. Levy says Emelia was kept separate from the business and would not be able to flip on his father, and Kellett asks if he is sure about that, and that if it were not for the protestors, they probably would have gotten away with it. Levy tells them he was in Barcelona, and they tell him to call his father to sort everything out with them, or he will be going to jail.

The team debriefs and hopes they have put on enough pressure, but Inspector Gutiérrez enters the room and says their investigation is over, and to release Mr. Sofer because the Arturo’s fingerprints were all over the club. She tells him that one of the protestors has agreed to testify in exchange for a plea, and that the matter is resolved to her satisfaction, but Forrester tells her that they owe it to Emelia to get it right, and she says she is the authority in charge and the FBI’s help is no longer needed. This interaction definitely reflects the earlier concerns about whether there is any police corruption, and also shows how brilliantly Megan is already learning to navigate the waters with other police organizations. While she takes a very different and a bit more openly aggressive approach, she seems so far to be equally as effective as Katrin was in allowing the team to do their job.

Garretson goes to talk to Gutiérrez and tells her that she learned many years ago if Forrester’s instincts tell him something is not right, you need to listen. Gutierrez says it is her country and investigation, not the FBI’s. Garretson says let us talk about the evidence and because the club was found in a pond, all the evidence of Emelia’s DNA would be gone and all they can prove with his prints is that he is guilty of vandalism. Gutiérrez says that she has the testimony of another protestor and his fingerprints, and while Garretson has her team’s instincts, she has motive, means and opportunity. Garretson asks about blood spatter on Arturo’s clothing, and she says full forensic analysis takes time, so Megan asks why the rush to end the investigation when the son of a powerful man is accused of the crime. Gutiérrez says the idea of an accusation that she would take money to look the other way is absurd. Megan says corruption works a lot of ways, and all she is asking for is a little more time to let her people work. Gutiérrez finally agrees, and Megan calls Scott, who had already left and she says he cannot use anymore strong arm tactics against the Sofer family and that Ronen is dangerous, and she has gotten them about another 48 hours to investigate. Scott had already left in a car and is following Levy at a distance, and tells her he knew she would be successful in getting them more time. There seems to be a well developed respect between Scott and Megan and certainly hope we learn more about their past together as the season progresses.

The team interviews the protestors again. Arturo says he did not kill her and will take a lie detector test. They tell him he is going down for the crime and he had better tell them what happened. He says when he got there he saw the golf club in the middle of the living room and he picked it up and was smashing stuff with it. They ask how he got her blood on his sleeve and he says he does not know. He says when he went into the bedroom he saw her lying there and he checked for a pulse and there was not one. Then he looked closer for the first time at the golf club and saw it had blood on it so he went onto the balcony and tossed it in the pond. He says he is not a smart man but knows not to be standing there with a club in his hand when the police come in and there is a woman with her head bashed in. Raines tells him that that must either be the truth or the worst lie he has ever heard.

Quinns says Arturo has been made the scapegoat and that he may not be perfect but he would never kill a rich woman for kicks. He says that Lizzie is lovely but clueless and will say whatever she thinks they want to hear which they could see if they were not in the pocket of the Sofer family. Kellett tells him that they are trying to help them, and if he is sure someone in the Spanish police is working with the Sofer family then help her prove it, and he is shocked that she actually believes him. She asks him for evidence of this corruption he claims to want to expose and he asks why they have not seized anything yet. He says that this is the one mansion they have not touched even though they are dying to repossess all of Sofer’s assets. The Spanish government has left it there untouched and why would they do that…because there has to be some fat cat on the take somewhere. He says it is the only possible explanation but Jamie says there may be another and asks Raines for help.

Jamie has Raines check the records and the reason the mansion was never seized was because the owner was not a target of the investigation. Under all the shell companies listed, the owner is Emelia, and that Ronen put the house in her name in the case of forfeiture. Emelia controlled the last family asset and she was leaving them all in the dust.

The vehicle Scott is following turns off onto a small side road and he goes to follow. Suddenly a vehicle pulls up in front and behind his car to block him in, and armed men surround him and tell him to get out of the car. Before he exits the car, he sends his location to Raines from his phone. He shows his ID and lets them know he just wants to talk but they tell him to keep his hands where they can see them. They take him and put him in a car. Based on Ronen's reputation, this definitely caused all of our FBI fandom to move to the edge of their seats, because this could have lead to a very dangerous situation for Scott.

Raines and Kellett go to see Brian Clarke and he says that yes, he knew the mansion was in her name and that he had discovered it when he looked into her finances and that Ronen was trying to liquidate the property and keep the profit for himself. Kellett asks if it was a loophole in the sanctions, and Clarke says yes but cash would have needed her sign off. Ronen had sent her a huge document and told her to just sign on the X, but she brought it to Clarke and once he explained to her what he was asking her to sign, she would not sign it as she knew it was not legal. Kellett asks why he did not report it, and he says Emelia did not want him to because she had her own plan that she wanted his help with. She wanted to donate the mansion to charity. He said that Emelia swore him to secrecy, as she was afraid the family would find out before the deal was final and they would be in danger. He says he has a copy of everything in his apartment, and he says he will help but they have to keep his name out of it because Ronen Sofer can do anything to anyone who crosses him.

Raines tells Kellett that Forrester sent his location and is not answering and so she tells him to go and she will get the documents. Megan gets ahold of Cameron and asks if she has heard from Scott and she says no but saw the texts so called and asks what is going on. Megan says it is her fault as he went to follow Levy and she has pissed off everyone from a billionaire to the police chief, and what if she got it wrong. Cameron tells her they will not get it wrong and everything will be fine. Megan says she would rather be wrong about Ronen Sofer and lose her job than be right and lose Scott, and Cameron says she understands, but if Forrester has gone quiet there is a reason and he can take care of himself, and Megan says she knows. This was a lovely little scene to interject at this point as the team and those watching were definitely worried for Scott, but also shows the friendships and bond that these team members have built with one another.

Scott arrives at the mansion and Levy is there eating with his father Ronen. They invite Scott to sit and have a drink and talk. Scott admires the view and Ronen says how he has always loved it. Scott says it is too bad because of the recent sanctions that they will lose it but Ronen says he is sure because of their recent tragedy, likely an exception can be made. Scott asks if that would be the case even if he were responsible for that tragedy. Ronen laughs and asks if he really thinks that, and Scott says the protestors were an easy scapegoat for a family who is fighting over the scraps left of the fortune. Levy says they were cleared of all charges, and they have suffered enough. Ronen tells him to settle down, and Levy says they think he had Emelia killed and they do not have to sit and listen to that, because he didn’t do anything. Ronen tells Forrester that they should go for a walk and tells Levy to stay put at the table.

Ronen says that Scott is probably right about the protestors and as unknowing as they were, this was not about them. Scott asks what it was about, and that Ronen can trust him with any information he has about Emelia’s death and no one has to know it came from him. This was such a powerful scene because even with his reputation and the concern about safety, it is clear that Scott has the ability to read people quickly and accurately, and he was able to develop trust easily with him. Ronen tells him they put the home in Emelia’s name, because what father does not want to take care of his family for future generations, but he has many connections in the banking industry and when they alerted him that she was looking to sell the property, he made it his business to find out exactly what was going on. Scott says he imagines he was not pleased with what he found. Ronen says if she wanted to save the planet that was her life, but there was no way he would let a family member of his be scammed. The charity that Emelia was donating to was fake and that some American accountant had set it up so that 79 million euros would go straight into his pocket. Scott recognizes and says he could not go to the police without implicating himself, and Ronen says he offered to take care of it but Emelia insisted on handling it herself, and that apparently she was done taking help from him of any kind. Scott asks if he thinks she confronted the accountant on her own, and Ronen says he cannot be sure, but they found her body that same day.

Raines is on his way to find Forrester when he gets a call from him telling him that Brian Clarke killed Emelia and Forrester asks if they know where he is. Raines says his alibi checked out, but Forrester thinks that Gutiérrez tweaked her forensics timeline to match the protestors, and asks where Clarke is now.

In Clarke’s apartment, he apologizes to Kellett for it being a mess. Kellett says all she cares about is the documents and he starts looking for them, and Clarke says he hopes her fellow agent is okay and that these people get so rich, they think they can get away with anything. Kellett gets a text from Scott to warn her that Brian Clarke is the killer and not to let him get away and backup is on the way. Clarke says he found the documents and that they are in a big metal case. He sees Jamie checking her phone and asks if there is a problem and she says everything is fine but as she turns she pulls her gun and he begins to try to hit her with the suitcase and a fight ensues. In her usual style, Jamie kicks takes him down and cuffs him. It is so great to see more strong female characters who can take care of themselves being written for another Wolf show. Whether is it Stella Kidd on Fire, Hailey Upton or Kim Burgess on PD or Maggie on FBI, these writing teams really know the importance of strong females in male dominated professions and how to portray them as equals, not someone needing to be rescued.

They question Clarke and he says that he was the only one who cared about Emelia and she trusted him. Raines says the paper trail does not lie. He confronts him about the fake shell company set up with his aunt’s social security number, and that paperwork is what he does too. Raines says they are past excuses and that he attacked an FBI agent and asks how Emelia ended up dead. Clarke says Emelia kept asking questions, and thought they should go to the police for protection. He said he would handle it but he said that he guesses she was not satisfied with that. Gutiérrez asks if that is when he got angry and he says no, but Raines says they found his clothes in the dumpster by his apartment. Raines says “she trusted you” and Clarke replies “she was trying to get back at her family, so what difference did it make where the money ends up. Money is Meaningless to these people”. He said he was there for her and listened to her and put his neck on the line, but Raines said maybe she didn’t see it that way.

Scott tells Megan that they had Quantico rerun the forensic reports and that the time of death window was substantially larger than what Gutiérrez had given them, which included a full hour before Clarke was seen at his office. Megan says they were so convinced it was the protestors that they gave the real killer an alibi, and Scott asks if she thinks it was deliberate but she says no, she thinks it was just a mistake. He thanks her for going to bat for them and she thanks him for being right, and that she had total faith in him and the team.

The protestors are free and Quinns thanks Jamie and asks her to join them at another protest in London in a few days. She tells him he doesn’t even believe in his own cause, and she has seen his social media for the last few years and this is for clicks, likes and sleeping with idealistic young followers so she will pass.

Scott meets up with Levy and Ronen and lets them know they are clear of all the charges related to Emelia’s death but whether they are guilty of violating their sanctions is another matter. Megan says that matter will likely take years to resolve so for now they are free to go. Ronen says in the mean time the government will keep all of their property. Scott says he is sorry for his loss. Ronen walks away and they tell Levy is it not to late, and they can still help him get to the USA and stay with Emelia’s parents until he gets settled, because that is what she wanted, but he leaves with his father.

Scott arrives home and goes to pick up Tank, and Zsolt seems upset and Scott asks if something is wrong. He asks if because Tank was a police dog, would he be able to tell if he was around someone who had done bad things. Scott says it depends and asks why he would ask that and what is going on, and suddenly his mother Dóra, is in the doorway and calls him back inside, as Scott sees a figure move behind the curtains. As she closes the door, he sees someone approach behind the closed glass door before Dóra closes the door. One can only wonder if this is foreshadowing for a future episode, as we know the Wolf writing teams are definitely the masters of the cliffhanger!

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

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