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FBI: International – Hail Mary – Review

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This was a great episode to bring to the FBI fandom before the winter break because it was filled with passion and great investigative work. While this episode was largely female character centric, we were able to see some wonderful qualities being highlighted in each of our female lead roles. Jamie Kellett was celebrated for her leadership, persistence and unwillingness to be complicit when there is any doubt that the facts of a case do not completely add up, no matter the political pressure. We were able to see further examples of the compassion that Cameron Vo has for victims and witnesses, especially young ones, and we were able to see more of Megan “Smitty” Garretson’s determination and grit, to ensure no stone is unturned in bringing justice to victims. Throw in a healthy dose of Raines and his excellent technical and crime scene knowledge, and you could not lose when it came to this episode.

The opening of the episode sets up the storyline, where we see models at a glamourous party being held by their modeling agency rep, Luca Rossi. One model, Emma Staley, is not feeling well and you can tell she is not comfortable with the guests and the way they are treating her, no matter how much Luca and another model, Rafaella Vitti, are encouraging her to flirt with the men at the party. This was certainly a foreshadowing of facts to come later about what was happening at these parties.

Emma steps out of the party to sit on the stairs for some air, and she sees another model, Jocelyn “Jojo” Bell, who is arguing with a man in Italian. He grabs her arm and they go back into the room they had come out of. Emma is leaving the party and gets a phone call from Rafaella, and she says to tell Luca she had a headache and went home. As she is leaving, suddenly Jojo falls out of a window onto a taxi beside her.

As we move to the team in the office, Kellett arrives at the office and sees Dandridge and asks Raines what he is doing there. Raines says he is there to talk to her. She asks where Scott is and the team says nothing and Dandridge tells her that Forrester is in training at Quantico for a few weeks and she will be acting lead agent. He also tells her he wants more visibility on all decisions and wants to be looped in so they are all on the same page. It is clear from her response that Kellett is not happy with this “oversight” that Dandridge wants to provide, and clearly she is as protective of the team as Forrester is. While not having Forrester in this episode clearly made the viewers feel like something was missing, the leadership skills that Kellett shows with the team and with the Italian police show that she has learned well from him, and that she is able to fill his shoes if needed.

The team discusses that they think perhaps they are trying to bench Forrester when Raines lets them know they were just sent a case from Milan. The Italian police are calling the header that American model Jocelyn Bell took of an 8th floor balcony a suicide, but they have a signed witness statement from Emma Staley, who said she saw Jocelyn arguing with an unknown Italian man hours before her death. The penthouse was rented by Luca Rossi and Smitty says she has heard of him, including his throwing of wild parties and past accusations of abuse towards women.

Smitty asks if they have worked cases in Italy before and Vo says no. Smitty tells her that the justice system there is a bit “baroque”, inquisitorial and public prosecutors lead the investigations not the police. The team discusses how this seems like a backwards approach as they head out, and viewers will soon learn how right they were.

They arrive in Milan at the State Police Station and meet Captain Anderson Sindona. Garretson introduces the team, and Sindona tells them Emma is under protection as they asked. Sindona asks to speak to Kellett alone and says their position is it was a suicide. He says has seen it before, and he says when his men questioned Emma she was a bit “unstable” and had been drinking. However, Kellett demonstrates her vigilance in ensuring that they find the truth by insisting that they still need to interview Emma and get the full version of what she saw. It is so admirable how despite wanting to be cordial with local authorities, Kellett will not compromise her ethics in fully investigating a case.

They question Emma, who says Jojo was crying and looked sad and angry when she saw her come out of the room and that she and the man were definitely having an argument. She says he grabbed Jojo’s arm and they went back into the room. Emma tells Kellett Jojo did not seem depressed to her at all, and she has been in Italy and known Jojo for 2 months. She tells them that she did not realize modeling in Italy would include activities she was not aware of, and explains to them that if you want to walk the best shows you have to make the investors happy and Luca calls it paying the bills. Emma clearly seemed sad and distraught and Kellett asks her if Rossi has ever forced her to do something she did not want to do and she said no, but she is not sure about Jocelyn. She describes the man she saw to Vo and Kellett, and she seems very anxious.

Kellett asks her about what the police said about how she was acting, and she tells them she only had half a glass of champagne, and when she just saw a body drop beside her, she was of course upset but she was not drunk. This is one of the first scenes where we see the care and tenderness that Vo takes in speaking to Emma, and trying to reassure her that they believe her. As we have seen in other episodes, Cameron and Jamie seem very skilled at working with young women, and helping them through listening and supporting them. They advise Emma to stay in her apartment and tell her they will bring photos to see if she can make an identification of who the unknown man might be.

While Kellett and Vo are interviewing Emma, Raines and Garretson go to meet with Nunzia Linari, the public prosecutor, and they have brought Luca as they had asked and he has his lawyer present. They both think this is very strange as the suite is a crime scene, but Linari disagrees that there is evidence that any crime was committed. Garretson asks Rossi about the party and he says he owns the place but does not live there but that he was playing host and did not come down to the suite or see anyone come down during the party as he was attending to his guests. They ask for the guest list and Luca says that Jojo was becoming a liability with alcohol and drugs and running with boyfriends. Megan asks if they are the men he fixed her up with, when his lawyer, Robert Baldwin, interrupts and says Luca is meeting with them out of curteosy and that will be revoked if they try to slander him in any way.

We then see the tenacious side of Garretson as she asks why he is so sure Jocelyn killed herself. Clearly due to her astute knowledge she can see that the story he is telling is not adding up and it is great to see female characters being portrayed as being willing to dig in when it is called for. He says he told Jojo two weeks ago he was dropping her from the roster. Megan says they have a witness who says it is not suicide, and Luca asks if it is Emma and was she on her meds that night. Baldwin then ends the interview and says all other inquiries need to go through him.

Raines comes in to tell Garretson that after the incident the suite was not sealed off and that at least a dozen people came down from the party. Garretson comments on the shoddy police work and how the scene has been contaminated. While this is important for this storyline, one has to wonder however how foreign policing services feel if they are portrayed this way…it would be curious to see if the Wolf world has received any negative criticism related to how foreign authorities are written.

Raines tells Garretson that they found her purse but not her phone, and had found out that the cameras had been turned off at the request of Luca Rossi. Raines also examines the balcony and where she landed and says a simple jump would not have landed her on the taxi, she would have needed to have done a running jump or been pushed/thrown, but clearly it does not look like a suicide. Megan asks about the renovation going on across the street but they closed up shop at 6pm. However, Megan digs in and on a hunch goes to speak to the woman who lives across the street and she says she does not have anything to say so Megan leaves her card. This is another great example about how she is prepared to leave no possible stone unturned in the search for justice and the truth.

As the team regroups together, Raines reviews the autopsy with the team and says the contusions on Jojo’s upper arms and wrists were consistent with a physical struggle but when Kellett asks, he confirms it may be technically possible they are from the fall but she did have defensive injuries but there is no way to be sure when they occurred. Also, Vo discovered that Emma does have bipolar disorder, and they are unsure if she is on any meds currently.

Jamie and Megan go to Emma’s apartment and she is missing. There is no note, she did not take any of her clothes or meds and Megan says her phone has been disconnected just like Jocelyn’s was. Jamie asks the officer posted what happened and Captain Sindona says he left for a few minutes for his lunch break. Sindona says she probably ran off somewhere and many American woman do that. Raines returns and says that a shopkeeper says they saw Emma leave with two men in dark suits in a black SUV. Kellett tells Sindona that if she finds out this is anything more than him being incompetent, she tells him he will see what overreacting really looks like. This was a great scene that really showed how passionate Kellett is to ensure the investigations are fulsome and complete, and that she takes her role very seriously when it comes to solving crimes.

They go to speak to Rafaella and she says that she has no idea where Emma is and she is not concerned. She tells Vo that she is not going back to where she is from and she will do whatever it takes, and she is willing to flirt and smile to stay. Vo asks if she has ever had to do anything more than that but she avoids the question. It is clear from her tone that Vo is quite concerned about her. Vo asks about Emma being popular at the parties and Rafaella tells Vo that Jojo was the one that got all the attention at the parties and that she had one boyfriend but it was supposed to be a secret so she never said his name. She said he would take her places and buy her things. Vo gets an idea and pulls up a video that shows a fancy necklace Jojo is wearing, that they are able to identify was not on the body. The purchaser is Walter Maldini, a hedge fund CEO from Italy. Garretson says that he manages the Vatican investments and Europol is investigating him for fraud and embezzlement, and he has a history of abuse to women but always avoids the charges, and he is well respected in Italy. The team gets the impression that perhaps this may be why they are hitting so many roadblocks, and they soon are proven correct.

There is an engraving on the necklace which is what Emma heard Maldini call her, and they decide they need to investigate him as if he knows Emma is a witness she may be in danger.

Linari comes in and says to Kellett that they have no evidence or reason to investigate Maldini, and that they have a strange understanding of the word evidence. She says there are many ways to explain what happened to Jocelyn that do not involve foul play, and Vo points out he is a violent abuser of women and that she was in the room with him right before she died. But Linari says she will not authorize an investigation until there is real evidence, and Kellett says they sometimes have to uncover evidence not just blindly solve the cases handed to them on a plate. This was a real fiery moment for Kellett, who is not prepared to have the investigation be swept under the rug, and her willingness to defy Linari definitely is a risk that she is knowlingly taking. This is a great example of her showing again some of her great leadership skills, and being unwilling to allow there to not be a full investigation of any possible suspects, and being willing to take the fall of any negative outcome for the team to make sure that happens.

After Linari leaves, Sindona says this is not the first time Maldini’s name has come across his desk, and while he thinks it is still a suicide, if Maldini was involved, it complicates things. Raines says he received the guest list for a party happening tonight and Maldini is on it and he must think he is untouchable. Kellett says the way they will find Emma is that they have to get close to him, and she has an idea how. Garretson asks Raines to print out the autopsy photos and put them in an envelope for her as she wants to play a hunch. Garretson goes back to see the woman and takes the envelope of photos to her and puts them in her mail slot when she won’t answer the door. Again, such a wonderful example of her determination in pursing every possible lead that may help the team solve the case.

Vo goes to see Rafaella and asks her for help and tells her Emma is not missing, she was taken, but Rafaella does not want to be involved and Vo says she is already involved. Vo says she knows nothing has been easy for her, but doesn’t she wish she could go back and protect that girl she was when she arrived there. This was such a fantastic scene, and we are really able to see Vo’s compassion and understanding of what this girl went through, and how to reach her at a level she will understand. Rafaella goes to Rossi and tells him she has a friend from NY who just moved there and is looking for a presentation, and Vo goes in under cover as a model.

Vo returns to the team and lets them know she is in and Kellett asks Raines to get her set up with eyes and ears. Garretson comes in to tell Kellett that they have a problem and they videoconference with Dandridge, who says Linari was livid when he spoke to her and he did not blame her. He says they are circumventing a public prosecutor who is their host, and they are side stepping the proper channels to investigate a prominent Italian citizen. He has asked the Italians to give them more time and asks what their next steps are and that they need to run it by him first, and Kellett tells him things are moving fast but there is no definitive plan yet. This was another great example of Kellett doing what needed to be done to properly complete the investigation.

Vo goes into the party as a model and gets eyes on Rossi and Maldini. She goes to talk to Maldini and he offers to show her around the city. She tells him that she was supposed to be staying with Jojo but says she killed herself but she seemed fine and Vo says she knows something, and Maldini says he is sure her family would want to know. She tells him that she had a boyfriend and that she did not know who he is but she had recordings of their fights and him yelling and hitting her. Maldini says that he knows she is an FBI agent and brings in his lawyer who is also Baldwin. Vo confronts him about abusing and killing women and he says American women have no idea when to keep their mouths shut. She asks where he has Emma Staley and he says he showed her a good time and she goes into the next room and sees Emma.

Vo asks if she is okay and Emma says she is fine and Maldini says she is his guest. She says she was mistaken and did not see anything and Baldwin cuts in and says he now speaks for Emma. Vo says if they are hurting her, she can help. Suddenly Maldini’s wife appears and she is wearing Jojo’s necklace. She says that Maldini was with her at home all night. Vo tries to get Emma to leave with her but she will not speak to her.

Sindona goes to speak to the team and tells them Linari is going to send them away. Maldini is also lodging a formal complaint against him and the FBI. Vo says she saw it in his eyes that he killed Jocelyn and are they going to let him get away with it, and Kellett says they need to bring Emma in. Sindona says she already recanted and this could mean his job, and if they do not have direct evidence he is not sure what they can do. Kellett tells him to be a moral cop and take Maldini down as they know that he did this. Jamie took a real risk confronting another police service, especially with the importance of the fly team role internationally and needing to be cordial, but it also shows her passion for bringing justice to victims and it seems to light a fire under Sindona.

Garretson goes back to the neighbours home and asks her to open the door and says she may be the only person who can help put the man who did this behind bars, and leaves her more photos. When she returns to the station, Kellett asks her where she was, and she says she was trying to pull out a “Hail Mary” for the team.

They bring in Emma and Vo is speaking with her. Emma says that Maldini has taken an interest in her career and helping her succeed and she says she is telling her the truth. They go over the witness statement, and Baldwin keeps interrupting. Vo tells Emma that Jocelyn’s family will never know the truth if she does not do the right thing. Emma says it does not matter what she saw, and that she was not on her medication at that time.

Vo suspects that Maldini must be threatening her and Sindona says they will throw the statement out even if she recants. Garretson gets a text and she says it is her “Hail Mary” and she goes to see the woman and she says she has been alone for a long time, and at night she sits and watches the world go by. Garretson asks why she did not want to talk to her and she says it is hard to explain. Her sister was beaten by her father and nothing happened to him and she says this is how things have always been in Italy. Megan says sometimes in this world we have to do more than sit and watch. She shows Megan that the landlord put a camera on her balcony when she complained about the workers smoking and that it records everything. They get the recording and it shows Maldini killing Jocelyn. They show him and arrest him.

As they are leaving, Emma thanks Vo and says she thought Maldini was going to hurt her, and that she is going home. Rafaella says she is also going to face the storm but will not be going back home, but will not let Rossi hurt her anymore. It is clear that both women feel how much Vo cares for their well being and want her to know they will be okay.

Sindona says they will be prosecuting Maldini and are also looking into Luca and the modeling agency for trafficking and prostitution. Kellett tells him he is good at being a cop. While it was a risk for Kellett to push back against the local authorities, it seems that in this instance, it has allowed someone who wanted to do the right thing in the face of opposition the ability to do so.

Garretson goes back to visit and thank the woman, and they sit out on her balcony and talk and watch Milan together as the episode closes. This was a lovely way to end the episode, as Garretson reaches out to spend time with her after she indicated she is usually alone. It also was a nice way to close the loop and allow her to know all the good that came out of her speaking. It will be great to see if Megan’s tenacity will continue and she will be instrumental in assisting in finding crucial evidence and witnesses in future cases.

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

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