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FBI: International – Imminent Threat – Part One (and Two and Three) – Review

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As we have seen with the Wolf Entertainment franchises, the crossover is something that these teams and writers are experts at, and this event was no different. For this event, FBI: International was moved to first in trio of shows this night, followed by FBI and then FBI: Most Wanted.

To recap this episode, it opens in Minsk, Belarus at a wedding at an estate. Many of the men including the groom, and father of the bride are in military uniforms. The bride gets her father up and he asks about cutting the cake. Her father wants to use a special knife to cut the cake and goes inside. Suddenly there is a massive explosion outside. He goes outside and everyone is dead including his daughter.

In Rome Italy, two men are walking by the colosseum discussing meeting a developer from Paris. The one man says they should double back as there are two men following them and suddenly there are numerous men following them. They chase them and kill one man and kidnap the other in a dark van. Watching over the kidnapping is the father from the wedding.

Forrester arrives and Kellett presents the case. David Laporta, a CEO for an industrial engineering company Anitec Global is missing and Tomasa Costa, his business partner, was found shot to death. They have asked for their help to locate Mr. Laporta, and they are unsure if he is a victim or suspect. They find out that a background check was run on Laporta three days before by Jubal Valentine in New York, and Raines offers to make a call to them.

The team flies to Rome, and meet Inspector Rano, who says he invited them based on Ms. Garretson’s recommendation only. He says Laporta’s phone was either turned off or destroyed. Costa’s phone and wallet was on him and the kidnappers were able to avoid the cameras. Forrester goes to speak to Mrs. Laporta with the Inspector’s permission. She tells them other than being a little more stressed than usual, she says he is just an engineer and it was Costa who had the business ambition. She suggests that they speak to his assistant, Sabrina.

Raines says that there is no response from Jubal. Sabrina meets with Raines and Kellett. She made sure that nothing was touched since she heard what had happened. She says Tomaso set up the meeting last night himself. Sabrina says that David and Tomaso did not always see eye to eye about the business. About a year ago, David got a call from authorities that Taliban were kidnapping structural engineers to have them help take down buildings and he was on a list, and he had blamed Tomaso for him being well known but they ended up getting over it. Sabrina is concerned this is what the kidnapping is about.

Forrester and Smitty brief the Inspector that they do not expect a ransom demand and think this has to do with David’s knowledge of how to take down the structures he built. Smitty says he has built hundreds of gas and oil production facilities. The Inspector says that the Taliban kidnapping never left the planning stage. He says their assumption is an excuse for the FBI to widen their involvement and it is American arrogance. Smitty says there is no harm in letting the team run this theory down. Vo went through the footage for the previous 72 hours, and finds the same man each night at the park.

Jubal Valentine and Nina Chase arrive and let them know that Stuart Scola was under cover on a foreign buyer of industrial explosives and the name David Laporta had popped up on the wires he had placed, and they did not think anything of it until they heard he had disappeared. Jubal says they are not sure when but believe it is an imminent threat. They said they do not know what the target is yet.

Forrester briefs the team that this is no longer just a kidnapping case but an imminent terror threat. Jubal says the target is likely one of the major projects Laporta’s company designed. Jubal briefs them that based on Scola’s investigation, the attack is likely to be based in New York or along the Eastern Seaboard. Nina says there are no potential targets she can identify in terms of projects they worked on in the last 5 years but she will keep digging and Vo offers to help. Forrester says the rest of them will work on locating Laporta himself. He says the best lead is the man in the video and Kellett says no one recognizes him so they are sure he is not local, but without a better image, they cannot run him through facial recognition, and Jubal suggests sending it to analysts in NY to see if they can work some magic.

Raines says that three calls came in to Tomaso in the hours leading up to his death, but there is a delay in getting the identification of the number. Jubal asks if several hours is normal for phone records and Scott says no and it feels deliberate and Jubal wants to talk to someone but Scott says they do not speak to anyone without their Europol liaison running interference. He tells Jubal that it is not like back at home and they are guests in their country and work on their terms, but Jubal says he does not like waiting around. Nina calls Isobel and she says that they are working on the image and have not heard from Scola but they are sure he will call when he has something. She calls Scola and tells him to be careful.

Scott speaks to Smitty and asks how long a warrant for phone records can take, and she says she is doing her best but it could take another few hours. Smitty says that all she has heard is that “in light of the Americans recent tactics, we are lucky to be consulted at all”. Scott asks what that means and Smitty says if she knew she would tell him. Forrester says they better do something now because Jubal is climbing the walls, and she says the more she tries to push the Inspector, the more he tries to shut them down. Scott says neither they nor David Laporta have time to play nice. Scott takes Jubal with him and says they will handle it themselves.

Sabrina brings Jubal and Scott the records and she says if they made a business call to that number in the last 5 years it will be in there. She says Tomaso meets with a lot of people and wouldn’t it be faster to ask the phone company and Scott says yes it would. Jubal finds another call to that number and Sabrina looks in the calendar and says Tomaso was in Minsk that night and having drinks with someone named Dmitry Dovhal. He is listed as a consultant and she goes through Tomaso contacts. They see he flew into Rome 3 days ago and find his address in Rome. Kellett and Raines watch the back as Jubal and Scott go in the front. The door is open and the kettle is on the stove but the place is empty except for Dovhal who is shot dead.

Ballistics match the bullets to the same gun that killed Tomaso, and Kellett says the neighbors did not see anyone coming or going, but says they did see a silver SUV outside for a few days which is now gone. They estimate he has been dead for about 2 hours, and Jubal says to Smitty that without the phone records delay they might have gotten to him alive, but Smitty says there is no way to say for sure. Jubal says the reality is he is dead over a simple phone search when Scott comes over to ask what is going on. Jubal tells him they should have a witness and not another body and someone needs to own that and Scott tells him he needs to calm down, and there is only so much they can push before it comes back to bite them, but Jubal says that is not good enough.

Nina briefs Jubal on Dovhal, who is a low level operative and a Belarus citizen, and his travels make him sound more like a spy. Jubal calls Isobel and tells her that there seems to be a connection to Belarus and she has the team working to look for connections. She says Scola mentioned a big meeting a few weeks ago and they run records of people leaving and entering New York from Belarus in the last few weeks. They find footage of the man from the park, and are able to identify him as Stanislau Lenkov, who is a General in the Belarus Armed Forces. Jubal says they need to bring in someone from every agency and asks if Scott knows anyone at the State Department and he says state department or CIA.

Scott introduces him to Pia Morgan, and she tells them that Lenkov has close ties to the president of Belarus and close ties to Putin. He has spent the last 18 month running black ops in the Ukraine for the Russian army. They are know to be ruthless and effective in their missions. She thinks what they have stumbled across is linked to a covert operation in Minsk, when 3 months ago Lenkov’s entire team were struck down by a drone strike at a family wedding, by Ukraine they think. So he blames America for his daughter and his top soldiers being killed.

Nina says to Cameron that they have been focusing on obvious targets like landmarks and bridges but she wonders if it has to do with the electrical stations and such he worked on before. She shares with Vo that she is pregnant and Scola is the father. Scott returns and asks where Smitty is and goes in to speak to the Inspector. Scott asks if he is dragging his feet due to some kind of beef between Europe and the US and whatever happened in Minsk is not his or the FBI’s fault. The Inspector says the Valentine is disrespectful of how he is running his investigation, and he does not appreciate his way of doing business. Scott says he doesn’t care because it is their duty to work together and not let a kidnapping victim be killed or let a bomb go off. The Inspector shows him that they received a possible location on Dovhal’s car and Scott goes to check it out and the Inspector says they are to report back to him and his team will take the next steps and he agrees.

They find the car and there is a man casing the car, and he gives them the address of where the driver is. They are waiting for the Italian PD and Jubal wants to breach, and says to Scott that they have been keeping things diplomatic but they need to take action. They go into the apartments and find a couple and children who begin screaming, and then Jubal finds a kid who shoots a gun at Jubal. Kellett tells them it is just a family home and Raines lets them know there is no sign of anyone else. Smitty says as they expected, the family denies any knowledge of Lenkov and Jubal asks to interview the family but Smitty says no because he kicked in their door and terrified the family. They are trying to locate the man that sent them to that apartment but they believe he was telling them what he thought they wanted to hear. Smitty tells him this is the American entitlement that caused the whole mess to begin with. She says they promised to keep the Italians in the loop and then he pulled this and Jubal says he did not promise anything, and he is not here to argue about foreign policy.

Scott tells Jubal that they go way back but Smitty is a member of his team and fights for them and their country every day and he will not run over her. Jubal says this raid was his call and he was wrong and will take responsibility for it but it was their only lead. Scott says now it is time to work together and they all agree.

Kellett comes out and says they have another crime scene and someone hit the Anitec offices. Lenkov’s men came through and Sabrina says she just hid. Nina says the files are old from before the company opened, and they uploaded the entire drive. They look to see if they can identify the server where it was uploaded to, and they find an IP address. They need support and Scott says they are the only European FBI team/support and Smitty tells Jubal they likely have burned the bridge with the Italian Police. Scott reaches out to the Inspector and says they can stop the terror attack before it starts if it is all hands on deck, and the Inspector says the Americans like to do things on their own so here is their chance and wished them luck. He and his officers leave.

Jubal says with the element of surprise he thinks they can take them, but only if they are all in agreement. Smitty agrees and they plan on how to go in. The team gets armed and Scott says when they get into position to wait for the signal. Jubal wants Nina to sit this one out because she is pregnant and he does not want to put her in harm’s way. She asks to go with Scott but he says that sounded like an order so she goes with Vo and Vo promises to have her help secure the perimeter and will not go in.

Kellett and Raines enter from one side and Forrester and Valentine and Smitty enter from another – Vo and West secure the perimeter. Jubal, Scott and Smitty take the guards out front and Raines and Kellett breach the house and take down several guards inside. Jubal takes one man out and someone is sneaking up behind him but Scott kills him. They find Laporta shot in the head. They put down seven gunmen and they find a secret exit through a tunnel. Vo and West are searching for the two men who escaped and find the exit. Vo gets one of the men but West is shot. They get Nina into the car and take her to the nearest hospital.

The final man gets away. They rush to the hospital and she is taken into surgery. Scott is questioning their decision to go in. The doctor tells Scott that Nina lost lots of blood and she is touch and go right now and the baby has a heartbeat but there has been lots of trauma. Scott returns to the scene and Vo comes out crying and Scott hugs her and tells her it is not her fault. They continue to search for clues while Jubal waits at the hospital.

They find the Inspector in the house and he asks what they are doing coming into his country and shooting everyone in site. Scott says because they did not provide resources, Laporta is dead and one of his teammates is in the hospital, and asks what more he needs.

It is at this point where we transition into Part 2 with FBI, and return to the hospital with Jubal waiting on more news about Nina. He calls Isobel and he tells her what happened, and that the prognosis is unclear. She says they found a notepad in the house with numbers on it, that was a tail number and it flew into New York that day, and she needs him back in New York. Isobel says she talked to Forrester and he will stay with Nina in Rome until she recovers. Isobel says not to tell Scola right now, because they cannot lose him and abort the operation. Jubal says it feels wrong and Isobel agrees but says they will tell him, just not now.

For the remainder of the crossover, we do not see much of our Fly Team other than Forrester, who is waiting at the hospital with Nina. At one point, Scott is at the hospital and Nina starts to crash and Scott goes to get help and they take Nina to the operating room.

Forrester is with Nina later in the crossover and they are done the surgery. The surgeon says the next 24 hours will be critical. Scott tells him that the baby’s heart is still beating and Scola tells him that it means the world to him that he is there with her.

At the end of the three parts, Scola goes to Italy and thanks Scott for lying to him about the doctors being optimistic as it gave him something to hang on to. Nina asks him why he is there and Scola tells her he loves her and she tells him she loves him too. The baby is okay also and the two hold hands as the credits roll.

There were a few key themes in the FBI: International part of this crossover. The first is how much Scott Forrester has grown not only as a leader but also in how he works diplomatically with all the foreign police services. He has learned to balance patience with action, and takes a very different approach now than at the beginning of season one. In addition, he is a very caring leader with how he supports Vo after the shooting and how he is there for Nina until they are able to get Stuart Scola to her. He clearly cares about what he does and also how he does it, and seems to have learned a great deal about how to navigate foreign politics and balance that with strong police work.

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The other big theme was that not everyone can understand the delicate relationships and politics at play when working outside of the USA. This was true in last season’s crossover, when OA experienced the same struggles that Jubal Valentine experienced in this episode while trying to work abroad. It truly is a special skill set to be able to navigate these rocky waters, and clearly Jubal’s experience working solely on American soil was a real detriment in this case. The bulldozer “need to do it our/my way on my timeline” approach is definitely not only viewed as disrespectful to local law enforcement, but only proves to put up barriers and derail investigations. We can only hope that his experiences abroad will help Jubal to also grow in his skills and abilities to work effectively with other police agencies, whether foreign or domestic.

A few other updates for those who may be interested in what happened in the remainder of the crossover episodes:

- Remy Scott comes in with the Fugitive Team to help Scola as he did undercover work before in a similar circle and they finally get a meeting and Scola offers to sell him the C4, but the leader says he does not trust him and walks away

- Scola finds out Nina has been shot and is furious at Jubal and Isobel for not telling him, and wants to work with Remy and the fugitive team to catch him

- The leader Andre is brought into custody, and the state department wants to take custody of him, and Jubal goes with Bruce Ellis to interrogate him but when Jubal interrupts to object to his methods, Andre gets free and kills himself.

- A woman is kidnapped and it turns out her brother works security for the airport. They rescue her but the men take her picture to get her brother to give them three all access passes for the security system at the airport.

- They initially think that the target is the President, but later realize the target is JFK airport.

- The man who shot Nina, Anton, goes to the fuel station control at the airport and opens the emergency shut off system and when Remy and Scola find him, Scola is going to execute him but Remy talks him down and they take him into custody.

- The team finds Lenkov and take him into custody. Remy and Scola find and disarm the bomb.

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

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