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FBI: International – Dead Sprint – Review

9 May 2023

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In this episode, we saw old alliances rekindle, suspicions, racism, terrorism and overall political tension, all rolled into one hour of non-stop action.

To recap this episode, the episode opens in Stockholm, Sweden, where Hugo Rojas and his girlfriend Vera Bloom are walking after a football match and decide to go into the Lejonmane Pub, where there are a lot of hometown fans, and Hugo is wearing a jersey for a different team. Some of the hometown fans begin harassing them and as it escalates, a man offers to take them out the back exit, but while Vera tries to get a taxi, the man asks Hugo if he is Syrian and attacks and beats him to death with two other men. The Fly Team is called in to help and as they debrief on the situation, they wonder if the attack was racially motivated because Sweden has taken in a lot of refugees and that has not sat well with some, so it could be a hate crime.

In Sweden, they meet with Deputy Director Burgstrom at the Swedish police station. She says the violence of this crime is an embarrassment to her country and they have the team all set up. She says the pub ownership is cooperating and the hometeam supporters are usually not trouble unless provoked. Vo and Kellett interview Vera. She says she chose that pub because her dad used to take them their when she was a kid (to the pub) and that Stockholm and the pub have changed and everything is so charged. She said the way they were looking at Hugo was angry and says she could hear they were calling him Syrian and she thinks that is why they killed him. She did not tell Hugo that is what they were saying and feels guilty that she should have told him.

Raines and Forrester go to the bar. Johan Karlsson is the owner and he tells them Hugo came in around 9pm looking for a fight and says he was a hot head. He says he did not see much from behind the bar and when they ask about the cameras, and he says there was no tape. As they go to look at the back exit Forrester sees a picture that catches his eye. Using receipts Smitty identifies 4 men, all with criminal histories including assault who were at the bar. Their names are Balder Osterman, Oskar Eriksson, Ulrik Nieminen and Elnar Lindstrom. They are organized and untraceable and their phones are on a VPN but Karlsson is not on a VPN and they start to track him, because they believe he is somehow involved.

On Tuesdays at 10pm, Karlsson goes to an abandoned brewery, and they stake it out and see several different team jerseys and wonder if they are recruiting other hardcore fans for something. Forrester tries to go in, and he pays the door man and they let him in. There is a fight club going on. He sees Damian Powell who is FBI, and when Damian pulls Scott aside outside and Raines pulls a gun on him, and Scott introduces them. They fill him in on the murder at the pub. He says he will reach out but he is undercover and this goes way deeper. Smitty fills them in that his undercover operation is a takedown of the Norseman Brotherhood, an ultranationalist terror cell and have attacked many public events and minorities. Forrester fills them in on how Powell is an agent who gets the job done but has a problem with authority.

Burgstrom tells them Special Agent Albert Judd is there to see them and he fills them in that the group is recruiting ultrasoccer fans by way of street fights. The case has been going on for 13 months in the Stockholm nest, and they are still looking for the head of the organization. Powell has not brought in something actionable yet. Powell sends him a location. Forrester asks who killed Rojas and he says it is Elnar Lindstrom. He tells Forrester that he does not know what he has seen, and he says the troops are gathering and they are bringing in the big fish and jump starting a war. Powell says he is all in with Forrester and he has told him everything, and he says to be ready in an hour. They set up surveillance with Powell, but when Powell meets up with the group, he tells the group the police were there and drops the camera and mic and the men disappear and the FBI team thinks he has played them.

They try to track Powells biometrics but he ditched all of his devices after the sting. They have a BOLO out on his vehicle and Forrester tells them to stay on it. Kellett wants to speak to Scott and she says that he may have known him in the past, but this job and being undercover changes you.

Vo comes to get them and tells them that 8 members of the Norseman Brotherhood entered the country last night, including two members of the suspected US chapter. Raines says their coordinated arrival means something is going down in the next 24 hours, and Kellett says this could be a preview to what’s to come back to the USA. Smitty and Vo are to secure suspected targets and he has Kellett be boots on the ground with the Swedish Homeguard. Forrester gets a text and Jarko Koskinen was fired as a software engineer and it looks like he is the big fish.

Burgstrom offers Raines their supercomputer to help break the code and hack Koskinen’s system. The text from Powell was not encrypted, and Forrester tracks him down and says he does not know if he can trust him. Forrester says he is done if he keeps feeding him lines. Powell says he can take him out of his assignment or help him stop a mass casualty event and Forrester tells him to go.

Smitty is organizing people to cover entrances and exits and have an evacuation plan ready for potential targets and asks Vo if there are any updates. Raines thinks he has something and tells them to head to a park because something is going down there. He says the Norseman have being posting about a rally and bringing leftists to an open park, to bring them in like sheep to the slaughter. They tell them to shut it down, but there is no overarching agency to take them down. The team spreads out to find they identify that the two Americans are likely the trigger men and Raines pulls out his computer. Burgstrom says that the Leftists looks like the agitators, and the Norseman will look like they are acting in self defense. They are tracking the Americans using their US cell carriers. They tell Forrester the Americans will attack from within. Vo and Smitty shoot tear gas and Forrester and Vo take down the two men. Powell goes after Elnar and he attacks him with a bat covered in barbed wire. Forrester arrives and he and Elnar fight. He tells Powell he got them all and attends to his injuries and calls for medical help.

They question Elnar and he says he can give them the identity of the leader and his whole network. He says he wants to walk out of there, never to be heard from again, for the information. They match Rojas DNA to him and Kellett says no deal. Forrester and Smitty say what if they try for manslaughter and then petition for the harshest punishment under Swedish law. Kellett goes to talk to Vera and tells her they apprehended the men that killed Hugo. She also tells them Hugo’s death lead them to disband a terror group, so he did not die in vain and also gives her a ring Hugo had with him that they took when he died.

Forrester goes to see Powell. Scott asks what is next for him. He tells him that because of him, a transnational terror group has been wiped off the map. Scott says he can find him a spot on the Fly Team and all he has to do is say the word. Powell says yes.

There were a few key themes that we saw emerge during this episode. First, we see firsthand what Jamie Kellett meant when she told Ben that she has a very small circle of trust. Clearly, Kellett was doubting the intentions and motivations of Powell, and did not trust him to be true to his word. It will be a very interesting dynamic to see her try to work with Powell, based on how she feels but the fact that Scott does trust him. It is clear that Jamie has a great deal of trust for the team, and it definitely will be curious to see how the writers will work Powell into the storyline, and what the dynamic will be with the team. Especially when we already saw him flirting with Vo in this episode.

In addition we saw how loyal and trusting Scott Forrester can be with those he has been through difficult assignments with. The fact that Scott both trusted Powell when everything indicated he should not, and also trusted Jamie in her wariness of him, seems to show he has real abilities to balance all the evidence, but then also trust his instincts. He clearly has an untold history with Smitty that we are all also dying to learn…come on writers…we want to know more. And we have seen on several occasions how that affects his decision making when it comes to Smitty. I can only imagine it will be the same with Powell.

As season two prepares to draw to a close, we should be prepared for some exciting story lines to complete this season and keep us waiting on the edge of our seats for season three.

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