Television

FBI: International Season 2 Episode 1 Review: Unburdened

Yes, my fellow FBI fanatics, we are covering the trio this season! How exciting is that?

FBI: International Season 2 Episode 1 came with a rather lackluster case, all things considered, but three significant developments within the team.

Let’s dive in!

Before we get into things, we need to establish some FBI: International ground rules.

I’ve never been big on calling every character by their last name, but it seems to be the thing with shows such as this. Is that how you’d like to proceed? Or would you like first names to emerge when characters are a little less on the job?

Please share your thoughts on the matter because I know that when a reviewer uses different names than you’re expecting, it can suck you right out of the review. We don’t want that to happen!

So, let’s start with the biggest news out of the premiere. Jaeger is gone, and Smitty is in.

I don’t know about you, but from my perspective, Smitty’s addition to the team gives it an entirely different vibe. While Jaeger often seemed like she was more of a bureaucrat than a field agent (which may have just been my perspective; you tell me), Smitty was in on the action immediately.

It helps that she’s worked with Forrester in the past, and the two have a good rapport. It also works in the scope of the show since viewers don’t have to play the game of wondering if someone will fit or try to change things. Smitty is a good fit right out of the gate.

It worked super well with Forrester’s new attitude, too. Gone is the heavy weight he carried throughout the first season, as his mother’s unexpected presence in his life had him all over the place.

The “previously on” segment leaned heavily on what went down with his mother, and Forrester was recalling a lot through the hour, which didn’t give us any hints at all as to what he was thinking or feeling about the issue.

Granted, there was a murdered American and some hot rods for dirty bomb-making that needed their attention, but since it was so present at the onset, it was worth noting.

When the team finally won the day at the end, Forrester revealed why he was feeling so “Unburdened.” He knows his mother is a hero and not a zero, and she’d reached out again.

On the FBI: International Season 1 finale, it seemed like he was in for another long wait before he would be in contact with his mother again. I’m thrilled that’s not the situation because it felt like a wet blanket was draped over Forrester for too long.

It was hard to get on board with him and Kellett because what he was going through with his mom was all-encompassing. There wasn’t any room for other relationships to breathe.

It affected every level of his life, and now it won’t.

Can we get a hallelujah?

The first season also found Raines unsure of his present and future. A lot of what’s necessary from a bureau perspective didn’t really appeal to him, but when his sister was kidnapped, he got a better idea of what the job means.

Sometimes, it takes something personal to drive home the importance of the who, what, why, how, etc., of doing the job. It’s not always a perfect science; follow procedure and get the baddie situation. There is a lot of nuance to tracking down deadly criminals.

Additionally, there were times when Raines didn’t feel heard. That can do a lot of damage to a young man early in his career.

Raines can rest assured that he was heard and that it wasn’t personal.

Forrester offered Raines an incredible opportunity.

Being a field agent doesn’t allow for the training necessary to be upwardly mobile; someone has to give you a hand up.

Forrester finally had the opportunity to do that for Raines by clearing his schedule for the fall months and sending him to a management training program.

The Raines we met at the beginning of the first season would have seized that opportunity and never looked back.

That was then, and this is now.

Raines has learned a lot, most importantly how much good they do in their jobs as field agents. Just look at the case they worked on in the premiere. If not for them, Paris would be burning.

Each member of the team has skills that allow them to work miracles within the team, and it was practically miraculous that they tracked down a dirty bomb and scuttled the plans to detonate it.

Doing the work means something, and Raines turned down the offer for management training. He’s good right where he is. That, too, will unburden him a bit so that he’s not running around with a chip on his shoulder, daring his teammates and supervisor to knock it off.

As for the case itself, it was rather unremarkable. What I did find to be worthy of discussion was how important it is to vet people with diplomatic immunity.

The tiny jurisdiction of Dondi wasn’t just not vetting people but outright offering to anyone with the cash to pay for it a diplomatic passport. That’s so dangerous and frightening to ponder.

In the real world, it was just this summer that the husband of a diplomat was accused of rape and escaped without consequences citing diplomatic immunity.

When in the wrong hands, it can be disastrous. When you’re selling the right to individuals for cash, it throws trust right out the window.

Did you get more from the case than I did?

How excited are you for the season to start on a refreshing note with Smitty’s exciting addition and new outlooks for Forrester and Raines?

Let us know in the comments below what you thought of the hour, and remember that you can watch FBI: International online right here via TV Fanatic!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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