FBI Episode 12: A New Dawn
This week’s episode takes some inspiration from our current political climate. To demonstrate this, we start our episode with a protest at a fictional New York City University titled Paul Revere University. The President of the school has hired White Nationalist Nathaniel Bain to make a speech for likeminded students. After the talk, he addresses Bain and asks him if he believes the hate he preaches. Bain is amused and is left alone in a dressing room. Minutes later, someone tosses a fire bomb into the room, trapping him to his fiery death.
Our title card flashes and then reveals Agents Zidan and Bell on the scene. They are chatting—OA seems distracted. He admits to Maggie that his sister attends this college, to which Maggie seems surprised. This is an interesting moment; have the two partners never discussed family before? If OA’s sister is so close, why does he not talk about her more often?
The crime scene reveals two important things. The first is that the murderer used a Molotov fire bomb to kill him. And our second clue comes from the security camera. It caught a tall, skinny and white male fleeing the scene, his hand seemingly wrapped in a bandage.
Freedom of Speech
At the JOC, Kristen, Jubal and AIC Mosier discuss motives. With the political climate so volatile, it doesn’t seem surprising that someone could escalate to murder. While Kristen and Jubal talk about Bain, it is Mosier who reminds the team that it is not their job to address the kind of person Bain was, but to solve his murder. This leads them to look at the profile—we have an unexperienced killer. While they have prints from one of the glass shards at the crime scene, they are not in any system or record. A suggestion comes forward… maybe it is a student.
This thought sends OA and Maggie to question President Whitman about the event. He is cooperative and details that while he might not have agreed with Bain’s words or actions, he believes that everyone is entitled to free speech.
“I’m always wrong, no matter what.”
With little to go on, they leave. Maggie then asks if OA would like to catch up with his sister, but we see from his answer they do not get along. Interestingly, they run into her at a protest at the school. The conversation stays awkward, enough to feel it through the screen. Amira refers to OA as Omar, something we’ve learned from previous episodes gets under OA’s skin. Amira states during the exchange, “I’m always wrong, no matter what.” When they leave, Maggie tries to talk to OA. He is short, almost even cold and he doesn’t want to talk about it. OA blames the millennial attitude.
The next step is to question left wing college clubs. They speak to a group called STSU who tells them while they hated Bain, they are a peaceful group who sticks with words, not harm. As the agents exit, shots are fired from an SUV. Bell and Zidan are able to keep pursuit and stop the SUV. When questioned, the team learns that those in the SUV are from a rival group (right wing), who wanted to scare STSU for setting their clubhouse on fire the week previous. They never intended to harm anyone, nor did they know that they were agents. Luckily, this catches the FBI a break. While inspecting the clubhouse, they discover the same sort of bomb with a matching fingerprint to the first scene. They can confirm they are related but need to figure out who is doing it.
Kristen comes in with another breakthrough. While searching social media, she found chatter about a hashtag called New Dawn and a Paul Revere student who used it a lot. Her name is Claire Taylor; they go to question one of her political professors to see what kind of student she is. Professor Kelly, well liked by his students and known for making political activists, gives them a disappointing setback… Claire moved to London three weeks ago. He does tell them that she worked on the newspaper the Daily Pru, the same paper that OA’s sister Amira works for. OA is hopeful that Amira might be able to tell them a little more about who Claire was and who she associated with.
Amira proves helpful. She tells them that Claire hung out with another student named Heather, part of the group New Dawn. The best idea is to infiltrate the group and Amira wants to help. This leads to an argument between OA and Amira. Its clear in this scene that OA is very protective of his sister, which apparently drives her insane. After some persuading, OA agrees to let her make the introduction but then step down.
“Are you two willing to get your hands dirty?”
Maggie is to be the undercover, posing as a family friend and political activist. They meet up with Heather at the club and there is some vetting to be done. Maggie looks like a total badass, Missy does well in this scene. It honestly might be one of my favorites so far in the show. The trio compare activism stories before Maggie excuses herself to follow a man toward the back of the club. She finds many guns and other dangerous items, before being caught by two large men. They are a part of New Dawn and question her. Heather vouches for Maggie’s story and the men ask, “Are you two willing to get your hands dirty?”
Much to OA’s disapproval, Amira joins Maggie in a car ride with Heather and the two men. Kristen, with OA on surveillance, asks if he wants to pull them. He hesitates but says no. Then, there is tapping, which OA identifies as a code. What doesn’t this guy know?! He realizes they are about to shoot up a building and pulls the van over to stop it. Maggie gets out, still undercover and makes a scene while further vetting herself with New Dawn. She tells them to back off, the truck is loaded with AK47s. The police presence is enough to spook the group, however and they head back to the club.