FBI Episode 20: What Lies Beneath
The team is tasked with protecting a high-profile official from Egypt receiving a transplant, as Jubal puts it, with a man with an “uneven track record on human rights”. As assignments are given, OA seems frustrated by the overall task. Maggie asks if he knows him and he tells her he knows he runs the secret police there. While Maggie and Kristen are given more mundane tasks, Jubal personally hands OA the task of the security detail.
When Agent Zidan questions the motive, he explains that he has SWAT training and speaks Arabic. Interesting information we did not know before about our agent, though this information does not seem to satisfy his regard for the task. I am going to assume Agent Zidan does not appreciate or approve of Ahmed El-Masri’s methods or values.
Head or Heart?
As OA prepares for his assignment, Mosier gives Maggie another task. The video was intercepted from El-Masri’s hotel as he left for New York. Since there have been several assassination attempts in the past, Mosier wants to see if they can trace who bought the cell phone it was sent to in New York. She is told to take Agent Perkins with her.
OA meets with General El-Masri, who asks if he is Egyptian. He immediately responds he is American. I give OA credit; he lives by his gut and his heart, driven by passion and the belief that human worth and dignity are important. These are great values to have as a former soldier and an FBI Agent, but it can also be considered that this may also cloud his judgment from time to time. There has to be a balance between that heart and using your head, especially when some decisions require more thought, or don’t always coincide with your overall values.
As OA is quite new to the force and young, I bet we see less instinctual decisions and more with deeper considerations. Granted, I hope he never loses his heart and what sets him apart. It is refreshing to see a character like himself.
Luckily, with some persuasion, Maggie and Agent Perkins obtain the video footage from the store the cell phone was bought from and are able to identify who bought it. Karim Mohammed comes up as a match from a list of people who made threats against the General. The team attempts to find him, but he isn’t at his apartment, or at a hotel which he paid for.
Meanwhile, OA and the General are stuck in traffic on their way to the hospital. OA gets out of the car to see what the hold up is and they take fire. One of the agents is hit in the leg, but there are no other threatening injuries.
Maggie and Perkins find Karim on a bus headed upstate and take him in.
Different or Similar?
The General continues to get under OA’s skin. He wants to know where his family came from, but OA doesn’t want to talk to him. He then asks OA why he dislikes him; OA explains that he doesn’t like what he does. They banter about the choices he makes as a leader, but the deeper truth comes out. OA’s cousin disappeared in Egypt following a march. She was never seen again, but they believe she was taken by the secret police. This is personal to him.
Maggie interrogates Karim, who refuses to give up who he is working for. Kristen pulls a voicemail from his phone which they then run through databases to try and identify the voice. It belongs to a professional assassin, Zev Malin. They trace his phone and find out he had a boyfriend, but when they arrive at his boyfriend’s apartment, they find him dead.
At the hospital, OA talks to the General about Zev. They get into another argument about judgment and decision making. It is clear that OA still does not see eye to eye with him despite his reasoning or choices.
The Lives of Many
The team discovers that Barry Foster (the dead guy in the apartment) was not Zev’s boyfriend at all, but a cover-up so that he could use his career. Barry was a nurse, which allows Zev to sneak into the hospital undetected. They set the hospital on lockdown, so they can go room to room, but despite their efforts, Zev escapes out a fire exit.
Granted, this allows the General to get his heart transplant. OA tells him to make it mean something.
Maggie and Perkins look into a warehouse Karim rented for Zev. They discover the makings of a bomb; it looks like he planted it in the hospital while he was there. One positive? State police pull Zev over off a BOLO and injure him as he pulls a weapon. One seriously bad man off the streets. As Maggie and Perkins assist in finding the bomb, OA puts himself alone in the ER with Zev. He wants answers. Resorting to torture, he pushes his hand into the bullet wounds to get him to talk, but he doesn’t budge. Maggie walks in on it, giving him a hard look.
Honestly, this is a tough scene. I’m not so sure I disagree with his tactics, but I’m sure it’s a moment of emotional distress for someone such as OA. Clearly, it disturbs Maggie when she sees him doing it. Will it cause a change in OA? Does he finally see the General’s standpoint a bit clearer? Either way, Maggie and OA head to where they believe the bomb is, finding it with less than two minutes before it detonates. The bomb squad stops it with ten seconds left on the clock.
Thoughts as the Season Wraps Up…
In an ironic and unfortunate turn of events, the heart transplant fails and the General dies anyway. But, before his death he had his assistant look into OA’s cousin. He was able to find out that she died in prison of the flu.
The episode ends with Maggie meeting with the man who was the recipient of her husband’s heart.
Another great episode. There were several high points. The first is OA’s moral struggle throughout and how he realizes decision making isn’t always black and white. We also see a side to him that we haven’t seen before and I’m curious if we’ll see again in time.
The second high point was the addition of Agent Perkins. Honestly, the show sometimes gets a little stale having Agents Bell and Zidan do most of the leg work, while Jubal, Mosier, and Kristen handle things at the JOC. Agent Perkins is a fresh face with a likable personality that shows he’s human. I’m not sure what his long-term storyline will bring us, with only two episodes left in the season, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him take on a larger role in season two.
With two episodes left of season one, and some storylines yet to be wrapped up, what do you think is going to happen next?
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