CBS: FBI Episodes 8 and 9
Episode 8: This Land is Your Land
We reenter the FBI Universe this week with the abduction of a former chemist from Moscow. The man, identified by DSS as Victor Beniov greeted his daughter and presented her with a travel VISA moments before. Several security details fall to the floor and Beniov disappears!
Local PD inform Agents Zidan and Bell that Beniov assisted in developing the chemical weapons for the bombs in Syria produced also by Assad. We immediately see a heavy stare by OA. Maggie catches it and Zidan admits he doesn’t understand why the United States is protecting someone of that nature.
In the bull pen, we meet with ASAIC Valentine, Analyst Chazal and SAIC Mosier. They discuss motives for the abduction and the overall agreement comes to: Does Russia want Beniov to make more weapons?
We follow Kristen Chazal to ballistics and learn that the protective agents were shot with Russian rifles, furthering the suspicions that Russia is involved.
Was Russia involved?
Agents Bell and Zidan return to the building and continue to disagree about Beniov. OA was rough with his daughter and Bell doesn’t understand why. She says it isn’t her fault that the girl’s father is who he is. OA, as shown in prior episodes, has a particular hatred for those who gas their own people. He doesn’t care if he comes off as cold. Apparently, this also extends to Maggie. He leaves her standing alone.
Meanwhile, Dana Mosier heads into a restaurant and sits down in front of another Russian man. They seem to have history but before we can learn more, the man—later introduced as Maksim Petrov—denies Russian involvement. Dana poses amusement and several terse words stated. She makes her exit.
We cut back to the FBI building where an agent from ATF confirms that the Russian rifles could have only come from one illegal arms dealer, a Kurt Shaw. Initially, ATF does not want to burn their undercover agent, who has been in for four years, but Valentine insists this is an important time to do it. Bell goes briefly undercover to set up a sting and they arrest him.
A Family that Hates Together…
Interestingly, it is Valentine who goes into the interrogation room to speak with Shaw. This is something we haven’t seen before. Shaw asks for his lawyer, and Valentine agrees but tells him the charges then tries to convince him to take a deal, so they can confirm the identity of the weapons’ buyer quicker. The man eventually caves but says he doesn’t have the guy’s name. His video surveillance on the range property scores a facial recognition hit.
Our weapons buyer is Frederick “Freddy” Kernick. He and his family all have priors, including his father who recently lost a trial over the murder of a police officer. He is awaiting sentencing. The family is antigovernment and lives off the grid, except for a sister who seemingly wants nothing to do with them.
Mosier and Valentine begin to wonder if they kidnapped the chemist to make bombs for an attack.
OA and Maggie go speak to the sister to see what information they can get out of her. As she exits her house, Freddy runs out the back. They are able to take him in but are still missing two other brothers. OA takes Freddy, who only speaks gibberish back to him. In the other interrogation room, Bell works on the sister who admits she hated how her brothers and fathers lived and left because she wanted nothing to do with it. She only lets her brother stay with her sometimes because he is family. She eventually gives up their location, a two-acre property in Pine Hill, New York. The team prepares, but first Valentine meets with the father who offers no assistance. He doesn’t even speak to him.
What Happens in Pine Hill Doesn’t Stay in Pine Hill…
The entire team (sans Mosier) sets up outside the woods of the property. OA apologizes to Maggie for how he acted, and they banter a bit. It seems to smooth things over and the duo is ready to. Soon they are heading through the woods with back up but stop when a vehicle approaches where Valentine and Chazal have set up post. Kids hop out and say they heard there would be a bust today.
Chazal and Valentine panic. The team is blown! Almost immediately, the anxious vibe in the woods intensifies and within seconds, there are shots ringing out. An agent near Bell takes a non-fatal hit and she covers him while waiting for OA to get to her. Meanwhile, one of the brothers is stalking her with his gun. She can also get off a non-fatal hit and the brothers retreat to the property.
The FBI regroups and look to local PD to get a better profile. There are five shooters, which means that others exist. PD mentioned that the Kernicks were close with another family and it is probably then. They also confirm there are chemical agents in the house via thermal scans.
Valentine gets an alert the negotiator is still fifteen minutes away and OA suggests that Maggie heads in. Mosier okays it and she heads to the front of the property to try and speak to those inside. At first, all the men do is rant about sovereignty and how the government is a sham. Then, Maggie uses their siblings as a vantage and that they will give up and leave if they hand over Beniov.
Instead, they show kids in the window. There are small children inside, likely related to them. They say they will use them as sacrifice. Maggie doesn’t wait and runs inside, OA rushing to her aid from the post.
Flash bombs flesh out those inside and they capture four of the five suspects, securing the kids’ safety. Davis, the oldest brother, has escaped. OA follows him to the second property on the grounds, but he’s on the move, however they do find Beniov unconscious inside and the production of Hydrogen Cyanide.
Beniov comes to and tells them that he made a device with the chemicals and that Davis is going to use it for “judgment day”. They can confirm he’s headed for the city from a stolen identity and realize he’s headed for the courthouse where his father was convicted of the crime. Inside, OA and Bell search for him, hearing screaming coming from one of the court rooms. They go inside and see that Davis is about to set it off.
OA tells him he doesn’t want to do that, as his father is inside, and they pushed his sentencing up a day. However, this is a lie to get him to put the device down. It works, and they arrest him.
The episode ends on three main points. OA and Maggie have some playful banter and team bonding in the bull pen, Mosier tells Valentine she knows he applied for her position before she arrived, and most importantly, when Mosier arrives home that night, outside her apartment is Maksim who tells her that if America is watching them, they are also watching us. He gets back into his car and retreats, leaving Mosier to stare off into the street at the comment.
- When I read the description to this episode, I thought it was going to be one of my lesser favorites. I kind of find the Russian storylines in shows a little stale and usually overdone or stereotypical. I was pleased to find this episode did not turn out like that. In fact, I like the idea that Americans captured someone who wanted out of the chemical weapons lifestyle and put him back into it forcefully.
- As someone currently interning in a political office, I also found the extreme hatred of the American government interesting. I’ve read a little about those the characters represented before, but like OA it was amusing to see them in action on the show.
- I feel like we still haven’t gotten the full story on OA’s time in the military. I mean, obviously we haven’t but I’m looking forward to the episodes that we do. Anytime someone brings up chemical weapons or certain areas that clearly strike a nerve, Zeeko Zaki’s acting further impresses me. His ability to turn so cold and crisp in both his words and actions is superb to watch on the screen. I just hope when more is revealed his emotional state is just as good.
- Our first background on our Special Agent in Charge. So, not only does she had history with this Maksim guy, but enough that he wanted to threaten her at the end of the episode. The way it was set up leads me to believe that we’ll be seeing more of him further in this season. She mentions to Valentine she spent time in Russia, so what was the reasoning behind it? I’m so curious to find out!
- Our trusty pencil-holder escapes the bullpen this episode, graduates to the interrogation room and even out into the fresh air! I hope he brought his pencil sharpener! Kidding aside, it’s a breath of fresh air. We even get a little hint that maybe Valentine wants more out of his career from Mosier, as she tells him that she knows he was looking for the position she took. Will we see him leave during the season? I hope not, but I would like to see him more involved like during this episode. So far, I feel as if our teams are very split in how they operate. It’s rare that he or Chazal ever leave the office, same with Mosier. I am a fan of a team that works together at all stages of the game and that means leaving the office more.
OA & Maggie:
- More cute banter! I am wondering if they are setting up for a teammate bond or a relationship bond. I really hope they don’t immediately go for romance. Not every show has to pair everyone off. Their chemistry is great to me, but I don’t see it as romantic. I think their banter is well placed and funny and should stay the way it is.
One Little Negative:
- Someone else pointed out the dramatic music to me and now I can’t stop hearing it. During tense, or high action scenes, they play background music. I know most shows do, but I can’t help but feel there are times when it is a little misplaced.