After the wonderful news that FBI: International has been renewed for 2 more seasons, it will be most exciting knowing it is returning to see what the writers will finish the season with this year.
This episode opens on a charter boat that is on the Danube River in Austria. The passengers are in the lounge and dining area enjoying dinner and a performance by a singer. The captain gets up to tell everyone they will be arriving in Vienna soon when suddenly the lights go out and he goes to try to investigate, when armed men enter the room and begin shooting. Everyone dives for cover and the men are yelling, “Where is he?” The captain approaches to tell them to take what they want and they hit him in the face. A man is shot as he tries to fight back and then the gunmen flee shooting everywhere as they go. After they leave, a mother screams for help as her young daughter has been shot.
We then move to Scott and Sara and he is viewing her artwork. They appear to be out on a date. She invites him to an art exhibition and tells him he should call in sick to work. He decides to come clean and tells her that he works for the FBI, and he says because it is complicated he tells people a made up job, but he wants her to know the truth. She asks again for him to take the day off, but he gets a message about a case and has to leave. He pauses as if he was thinking about kissing her, but then leaves. Forrester arrives at the office and asks Raines if Vo is still stateside and he says yes and that the trial she is testifying in was pushed, when Kellett comes in to fill them in on the case. An American owned river cruise was attacked by armed men as they were sailing into Vienna, and reports said there were two gunmen with a third accomplice who helped them escape on a getaway boat. Forrester asks about casualties and Kellett tells him that one passenger was killed and four were wounded including a young Polish girl, 9 years old, is in critical condition. Her name is Anya Wosniak. Raines asks if there is any indication of motive and Kellett says they are unsure if it is a hit job, a robbery or an act of terrorism at this point. Jamie says Katrin is already on her way to Vienna, and Scott says he and Andre will meet her at the crime scene and asks Jamie to start interviewing witnesses, starting with Anya’s parents.
Scott and Andre arrive at the ship and are greeted by the captain Leon Bauer. They tell him because the ship is American owned, it falls under the FBI jurisdiction and he says he understands, and that because there are so many nationalities on the ship, many countries want to get involved. Leon says they do not know what they were trying to steal but it was clearly not cash, and motions to his eye from where they hit him earlier. Raines asks if there is a vault onboard, but Bauer says no just individual safes in each room but it would take forever to go room by room to find something. Scott asks for a list of all crew and passengers and the captain says he will bring him the manifest. Katrin tells them that it looks like they used sub-machine guns, which are not easy to trace, especially since Austria is one of the most armed countries in the world. Scott also mentions that Vienna has a big black market. Raines comments on the spray pattern of the bullets, and that it looks like it happened when they were retreating as if their plan fell of the rails. The captain asks them to come with him, and they discover the crew’s lockers were ransacked. The staff area has no security cameras due to company cutbacks, and this looks like the closest thing they have found so far to a motive and so Scott asks Katrin how fast they can get Tank there.
Jamie is interviewing Anya’s parents, Simon and Lena. They have just been told another one of Anya’s organs is perforated and she is in need of another transfusion. Jamie lets them know they will do everything to find who did this and Simon asks why she is not out looking for them. Jamie explains that each passenger’s vantage point is unique and the team needs to know what everyone saw because the smallest piece of information could break open the case. She asked if they had an idea what they came for like money or jewelry, but they tell her there was not enough time for them to take anything from them. They tell her they spoke in German, separated the guests from the crew and when one man fought back he was killed. After that, everything turned into chaos. Lena puts down Anya’s stuffed elephant and Jamie sees the one side is covered in blood. She asks about the man who fought back and they tell her they had seen him but he kept to himself. The parents are then called in to speak to the medical team.
Raines reviewed the manifest and is reviewing the results with Forrester. The passengers are tourists from all over with no criminal records or political ties but the only person to raise a possible eyebrow is the deceased man Joseph Corbin, a French man who was an investment banker and travelling alone. He tried to charge the gunmen and was shot, but when he did that, it seemed to derail the gunmen’s plan. Forrester is wondering why he would charge them and Raines said while they have been communicating with other countries about their citizens who were passengers, France has not claimed him, nor has any other country. Scott says to find out why. Katrin says that the inventory of the crew lockers show nothing was stolen. Scott reviews that the guests said that the gunmen were arguing with each other as they retreated, so maybe they did not find what they were looking for, and Katrin points out that they headed for the lounge right after ransacking the crew lockers so they were clearly on the hunt for something, and Scott adds “or someone”. Scott asks about a headcount in the lounge during the attack, and Raines says everyone was there except a few staff who were below deck that he is looking into next, but unfortunately the company did not do background checks on their employees. Scott says these things tend to trickle down from the top and then he makes a phone call to Kellett to let her know that the company CEO is scheduled to land in the next hour. Jamie heads to the airport to meet him. The CEO is very upset and says that COVID destroyed the cruise industy and they spent millions trying to convince people cruises were safe again, and now this happens, but he says this was “an anomaly, correct”? Jamie says that they could have been making a statement and is there anyone with a grudge inside the company and he says is she suggesting an employee vendetta and she points out they have been cutting staff and lowering wages for month. He says that they did make a few cuts last year and Jamie points out “like forgoing proper surveillance on board or failing to conduct background checks on their employees” and he asks her is she realizes how much staff turnover they have and that pre-employment screenings are expensive. He says the captain is responsible for his crew. Jamie says Leon Bauer is the captain and how well do they know him and he says he has worked for them for a decade and has never given them any reason to doubt him. A deeper dive into the captain shows he has been hit hard with debt, he is in the midst of a divorce and has a second mortgage on his home, and is also in a custody battle for his kids, so Scott says to bring him in. Raines also has info on Joseph Corbin, and found out his passport was a fake. France knows nothing about him and the info he was a banker came from what he had told the other passengers, so their victim is a John Doe. Forrester says to widen the search to other European countries and see if anyone can identify him. Jaeger interrupts to tell Scott that Tank is on the scene.
Scott and Jamie do a search of the ship with Tank. Tank alerts them in the kitchen to a big pile of cans of kidney beans. The cans are sealed and Jamie uses a can opener to open one and they find a hidden kilo of Heroin inside. Scott congratulates Tank on a job well done and it was so wonderful to see Tank travelling and back in action with the team. The team continues to open cans and find a kilo in every can. Katrin arrives with Tomas Richter from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. He tells them they have been monitoring the waterways as it has become an increasingly popular way for traffickers to move drugs. From the symbol on the drugs, he is able to tell them it is the Balkan Cartel. The team begins to hypothesize that perhaps another group knew about the cartel’s shipment and tried to rip it off before the ship docked but did not know where it was. It could have been another cartel or perhaps a local gang. Raines also has identified the deceased passenger. His name is Marco Horvath and he is Croatian and working for the cartel to supervise the shipment by posing as a guest. The team then tries to find out who were they looking for to tell them where the shipment was, and that the captain does not make sense since the gunmen let him go. Raines finds a crew member named Sebastian Klein, and he has a criminal history and was in charge of kitchen inventory, and he has now disappeared. Forrester cannot understand how he was hired, and Kellett said the company was not doing background checks. Scott says the captain would have had to sign off on it though, and Raines points out he is the captain’s brother.
Forrester confronts the captain, and he says that yes his brother is a screw up, but the reason he brought him on board was to keep an eye on him in a safe job. Forrester tells him about the drugs they found and the fact that the gunmen were looking for his brother, and asks if he is involved due to his financial problems he is having. He says being involved in something like this would jeopardize everything and his children mean the world to him. Scott tells him if he knows where Sebastian is, now would be a good time to speak up, but he says he does no know where he is, and he is not picking up his phone. Katrin discovers that the company is contracting to other companies for local guides who speak the languages, and perhaps Sebastian had an accomplice as someone boarded the ship in Budapest the day before and would not be on the manifest. Scott asks her to find a name of who was on board. Raines did some digging about Sebastian’s gambling and finds out he has a reward card at the local Riveria casino, which is a known Balkan cartel front location. With Sebastian on board, the cartel would have free reign for Sebastian to make drops all along the route. They feel the gunmen were looking for him when they could not find the drugs, and that he will be the link to the shooters. Katrin tells them that she has an address. The team search the location and they find an old motorcycle GPS and search the location history. Katrin also finds an empty box of bullets and says they should consider him armed. They find a pub that he has been regularly frequenting and Katrin and Jamie go to check it out. Katrin also gets the name of the woman who boarded the boat in Budapest and sends it to Scott, and it turns out to be Sara. He also asks Raines to check for any firearms registered to Sebastian and to sweep his quarters on the ship again. Scott goes to see Sara and asks her about being on the ship. She tells him that she does private tours in Budapest and she went on board to meet the guests going on the tour. He says that she has never mentioned doing tours and she says that she speaks six languages and the companies contract her services. Scott wants to know why she was paid in cash and she says it is the customer’s choice how to pay. Scott says it is very convenient that she was on that ship and then wanted him to miss work and asks if she sought him out and she says no and that she had just wanted to spend time with him. She asks why he is acting this way and he says because he has been burned by everyone close to him. He asks for the names of the people she gave the tour to and she says she will get the names for him and tells him to leave.
Katrin tells Jamie the bar they are going to holds unofficial after hours events like card games and such. They interview the hostess and one of the girls who works there, and after letting them know how serious the situation is, the girl says she was serving in a private room in the back last week and he was there with an unpleasant group of men. She said the men spoke German and it seemed like Sebastian owed them something but he would say anything to avoid a beating. He said he was transporting product for a Bosnian cartel by boat and he was willing to do the same for them for free. They beat him anyway and wanted to know where the drugs were kept on board and Sebastian said something about lockers. She says she has not seen any of them since then. They contact Scott and updates him on what they have found out so far. Scott asks for Katrin to do a full background check on the name she sent him, and says he will be back in Vienna soon.
Back at the crime scene, the CEO is yelling at the police about needing the boat to be released. Richter asks if he was aware that Captain Bauer had his brother working on the ship and Raines says if they were screening the crew and new hires, he would know that. He tells him the man is their main suspect and were using his boat for trafficking and the CEO says he had nothing to do with that. Richter says he better ensure his alibi is airtight on that fact. The CEO says he is calling his attorney and they notice a man scoping out the cargo. They pursue him and arrest him, but it is not Sebastian, and his tattoos show he is an enforcer for the cartel. They bring him to the station, and Richter, Raines and Forrester discuss that he is a soldier and takes pride in keeping his mouth shut so they will likely get nothing from him, but he was likely sent when the cartel became worried about their shipment. Kellett comes to get Forrester, because Bauer got a text that is a photo of a mountain, and he tells them he knows it is Sebastian, and that the photo represents a game they played as children that became a code between them. He says Sebastian sends him a picture of a mountain and if he texts back a picture of an Ox, he knows it is not safe. If he sends back a mountain, he will know it is safe. Scott tells him to send him a mountain. Bauer asks if they are asking him to draw him out of hiding and Forrester says yes, and they arrange for Sebastian to meet Bauer at his flat. Jamie and Scott will be monitoring close by, and Raines will be monitoring from across to street to keep an eye out for the river pirates and the cartel. They tell Bauer that the more information he can get Sebastian to share the better, to show he did not premeditate this with the robbery crew.
Bauer meets with Sebastian in his flat. Raines cannot see them from across the street, and they hear a scuffle and a gun shot, and they enter the apartment to see Sebastian shot and Bauer holding a gun. Bauer says Sebastian was trying to kill him and he reacted and shot Sebastian and Jamie indicates he is dead. They bring Bauer back to the station and ask him what happened and why he did not stand where they could see him and why would his brother want him dead. He says he does not know why he would want him dead and he said he was asked to go in and betray his brother and he was simply participating in their plan and now his brother is dead and asks “how is that his fault?”. He blames Scott and the team for his brother dying. Scott and the team listen intently to the recording of the incident, and Scott hones in on a sound, and has the police help clean up the sound on the tape. He goes back in to see Bauer and plays the tape for him. The sound was Sebastian dying and asking why before he died. Scott says Sebastian never tried to harm him and that sound was a man being betrayed by his own brother. Scott says Sebastian came to him with a plan to move heroin for the cartel and he signed off on it because he is drowning in debt, and he needed a cut and Valhalla was not paying attention to what is happening on the boats anyway. Scott says that things went sideways and people died and suddenly Leon found himself under investigation and the only person who could implicate him was his screw up brother who likely would have rolled once he was in police custody and questioned. Scott says that Leon had to make sure that he would not have that chance, and that is why he picked his apartment to meet, so he would know where to stand for an obstructed view. Bauer says what he is saying is madness, but Forrester says he knows he killed him intentionally, and that before he goes down with the ship, to confess and spare his children a long and painful trial.
Jamie goes back to the hospital to tell Anya’s parents they caught the men involved, and they are just getting good news that she is going to recover. Jamie gives them a new elephant for her and they say she will love it and thank her for all they did. All the suspects are arrested and the team returns to Budapest. Katrin lets Scott know that Sara’s check came back clean and that she was not involved. Scott goes to Sara’s apartment, takes her flowers, and tries to apologize and explain, but she says she needs someone stable. Scott is upset, goes to Jamie’s apartment, and says he could use a friend and she says of course and invites him in. This seems to be a big moment for Scott at the end of this episode, as he is finally starting to realize after all these years and with what his mother did, that not everyone he cares about is going to burn him. This is a great move forward for him, and seeing him go to Kellett for support is wonderful and shows they have remained friends and close, and perhaps we will see a rekindling of some of their romance again before the season is over.
Let us know what you thought about this episode in the comments below.