FBI: Most Wanted is known for having grislier cases than the two other shows in the franchise, and FBI: Most Wanted Season 4 Episode 1 raised the bar considerably.
An entire family killed without a second thought was a difficult first case back, which was only exacerbated by the continued changes to the team.
How do you form any sort of dynamic when things are constantly changing?
Thankfully, Barnes was back, but I wish we got a better explanation for Ortiz's departure.
We spent two seasons invested in the character, and although he was never the best, he was one of the vital components that made viewers believe we were watching a functioning team, flaws and all.
The team suffered from all of these changes on "Iron Pipeline," an hour that was both surprising and frustrating.
There are some glaring communication issues that will only continue to rear their head unless everyone works through them.
Barnes being back was a bit of a much-needed dose of normalcy, but the series is in a profoundly transitional phase following the death of Jess and the departures of Crosby and Ortiz.
In essence, it feels like a different show. The big test will be in whether the series can navigate the ever-changing dynamics thanks to the revolving door that is the FBI: Most Wanted cast.
Remy remains a worthy replacement for Jess, but my biggest gripe with him has been that he's been far too cold to everyone on the team.
I wasn't fond of him yelling at Barnes when she said that Jess would never go undercover on a whim without thinking of the long-term consequences.
Honestly, I could see it from both of their perspectives. Barnes spent so long working under someone who had an attention to detail and thought about what could go wrong.
Remy isn't that person. He's rough around the edges, but he's more of a risk-taker. That adds some jeopardy to the narrative, even if it is unnecessary.
The team dynamic is set to change even more on FBI: Most Wanted Season 4 Episode 2 with the arrival of Edwin Hodge's Ray Cannon.
If this marks the end of the cast changes, I'll be happy because the changes make it difficult to form an attachment to the characters.
Remy was understandably under a lot of pressure because of what was going on at home, but he'd be wise to understand that telling his team what he was going through might make it easier for them to understand his actions.
It must be hard to draw a line between his personal and professional life, but he's been watching his mother decline for a long time.
He spoke with his head instead of his heart when he demanded that Betsy be put into assisted living. You could tell he would change his view when his head was clearer and he wasn't rushing to the crime scene.
It's difficult for anyone when a loved one can no longer look after themself, but I was surprised that even Claire was open about the facility for their mom.
It was nice to see her in her element in the games room, and I hope the siblings seeing that will allow them to make a more informed decision about their mom's long-term future.
The case was set up very well. Walker was unhinged and would go to any lengths necessary to get the guns and, in turn, the money.
He was far too trigger-happy, which perfectly explains why he died from being shot.
His actions throughout "Iron Pipeline" were heinous, so it was inevitable he would never give up without a fight.
He killed a mother, father, two children, and a state trooper unprovoked, so him shooting at his supposed friend was just par for the course.
The writers helped subvert expectations by setting up what we should describe as a second case with the father buying the gun from Teddy.
Watching procedurals, it's always apparent something else will happen with the same case when things are resolved with 15 minutes to spare, but the father with the machine gun was heartbreaking.
It was a stark reminder of the lack of gun control and how people are dying needlessly due to it.
It's a message that resonates well today, especially in the age of social media. How would you expect a parent to react if they saw a photo of their kid after being shot during such an attack?
It was all too much for the father, and he acted the only way he thought possible.
Overall, the season premiere was decent, but there are some teething issues amid all the changes that need to be ironed out.
The series is already renewed, but it needs to get into a more consistent place creatively, starting with the dynamic between the team members.
What did you think of the case?
Did you like how it segued itself into something else by the end of the hour?
What are your thoughts on Remy vs. Barnes?
Hit the comments below.
FBI: Most Wanted continues Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on CBS.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.