FBI Crossover Review: To Rome and Back

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How much clamor there was for a crossover of the three FBI series is debatable.

Still, a reasonably seamless narrative ran through FBI: International Season 2 Episode 16FBI Season 5 Episode 17, and FBI: Most Wanted Season 4 Episode 16.

That makes sense because crossovers are old hat for Dick Wolf.

A Terrorist Threat Brewing - FBI: International Season 2 Episode 16

One of the earliest crossovers was Wolf's OG Law & Order, crossing over with Tom Fontana's Homicide in 1996. The two series crossed over twice more during their runs.

Richard Belzer's John Munch, the crossover king who appeared in 10 different series, even moved from Homicide to Wolf's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 1999.

Richard Belzer Promo Pic

Subsequently, crossovers have become more commonplace between and within Wolf's One Chicago and Law & Order franchises. So this FBI crossover was inevitable.

There was a crossover between FBI and FBI: Most Wanted in 2020. There also have been phone calls among the three teams.

But it's not a full-blown crossover until bodies move among the various series.

So, it's little wonder this crossover featuring the FBI teams went smoothly. All that was required was a strong storyline featuring characters transitioning through the three episodes.

Roman Holiday - FBI: International Season 2 Episode 16

You can't go wrong with a terrorism storyline focused on New York City. Memories of 9/11 will never go away and resonate with many viewers.

It was also timely, tying in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. After that powerful opening scene of a drone blowing up a wedding, it was simple to understand Lenkov's motivation, if not his logic.

Since the FBI: International team is closest to that atrocity, the fallout initially got dumped on them. An American structural engineer based in Rome got abducted, and his partner was shot and killed, and they were stuck with figuring out why.

As if figuring out why Laporta was taken wasn't troublesome enough, Forrester also had to deal with the hostile Italian inspector fed up with "ugly American" behavior in Europe.

Getting Aid - FBI Season 5 Episode 17

Sure, such behavior exists, as Jubal soon exhibited. But Forrester and his team deserved the benefit of the doubt. They were trying to locate a missing American and weren't lording it over the Italian police in any manner.

Then Jubal arrived, and all hell broke loose. It came down to a difference in approach.

Forrester learned long ago that being invited to investigate is very different from being welcomed. Although it chafes him, he is accustomed to having to run his plans by the locals.

On the other hand, Jubal is more likely to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.

Keeping Secrets - FBI Season 5 Episode 17

The drawback of Jubal's method became apparent when he ordered the invasion of a family's apartment, almost getting shot by a young boy as a result.

Since Forrester had promised to keep Inspector Granno in the loop, not clearing this maneuver lost them the backup that they would soon need.

Granted, Granno's nose was out of joint even before any of the Americans arrived. He appeared to consider it a professional insult that he hadn't been trusted to solve Laporta's abduction.

As Forrester pointed out, Laporta being killed and Nina getting shot were indirect results of Granno's stubbornness.

Helping Scola - FBI Season 5 Episode 17

Since the Roman portion of the investigation was a giant bust, with a critically wounded agent and nothing to show, Isobel was correct to order Jubal back to New York. Since Lenkov had been spotted there, that was where the hunt had to continue.

That was when the central figure in the crossover switched from Nina to her baby daddy, Scola. 

One big question that wasn't answered was why Nina was sent to Rome in the first place. If Isobel was so concerned about the state of mind of her undercover asset, Scola, why use Nina instead of Tiffany, whose partner was on assignment already?

Isobel did make the right call not to tell Scola about Nina being shot because that would have taken his mind off this potentially devastating terrorist event. Again, echoing Spock, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Switching Teams - FBI: Most Wanted Season 4 Episode 16

Scola has always come off as a hardass, except when it comes to Nina and their baby. So naturally, his first question to either Isobel or Jubal was going to be how Nina was doing. If she hadn't been sent on this mission, that wouldn't have been an issue.

Things unraveled quickly. First, Scola's contact Nico told him that an FBI agent had been shot, then Forrester mentioned that it was Nina to him -- so much for keeping it between Isobel and Jubal.

At the same time, Maggie pulled in Remy for his Russian contacts since Scola was getting nowhere.

Following that, it was misdirection after misdirection and that fake Episode 2 conclusion that Lenkov wanted to kill the President. How was killing an official that a third of the population thought stole the election going to batter the American psyche?

Tech Whiz - FBI: Most Wanted Season 4 Episode 16

Fortunately, the final episode set things back on track. The target turned out to be JFK Airport, which Laporta had worked on during his youth. The HR executive was taken to force her security guard brother to issue passes to the terrorists.

Poor Remy ended up doing all the heavy lifting: Keeping Scola further spinning out of control, shooting and killing that security guard to get to the bomb, and disarming the bomb by pulling all its wires.

Remy and Isobel drinking while trying to process what they'd had to do to thwart Lenkov's plot was an appropriate ending.

This crossover worked better than the NCIS crossover earlier this year. The FBI franchise is less character-driven than NCIS, so the narrative didn't have to make room for everyone's personalities to shine through, leaving more time for the plot.

Final Trackers - FBI: Most Wanted Season 4 Episode 16

For more Remy scowls and philosophy, watch FBI: Most Wanted online.

How did you enjoy the crossover?

What was Isobel thinking about sending Nina to Rome?

Did you appreciate Scola more after this?

Comment below.

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Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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FBI: Most Wanted Season 4 Episode 16 Quotes

Remy: Want to go talk to Viktor?
Scola: Hell, yeah, I do.
Remy: Yo. I meant the two of us.

Agent Bolton: You telling me how to do my job?
Remy: You're welcome.