How ‘FBI: International’ Already Stands Out From Other Procedurals

Carter Redwood, Luke Kleintank, Heida Reed, Vinessa Vidotto in FBI International
Nelly Kiss/CBS

The FBIs have taken over Tuesdays on CBS, thanks to the introduction of a second spinoff, International, joining the original and Most Wanted. And already, the new series is standing out and showing exactly why it was picked up for a full season after just three episodes aired.

International follows the FBI’s Fly Team — leader Scott Forrester (Luke Kleintank), his second-in-command Jamie Kellett (Heida Reed), Andre Raines (Carter Redwood), and Cameron Vo (Vinessa Vidotto) — and Europol Agent Katrin Jaeger (Christiane Paul), who serves as their liaison with local law enforcement. Not only have the four episodes so far given us a good idea of who these characters are and their relationships, but they’ve also featured interesting cases.

Here are three reasons why International already has us hooked.

Team Romance

Most procedurals establish a will they/won’t they relationship early on in the series or partnership, then fans wait years (NCIS: LANCISBlue Bloods) for anything to happen. FBI: International has already flipped that on its head, revealing in the premiere that Forrester and Kellett are together (they’ve known each other a long time but the romance is new). The others suspect they’re involved (no surprise, given Forrester’s reaction to Kellett being shot and how he walks into the office five seconds after her in the morning).

They even address the matter of Forrester dating a subordinate in Episode 3, with Kellett also wondering if they’re going to keep hiding their relationship. “If we were in the Washington field office, we would,” he said. “But we’re in Europe. Let’s make the most of it.” In the next episode, they tackle whether it’s their personal relationship that causes him to put her on modified duty upon returning to work after she was shot. Because they’re already together, we’re seeing things like that addressed. (Over on Most Wanted, the agents’ romantic relationships aren’t entangled in their professional ones.)

Heida Reed as Jamie Kellett, Luke Kleintank as Scott Forrester in FBI International

Katalin Vermes/CBS

Local Authorities Complicate the Investigations

Jaeger serves as the go-between for the team and the local authorities — and that means she’s the one who has to stress to Forrester why he can’t just go question a person of interest, hold a suspect, or continue to investigate after they’ve been asked to leave… if he chooses to listen. (Those three issues have already come up on the show.) As seen in Episode 4, when it becomes clear that the Fly Team is an American’s only source of hope when local law enforcement won’t even consider any other suspects in a crime, that complicates the investigation in a way that the FBI and Most Wanted teams don’t have to worry about.

Tank the “Secret Weapon”

Few procedurals utilize a dog like International does. (SEAL Team definitely also deserves props for its canine members.) As Forrester tells Vo when he introduces her to the team in the premiere, “Tank was an FBI cadaver dog. After a couple of years, the FBI retires its animals and sends them off to greener pastures.” He intervened because “does that dog look like he wants to retire?” We’ve seen how true that is and how vital he is to the team (and the show) in these first episodes as he’s tracked down suspects… and alerted Forrester to Kellett’s presence in his bed.

FBI: International, Tuesdays, 9/8c, CBS