Fatherly issues were a theme on FBI: Most Wanted Season 3 Episode 4.
As challenging as tracking down a kidnapped victim was, Jess found an even greater challenge trying to handle his now rebellious teenage daughter. The distraction proved almost disastrous on an already complex case.
A kidnapping reveals a larger plot
Inherited opened with a group of Asian-American women leaving a bar. As Carrie Chen (Ashley Chiu) walked off, a man (Jonathan Holzman) in a van ran out to grab her, shooting two people trying to help and snapping, “go back to your own country!”
At the farm, Jess was outraged to find Tali vaping pot in the barn before school. Tali snapped that Sarah had no right to tell her what to do. Jess was called in for the kidnapping while grounding Tali.
The team figured this was a hate crime with Carrie’s husband, Stephen Beck (Tim Martin Gleason), a noted local college professor who had been in Boston at the time, although he couldn’t be ruled out as a suspect yet. Barnes and Ortiz both mused on their own experiences with bigotry.
Gaines and Barnes talked to Carrie’s boss at a local online review company who relayed Carrie had angered many with her posts about China’s actions against Hong Kong. A member of the FBI Hate Crimes Unit shared the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the last year and feared Carrie was the “worst-case scenario” they’d worried about.
Jess and Gaines talked to Stephen, who was frantic while admitting Carrie had faced some backlash from their mostly rich white neighbors. Stephen was cagy about just what he was doing in Boston, which made Gaines suspicious.
A phone call came in demanding a $50,000 ransom to be delivered in two hours. Stephen already had the money (he kept cash at home during the pandemic) and insisted on using it over their objections.
With the team about, Stephen arrived at the park where the kidnapper was waiting. However, two Asian men in suits and guns showed up to open fire at Stephen and the kidnapper. The agents took them down with Ortiz chasing the kidnapper, who took off in a car.
Is this about a genetic-coding race?
A background check revealed the attackers both worked for the Chinese consulate and that Richard had been in China discussing a clinical trial on inherited blood diseases, although staying longer than he claimed.
An attache at the Chinese consulate claimed to have never seen these men and speculated that they had forged their documents. One of Richard’s lab workers showed off CRISPR, a genetic coding scanner that could cure blindness caused by a specific blood disease among the Asian community.
Gaines talked to an old CIA friend who explained that gene-splicing was becoming a new arms race with the ultimate goal of creating “super soldiers” with near physical perfection. This made Stephen and his research wanted by both China and the U.S.
The team headed to Stephen’s home only to find two dead cops, and the place ransacked with Stephen gone. He was brought to a house where Carrie was held in a cell and another Asian man (Allen Theosky Rowe), intoning “I have your attention now.”
The team discovered the kidnapper was Rodney Harlock, a longtime low-level thief. Gaines talked to Brice Lonner (Gary Lee Mahmoud), the head of a pharmaceutical company that had been trying to buy Stephen’s research, but he was resistant.
Gaines suspected Lonner was behind the whole thing even as Ortiz cracked, “it sounds too Hollywood.” The team mused they had plenty of suspects between PharmGen, the Chinese, or even that it was just a hate crime.
It was a family matter all along
Jess got a call from Sarah on how Tali wanted to go to a study group after school. Jess decided to let her go, thinking he could trust her. He was interrupted by word that Stephen had broken into his own lab.
The team watched the video to realize Stephen was allowing them to see a monitor with the name of Sam Zhao. Stephen was then shown with Sam (Luke Naphat), a bedridden young boy hooked up to an IV whose mother Jeanney (Laura Kai Chen) begged him to help. Stephen understood but warned her the procedure could do even worse harm.
Frank Zhao entered as he was the boy’s father and this whole thing was about saving his son from the genetic disorder Frank had unwittingly passed along. Rodney held up Zhao for more money, given he’d killed a few people during this (which Frank had never wanted) and pulled a gun on him.
The team arrived at the Zhaos where Frank had killed Rodney, but Sam reacted poorly to the treatment. Jess was able to talk to Frank, father to father, but it took Sam calling out to his dad to get Frank to surrender while Stephen and Cassie reunited.
The loose ends were wrapped up as Stephen had simply been getting Cassie a special ring in China while the guys in the park were hinted to have been working for the CIA all along, although the Agency would deny it.
Jess mused to Kristin on how it was tougher handling Tali now. As proof, he returned home to find Tali berating Sarah for pulling her from the party she was attending. Sarah told Jess he had to be home more with Jess assuring Sarah he had her back when it came to disciplining Tali.
As this episode showed, a father would truly do almost anything for their child, even if it takes them to darker places.
FBI Most Wanted Season 3 returns with new episodes Tuesday, November 2 at 10/9c on CBS.