FBI: International (2021) s01e05 Episode Script

The Soul of Chess

- - [GASPS.]
- Sir, do you need help? - Call an ambulance! [PEDESTRIANS CLAMORING.]
Sir! Somebody don't touch him! Don't touch him! Sir! Please, hurry! Hurry! [PHONE BEEPS.]
- You made it.
- How long you been here? - You don't want to know.
Just needed to prove to myself that I'm back up to speed.
That I can do everything that I could do before.
Good to hear.
Race to the fountain? You'd really challenge a fellow agent to a race, knowing she's rehabbing from a gunshot wound If there's a wager involved, absolutely.
So what's the wager? If I win, you spring for dinner at Caviar & Bull.
And if I win, I'll keep mentoring you on the job and sharing my vast knowledge and experience.
I think my hamstring just started to lock up on me.
I thought so.
It's Forrester.
Okay, an American journalist has been found dead in Krakow.
The victim is Philip Blake, 34 years old, former reporter for "The Washington Post".
But recently he's been working as a freelance contributor for a variety of online publications.
He specializes in national security.
Based in Berlin, Blake was in Krakow for less than 24 hours before collapsing on the street near his hotel.
- Cause of death? - Officially unknown.
- Officially? - Polish police suspect poison.
Is this heading where I think it is? The Kremlin has a long history of poisoning dissidents and journalists.
But targeting an American would be a major escalation.
So whoever killed him wanted an international incident.
Or needed him dead bad enough that they were willing to risk it.
How do we know he didn't just eat a bad shrimp or something? The poison was quite lethal.
He went from drinking his morning tea to bleeding to death internally in a matter of minutes.
If the Russians are trying to shut down a story or send a message, others could be in danger.
We need to get on the ground right away.
Notify IOD and the Legat in Warsaw.
We'll finish the brief in the air.
And somebody make sure that Polish Evidence Response is prepped for hazmat.
On it.
Hey, sure you're ready for this? I'm ready to work.
Are you? Aleksy Zielinski, Counterterrorism Subdivision Commander, meet Special Agent Forrester and the Fly Team.
Anything you need is yours.
Our manpower, facilities, resources, all of it is at the FBI's disposal.
Thank you, that's very generous.
Please, any friend of Katrin Jaeger is a friend of mine.
You two worked together before? Yes.
She saved my life, you know.
With her brain.
Not with a bullet, with her brain.
- Philip Blake.
- Right.
I understand your ERT is checking for any residual chemical poisons.
Nerve agents and so on.
I'd like to meet with him at the scene - as soon as possible.
- Of course.
We've sealed it off for now.
We'll get you there right away.
The rest of you can set up shop upstairs.
Please, this way.
This area was used by our Major Case Subdivision before it relocated.
Your team can have it to yourselves.
Oh, this is great.
Thank you.
We understand you have a suspect in custody.
Mm, Alina Nowak, reporter for "Gazeta Krakowska".
As far as my detectives can tell, she was the last person to talk to Philip Blake.
Any connections to Russia? - FSB? - None that are obvious.
They often aren't.
I'll keep looking.
We'd like to interview her as well.
Of course.
Alina? It's nice to meet you.
You are American.
Am I under arrest? We're just trying to get information.
We're hoping you can help us figure out who killed your friend.
How well did you know Mr.
Blake? Um, I met him six or seven months ago, when I was in Germany for a story.
I didn't know much about national defense, so ask him for help with background.
We had lunch.
We traded numbers.
That was it.
I told him if he ever came to Krakow, I would show him around.
And he reached out to you? Yeah, a few days ago.
He said he was coming to town to meet with a source.
- Who was his source? - I don't know.
What was the story about? Well, he wouldn't say that, either.
I was hoping to ask him about it tonight.
You had plans to meet with him? Yes, but for dinner, not in the morning.
That's what I was trying to tell the officers.
I shouldn't be here.
So you were his only contact in the city.
I gave him advice on where to stay, what to see, how to get around.
And you knew exactly where he would be? And when? I was giving a colleague travel advice, not setting him up to be killed.
So you never went to the hotel? You never met with Blake in person? No, he was here for a story, not for me.
Did you text him from any other device than the one you gave the police? No, why would I? In the moments before his death, he received a text from an encrypted number including one that said "I'm sorry".
That wasn't me.
I mean, you have to believe me.
That has nothing to do with me.
He told me nothing.
I thought he was trying to impress me with his work, make it seem mysterious.
But now I wonder, maybe if he would tell me I would be dead too.
Can I go now? I mean, I'm sorry.
But I just want to forget it all happened.
What do you think? If she were an FSB agent, she'd probably have a better story.
I get the feeling she's downplaying her relationship to Blake.
She's married.
You think it's more than professional? Maybe, but I didn't pick up any indication she wanted him dead.
Seems like she really cared about him.
If everything she says checks out, we let her go.
Hey, I've been looking through Blake's published articles.
There were a handful about Russia a few years ago, but nothing that would've raised eyebrows at the Kremlin.
All right, Kellett and I will head to the crime scene.
Check in with Legat Berlin, see if we can find the wife.
If Blake's keeping secrets, personally or professionally, I want to know about it.
Tank! The gentleman was seated over there.
And after about half an hour, he left without paying.
I was in the lobby and I saw him rush upstairs.
When Blake was here, the only thing he had was tea? Correct.
Was the reservation for one or two? Two.
Two, I believe.
But no one else arrived.
We're going to need to question your waitstaff as well.
If you must.
But we served the same tea all morning, and no one else got sick.
This hotel does not poison its guests.
I'm sure they appreciate that.
Older hotel, no cameras except for the lobby and elevator.
I'm guessing whoever did this was smart enough to use the stairs.
Good news.
The poison was radioactive.
That's good news? No signs of nerve or chemical agents.
The Evidence Response Team believes that Blake was killed from exposure to a small quantity of a rare radioactive metal.
Polonium? Like what killed Litvinenko in 2006? This is a new isotope more deadly, but with an extremely short half-life.
And it wasn't in the tea.
No, it was in the hotel room.
Mask up and I'll show you.
Uh, we good with this? Don't worry, the levels are no longer harmful.
And in a few hours, they'll be nearly undetectable.
It's good.
The entire bathroom was treated with the poison.
Sink, toilet handle, shower.
He turns on the water to brush his teeth, brings his hand to his face, breathes in, and his fate is sealed.
He was dead hours before he knew it.
And the housekeeper? Collateral damage.
The crazy thing is, if not for her death, the police never would have looked in the hotel room.
By the time anyone suspected poison, all the radioactive material would have decayed, leaving no trace.
What I want to know is, what was so important in Blake's room that he had to run back up to get it? After the killer applied the poison, he would go somewhere close to take off his protective gear and clean up, right? It would minimize the risk of exposure So where did that happen? [GEIGER COUNTER CLICKING.]
Who was in this room? The occupants of room 415 checked out early this morning.
Did you get their names at check-in? Of course.
I do remember they spoke Russian.
Ah, yes.
The names are Arvydas Sabonis and Andrei Kirilenko.
- Aliases? - Yeah, definitely.
Unless our killers are former NBA players who shrank at least a foot.
Let me guess, they paid cash? Kellett, why don't you stay here, check the rest of the lobby footage, see if they show up anywhere else.
- Okay? - Hey, Raines.
Can you step outside with me for a minute? Yeah, sure.
What's up? Just keep walking and talking.
Anything in particular I should It's just for show, we're being followed.
Guy checking his phone? Mm-hmm he was watching us in the hotel lobby, followed us right out.
Hey! Hey, hey, hey.
Easy, easy now.
Who are you? Check the business card in my back pocket, and you can apologize to your cousin.
He's CIA.
14159, Echo.
- Confirmation? - Neptune.
This is Michael Rafferty.
Case officer, Berlin Station.
Why didn't you just come over and tell us? - That's what I was doing.
- Really? 'Cause it sure looked like you were spying on us.
Look, all I can say is, Blake is one piece in a bigger game.
A very dangerous one.
It's vital to my operation that we all keep as low a profile as possible.
What exactly is your operation? You know how this works.
If I could tell you, I would.
Do you know who the two Russians are? Can you tell us that? Because they're homicide suspects.
Relax, pal.
We're on the same side.
You boys need to catch bad guys and close cases.
I'm here looking for assets and intel.
We can help each other.
You, uh, found that in Blake's bag.
See? Same side.
You've been holding back evidence.
I had to make sure it didn't fall into the wrong hands.
This may have been helpful sooner.
There is still a killer out there.
This is a chess game.
All that matters is checkmate.
I can't stop and worry about every pawn on the board.
Are we the pawns in this scenario? Or are the victims? [SIGHS.]
I don't know which is worse.
You know what? Pawns are the soul of chess.
Which he'd know if he actually played the game.
I got your image of the suspects.
I'll get it out to all of my officers.
And we were able to locate Mr.
Blake's wife, she's on her way in.
Thank you, Commander.
- Hey.
- Hey.
Impurities in radioactive isotopes can sometimes be traced back to the reactor that they were produced.
Can you get on the phone with IAEA and see if - You're already talking to them.
- Mm-hmm.
- That's that brain.
- The brain.
Heard back from New York.
We can't have access to Blake's agency file.
Our orders are to keep our heads down, find the poisoners, and stay out of the papers.
That's it.
Whatever our cousin's angle is, seems they have top priority.
- You've got to be kidding me.
- What's wrong? There are thousands of files on here.
I mean, Rafferty couldn't give us a hint? Keep looking there's something on there that he wanted us to find.
Then why not just tell us? He could be buying time to cover his tracks.
Or to protect an asset from the Russians.
Just keep looking.
For all we know, he's deliberately leading us down the wrong track.
Something's going on here.
And I don't like it.
If Blake was on CIA's radar before he was killed, why didn't they protect him? You think they wanted him gone too? I don't know.
But I am done giving them the benefit of the doubt.
- So what do we do? - Use backchannels.
I want to know exactly what dangers I'm leading my team into.
I know someone I could talk to, but I'd be going around your agency friends.
We'd have to tread carefully.
Don't we always? Katrin, what an unexpected pleasure.
Can I offer you a drink? No.
Thank you.
It's good to see you.
Like the old days are back again.
That's why I'm here.
The days of the Kamera seem to have returned.
The Chamber.
Have we gone back that far? I'm sure you'd call it something different now, but you still have a lab somewhere.
Creating new poisons, a different one for every attack.
Have you been reading spy novels again? Using a radioactive poison was a mistake.
It's only a matter of time before it can be traced back to Russia.
My country would never harm an American journalist.
It would lead to economic sanctions or worse.
We'd be fools.
Maybe you just didn't think you'd get caught.
You've been on my country's bad side in the past, Katrin.
Do you really want to go back to that life? You are nervous.
Blake was close to something big, and you and I both know it.
Tell me what is it and maybe we can help each other.
We all have our secrets.
When you can offer me something more than empty threats, you know where to find me.
I found it.
Hey! I found it! She found it.
What do you got? There's a hidden file on Blake's hard drive.
I mean, his notes, research, everything for his latest story is on here.
I mean, this has got to be what Rafferty was pointing us to.
So what's it about? Russian missile technology.
Specifically, a newly-developed hypersonic weapon fast and maneuverable enough to evade all current antimissile systems.
The Russians have fueled rumors of a new missile for years, but no one's been able to verify it can do what they say it can.
According to this, Blake was about to prove it.
Which is why he was meeting up with the source.
"New Russian Technology Renders American Missile Defense Useless".
Yeah, that sounds like a scoop somebody might kill for.
Sorry to interrupt.
Juliana Blake is here to speak with you.
The widow.
I don't need your thoughts and prayers.
I want to know what the American government is going to do about it.
We're still investigating.
I know what happened.
The Russian government poisoned my husband because they didn't like the story he was writing.
You know, he knew the risks.
He took them anyway.
You left him no choice.
- What do you mean? - [SNIFFLES.]
Phil worked seven years for "The Post".
But like everywhere, they cut back.
He tried finding work with smaller outlets online, started his own blog, but the type of investigative reporting he was passionate about takes resources, commitment, security.
This was his chance to come back.
A once-in-a-lifetime story falling into his lap.
Of course he leapt at it.
But he didn't have a paper that could protect him, did he? Or a country that values journalists.
If the U.
government doesn't stand up to his killers now, I swear to God, I'll make sure every media outlet in the world knows about it.
I'm asking you not to do that.
At least not yet, please.
We cannot have this in the papers.
Why? Unfortunately, for security reasons, I can't say.
In fact, I don't even know.
They took my husband from me.
Whose side are you on? We are doing everything that we can to bring those responsible to justice.
You have my word.
You said that the story fell into Philip's lap.
What did you mean by that? He was contacted out of the blue by that woman.
She said she had a story for him.
What woman? I'm sorry, I don't remember her name.
The young Polish reporter that was writing the story with him.
Alina Nowak lied to us.
She and Blake were working together.
I don't understand, I thought everything she said checked out.
Just tell me you know where she's at.
On it.
Let's go get her back.
Vo, with me on this one.
Stay with the wife.
Alina, it's the FBI, let us in.
We know you're working with Blake, okay? We just want to help.
We want to protect you, that's all.
You can't protect me.
For all we know, I'm already dead.
The poison could be anywhere.
In the turnup, my clothes, the air, your dog.
How am I supposed to live like this? We want to help you, but we can only do that - if you trust us.
- Trust? You think your government cares about me? Why should I trust you any more than the Russians? We're not here to arrest you.
We just want to know the truth.
Philip was willing to risk everything for the truth.
He thought we could save lives.
Maybe prevent arms race.
But me, I never asked for any of this.
I can find another job.
No story's worth dying for.
I understand that you're scared.
But we need your help to find the men who killed Philip.
Have you ever seen these two men? [SIGHS.]
I don't know.
I don't know.
A week ago, I'm sitting at my desk when a message comes.
A source claims to have valuable information from Russia.
They choose me because I am nobody.
No one would be spying on me.
But I called Philip because I was afraid.
I just didn't know what else to do.
He arranged for the meeting, and he took all the risk.
Now he's dead because of me.
Hey, it's not your fault.
There's no way you could've known about it.
But we know now.
Anyone who knows Dasha is in danger.
Who's Dasha? [TANK BARKING.]
They're here.
Come on.
Let's go.
Get in the tub.
Get in.
- Ahh! [GRUNTS.]
Well, according to Alina, Blake was scheduled to meet with an anonymous source high in Russia's Ministry of Defense, codename Dasha.
It's a woman's name meaning "gift of God" in Russian.
She or he offered to share test results proving Russia's exact hypersonic missile capability and compromising their secret technological advantage.
So that what has the Russians so nervous.
And you've got one of them in custody? Yes, but unfortunately, he isn't talking.
Probably didn't help that you broke his jaw.
Probably not.
But it looks like the Russians couldn't plug their leak, so they ordered hits on the journalist to send Dasha back into the shadows.
Which is bad news for you, because Dasha was the CIA's target all along.
Good stuff.
Very thorough.
So you can confirm all of that now.
We picked up a communication that documents had gone missing and the Russians were scrambling.
Now, I had hoped that Blake would lead me to Dasha, but the other guys were a move ahead.
See, that wasn't so hard.
Now we're all on the same side.
So what's your plan? Once Dasha realizes that the whole world is on the hunt, we'll never reel them in.
We need to act fast.
Oh, are we slowing you down? Because you nearly got our team killed yesterday.
The Russians weren't on to the girl until you questioned her all day.
You put her life in danger.
Well, then why didn't you tell us that? You're Angela Cassidy's son, right? [TENSE MUSIC.]
So maybe you can guess why my first instinct wasn't to hand you all my intel.
- You got something to say? - Enough.
- Say it.
- Enough, both of you.
The Russians are smiling right now and I don't want to lose to these guys.
So let's figure this out.
They're not going to stop.
Doesn't matter how many attacks we foil, Alina is going to be in danger as long as Dasha is in play.
Unless we get to Dasha first.
How? We have Alina set up another meeting.
Yeah, I like it.
Girl trusts you guys now.
We can use that.
She can be the bait.
And then we move in, scoop up Dasha before the Russians do.
But if we do this, I want the bureau running point, not the CIA, for everybody's safety.
Less involved the agency appears, the better.
Dasha's spooked.
How do we convince them is safe to come out? Dasha told Blake, "I'm sorry".
I think we appeal to the heartstrings.
Have Alina say, "Philip wanted the truth out.
If we stop now, my friend will have died for nothing".
"I'm not afraid".
That's a cathedral near Old Town.
I'll get my team ready.
Have Alina confirm.
"I'll be there.
I'm wearing a tan jacket and green hat".
"Come alone".
All right.
You'll have this in your ear.
We'll be with you, talking you through it.
Every step of the way.
And you will be close by? - In case the Russians are there too? - That's right.
All you have to think about is Dasha, okay? Any sign of danger, we pull you out immediately.
That's what Philip would have done.
We got a location.
Is everybody ready? - Can I talk to you? - What's wrong? I don't think we can do this.
- Is she backing out? - It's not that.
I mean, she's trying her best, but her hands haven't stopped shaking since yesterday.
Honestly, I don't know if she slept in days.
Can she keep it together? For one hour? Maybe.
But I have to say, shouldn't we be protecting journalists, not using them as bait? Right now, Alina's our only link to Dasha.
We don't have a choice.
So unless somebody's got a better idea I have a better idea.
Dasha's never seen Alina in person, right? I can be the bait.
It's the only play and you know it.
No, it's too risky.
Risky for who exactly? What are you afraid of? I'm not sending you out there with a target on your back.
So you're letting your feelings for me compromise the mission.
You told me to stay with the wife.
I am trying to keep my team alive.
Well, you're doing a terrible job of it.
But you want to protect me? You almost got yourself killed along with Vo and our one link to Dasha.
The last time you were in the field, I almost lost you.
I care about you.
I can't just turn that off.
This isn't about you or your feelings.
If you can't trust me to do my job Then we're done.
No, that's not how this works.
You do not get to use our relationship as leverage when we're planning missions.
So what's it gonna be, boss? All feelings aside, who's best for this mission? [SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC.]
We're up on Alina's phone, but we might not be the only ones.
Russian agents could be on site, and poison could be anywhere.
The response team will be standing by, but we can't be close.
So stay frosty.
It's time.
Keep Zielinski and his boys out of sight.
If you move in before I have the goods, you'll spook Dasha and blow the entire mission.
That's understood.
We'll have eyes and ears, but from here on out, you're on your own.
Vo, do you have a visual? Negative.
Dasha is checking to see if you have a tail.
Grey coat and hat.
I see him.
The Russians are on to her.
Should we move in? No, stand down.
She can lose the tail.
Policja! Policja! Policja! Policja! - Policja! - [GRUNTS.]
Kellett! Kellett! Jamie.
Raines, there's a guy by the tree now.
That could be our guy.
- - Get him! Dasha, stop! Dasha! [SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC.]
- You okay? - I'm good.
I'm trying to tell Dasha we can protect him, but he's gone quiet.
The Russians are probably up in his phone and he knows it.
Well, we have a description.
The Special Police might pick him up.
Look at this.
He answered.
"You can't find me because I've been dead for 204 years".
What the hell is that supposed to mean? I mean, he knows the Russians have tapped Alina's phone.
Come with me.
Died 204 years ago.
We did it.
You got something for me? I don't know what you're talking about, Rafferty.
Dasha got away.
Come on.
You haven't been listening in on us, have you? 'Cause that's not very polite.
The intelligence on that drive is the whole game, Forrester.
That's checkmate.
Ah, yes, the chess game.
Well, I'll tell you what, I'll turn over all evidence found in the FBI investigation just as soon as all the pawns have cleared the board.
The Russian government categorically denies any connection to the two men responsible for the attacks.
And the Americans deny all knowledge of classified missile technology.
So officially speaking, none of this ever happened.
But if you want to keep it that way, I need a promise from you.
- It's over.
- That's right.
The Russians have assured us there will be no further attacks against foreign journalists.
And we can trust them? Well, as long as we keep our end of the bargain, you can publish your story, but it cannot cite any of the data leaked or even mention that there's a traitor within the Ministry of Defense.
As far as the world is concerned, it's all rumor and speculation.
There is no source.
It's a compromise, but by allowing them to save face, we end the threat of retribution, providing security for journalists moving forward.
And my husband's death? That's the price? Well, the killers have been brought to justice, but unfortunately, without a way to link the order directly to the FSB, calling them out publicly only puts more people at risk.
I understand.
Phil would have wanted his colleagues to carry on.
The schematics we recovered will lead to a more effective defense system.
It could save thousands of lives.
That doesn't happen without his courage.
And all of yours.
I think I should get some sleep.
You deserve it.
Do you think you'll keep writing for the paper? Honestly, I don't know.
But if I do, I know that somebody has my back.
Well, look at that.
A man of his word.
Any luck finding Dasha? - Was it worth it? - What? Will that one secret really save more lives than were lost trying to get it? I don't know.
But I'm not losing any sleep.
That must be nice, only caring about secrets and not actual people.
What are you talking about? I'm a people person.
In fact, I got a little something for you.
A personal thank you for the FBI's help.
That's Moscow.
Two weeks ago.
Your mother's still out there.

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