At the top of “Coder To Killer,” poor Gavin Decker is stuck having one of those conversations with your Mom where it feels like you’re just stuck in an endless loop of the same topics. He listens to her go on about her cat and about her son being far away, but Decker assures her that his gig with Blue Annex Technologies is just a temporary thing, and could mean good things for his future. It’s a typical Mom call, and when Decker finally hangs up, all he can do is sigh about having that conversation. Unfortunately for him, that sigh is his last breath, as a hulking man in a hoodie appears behind him, chokes him to death, and then steals his BAT badge.
It takes a while for that murder to connect to the larger story here, but don’t worry, that hulking man returns later to wreak havoc on a whole lot of people. For now though, the whole FBI team is enjoying a nice break from all the “stopping terrorist attacks” business. They’re having a dinner party at Jane and Weller’s place, and Weller’s daughter Bethany is there too. Reade and Zapata are still flirting like crazy even though they deny it, and Rich is causing problems by ordering fancy food instead of pizza.
Then, they get a call. It’s a Friday night, but they have to come in because inmate and terrorist Sho Akhtar wants to talk to them. They meet at the FBI headquarters, with Sho in handcuffs, and he details a story about trying to sell missiles to a terrorist group. Now, some guys in prison associated with that group have started talking about an attack on New York, and so Sho is bringing them this information. All he wants in exchange is witness protection with 12 bodyguards and an 8k TV. Terrorist or not, the man knows how he wants to live.
Of course, the FBI won’t just give him protections without concrete evidence to work on, so they begin questioning him. Sho is wonky about the details though, remembering things or just dodging questions in general. So, the team decides it’s time to try cracking into the laptop that Sho was originally arrested with. The problem is, the whole office is undergoing a tech update courtesy of, you guessed it, Blue Annex Technologies. Hulking Man, with Decker’s badge, walks by and gets noticed by Patterson, but only because he’s carrying the wrong cable for the work he’s doing. The head of the BAT update and seeming nemesis of Patterson, Leonard Perkins, assures her that he has his workers in order, and that “Decker” is just new.
With the office short-staffed because of the update, Brianna is pulled in to work with the team. It’s the big moment she’s been waiting for, though it’s more than a little spoiled by Dominic calling her and trying to recruit her to carry out Madeline’s terrorist plot. He gives her time to think about it, which gives Brianna time to figure out a math problem that Patterson didn’t think of that gets them into Sho’s laptop. That’d be great news if it wasn’t for the fact that “Decker” has strangled Perkins and shut the whole system down.
That means they only have Sho to work with, and Weller manages to trick him into telling a lie, which in turn means that Sho is playing some sort of game. Brianna takes the lie and uses it to find some files on Sho’s laptop, one of which corresponds with an FBI file number. That file is the arrest record for a terrorist named Pavel. Patterson recognizes him. She saw him in the hallways working for BAT. Our man from the cold open is Pavel, and he’s a cold-blooded killer out for revenge.
You see, Pavel’s family was killed in a military attack, and now, because terrorists have feelings too, he wants to kill the Colonel who ordered the attack. Sho’s part in this is rather simple: he knows where that Colonel is, and he’ll tell Pavel in exchange for freedom. So, Pavel breaks him out of the FBI in a daring escape that involves setting Reade on fire — don’t worry, Zapata is there to make the save, which is one way to reignite (too soon for that pun?) that romance — and that sends the FBI to guard Colonel Meeks.
Trying to get the Meeks family to safety dovetails with Weller’s own thoughts about his family. All this time with Bethany has affirmed that he wants to be a more present father, and that his job, while important for national security, can easily become a whole life. He needs to make time for Jane and Bethany too. It’s when he’s musing on this that Pavel shows up at the house dressed as a cop, shuts out the lights, and goes on a rampage. He kills two agents, but Weller, Zapata, and Jane stop him before he kills Meeks’ husband and child.
That’s one more crisis averted, but Sho is still in the wind. As the episode comes to a close, some of the more fun story lines get some movement. It turns out Patterson is thinking about adopting a kid somewhere down the line, leading to many hilarious interactions with Rich where he insists they’ll raise the child together, and one final sweet moment where he urges her to send an application. Reade cancels a “non-date” because, duh, he’s still in love with Zapata and she just saved his ass from being literally roasted.
For all that fun stuff though, the episode ends with Brianna stealing something from Jane and Weller’s safe on the instruction of Dominic, who threatens to kill her parents if she doesn’t oblige. Poor Brianna. She just can’t catch a break.
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