The following contains spoilers from the postponed Season 4 finale of CBS’ FBI, which aired (Stateside) on Oct. 4.
CBS’ FBI this Tuesday night aired its Season 4 finale, which was pulled at the last minute in late May, in the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
After all, the episode “Prodigal Son” did revolve around a robbery involving a classmate of Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jubal Valentine’s son Tyler, named Zach. The cache of stolen weapons was found hidden in Zach’s bedroom, save for three guns including an AR-15. From the instant that Zach was confirmed to be somehow involved, Jubal leaned on Tyler for possible leads — only to later learn that Tyler didn’t disclose a phone call he got from Zach, who apparently is one of his few friends these days.
It was gleaned that Zach had a score of sorts to settle, stemming from an unrequited crush at a neighboring school. Jubal went to press Tyler again for info, only to find his son missing from his bedroom. Worried about what Zach may have planned for the nearby school, the race was on to find both him and Tyler. The teens were quickly tracked to a downtown book shop, where Jubal realized that Tyler had met up with Zach to talk him out of whatever he had planned.
A face-off followed, with Zach holding Tyler at gunpoint in front of an anxious Jubal. Zach wound up squeezing off a nervous shot at Jubal, but Tyler’s quick, brave thinking deflected the gun barrel and very possibly saved Dad’s life.
The crisis came at an already-delicate time in the father/son relationship, during which Jubal realized that Tyler was now using his mother’s maiden name, Kelton, at school. It also became clear over the hour that Tyler had issues with his dad’s lawman status.
Sisto emailed back, “Before we shot the episode, Caleb Reese Paul (who plays Tyler) and I were speaking, and I asked him why he thinks Tyler decided to change his last name and why he was having such a rough time. Caleb spoke about the challenges of having a dad who seemed almost like a superhero, and how living up to that perceived strength can be daunting.
“He (Caleb) understood that Tyler felt that because he was having challenges in his own life, he couldn’t relate to the image of his father,” Sisto continued. “I hadn’t thought of that.”
“Of course, Jubal doesn’t think of himself in that way,” Sisto noted. “He has an important job that he loves, but a lot of what he does is make sure all the pieces are in the right places so that the team operates at their highest potential. He didn’t see how the perception of his career could be affecting his son negatively. If anything, he thought his son was proud his father was an FBI agent.”
In closing, Sisto wrote that “despite the extremely scary and difficult circumstances of this episode, it gave Tyler the opportunity to prove to himself that he is a strong, courageous kid, and that his father is far from a superhero. I imagine this will bring them closer, as well as giving Tyler some confidence in his own life, which one needs plenty of in high school.”