These first-class agents including Special Agents Maggie Bell (played by Missy Peregrym) and her partner Omar Adom "OA" Zidan (Zeeko Zaki), bring all their talents, intellect and technical expertise to tenaciously investigate cases of tremendous magnitude, including terrorism, organized crime and counterintelligence, in order to keep New York and the country safe.
A spinoff, FBI: Most Wanted, debuted in January 2020, focusing on the Fugitive Task Force.
The show is currently airing the second season.
This show provides examples of:
- Black-and-Gray Morality: In "What Lies Beneath", OA gets into a dispute with an Egyptian diplomat visiting New York for a heart transplant. Said diplomat is the head of the Egyptian secret police, who is notorious for imprisoning a huge number of political protesters without trial, including OA's cousin. When confronted about it, the diplomat admits to it...and reveals that said protesters had planned to steal munitions from the army and use them to blow up a school as part of a false flag operation to vilify the government, an act that repulsed even him. The Egyptian diplomat admits to OA he's done questionable things, but he refuses to apologise for saving the lives of over 100 children by arresting a few dozen people and throwing away the key.
- Broken Pedestal: In "American Idol," Maggie gets this when she realizes a Senator running for President who she's long admired deliberately buried evidence that would have proven a suspect didn't commit a crime. Worse, the woman ruined the career of a co-worker who wanted to go public about this and still defends herself on how the man was "obviously" guilty.
- In the same episode, OA reveals that when he was a kid, he met his favorite baseball player and told him that he wanted to be just like him when he grows up. But the player just looked at OA and told him that that was the stupidest thing he's ever heard.
- Isobel is jarred to learn her former FBI mentor stole money from a bust to pay his bills which led to his son being kidnapped by the cartel he ripped off. Isobel tells him off (in his hospital bed) about how she had trusted him so much and he lied to her and has him arrested.
- The Cameo: "Emotional Rescue" sees Hailey Upton from Chicago P.D. make an appearance; Looks like FBI has been added to the same 'Verse as the various Chicago series, as well as the Law & Order franchise.
- Double Standard: A judge gave an African-American 16 year old 20 years in prison while letting his white accomplice off on probation.
- Gratuitous Nazis: The series' premiere features a white nationalist named Robert Lawrence, plotting with violent black gang leaders to ignite hate and have New York City turn on itself.
- It's Personal: Happens a lot; a victim or someone connected to a case is an old friend of one of the agents, or some aspect of the case relates to something in an agent's background.
- Jurisdiction Friction: The FBI will often clash with other agencies on cases.
- One episode has them running into the DEA on a case as it turns out the DEA is more interested in capturing a drug lord than rescuing a missing driver and withhold information that nearly causes the man's death.
- Another time the team must work with a CIA officer who clearly has a hard time sharing secrets on a case.
- The agents help a woman trick her gang into confessing they were behind the death of a teacher. The plan is for her to go into witness protection only for Immigration agents to arrest her as an illegal and leads to a legal fight.
- Loophole Abuse: One episode has Maggie and OA being unable to interrogate a suspect without an attorney present... but that doesn't mean they can't go into his interview room and say things to each other that indirectly threaten him into talking.
- Man on Fire: The fate of a right-wing hatemonger in "A New Dawn", who is burned to death by a Molotov Cocktail.
- Phony Newscast: A captured terrorist says that a bomb is set to go off at the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange. Jubal is convinced he's bluffing but Isobel says they can't take the chance and are cutting him a deal. Taking advantage of the guy being locked up all night, Jubal gives him his watch (set a few hours early) and then invites him to watch a live feed of the Exchange opening. In reality, it's not due to open for another two hours and the video has been altered with today's date. Jubal figures if the bomb is real, the man will be confused at it not going off. When nothing happens, the guy just shrugs "had to try," confirming it was all a bluff. By the time he learns it was all faked, he's on his way to jail.
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: "Most Wanted" has all the hallmarks of an incipient spinoff (presumably to be titled FBI: Most Wanted). A new FBI agent character has a touching scene with his daughter before Maggie and OA investigate the episode's case, and their suspect is placed on the FBI's Most Wanted list and handed off to the new character and his task force, which is devoted to hunting suspects on the list. All of the usual characters disappear from the story in favor of the new team, which has scenes establishing its dynamics and history. Maggie returns at the end to help take down the suspect by her own request.
- Smug Snake: The villain of "A New Dawn" is an authority figure who has a cult leader-like hold over his followers. He boasts that they practically worship him, but if they commit terrorist violence against people he hates it's not his fault. (He's lying about that last part.)
- Story Arc: "Exposed" reveals Maggie's late husband's car crash was orchestrated. The hitman responsible dies before she can learn anything, beginning her quest for who hired him and why.
- Witless Protection Program: "Compromised" sees Maggie and OA dealing with several people in the Witness Protection Program getting exposed and assassinated in rapid succession, even several who have already spent years within the program without a problem. It's acknowledged in the episode that this has never happened before and shouldn't be possible. It turns out the local head of the US Marshals running the program is corrupt and is selling the information for money.