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Series / FBI: Most Wanted

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A Spin-Off of FBI focusing on the Fugitive Task Force, a unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation tasked to track down dangerous criminals on the organization's most wanted list.

The Fugitive Task Force is led by Jesse "Jess" LaCroix (Julian McMahon), a widower. His wife, Angelyne, died prior to the start of the series while serving overseas. Jess is raising their daughter, Tali (YaYa Gosselin) along with his wife's parents, and works to balance his work in the FBI and his family life. Other than Jess, the team consists of second-in-command Sheryll Barnes (Roxy Sternberg); Army vet Kenny "Ken" Crosby (Kellan Lutz); analyst Hana Gibson (Keisha Castle-Hughes); and Clinton Skye (Nathaniel Arcand), Angelyne's brother. Later seasons have the team joined by Ivan Ortiz (Miguel Gomez), an ex-cop from Los Angeles, Kristin Gaines (Alexa Davalos), who hailed from the FBI's Miami field office, and Supervisory Special Agent Remy Scott (Dylan McDermott), a former member of the Las Vegas Fugitive Task Force assigned to lead the team in the aftermath of LaCroix's death.

The series premiered on January 7, 2020 and is currently airing its fourth season.

Tropes for this series include:

  • Anyone Can Die: Jess is shot and killed by a fugitive in "Shattered".
  • Bit Part Bad Guys: The opening of "Heaven Falling" has the team (sans Remy) dealing with a bank robbery turned hostage barricade. The robber is immediately tackled and restrained by Ray.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Hugh, Sarah's ex-husband, continues trying to bully and intimidate her into dropping the charges against him even after learning that her new boyfriend is a highly experienced FBI agent with full authority to have him arrested for these acts. Even showing up armed at said agent's house, which predictably ends with him getting shot down.
  • Cliffhanger: Season Two wraps up on a particularly nightmarish one. Hugh, Sarah's abusive ex, arrives at Jess' house with a gun. Sarah gets a gun from Tali, and the last thing heard before the season ends is gunshots and Tail screaming for her dad as Jess and Kenny storm in.
    • The next season confirms that Hugh died, and a Crossover FBI episode reveals Crosby fired the killing shot.
  • Corrupt Politician: Season 2 features these:
    • In "Obstruction", the mayor of Sunnyvale, Maryland was responsible for covering up the events of a rape and murder case when he finds out that his son is said rapist/killer. He's arrested by the town's sheriff deputies.
    • The team arrest a congressman in "Hustler" for secretly hiring a female soldier who fought in Afghanistan to moonlight as an assassin to kill a woman who got pregnant by him 4 months prior.
  • Darker and Edgier: A subtler variant compared to FBI. While the original tends to be more straightforward about who the bad guys and good guys are, Most Wanted has plenty of Grey-and-Grey Morality; often establishing plenty of suspects as a great deal more sympathetic here. When the suspects aren't sympathetic, they are monsters and they know it, unafraid of shoving it to the team's faces. This is entirely justified: while the original focuses on the investigative aspect, this one focuses on the pursuit - which usually features suspects that are quite a bit more dangerous than the suspects in FBI.
  • Dirty Cop: In Season 1, Jess was targeted by corrupt cops to the point that his daughter, Tali, was sent to an ICE detention center. Since she's half Native American, the ICE officers there would treat her like an illegal alien.
  • Disc-One Final Boss:
    • "Obstruction": The team catches a marathon bomber (see Take Me Out at the Ball Game) they think killed the sister of a female FBI informant and said FBI informant because she got him incarcerated. It turns out he didn't do it. It was actually a female Rogue Soldier hired by a corrupt congressman to assassinate the informant because he got her pregnant months prior and she was going to have his baby.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Some of the fugitives' motives and actions are for very petty reasons.
    • David Fallon in "Grudge" stalked and harassed a man and his pregnant wife mercilessly because they indirectly broke off a conversation he was having with the couple's obstetrician. The reason for that was because the wife was in pain and afraid she was having a miscarriage.
    • "Execute" has a disgruntled man kill a young gamer and his parents by hacking their car and crashing it into a tree over an online dispute.
    • A fugitive in "One-Zero" beats and rapes a woman for calling him "harmless".
    • In “Run-Hide-Fight”, we have a mass shooting at a New York mall that leaves several dead and wounded and the exits rigged with bombs. The shooters and their leader are four mall security guards who were fired and charged with grand larceny. Agent Ortiz is incredulous when he finds out.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "Exposed" has a plot that is really similar to the crimes uncovered by the police against Jeffrey Epstein. There's also allegations that Prince Andrew was supposedly involved.
  • Domestic Abuser: Sarah, Jess' love interest in Season Two, has an ex-husband who most certainly fits the bill, having physically abused her at least once. Even after being arrested for breaking into her house, he continues to harass her and Jess in an attempt to get her to drop the charges, culminating in showing up at Jess' house with a gun and getting himself killed in a 2:1 (or 3:1 since Sarah managed to arm herself) shootout with Jess and Kenny.
  • Double Standard: In "Defender", a judge gave an African-American 16-year-old boy 20 years in prison while letting his white accomplice off on probation. This causes the 16-year-old boy's mother to snap.
  • Funny Background Event: In "Predators", as Hana explains the crime scene to the rest of the team, Agent Crosby is seen eating a sandwich. When Hana brings up that the murder weapon was a cast iron chicken, Kenny looks at his (presumably chicken) sandwich uncomfortably and goes over to start brushing his teeth.
  • Generic Ethnic Crime Gang: "Spiderwebs" involves a Filipino-American gang based in New Jersey known as the Lontocs.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A corrupt CEO is targeted by a man who blames him for dumping toxic coal ash in the water supply of the town in "Toxic", giving hundreds of people, including his own daughter, cancer. He kidnaps the CEO's daughter to threaten her with the same ash but the CEO still refuses to admit what he did. After the FBI rescues them, the daughter realizes her father was guilty and gave her the land as a way to avoid it possibly being investigated. When the FBI threatens to start digging up the land, the CEO smirks his lawyers will tie it up for years...only for his daughter to remind him that the land is legally hers and gives the feds full permission to dig up all the evidence that puts her father in jail.
  • Human Trafficking: Season 3 has the FBI investigating a case that involved teenage girls being trafficked for sex with various VIPs from politicians to millionaires.
  • I Reject Your Reality: In "Patriots," a captured member of a Proud Boys group refuses to talk as his lawyer states "worst-case scenario, once the current illegitimate government is ousted from power, he'll be pardoned." Jess clearly can barely keep a straight face at that.
  • Life Saving Misfortune: A young girl in "Execute" was supposed to go on a camping trip with her family, but she had to stay behind because she had a migraine. If not for that, she would have been killed with them when their car got hacked.
  • Meaningful Name: The episode title "Incendiary" refers to how napalm works. The suspect used napalm in his attacks.
    • "Transaction" deals with the use of a dowry as a means of payment used to pay the groom's family before he gets married.
  • Mexican Standoff: The Season 2 cliffhanger starts out as one between Sarah and her abusive ex-husband Hugh, then goes to a 3:1 when Jess and Kenny, both armed, arrive on the scene before literally closing Out with a Bang. The Season 3 crossover reveals that Hugh was predictably killed and that Kenny fired the fatal shot.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: In "El Pincho", the titular fugitive and his accomplice invade the home of and kill a prison guard, shortly before holding his wife at gunpoint. They force her to reveal where her daughter is hiding, and El Pincho drags her out of that spot as she can only scream in horror. While the body of the guard is found by authorities, his wife and daughter are never found, and their fates are left unknown. Considering what El Pincho is known to do to his victims however, their fates don't look too good.
  • Oppressive Immigration Enforcement: In the first crossover with the parent series, it's revealed the White Supremacist domestic terrorist group they are facing has several ICE agents as members, including a branch head. In retaliation to the FBI capturing their leader, they launch a raid on a charity food bank to abduct Jess's daughter Talia (who is half-Native American) with them threatening to deport her to a third-world nation and destroy all records if the FBI doesn't halt their investigation into their activities. Jess likewise independently voices his disgust at the horrific conditions he witnesses whilst searching the detainment centres for her, and the investigation uncovers a secret chat room where a very large number of ICE agents (most of whom aren't even involved with the terrorists) discuss their contempt for immigrants many voicing their desire to hurt, rape or even kill them, with Jubal denouncing all who participate as a disgrace to everything being a federal agent stands for.
  • Pedo Hunt: Some of the fugitives and criminals such as Samuel Smith in "Vanished" are pedophiles, hebephiles, or ephebophiles.
  • Properly Paranoid: Season 2 has Sheryll worried about her daughter when she gets involved in the Z-ALL case with the team which turns out to be part of a plan for a woman to go after her alleged rapist as he used his upper-class connections to have a lawsuit against him dropped.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Many of the fugitives are rapists and some of the victims murdered by the fugitives.
  • Ripped from the Headlines:
    • "Rampage" is similar to the 2001 DC sniper attacks with the same method used to target civilians in the open.
    • "Execute" is based on news reports that highlighted the vulnerabilities of vehicles with electronic systems that can be remotely controlled by a skilled hacker.
    • "Anonymous" has the Z-ALL as a stand-in for the Q-Anon movement.
    • "Tough Love" refers to educational institutes meant for troubled teenagers and other children that gets controversial because of the disciplinary methods they use to keep them in line.
    • "Inherited" is for anti-Asian hatred in non-Asian countries after the COVID-19 pandemic and the crackdown on pro-democract groups in Hong Kong.
    • "Reaper" talked about American troop withdrawals from Kabul when the Taliban took over in 2021.
    • "A Man without a Country" is for the Russo-Ukrainian war.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Many times the fugitives are presumed to be male by the team. However, there is later evidence that proves otherwise.
  • Shown Their Work: "Gladiator" has Ivan explain what Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is and how it's a major injury sustained by players who participate in heavy contact sports like basketball, boxing or football.
    • In "A Man without a Country", the term siloviki is correctly explained as former Soviet military/police officers who work with or under their superiors after their discharge.
  • Spree Killer: "Run-Hide-Fight" has three men involved in spree shootings inside a mall somewhere in Brooklyn.
  • "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder: "Whack Job" as two wives each agreeing to kill the other's cheating husband/lover.
  • SWAT Team: The FBI SWAT or HRT is usually deployed to help Lacroix and other agents in the US.
    • During a joint op with the RCMP, their ERT teams were deployed to help them out.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: One armed abusive stalker ex-husband + one armed ex-wife in Mama Bear mode + two armed FBI agents, one of whom is in Papa Wolf mode and is dating said ex-wife, equals one dead abusive stalker ex-husband. Just to add insult to injury, the abusive ex got taken out by the one person out of the other three who had the least stake in this fight besides being on Jess's team and having been invited back to his house for a celebratory drink following a successful case.
  • Take Me Out at the Ball Game: "Hustler" features a terror attack on a charity race, with several runners maimed by explosive-laden timing chips in their running shoes. This was done by a drug dealer who blamed America for maiming his cousin during the Serbia bombings in 1999 and driving him to suicide.
  • Terminally-Ill Criminal: "Deconflict" has the team dealing with Maurice Hewitt, a fugitive from Jess' past who eighteen years ago was responsible for a bank robbery that resulted in several deaths, including that of a pregnant police officer. The reason why he's resurfacing now is that he's dying from untreatable cancer, having decided to use the time he has left to get revenge on his partner who betrayed him after the robbery and to have one last showdown with Jess in the process. After being apprehended, Hewitt tries to goad Jess into killing him by taunting him about his late wife, only for Jess to decide not to since he's going to die anyway, although he confiscates Hewitt's remaining meds so that his death in prison will be more painful. However, it turns out Hewitt actually did regret killing the aforementioned officer, having visited her daughter along the way to give her a gift as a form of atonement for his actions.
  • The Siege: "These Walls" involve a prison siege being used by a pro-Aryan gang in order to get to one of their own after they realize he was going to confess to the FBI.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Sarah's ex-husband continues stalking and harassing her even after learning that she's now with Jess, an FBI special agent, and goes so far as to show up at Jess's residence and threaten both her and Jess's daughter Tali at gunpoint. When Jess shows up with Kenny as backup, he decides to shoot his way out instead of simply surrendering despite being clearly outgunned 2(or 3, since Tali armed Sarah with a gun by this point):1 and gets gunned down for his trouble.
  • Tragic Villain: A fraction of the fugitives throughout the series are this, with many having become the way they are through one or more forces beyond their control such as mental illness, losing loved ones, and being taken advantage of by other people.
  • Western Terrorists: "Patriots" involved Proud Boy veterans who joined the January 6 insurrections and have no qualms facing the FBI.
  • Wham Episode: In "Shattered", Jess is shot in the neck by a suspect during a confrontation. He doesn't make it.
    • In "Reaper", one of the suspects is not an ex-Afghan Army interpreter, but a Taliban fighter who was formerly from the army.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Some of the suspects encountered by the FBI/local law enforcement have no qualms on hitting or shooting female civilians if they get in the way.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Remy's mother said this to him soon after his brother died, and their relationship has been horribly strained every since.


Video Example(s):


Standoff at port

Remy and the other FBI agents manage to corner Sal and his fellow IRGC Quds Force soldiers. However, Sal goes for using Lula as a human shield.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / HumanShield

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