As procedural as procedurals get, FBI’s second episode, “Green Birds”, focused on dark-web jihadists who were preying on young girls and weaponising salads.
“Green Birds”, the second episode of FBI, was a cautionary hour of television. It warned you – especially if you’re a young, vulnerable girl – not to trust swarthy men in internet chatrooms. And it warned you to stay away from salads – there’s a chance they might’ve been sprayed with jihadi death-musk.
This is a lesson learned a little too late by the group of people who drop dead at the start of the episode, and indeed by the girl, Caroline, who sabotaged their leafy lunch in the first place. The device she used to douse the veg in poison was rigged to infect her, too. The question posed by Special Agents Maggie and OA is why? Why would a young girl take it upon herself to poison a bunch of innocent people who were just enjoying a healthy lunch?
The answer, somewhat predictably, is ISIS. The girls had been radicalised after finally being made to feel important and worthwhile after a lifetime of bullying. They were vulnerable and desperate, and in that desperation, they turned to the internet, where the ISIS media department essentially catfished them by using a mugshot of a hilariously handsome Middle Eastern man to full their heads full of rubbish.
The idea that modern terrorism has a wing dedicated to web administration is a terrifying one, and that they’d target the young and misguided to do their bidding is scarier still. It’s also believable and contemporary, which gave “Green Birds” a bit of extra kick. It was still a typically A-to-B investigation with no small amount of contrivances and lucky breaks, but how else are you supposed to wrap these things up in under an hour? All the same, FBI is propulsive procedural television that is neatly constructed and worryingly topical, and the Dick Wolf media machine continues apace.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.