FBI: Most Wanted Star Breaks Down The 'Crossroads' For Jess And A Potential Goodbye After The Midseason Finale

Spoilers ahead for the midseason finale of FBI: Most Wanted Season 3, called “Run-Hide-Fight.”

FBI: Most Wanted delivered a chaotic holiday episode that was far from merry and bright for Jess and his family, when a Christmas shopping trip to the mall turned into an active shooter situation with Tali, Sarah, and Byron all in the building. A big development happened in the LaCroix family even before the shooting started, however, and it leaves Jess at what star Julian McMahon describes as a “crossroads,” and a potential goodbye in his future. 

Tali discovered early in the hour that she got into the very exclusive boarding school in Canada, much to her (and a supportive Sarah’s) excitement. Jess, who had seemingly been hoping that she wouldn’t get in and they wouldn’t have to discuss it further, clearly wasn’t happy about it, but the end of the hour saw him say that maybe it’s time for him to be brave when she asked if she could go. 

His answer suggested that maybe this was the end of Tali’s story on FBI: Most Wanted for now, especially with Season 3 heading into a winter hiatus that could deliver a time jump. When I spoke with Julian McMahon, I asked whether “Run-Hide-Fight” was a goodbye to Tali, and he shared: 

No, she's gonna be with us. No, no, we have to go through the whole, 'Dad doesn't want you to go' stuff. They're gonna go through that. And then we have to figure out a few things in regards to whether she can actually literally go, so no, that's not a goodbye.

Jess may have come to the conclusion that he needs to be brave in the face of Tali wanting to go all the way to Canada for boarding school, but that doesn’t mean that he’s resigned to saying goodbye in 2022! That’s not to say that there isn’t the potential for a farewell, however. Tali herself said in the previous episode that the school would put her closer to her maternal grandparents, so even a move all the way to Canada wouldn’t make her completely isolated from family. 

And Jess will have to cross that bridge with a conversation now that they’ve come to it! The actor elaborated on what the future holds for Jess with his daughter wanting to head off to boarding school, even though he’s not going to be an empty-nester just yet:

I think he's at a crossroads, and he's finding it difficult to raise his daughter at this point in time with the type and amount of work that he does. And also his inability to kind of understand the effects that previous circumstances and situations such as the season finale we had of Season 2 has affected his home life, and I don't think he quite understands that. And so, I think that there's a lot that has to be fleshed out there. And I think it's for particularly all of those three characters, the Sarah character, Jess and Tali.

The midseason finale wasn’t Tali’s first traumatic experience, and her previous one wasn’t all that long ago when she was caught up in the Season 2 finale cliffhanger of Sarah’s ex showing up with a gun. The ex was the only one to die in that particular crisis, but having her home invaded in that way packed a punch for Tali. It’s understandable that Jess doesn’t want to let her go, but also understandable that she wants to try something new. The question is whether or not he’ll be able to overcome his difficulties at this “crossroads” for both of them. 

And as longtime viewers know, Jess has made progress with his daughter over the years, which isn’t the easiest thing for a girl at her very impressionable age. McMahon commented on Jess raising Tali in light of all the trauma:

As we've grown with Jess, we've learned that he's learning how to communicate with his daughter. And I think that this one's a real tough one, because what she witnessed in her home clearly is gonna have an effect for years, but how do you handle it? How do you deal with that? And Jess does that kind of stuff for a living. So his perception is that, you know, you have to compartmentalize it and move on. And home is one place and work is another, but this home is now the scene of the crime. So it's just a really difficult thing to manage, I think. And I think it's going to be fascinating to see kind of how we move forward with that.

There’s a certain disconnect between father and daughter that really can’t be bridged, since Jess doesn’t bring his work home with him, and hopefully crises involving Tali will be few and far between for her. Tali did reveal that she was accepted into the boarding school for spring semester, so the clock may be ticking for her and her dad to come to an agreement about her future. 

That said, FBI: Most Wanted is returning for the second half of Season 3 early in the new year, so they have some time to work out what happens next. The midseason premiere of Most Wanted will air on Tuesday, January 4 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS, back in its normal time slot following FBI: International at 9 p.m. ET and FBI at 8 p.m. ET in the 2022 premiere schedule

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).