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Why FBI Killing Off [Spoiler] In That Way Was 'Really Dangerous' For Jubal, According To Jeremy Sisto

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(Image credit: CBS)

Spoilers ahead for the January 11 episode of FBI, called “Grief.”

FBI took a tragic turn in “Grief” with the resolution of the plot set in motion back in the midseason finale when Rina was shot. After she suffered some complications in the hospital, her parents made the decision to take her off life support… all without anybody telling Jubal that the woman he loved was going to die sooner than he thought, and he only found out when a hospital administrator had to break the news. Throw in the high-stakes case that required as much of Jubal’s focus as he could spare, and this was a rough episode for him. According to actor Jeremy Sisto, Jubal finding out about Rina’s death was dangerous for him.

The reveal that Rina had died came very early in the episode, and with so little ceremony that it’s hard to blame Jubal for being thrown off balance by what had happened. He’d known that she was going to be taken off life support, but was expecting it to happen later in the week. Speaking with CinemaBlend, Jeremy Sisto explained the impact of Jubal finding out so early in the episode the way that he did: 

I think there was a double impact kind of thing of, she's gone. He said goodbye to her. Whether she was there or not, he's had way more time with someone that was dying than most people get. So to some degree there was a gift there. But their relationship is new. They hadn't been going to holidays together. Their relationship is new. And so to hear that her parents pulled the plug without letting him know is just a reminder of like, 'Am I crazy? Was our relationship even that significant? I mean, did she think of me in that same way?' It's confusing, I think. And so, instead of taking the day off as perhaps he should have, he jumped right into a case and found another way to kind of work through these questions.

Although he had some extra time with her while she was in the hospital and kept alive by machines, being left entirely out of when she was taken off of life support was jarring for Jubal. They had a fair amount of history even if their romantic relationship was pretty new, and it seemed to be going well up until Vargas orchestrated her shooting. But Jubal had to face some unpleasant doubts after her death, and there was seemingly nobody alive who could have reassured him. 

The reassurance ultimately came from an unexpected source: Rina’s mother, who certainly wasn’t trying to make Jubal feel any better. When Jubal took her to see her daughter’s office and pick up her box of personal effects, she cast the blame at him as the reason why Rina was in New York and crossed Vargas’ path at all. When I noted that Rina’s mom both took him on a guilt trip and also provided him with some clarity, Jeremy Sisto weighed in: 

Exactly, yeah! It was an interesting moment when she says 'You're the reason that she moved here.' She says it with the intention of blaming him or at least with a feeling that she holds him responsible. And I'm not sure if it was in the script or not, I feel like it wasn't, when I respond and say 'I didn't know that.' That's what hit me in the moment, was A) this is awful, and of course, if the mom wants to blame me, please, whatever helps her grieving easier. But also a clarification that we did have something really profound. I do deserve a space to heal and to mourn. And she loved me in the same way I loved her. I feel like there was a period there where he just started to question, and that would have been really dangerous for him, for somebody newly in a relationship, who's had issues in the past, to have something he felt so sure about, and great about, taken away. And then the question of whether or not it was even as real as he thought is put out there. And so this was a really clarifying and healing moment, despite it being awkward and difficult.

According to the actor, it would have been “really dangerous” if Jubal had to keep questioning whether or not Rina actually loved him like he loved her, when Rina herself couldn’t tell him. Her mom may have been attempting to lay the blame on him and make him feel bad, but she actually may have spared him a lot of self-torture while trying to grieve and also stay on the wagon. While that’s not to say that he won’t mourn Rina, hopefully he can avoid spiraling. 

That said, Jeremy Sisto wouldn’t be too broken up if things got messy for Jubal again, although for a very good reason. He explained why it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if Jubal lost some control, saying:

Obviously, as an actor, I hope he falls off the rails. [laughs] Starts drinking vodka at work again. But as a fan of the show and a fan of the character, I hope that he is okay, and he's able to move on with his life. And I think Dick [Wolf] and Rick [Eid], and Dick in particular has a really close [and] a really sensitive understanding of what the audience wants. So, if the audience wants to see more Jubal kind of struggling with the grief and his private life stuff, then the storyline will continue. But I also think there's a possibility that people are ready to see Jubal kind of get back to not being such a mess.

Television producer extraordinaire Dick Wolf and FBI showrunner Rick Eid both clearly know what it takes to craft hit shows; the franchise was founded by Wolf all the way back in 1990 when he created the original Law & Order (which is coming back to TV), and Eid was showrunner on NBC’s Chicago P.D. for years on top of running FBI on CBS. If ever there was a recipe for a successful crime procedural, they would be it. So, if audiences want to see more of this storyline even after Rena has been killed, it’s possible that FBI will deliver. 

See what happens in the aftermath of Rina’s death with new episodes of FBI on CBS on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET, ahead of FBI: International at 9 p.m. and FBI: Most Wanted at 10 p.m. If you’re still in the market for a new TV show to check out, take a look at our 2022 winter and spring premiere schedule for some options!

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.