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CBS' FBI is finally returning for its third season after the second was cut short in the spring, and the new episodes will see Missy Peregrym's Maggie back from her mysterious undercover work and in action. A lot has changed since the end of Season 2, with some real-world developments making their way into the third season. Fortunately, FBI showrunner Rick Eid shared some details about what to expect from Maggie and OA's partnership, crossover options, and more.
Rick Eid teased how her time away has impacted Maggie and her partnership with OA, saying:
When Maggie returns to 26 Fed, she’ll be carrying the weight of her experience undercover, but it won’t fundamentally change who she is as an agent. As partners, she and OA eventually fall back into a comfortable work rhythm, but OA senses she's keeping a secret.
Fans don't have to worry that the Maggie who is back in Season 3 will be unrecognizable from the agent she was when she left for her undercover work in Season 2, but it sounds like what happened while she was away could pack a punch in the new episodes. OA of course had to continue work at 26 Fed in Maggie's absence, which involved a temporary partnership with Chicago P.D.'s Hailey Upton.
Considering all that OA went through and what Maggie likely went through off-screen, taking some time to "eventually" fall back into rhythm shouldn't come as a surprise. Rick Eid weighed in on the time jump between the finale of Season 2 -- with OA briefly partnered with Upton and Maggie still working undercover -- and the beginning of Season 3:
We don't really address time specifically, but I'd say a few months has passed. Our characters definitely inhabit the same world we're all experiencing right now. COVID, social and political strife, protests, etc...
Like other shows in the Dick Wolf universe, FBI is going to set its 2020-2021 season in a world facing the same kind of issues that viewers are facing in the real world. This could get complicated for them in law enforcement, as viewers have seen on Law & Order: SVU (also set in New York), but the episode description for the Season 3 premiere confirms that the team will be back in action searching for killers.
The larger potential issue that has impacted plenty of shows this season is the COVID-19 pandemic, and showrunner Rick Eid shared how FBI will approach it:
COVID exists in our alternate FBI universe, but we’re not emphasizing it. We think the fans would prefer to suspend some disbelief and enjoy the drama, but viewers will see subtle references, such as our characters wearing masks at times.
While the real-world issue of COVID will evidently be part of the third season, FBI fans don't need to worry that they're in for a full season of FBI delving into the pandemic on a weekly basis. That's not to say that Maggie and Co. will be back to business as usual compared to the first two seasons, but a certain level of escapism is on the way.
Still, fans shouldn't head into Season 3 counting on that escapism to include Maggie and Co. investigating cases that result in joining forces with other shows in the Dick Wolf shared universe. When asked if there are any crossover goals for the new season, Rick Eid explained:
We are certainly discussing crossovers, but the production constraints with COVID protocol pose an extra challenge. Viewers will see certain character crossovers, but it is doubtful we will be able to do any 'real' crossovers.
Mini crossovers with other characters in the Dick Wolf universe can happen; larger multi-show crossovers may not be too likely with COVID. The FBI and FBI: Most Wanted characters are probably more likely to mingle than characters from any of the NBC shows, but then again, Law & Order: SVU is also set in New York, and the One Chicago crossover in the spring came as a surprise.
What is guaranteed is some good old-fashioned FBI action back on the small screen for fans who have been waiting to see what happens next. New episodes of FBI air on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS, followed by new episodes of FBI: Most Wanted, which will deliver some big changes of its own in the 2020-2021 TV season. For some more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule and our 2021 winter and midseason premiere guide.