Warning: spoilers ahead for the Season 2 finale of FBI: Most Wanted on CBS, called "Chattaboogie."
FBI: Most Wanted Season 2 has come to an end with a finale that not only pitted Jess and the rest of the team against one of their most challenging cases of the series, but also ended on a cliffhanger that abruptly changed a sweet and lighthearted scene into something terrifying. Just when it seemed that all was well with Sarah moved in with Jess and Tali, her dangerous ex-husband Hugh turned up with a gun to create a killer cliffhanger ahead of Season 3. Suffice it to say that showrunner David Hudgins wasn't kidding about what to expect in the last five minutes of the episode!
Fortunately, David Hudgins also spoke with CinemaBlend about the future of Most Wanted ahead of the Season 2 finale, and his comments shed some light on the cliffhanger from "Chattaboogie." The episode ended with an armed Hugh breaking into the house where Tali and Sarah were alone, with Tali pressing a gun on Sarah despite Sarah telling her to hide in the bathroom. Jess and Kenny (who was on the scene to check out Jess' motorcycle) saw what was happening from the yard and went to intervene.
Three gunshots rang out before the final credits rolled, but FBI: Most Wanted didn't reveal who pulled the trigger or who (if any) was shot. Based on some comments from David Hudgins, there are at least two people who we can probably safely say were not mortally wounded. When asked if there were any Season 2 stories in particular that he was looking forward to picking up on in Season 3, Hudgins explained:
Well, first of all, the relationship between Jess and Sarah is something that we definitely would like to continue exploring. We've also set up the fact that Barnes' wife is pregnant. And at the same time, her wife Charlotte has taken a job back the law firm. So now they've got Anais and now they're gonna potentially have a newborn baby. So we wanted to throw just another challenge at Charlotte and Barnes and we definitely will be picking up on that story. Another story that we explored a little bit and we want to keep going on is Hana's adoption, She's adopted, yet she's never met her birth parents and we think there's a story or potential arc there as well.
I spoke with David Hudgins about "Chattaboogie" before the Season 3 finale actually aired, so he didn't drop details about the resolution of the cliffhanger, but it seems that fans can probably rest easy about at least the fates of Jess and Sarah. That's not to say that there's not a chance of injury due to whatever happened off-screen, but FBI: Most Wanted exploring Jess and Sarah's relationship in Season 3 has to mean that they'll both still be around. Interestingly, Barnes didn't even appear in the Season 3 finale, but more is on the way with her and her wife!
In building the relationship between Sarah and Jess, FBI: Most Wanted unearthed a lot about his character that was only touched on or hinted in the first season. Showrunner David Hudgins explained the importance of Most Wanted showing more of who Jess is other than the skilled FBI agent, saying:
I think it was very important. I was fascinated by the character of Jess before I even came on to the show in Season 2. And it felt like there was so much going on with that guy, you know what I mean? Still waters run deep. And so when I came aboard in Season 2, we talked specifically about let's start digging into this guy and finding out what makes him tick. He had so many interesting things to him that were sort of there to be explored, as a widower of four years, that we were very interested in the idea of. Is this a guy who has just decided that 'I'm going to be married to work and never open my heart again' or not. And especially with his daughter getting older and in the mix, we just wanted to explore Jess trying to find love again.
The process of Jess finding love again with Sarah was gradual, but helped by the fact that Tali has been all-in on the relationship. Before everything went sideways for them at the end of the finale, "Chattaboogie" showcased their bond, with Tali trying on Sarah's old cowboy boots and the two hanging out in the kitchen together. Here's hoping that whatever happens in the aftermath of the shooting doesn't ruin the life these three were building together! David Hudgins continued:
That sort of became the story of Season 2. And then when we got [actress] Jen Landon and we saw them together and the chemistry is so great, and the story. We just loved it. In the beginning of the season, he had a story with his father, with Terry O'Quinn. And they sort of resolve their differences. Then we felt like he was in the place to start to open himself up again, and he still goes slow, because he's Jess LaCroix. But we really wanted to take him out of the box in his personal life and see, quote, unquote, that softer side of Jess.
All things considered, the last couple episodes of FBI: Most Wanted Season 2 were surprisingly happy for Jess on the home front, as he was able to celebrate his father's marriage despite their previously rocky relationship, take a big step forward with Sarah, and move her into the house with him and Tali. Why did Hugh have to show up and ruin the happy mood, when the cases of the week on FBI: Most Wanted aren't exactly joyous affairs?
In fact, the darkness of the FBI: Most Wanted cases makes the happy moments all the more notable, and David Hudgins weighed in on the importance of lightening things up from time to time:
I think it is important to deliver the happy every now and then. I mean, these people are in a job that requires them to be on the road all the time. They're dealing with the most dangerous people out there, the most wanted. And so that takes a toll on somebody as a character in the show. And then also in terms of tonnage, for the viewers, you're seeing a lot of dark stuff on the show, which is part of what makes it great and exciting. But I also feel like you need that moment, that breathable moment, that 'aha.' In our very first episode of the year, we had a scene at the end of the team together at a restaurant. And you sort of got the sense that there's this family, that these people working together are a family. So I think it is important to have those moments. It's never gonna be comedy, high comedy, but definitely moments of happy and levity. The audience wants that. And it helps you breathe a little.
How much happy that is on the way following what may have been a deadly cliffhanger remains to be seen, and FBI: Most Wanted won't be back to yield any answers on CBS until the fall. The very good news is that on top of the renewal for FBI: Most Wanted Season 3, FBI was renewed for Season 4, and another spinoff is on the way. FBI: International will reportedly launch via a backdoor pilot, so fans of this corner of the Dick Wolf TV universe will be in for some treats in the 2021-2022 TV season.
While the wait for answers to the questions left by the FBI: Most Wanted Season 2 finale may not be easy, there are at least plenty of TV options on the way this summer to fill the primetime hours.