Spoilers ahead for Episode 12 of FBI: International Season 2, called “Glimmers and Ghosts.”
The Fly Team headed to Berlin in “Glimmers and Ghosts” after an American man started hunting down and killing former East German spies. This FBI: International case had twists on top of its turns that revealed some dark truths about Cold War-era Berlin, but the silver lining for Forrester and Co. was a reunion with none other than Katrin Jaeger, played by Christiane Paul. Jaeger was of course the Europol liaison for the FBI team during Season 1. Paul spoke with CinemaBlend about the episode, what Jaeger went through, and what viewers might have seen back in Season 1 if not for some cuts.
Jaeger left the Fly Team at the end of International Season 1, when she went from on the verge of losing her position at Interpol to receiving a well-deserved promotion. Smitty stepped up in Season 2 to fill the liaison role, and the Fly Team is a well-oiled machine… but her former teammates were happy to see her again! She had a rough emotional ride in “Glimmers and Ghosts,” however, when she got the news that the mentor who she had trusted completely had actually been an East German Stasi spy responsible for some terrible crimes.
Jaeger clearly felt betrayed, on top of the case already forcing her to face her past growing up in East Germany and what she originally believed was the abandonment by her father. She didn’t try to stop Simon from killing himself, and it was only a matter of chance that the gun wasn’t loaded. When they later had a moment together after his arrest, he begged for her forgiveness. So, with all of their history together, did Jaeger accept even a little bit of his apology, despite her speech to him? Christiane Paul explained:
No. This is something really unbelievable and unbearable, and I don't know if you can actually come over one day, because this has such a huge impact to your whole life because everything was just a lie. I don't know how you can cope with that. So I would say no. She's very hard in the end, very cold in the end, and she doesn't want to give him any of her emotions anymore. For her just to tell him, 'You know what? You're just nobody. You're just nobody and nobody will love you anymore. Nobody will think about you anymore. That was it for you. Nobody will even remember you.' I think that's the hardest thing you can tell, you can say to a person who actually loved you once. This is good that Jaeger could say, 'Okay, that was it. I don't give you any emotional reaction anymore.'
While learning of Simon’s betrayal was a huge blow to Jaeger, the case also revealed that her father hadn’t abandoned her in the way that she’d believed ever since she was a little girl, left behind in a park and waiting for hot chocolate that would never come. She finally got a little bit of closure in that park, and even drank some hot chocolate with Forrester.
It was an emotional scene, and left Jaeger on a more positive note than when she very definitively cut all ties with Simon. When I asked if she had a sense of catharsis by the of the episode and her scene in the park, Christiane Paul shared:
That's an interesting question... because I think she understands now that her father maybe actually loved her very much, and this is the best you can have as information after all these years to realize that no, it was not his fault. He did love you. He couldn't tell you about it, and it was not Jaeger's fault. That's what kids always think, that it is their fault, and they're just abandoned and they are guilty somehow. So maybe you're right. It's really like a catharsis to embrace the past and to say, 'That was the last moment I spent with my father and he did actually everything to protect me.' If you understand catharsis in that way, I would say yes.
All in all, “Glimmers and Ghosts” dropped a lot of information about Jaeger that wasn’t revealed back in FBI: Most Wanted Season 1, which featured Christiane Paul as a series regular (and is available streaming with a Paramount+ subscription). A lot of Jaeger’s backstory about her childhood in East Germany was brand new for viewers, but did the actress know about Jaeger’s history before returning for this episode?
Well, according to Christiane Paul, she’s had some information about Jaeger coming from East Germany ever since early Season 1, but the details were cut. The actress said:
Derek Haas told me about that as we started the first season, and also there was something already in the third episode of Season 1, like little lines as Jaeger talked to Forrester after [Kellett] was shot, but didn't want to have it in the episode and they cut it out. Maybe because they had the plan to reveal it later, I would say.
It turns out that FBI: International showrunner and co-creator Derek Haas (who came to the FBI universe off of many years running Chicago Fire over on NBC) told Christiane Paul about Jaeger’s East German history. There was a lot happening back in early Season 1, particularly in the episode in which Kellett was shot. Perhaps it was for the best that International didn’t shed this light on Jaeger until she got the spotlight as a Season 2 guest star!
While the Fly Team will chase cases across Europe and Jaeger keeps working with Interpol, fans can always hope that a reason will arise for the former teammates to all join forces on a case again. For now, you can look forward to new episodes of FBI: International on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS, between FBI at 8 p.m. and FBI: Most Wanted (which sent Dylan McDermott’s Remy Scott undercover as a priest) at 10 p.m. You can also find more viewing options for the not-too-distant future on our 2023 TV premiere schedule.