OA almost stepped in it financially.
Fortunately, a case helped him to step back from the brink on FBI Season 5 Episode 14.
After Missy Peregrym returned from maternity leave on FBI Season 5 Episode 7, much of the narrative has focused on Maggie.
While Maggie was recovering from that sarin attack, OA took the lead, action-wise, receding somewhat since she returned.
That’s understandable, as Maggie, the other lead agent, had some screen time to make up for after those missed episodes.
OA moved back to the front as he considered making what amounts to a significant investment: Buying a condo.
There hasn’t been a lot of OA’s personal life onscreen recently. So this was as good a time as any for OA to be involved with something outside the office.
OA was hardly recognizable, however. When did he become a spendthrift with a taste for the finer things in life?
Sure, he’s between girlfriends right now, so he should have more disposable income on hand. And, as Scola pointed out, real estate in New York City is always a good investment.
So how did things go so wrong that OA was mulling taking a short-term loan from a cash-checking guy?
Another thing: does anyone believe that OA had contemplated paying four figures for a pair of designer sneakers? What would his hard-working immigrant parents think about that purchase?
Also, why didn’t he consult with Scola, the Wall Street alumni, if he had any doubts rather than continuing to argue by phone with his mortgage broker in the middle of a case?
In the back of his mind, OA had to realize that this was a bad idea. Why else was he being so close-mouthed about what he was up to?
The bottom line was that OA was unnecessarily distracted by his finances while the team was attempting to track down that successful yet amateur armored-car robber.
It’s one thing if Jubal is preoccupied because his son may have a cancer relapse. It’s another if OA is fretting because cryptocurrency is slipping.
There’s also always going to be another overpriced condo available in the Big Apple. And maybe, just maybe, OA may have his finances in order so that he could afford it.
Scola could tell that OA was distressed throughout the case and gave him every opportunity to reach out. And Scola isn’t the type to open up, so he knew what he was asking OA to do.
Ultimately, after OA decided not to buy the condo, even if that meant taking a financial hit, Scola told him, in the nicest way possible, that they were friends. He was there to help keep him from making similar ill-conceived decisions in the future.
The upside of OA’s turmoil was that it made him sympathetic to Hoffman, the desperate strip club owner turned armed robber.
Hoffman’s tale of woe resonated with OA. He worked hard for years to afford to buy the strip club (it’s nice to have dreams, I guess). But he borrowed $300,000 from a loan shark to live the lifestyle he felt he deserved far beyond his means.
Banks turn down loans to people for just that reason — to protect them from themselves. Loan sharks don’t have that same compunction.
Realizing that Hoffman’s story was too close to his own should have been enough to get OA to back off his condo plan. But it wasn’t.
The team was having a good day, having quickly picked up a thief, his drug dealer, and the robber Hoffman. They were able to turn that into a plan to take a murderous loan shark off the board.
Hoffman grew a spine once he realized that he and his family wouldn’t be safe until Simonian was in custody. He realized he had nothing to lose and agreed to wear a wire.
Only Hoffman was too nervous to do the job right, and Tiffany had to step in, pretending to be his girlfriend, who had a wealthy father that could give them the money to pay off Simonian.
Simonian was still skittish, so the team had to regroup and try again. Or so it seemed, as Simonian chose to abduct Tiffany to force Hoffman to pay sooner.
Although Tiffany later let OA off the hook, the simple fact was that Simonian could abduct TIffany because OA was busy hagging loan terms on his phone when he was supposed to be watching Simonian. (Scola gets a pass because he was on the phone with his baby mama, Nina.)
Luckily, the analysts at the JOC were still on their game, using that sketchy footage from Tiffany’s button cam to locate where Simonian was holding her.
Why Simonian and his thug thought it wise to take on an entire FBI tactical squad with their two handguns is beyond me. “You’ll never take me alive, coppers!” lives on.
Having put his teammate in jeopardy was what it took for OA to move off of his condo dream, for now, anyway.
Hopefully, next time OA faces a significant financial decision, he’ll consult with the team’s in-house financier, Scola.
To revisit OA’s history, watch FBI online.
Did OA act out of character in this episode?
Why didn’t he consult with Scola?
Did Tiffany overextend herself?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.