Special Agent Cameron Vo (Vinessa Vidotto) has had to separate her personal life from her professional one before. But in the sixth episode of the second season of CBS' FBI: International she was forced to do so again in a Vo-centric episode that peeled back more layers of the character's previous life.
In "Call it Anarchy," Vo's mentor Paige Taylor (Jade Harlow) called her for help after her nephew, Kody (Jacob Moskovitz), disappeared. With permission from a distracted Agent Forrester (Luke Kleintank), Vo headed to Crete to help her friend. There, they discovered that Kody was in deep with a terrorist organization, and the next target was the military base on which Kody and his aunt lived.
When Paige was unable to see what was right in front of her, Vo had a hard decision to make, and had to ensure Kody answered for his crimes. In the end, it cost her yet another friendship.
"It just told me that Cameron Vo has poor taste in friends," Vidotto tells Metacritic. "I mean, this happened last season, right? To try to help out a friend, and a friend screwed her over. And that was that. And here we go again, with another friend needing help. And man, it's so hard to separate personal life from business, especially if it has to do with laws and protecting."
Here, Vidotto breaks down the episode with Metacritic, including some surprising Vo reveals, shooting in the pouring rain in Croatia, and that little Charlie's Angels nod towards the end.
Did you know this episode was coming or was it a surprise?
No, it was a surprise, and it's kind of fun. The cast members, we all read it on our own time.
Then were like, "Have you read it yet? Have you read it yet? Oh, my gosh. This is like, your episode." Or like, "Oh my gosh, did you see the scene?" And it's fun to be surprised all together.
It's no secret Vo grew up on a military base, or several bases, but this episode touched on that. Did you have time to do any special prep to play that?
Early on, when I started the season. And what's funny is I just added a West Point documentary to my YouTube — one just popped up today. I wanted to watch it again, just to kind of refresh. But no, that was last season that I got into that. Right now I kind of just have it in my head.
Vo made a comment in the episode about how she's had to separate the personal and the professional before, do you think she's learned anything from this?
That it's just always going to be like that. There's no becoming stone cold, and just getting the job done. Or just giving the cold shoulder to your friends whoever need help. It's always going to be complex. She's just learning about herself that it's going to always be like this. And it's going to be tough, but you still got to do what you got to do.
What was the final takedown scene like to shoot with all of that rain and the explosions?
It was a lot of fun. It was very cold. It just felt badass because it was three girls. It was Smitty (Eva-Jane Willis) and Kellett (Heida Reed) and I — all girls going in. And it was crazy. There were little mishaps but that's all part of shooting. The first day it wasn't supposed to rain, but it did. So we just leaned into that. And then the second day, we had to make sure it was consistent. So one of the crew members had a hose and was showering us. They're like, "Wait, maybe that's a little too much." And we were drenched, dripping, worse than the first day. It's funny though, because you just lean into it and it kind of helps with the action and the seriousness and the explosions, because a lot of things you're acting out. The guns aren't really firing. The explosions don't sound as big as they do in post. So feeling that wetness and stuff, it just kind of helped out with it.
How great is it for a trio of women to be the ones taking down the bad guys?
It's really cool. It's almost like a nod to Charlie's Angels that away.
Did that come up on set when you were filming it?
Yeah, we were saying that a lot. And we were trying to come up with fun girl group names.
One of the things viewers learned about Vo is that she's a certified polygraph examiner, but she didn't actually do the test. Did you get to lean into that?
Yeah, surprise! I didn't get a chance to really explore it. But I did learn about how there are things that go around the waist to check your breathing or things had to go on the finger and stuff. These episodes move so fast. And when you have a lot, you just kind of do what you need to do. If I need to learn how to use it, I will go into it.
You went to Croatia to recreate Crete, what was that like?
There wasn't much to recreate. Croatia was beautiful. And I think a lot of lot of Europe or these places look very similar, which is why we can shoot a lot of things in Budapest that kind of look like other places in Europe. But it was absolutely beautiful. I've never been to Croatia, this is my second time out of the country from the U.S. aside from Hungary.
Is the job giving you a hunger for travel now?
It's not giving me a hunger. I don't innately have that. That's more of my sister. But I'm just more open, I'm like, "Where shall we go next?"
And now can you bring your sister with you.
She was here for my episode! She got to watch me on the action days. And she came three times on set. It was really special to have her here.
What did she think of seeing you in action like that?
Oh, she was so excited. She had jetlag but she changed to Europe hours immediately. She wanted to come to work every day. She's like, "I don't care if I don't do anything else. I just want to go to the thermal baths once, and I'll come to set every day." And I was like, "I love you. And I appreciate you. But I don't think I want that." Because she came for major scenes, and sometimes having my sister in the back of my head, she's this cheerleader with a little headset and her phone connection screen, [it can be distracting].
She was also there for Episode 5 where I had the huge monologue in the interrogation room. She was so excited and just so in awe of everything, like how many crew members there are and how it takes a huge village to make something. She's like, "Wow, four hours, six hours for a scene that's 30 seconds? Holy moly. This is crazy."
Next week the team heads to Barcelona, how does Vo recover from this episode?
She's a team player. In this episode, everybody plays a part in solving the case, which involves the kidnapping of two Americans.
FBI: International airs at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on CBS.
Get to Know Vinessa Vidotto:
FBI: International is Vidotto's first major regular TV series role, however some fans may recognize her from her gig as Remiel on Lucifer (Metascore: 49). The actor also appeared in a first-season episode of Hacks (82), and starred in the 2016 short Piper in the Woods.