‘FBI’: October 12 Episode Was Directed by ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star’s Husband

by Suzanne Halliburton
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The Tuesday episode of FBI was compelling drama. It touched on teen homelessness, a serial killer and a pastor’s fight to keep his sexuality secret from his church.

And the episode, entitled Know Thyself, also layered in the relationship one of the FBI agents had with a suspect.

If you liked the episode, you can thank Timothy Busfield. He’s an actor who also directs. And he happens to be married to Melissa Gilbert, who starred as Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie.

Busfield tweeted about the episode before it ran, writing:

“Tonight’s FBI on CBS is a really strong hour of TV. I had a great script, fantastic cast, and a brilliant stunt coordinator. Every department hit it out of the park. It was pure joy directing. Please watch!”

It was a terrific hour of television. And fans tuned in. The episode drew an audience of 6.4 million to win the evening, edging NBC powerhouse The Voice (6.3 million). The other FBI franchises did well, too. Most Wanted and International each drew 5.4 million.

The FBI episode was about a serial killer who targeted young Black males who also were gay and homeless. The killer used a knife and always stabbed his victims in the throat. And he drove the bodies to a park outside of New York and buried them. He killed six people and was trying to kill two more when an agent shot him dead to save her partner.

The most emotional narrative concerned Tiffany and her partner, Stuart. Tiffany’s cousin was a Baptist pastor who ran an outreach program for the young runaways who frequented a certain club. It turns out that Tiffany’s cousin actually was going to these gay bars because he was gay, too. But he didn’t feel comfortable enough to tell his family or church.

Stuart was the first to suspect Tiff’s cousin might be the killer. But it was nightclub bouncer. Tiffany’s cousin was arrested because he lied to the FBI.

David M. Russell/CBS 2021

Busfield has directed a number of episodes for well-known TV series. He directed two episodes of Law & Order: SVU and one of Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings. He also directed an episode of This Is Us.

How Melissa Gilbert and ‘FBI’ Director Timothy Busfield Met

Although Gilbert and Busfield are both well-known figures in Hollywood, the two met the way normal people do. They saw each other at a bar a decade ago.

“I was just going out to get a slice of pizza and a beer and watch sports on TV, and I knew just the spot that would be empty,” Busfield explained to M Live.

“So I walked in the front door, and there was one person, sitting in my chair, at the bar. I looked, and then I stepped back outside. It was like when Indiana Jones sees snakes in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and says, ‘Why does it have to be snakes?’ Because my first thought was, ‘I haven’t been on a date in 6 months, I’m just working and not dating, I really don’t want to date anyone right now.’ So I sort of talked to myself for a moment, and then I went in, sat at the bar, and ordered a drink. Then I saw her smile and I was gone.”

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