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Why Isobel From FBI Looks So Familiar

Dick Wolf is best known for creating, producing, and writing television procedural dramas about everyday heroes, whether that means the firefighters of Chicago Fire or the prosecutors of Law & Order. His most recent effort, FBI, focuses on the agents of the titular organization, working to neutralize any threat facing the country. The cast, like on most of Wolf's shows, is quite expansive, ensuring that multiple characters get their time in the limelight: There's Missy Peregrym as Special Agent Maggie Bell, Zeeko Zaki as Special Agent Omar Adom "O.A." Zidan, Jeremy Sisto as Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Jubal Valentine ... the list goes on for quite a bit.

One additional actress who is worth mentioning, though, is Alana de la Garza, who plays Special Agent in Charge Isobel Castille. The character featured prominently on the spin-off series FBI: Most Wanted, but when actress Sela Ward's contract expired on the main show, de la Garza switched over, and effectively took over Ward's place as the team's supervisor. If de la Garza seems familiar, here's where you may have seen her before.

Alana de la Garza was multilingual in Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

Believe it or not, FBI wasn't de la Garza's first acting stint as a member of the titular organization. Before that, she played Clara Seger on Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, several years beforehand. Even though the series was poorly received and canceled, it did give de la Garza the chance to play a bit of a different role, as Seger, who specializes in cultural anthropology.

As depicted on the series, Seger is a highly intelligence traveler, known for speaking in a whopping 13 languages — definitely a talent which always comes in handy when you are a special agent of the FBI's International Response Team. This was certainly a role that required a heavy degree of commitment, and to de la Garza's credit, her strong acting performance has no bearing on the sour memories most Criminal Minds fans have of the ill-fated spin-off.

De la Garza also worked on another Dick Wolf show

Running for an extremely impressive 20 seasons between 1990 and 2010, the original Law & Order spawned a slew of spin-offs, not to mention crossovers, video games, and more. The franchise, as a whole, is Wolf's most famous property. Law & Order: SVU is the only series currently airing at this time — it's been on TV since 1999, mind you — but there are already two more spin-offs in the works: Law & Order: Organized Crime, and Law & Order: Hate Crimes.

With over 1,000 episodes under its belt, the franchise has featured an insane number of actors and actresses over the years, and Alana de la Garza was one of them. As Assistant District Attorney Connie Rubirosa, she played a major role in the original Law & Order's final four seasons, returned in several episodes of Law & Order: Los Angeles, and also appeared in a single episode of Law & Order: SVU, by which time her character is shown to have become a federal prosecutor.

Aside from her notable impact as the show's first Hispanic ADA, Rubirosa was obviously well-received, as demonstrated by her long tenure. Capable, protective, and a little bit sassy, there were certainly worse characters to end the original show with. Being on FBI means we probably won't see de la Garza reprise her role as Rubirosa in future Law & Order shows, as the continuity might get a bit confusing ... but regardless, it's great to see her on any Dick Wolf show.

De la Garza made the most of her time on CSI: Miami

One way or the other, de la Garza's acting career seems to be inextricably linked to procedural dramas, because she also appeared on CSI: Miami. Her role on this series was much less prominent here than in Law & Order or Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, as her character, Marisol, is a minor figure that only shows up in a dozen or so episodes, rather than a front-and-center lead. Still, Marisol is depicted as Eric Delko's (Adam Rodriguez) cancer-diagnosed sister, and even marries series star Horatio Caine (David Caruso), so she definitely was connected to important figures in the show. 

Sadly, Marisol is shot and killed in the show's fourth season, driving both Delko and Caine on a quest for vengeance. Death doesn't mark de la Garza's final appearance on the show, interestingly enough. In the first episode of CSI: Miami's tenth and final season, Caine is shot, and the pain causes him to hallucinate. Marisol is at the center of these hallucinations, as she pushes him to keep on living. It's poignant stuff, and de la Garza nails it, even after having not appearing on the show for six seasons.

Thankfully, de la Garza continues to light up the screen in FBI. The show's second season was cut short due to COVID-19, but Deadline reports that it has been renewed for a third season, regardless. Aside from that, who knows when and where we'll see this talented actress next? Hopefully sooner, rather than later.