Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Can See For Miles And Miles (Person of Interest S1E11 Super)

This week on Person of Interest almost the first thing we get are some callbacks to Rear Window, starting with Reese in the window with the camera and the guy down below with the rose garden. So at least that right away gives us some clues as to the plot and what's going on! Of course by the necessity of having at least two if not three points of view (Finch's and the Machine's in additional to Reese's) we can guess the episode will leave the apartment at some point, if only to switch over to the library, but we can still guess the thrust of the thing.

But before we can get there, we have to get there. The Machine will take us through the events of the last episode, getting a few good shots in (pun intended, definitely) right before the cameras are blocked, and then after Reese is taken down we're over to the Department of the Coroner. Well, that doesn't look good. We get about two lights' worth of the invalid's eye view before down to Reese stretched out and half-aware on the stretcher, the stock shot of Finch rolling him down the hall. Except usually in this stock shot the man in the white coat would be accompanied by a number of people in scrubs, a number of machines that go hiss and beep, and a number of barked commands. We get none of that with Finch, quietly emphasizing their solitude and lack of human resources, as if the fact that Finch didn't take him to a hospital or even an already set up black clinic didn't do that for us. Granted, it's likely that Finch wouldn't know any pre-established black (underground, clandestine) clinics, but it's also likely that he could task the Machine with finding one. And in some ways he possibly should have done so when he began this whole enterprise. Plus, there's at least one medical person whose number has come up within the time we've been watching and, okay, I'll stop nitpicking his choices now. But this also showcases a weakness of his, and Reese's, really, that we've been seeing in action lately and most egregiously with Elias: They think they're invincible. They've had a number of setbacks to contradict this lately, so they're slowly getting shaken out of it, but the fact that Finch had no plan in place mental or otherwise for either one of them getting seriously injured is a good indication that it simply didn't occur to him that it would happen. That said, he did find this doctor with considerable financial trouble in what appears to be very short order, going by the amount of blood Reese hasn't lost, so it seems likely the Machine planned for this even if Finch didn't. Which is sort of its job. To look at the odds that a thing is going to happen and make a calculation to prevent or at least ameliorate it. I'm also going with Finch is nervous and/or terrified by the markers he gives: widened eyes, rapid speech with none of the obfuscation tactics he usually employs, lip licking or biting. Emerson also drops the limp in favor of moving quickly through the scene, which as a Watsonian explanation we can attribute adrenaline overriding pain for the moment. Finch's knowledge of the doctor is less surprising or noteworthy than the fact that he refers to the patient's background not in the negative; this is unusual and either showcases his desperation or his lack of Americentric prejudice. The callous willingness to exploit someone else's desperation with his Scrooge McDuck sized piles of money is neither surprising nor noteworthy.

The Machine takes us up to almost 8 in the morning, Carter leaving a townhouse/apartment building most likely for work. She gives a quick one-two up and down the street as she does, which might be localized paranoia, excuse me, good thinking, to recent events considering she was almost assassinated a couple episodes ago, or it might be customary habit even from before that. Hell, considering she was in Iraq, it might date back to then. Whatever the cause, we can be pretty sure that the quick one-two of the head is habitual, intended to surveille her surroundings, and, oh look. By the way she pauses and stares at that green truck she's familiar enough with the daily habits of her surroundings to know when something's out of place. She makes two watchers before she appears to come to a decision and goes over to the green truck, banging on the side of it and announcing and demanding that the people inside come out. This assumes that there are people inside, but, yeah, I'd say that's a pretty safe assumption and it's one I'd make too. Snow doesn't want his people to come out. Snow wants them to stay right where they are because that's convenient for him, so he'll pull her away by appearing across the street and snidely getting her attention with a technically polite remark. Very technically polite. "Is there a problem?" is the kind of question you use when you want to be snide and imply that the other person has the problem, and most likely a made up one at that. Carter will return his thinly veiled politeness with no politeness at all! And question his spycraft. That's okay, Carter, we question it too. He ignores her dig with the kind of comment that carries many insinuations, most of them being that he's either searched through her place before or is about to, and she ignores his insinuations by telling him she knows what he's up to. With the kind of teeth that imply that this is shabby crap up with which she will not put. He offers truth next, which she returns with qualified implication of, perhaps not trust, but willingness to cooperate. Yeah, he'll take the willingness to cooperate but he'll still surveille and search, reminding us and surprising absolutely no one that the days of "trust but verify" are still well present. He thinks she had something to do with Reese getting away. He's right, but I still wouldn't play poker with her. She says that it's not her case anymore, which presumably refers to her pursuit of "the man in the suit," and attempts to walk away, which Snow of course forestalls with a few more digging comments. Snow, you're a jackass. In this case the digging comments include some blatant threats first one-way and then back and forth about the consequences of both their words and their actions. It's the kind of thing where I'd say put it back in your pants or get out the measuring tape, except in this case it's less that kind of gratuitous and more like a threat display. Carter loses, but not by much. She just has slightly fewer teeth than a Company stooge like Snow. Incidentally, Mark Snow is also the name for the main Composer on the X-Files (and several other things, but I think he's most famous for that one). The truth is out there, Agent Snow. And it's increasingly willing to bite you for hounding its friends.

At work, Carter comes into the room at a bit of a dutch angle for emphasis of discomfort and flops into her chair, angry and tired. Angry by the way she drops her coat down, or at least cranky, and definitely tired by the way she flops into her chair. Hand through her hair and down her cheek for those little self-soothing grooming techniques we like to talk so much about, and then she gets an idea. We can tell because the camera focuses first on the login screen, then on Fusco's name. It's not a bad idea although it's not the best subterfuge or hacking attempt ever, it wouldn't be hard for the Company to guess that she's logging in under Fusco's name if they see someone's started accessing files they've flagged. Especially if that someone is Detective Carter's partner. But it would at least buy her some time she wouldn't otherwise have, since she's not a hacker nor does she have one in her pocket (that she knows about). So around to Fusco's desk it is, and since they've established that she's not the kind of detective who's good at getting in comfortable and personal with her partners, she'd better hope his password is easy to guess or written-- oh Fusco. You wrote down your password? Twenty points from Hufflepuff for blatant stupidity and insecurity. See, Carter agrees with me, by that shake of her head. And it doesn't take long once she's in the system by another name for her to find the footage of the evidence lockup robbery, find the file with his purported cell phone number, and try it. It's disconnected, of course; she's exasperated but no more surprised than we are. It's just good policy, and since she already knows the guy can create a strong fake identity complete with brownstone (I still question why you think your cover ID would be able to afford such a house, Finch, but okay) she can safely assume that he got rid of whatever phone was attached to said cover identity the moment it wasn't immediately necessary. If anything, she's a bit annoyed with herself for not picking up sooner that she had his cell phone number and contact deets, but justifiably not too annoyed. She only had the opportunity to make the connection very recently. Fusco comes up and makes a crack about her being at his computer, to which she shushes him without even looking. Poor Fusco. He gets no respect, seriously. Though at the moment he does get a look at the screen and who's on it, and that's only a small downward pull type grimace of his mouth, could be bitter coffee if someone looks his way, but we know it's the grimace of someone who's realized his friends are about to be in the shit.He tries to get an idea of how much Carter knows, but apart from being there to hear her call for a trace on Finch's burner phone, she's disinclined to tell him anything. Because she doesn't know much of anything, admittedly. So, with the Machine's help, it's out of the bullpen and over to the park and 2005.

Not only can we tell from the timestamp that this is some time ago, we can tell because Finch is jogging. And hiding behind a tree. Finch, if you want to be unobtrusive, watching from half hidden behind a damn tree is not going to do it. Pausing and taking a stretch and a drink of water, that might do it. But looking like you're hiding and sneaking around and watching someone and oh never mind, clearly you have even less spycraft when you were fully mobile than you do now. Silly Finch. At the moment he's badly spying on Nathan Ingram during his meeting with Alicia From DC. From his point of view Alicia is sinister to Nathan's dexter, and we're given enough long shots to be able to tell that but, also tellingly, we don't get any direct shots of either of them, it's all three-quarter or similar angles, taking away from any direct statement of either of their positions on the good-evil scale. Alicia relays the complaints of her superiors, which involve Nathan (and Finch and the infant Machine) having the NSA feeds for three years and bupkis to show for it. Once I get over twitching over Finch having NSA feeds for years on end (I know, I know, premise of the show, but it still makes me twitch okay?) Alicia points out how much it would make Congress twitch if anyone but her and her people knew that Nathan (and Finch, and the infant Machine) had that much unfettered surveillance access to, well, everyone at least in New York. Congress first would pitch a collective shitfit and then, as she points out, Nathan and anyone else they could catch would go to jail. Not millionaire resort jail, either. Not even max security Leavenworth jail, this would be Guantanamo Bay Nathan Ingram Who? jail. The US equivalent of a gulag in Siberia. Assuming he wasn't "shot while trying to escape." Nathan isn't concerned. Or at least if he is, he isn't showing it to Alicia. But as we see when he hands her the paper with someone's social security number on it, he actually isn't concerned because the Machine is built, is ready, and this is the first field test. I'm not sure if he went in planning to be an ass to her or if he decided to be cryptic and asinine when she threatened him with prison even though, again, given the prison options open to him, she was actually fairly nice about it. She didn't mention torture once! This seems to satisfy Alicia, at least, she walks away and takes her blue filter with her. Going by the timestamp on the footage the entire exchange took about three minutes, which is at least one and a half minutes longer than we saw on the screen. Which likely means walking time, so we have most of that exchange. Other than Alicia's calm and the presence of one visible handler (because you know there were more security folk lurking in the background; how none of them made Finch I will never know) there isn't much to go on based on her behavior. Presumably she's been working with Nathan for a while, most of those three years if not more, which gives them significant and palpable ease around each other.

We get a succession of interesting color filters here, the first one is much warmer than the cool blue of covert shenanigans, but even when we go from Machine footage to the world the blue remains largely focused on Nathan and Finch, and the rest of the shot is warmer. We also learn that the bulk of Nathan yanking her chain and being an ass is because he doesn't actually know how this is supposed to work. All he knows is that the numbers he handed her will pan out to something related to domestic terrorism. And if we haven't highlighted this before it's worth doing now, this is enormous trust he's placing in Finch, here, likely more trust than he's ever put in any one person in his life. We see that this bond between the two of them goes back a long ways in the previous episode, when Reese finds that photograph. Apparently this is what that bond has wrought; Nathan trusts Finch more than he believes in due process of law or pretty much any other stricture of society that he seems to be trying to uphold by, pretty much, breaking all the privacy rules. Finch, as much as he trusts Nathan, he puts his faith in the Machine, which brings up Nathan's question of who is he putting his faith in, and how much of a difference is there in trusting Finch and trusting the Machine? Back then, perhaps not so much. This might be one of the several purposes of the scene, though, to contrast this with the present day where trusting Finch and trusting the Machine are definitely two different propositions.

For example, back in the present, the Machine seems to have lost Reese. We go through a couple of iterations of "searching for asset: reese" and then we find he has a burner phone and he's in some sort of apartment building. The apartment building has no security camera feed available. Which is interesting, but not entirely surprising. Reese is awfully high up, too, which makes the fact that he's apparently in a wheelchair a little surprising. Only a little, though. I think I was more surprised by holy shit that's Batista  from Dexter. Also known as that Banana Republic Warlord from The Expendables, also known as... look, he's been in a lot of stuff, okay? He's generally the go to guy for Latino/Cubano person who is anywhere from kind of dodgy but generally good-hearted to complete bastard. This flavor seems to be kind of dodgy but generally good-hearted given that he seems to be the building super and he's falling all over himself to make Reese feel comfortable in this new place. And did he mention he's the super and his name is Trask? Yeah,  he seems harmless enough, and yet going by the lack of other signs of discombobulation it seems that his repetition of things is more a front to give the impression of someone who's not entirely with it than actual memory faults. The only sign he's giving right now is that repetition, he moves with coordination, keeps ahold of his keys, remembers the name of a guy he's presumably just met, doesn't stutter or trip over his words, doesn't move with hesitation. Hard to tell whether or not Reese has decided that it's a front, but going by that little smile he's decided he likes the guy, at least. Which doesn't mean much in the long term. He liked Elias, too. Trask will then start going on about his six nightclubs in Coral Gables and his white Bengal tiger and either this is more characterization involving him lying through his teeth or it's going to come in important later. No points for guessing which.

So, Trask's shown him his, now he's curious about Reese! Where's he from, what does he do, how'd he end up in that chair, and predictably, Reese is not giving him a damn thing. Speaking more towards Trask's good character, he doesn't press, just gives Reese his keys and a standard "let me know if you need anything." I actually kind of like this guy. So does Reese, apparently. The apartment itself is a swank, furnished outfit, no points either for guessing who put Reese in here or why. Everything is pretty standard out of a catalog, absolutely no attempt at putting in personal touches, so he definitely is supposed to have just moved in and in a circumstance where he isn't expected to pretend to be a normal person; no boxes full of fake personal items. Just a lurky boss lurking behind the wall waiting for the super to go away, hi, Finch. Why do you insist on dragging other people into your masochism? And by this I mean why the fuck are you getting an upstairs apartment when you and now Reese are lamed to one extent or another? I mean, presumably a ground floor one wasn't available, but was this really the lowest floor you could get? Well, at least in Reese's case he'll be on his feet eventually, though I question the 'few days' comment of earlier. At any rate, Finch would like to know if everything is to Reese's satisfaction, and he has this wide-eyed slightly earnest slightly eye-darting look, as much as he ever gets, which gives the instant impression that there's a catch. But for now he's being almost apologetic, at least as much as he gets, without directly apologizing since it isn't his fault Reese got shot up. I question his use of the word low-profile, though. Especially with a chatty super like that. Hey, speaking of profiles, where is Snow again? Well, apparently Snow is chasing down Reese via Carter, which isn't the smartest of him partly for reasons discussed above in the breakdown of the pissing match he and Carter had a little while ago, and partly because putting all his eggs in one basket is largely a petty vengeance move against Carter and not actually productive of finding Reese. Presumably he's still got people sweeping the country or at least the coast for signs of our favorite spyssassin, but he's also target-fixing now on Carter because she's the one who screwed up his meet/attempted murder, and he's cranky. You know nothing, Mark Snow.

Anyway. Reese is concerned. Adorably so. Schoolboy crush so. Oh Reese. Finch is much less schoolboy crush and much more pissy about the whole betraying them to the CIA, and justifiably so, but Reese doesn't seem to care about that. He just wants her safe. With the most adorable puppy eyes he can give. Reese, that's not fair, and give those back to the puppy, they need them more than you. Oh, and now the penny drops, Reese isn't here to rest up and because Finch is feeling sorry for him or apologetic (though he does seem to feel some shame over not telling Reese up front), he's there because there's a number! And it turns out to be the chatty, lying super. Oh goodie. Reese is resigned and amused to all of this, at least. If I were him I'd be rather cranky.

We are then treated to a brief sequence of the super greeting at least four tenants by name and with a little personalized greeting, some including information to show how much he knows about the tenants, some just including specific, sight-based comments. Finch jumps in with the voice-over details of the guy's history which Reese confirms does not include nightclubs or pet tigers. Finch either doesn't care about the nightclub or pet tigers or has written them off as fantasy and not worth digging into, which, well, goes to show how neither of them is a profiler. No, Finch is of all things more concerned with how Reese doesn't have anything to unpack. Finch. Finch. The man was living out of a bottle on the subway for months, before that he was a government spyssassin, before that he lived out of a foot locker, do you have any idea how long it's been since Reese had Stuff? Normal person Stuff? Why am I even asking you, anyway, this provides the opening for the requisite sight gag of Reese waggling the gun and claiming he travels light. Yes. We know. Finch, clearly, does not, and seems to be either horrified, bemused, or disgusted by the idea of only going around with a gun. Finch, you really should learn how to at least use a gun so if you pick one up you don't ... never mind. There are at the moment no suspects for whatever's going to happen to Trask, and he lives and works on the grounds so they have a likely place of event, at least. Finch also opines as Trask might be the perpetrator since he's hacked Trask's phone records and discovered he's placed three phone calls to various pawn shops also known as unregistered gun dealerships. Finch, honey, what have I told you about trying to profile? Either learn how to do it properly and accumulate all the data before you draw conclusions, or quit it. Finch will not quit it. Finch will promptly suspect Trask aloud of planning to kill somebody, and cue requisite Rear Window shot of Trask outside with the roses.

After the break the Machine will follow Snow around for a bit. Personally I think Snow should be tagged with a red box, or maybe a brown box on account of being full of shit, but the Machine does not share my feelings. Woe. He seems to be outside the police precinct where Carter works, going by the stamp on that camera labeling it from precinct parking camera three. He's got a coffee, which is notable for it being one coffee; three times out of five anyone approaching a surveillance van will have multiple coffees. This will now be lampshaded by Snow's Lackey (I'm sure he has a name, I just don't care at the moment, he only exists to be Snow's Lackey anyway, and is thus given no real characterisation or depth.) Apparently coffee is for closers. I'm actually going to have to remember that line, Snow's single redeeming quality thus far is that he actually does have some degree of competent snark to him. By the ensuing dialogue Snow is much less interested in questioning Reese than he is in killing the little shit who probably made him look bad when it was revealed that he was alive after all, despite the fact that he instructed his lackey that he wanted Reese alive for questioning about Ordos. So, evidently the lackey didn't understand, but we now do, that the only people who want answers from Reese are Snow's higher ups, and Snow is thus required to at least pay lip service to this. Poor Snow. Where's my miniscule violin. They're still surveilling Carter, who is being smart and not using her computer or phone now that she knows the CIA is onto her, I love you Carter. Have I mentioned this today? You are the best. No word on Reese, either, but apparently their dragnet includes anything with so much as pretenses to a medical facility, so they might even get lucky and find the morgue worker who patched him up. Whether or not he will say anything to the CIA given that Finch dumped a literal fat sack of cash out in front of him is another question. As is whether or not the CIA will find out otherwise by other means.

Back at Reese's temporary apartment! Finch is fussing over Reese in the most adorable of ways, we shall now pass out the trollfaces onnastick again. He's brought books! And a lumbar cushion. I... really. I can't even. I'm just going to leave that right there where Finch left it and move on past the hilarious expression on Reese's face (admittedly, Finch probably does know from being laid up for a while, though not for these reasons) and to Reese actually admitting he was wrong before and that they need more information. Oh, good spyssassin! You can still be taught! Finch is in the process of getting them that further data by hacking all the wifi in all the building and turning on everyone's webcams and that's not at all creepy, Finch, you know that? Really. I mean, I know you had NSA access for years and that was bad enough, but this is bordering on ew. You're lucky we all know you're on the good guy side; as it is, a lot of Finch's actions in the name of surveillance and data border on protagonist-centered morality. Though, in his favor as well, he doesn't extend the surveillance past the length of the danger that we know of. He's also an efficient hacker/surveiller, throwing up the data on the television screen for morebetter perusal and observing for important data points. Reese is mildly impressed with Finch's speed, to which Finch responds with a cautionary tale about making sure your goddamn wifi password is secure. Ahem. What. I have Ideas about security. So does Finch, by the sound of it, not that he's complaining too hard as it makes his life easier and by proxy, Reese's and either the number's or the number's victim's. I could have done without the brief moment of yoga humor, but at least it's not played for sexuality, which is both a nice change and a change at all from the norm. Neither of the boys seem to have a sexual interest in her, more that they're just impressed and a bit amazed that a human body can do that. I know the feeling, I've seen some of those yoga poses I'm expected to be able to do eventually. Time passes, Finch surveilles on his computers and Reese prefers the old fashioned way, with his camera. By which he catches evidence of some robberies going on in the apartment complex! Again, Finch takes the side that Trask is the perpetrater in this week's number dilemma, and Reese takes the side that he's the intended victim, and thus is the theme of Reese secretly being a big ol' softy who goes by his heart perpetuated. Seriously, they're establishing a pattern here of Reese empathizing with the number if at all possible, even when the number is the perp (Cura Te Ipsum 1x04), and Finch barely being able to empathize with anyone and yet being driven by his sense of humanity and what's right and decent. It's an interesting dichotomy, the ice man who never had a reason to be so cold but that he just is, and the man with a soft warm gooey center who was forced by profession and perhaps inherent talent to become made of ice. We conclude this round of surveillance with Trask speaking with his boss the landlord of the building, and while it seems there's some friction there, by Finch's glance at Reese he at least thinks Reese is being pointed about the theory that Trask might snap and kill his boss. Given that Reese has up till this point been all in favor of Trask being the one they have to save, I have to agree. And snicker.

After a day of remote surveillance, though, Team Machine has nothing. Reese being the more experienced operative is the one to point out that they need to do some legwork, the which phrasing was picked deliberately if his smirk is anything to go by. It takes Finch a second and a gesture from Reese to get it, though. Yes, Finch, for once you're the physically mobile and capable person, and again, you should have thought of this when you first realized the Machine had stuck you in a job in an apartment building with many, many floors. A quick succession of security cameras later, Finch is down by what looks like a breaker panel and contacting Reese to tell him he's in position. Whatever he's doing, Reese kind of only has the one position right now, maybe it's standing lookout? Nothing so subtle, as it turns out, Reese has managed to destroy at least one of the spigots on his sink and it's spraying up water the way it usually only does when a good chunk of it needs to be replaced. Or in a cartoon. Oh Reese. You couldn't develop a normal-looking leak? Seriously, it's good odds that a super that conscientious would check all of the fixtures before renting to a disabled person, and now you call him in for something that destroyed? Sigh, Reese. Sigh. If this is the kind of habits the Company taught you, no wonder Carter's making complaints about the CIA and their inability to train effective agents. But, all right, it's a problem, and he's calling the super to fix it to get Trask out of his apartment for a little while so Finch can search it. Which we then see a moment later! Finch is moving pretty spry for a lamed guy and aww, he's been practicing his lockpicking skills! Our views of Team Machine will now be quickly intercut like shuffled cards so that we have the urgency of what Finch is doing impressed upon us, or rather, the need for it all to be done quickly before Trask comes back. Placing cameras, searching his rooms for anything probative of wrongdoing or violence, that sort of thing. As it turns out, Trask is coming back quicker than anyone expected, since he has the wrong lampshade tool and is not Zathras. Trask, honey, I'm afraid it looks like someone went at that with a hammer because, well, someone did. Reese, did I mention you are not subtle? Go back to spy remedial school. Finch is not finding the gun, but he is finding the bullets, and he's still looking, and Reese is making urgent noises at him. Finch, you hired an operative for his skills, subtle he may not be but he does have an acute sense of timing, hustle your ass out of there. Will he? No, he will not. I will interrupt my bitching at Reese and Finch about their skills to note that this is also a nice and very subtle bit of foreshadowing we have here; as Trask is passing through the courtyard he runs into someone with his shoulder, despite there being plenty of room on the walk for both of them. The significance of this, however, I will leave for later. Other things of significance and more prominence in the current scenes include pictures of one of the tenants! Finch, if you'd just take a quick glance over the photos and get out of there like Reese is telling you, you'd be done by now. Finch, Reese is using your first name (or the one he has for you anyway), it's serious. FINCH. No. He does not get out of there in time. Well, in time for him not to be caught in a blatantly illegal act, but just in time for him to look really frakking suspicious.

And on that oh-crap note, we cut to commercial! Because the editors (or whoever's responsible for that break) have an impeccable sense of timing. When we come back, Reese is attempting to contact Finch, Finch is attempting to look less guilty (and failing) while making a quick exit, and Trask is attempting not to let the suspicious, ferrety looking guy who is standing right outside his door get away. Like you do when you think someone's sneaking around your residence or place of business. Particularly when you're involved in the kind of business that necessitates keeping boxes of ammunition around and buying guns from shady weapons dealers. Trask isn't dumb; when he doesn't catch Finch before Finch makes it into the elevator he goes to shut down the elevators, and Finch barely gets out of that in time. Color commentary from Finch as Reese plays mission control and directs him, very competently I might add, provides some amusement and lampshading for the role reversal. And it's out of the frying pan and into the fire, of course, hey, it's the security guard who was investigating the robberies! Just as Trask's voice comes over the radio alerting the security guard to "some guy breaking into [my] apartment." Reese's direction aside, I'm not entirely sure Finch would have been all right if he had had the presence of mind, experience, skill, or all three, to keep moving at a normal pace and go about his business. Not when Trask follows up that alert with a description of him, limp included. As Reese investigates what the security guard was doing, Doug the security guard will take full advantage of this moment to investigate the alleged thief because, hey, as Reese finds out, he's the thief! Any excuse to pin it on someone else, right? And Finch has inadvertently handed him the perfect patsy. Or what he thinks is the perfect patsy. Good patsies lie down and take the rap quietly, they don't pull out their nice, expensive phones and show you webcam or security footage of you taking expensive things from rich people's apartments. Oops. Well, this means that neither of them saw each other, neither of them are forced to explain to Trask what they were doing under shady circumstances, and both of them go their ways unmolested. Yes? Yes. And maybe this near miss will teach you a lesson about listening to your spyssassin when he tells you things.

Finch would like to take this as further proof that the super is their perpetrator because "he's armed, he has a dangerous fixation on Lily, and he just chased [me] up three floors." Let's translate that for a second, yes, he is armed, he has photographs of Lily and at least one other person in the apartment complex for an as yet unspecified purpose, and he chased you up three floors because you had broken into his apartment. Yes, that's terribly probative, Finch, I would be suspicious of anyone who chased me after I broke into their apartment, because honest people don't do that! Oh, wait. They do? Never mind.

Back over to 2005, with more blue filter and more frantic Finch trying to escape the consequences of his actions. At least, I can only assume that's the parallel here, as Finch comes bolting into Nathan Ingram's office. I do love how everyone asks if everything's okay when you're running around like the proverbial decapitated chicken with a wild look in your eyes. No, Nathan, everything is not okay, and Harold does not have time to answer your questions, he's busy wrecking whatever it is you're working on at least superficially and giving himself an excuse to be there, as well as getting rid of anything suspicious looking. Nathan doesn't have time to get out more than that "what the hell" before Alicia and her government flunkies come stalking in. Or whatever it is government flunkies do. Saunter? Stomp? (A: Jackboot!) The flunkies flunk jackboot in, Alicia offers an entirely insincere apology, and Nathan pulls his cool around him like a well-tailored suit coat and offers her insincere snark in return. Or, well, I suppose his snark is sincere, it's his politeness that's a complete and utter cakeless lie. She looks over at Harold, who Nathan introduces as the IT guy, and then promptly dismisses. And Harold leaves with one of the more obvious drops of a pen camera I've seen ever; I think this is deliberately clumsy, because it's not as though Finch is practiced in spycraft even now. Especially now, maybe. If they wanted to be smoother about his placement of the pen camera they could and have been. So! Let us now meet the Deputy Director of Something, and given that interdepartmental rivalry is legendary at least within the realm of fiction if not in fact (yes, it is, in fact) we'll assume the Something is the NSA, given that Alicia is NSA. ISA. Whichever alphabet soup they're calling the even-shadier-than-the-Company organization these days (as near as I can tell the ISA is not real, whereas the NSA is.) Apparently the numbers Nathan gave Alicia earlier in the episode are the social security digits of a man who works for the Company, 20 year veteran and part-time uranium dealer, it seems! We also get, for those of you keeping track, a timeline on the distance between this and the previous meeting, around two weeks. Nathan does a remarkable job of not looking at all surprised by this; I would not want to play poker with that man. And Alicia is not pleased with his snark either. Deputy Director Fuckhead Weeks would like to know how a machine could deliver accurate, actionable intelligence where all of his highly and sophisticatedly trained goons could not. Nathan doesn't know, is willing to admit he doesn't know, largely for the purpose of fucking with their heads and eliminating himself as a source of actionable intelligence on the Machine itself. Okay, more for the latter than the former, but it's well done to admit that he doesn't know how the Machine works up front, they then have no pipeline into the workings of the Machine, that they know of. Especially since as far as they know, he built the damn thing. Which presents an interesting conundrum, one Deputy Director Fuckhead Weeks is not ready to let go of just yet. Alicia does point out that asking the government to take a highly skilled, well placed, massively surveilling data crunching terrorist-finder on the simple Dumbo feather faith that it'll work is problematic, to say the least. The government likes to know that its toys will work when they want them to work, how they want them to work, as they say it works. The Machine comes with no guarantees. Nathan offers up that it's actually better this way; since the Machine is entirely autonomous and automated, no humans involved, it doesn't constitute a violation of the Fourth Amendment rights and therefore even if word of this did get public, the government's asses would be covered. Not that this would stop everyone from forming a lynch mob, but procedurally! Well-clothed asses! Interestingly while this is going on, the Machine classes Denton Weeks as a supervisor, not with the same sort of job title precision it gave Alicia a little while ago. So. We go around a little more with the purpose and nature of the machine, closed black box, coughs up numbers of persons of interest (title drop! take a drink!) periodically, and remains fully automated and out of the reach of government interference. Which makes government folk like Weeks very displeased, and so he lashes out at the one area he believes all businessmen to be vulnerable: Nathan's wallet. Nathan counters with Unbridled Patriotism! It's Super-Effective! The smugness on his face and the "you fucking bastard" smile of Weeks's are just the icing on the cake, really. Finch shares my opinion! With a little smile of satisfaction, too, right up until the Machine does a little pointing dance around Weeks going "threat! threat! look, daddy, a threat!" Yes, GIR, Finch knows. Good Machine. Have a Sony snack.

Back in the present day, the Machine doesn't seem to be able to decide who to follow until it settles on Lily with some accompanying voiceover that, well. Sounds exactly like what someone being stalked would say. Poor sweetie. Meanwhile Reese is setting Finch up with what amounts to a slightly jiggly skeleton key, describing it with standard exposition right up until the last line about Finch never being caught with no way out again, and that pleased, almost affectionate little smile. Shippers, wave your trollfaces! Reese is all but glowing. Beaming. Something. But we can't have positive displays of emotion! They'll give us bees or something. So it's back to the case and the profile on Lily, which amounts to a background, really. She's a cook from early on, up to becoming a rising star whatever that means for position in the kitchen at a top Manhattan bistro. So, doing pretty well for herself. She's also romantically linked to a restaurateur, and we can all see where this is going yes? Yes. At least I hope so. I know we can see where this is going, I'm not sure Finch and Reese can. Finch complements Reese on his background jacket creating skills while I snicker up what would be my sleeve if this wrap had sleeves, and Finch notes that her wifi security is so good she changes her password every day. This wouldn't be because she's super-afraid of someone being out to get her, would it? It's only paranoia if they're not out to get you, after all. Finch, you know from being watched and followed, nothing? Do you know what the first thing I would do if I was a woman being stalked by my apartment super? I would move out of the freaking apartment. She's got a damn good job even for this town, she should at least be able to afford something maybe less pricey but also with fewer stalkers, and is this occurring to anyone? No? No. Goddammit you guys. Not to mention now they're shifting focus from the actual number of the week to a woman who is most likely a stalking victim, which is laudable but still misguided, guys. Do not split your forces, your focus, or the party. Not without a damn good reason and an advance plan why do I even bother. The closest thing they have to a plan is Reese making mutterings about following Lily to her work and complaining about being restless. Though this is followed by Finch's utterly fucking hilarious demand for him to use the cushion. Someone give Emerson a hug for that one.

Reese makes (somewhat prophetic) comment about how the numbers never stop coming in, thank you, Reese, I wish you'd remember about your current number and worry about what you're going to do about that one while you're worrying about the girl. He does bring up the excellent point that if he's going to be in a wheelchair and Finch the field operative, Finch should learn how to defend himself in some way, and whoever he's with. Not that he didn't do a decent job before, I might remind Reese, remember Theresa? (Ghosts 1x02) Unfortunately Reese's idea of self-defense coaching sounds a bit like Three Stooges as directed by Robert Rodriguez. I have to say, if Finch made that face at me, I'd just keep on going. Poor Finch.

In the next shot, hey, he's learned how to use his key! Which he will now be using to break into Lily's apartment, because that'll make her feel so much better. Sadly, it probably is necessary for them to figure out what's going on and who's stalking her. Trask isn't doing it right now, he's still in the courtyard while she's at work, which is making Reese antsy that they don't have eyes on her. Finch concurs, which is why he's going to plant a spycam in her bedroom oh you guys. I can't tell if they don't know anything about women or they don't know anything about stalking victims or if it's just something about the venn diagram of the two groups that's short circuiting their brain. Taking her aside to ask her things would be much quicker and do a lot less to increase her feeling of being watched and lack of safety. Or would that be too simple and straightforward? Probably, if not for them, then definitely for the structure of the show. At any rate, Finch goes to plant his spycam only to see that someone else has gotten there first! Which we have only been pointing out for ages. Well, minutes. It's not a sophisticated setup,  but it's good enough to provide basic images, a feed, and with a range big enough to cover the entire building and not shorten their list of suspects much. Oh goodie. Finch will do her the courtesy of taking out that spycam, though.

Hey, speaking of spies, hi Fusco! You could be a little less obvious about reading Carter's cellphone location report, although at least there's nothing overtly suspicious about that. No doubt she remembers his behavior and her files out of alignment from before, but it's entirely within the purview of a partner to be curious about what his partner's doing. Nonetheless she snatches the papers out of his hand and snarks off when he asks what she's doing, where she's going. Carter. Be nicer to poor Fusco, Carter. He is supposed to be a partner and fellow cop. Carter is neither in a mood to be nice or play fair, she actually steals another person's SIM card (at least I think that's what that is) out of their phone and walks off with it to swap it into hers so her calls can't be traced by Snow and his goons. And, okay, I know she's supposed to be the good cop and all, stickler to the rules? But when she's pulling shit like that without any prompting or cause from Team Machine, she was breaking the rules long before they came into her life. She was just doing it on people who didn't have the heft to complain about her and make it stick. I don't know whether or not I like her more because of this, or whether I like her in spite of this. In spite of, I think. That she'd do this also indicates how desperate she is, likely how much she's feeling hunted, because of Snow's goons. So, back outside, we get a series of dynamic shots that follow her around the city a bit and into a revolving door where she, heh. Requisitions someone's jacket. As a point of random information, turning one's coat so that it was inside out and wearing it was supposed to confuse the fairies by disguising you as someone else, hence the phrase turn coat. Just like what Carter's doing now, turning her coat so that the bad guys won't see her. It works, too, at least partly because these guys are just far enough behind her to be looking in the wrong direction and not catch her face fully as she rushes past them and hails a cab to somewhere that is not crawling with CIA mooks. Poor bewildered CIA mooks. My heart bleeds. Wait, no, that's the indigestion.

And back at the precinct Fusco's getting a call from Finch. Before Finch can say anything Fusco would like them to know that Carter's tracking them via cell phone. Finch and Fusco's conversations are a lot more cordial than Reese's, which is saying something because neither of them go out of their way to be nice or friendly to the other, but at least Finch doesn't keep up a steady barrage of backhanded insults. Fusco will check into why Carter's digging into Finch's phone, meanwhile Finch has an errand for Fusco that involves a pill bottle. Turns out it's a pill bottle with Reese's prints on it, that he wants Fusco to plant somewhere Not New York. It's actually not a bad plan! Fairly personal data, potentially the sort one would forget to completely erase, and also requiring little in the way of backup evidence. Particularly for someone as obsessed as Snow. And the moment Finch is off the phone with Fusco, Reese checks in. With what might, just might, be a sideways Mission: Impossible reference. Good Morning Mr. Phelps to Good Afternoon Mr. Finch. I'm going to say it is because the idea of Reese relaxing to Mission: Impossible reruns amuses me. Finch is liking this stakeout business as long as it involves expensive quality food, make your own puns about steakouts because I'm too busy salivating to be creative. Reese has sort of a point about not eating in the field, though, even if he is making it awfully simply. I can't quite tell if Finch ignoring him is ignoring him entirely or just moving past that advice at least for the moment because it'd be hard to surveille a woman who works in a restaurant and not eat something; he'd look very conspicuous. Reese has made no progress on either the email nor the wireless network the camera is working off of, but he has found some background on Trask. Apparently there's a disappeared wife in the picture who supposedly went to be with family in Boca Raton, and Reese can't track her. They speculate whether this means Trask has stalked women to their certain doom before and okay, in this instance I can agree, that looks incredibly ominous. Not probative, but not good. Finch observes her receiving a bouquet of roses with less than the usual delight, which goes nicely with Reese leaning out of the window all Jimmy Stewart-esque to see Trask finishing up with his roses! Uh-huh.

Back over to Carter! In her stolen coat. Borrowed. Something. By the lined out numbers on the sheet she's been spending quite a bit of time (and money) in taxis or on subways tracking "Burdette"'s movements only to wind up at a dead end at a pay phone. The Machine, however, has not tagged her with a red box yet. Which is interesting. Perhaps it's read her intentions from her idle chatter and determined that she's not likely to be a threat to its safety and purpose? Regardless, the pay phone rings. Carter looks at it, well, the way you do when you've come up on a pay phone on purpose and it rings without you touching it or dialing anyone. Like it had come alive and started talking to you. She does pick it up and possibly we half expect it to be the Machine, but no, it's Finch. He's led her on a wild goose chase all day, apparently he's falsified the cell phone location data. On the off chance that she would find it? Though Finch is that kind of paranoid. Excuse me, vigilant, not paranoia if etc. etc. And Finch would like to know her intentions because she did kind of almost get Reese killed last time. Carter is defiant and belligerent and rejects the idea of killing Reese because she is out for the arrest, not for the kill, she's a Good Cop. Which we've already seen refuted by her appropriate of two people's fairly expensive personal items for her own purposes. Fair to say, then, that she's television's idea of a Good Cop rather than the actual thing, which is close but not on the smaller details when the narrative is at stake. At any rate, she's a good enough cop that she would like to know what the hell it is they're up to, because she's been lying to federal investigators (albeit asshole federal investigators who are much less a stickler for the finer points of law and procedure than she is) and she would like to know that she's doing it for a good reason. Very well then! Turn around, Detective. The only reason Finch is not as Batman as Reese here is because he has set up the location data that morning, presumably anticipating a likely place he'd be that evening, and setting her up accordingly.

There's a quick blink-and-you-miss-it shot of a man at the bar with a white box around his head and then we're back to Finch and Carter, sitting down opposite each other with hostile, wary looks. Which in Finch's case looks like an icy nothing and in Carter's case looks like a glare. Oh you two. She asks after Reese. Finch is not interested in telling her because overprotective broken hacker is overprotective of his only living, non-mechanical friend and she got him shot the last time she knew anything about him, thank you very much. Little trollface wave from the shipper section? Thank you. Carter is not in the mood for this silent treatment bullshit (which is interesting, because in fiction the silent treatment tends to be the purview of women and children, and I wonder which Finch is supposed to be? my guess would be child, here). Finch responds with an urban legend parable type story about being tossed into the deep end to learn how to swim. Television episodes have been titled off of this philosophy. So, naturally, Finch is tossing Carter into the deep end. Given what happens later in the episode, I can't say as this end of what they're doing seems very deep, especially not for someone as competent at swimming as a cop on homicide task force, but sure, Finch, you think of it that way if it helps you. Finch tells her the story of the man sitting at the bar that the Machine so helpfully pointed out for us earlier and explains, just in case we hadn't figured it out, that the man is about to be involved in a violent crime because rock bottom. Remember that prophetic comment from Reese about the one who would betray him the numbers keep on coming? (And this is another reason to wonder just how many numbers come in during cases that Finch doesn't tell Reese about, because there's no time to save everyone and they're already working one number. Sadly, we don't know for sure, because Finch is a secretive bastard.) Well, now Finch has a number, he's following after Lily (don't split the fucking party you guys!) and he doesn't have anyone to deal with this number, so, two Burdettes birds and one stone and he'll handle Carter by showing off their bona fides, by introducing her to what they really do and letting her avert the violent act that Mr. Derek Watson is about to perform. Bonus manipulation points for rubbing it in however subtly that she got Reese shot. Aheh.

A brief Machine interlude punctuated with an NYPD helicopter for transition, and Carter is checking up on the information Finch gave her. Like you do. Derek H Watson had his house foreclosed, has no priors and no known address, a couple of unpaid parking tickets, nothing major. It is a bit telling that the bank that took his house is the same one he's now loitering outside of. And it's equally telling and a sign of our times that when she gets the name of the person who did the paperwork, the cop getting her the information asks if it's for an open homicide. Aheh. Aheheheh. Oh hey look, the Machine treated Derek to a red box. Uh-huh. Thank you, Machine, we noticed.

Back over to the Car of Incompetence Assembled! See what I did there? Snow isn't happy with his henchagents, and while I severely question his use of the phrase "finest surveillance training in the world" I have to admit, they did a shittyass job of trailing Carter, enough so that no one should be surprised that they lost her. He is, however, unnecessarily bitchy. You're not going to create subordinate loyalty that way, Snow. What's that, you don't see why you should bother, you don't need it? No wonder you end up the way you do. Reese hasn't turned up dead, so Lackey #1 assumes he's found a safehouse. Or he ended up in the river or something. It's a big city. But yes, that's not an unreasonable route to follow, nor is the method of checking all hotel rooms and apartments rented in the last few days. Again, it's a big city, and it's also possible he either crashed at some poor good Samaritan's place or left the city with an ally, but if you start assuming that you'll never get anywhere. So, place to start. Further place to start. Go flunk, flunky.

It is now the hour on Sprockets where Finch will check in with Reese. Who responds with a hearty "where the hell have you been." The shoe, it is on the other foot. Pick a foot, it's not like Reese is using his anyway. Yes, Trask has been watched all day, and that said, Reese thinks the super is after the boyfriend restaurateur Rick. Because of having stalked him all day and now he's digging in, wait for it! A garden. The problem with this is that he's digging in a fucking garden, which shows how little Reese knows about gardening. That's not deep enough for a decent grave, really. It might, however, be deep enough for turning over something, mulching something, and eventually planting something. Sigh. Anyway, there is some more banter to show us how easy they've gotten with each other (answer: much more so), Finch is tired of limping around, Reese is tired of not being able to move around, oh shit, Trask has a gun! I still have to question the logic of assuming that Trask's gun means he's going to kill someone instead of menace them. Up until this point they have only circumstantial evidence to indicate he's ever killed anyone before, and both Reese and Finch have their reasons to know that some people take compelling emotional pushes to get them to commit cold-blooded murder. And if, as Reese seems to be assuming, Trask is pre-planning this enough to bury him in a shallow grave under some roses, that's awfully cold-blooded. Also stupid. A dog would dig up any body buried that shallow within a day. I suspect that line of being in there just so we can get more Rear Window-esque shots of Reese with the camera, Trask with the roses. But oh well, Trask does have a gun, even if he doesn't intend murder that does up the odds for lethal violence considerably, whether anyone wants it or not. In fact, Trask is going out to confront the alleged target right now! He's going to babble at him about his leak and his faucet. Freud has slipped off the set while these two do the dance of let-me-pass-you-shall-not-pass, and finally Trask comes out and says that Rick needs to stay away from Lily. While Reese appears to be improvising a torch with a crutch. Reeeeese. Do you really have to? The script-writer for this episode has done good work to give both Trask and Rick lines that sound ambiguous as to which one of them is the threat and convincing that both men are sincere in whatever dance of dominance they're doing. Nothing here has given Finch and Reese convincing evidence either way, too, and so Reese lights the crutch and, ah-hah! Uses it to set off the smoke alarm, much better than flaming sword combat in a wheelchair. Building residents file out, Rick backs away, Trask puts his superintendent duties before his intentions here, we'll still pretend we don't know what they are, and goes to check out what he thinks is likely a false alarm. Because he's the building super, dammit. He's really a sweetie. And even the Machine thinks so, actually, neither of them have been tagged with red boxes of imminent bloodshed.

More voice-over of poor Lily describing her stalker's actions, and she's coming home. And getting text-spammed by her stalker. In a very creepy way. Yes, Finch, we know he's terrorizing her, you didn't have to say it like that, but thank you, just in case anyone in the audience didn't get it yet. Finch will now panic almost as much as Lily is and declare that he wants Trask out of the building tonight. Finch, your main asset is lamed with gunshot injuries in a wheelchair. I'm just saying. You better make use of your other assets and give him at least a little time to rest after this. In the meantime, Reese will now Batman in on Trask, because even injured Reese is the badassest. When confronted with the pictures, Trask promptly does pretty much the opposite of what he should be doing and advance on Reese. Who has a gun. In Trask's face, now. I kind of want to smack both of their heads together for this, because Reese isn't listening to Trask's body language or tone of voice, and Trask isn't explaining this nearly as well as he could. He should have at least tried to lead off with Rick has been the stalker all along, and Reese should in this case know better, because abusive lovers/would be lovers tend to get violent and agitated when their illusions of a happy relationship with their victim are pushed at. Whereas Trask is just as worried about keeping his job as he is about Lily. Come to think of it, the smart thing would be to tell Reese if he wants to protect Lily, to go shove a gun in Rick's face. It might at least help! Still, though, Reese seems to be noticing something's not quite right with his scenario here, and Finch comes into the apartment to find the hidden network has finally been hacked into. And as Finch finds out from that network that Rick's the stalker and not Trask, Reese seems to finally be listening to Trask as we learn that the photos were stolen from the penthouse. Poor Finch does seem to be truly horrified by this, possibly more by the fact that Lily is now in danger since they haven't stopped her stalker at all than by what he almost did to an innocent man, but hey. We'll take what we can get.

Back over to Lily, who is in the requisite Woman Being Stalked By About To Escalate Stalker attire (i.e. something vulnerable like a robe from having just gotten out of the shower) and, oh, hey. Rick. In the interests of not triggering anyone more than they may have been already (I know, a bit late) we'll describe the scene as jitter cam of confrontation and danger, plus a couple Rear Window shots of Finch, this time, taking photos through the window. Rick's language is boilerplate abusive, blatant and domineering version, and just as things are starting to get physical it's Finch to the rescue! Actually it's Finch, Trask, and Reese to the rescue, with some truly amazing choreography of movements and bodies here. Five moving bodies in an enclosed space enacting combat maneuvers with varying degrees of purported skill? Yeah. That takes planning and skill and I kind of wonder how long it took them to shoot this. Finch strikes with what appears to be Reese's three-stooges eye poke maneuver, takes Lily more with a guiding hand than grabbing her, and they run across the hall as Trask comes in to stop Rick from following her. Stalwart defender! Stalwart defending super is stabbed in the shoulder/upper arm with a letter opener, ouch. Crutch to the back! That would be Reese. I do have to give Caviezel points for fighting while at least hobbling on crutches, that is not easy, I've tried. (Don't ask.) It is, however, easy enough to assist Rick into flinging himself out the window! Couldn't happen to a nicer stalker. Splut. Requisite shot of the surviving combatant staring down at the body of his attacker from the window. Why do they always do that? Meanwhile back over in the Car of Intimidation Anonymous Snow has found Finch's false lead, or rather his flunkie has flunked appropriately and found it, and off they go! Good, if temporary, riddance.

Cleanup time! The cops are swarming around, Lily is talking about how Rick was a psycho stalker, oh, hey, Rick's alive! Though not in very good shape by the sound of that paramedic's litany of injuries. Ouch. And Trask is taking the credit for the rescue, because he's the only one with a legit identity and... oh. Wait. He's not? Ah-hah! Finch will now explain to us how all those wild stories Trask was telling are actually true. He had to give it up because it was bad for his health in the way that testifying against the Cuban Mafia is bad for your health. Mrs. Trask really is in Boca Raton with her relatives, but since they didn't have an original identity to search for, nothing. Don't you both feel bad for jumping to conclusions now? Well, you should. (They don't.) Reese with his smug little smile thinks he's figured it out; given that Finch was able to find this all out in very short order. The time elapsed between when Finch found out that Rick was the stalker and when we come in on them walking away from the cleanup crew of medical personnel and cops might have been an hour? Two at most? Some of that had to include breakdown of Finch's tech equipment at the site, so he did indeed work very fast, and we'll forgive Reese for saying that there is no Machine. Especially since, with that half-smile, he might just be teasing anyway. The Machine will allow so, since Reese keeps his yellow box of "Person In On The Joke." Anyway, Reese will be ready when the next number comes, he says, having just been punched in the gunshot wound and still limping on crutches. Uh-huh.

All right, we did already get a look at the next number, but Finch has already put Carter on the case. The music slides into an almost nightclub-esque rendition of the main theme, something that has piano notes? at least at the beginning. Carter's walking along the floor of a bar or restaurant, likely a high class restaurant, oh, hey, there's Derek Watson with a gun! Not to worry, folks, NYPD Detective Carter is here coincidentally in the nick of time to wrestle the gun away and arrest him for attempted homicide. All in a day's Machinery. Just for added bonus cryptic asshole points Finch will call her and tell her "That is what we do." before hanging up. Thaaaanks.

Back in 2005 Nathan and Finch are resting on their laurels, in this case in the shape of some very nice looking office chairs, having some inaugural champagne in coffee mugs and Finch is explaining to Nathan the very thin chain of events that made the Machine take a closer look at Kurzweild. The Machine, it seems, looks very similar on an in-character computer display as it does when it's providing transitions within the show from scene to scene, putting another few cracks in the fourth wall. But right now Finch isn't pulling up footage, just scanned receipts and transaction reports and other things, describing a transaction that triggered a closer look from the Machine. A small anomalous detail leading to another anomalous detail and so on and so on until the Machine collects all the data linking all of these little details, puts it together, and spits out a number for the law enforcement peoples to go fetch. Nathan rightly comments that that's terrifying, and it is. A machine that can predict a person's behavior based on their daily transactions, movements, what you say and do and pulling it together into a pattern of how you think? There's got to be a limit to the abuses one could wreak with such a machine, but I'm hard-pressed to think of it. It's very Minority Report, in a way. It's definitely the first step towards building a science-fiction dystopia, which is why Finch is locking it the hell up so that the only thing the government gets is a black box with an 'out' slot from whence numbers come. That's it. Denton Weeks has already tried to get into the box, by way of a for instance. In this, Nathan and Finch are united in their opinions of holy shit this is dangerous, which is also good. Though I doubt Finch would have trusted Nathan with so much of its secrets if he hadn't thought Nathan would be inclined only to use the Machine for good. Still, the Machine doesn't look too sanguine about Nathan's new-gained knowledge about its inner workings. As if to highlight the bit of dialogue where Finch speaks about the Machine in front of Nathan as though it were alive, and a childlike mind to boot, the Machine decides, shown for our benefit, that Nathan's a threat. Is it right? Is it paranoid and going to do something Finch will sorely regret? Dun dun DUNNNNNNNNN.

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