Wednesday, August 14, 2013

No Colors Anymore (Person of Interest S2E02 Bad Code)

Rather than the traditional set of previouslies we get a Machine-drive set of video clips involving the situation thus far. It culminates in Reese and Carter going to Texas, and I may be imagining it but there seems to be a slight drawl in his voice when he tells her this. If I'm not, kudos and hilarity to Caviezel, that was actually pretty cute.

So. A long time ago (about twenty years ago) in Texas, something happened to a girl named Hanna outside a library, and another little girl called 911 about it. This is all we know from the footage, although we can surmise that it's relevant to Root and whatever game she's playing, or possibly her origins, because the Machine wouldn't show it to us unless it was (heh) relevant. That's all we get for the moment though, because now we're back to the present and in some kind of coffee shop/diner at 8 in the morning with Reese, Carter, and Fusco. They want to know what's up. So would I, if I were them. Reese puts on his best innocent face which wouldn't fool the most credible person ever, and pretends not to know what they're talking about and didn't he promise them that round of drinks. For about two seconds. Then it's back to discussing the problem of Finch being kidnapped and how they're going to get him back. Also the raw egg in Fusco's drink. I love that Reese doesn't even look his way when responding to Fusco's incredulous comment and I love that even with things as dire as they are, he still takes the time out to, well. Prank Fusco? It's a good sign that he's not yet so desperate as to be hyperfocused on the problem of Root, which means he's at least capable of strategizing as well as he ever does. And, hey, here's the mystery of the girl named Hanna! One evening in a library in Texas Hanna Frey walks out of the library and is never seen again. Reese's conclusion is that Hanna Frey is now Root. That's a pretty rapid jump from missing girl to conclusion, given that you know nothing else about the girl and her background or how it may pertain to your current case. Still, it's not so much that I dislike the theory, which isn't wholly unreasonable, more the way he shoehorns it in as a certain conclusion before walking around and kicking the tires a bit. Carter doesn't like it either, and she wants to know where he's getting his information. Yeah, that's not going to happen. Now neither Fusco nor Carter are happy, for any of half a dozen reasons although the latest one Fusco brings up is that it's a twenty year old cold case that no one has new information on, except the connection to Root, which is tenuous at best. So. Reese and Carter are going to Texas, Fusco is staying in town and working the Alicia Corwin case. And looking after Bear. Well, this ought to be fun shenanigans. For those of you who haven't seen Bear's Twitter account yet, it is fucking hilarious.

A couple hours later and over at the police station, our friendly government fixer Hersh is cleaning up a few loose ends on the Corwin case and our backs automatically go up because cleaning up loose ends means killing people about 75% of the time. This time, though, it's only the evidence he's after, so we can breathe easy for now. The voice on the other end of the phone wants to know what she was doing in New York City, so, fine, his loyal and shadowy mook will go to whatever no-tell motel room matches that key and see what's there to be seen. Also clean up whatever smoking guns Corwin left lying around which, considering she worked for National Security Asterisk might be quite a few very embarrassing guns. Will the police investigation into Corwin's murder be a problem? Well, considering that Fusco is currently having a difficult time getting his mouth around Bear's commands, he certainly doesn't look like a problem. We may now all breathe a sigh of relief that Hersh isn't going to go assassinate Fusco, and point and snicker at the government fixer who rules out other operatives as problems based on a two-second glance. Idiot. And poor Fusco, having to deal with Bear without knowing his proper commands.

Over in Texas it's about two o'clock, we have orange lighting so that we know this is hot and dusty Texas, plus the motel manager has a drawl that may or may not be the actor's own. It's subtle yet thick enough that it sounds more natural than some other drawls I could mention but won't. And he's telling Reese and Carter that they're lucky to get a room because it's deer season and everyone came out to hunt. Carter isn't too happy about this, especially since there's only one bed, and she wants another room that the motel, sadly, doesn't have. So they take their keys and the motel manager leaves with Carter giving him a pained, toothy smile, and where exactly is Reese going to sleep? Carter refers to the sleeping arrangements but everyone knows what she means. Well, Reese is an elite spyssassin which means he doesn't sleep, he waits or lurks, and when he has to lurk the batht-- er, floor will be fine. I'm deeply amused that, by his tone of voice, he finds bathtubs more comfortable than floors. I have no idea how, especially in motels, bathtubs would involve him scrunching up those lovely long legs of his. Seriously, I've been in a number of motel bathtubs. Eh, to each their own. And again with the not intending on sleeping much. Now, for their first assignment, getting down to the local police station and getting the files on Hanna's disappearance. Before they do, Carter would like to attempt to lay down some ground rules. Not that she uses the word attempt, but I will because that's about what it amounts to with Reese. In this case, Carter deals with the local LEOs while Reese keeps a low profile because secret operative and criminal and so on. Reese's reply is somewhat lacking in obedience of any sort, even feigned. Over at the police station he drops the innocuous act while waiting in the car, fidgeting impatiently and scrubbing his hand over his face both because of the heat, at a guess, and because Carter is getting exactly nowhere. She can't give details she doesn't have because it's a made up case and she didn't build a proper background for it, normally that's Finch's job. And the officer she's talking to won't release the case files until and unless her lead officer signs off on it so he knows it's a real investigation because, well, not all the officers and guards and other people our heroes have to con are that dumb. Which I deeply appreciate, by the way. Reese does not appreciate this and is getting antsier by the minute. In fact, Reese has decided to break in all on his own, using one of the oldest bits of social engineering in the business, Hi I'm A Service Worker Your Regular Guy Is Out Sick. Or rerouted, in this case. That and his good looks and passable charm get him entrance to the building and directed down a hallway that takes him out of the receptionist's sight, which is really all he needs to go after that file. Carter is so getting called on her bluff. Excuse me, fishing expedition. Reese is getting the file and following the leads. And interrupting Carter with the leads because he doesn't have time for her protests about how this isn't the way we do things. I love Carter, but I have to question her timing and choice of Reese's behaviors to call out. Personally I consider this a writing slip, but as always, everyone's mileage will vary. Reese drags them back to the case at hand and, good boy, suggests an avenue of attack with the car and the plate number that a witness who called 911 says she saw. Suggests, rather than says this is where they go next; Carter is the investigator and by all indications he's deferring to her on how the investigation should be conducted. She wants to start with a tangential approach, checking in and interviewing everyone who saw Hanna last. We close the scene with Reese insisting again that Hanna disappeared and became Root, and I shake my head and sigh at him some more. Silly man.

Meanwhile the Machine has tracked its Daddy to a location in Maryland where Root is rambling on about how we've perfected an artificial version of an apple but we still haven't upgraded ourselves. For once, I can agree with her, I'm still waiting on my skeletal upgrade with enhanced articulation. They keep saying the paperwork is being processed, but I know better. And because she's rambling about human beings and their need for upgrades we start with Finch from his latest point of injury, where she cut him on his hand. Panning up, he looks exhausted. And exasperated. Traumatized, tired, and in pain. And not in the least bit interested in Root's misanthropic babblings. Or the part where she seems to be gently chiding him for letting other people take credit for his hard work. The product of which she seems to have a crush on. Eek. She insists she doesn't want to control his Machine which, while allaying the fear he's probably been most focused on in the Machine's lifetime, is not reassuring. Rather, they're here to observe another kind of code, a bad code. Yeah, pretty much none of this is making anyone feel any better, least of all Finch, who has this look of "Lady. You crazy."  She points out that, contrary to his alleged positive view of humanity, he who has given this tremendous gift to at least US security? Or maybe to the intelligence community in general, is forced to live in "fear and anonymity." They both have points, here, she's more right than Finch thinks but at the same time she doesn't know as much about him as she believes, either because she literally doesn't have the facts or because her brain hasn't processed the data as effectively as she thinks it has due to her issues, which are many and varied. She claims she will get access to the Machine, which implies her earlier statement about controlling the Machine was at least partially a lie whether or not she thinks it was one, and says that either he'll show her how to do that or (and throughout this whole speech we hear a murmuring or grumbling that's slowly getting louder) this person will! Panning over to the right finally, where we see that during this whole conversations she's had a guy strung up and hooded. Which gives even more evidence for Finch's "you psycho" looks. Root. Root, why are you so homicidal and psycho? This is, anyway, Denton Weeks. And Root says that only one of them will walk out of here, meaning one of her prisoners. No points for guessing either which one or whether or not she'll arrange it that way, regardless.

Back to Texas! And the library, where Reese and Carter are questioning the librarian. Of course she remembers. Hanna was at the computers like she was almost every night, on the games or educational programs, there wasn't much option for computer usage in a public library back then. Which means the Machine will give us an assist to back then and Hanna playing Oregon Trail! You have died of dysentary! Well, no, Hanna died of flooding in this case, but same effect. Behind Hanna there's a blonde girl about her age paying attention, and somewhere within sight range there's also a slightly older boy paying attention. We'll put all of these in the suspect column for now, as we're clearly meant to. Back to the present Carter confirms that the librarian gave the police a list of everyone in the library and back in the past she's checking someone out with the "new" (well, new back then) Stephen King. Horrible things happening to young children who then grow up to be scary beyond all reason? Sure, why not. Hanna and the blonde girl who was watching her have a conversation about Oregon Trail and the inevitability of lethal dysentary, though her statement of "I'm going to get to Oregon someday" sounds more like a real world aspiration than an in-game one. You don't want to go to Oregon, Hanna, there are freaky animal people there. Wait, wrong show. The library is closing, bring your books to the counter, etc. Hanna has two books, both slim hardbacks, and then she's gone both from the past and in the recollections of the librarian in the present. She says she didn't know anything was wrong until the sheriff called her in the middle of the night to say Hanna had never made it home. Her parents lived there for the rest of at least her mother's life.  Reese does some staring into space in the direction of the door and we are reminded, via flashback of Hanna leaving, that he doesn't take it well when people hurt children. The underlying theme of bad things happening to children continues subtly through the transition to Hanna's childhood home; apparently her parents never moved out of it since. They did move Hanna's stuff out, because her old bedroom is barren of anything that says a little girl lived there, except perhaps the style of the furniture. It's also largely faded, not the bright cream color of something intended to be that way but the muted color of a creamy white furniture with a lot of dust on it. We hear Reese asking the father if he believes she's still alive, which he doesn't. His wife believed till she died, apparently, that Hanna was just missing and not dead, but he doesn't. He also believes he knows who did it, the boy we saw watching her in the library. Says the boy, Cody, followed her home more than once, but nobody could prove anything so they had to let him go. Then he and his brother went and paid Cody a visit, but he still denied it. At this point the main argument against Cody as a suspect is that it's too early in the show to solve the mystery of the missing Frey girl, though there's still time to develop Cody's character and make him a more viable suspect. Still, once Reese the SingleMinded hears Cody's preferred current location, he goes stalking out of the house to confront him. Most likely to confront him. He doesn't state an intention but he's being all grim again, we can pretty well assume that's what's going on. Carter goes to stop him from doing something terrible but catches sight of the pile of mail on the table and thinks of something, asking the father if anyone reached out to him after Hanna went missing. It's a good question! Just some credit card junk mail in Hanna's name, which is odd considering she was still a minor when she went missing and that was before credit card junk mail became a huge thing. And on the other hand, I find it entirely possible that credit card companies would buy up lists of children born in X year to see who might be going to college this year or that, and since Hanna doesn't seem to have been declared dead (not that that would necessarily stop them) she would be put on those lists. Still, it's something, which is more than nothing.

That cop statue is still on Fusco's desk. I can't tell if that's adorable or prudent and hilarious. He's on the phone with Carter discussing the evidence on the Corwin case, wondering if maybe she left some things at the hotel, wondering about the discrepancy in what's listed on the evidence sheet and what's actually there. See, Hersh? Not so incompetent as to miss things like that. Yet again I have to wonder how much of Fusco's attitude is obfuscating stupidity, as TV Tropes calls it, and how much is genuine befuddlement or slow-wittedness. Still leaving heavily towards the former. They determine that someone really wants that case to go away, not necessarily legally, and she reminds Fusco to be careful who he reads in on the case. Not that she had to tell him, probably, since he knows from dirty cops. But it never hurts, if not to remind someone, then to show concern. Fusco also sees Hersh walking around, but we don't get a read on what Fusco determines is the significance of him, other than that alarm bells are ringing by that look. Not the only one for whom alarm bells are ringing, either; as he gets that funny-thinking look, Carter finds one of those credit card offers in the trash and seems to be thinking on where it'll lead her.

It's late afternoon/early evening when Reese walks into the Razorback looking... yep, predictably out of place. Reese, I love you, but casual bar-hopping Texan is not a look you seem to possess. There are stares. There are sarcastic remarks; at least Wall Street is in the right city if not the right profession at all. I wouldn't peg him for a banker, anyway, not when he opened his mouth. There are more sarcastic remarks along the lines of "look at this guy" as Reese goes over to ask Cody about Hanna Frey. Cody wants to know if he's a journalist or a fed before he decks him; he seems to be at least smart enough (or possibly has learned from experience) to avoid punching either of those types as it could get him into trouble. Sadly, so can punching Reese, who barely exerts any effort at all when pinning him to the bar top. Of course this means his buddies have to get in on the action. Bar fight! Of one, since not only are they kind enough to go after Reese in ones and twos, not many of them are sober and none of them are combat trained. Or if they have been, they seem to have forgotten their training as hard as  possible. So, Cody goes through first the front door glass, then gets held up  by the throat and questioned by Reese. Cody seems to be of the opinion that the town's dark secrets (and all small towns have them) chewed her up and spit her out long ago, but he doesn't know who has her. Reese clearly thinks he's scum, but also doesn't seem to think he's lying. Before he can get much more out of him, if there's anything more to get, Carter comes up and sends Cody scurrying away. She doesn't think there's anything more to get out of him either, but Reese does noticeably brighten when she gets there, facial tension lessening and eyes widening and brows lifting a bit. Carter has something, though, namely a bank account opened in Hanna's name two years after her disappearance. Ah-hah! A clue!

Back in Root's Lair of Lunacy Finch is begging for her to stop with this torture, while she gleefully spouts some cliche speech forms about how easily humans are to torture and how evil the government is to torture people and so on. Seriously, that's the entire scene. It's well performed and well blocked, but it's very cliche. Root will only let him down when she's good and ready to, which appears to be as night is falling. And then she gives him some water, which is either a sop to get him more lubric-- no, that's laced with sodium pentothal, so, the other thing then! I fully agree with the Machine's choice of giving her a red box, she is evil. While she's out of the house getting gas in the car, though, that's Denton's cue to pull it together more than he appeared at first and beg Finch to help him get free. Uh, dude, Finch is tied to a chair and also injured, and what makes you think he wants to help you? The fact that you recognize him from Nathan Ingram's office? Do you remember how wildly uncooperative Nathan Ingram was? No? Clearly not. He's got a point about her getting access to the Machine, though. That would be bad. In all hyperbolic uses of the concept.

Back in Texas Carter is trying to figure out the timeline for Hanna's activities, or her alleged activities we'll say, since her disappearance. Lafayette, LA? Really? Oh, sure, why not. Apparently a hundred thousand, 100,000, was deposited in that account and then withdrawn over the next few weeks in cash until the account was closed. So, yes, Reese, the first question is where did she get all that cash, the second is who was she laundering it for, because that's a bit what that sounds like. A childlike money laundering scheme. Apparently the money was electronically transferred out of a drug dealer's account? That's starting to sound less like money laundering and more like theft from drug dealer. And the co-signer on the account was a local person from that very same Texas town, not just a local person but someone who was a witness to Hanna Frey's last night in that library. The plot congeals, but I'm not all that sure yet what it's congealing into. So far we have theft from drug dealer and witness two years after the disappearance of a young girl and, hey, the witness still lives in town! Or he would if he were still alive. Apparently he married that librarian and then promptly passed away a few years later. They met at the library, they were married a few years before he died. Was killed! By a drug dealer, drug ... something gone bad. Carter suspects money laundering, as any right-thinking law enforcement type would, but the widow insists it was just a mistake. Uh-huh. No, I'm going with Carter on this one. And now we get down to it, which is that if he didn't know Hanna Frey why was he a co-signatory on an account in her name opened two years after her disappearance? This is all not looking very good for Trent Russell. They'd like to look around, which is not to the widow's liking but Carter isn't much for the caring especially when she's not actually here on police business, and Reese doesn't give a shit at all. He goes and has a look in the garage at an old car, sees something, screeches for Carter. The license plate on the car matches the one on the 911 transcript that the witness described Hanna getting into, with one letter missing. One crucial but easily mistaken letter. It's looking more and more like Russell took Hanna Frey, but Reese is still hanging onto the idea that she escaped and became Root. Which is, admittedly, still possible with his revenge theory. Hanna escapes, becomes Root, opens a bank account in her name with Russell as the co-signatory, and gets the money from the drug dealer (how? They're not too clear on these details.), setting Russell up for the fall and his eventual murder when the drug dealer notices it's missing but Russell can't produce the money. It is rather elegant, self-contained, and Root-like. Accompanied by flashback! But only of the murder of Russell by the drug-dealer so we're still none the wiser as to the money scheme. Reese is all over this like a terrier, and it's Carter who puts the brakes on tearassing after the investigation because she wants to get the sheriff in to search the house, get a warrant, do this right and bring justice to Hanna Frey the right way. So, I guess she wasn't searching the house earlier? That makes me feel marginally better about Carter's lines and standards being intact, but I still wonder how much of Carter sticking to her principles is lip service to appease her conscience and how much is real resistance to Reese and Finch's questionable procedures.

Back in Root's House of Pain, Denton is still attempting to convince Finch... of what? That Root is evil? He and we already knew that. To trust him? That'll never happen, Finch doesn't trust easily to begin with and, no offense, Denton, but you're a snake. No offense to snakes. Yes, Finch knows who you are, Denton. You tried to hack the Machine. He doesn't take kindly to people who do that. Denton claims they were testing the Machine to make sure it was strike proof, and while I believe that they felt they needed to I'm not sure I believe that that's what he was doing. Also apparently in all of their calculations they forgot to allow for the human element, the human weakness. Which is fucking idiocy, especially from a spy organization. You are either all very incompetent spies if the fate of the Machine can hang on Denton Weeks' survivability and invulnerability, or you are a decently competent organization and Denton is just an idiot with delusions of grandeur. I can't decide which. Probably the latter. At any rate, he convinces Finch to try and help him, though I'm not sure if Finch didn't convince himself less based on Denton's begging and more on Denton is another human being (we think) in Root's clutches, and that's not a good place to be. Finch knocks the knife on the table over to Denton, who contorts himself to be able to grab it and start sawing through his bonds. Sadly, just in time for Root to get home. You people. No, Denton manages to get out of his bonds anyway, though he seems to be more interested in doing violence to Root than either immobilizing her or outright killing her. Which is a mistake, especially since he really doesn't seem to be trained to violence. Finch is, understandably, horrified. Apparently this is an interrogation? Denton, you incompetent fuck, you are getting more hateful by the second, now I'm actually rooting for, uh, Root, over you. No pun intended. Especially since now that he's free and Root's on the floor, not only is he not making a move to free Finch, he's waxing smarmy and disparaging about Nathan and lording it over Finch. Oh yeah. You need to go away now, Denton. Now Denton's going to interrogate Finch! As the music surges. Finch, I hate to say it, but you might have been better off with Root. Denton's too stupid to be useful. 

After the break Carter and Reese are searching the house, I'm not sure under what basis or if the widow Russell gave them permission. Actions happened that we did not see? Nothing all that useful until Carter finds about eight or nine copies, identical copies, of Flowers for Algernon on the second row of a bookshelf. Same edition and everything. Yes, that qualifies as attention-gettingly odd. Oh, sixteen copies. And the sheriff's there, which means this is likely them doing the legwork of a legal search, or at least a search with owner's consent. Which is legal! And less paperwork. Anyway, Carter seems to be taking the lead here, getting all hardass interrogator on the widow Russell. Sixteen copies of the book Hanna checked out on the night of her disappearance is immensely suspicious. Apparently they just arrive every year on the anniversary of Hanna's disappearance from all over the country. In one of the books Reese finds a bookmark with what looks like a receipt paper on it from Seattle, WA. Jinkies!

Back over to Denton, he's going to turn Root over to the professional waterboarders for all her information. And because he's feeling magnanimous (he phrases it a different way but his body language and tone of voice say different) he's going to let Finch go. There's a but coming here, wait for it. Ah yes, as long as he tells Denton whether or not the Machine is safe. It cannot be altered remotely, Finch finally says. Finch, you idiot. Information, you should know this especially, information above all other things is key here, and why would you say that out loud? All you had to do was stick to one word, one syllable answers. But no. Now Denton knows how to get to the Machine, which he confirms with a few more needling questions just so we know he's up to no good, and now Root knows as well. And now Denton will... well, try to shoot Finch, because that gun doesn't have any bullets. Root, at least, expected this. I don't know why Finch didn't, it's not like he hasn't been on the receiving end of a number of government-sponsored assassination attempts. And it's not like he doesn't know what a smarmy bastard Denton is. No, alas, he didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition, and so it's up to Root to tase the fucker into oblivion. This is, um. Sort of like a reverse interrogation? Not so much in that Denton was interrogating her while she steered his questions towards what she wanted to know but definitely in that she was putting herself in a vulnerable position to make him feel cocky and blather things she wanted to hear and get Finch to talk. She does deliver a very out of breath I told you so to Finch after taking Denton down, though. Honey, look to your own code before you go criticizing anyone else's.

Back in Texas, the guys from the bar are looking for a rematch with Reese. Speaking of idiots. Oh boys. Oh you guys. Reese, predictably, hands them their asses again. Then steps over their bodies to get into his motel room. Then looks in their truck and, oh, hey, they have a laptop. He can use that. And a crossbow! So. Hanna's picture on the center of the map, the bookmark-receipt on Seattle, and he's calling up under the Detective Stills cover again to try and trace the buyer. Sure, why not. Meanwhile Carter is still in the widow Russell's house making her listen to the 911 call where the witness clearly gives her late husband's car's license plate. And now the witness has a name: Sam Groves. She was friends with Hanna, sort of the creepy solitary girl befriended by the more normal girl. Hey, doesn't this sound familiar? She lived with her Mom just outside of town, but all we get is that her Mom "wasn't well," so it's hard to say whether this was a physical or mental thing. Physical would be easier for a young girl growing up to understand, mental... not so much. As far as Hanna's disappearance, it turns out Sam told the widow Russell the same thing about her late husband's car being the one that took Hanna off, only Barb at the time was too infatuated with Trent Russell to either believe her or let her tell anyone else. So she smacked Sam down, told her she was a lying etc. and didn't tell anyone. Neither Carter nor the Sheriff is too pleased to hear this. Just to put the nail in Trent Russell's reputation's coffin, when Carter presses her the widow Russell goes looks out the back window and tells them he redid the patio two weeks after Hanna disappeared. Um. Ew. Back at the motel Reese is still playing Detective Stills and engaging in the time honored tradition of following the money. Still with the Seattle transaction, though this time he seems to have a bank to go with it. There's a knock on the door. Carter? No, the two guys he beat up, they want to get their stuff. Reese doesn't even look around as he picks up the crossbow and points it at them till they back out and close the door behind them. Much as I do kind of hope he returns their stuff when he's done with it, that was fucking hilarious. Of course, back at the Russell residence they're digging up the patio. And finding a backpack. With Flowers for Algernon in it. The widow Russell can't watch anymore, and I can't really bring myself to feel sorry for her. Reese is still tracking the money, this time the name is Dyson and hey! He's found them! Ralton, MD, just where the Machine found them not long ago. The gas station just after 4 AM matches with the gas-up trip Root made, so we can be doubly sure it's them. Gotcha, indeed.

Finch has finally figured out reverse interrogation tactics. Root claims some more rebuke, telling him that this is who he gave his Machine to, conveniently forgetting that Alicia Corwin was among those people until they essentially chased her into West Virginia. And then Root shot and killed her, so now who's violent and predictable? Once again, she claims to be his friend, on his side, etc. She's a creepy stalker fangirl is what she is, and Finch calls her out on it, calling her worse than Denton or any of the other government stooges. And we can see this gets to her, Amy Acker is good with the micro-flickers of hurt and rage, but Root is also good with her control and tells herself and Finch that this is just because he's tired and they both need a rest.

Quick scene changes, which is how we know it's ramping up to a finish! That and the time passed in the episode. Carter comes back and wants to know why there's a crossbow on the damn bed at the same time as Reese tells her to keep the rental, the boys are lending him their truck. Really, Reese? Lending? Oh Reese. He briefly describes the paper trail, and is all fired up to go after Root, who he thinks he knows where he is. And he does, but not who she is. Carter sits on the bed as she tells him this, Root isn't Hanna, Hanna was buried under a patio years ago. Reese sits back down on the bed as Carter tells him what she uncovered with a sense of maybe weary defeat? I think in this case not so much that he feels he lost Finch, because he does have that financial trail, but that Hanna didn't get away after all. We know what happens when people do bad things to kids. It probably made him think better of Root, or at least the girl he thought Root used to be, that she got away and got revenge on a person who wanted to do bad things to her. But instead the bad guy got what he wanted. For a time. But now, yes, they do know who Root is, and he knows where Root is, and he's going after her. Newly resolved, he's up and out of the door while Carter's sitting there with the remains of a sad but now closed case in her lap. Do we have time for one last flashback? We do. This time we see what happened after Hanna left the library. Sam hacks Oregon Trail, wins in about five seconds, and goes to the window to watch her friend leave and see her get into Russell's car. Oh honey.

Hersh is walking down a street as Fusco surveills. Rather competently, I might add, since Hersh doesn't seem to notice him. Take that, you overgrown shitweasel. Fusco makes use of Finch's phone cloning app (or Reese's, as I suppose he must think of it right now) and listens in on the conversation in which Hersh tells his boss that there's nothing there. And we get a close up of the contents of the hotel room on Fusco's car seat and hear him saying that he got to it first, so well done Fusco! They've got bigger problems, though. Denton Weeks has disappeared. Possibly with his mistress, the vague details of which the boss gives Hersh. For Hersh, that's enough to go on, most likely. Meanwhile at the aforementioned love nest outside of DC, Root is tranquilizing Finch to keep him compliant. I'd ask why she didn't do that before except her method of reverse interrogation did sort of require that he not be compliant, so at least there's that. And she's getting an alert from (one of) her bank(s)! The credit check Reese was running? Yeah, that sent up an alert. I wonder, actually, if that happens in real life, because if so police investigations are more transparent than most people believe. Finch is starting to feel the effects of the tranquilizer as Root speculates on how his "knuckle-dragging" friend found them. Really? Seriously? Root, if you're going to keep underestimating Reese like that it's going to keep biting you in the ass. She hopes Finch likes trains! Root, I know you want to come across as friendly, but that's verging on too much information. If not already there. You have only yourself to blame when this thing goes south, as it inevitably will. Largely due to the fact that she's running counter to our heroes, and narrative will out as always, but these are some fairly basic mistakes she's making. Such as leaving Finch untied while she interrogates Denton a final time. Finch will take advantage of her mistake to type in a number to the phone left on the floor, while she tries to get the location of the Machine out of Denton. She does manage to get a last known location, which is at least a place to start, then plugs him twice in the chest. I would have gone for headshots myself, as it's a good habit to get into, but she probably knows by now whether or not he's got a vest on (he doesn't, not with the way his shirt's hanging), and most people learn first to shoot at center of mass, as it's the biggest target. Then she finds Finch with the phone and scolds him because of course she disconnected the phones, silly! Except for the part where if Finch had actually tried to call that number out, it wouldn't still be on the phone, or at least not in the same format of having just typed it in. Pay closer attention, Root. Or don't. Let Reese catch up with you, please, do. Off to the train station they go! With Finch dropping breadcrumbs for Reese behind him.

So. By now Reese has landed and is on the phone with Fusco, which is good because Fusco has pretty much everything he needs to narrow down the lead between him and Root. From Corwin to the missing Denton "Inexplicably Promoted Thug" Weeks via their shared government employer, to the love nest in Maryland, to Fusco getting an address off property records in the space of about a minute, minute and a half. I'd question why Fusco didn't search property records before except it sounds like Reese is the first time he's heard the specific town name of Ralton, which would make it a hell of a lot easier. Especially with the not-uncommon name of Julie Davenport, Julie could be short for a lot of things or listed under other names or it could be a married name... I could go on. Anyway, Fusco's on that and we're back to the train station with Root and Finch! Root will take a moment to be ominous about do anything and innocent people will get hurt. Yes, Root. We know. Finch knows. He is very aware. Let's just keep moving, shall we? Back over to the love nest in Ralton, where Reese finds and gives no shits for Denton's dead body. He does, however, find the phone and the cufflink, by which he determines tap code! Because our dear spyssassin Reese is far from a knuckle-dragging ape, who themselves are far from stupid, Root I could throttle you for that alone. And by this he goes tearassing out of the house towards the train station. This is also, by the way, yet one more sign of how Root is so fixated on the high technology she fails to recognize the signals in the lower technology approaches. Such as tap code. Her intelligence is mighty, but it's very limited. While she blithers on about how nice it'll be out west and gets them into line, Reese makes it to the train station. Her voice is controlled but still audibly upset, and pissed off, as she asks Finch (accuses, really) how he got there. And reminds him, wheeling him back behind a pillar and out of Reese's immediate line of sight, of what she promised to do if he tried to escape. Namely, hurt people. Namely, cops. Oh dear. She calls a cop over, giving no pretext at first, while Finch rolls his chair back far enough that he can catch sight of Reese. And Reese can catch sight of him. And from there, really, it's on. Root draws her gun, Finch knocks her down enough that her aim is off, Reese draws his gun, there's the running and the screaming and, of course, since Reese's first priority is Finch, Root gets away in the crowd. Reese apologizes for taking so long as Finch responds with pointing out he hadn't actually intended Reese to find him. I think the words you're looking for are "Thank" and "you," Finch. Brat. Still, Reese doesn't seem to mind, Finch is intact and unshot, and they're getting away without having to answer any inconvenient questions. All is right with the world once again.

As the sun goes down on New York Carter gets back to the precinct and checks in with Fusco. Apparently Reese came and got the dog and they both look so happy to have Finch back, as though all is right in their world, too. Awww! This, and the subsequent banter about drinks with egg in, more than anything tells us how much they've become used to and trusting of Finch and Reese. They're more relaxed, calm, much more at ease and high energy than they usually are at the successful end of a case. Even considering, or maybe especially considering that this one involved solving a homicide rather than retrieving a missing girl, they're upbeat and joking because everyone is back where they should be.

Such as back in the library, and now with a new companion. Since Reese's apartment has a strict policy regarding dogs, he's been keeping Bear at the library. Finch is dismayed to find out what Bear's decided is his new chew toy, not that he's dismayed enough to do more than snark a bit. Likely this is also because he's exhausted from his ordeal, but we never do hear about that book again, nor do we hear about Bear destroying any other books, so presumably he's been reprimanded appropriately. And Finch learns his proper commands anyway; for now it's Reese telling him to drop the book. We will all join Finch in whimpering over a chewed up first edition Asimov. Ouch. Also note that specifically chosen author, Asimov, famous for among other things the what now of robotics? Three Laws? Why yes, yes he is. Not that they do anything but touch on this sideways for now, but given that the Machine's independence and sentience is becoming a greater and greater plot point throughout season two and likely into season three, these sly allusions may yet become anvils on our toes. Expect complaining. So far they're restricting themselves to the aforementioned sly allusion and Finch commenting now that he's sure they'll get along well. Which is nice, implying that he's accepting Bear despite his toothy transgression. On the heels of that we get another odd behavior from Finch, an inability to say a simple thank you. Instead he tells Reese he owes him a debt, which is a fairly medieval way of putting it. Or at least the sort of thing we expect to hear from people raised in more of an environment focused on personal honor than traditional America. It's unclear, given how little we know of Finch's past, where this particular trait came from. Certainly personal honor for him wasn't always or maybe never has been the same as altruism or human interest, considering it took Nathan's death to get him to do anything with the Irrelevant list. Which, in and of itself, could that be a manifestation of personal honor? In that his creation and his determination to ignore his friend's choices got his friend killed, so now he has to honor his friend and his failed obligations and responsibilities? Codes of conduct like this are always incredibly tangled to uncover, but we'll leave these thoughts here for you to ponder, as we do. Whatever else we might have learned is interrupted by Reese getting a  phone call. It's Root. Thanking Reese for finding Hanna and giving her a proper burial. We don't see barely any of Root's face the entire time this speech goes on, giving us nothing of her emotional reactions. Which is a pity, because that's the one humanizing element the writers have given her, and it's concealed from us. As, no doubt, she would like it concealed from the rest of the world. We get no such concealment of Reese's fury; his face is all in tension marks and deep-drawn lines of anger as he delivers the anticipated threat. And Root replies in turn and equally predictably that she'll be seeing Finch in her own time, likely on her own terms or what she believes to be her own terms. Finch is looking somewhat wide-eyed and pale with Root on the phone. Root is surveilling the love nest where she killed Weeks, to cover her tracks, perhaps? And, it seems, to follow that lead in what directions she can. Just in case we had any doubt before that Root is Sam Groves we go back to Oregon Trail one last time (and that very good and creepy performance by that young actress) where Sam Groves is signing her victory with the name 'Root' for what may be the first time.

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