Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money (Person of Interest S1E06 The Fix)

Welcome back! We're sorry about the long break, but we're bringing you one of our very favorite eps to make up for it, complete with infinite cracks about wanting to be Zoe Morgan when we grow up. (We've been spoiled through 2x15, so there are all kinds of additional reasons for this motivation now!) Last week was a bit of a lackluster episode, but this week we get a peek at what Reese and Finch could do if they had someone whose primary skillset is in social engineering on the team. Not that I have copious fantasies of Zoe becoming a regular or anything. Not me. So! Our first glimpse of the person of the week is of a woman with rather artfully tousled hair and an umbrella and oh, hey, Reese is playing her driver-cum-bodyguard? This should be interesting! Then we get one of those Significant Clips of a phone recording, a woman (who is not Zoe, as we quickly learn) saying that whatever they're doing is wrong. Could be an affair, could be corporate malfeasance, without the other half of the phone call we don't know just yet. Though knowing Reese and Finch, we can guess what they'll assume if/when they end up listening to this! Sigh, boys. The woman in question is immediately suspicious of a strange new driver, which tells us that she dislikes changes to her routines and may have cause to suspect danger from such things. Her clothing is simple, elegant, a moderate amount of cleavage, kickass boots, the sort of personal decoration that speaks to wealth and not wanting to be flashy until she's right up close with you. She'd stand out on the street purely for being attractive, but not for trying to get attention. It's a carefully crafted and designed look, and the big old brownstone that's apparently her home is equally unobtrusive in its wealth.

So, alright, Zoe's suspicion is aroused and she calls the car company to find out what the fuck is going on, which Finch, being Finch, intercepts. Though he does a good job of quiet professional customer service, and Zoe in turn does an excellent job of suspicious and overly paranoid Person Who Does Shady Shit. What manner of shady shit, we're not yet sure! But she checks the details of her driver and his family, which tells us that she at least is capable of faking knowledge about his family for the purposes of rattling a CSR and at most had a solid working relationship with her regular driver, of the kind where she learned some degree of personal information. We cannot, this being Zoe, assume the reverse is true if this is the case. So! Her regular driver has laryngitis, caught from his son, yadda yadda, since we start in medias res with this case we don't know if this is information that she would have plausibly had about his son's health but sure, going with it. Her instructions to Reese are exactly the kind of thing you'd expect from a mob boss/fixer/assassin/other person who's involved in highly questionable business dealings: no questions, no small talk, and in a fit of creative leash-yanking she tears the $100s in half and says they'll settle up at the end of the night. Reese's "I look forward to it" has just a hint of amusement, though he keeps almost all of it off his face. Still, we can guess that someone who considers this level of paranoia normal and is clearly competent at social engineering hits Reese right in the ooh-shiny-intriguing buttons. One phone cloning later and they're off! This is apparently a setup specifically designed to allow Finch to do one of Reese's more usual tasks, i.e. the routine home invasion, probably because Zoe's too good at keeping things private so they had to get her out at a known time for a semi-known duration. (Possibly because of time crunch reasons as well, but again, we're not given the initial briefing.) Zoe pulls out her phone and to all appearances completely ignores her new driver, though I doubt very much that her situational awareness is as bad as she's playing it; meanwhile Finch gripes in Reese's ear about how the lockpicking isn't as easy as it looks. I would pay money to see the deleted/unwritten scene in which Reese teaches Finch about lockpicking. I'm just saying. Finch is still not much of a field operative, though he's improving with only the one moment of complaint and the rest all business; he's in and giving descriptions of the apartment. Which is, to our sight, clean and impersonal at least in the public rooms. Even barren, almost; there's no sign in this apartment that Zoe intends to host more than one or maybe two people at a time. So whatever she's mixed up in, it's not the kind of thing where she has to schmooze at home but it is the kind of thing where she gets a lot of money, as Finch informs us she paid cash for her multi-million apartment.

Meanwhile, Reese and Zoe pull up to some train tracks with a not-at-all-symbolic-why-do-you-ask crossing of them. Uh-huh. Zoe goes to meet a group of three young men with guns while Finch questions Reese about where to look for the things Zoe cares about. By which we mean wants to keep secret, mind you. He also takes a swipe at Reese about where he keeps the things he cares about, because this partnership is still not done testing boundaries. (Really they never are, but they're still firmly in the settling-in stages right now.) Reese replies that he doesn't have things he cares about, to which we go oh honey and also LIIIIAR. Especially the way his eyes soften a little bit as he watches Zoe go away; he cares about every single person they're trying to protect here and she's already wormed her way to a place where it matters what happens to her. Sigh, Reese. Zoe greets her informant, Slip, who hands over a rather gun-shaped package wrapped in leather of some kind and receives a fat wad of $100s in turn. It's a very tough-guy-tough-girl exchange, and we can see her picking the facet of her personality most appropriate for this meeting. I say facet, because I do believe that Zoe is doing what she loves and for all her bouncing between various personas, none of them look actually uncomfortable. Partly that's a matter of practice, but partly that's a matter of being well-suited to her line of work. Reese narrates the goings-on for Finch's benefit while we see the fridge door open but, alas, no shot of Zoe's fridge. I bet it's full of healthy pre-cooked meals and at least one lonely container of Chinese or Thai takeout in the way back. Probably Thai. Reese, with a smirk that says he knows exactly what he's asking, points out that people hide things underneath. Which is true! In both a literal and metaphorical sense, thank you so much for that, guys.

Finch drops to the floor with a pained sigh, as we might expect. I'd feel sorry for him, except I seriously, seriously doubt he would welcome that. At all. Zoe unwraps the gun-shaped object to reveal, indeed, what looks to be a standard-issue police 9mm. Interesting. Very interesting. She would also like Reese to keep his eyes on the road. Reese, I know you're used to stupid vics/perps at this point, but you've already established she's smart, would it kill you to be a little more subtle? Yes? Damn. Though that's probably as much for the stripping that follows as the gun, or Zoe would like him to think that. I rather think that anyone comfortable getting changed in a moving car doesn't have a lot of body modesty issues and she's more worried about the gun, but it makes a nice distraction. (Especially that lack of body modesty because judging by what she's in seconds later, that necessitated a bra change as well.) Finch finds the gun under the chair, Zoe heads into a red carpet event of some variety or another which we don't get to see the sign for if there is one hanging over the door, and oh shit, maybe it's going down right now. We, of course, know that's probably not it; it's way too early in the episode to confirm her as the perp and have her committing murder, but the chain of logic Reese runs through is entirely accurate for at least 90% of TV procedurals! Probably more like 99%. So he'll plunge in after her to stop whatever heinous crimes he's assuming are on the menu tonight! Aww, good spyssassin!

The Machine gives us an overhead elevator shot of Zoe heading into the party, with the lighting almost making it look like she's wearing a trenchcoat, oddly. Which contributes to the general aura of Conspiracy Things Are Happening Here. One quick pan of the party, which apparently involves a bunch of cops or very maybe military. People in hierarchical service organization who have dress uniforms to wear in place of tuxes, because this is That Kind Of Shindig. Zoe comes out on the unoccupied side of the balcony, sends a text, and we see her target look at his phone and head out just as Reese comes up the stairs. You know, this doesn't look much like an assassination attempt. It looks like a semi-planned meeting of some variety or another. The music ratchets up the tension as we go along the long dark hallway of Sekrit Meeting, but again, it's lacking a certain bass quality that would tell us that things are truly dire. Still, Reese reacts as he's trained, to handle the worst case scenario and assume that an assassination really is going down, though he holds back longer than he might otherwise do. Largely because Zoe's body language is nothing like that of someone preparing to commit murder, it's loose and almost open and definitely in control, but that control comes from knowledge, information, etc. rather than pure physical power. Turns out the gun is, indeed, a cop's sidearm, probably service-issue rather than personal, and the dumbass managed to leave it in a subway bathroom. I really, really want to know the story behind that one. The cop she's talking to is a lieutenant, so reasonably far up the chain o' brass, and yet he's sweating and nervous/worried. Zoe? Well, if you look under the definition for "cool as a cucumber," you'll find it's been replaced by her picture. Lieutenant Uncle tries very hard to play it off as needing good men, only to be called on the idiot cop being his nephew. Some standard discussion about how he owes her, and in this case partial payment will be wrapping up a politically-motivated investigation on Councilman Rush, whoever that is. I mention it here with full names because politics have come up a fair amount in the show, and tidbits like this are like treasure troves for a writers' room that suddenly needs to conserve characters/plot threads. Alas, we don't get to know why there's a politically-motivated investigation or, really, if Lieutenant Uncle works for HR or is just kind of a self-serving moron. (My bet is on the latter, given later events.) That will not, however, make them even, because Zoe knows the worth of what she's done down to the last cent and scrap of data. I would assume, then, that that was her money in the payoff, not the lieutenant's, because that'll be factoring into her equations. Some not particularly witty quips about necessary evil and a very tired looking cop who has clearly just made the decision that if given the chance he'll betray her, not that either Zoe or Reese can see that train of thought and decision, because Reese is ducking out of sight and back to the car and Zoe is walking away in order to retain her power over the situation. A good bit of social engineering that has dangerous repercussions, but frankly Zoe's been at this long enough to know that she's not in the safest line of work.

Our next shot is actually of bare feet stepping out of the town car, which neatly lands us back at Zoe's place even before we get to the shot of her standing in front of her building. It also tells us that this is a woman for whom clothes are weapons and tools of her trade as a conscious decision, and that she doesn't enjoy the kind of terrifying stilettos she wore to blend in at the policeman's ball or whatever that was. She is, moreover, comfortable with wandering around barefoot, even if that's just on the drive back to her home and up the stairs. There's a lot of gives-no-fucks-what-other-people-think that this one shot indicates, in other words. At any rate, there's the standard did you see anything, to which Reese gives her a really excellent smirk and eyeroll that he didn't see anything worth mentioning. Calling out the actual question instead of the one she was pretending to ask, and thereby cementing himself as a smart but closemouthed hired hand. Not that Reese has done this a lot, or anything. So he gets paid, and Zoe arranges to have him pick her up at 10 the next morning, and Reese would like Finch to know that he should really be out of there. Finch has apparently been picking up bad habits (good habits?) from his pet spyssassin, stepping up on the side Reese isn't watching. Though he's neither as quiet as a spyssassin nor is he really trying to be sneaky, which is good, that gets you attacked if not killed when sneaking up on spyssassins. Ahem. Anyway, Finch is out, yay! And sounds like he hasn't found a damn thing in Zoe's apartment to tell him what she does for a living, which means she keeps all her books in her head or on her person, and I'm betting on the former. Aw, Zoe. You're a woman after my own heart. Reese knows, though! She's a fixer, someone who trades in favors and information. (If you have to ask why we're girlcrushing on her now, you clearly haven't been paying attention.) Given that, she will of course have lots of enemies, but Reese's "who wouldn't" in response to Finch's question is laughably puppy-crush. Very much the slightly wide eyes and softening of his features that says he doesn't quite remember how to smile and thinks he shouldn't be, but wants to. Because hey, look, a real challenge! Someone who can keep up with him for field work, and not someone who's in a position of authority over him, and would you like a drool cup, John?

Our B plot this time doesn't appear to have anything to do with the Machine Team's case, but it's advancing the Elias-side metaplot. Oh goodie. Carter's at a crime scene, there's been a murder by fuck-off big knife. Wait, we know that knife! DUN DUN DUN. Vincent de Luca, who was a mob enforcer down in Brighton Beach, has the rap sheet to prove it, yadda yadda. And now we get some expospiel about the Marlene Elias case, as Carter unerringly finds the one point of commonality! Because Carter is the best. (Drink.) So the guy who walked for Marlene Elias' murder was just stabbed with the same murder weapon used 40 years ago, though we can see Carter being very careful not to actually say it's the same weapon until she has more to go on than a really strong hunch. It's a pretty ginormous blinking neon sign saying There Was A Child And He's Back For Revenge, though, and because they don't show us things that aren't going to be important later we know that revenge is probably the least of what the Elias child is going to do. Also, can I just note the massive parallels between the numbers the government declares irrelevant and the fact that these eps are all so incredibly tightly written that everything is always significant? We might call it a theme. We might also call it judicious editing. I'm just saying, they're not being terribly subtle with their anvils of Everything Matters.

Back over to Zoe, who we see getting out of the car in the same shot we got of her at the end of opening credits, only this time in color so she gets to be the woman in the red dress. (Note: the woman in the red dress usually dies. Lucky it's only a coat, then, and that might even be on purpose, masquerading as the damsel or femme when she's very much not either one.) She's got a meeting, Reese has surveillance and his usual good eye. Exposition informs us that this is likely to be the problematic case; a couple of big pharma heads are at this meeting, one doing the talking and one doing the waiting in the car schtick, and hey, it's an affair! Or at least that's what the Virtanen guy doing the talking wants us to believe. Personally, I don't think that most guys in danger of being exposed for having an affair would be hanging about publicly, no matter what his relationship to the CEO or likelihood of running the company, plus CEOs who have an affair are usually at the bottom of the waiting list for media excoriation; top on the shame pile for extramarital shenanigans goes to politicians. But then, Zoe's not paid to ask questions. And it seems like she's done work for them before, by that "as always" comment at the end. So, alright, amoral hacker/blogger type has a recording and is threatening to release it but wants money, Zoe plays the middlewoman and gives everyone plausible deniability, takes her cut, there's a happy ending for everyone. Seems simple enough. Zoe does kind of a blink and side-eye thing at Reese as he ushers her back into the car, I think because she's beginning to suspect something's hinky but can't put her finger on it. Reese being Reese, he just smirks and plays his part. And then we're on over to the random park bench which I think is at least a similar if not identical point to where Reese and Finch had one of their very first walk-and-talks, with that tunnel. (Previously it had children! And sunlight!) This time it's a grey, bleak sort of day, with a couple joggers out, and one seedy-looking hacker. This is all very Sneakers-esque, from the lack of social skills down to the snark, and Zoe has to stop the idiot from playing the entire recording for her. Just enough to confirm assumptions/statements about the affair, and here, dude, have some money and stop blabbering about guys who can't keep it in their pants. Or attempting to ogle Zoe, who has been ogled by much worse, I'm sure. She delivers a zinger about asking for at least twice what Talbot did with her typical panache and stalks off while Reese pulls back behind a convenient stairway and delivers a verdict to Finch: not a threat. Yeah, we got that one. I mean, he could be, but he'd have to hire someone else to assassinate Zoe, and then they'd likely have fair warning. Finch confirms what we suspected from his disgruntlement after the policemen's ball, which is that there was no client list in her apartment. Because Zoe is just that competent. (Look, we have a competence fetish, it's a thing, don't mind us. You're here for the competence fetish too, right?) So in conclusion, let's get Zoe talking and thereby acquire any damn information about who wants her dead most immediately! Reese's sniping back at Finch is, in this case, moderated by his admiration of how good she is at her job; we can once again hear the smile in his voice. Aww, spyssassin and fixer romance! How adorable.

Back at the precinct, Carter's tracking down her lead, such as it is. Though as we all know, from slender leads like this are cases cracked wide open. Hey, it's the detective that was originally on the case! And apparently the Elias murder was messy/memorable enough that he doesn't need a further memory jog, or he's one of those cops with a really good/long memory. (Though we know that it's a standard enough thing for people to remember the one that got away/the case they should have closed and didn't, etc.) He flirts a little bit after the manner of an old retired gentleman who's ceding power of the interaction to the woman, which makes me like him a fair bit. And then Carter updates him on the robbery at evidence lockup, which has the added bonus of reminded us what happened since there were only hints that it might be important later in the season. She has, at this point, confirmed that the murder weapon in her open case and Sullivan's cold case is the same, and also informs us that de Luca was the lead suspect at the time. Gee, who's surprised. In general, nobody's heartbroken over the current murder, though Carter would clearly like to know if this is the beginning of a pattern, and if so, which of the possible ones including specific revenge killing or general vigilante thinks-he's-Batman. On account of, that's a lot of planning to go through to keep all the players and pieces separate, and that speaks to the kind of person who's likely to stay around and make trouble. Turns out the case went nowhere back in '70 because the DA was bought and sold by the mob, for which I have that jar with the surprised face somewhere around here. Sully gives us a little spiel about how the city was different then, focusing on how Marlene was a cocktail waitress at a mob-owned bar who had an affair with the don, got pregnant, wanted more than being the bit on the side and got killed for it. A fairly standard story, were it not for the fact that the son was there and walked barefoot to the station to get help after discovering his mother's boy. I do feel a bit sorry for Elias without having any desire to excuse his current behavior, because jesus fuck, dude, did you lose the life lottery. Elias goes into the system, the don lives criminally ever after, and yeah, damn right Carter assumes the kid (who would now be mid-to-late-40s) did it, on account of massive bucketsful of motive. Note that while we get a photo over top of Elias' file, we do not get anything even remotely like a first name, or a DOB, or anything else that would be remotely GODDAMN USEFUL. Which is entirely on purpose. Not that I'm bitter.

The Machine takes us back down to the streets of the city, where Reese is driving Zoe to yet another meeting, this one to trade the recording for her paycheck. He's also piping jazz through the car stereo. Reese, you are not subtle. Zoe doesn't think you're subtle either, and she's going to call you on it. With a little eyeflicker that says she's stomping on her usual suspicions to give a tolerantly curious response. Reese you are not just not subtle, you're cracking me up. We're getting, for your amusement, three-quarters profile on Zoe who's half in light and half in shadow (though it's fairly subtle) and a profile shot of Reese to indicate that he's playing her. We also get a number of shots of Reese's eyes in the rearview window, watching Zoe, in this scene. Insert all applicable symbolism about eyes as the window to the soul and reflections, then stack them up. Enjoy. Excuse me, I'll be back when I'm done banging my head against the wall. Zoe turns the question back to Reese rather than answering it, which is a classic deflection technique. And that "suuure" is way, way too drawly for me to buy it as anything other than prying, of the give a little to get a little variety. (I actually suspect Reese doesn't give much thought to his musical tastes.) So now he'll quote Miles Davis, a classic choice but not one with much depth to it, about playing what's not there instead of what is. Aheh. Like you, Reese, and being not all there either in a legal sense or a mental sense? It's a blatant attempt at digging, with the segue into her knowing how to play people, and I'd like to believe that Reese would be smoother about it if he weren't so crunched for time. Then again, given his occupation I'm not sure he was ever NOT crunched for time. That said, this gives him a good look at her lying face, as she pulls her guard all the way up and says she fixes people's problems rather than playing them and hates jazz. She's a good liar, very smooth, her gaze drops just a fraction too fast for it to be entirely believable. And that puts an end to THAT conversation for awhile.

Lucky for Reese that he's hanging around, then, because this next scene gets him under her skin a little bit. Though not in the ill-advised sex way that we would totally like to see happen (and yes, we know, we are chomping at the bit to get to that ep through all our other commitments) so much as the pushing followed by validation. Hey, there are two people at this meeting! Reese is immediately suspicious and asking questions I'm pretty sure he already knows the answer to. Zoe would be more suspicious of the meeting if she weren't now suspicious of her driver-cum-bodyguard, well done, Reese. At any rate, he gets his orders to get back in the car, which he promptly disregards, and to Zoe's credit while she may be pissed off at her driver right now she's perfectly capable of using good data when she gets it. So everyone's knowledgeable now about the situation, Zoe's on edge, the original Virtanen contact has a couple of guys for muscle but no boss with him, this is Going South Fast. Really fast, Zoe is clearly aware of what's about to happen but also hoping to be able to talk her way out of it. Or maybe stiletto her way out of it, I would assume she has at least a modicum of self-defense training. So the boss isn't there for the purposes of providing a supposed reason to haul Zoe off for his "personal thanks." Eugh. I'm sure I don't want those thanks either, and I assume they either don't believe Zoe when she says they didn't hire her to listen (a reasonable assumption) or they don't care and just want to be damn sure all the loose ends of this are cleaned up. Probably both. Walter is not getting the driver, unless by getting the driver we mean getting the driver's elbow in his face. Hot. Everyone here appears to have come armed, though only one of them is capable of taking a shot at Reese once he lands blows and gets Zoe out of there and into the car. She is at this point being a reasonably good protectee, which says that she's been in similarly tense situations and gotten out of them just fine. Not that we're surprised, just noting that she's pretty calm under fire and thus has likely been shot at before, and the confirmation is nice. Reese, in a feat of marksmanship, manages to take out a tire on the company SUV, well DONE, but the guy with the gun is still upright enough to come charging out into the street and take potshots. Less well done, Reese, can't you hit a kneecap from 20 yards away? (I jest. Tire's an easier shot, bigger and currently being stationary.) One of them, as usual for these chase scenes, takes out the rear window! Woe and doom and Zoe get down so Reese can badass some more! I note that for all she seems to have been under fire before, she's either not willing to demonstrate skill with firearms herself or, more likely, doesn't have any to demonstrate. Which is an interesting oversight and says something about her belief in her ability to talk before it comes to gunfire, her choice of which jobs to take, and her awareness of her limitations both physical and mental. (More mental, at a guess, but there's plenty of invisible disabilities that would make firing a gun uncomfortable at best.) Once they're safely away, Reese will cheerfully break cover and start talking to Finch, to a hilarious bit of snark at the first round from Zoe. It's a good indicator of how rattled she is, since she clearly didn't expect to come that close, and another good indicator of how quickly she adapts that she's asking who the hell Reese is talking to in the next moment. I have mentioned the girlcrush, right? Because yeah. There's a bit of back and forth, both of them being the consummate professionals that they are about not pushing or revealing more than necessary and focusing on the problem at hand. Which is the recording! Hey, about that. Zoe plays it back for us, and yes, it does sound like an affair but that lampshade about barely being able to make it out is a nice one.

Due to whatever series of events - traffic, distance, both - they reach Talbot's place after dark, to lights flashing in front. That seems like a bad sign. Reese, honey, you should know by now that Zoe's going to do whatever she thinks is best for her, and now you've brought her back into town she's got all kinds of contacts and, probably, boltholes to vanish down. Finch plays exposition man again, letting us know that yes, the scene is exactly what it looks like, Talbot's dead. Better, this is a pharmaceutical company, so they made it look like a heart attack! Aw, guys, you shouldn't have. Finch would like to trade in his exposition hat for the Captain Obvious one, which gives Reese the opening to turn around, stare at where Zoe should still be in the car, and look like he wants to swear. Hey, look at it this way, she got past your good situational awareness, Reese. That means she's decent enough at this to evade the Virtanen goons for awhile!

After the ad break, Reese is pacing around the library of infinite knowledge, which is slowly starting to look like someone lives there purely by virtue of Finch's slowly spreading radius on his desk(s). Finch, meantime, is doing what he does... probably not best, really, but he's the tech nerd, so he's working on cleaning up the audio file. I am reminded of Whistler... oh, look, we're 90% sure that Sneakers is a writers' room favorite at this point, so let's just make it required pop culture knowledge for these recaplyses, yes? Okay then. Blah blah technobabble blah blah snark blah blah unhappy Reese is unhappy. But hey, they have an ID on the voice! And as we get this we see that Finch is also upset/unhappy, going even tenser than usual and and lips thinning as Reese congratulates him on the datamining. It is damn impressive datamining, Finch, though Reese's assumption is still wrong as far as the whole office romance thing. I have to say I think you should start questioning that about now, on account of people don't usually go to quite such lengths to protect knowledge of an affair, particularly when they don't need to maintain an image of family values quite so assiduously. And Finch will now give us more reason to question this, because the Machine spat out Dana Miller's number six months ago, which was prior to Finch finding Reese. There's a lipcurl on "position" that indicates self-loathing and the knowledge that that's just an excuse, probably exacerbated by the fact that Finch has gotten out in the field some already but hasn't yet run up against his limitations, and so he believes that of course he should have been able to do more. Oh everyone. Reese puts his irritation away long enough to incorporate new data, because he is nothing if not a well-trained spyssassin. This is the most emotion Finch has shown so far, too, talking about how he knows this must have been a homicide and seeking redemption; I would go so far as to say that at least a part of this is because he feels as though he's failing his own creation every time he doesn't even try to save someone. With great power, etc. Reese puts the pieces together in the only way the configuration makes sense to him right now, which is still not examining base assumptions rarr, but it's a fault a lot of us have. (Yes, I include us in there.) So it's an office romance gone bad, couldn't pay her off because of Keller the CEO, so he had her killed and covered it up. The recording isn't a lot to go on, but yeah, if the cops got hold of it it'd probably be enough for an exhumation order and a second autopsy, assuming such is possible, regardless of what the underlying circumstances of Miller's murder were. At any rate, this is enough to trip Finch's revenge buttons and he will now stalk off giving orders to Reese about finding Zoe while he deals with a business meeting and a "recent investment." Oh Finch. You didn't.

You did! FINCH. Be better. Owning 8% of the stock in Virtanen is not like better and now I'm having Leverage flashbacks. This means, of course, that the head honchos that Finch wants to spy on/be toothy at/otherwise fuck with are meeting with him, and it further indicates just HOW much money Finch has at his disposal. Pharma stock couldn't have been cheap. 87 millions shares of it? Yeesh. Even assuming Finch was fucking around with the stock market to acquire the assets to buy that, yeesh. (For comparison, 87 million shares of GSK at time of writing this rounds to about $4bil. Granted, that may be a bigger company than they're aiming for in this ep, but somehow I don't think so.) So, then! Finch walks in in full on rich eccentric billionaire in a suit getup, complete with understated cane and truly godawful alias. Partridge? Really? I make pear tree jokes while Finch blathers on about anonymity and gift-giving, excusing it with something he picked up in Japan and establishing himself as an international man of mystery. Whoops, wrong genre. So the bug gets planted and Finch takes a tour! Virtanen focuses their market efforts on pain relief, or at least for purposes of appealing to Mr. Partridge they do. I would guess that's half truth and half spin for the new investor; precious few pharma companies would be that narrow in focus. Finch makes the obvious comment about how he has a particular interest in pain relief, because it's socially expected, and hey presto, a segue into a migraine drug. Now, I just want to note here that I don't know if they didn't do their research or if they did do their research and want me to be annoyed with the drug company, but -cet is a suffix used for high-octane opiates. They are, yes, sometimes prescribed for migraines either by docs who don't know the full treatment protocol or when nothing else works, but the class of migraine-specific drugs is singular: triptans, which are a migraine abortive. Painkillers treat only the pain; triptans (if you're lucky) will work on the aura/brain fog/aphasia/mood swings/other assorted FUN symptoms that class a headache into migraine territory. So for this guy to claim that Cilocet/Silocet is a migraine specific opiate? Is suspicious right off the bat.

Rant over! Finch gets to meet Keller the CEO now, and it's one of those little meetings in the middle of a hallway, which has the benefit of being obviously short and also obviously designed to set Finch at a disadvantage, being that standing around not moving is likely to be fairly uncomfortable in the scheme of dealing with his back/neck issues. Finch has some teeth on "impressive empire," which he manages to put away and mostly look like a real boy. Or at least a real rich guy who's hard to impress, instead of someone who's coming in for a hostile takeover. A bunch of blather about how Mark's taking over soon, bad rich people jokes, and some more teeth shown, and Finch is passed back over to the attractive handler who's probably way overqualified to be babysitting investors. Not that I'm bitter or anything. The dialogue bits are very well done but mostly serve to establish Finch's utter loathing for Keller, which comes into play later, and the important plot point comes in... oh, about now. (Did you notice that we got full face on Finch in this scene, though? Because we did, and he was conning someone, but we didn't get a lot of it, because the dislike was genuine. This has been your PSA on film angles and Finch's face for the ep.) Hey, the bug's working! Mark and his second in command go over the situation as it now stands, which is to say: poorly, for them, because Zoe and Reese are still out there. Amusing, and good for Zoe's rep, that they believe she hired a bodyguard to masquerade as a driver; it'll make her seem damn near precognitive later on. Standard bad-guy discussion with expensive alcohol, expensive suits, and remarkably few facial twitches from Mark, take care of this or I'll throw you under the bus implications. They don't need stating outright because we're all knowledgeable here. Finch has been on his "phone call" while he walks out of the building, and we close the scene with a shot of him at the edge of Virtanen's grounds looking perturbed.

Then it's back over to the B plot! I could wish, a little, for some more overlap between Team Machine and Team Cop this episode, but they needed to work the metaplot in here somewhere before next episode, and this is as logical a place as any. Plus, it's good to see Carter working a case that, while tangentially connected to Reese at the moment, doesn't actually put her in his way on the number of the week. Short scene, establishing some background on Carl Elias and I think that's the first time we get a first name on him. At any rate, it's sure not what he's going by once we finally meet him. Sullivan's remembered some things, collect some data, and Elias was a runaway mostly raised by an older woman. By the way Sully talks about the Christmas cards and the history, I would guess a couple of things: first, that Elias was encouraged in his revenge fantasies by the woman and second that the woman was ex-Mob or Mob widow of some variety. Lost a lover, lost son(s), something of the sort. At a very rough guess, they had common ground of having lost loved ones in some manner to Mob activity, probably violently, probably in a way that elicited a post-traumatic stress reaction, and Gloria tried to do what she could for Elias. Not that we ever find out, because seriously, what the fuck, how did Sully get the original Christmas cards, or what looks like them? Argh. Insufficient data; it's possible he went and talked it out of her or whoever took possession of her effects after she died, because I would also bet that her death triggered Elias into making his move in the city, whenever it was. At least, it's a definite possibility. At any rate, Sully signs off with some more of the casual flirting and Carter shuts him down with a standard one-of-the-guys response. Aw, Carter. You're a woman after my own heart too! Unfortunately, we can already guess that this is a whole lot of foreshadowing to Sully getting dead, because getting actual DATA on Elias? Gasp shock never. Pout.

Meanwhile Back At The Lair, Finch is still trying to clean up the recording, with limited but eventual success. Reese has come to the conclusion that if he can't find Zoe, she's probably safe. Truer words! Also a bit of quietly being impressed, by the look of it. This is a nice quiet little moment where Reese is, by and large, allowing Finch to do his thing and speculating to keep himself from jittering visibly. (Except that is a visible jitter. Reese, honey, you got it bad.) At any rate, Finch got room tone, which for those of us who aren't audiophiles is the background hum and hiss that every room has to some extent. Turns out this isn't an affair, it's a drug trial gone bad! Hands up everyone who's surprised. Reese will be raising an eyebrow instead of his hands. Finch starts babbling, which is somewhat abnormal for him but he's thrilled (as little as he shows it) that Dana Miller was not just a victim, but a genuinely good person whose memory he gets to uphold, in some way. And hurt, too, that he failed her so thoroughly, but hopeful. This might be the most hopeful we've seen Finch yet, and I'm torn between lauding the Machine for giving that to him and swearing at it for being as much of a manipulative fuck as its creator. Speaking of, he frames it at first as "we," him and the Machine, finding Reese. Uh-huh. Have another clue to drop on the pile of This Is An AI evidence. Oh Finch honey. This is also a lot of opening up to Reese, of showing what drives him to do this (and only a couple of episodes after Reese asked, too) and explaining why, in any form at all. It still doesn't explain why he thought it was a good idea in the first place (because he could, is my guess), nor does it explain what tripped him from accepting the terrible bargain into wanting to act, but this at least gives Reese some passion in his employer, something to hold onto and use as motivation the next time they're butting heads over proper tactics on a case. Reese, for his part, has gone to observer status, blank-faced and taking all of this in to be processed, sorted, and filed away in the appropriate containers later. We neither need nor get to hear how much getting justice for just one of the old numbers would mean to Finch, because hey look, Zoe turned her cell phone on! Finch tries to close back down into the cold and snarky bastard we all know and love, but Reese has already processed this enough to realize how much information he's been given. I am, in retrospect, not actually sure how much of it was even deliberate, given how shaken Finch has been by the whole thing. Regardless, it happened, and there's a little smile around Reese's mouth and in the corners of his eyes that is, I think, both for knowing that Finch really cares about something and for getting to go track down Zoe. Speaking of cold bastards who care about something.

Their next pass at each other (with swords, of course, what did you think I meant? Perverts) comes in a moderately upscale restaurant. Zoe's dressed more conservatively, and poured two glasses of red wine oh god you two are adorable. John even put on a tie and a shirt that's neither white nor black! I know it's nominally for their cover but NOW KISS. Ahem. Sorry, was that my outside voice? Zoe remarks dryly about how he really is tracking her cell phone, which leads us to two conclusions: that she wanted to be found or at least didn't object to the possibility, and that this was a very blatant test of Reese's capabilities. For someone who's been on the run, she looks pretty put together, but she also has practice at this. And teeth. Did I mention teeth? This is not a woman who likes having knowledge withheld from her, or new players inserted into the game she plays so well, and she's letting Reese know it. In small, simple words. She's also digging for more information on Reese, which he won't give her, although she's smart enough that the lack of a response should tell her something about his history and training. He, in turn, clearly appreciates someone who's willing to be blunt and lay their cards out and admit that everyone's being knowledgeable about this, though he still makes her work for it a little. Just a little, asking why he's here if she doesn't like him so much. Well, the enemy of my not-an-ally is arguably my friend. Or at least usable. They do a little dance of information trading, and hey, Zoe has more info! Guys, this is what happens when you deal in favors and information and real meat people for a living, not just recordings and half-assed contacts who are up to now solely through the PD. I'm just saying. So Dana Miller was involved with the clinical trials, which means she had access to hard data, which means the transfer out prior to her murder was so they could try and scrub the data. Reese would like to know how she got the data, well, she's been busy and she'll feed him his own line straight back to him. Well played, Zoe.

So what now? It's not deal-making time, which means it's probably vicious revenge time, and that surprises Reese to a degree. He seems to have assumed Zoe was more amoral than that, or that she has something she can already use on them. That might be, but it looks like what she wants is to hit them where they live for what they did this time. Which she will explain by giving us a line that is not at all about baby!Zoe at all, of course not, why would you think that, and involves a lot of quiet vulnerability on Zoe's part. Yeah, some of it's an act, but some of it's real fear and anger over having been put in a position to get shot at, and having had to rely on a stranger she didn't know she was relying on. Zoe Morgan doesn't deal well with helplessness, and poor young Dana reminds her a little of herself. So yes, this just got personal. Reese sees the cover for what it is and, having been given information and vulnerability by two people in a matter of hours, gives her the out of "also, they tried to kill you." I will be over here making trollfaces because that is so cute. Give and take and don't poke in the gaping scars that she just revealed, which makes them more interesting to each other, though she does look a little ashamed/wary of having revealed that much when there was the easy way out. (Zoe Morgan: also not actually keen on the easy way out.) And then we get, I'm sorry, some of the worst damn ADR I've seen in awhile. I know the wine glass is supposed to hide it, but Reese's jaw isn't moving at ALL when he asks where they're going. Let's have a blatant topic change, though! And go do something illegal instead of talking about our feelings or anything ridiculous like that. Aww, good spyssassin and fixer. There's a whole lotta eyegleaming on both their parts over doing something illegal, and I think we can take the permanent trollface when they're sharing screentime as written now, yes? Okay then.

We break, the Machine takes us down a street, and Zoe and Reese are now on the steps of what I believe is the courthouse from last ep, Reese in classic bodyguard position of behind but looming pointedly. Lieutenant Gilmore (aw, I liked calling him Lieutenant Uncle!) is going to do her one more favor and ensure the police don't respond to any break-ins at Virtanen tonight. Which is a) stretching her favors and b) not quite as well-worded as I would have liked, but she's stressed and not looking for signs of betrayal. Reese, however, is, and I'd guess that eyeflicker over to Zoe is the only sign he's giving that he thinks this is going to go bad on them. But hey, he's gotten out of worse situations, and he's still teetering on the razor wire of whether or not he has anything to live for. At any rate, they head over to Virtanen and place some cameras, I guess? We don't really need to see this process, however much I might enjoy watching Reese and Zoe work together, so all we get is a clip of Reese and Finch communicating. Then some standard adrenaline-driven snark about so they try to kill you and your reaction is to... break into their offices? And some more snark about whether or not she ever gets to meet his friend. One of these days Reese will give up the digs about "a very private person." Today is not that day. Tomorrow doesn't look so good either. Also, this is why you don't put massive transparent glass windows in your corporate buildings, folks, it's really easy to establish a camera perimeter for exactly this guard-dodging sort of situation. Depending on the type of camera, even reflective glass wouldn't help. Zoe tries to get Reese to tell her anything about his skillsets, which just gets her an amused grin and a non-answer of "it's a long story." Heh. But yes, he is totally one of those people who can get into or out of anything with a paperclip. And now it's time to play some fun hacking games with the desktop! Much to nobody's surprise, Reese has to use the recovery software to get at it, after a brief spiel from Finch about how nothing is ever really gone in digital land (truer words, dude) and we can about see Reese wishing Finch were here so he had the certainty of not fucking it up. Which is fair, but he's not going to because he's a trained spyssassin, right? Of course right! I love that they have Zoe be the one to spot all the connections in the hard data, being that she's trained to look for these patterns and make sense out of very little. Hey look, there are six names not on the FDA trials! I bet they're all dead. Finch, be a dear and confirm that for us, would you? Oh, even better, it's all congestive heart failure, so harder to pinpoint on the drug without a full autopsy, tox report, and preferably some of the drug to compare effects against. Zoe does the math for us, because she's awesome like that, and comes up with a 3% mortality rate. Mortality rate. Not side effect rate. Jesus fuck. (So about that inadvisable sex... okay, I'll stop making Jesus-Caviezel jokes for the duration of the scene.) BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE. Finch just realized that the hissing in the background of the office noise is the air conditioning, which is the missing component to cleaning up that recording! Well, that should net us something interesting soon. If Zoe figures out what's going on over the comms, she isn't saying anything, rather staring at the data, gleaning further connections and any other snippets she can get out of it. I also appreciate the way they neatly combined reaction with passing the information from Finch along to Zoe in this scene, it's good, tight writing.

And whoops. That would be Douglas, with a gun, in the office. And also the lieutenant, who will now proceed to deliver a rather rules-lawyered version of their bargain back to Zoe. It's almost fae in its twistyness. The police will indeed not be responding, and you know, on the one hand I admire the guts it took to decide to betray a person as powerful as Zoe Morgan? On the other hand, even if you do have someone you'd like to set on her throne, the power vacuum won't be pleasant for anyone to ride out. Some people like that kind of thing, I guess? Some people also juggle geese. At any rate, Finch uncovered more data from the shitty recording! Yay! Dana Miller was threatening to go to Keller the shady CEO! Not yay. And Finch has lost track of his operatives while he was busy cleaning the recording. Boo. Meantime the Machine gives us a clip of Douglas and Lawson talking before we come back to rest on our happy couple. Wait, no, they're handcuffed and it's not voluntary. Never mind. Zoe stops to ask Reese's name, you know, before they maybe die. Note that she's positioned sinister and he's positioned dexter, though on the left is also a traditional place to be for the woman in a wedding. I'm just saying. And possibly giggling into the keyboard. Reese's little smirk indicates that he knows she's not going to believe him even though he's telling the truth, so he makes it sound like a lie on purpose with repetition and snark. No, John, nobody believes your name is John. I'm not 100% certain that it didn't get changed at some point prior to meeting Jessica, for that matter, but insufficient data either way and regardless he's been John for at least a decade at this point. We will now engage in a battle of rapier wits! Fortunately there's no iocane powder involved. (Yet.) Reese does look just a tiny bit hurt at the extent to which she laughs over his given name, at which point she attacks again, trying to figure out how he knew anything about her and her abruptly landing in trouble. To which he lies through his teeth and picks a truth to tell that's just barely believable, and then attacks in turn by suggesting through barely moving lips that she find a new line of work. It gets him the predictable response, to which he smirks, and a followup of "you don't know anything about me." Zoe, that was exactly the wrong thing to say, because now Reese is going to enumerate all the things he does know about her. It's not even profiling, because he's pulling a just-the-facts-ma'am act with it (and because much though I love him, Reese is not a profiler): born in Yonkers, father a city official who got caught in a corruption case and lost his job, moved to a tiny apartment in Queens with her mother. Probably a divorce in there, though it's not spelled out, and he's kind as far as these things go, dropping eye contact so she can stare at him and not feel challenged any further than the information will put her on the defensive. Looks back up at the end of it to explain the one gap he has, which really isn't much of a gap because any idiot can fill in the blanks between the data points he just gave us to Zoe deciding to take control in ways that are available to her. This isn't a profile, you see, it's an interrogation, never mind that they keep putting him dexter and her sinister as the camera cuts back and forth between them. She is, yes, deeply uncomfortable with this, but she also thinks they might be about to die and they're kindred spirits in a lot of ways. Thus, giving up the answer, despite chewing on her lower lip, scrunching her face up some, and looking away, all indicators of how little she likes this. I will stop and laugh over the description of her father as a "machine politician," which I'm sure the writers put in there to make us all facepalm and I'm glad Reese can control his face. Though as she goes on with the story, it's clear that she has nearly as much control, giving John full eye contact and showing fewer signs of discomfort. Meanwhile I'm going oh honey over her father getting screwed over by the party politicians and dealing with the press for weeks on end and deciding she wants to be the person who always knows what to say and always has something to trade. It is, for people like them, one hell of an answer. Reese would quite rightly like to know what she plans to trade this time!

As is tradition in these sequences, Zoe will be answering with actions rather than words, on account of here come their captors. Hi Douglas. So very not nice to see you again. Also, though I realize they didn't do anything with their time? This was a stupid idea, leaving them alone to potentially plot a way out of this. Then again, we know they're underestimating Reese and it seems likely they're underestimating Zoe at least a little. Finch will now proceed to play Mr. Partridge and try to tell Keller that oh noes, his employees are committing murder! Have committed murder! Meanwhile we will all facedesk at him. Finch, honey, you really ought to know how corporate conspiracies work, you were part of one once. Sigh. Back in interrogation, Douglas is punching Reese for no reason other than he doesn't like his face that we can see. (I mean, it's safe to assume Reese was a snarky fuck, but I like my confirmation.) Zoe will now proceed to both bluff and lie with the truth and every other trick in her bag to get out of this alive. She emailed a copy to a friend! The only person in the world she trusts! Yeah, we know what that means. Several half-truths followed by a lie, unless she really does have a mechanism to make her emails to herself go public if they contain certain codewords/timing triggers/something. Which I doubt, because that would require more computer skills than she has and thus require farming it out to a hacker, and would Zoe Morgan trust a hacker? I do not think so. Not with something that sensitive. Hey, let's make a deal! Let's play a game of Prisoner (pun halfway intended), because that always ends well! Aheh. Zoe cuts a glance over at Reese, who isn't looking at her, he's looking up at Lawson like he can rip his throat out from here. I wouldn't bet against that, personally. Meantime Finch made the phone call before the recording finished cleaning and I will still be facedesking. Both over that and over the fact that Keller came and tried to throw his weight around at Dana Miller and TOLD HER he knew. I mean fucking really, you may not know someone's recording but overestimating is much better than underestimating in this case. Anyway, Finch hangs up just as the call goes through, which gives us a nice transition back to Keller making annoyed faces at his now-silent phone and asking why the hell they're still alive. Cue alpha male pissing on Lawson's leg over his inability to handle the situation and paternalistic bullshit directed at Zoe, which she is clearly not buying but then pauses and does a good impression of demure and thinking about it. The Zoe Morgan we know would also not put up with someone like Keller trying to boss her around, but she talks a good game as they pull the vials of This Was A Heart Attack No Really out and start prepping for death. Sure, she'll take them straight to the report, which is a phrasing that sets all my alarm bells off that she intends to do no such thing. Reese, though, is despondent or at least doing a good impression of it. Again, since they're both lying liars who lie, hard to be sure how much of his reaction is genuine and how much is for the benefit of the suits. And now we reap the benefits of having trollfaced at the pair of them all episode! A kiss for the benefit of being able to transfer the paperclip to Reese, but hey, we'll take it. They have an exchange of looks as Zoe tells him about having something to trade again, in which it's pretty clear that the trade will be him getting her out of the clutches of the Virtanen suits assuming he really does manage to escape. There's a lot of quiet trust and faith in each other's abilities in evidence here, and it gives me all the squee, you guys. We close to the ad break with Reese starting to pick his cuffs and Douglas being intimidating at him with the vial.

When we come back, the Machine gives us a quick rooftop view and then it's back down to the vial. Ah, the good old standby, potassium chloride, then! Why mess with what works. Protip: villainous monologuing never works, Douglas. They give us a bit on potassium chloride and its government-sanctioned uses for the benefit of those who can't/didn't read the bottle label and also because it lets Reese buy a little more time. Nice use of the shock-and-awe tactic, there: shock with the lucky-you comment, awe with... well, the needle. Douglas is big, but neither as strong nor as trained as Reese. This is probably the first for-sure kill we've seen Reese commit onscreen, too, and some gorgeous acting by Caviezel as he goes all distant and thousand yard stare in the corner of our screen. Remember how he talked to Megan Tillman about losing a piece of yourself? Well, he's still losing pieces of himself. It doesn't stop. And this is a very, very nice bit of telling us that without using any words at all.

In the meantime, Zoe's placing a call. I just want it noted that the continuity on this is really weird; it was full dark and didn't seem to be near dawn when they went in and got captured and now it's full morning? Hmmmm. Guys, I think your continuity done got fucked, because I can't come up with a plausible reason for them to have allowed Zoe a few hours of sleep or anything useful like that. I can see the usefulness in filming for doing the B&E/capture/interrogation sequence at night (dark times, dark deeds) and then the reveal in daylight, but since they haven't done similar time fuckery like this before I'm going to assume that their desire for the right lighting got in the way of their common sense. At any rate, she may or may not actually be on the phone with Finch, but she knows damn well they have her phone bugged. My guess is she's actually on the phone with her pet gang members? petty criminals? whoever the hell they are and is trusting Finch to be competent. Especially since, after he gets Reese back in his ear, he says she sent him her location, not called and told him. (Besides, where the hell would she have gotten a number?) Reese still seems to think, before this, that Zoe only gave him the tools to get out himself, not the tools to make it all come out right. Reese, honey, Finch is wrong. You don't need to be more trusting, you need to learn to read people a little better. Though possibly some of that lack of faith is due to having just killed someone. Anyway, Naval Yards it is, where she did the exchange for the gun in the first place! That's a very pleased/hopeful tone he's got as he heads out. Aww, Reese.

Finch, it turns out (and as we guessed by the suit) is in his Partridge persona, sitting down to breakfast with Keller. (Again I say: what the fuck, chronology.) We will now proceed to have not just shades of Leverage, but practically a full-on homage to the pilot and the gloating Nate Ford does over Victor Dubenich. With bonus points for in person and surrounded by opulence to remind us of the corruption of wealth and power. Finch looks like he's thinking "Sylocet," or perhaps "you" in response to "what's your poison," but instead we cut over to the Naval Yards for a few seconds, where Zoe and Lawson are sitting in the car to "get the report." Uh-huh. Zoe, honey, nobody believes you at this point and all you can do is play for time. Though yeah, that's the same guys who got her the gun from the subway and oh my god, dude, what have we said about shoving your gun down your pants? That's a terrible idea. But they're... backup to Reese, or maybe backup to Zoe being able to talk her way out of this AND backup to Reese, I'm not laying odds on how many layers are involved with this. Lawson catches on faster than I might have expected him to, and says the email's been here the whole time. On her smartphone. Well, yeah. But first, more gloating and stupidly expensive plates of average looking breakfast dishes! (Though now I want eggs and bacon, myself. Dammit.) Finch is waiting for the sale to go through. In the car, Lawson is scrolling through Zoe's phone while he monologues and, okay, I will admit that he probably made her give him the lock code awhile ago for exactly this reason? But she's paranoid enough I would kind of have liked to see that be an issue, because lock screens are never an issue with smartphones on TV. Except when it's a plot point. I'm not that paranoid, but I keep a lock code on my phone at all times. Anyway, the report is in Zoe's email, sent to herself from herself, hands up who's surprised? No? Okay, you can stop sitting on them, we have a bit to go yet and you'll need the scroll wheel. In the background, we see at least five guys heading up the walkway toward the car, all presumably armed, which suggests that there was some kind of code word she used on the phone with them, or some protocol that she deliberately broke by not getting out of the car, or both. They are, if not coming to her rescue, coming to be an excellent distraction! Lawson would like to get the fuck out of here. I don't think the driver's window breaking due to sheer force of Reese was quite what he had in mind. Reese, I don't know where you got that taser, but can I have one? To tase the creep with some more? This is some more bad ADR, I hate to say it, because the sound quality is completely wrong for it to be outside. What, guys, did Caviezel have a cold during filming or something? Sigh. Anyway, gratuitous snark about a pill for that migraine and hello, Zoe snarking much more predictably. Reese challenges her, she replies, and I'm really not sure if that's a lie or not. I think it probably is; I think she wanted to do the right thing and was looking for a way out of the situation both and didn't come up with the paperclip until the last possible second. Reese gives her an assessing look that tells us very little about what conclusions he's drawing. Dammit, Reese, be more scrutable.

Now we get the full measure of gloating. Keller would like to know Finch's intentions toward his 8% of the stock in the company, which does suggest that he asked for this meeting, not Finch. It also suggests that one of the reasons Finch is so vicious in this scene is because he resents the fuck out of having to deal with Keller again. So, then, Reese texts him to confirm that the job's done, which means he can proceed with the gloating instead of whatever his backup plan was for this meeting. Not that I pretend to know all the stockbroker babble Finch is tossing out here, but the gist of it is that he fucked Virtanen and, by extension, Keller over most thoroughly and taking all their money. Keller at sinister and Finch at dexter, as you would expect. Finch will now proceed to give some vague explanation for why he's doing this in the form of Dana Miller's picture, which I'm sure means Keller thinks she was a relative or lover, but that doesn't matter a bit to Finch. Harold, darling, give Fassbender his teeth back. He unfolds some $100s just to make his point even more thoroughly and this could only be more Dramatic And Ominous if Keller had a heart attack at the damn table. The way he's paralyzed in shock, he might as well be.

Remember that B plot? Yeah, the writers almost forgot about it, too, though I will grant for pacing's sake there wasn't anywhere good to stuff this until the A plot had most of a resolution tacked onto it. Carter's headed to Sully's, in something of a hurry but no more so than usual for a cop. She also passes the shooter on the stairs. Whoops. The "excuse me" says to me that Carter notices something off, but not what until she gets up to the apartment and that door shouldn't be open. No obvious signs of forced entry, but on this show obvious signs are door splinters from an acute case of Reese, so that's not necessarily an indication of anything. Sully is, exactly as we expected, very dead on his kitchen floor. Poor bastard. (I will pause here to note that silencers don't actually make guns that much quieter and if it was as closely timed with Carter's arrival as it appears she would have heard the gunshot(s)? But this is Hollywood. Sigh.) Speaking of which, you know, shooter, if you hadn't made so much noise pounding down the stairs she might have gone straight for the 911 call? But instead we get a brief shootout sequence with the guy in the baseball cap and Carter, who has much better reflexes and better aim and I think she totally led that shot. Have I mentioned recently how Carter is the best? Because damn, woman. And we're back to nighttime, as we see when she comes down and out the front. No shooter, but some blood on the brickwork from that last shot through the window. And blood gets us DNA gets us records if someone's already in the system! Also that's a pretty small bloodsmear, I'm once again impressed by her instincts that cause her to look and find that one particular spot.

We'll leave Carter to badass her way through the crime scene and go on over to the next morning, where the news is playing. Yay, fraud and conspiracy and murder charges for Keller and Lawson! What, no mention of Douglas and his body? I guess they covered that one the hell up, somehow. And the lieutenant is probably free of this particular case, or at least he's not being mentioned on the newscast. Turns out Beecher Pharmaceuticals is doing something or another, at which point Zoe would like the radio off. Much to our amusement but utter lack of surprise, Reese is playing her driver-cum-bodyguard one last time. He, too, is amused by her having tipped off the Virtanen rival company, and teases about the big payout. But surprise! Zoe's willing to show her softer side, such as it is, and tells us that part of that payout went to Dana Miller's family. She doesn't deny it was a big payout, though, which I giggle over a little. Zoe, are you playing Robin Hood? That's adorable. Oh, hey, Gilmore is up on corruption charges. EXCELLENT. Justice for all. Or at least most. You two need to stop flirting with all the comments about "someone influential" and multiple callbacks to the development of their relationship in five words and go have ill-advised sex in the back of the car. Ahem. He pulls up to the curb, delivers a line about staying out of trouble that is just so she can snark back at him and bring a smile to his face. John, honey, you're transparent as far as how much you like her. And you do have her number. Zoe moves off to become another face in the Machine panorama of the crowd, and fade to black. But not the kind we wanted. Teasing bastards of writers.


  1. I didn't know you did poi. I'll be all over this from now on!

    1. Yay! Yeah, we picked it up as a plan back in January or February when we watched a bunch of shows to see if we wanted to add anything, but it took us awhile to get going on the recaplyses.