Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Love Is Vengeance (Person of Interest S1E17 Baby Blue)

Today on Person of Interest we have... Reese running around a truck holding a baby? Oh this shit's going to get real interesting. It's clips like this that make me really appreciate the opening credits teaser, because then we get to spend the next however many minutes (usually, I think, 30 to 45) boggling and going "what the shit is this?" and trying to work out how whatever strange image we saw works into the episode. Assuming we're not too busy boggling at the episode itself. Anyway, it starts the surprises early. And Reese is cute with a baby, even if he looks rather scared.

But before we get to the baby we have to deal with some old friends, Moretti and Elias. The Machine is eavesdropping on a conversation between two of Elias's men, something about Moretti getting out and possibly Elias arranged it to get Moretti out in the open. This can only end in blood. I'd say tears but no one in this group would shed tears over anyone dying, most likely. Elias is too cold a fish and Moretti is too bitter. And the rest of the group just isn't important enough, narratively speaking. And from there we get to the roof cameras of a building surrounded by razorwire and barbed wire. So it's not exactly difficult to guess where we are, yes? Yes. Away from the cameras and outside the prison Carter is lurking in her car waiting for, presumably, someone to walk Moretti out. What she gets is Reese popping into her car like he belongs there, much to what appears to be his amusement and her resigned exasperation. Where the hell did Reese come from is the perennial question here on Person of Interest. (We'll ignore the larger question that that raises.) His skills at Batmanning in and out of places are legendary. Oh, hey, here's Moretti. Carter, you should know better than to ask obvious questions by now, like why Reese is here or how he knows to be here. It only amuses him and it doesn't get you an answer. His turn for questions: what is Carter planning? It turns out she's authorized to offer Moretti protection in exchange for helping them get Elias off the street. Because that's not going to go poorly at all. We all remember what happened the last time she made an offer like that to Moretti? I hope you do, 'cause someone in that chain of command doesn't, though I don't think it's Carter by the weary way she explains this to Reese. Moretti basically told everyone to go fuck themselves. Moretti is in this for Moretti, and no one else. Certainly not his bastard son, but also not to fuck over his bastard son, because that would not be in the interests of Moretti.

And once Carter gets out of the car to approach Moretti with what will most likely turn out to be another futile offer, it's time for Reese to contact Finch! Apparently Finch is on his way out of the office, to Reese's mild distress, they've got another number! This one issued to a Leila Smith only a couple of months ago. Finch offers us only a couple of reasons why Social Security would issue someone a new number, either a new citizen or a case of identity fraud, but we can think of a few others, can't we? There's always the possibility that it's someone under witness protection. You can get a new SSN if you provide evidence of life-threatening harrassment or abuse and need to change your identity and move (you know, I doubt a lot of people know that, and I doubt it's as easy as they make it sound, but apparently it's true.) And, of course, if a new person comes into the world. Which I guess falls under new citizen, but not in the way of being naturalized that Finch is thinking and we are meant to infer, judging by his use of the word "woman" and referring to finding her work address. Oops. Anyway, Reese is mildly upset, most likely only because it is Moretti's number (which handily tells us that he's not here because Moretti is a dangerous criminal and connected to Elias, he's here because Moretti's in actual imminent danger, as the Machine showed us earlier) and any time Moretti and Elias are involved, things get complicated. But for this one, he's apparently on his own. Ah well.

Carter demonstrates some of the disregard for her own safety and/or confidence in her own badassery that we saw several episodes ago by stepping out in front of Moretti's car, badge high. It's not the brightest move she's ever made, but on the other hand they are going pretty slowly and it's not likely his driver wants to run down a cop who's identified herself, and it's not likely they would have stopped on command, and still, Carter, you're stepping out in front of a car. Please to be having a little more regard for your own safety and well-being. Reese would like you to have some regard for your own safety, too. No, actually, more likely that look is appreciation of her audacity but also resignation for the fact that this isn't likely to go anywhere. Carter taps on the window, which they duly roll down so she can have a chat with the boss. It doesn't go well. He dismisses and insults her assessment of his chances while she attempts to impress upon him the fact that Elias really, really wants him dead, but unfortunately she doesn't have much in the way of anything apart from, well, Elias really, really wants him dead. He, on the other hand, has the thinly veiled threat in the form of reminding her that she's the cop Elias tried to have murdered, which is a double-pronged slam in that if she can't protect herself from Elias making death threats why should he think she can protect him, and reminding her that Elias likely hasn't stopped gunning for her either. On the other hand it's also not as harsh a threat as he probably would like it to be, considering she's still breathing. He also reminds her that she's on her own, in which case I'd be reminding him that it looks like I've done pretty good for a cop on my own. Not that he gives her the chance. Now that she's out of the way of the car, the driver moves on. Leaving Carter to stand behind watching him with that expression of lips-pressed-together irritation. Yeah, I'd be cranky, too.

Leaving her there, we go over to the entrance of... something. Some place Finch is parking his car and getting out and moving along to? So, probably not the entrance of wherever this is taking place. The camera gives us a glimpse of two guys putting maroon scrubs on over some under clothes, gee, you think that'll be important later? Naaah. And then slides over to the right to follow Finch, who is our point of view character for this and the only important one in the frame no seriously. I don't believe you, camera person. Editor person. Whoever. Finch seems to take brief notice of them, though I doubt he's noticing as much as Reese might, he's at least taking note. So that's getting better. He's also walking better but, as always, it's hard to say whether that's for Emerson's ease of movement or whether Finch's pain is that variable from day to day. Finch, it also seems like, isn't going in the front entrance. He's going instead to a panel box down an unobtrusive flight of stairs and, ah, disabling the security cameras! And blinding the Machine. I wonder if the Machine gets irritated with him for that. I know I would. Someone will no doubt shortly be out to fix the cameras, at which point I wonder why he did something so obvious as cut the wires because that at least theoretically should alert security as opposed to, say cutting them ragged and leaving a dead mouse in the box just to make it look like I'm overthinking this, aren't I. Of course I am. He doesn't need them to be off for any great length of time, just long enough for him to get into the hospital intranet, maybe? Secure system? Something into which he cannot get without being at that particular terminal in person at worst, or in the hospital system at best. That being a location on Leila Smith! Which now he has. We now start cutting back and forth between Finch and Reese, meaning there's going to be some sort of climax imminent on at least one of these lines. Reese isn't sure where Moretti's going; Carter exposits that Moretti used to own a house out here, and depending on how long ago that 'used to' is, it's likely that Elias knows about it. So why Moretti's going there is honestly beyond me, that sounds compromised as all hell. Then we get an entertaining shot of Finch coming out of an elevator looking all medical in his white coat, stethoscope, and clipboard, aww. He's claiming to be sent over to check Leila Smith's bronchitis, which the nurse is a bit suspicious about (and she's wearing maroon scrubs, ah-hah! Now we know those guys are up to no good because, seriously, nurses change inside the hospital? There's rooms for that? Or at home.) but more in the nature of "Is this guy really here or is he wasting time?" rather than "does this guy have hostile intentions." Well, okay, she'll give Finch the chart, let him in... to a secure pediatrics ward. To Finch's credit, he pauses for only a moment of "what the shit is going on?" before coming in and continuing to pretend to be a doctor. After some questions from Finch we get a history on little Leila, the hospital (or possibly the nurse) applied for her social security number, she's a Safe Haven baby, she had medical issues so she couldn't be immediately adopted. The nurse really seems fond of her, at least. Finch dismisses her so he can peruse Leila's file in peace. And presumably kidnap her, although that remains yet to be seen because for now we have to get back over to...

... Reese and Carter! Following along behind Moretti because they, like us, don't believe for a moment that it's going to be this easy. Safe bet that something's about to happen because we're back to the quick-change cuts again, between Finch and the baby and, oh hey look. It's those not at all suspicious looking guys in scrubs. With their black bag. And Reese and Carter in the car, Reese can't help you now, Finch, he's dealing with someone about to kidnap Moretti, and I think I know what tactic they're using too, going by that blue car on the side of the road up ahead. It's up to Finch to save the day and steal the baby! Back and forth and back again to Moretti telling his driver to go around the alleged accident. Because he didn't get this old in this business by being dumb. Sadly, the accident is at an intersection, which means, yes, his car is getting T-boned by her accomplice. Oops. We're apparently sticking with Reese right now as the downed biker, the woman in the alleged car that hit the biker, and the attacking truck all converge on Moretti's car with appropriate weaponry. (In this case appropriate weaponry is a shotgun.) But since Reese's all out of bubblegum motif kicks in, they're not getting away with it. Impressively, Carter and Reese manage to plug all of the bad guys without pause for arguing over whether or not that's an appropriate police response. Though since the bad guys fired first, she's got a compelling argument for it being a good shoot, even with tall dark and not-at-all-law-enforcement at her side. They grab Moretti, who is at this point too rattled just from the impact let alone from all the shooting that hasn't hit him yet to object, and book it on out of there. Night falls, observed by the Machine, without us knowing what happened to baby Leila! Oh noes!

So  now Carter's escorting Moretti into a townhouse, presumably a safehouse, and neither of them look happy about this turn of events. Though if I were Carter I'd be fighting pretty hard against the urge to do an I told you so dance right about now. She is a better person than I am, and doesn't indulge. Szymanski is there, which says some interesting things about how much she trusts him both to trust her so that he doesn't let anything slip to anyone she might find suspicious, and how much she trusts that he's not HR or in Elias's pocket or in some other way shady. Though at the moment apart from all the freaking cops being corrupt ever, we have no actual evidence that Szymanski's dirty, so we'll just give him a whole pound of side-eye and let it go. Moretti is giving everyone two pounds of side-eye and complaining about the number of cops he's keeping company with these days. My heart bleeds. And technically he's not being forced to keep their company anyway, it's just that he has no better options at the moment, being in the same boat as the police and not knowing who in his organization is compromised. Everything about this chaps his ass, which is likely why he bites out at them about being cops and having to stay here, given that he has to know he's not under any sort of legal compulsion to follow their orders. Carter will remind him and us anyway, and the audience reminder is appreciated since television shows get away with holding all sorts of people they shouldn't technically be able to hold. And, being Carter, she reminds him that if he leaves their safehouse and their protection he's likely to come down with a severe case of lead poisoning. So there's that. Moretti acknowledges the point with dignity and no further cutting words, or any words at all for that matter. Still, he does look worn down enough to give her some shades of the respect she deserves for saving his life. He even looks as though he means it. From the outside view the safehouse is the same as most others, a brick house with a gate over the front door but not much else in the way of distinguishing characteristics, just the way a safehouse should be. Inside there may be nothing to indicate that people live there, but on the outside there's nothing to indicate that it's special. Except, you know, for the spysassin lurking down the sidewalk from it. Reese would like to either point out that she's not him or make sure she's got it cleared with her bosses, and most likely both. Arranging a safehouse isn't exactly easy when you're a cop, especially not when you're a cop whose reclusive billionaire ally is distracted with another assignment. No, Carter cleared it, going by the timeline they've given us she cleared it even before she went and waited outside that prison, though I doubt she specified unless she had to for the paperwork which safehouse she was going to. I wouldn't have, at least. She points out that not every cop in the city is dirty and belonging to Elias (or HR! Nobody forget about HR!), and even cites Szymanski as an example of one of the good guys! Aww. Her faith in him is touching and, in this show, likely to either get him killed or make him turn out to be evil. I really am saying this on purpose. And that all said, she is still grateful to John and his extralegal activities for helping save Moretti's butt out there. It's not so much a grudging type of awkward with which she thanks him as it is the type of awkward that doesn't want to encourage him but can't help appreciate his skills and his willingness to put them to use for a good cause. Bonus cute for the grin she gives him over her shoulder as he leaves. He manages to keep a straight face until she's a few paces away and he turns around, at which point he starts smiling too. It's like they just got off their first date or something.

Now in a chipper mood, Reese checks in with Finch, who is not feeling nearly so happy about his assignment. We can tell because of the guarded answer he gives Reese for a status report and the way he's white-knuckling the wheel, even if we didn't know that his assignment was an infant. Finch has a momentary dodge in the form of asking Reese what happened with him, but since Reese is all flippant and self-satisfied that dodge lasts approximately two point six seconds before it's back to Finch's number that Reese didn't quite get an answer on. Sorry, Finch. He's not going to explain over the comms which, as with a lot of their hurried communication, I can both understand and want to smack him over, but he will admit that he's C-3PO. Er, sorry, he's afraid he may have done something rather rash. And no, the phrasing might not have been nearly identical on purpose but your geeky neighborhood recappers will note for everyone's amusement that that is almost a direct quote from Return of the Jedi. You're welcome. Just so we're all absolutely sure what he means by that even though Reese is asking him that very question over the comms, the camera will now pan over Finch's arms and steering wheel and down to where there is a baby in a cardboard box on the shotgun side floor. Let me repeat: There is a baby in a cardboard box on the shotgun side floor of the car. FINCH. I know you had to get out of there but was there really no safer way to transport that infant? Seriously??? I'll just be yelling at him throughout the entire commercial break. His lack of, okay, I won't say parenting skills. Let's say, his lack of ability to think around this particular corner shines through again when we come back from the break to see that Finch has built the infant a crib out of books. Playpen. Something. It's certainly not tall enough for her not to crawl out of and they are books. They knock over very easily. As anyone whose library has ever consisted of stacks of books on all available horizontal surfaces will tell you. To say nothing of her gnawing on one of Finch's ties, but that's less a matter of safety and more a matter of oh Finch. Reese is staring down at the baby in the makeshift crib like it's some strange alien form of life he's never encountered before which, given his life up to this point, yeah, it's fairly safe to say that babies are not something with which he is all that familiar. Or comfortable around. He does, however, know that they have to be fed! Not to worry, so does Finch. Apparently they have to be fed chicken and prunes. That's an actual baby food? That does sound disgusting. I mean, I can see mushy chicken and I can see mushy prunes, but mixed together? Unless he's referring to each jar separately. Reese agrees with me that this is disgusting. Reese is still doing that over-the-edge-of-an-imaginary-wall downward stare as though she's going to leap up and bite his nose. He also would like to know why anyone would want to kill her, which is a damn good question. Babies generally haven't gained the life experience required to lethally piss someone off, so it would have to be the simple fact of the baby's existence or what she represents. And in that case, the most common (as far as I can imagine) reason to commit premeditated homicide on an infant would be infidelity of the parents. Either because of the honor/marriage/appearance aspect or because it's actually an instinctive trend both in humans and in certain kinds of ape, that when a male takes over another male's territory, the male will kill any children the female has borne by another male so that, in the case of apes, the female will go into estrus, and in the case of humans presumably so that the woman will attach to him and pay attention to him. (I'd imagine in the case of humans, since we're more aware of the psychological aspects at play, too, that this might happen in lesbian couples as well. But since I learned this in primate biology anthro class, you get it in terms of males and females and apes. Enjoy.)

Anyway. Regardless of why, the Machine thinks the baby is in premeditated danger, and the Machine has not, to date, been wrong. I question Finch's assumption that no one is plotting to murder a baby, see aforementioned discussion of the psychotic hateful things people do because of infidelity, but he is right that it's also possible the baby was intended to be kidnapped. (In a black duffel bag?) Mostly I think I'm just questioning Finch's naivete that a baby isn't a viable target for murder. Plenty of hitmen refuse to kill children out of having a line at that particular point. Plenty of hitmen are fine with it. He's got some good points about the motivations, though, obstacle to inheritance isn't one I'd put on the list but we'll add that in, good thinking, Finch. Though I doubt the baby can either understand you or feel guilt for keeping you up at night. Like they do when they're that age. On the other hand, that at least gave him plenty of time to collect some background information. Such as this suspiciously large anonymous donation to the hospital around the time the baby was left with them. And then a series of regular donations once a month since then. So, yes, that does skew the odds more in favor of kidnap and relocate at this point, given that it would have been easier and considerably cheaper to kill her. Unless it's a separate party from the donor who's planning the violence at which point we're back to the original set of reasons. And this is why we hate incomplete data. Finch is attempting to social engineer his way into more data by pretending to be the IRS in order to demand the tax number of the donor. That might even work. People are wary of the IRS. You know what won't work? Taking an infant out of a hospital and expecting not to get caught after you've walked right in with your bare face hanging out there and asked to see the baby in the first place. Not only is there an Amber alert, there's a suspect sketch! Fortunately for Finch the suspect sketch looks like someone put Dobby and Harry Potter into a genetic blender. I have no idea what the fuck to do with that. Reese has no idea what the fuck to do with that. Finch has no idea what the fuck someone was thinking. The description in the actual text is more helpful, and although there are undoubtedly a lot of men in New York City who match it, it'd be safer if they had someone in on the investigation to keep an eye and make sure no one grabs Finch while he's trying to protect poor baby Leila. So, yeah, Carter can do it! Because, okay, as far as perception goes it makes at least marginally more sense that a woman inserts herself into the investigation for a missing infant than a man. As far as perceptions go. And while Finch is talking to Carter, Reese can babysit!

While I laugh hysterically at the thought Finch is shopping for infant diapers, wipes, things. Carter updates him on the Moretti case while giving him some serious side-eye for that, and point-blank asks when she's out of updates. Well, funny you should ask, Carter. Finch says missing, she says stolen, po-tay-to po-tah-to, yes, Carter, Finch stole the baby. Like the cute little brownie he is. Though as far as his choice of how to describe the situation for her, well, the logic of "I kidnapped her to save her from being kidnapped" leaves quite a bit to be desired. The entire discussion is fucking hilarious, from Carter's half-hearted nods in the direction of telling him to stop breaking the goddamn law to her reaction to learning Finch left the baby with Reese. Seriously, the faces she makes. The faces he makes. It's like flailing with only your facial muscles. He'd like Carter to piggyback the investigation into the baby, flailing with your face aside, ask the friendly nurse about the baby, see if the hospital knows more than the limitations usually implied by Safe Haven status. And now that that's out of the way, why Finch feels comfortable shopping for all of these baby things himself and not going out and buying a proper damn crib, I have no idea, But it does lead to a truly priceless moment at the register where the checkout clerk asks if this is Finch (or better yet, Finch and Carter? Please?)'s first baby. I can't even, anymore, you guys. Go on without me. I'm pretty sure a good chunk of the front half of this episode was scripted for maximum hilarity. It worked.

Over at the precinct Fusco is living the stereotype with a big ol' mouthful of donut. HR Cop will now come over and bust his chops for him, because why not. Fusco is not in a chops-busting mood, though he also doesn't seem to be in a rise to the bait mood. HR Cop brings up Moretti's disappearing act of the other day, five dead mafiosos and Carter with some unidentified (on script, that is) backup. Fusco's a bit surprised by this. I have to wonder, at this stage of things, how surprised Fusco would be to learn that one of those backup shooters was Reese. And then I have to bitch some more about how this would be a lot easier if they'd tell Carter and Fusco about each other, but right now HR wants Fusco to go fetch, go find his partner, there's a good dog. I suspect Fusco's reluctance at least partly stems from the fact that Carter's a good cop, and though this guy hasn't yet said what HR wants with Moretti or Carter, safe money's on nothing good. Fusco wants to know why HR is tapping him to do it, don't they have their fingers in all the pies around here? HR Cop tells him in one of the inadvertently creepier lines of the episode that he is one of the pies, and go be a good little cog and turn the wheels of injustice. This is both a fucking creepy metaphor to apply to one of the main characters and a very good point. Generally, when we have a shady organization running around in the background doing shady things, they're described as having members in a lot of different areas who pull strings to get things done, and the protagonists either are constantly being blackmailed, threatened, or manipulated to do their bidding, or they have no contact at all until there's something dire happening and they're being ordered to kill their mother or some such heinous act. Person of Interest seems to be playing it that HR is applying to Fusco only when it's something within his bailiwick, but consistently enough that he doesn't forget he's in with them, and nor do we, though Fusco's problems with HR don't get much screentime. It's a good balance, one that shows the attention to detail of the writers of the show as they juggle several different plot threads at once. Much more difficult than geese.

So. Over to Carter again! Who's questioning Nurse Abbott, who sounds tired and worried and stressed. As well she might. Carter introduces herself as being from SVU (that's Special Victims Unit, sexual crimes and minors, for those of you who don't watch excessive amounts of Law & Order) and asks if they're sure they don't have anything, at which point the doctor in charge responds with a rundown on the Safe Haven law to remind her and to inform the audience who might not be familiar with such things. Basically, the Safe Haven law designates certain locations, usually hospitals and fire stations and other emergency responder bases of operations, as Safe Havens where unwanted infants or infants whose parents are unable to take care of them can drop them off anonymously and without consequences, so that the babies can then be adopted. The specifics of the law vary from state to state, even from country to country as some other countries have similar laws. The doctor, then, is clearly a lost cause as far as prying information from him goes, but she'll make an attempt to reach the nurse by reiterating that she cares about Leila, and pressing a card into the woman's hand. A card that, I note, does not say SVU on it. Though on the other hand it also doesn't say Homicide Task Force, it looks to be a generic police detective's card, so it shouldn't trip any alarm bells unless the nurse has greater connections to the NYPD than the average person. And if she can think of anything call Carter, of course, and Carter makes a graceful exit. It's not an unreasonable approach, either. Kidnappings of children are often related to the non-custodial parent, and the disposition of children between parents who might have separated is often a severely contentious thing.

Hey, speaking of baby Leila, Finch is giving instructions on how to change a goddamn baby to Reese. I repeat. Finch is teaching Reese how to change a fucking diaper. I have to take a second to roll around on the floor and sob tears of laughter at Reese trying very hard not to cringe away or come into contact with baby poo. Or possibly that's Caviezel trying very hard not to crack up. I would accept both, especially since Caviezel as I recall is father to (hmm, three!) children and has likely changed many diapers in his time. At least pull-ups. Reese has some snark about either Finch's ability to pick up and then teach a new skill or what Finch was doing at MIT, I'm not entirely sure which he was commenting on, and Finch leaves him with the baby. Like you do. No, yeah, if I were Finch I'd leave Reese with the baby as often as possible. I take it back, being me I would leave Reese with the baby as often as possible because I find it funny and I trust him not to fuck up anything on purpose. And Finch has a good reason for abandoning Reese to diapers, his email has alerted him to the hospital volunteering the donor's tax ID number. Finch will now go about tracking down the donor while Reese picks up the baby like... what is that, a sack of potatoes? A puppy? Again, I'm not sure if Reese's arm under the baby's butt quickly relocating to a one-armed more awkward hold is Reese not wanting to get his arm near a recently changed baby ass, or if that's Caviezel abruptly remembering that Reese has never held a baby in his life. I'm going to go with the former since Caviezel strikes me as the sort not to forget details like that, but that is a baby he's holding there, I also wouldn't put it past a father to have instincts when it comes to infants. Instincts like, don't hold them in a way where they might squirm and drop. The tax ID number actually looks like a tax ID number, too, and it belongs to Petrosian Construction, owned by Adnan Petrosian, who has been married to the same woman for many years, and who has a son. Towards the end of this infodump Reese is dangling the baby in front of the monitor, to Finch's mild annoyance. Well, I think it's cute that he's attempting to ask the baby which one is Da-da. Reese thinks he's cute, too. And funny. Finch disagrees, and would like Reese to get close to the family to find out what the fuck is going on. Well, fine. You take the baby, then.

Over at the house Reese is doing his surveilling thing while we intercut with Finch very slightly more than usual because, in this case, Finch is also playing babysitter along with his customary role of mission control. Reese has some snark about the Petrosian's money, but more important is the conversation between father and son. Apparently the son did something that shocked and ashamed his father, at least, since his mother doesn't seem to be doing much talking. She does look upset, which could be from what the son is done or could be from the fighting. Hard to say. Not that Finch is listening, he's trying to feed the baby. Fiiinch. I promise, you can do two things at once, especially if one of them is just listening and assimilating a relatively slow-moving stream of data.

Hey, speaking of assimilating data, Fusco's answering Carter's phone. Fusco, didn't anyone ever tell you that's rude? He's also giving out that Carter works homicide not SVU, which prompts a phone snatching and had better mean Carter's in for some questions later. I take a moment here to thank the writers for giving us a bit character who's astute enough to go "wait... the fuck?" for a second, even if Carter does brush it off with a plausible but sketchily delivered excuse of Fusco being "new here." It's along the lines of a smart guard, you really don't see those coming. Anyway, the nurse does remember something the child had with her when she was dropped off, a silver bracelet with the initials CC on it. If the bracelet is anywhere it's now in the possession of the hospital director, but at least there's a description, that's something to work with. And now we don't, sadly, get to see Fusco going "so, SVU, what's that about?" Carter glares either thoughtfully at nothing or in Fusco's direction as she hangs up, and we're back to the library again. Still on this line of inquiry, though, Finch has found two viable candidates for a mother of an infant with the initials CC, a Carrie Crosswell who worked at the Petrosians' home and a Claudia Cruz who worked at the construction company. Now, it's possible at the outside that the silver bracelet belonged to a male, but unlikely; most of those kinds of keepsake are passed down from mother to daughter and not father to daughter, or so on. If there is silver or ornamentation with initials on it passed down to an infant from a father, it'd be more likely christening items. And in this case, Carrie Crosswell is 58, not only is she a little old for a fling she's a little old to bear a healthy infant, although it is possible. It's also possible that it was her daughter who bore the infant but, no, we're shaving with Occam's razor tonight, and the conclusion is that the mother is Claudia Cruz, especially since her employment at the company terminated 8 months ago. Reese volunteers to go talk to her, which is a good idea except that Carter finds out she died in an apartment fire four days ago. Ruled as an accidental death, but if you believe that I have quite a few bridges to sell you. The Machine doesn't believe it either.

After the break we're back at the park again, where the Machine is keeping a watchful eye on Reese and Finch out with the baby. In a pouch carrier. On Reese's chest. It's a damn good thing I'm doing this when the only ones I can scare with laughing so loudly are the cats, I have to say. Because damn. Also, damn, Reese + baby = massive game, all kinds of women are stopping by to say how adorable he/the baby is. Probably both of them. Reese is smiling, but I'm not sure he knows what to do with all of this. Carter knows exactly what to do with this, chew them both out for kidnapping a baby and then bringing her out where any cop with eyeballs can see them. Reese deadpans that they're teaching her to go undercover. Look, she's a natural! Reese, stop being cute, that's just not fair. Down to business, then. They rehash in short order what we've learned so far, most likely for the benefit of the viewers just coming in since it's after a commercial break and towards the middle of the episode, and then pull out some theories. A good and likely one is that Claudia agreed to give the baby up for adoption and then changed her mind. That'd certainly be a reason for someone who wanted that baby out of the way but couldn't face killing her to, well, kill the mother and drop the baby at a hospital. And if the mother changed her mind about giving the baby up, she might change her mind later about keeping quiet, thus burninating, thus dropping baby Leila off at the hospital. The trick, then, is to find out if Claudia's death was accident or homicide. If accident, it's possible the person left in charge of the baby simply couldn't handle being a sudden parent and dropped her off in a place she'd be safe. If homicide, well, that's a whole other previously well gone over kettle of fish. Divvying up the tasks, Carter will look through the reports with a mentor of hers who works arson, Finch will follow up with the parents, Reese will take the younger Petrosian. As soon as he's done making goo goo noises and feeding the baby. Can we give the spyssassin babies more often?

No, we have no more spyssassins with babies now. We have Finch pretending to be DCFS instead. And using an alias that's not in his usual field, today he'll be Lucas Bennet. Why? Because the wind is southerly and the weather's clear. I have no idea. He's there to discover, among other things, if they knew she was pregnant. Which it seems that they didn't. Oops. In the course of this we get a close up of a small shrine to Claudia involving photos of her life and a couple of figurines, difficult to say whether we're meant to interpret this as Finch noting the religious bent of the family or Finch noting that the grief is still raw. Possibly both, because upon seeing this he modulates his tone more quietly and perhaps chooses his words more carefully. Though the mother's objection indicates that she believes Claudia wasn't more because they were close and shared things and she doesn't believe her daughter would have kept something like that from her, rather than because Claudia was a good girl who would not have a child out of wedlock. But yes, Claudia moved into the apartment by herself about nine months ago. Slowly, Finch asks some leading questions, he's very gentle about leading them around to accepting the possibility that their daughter might have been pregnant. And about asking after the silver bracelet, to confirm. And yes, it was Claudia's grandmother's gift to her when she was a baby. By now Claudia's parents are willing, even eager to believe that they have a grandchild, but Finch is understandably reluctant to put the two together considering baby Leila is still in danger, and they still don't know where the danger is coming from. He then asks if Claudia was in a relationship with anyone, and they produce a picture of Claudia with the younger Petrosian. Well, that's at least one indicator of which Petrosian fathered the child? If not probative. Please not to be leaping to conclusions like you usually do, guys. No, instead we'll leap to entirely different conclusions, going over to check in with Reese on his progress following young Bradley Petrosian. The kid's a model student, diligent, going to all the places he'd be expected to, and apparently in a happy relationship! With a guy. I will say, though, that for all the objections I've heard to the two of them jumping to conclusions about how the son couldn't have fathered the child? Neither of them actually say that at this point. Reese tells Finch Bradley's "tastes run in the other direction," Finch stops, corrects, and says that then they should be looking at the father. All reasonable conclusions! I wouldn't entirely rule out Bradley, myself, and jealousy over Bradley stepping out on him with another person and having a child by that woman might indeed push the boyfriend to murder and drop the baby off at a hospital. But! Absent any of that kind of evidence, and especially in the face of evidence indicating that they still have a happy relationship, it's time to look at the father. Or, well, it will be after Finch quietly panics now that he's lost the baby. FINCH.

Over at the burned out apartment, we get the infodump on what happened to poor Claudia Cruz. Candles, drapes, alcohol, not the winningest combination ever. Oh, hey, apparently the smoke alarm was faulty! Well, at best, faulty. At worst, as the arson investigator pokes at it some more, possibly actively tampered with. He takes a look at the autopsy photos, and right when he says that about cracks going along the plate lines of the skull is when I at least knew what he was going to say, because those cracks aren't along any plate lines I've seen on anyone's skull. (Did I mention the biological anthro classes? Because skulls.) And apart from my experience looking at human remains, that's a hole, not a fissure or a stress fracture or anything. It could have happened post-mortem, granted, but given everything else it looks more like she was hit on the head and then the apartment was set on fire. Carter finds at least one likely murder weapon, and we get an interesting tip from the arson investigator that heat can sometimes etch fingerprints into metal. I'll have to remember that for my next murder mystery!

Back to the library of panic and flail! And I have to say here, for all that we gush over the competence porn on this show and this seems to be the opposite, it's still hilarious to watch the boys make mistakes and do their best to take care of poor baby Leila. Largely because the show isn't portraying them as incompetents, they're perfectly capable of basic reasoning skills, making rational decisions, researching courses of action in certain situations (in case of baby, feed and change diapers regularly?) and how to do things. It's not a lack of competence that's tripping them up, it's a lack of habit at thinking in ways that accommodate infants. Such as thinking that infants get curious, they wander, they climb. My baby brother climbed all sorts of things and fell on his head so often it's a wonder he's still in one piece. At least Finch didn't put her in a place where she could fall off of high things. Assuming she hasn't crawled onto a bookcase. Let's hope she hasn't crawled onto a bookcase. No, actually, it's worse than that, she found the grenades. And did I mention the part where they're not used to accommodating infants? Such as childproofing the library by putting the grenades in a locked and childproofed box or cabinet. And, you know, not trying to talk the baby into giving you the grenade, just gently taking the grenade and replacing it with another toy? Reese, trust me, she is not old enough to understand the words that are coming out of your mouth. Tone, yes, I appreciate the calm tone, but she doesn't speak complete English sentences. Silly men. Finch is more freaked out that Reese, it seems like, possibly because Reese has had decades of training at not freaking out when there are grenades around. Finch is also moving with considerable more agility and tensile strength than someone with a disability that causes limping probably should, but we'll give Emerson this one because holding a baby. And making goo-goo talk at it. Harold Finch reduced to goo-goo talk. Still will never stop being funny. Though Finch will now proceed to unnecessarily berate Reese (while Reese facepalms and looks pained, poor guy) largely out of fear for what almost just happened. Finch, if you hadn't stolen the baby and brought her to the library, this wouldn't be happening. Both the diversion of resources and the baby getting into Reese's arsenal. Yes, do, please go take her over to her grandparents', they can take care of her more properly. And he has had the foresight to move them to a safehouse, thankfully.

Back over at the precinct, Carter has the lamp she suspects was the murder weapon in an evidence bag! Which catches Fusco's attention, but the conversation they have ("Working a case without me?" "Could be a homicide.") is normal and arouses no suspicions in Fusco, especially since it doesn't look or sound like anything that has to do with Moretti. Or, for that matter, with Carter calling herself SVU. Hey, Fusco, why don't you ask her about that? No? No. Besides, she has to take a phone call from Szymanski. That's much more interesting. Fusco does a bad job of pretending not to be eavesdropping, but Carter isn't even paying attention to anything around her, which, really, Carter? I know you have better situational awareness than that, and you know half the cops around you are dirty, and you're trying to protect Moretti. Come on! No, Carter's too frazzled right now to pay attention around her, especially when Fusco is actually decent at eavesdropping without making it seem more suspicious than being curious as to what his partner's up to. After she's off the phone he offers to help, too, which is just as plausible an excuse as any for being interested in her phone conversation. She doesn't give him the Moretti case, though, she gives him Schroedinger's Homicide instead, asking him to run the potential murder weapon down to the crime lab and get them to put a rush on it. As many rush jobs as TV crime labs get, 'rush' is probably standard operating time by now. Fusco won't leave it there, either. He'll push, and the push for information sounds as much like it has a genuine desire to help and protect his partner behind it as it does the need for information to feed to HR. The reminder that he's her partner, partners get each other's backs is also as much guilting her as it is reassuring her that she can trust him. On purpose, too. No one gives Fusco enough credit for smarts. This is a brilliant piece of manipulation and the only reason it doesn't work is because Carter is quite rightly really fucking paranoid. Though her excuse for what she was talking to Szymanski about is also hilarious. He knows better. He's also probably trying not to laugh.

En route to the safe house! Reese will go in first to make sure it's clear, which would be a better idea if he hadn't parked outside the goddamn house. You couldn't have parked a few blocks down and walked? Safety? Paranoia? A reasonable distance? No? No. I feel sure we've ranted at them about this before. And this time, as before, it's with damn good reason; Reese gets in the house only to hear sounds of a struggle. He does go in gun leading, which is good because it means he doesn't get shot by the mook who currently has the Cruzes tied up, but it also means he's forced to go on the defensive. He hits the lights as he drops to the floor, then gets up close and personal, like you want to do in a gunfight if you have the chops to do it. And Reese does. It takes away the mook's advantage of a firearm and reduces the chances of the Cruzes being hurt, even if it does also mean the mook escapes. It's all over much quicker and with much less choreography than Reese's usual fights, which means this fight wasn't about Reese, it was a distraction, a plot device in and of itself. We see to what end as we see Reese start to run back down the street to, well, crap, an unconscious Finch. And no baby in the carrier. I told you to park the car further away from the safe house.

When we come back from the break, Finch is being tended to by Mrs. Cruz as Reese has apparently been searching the area for signs of what happened. The kidnappers, it seems, put a GPS tracker on the Cruzes' car; simple, but effective. Finch doesn't even look up when he asks what Reese has, which can't be due to the by now perfunctory medical attentions from Mrs. Cruz, he feels guilty and to blame for losing the kid, whether or not it was actually his fault. We've seen Finch take the safety and well-being of these numbers very personally, although we don't see what changed him from embarrassed indifference to that. But this baby is no different, and perhaps more important to him than the others because she is a baby, she lacks even the capabilities of a rational adult to defend herself. Anyway. GPS tracker, right? Right. Back to business then, Finch apologizes to the Cruzes and says they have to move again, get your things, and Reese waits until they're out of the room to deliver a hard truth to Finch: that if they don't get baby Leila tonight, the kidnappers will most likely have her out of the country by morning. And so far the only lead Reese has is a medallion that pegs them as Eastern European organized crime of some kind. Not really that much to go on. Finch asks what Reese is going to do only so that Reese can look grim and mutter 'whatever I have to.' Which is pure showboating, we already know Reese is a ruthless bastard. Though I suppose this does serve to tell us that Reese is about to do things he feels Finch would either be shocked by or disapprove of. That would be more helpful if it wasn't such a long list.

Hey, speaking of people who do lots and lots of things Finch doesn't approve of or is shocked by, it's Moretti! Who is questioning Carter's assessment of the situation or at least her explanation of it. He's got a point, too. If, as they say, Elias is a very dangerous person and if there's an active threat from him against Moretti's life, there should be at least a couple of other undercovers, plainclothes, or other sort of detectives hovering around the edges of Moretti's bodyguard duty. Bodyguards for high-profile targets across most branches of law enforcement come in pairs and come in shifts, and right now there's one pair for the duration, and that's hinky. Carter isn't interested in answering Moretti's questions, though, as well she might not be. Her interrogator training says it's a bad idea, and as a cop she isn't interested in giving information to the bad guys. She doesn't precisely answer either the underlying question (is what they're doing actually sanctioned) or the on top question (where are all the other cops) but she brings up yet another good point, that the more cops know where they are and what they're up to, the greater the chance that Elias will find Moretti and kill him. The problem with this situation is that everyone has a lot of good points and there are no solutions that everyone will be totally happy with. Or even most people. Or anyone. We now pause this barrage of half-truths for a phone call from a detective with a message from the lab: they have the fingerprints back from the murder weapon used to kill Claudia Cruz! Yay! Apparently the killer was in the system because of a road rage incident, which tells us a couple of things: that the killer has a violent temper and that the killer is not a career criminal. Interesting, considering that an Eastern European crime organization is after the baby.

We'll likely find out what's up with this soon; Reese storms into the Petrosian's house not with his all out of bubblegum music playing, but an equally percussive, crisp motif. He barely breaks stride as he grabs Papa Petrosian by the throat and puts him up against the mantel to interrogate him. Ouch. Oh, hey, it's security! Hi security! Bye security, as Reese disables him in about 5 moves. Papa Petrosian is either too startled or too dumb to run, or both, because he conveniently doesn't move so that Reese can grab him by the throat again and hold up the medallion of gang identification and ask him again, what happened to baby Leila. Interestingly, the wife isn't running either. She isn't even calling the police or security or anyone. Either she really hates her husband or she likes preserving her own secrets above her husband's life, since while we may know Reese isn't likely to kill this guy, all she knows is that someone burst into her house, beat up a security guard, and is currently strangling her husband. Given everything I'm going to go with both, and definitely she doesn't like her husband. Along with that, the husband glances at her and barely denies it when Reese brings up the affair, indicating that they've had this conversation and he did not come out on the dominant end of that fight. The wife finally intervenes, after a manner of speaking, bringing up what seems like imminent torture and pointing out that Reese has tripped the silent alarm (which explains the not calling for help but not the not running) and the police will be there any minute. Ah, but the police are already on the phone with Reese. Who now has a fairly disturbing look on his face. Still with that perfectly dead expression he tells her he will not be torturing her husband today, because her prints are on the murder weapon and she killed Claudia Cruz and sold baby Leila. Or gave away. Or had kidnapped. Or something. It doesn't matter and it serves his purposes better to at least sound sure of his facts while her husband is freaking out over what she's done. Anyway, he demands the details of her interactions with the Eastern European organized crime group, which she gives with perfunctory defiance considering her tone doesn't help her in the slightest. And, unfortunately, it's about as anonymously arranged as one might expect, there's no number to contact them that works, no identifying marks that she can cough up, no nothing. Cheating husband Petrosian has the decency to be horrified at what she's done, which she refers to as cleaning up his mess. Cute. Getting nothing from either of them except a sense of disgust and feeling dirty, Reese stomps off.

Over to a ... bar? I have no actual idea how he knows to go to this bar, you guys. I can only assume this is some sort of commentary on how well he's come to know the local criminal underworld, and this bar is a haven for Eastern European mafiosos. He drops the medallion into a man's beer mug and says he wants the man who owns that medallion. Predictably, his response is an (attempted) mug to the face, because really. A stranger walks in and tells you to give up one of your buddies or at least one of your people? A stranger who practically drips Federal Agent, no less. Maybe Man In Black. This guy wasn't going to give up the kidnapper for the asking. That's okay, Reese anticipated that, and is now a firm shove away from pushing the man's face into the shattered remnants of his mug. The fact that he's able to do this while barely changing stance indicates he was expecting this. Leaving a little room for it to go bad, as it were. Oh, well, now the other barflies are getting involved, three of them, one pulling a knife. I cannot describe how hot that grin is when Reese says "Really?" Just imagine the most deadly pants-wetting pre-asskicking grin you can imagine and then double it. And while he's doing that, Fusco is keeping eyes on Carter. Which means not only did he not buy her story about Szymanski asking her out on a date (cute as that would have been), now he knows she's bodyguarding Moretti. Oh yay. He looks more anxious than upset about this, indicating that he suspected, he didn't buy her story, he was just hoping it was something like that so he wouldn't have to deal with this particular shitstorm. I can't say I blame him. Back over to Reese's bar of massive mayhem, since most of it seems to be overturned or in pieces by now. Several people are on the ground and Reese is holding a gun to the first guy's face. Unfortunately the guy can't confess to what he doesn't know, though he does offer up the tidbit of information that whoever the kidnapper is, he's handed the baby off by now. Indicating that there was a handoff at all, which means someone else is doing the extra-country transport. That's... sadly, not much shorter of a list than it was to begin with. Great.

Back at the Library of Infinite Hand-wringing, they're almost out of options and Reese can think of only one person who has an internal rolodex of criminal organizations sortable by likelihood of human trafficking. Finch thinks Reese is out of his tiny mind. His voice sharpens, becomes louder and a little bit deeper, I think. He raises his voice so seldom that it's very telling of how much this upsets him, but Reese feels they don't have a choice, time is running out. They go back and forth with this for a minute or so, with Finch asking the perfectly reasonable question of why would Elias even agree to meet. Reese gives the accurate but misled response that Elias's curiosity would compel him. Which is great, as far as that goes, but curiosity is only enough to compel Elias to collect more information, not to act on Reese's behalf. What Finch should be asking and what Reese should be prepared to answer is, why would Elias agree to help Reese. Neither of the men seem to be making this distinction.

Over by one of the Bridges of Perpetual Clandestinity (what) Reese is marched to meet Elias. Hooded, of course, no one is surprised by this, not Reese, not Elias, nor should we be. And while Elias doesn't comment on how desperate Reese must be to call on him for help, he does ask Reese for an answer or a reason why he should help. Sorry, Reese, saving his life once a while ago doesn't cut it, not when you've actively been working to hinder his activities since. Particularly the part where he worked to protect Moretti from being abducted by Elias's people, or have we forgotten about that part? I'm not sure forgotten is the right word, but I'm damn sure Reese hasn't properly taken it into account and dammit, Reese, this is not an area where you can afford to be sloppy like this. Not with an infant's life on the line, and not with someone like Elias. It's a sign of misjudgment that is likewise reflected in Reese's attempt to play for sympathy from Elias for the girl by using dead mothers as a bonding point. Which doesn't work quite so well. Appealing to the practicality of controlling the city by laying down rules works a little better; whether or not it's against Elias's personal code, having and enforcing a rule like "no kidnapping babies" provides the kind of structure upon which he can build a strong criminal empire within the city. Both by having a clear-cut rule he can enforce and by having a rule that might create sympathy with other criminals who might otherwise be less inclined to be sympathetic to Elias's cause. Elias does seem to be considering this, at least so far as to ask Reese who kidnapped the kid. Eastern Europeans, we then learn, don't have the kind of influence in the right jurisdictions to smuggle a kid out of the country, they'll pass it off to the Mexicans. Reese does some more appealing to Elias's ego to find out where the handoff is taking place, and when. It's hard to say what Elias is considering but it's a safe bet it doesn't involve taking Reese up on this offer of pro bono criminal networking at pro bono rates. He'll extract a price from Reese for this, and Reese had damn well better hope it's one he's willing and able to pay. (A clue: No.) Elias has his mooks dump Reese off in an alley that doesn't even have any cameras for the Machine to tell us where he is, apparently, and they give back both his gun and his clip. Separately. Heh. They also give him the information about the handoff, and the head mook who we've seen a number of times but have yet to have a name for says he would have just shot Reese, but the boss has a soft spot. That's not nearly as reassuring as it may or may not be intended to be.

The Machine takes us to dawn. A little past dawn, a little after six in the morning. I could be going crazy, but for a second that looks an awful lot like the lot in which the meeting with LOS went down. (A: Wrong verb tense on the insanity plea, but it really does look like the same lot.)  Maybe it's some sort of meeting spot bad guys book in advance? Black market infant handoff at 6:00, be out by 6:30 so the drug handoff can take place at 6:45? While I'm snickering over that idea, a generic looking Eastern European dude gets out of an SUV with a black bag over his shoulder. Given that we can hear a baby crying with no sign of an actual baby in any carrying device intended for infants, we're meant to assume the baby is in the freaking bag, which, um. Let's just say there's all kinds of callousness to that and let it go there? Into the middle of what appears to be a not unusually tense standoff (no one's making threats implicit or explicit, no one's hovering their hand over a weapon, they all look suspicious but not inclined to do immediate violence) comes a large van barreling down a ramp at... a dumpster? It does draw the attention as well as the bullets of everyone there, though! We hear someone shouting, more than see for ourselves, that there's no one in the van, although we do get a shot of the empty driver's seat. Which doesn't, I hasten to add and having seen far too many movies where this happened, mean he wasn't driving by looking in mirrors and crouching down beneath the dash. This is then followed by the requisite blurry shot of someone in a black swoopy coat running by very fast. I'm only surprised they haven't used this for Reese before, honestly. The Machine provides us with a good vantage point to see Reese sniping one of the Europeans, then back to normal view as he shoots the knee? shin? of one of the Mexicans. When Reese comes out and offers them a chance to run the other Mexican takes it and his buddy, because he ain't getting paid for that shit. Which is most likely what Reese was counting on and is a reasonable thing to count on, at this point. And then it's time to threaten the now solitary man actually holding the baby! Well, the bag with the baby in it. I still can't quite believe Reese took this risk, though admittedly the guy wasn't holding the bag that far off the ground. And still and nonetheless. Also the angle is... odd. For Reese to be holding the gun in front of him a little above hip height, pointed forward like that, and then a pretty little hole to appear in the guy's forehead which can't be much lower than Reese's own. At any rate. Baby rescued! Reese checks in with Finch to let him know he's got Leila and he's bringing her back, either to the library or to the safe house, it's unclear which. It's very clear that Reese is relieved to the point of showing open emotion to have Leila safe and back in his care again, voice quivers and body language protectively shielding her and all. Except, no. Now there's a gun to his head, they're destroying his phone, and Finch is left to worriedly "John? ....John?" at the microphone. "Well, shit." Reese's face says. Well, shit, indeed.

About half an hour later we're still at the truckyard, Reese is being handcuffed to a pole in a truck, and he has no idea what they've done with the baby. Not to worry! Sort of. Elias has her. Okay, yeah, it's time to worry. Reese thinks they had an agreement! You're adorable, Reese, and you really shouldn't be. This is one of those rare points where I have to question Reese's naivete. He offered a manipulative, cold-hearted crime boss absolutely nothing in return for some information that, once given, probably pissed off at least one if not two other crime organizations; that's a significant investment on Elias's part. For no apparent gain. Reese offered nothing in return. And yet he expected Elias to do this because he saved Elias's life once and somehow that buys him an unlimited amount of goodwill. Reese should know people like Elias better than that. Not so much from his military experience but certainly from his CIA experience, he should know better than to expect that this would happen without some considerable investment from him; if he wasn't prepared to give up, say, Moretti, he should have come prepared with at the very least a sizable monetary incentive. Do I think a monetary incentive would have worked? Not really. But it would have been a start. I almost think Elias does what he does to make the point to Reese that he does not play by so-called civilized rules, he does not wait to be called upon when Reese needs him, and his goodwill towards Reese is not limitless. He is not, as the saying goes, a tame criminal mastermind, any more than Reese is a tame spyssassin. And I'm rather annoyed that Reese didn't expect something like this. Anyway. Elias has Reese, and handcuffed to a pole no less. He has the baby. He has a good understanding of what makes Reese tick, better than the other way around at least. This is what Elias has, and what he needs is the location of his father, Moretti. Oh, and he also has a refrigerated truck. We see where this is headed, yes? Underneath Reese's very real and understandable distress is a layer of surprise. Oh Reese.

Over at the precinct HR Cop is quizzing Fusco on what he learned about Carter. Who just so happens to be waving by out of earshot (for that noisy bullpen at least). Fusco gives her a half-hearted wave back, and that's clear guilt in his posture even if she's going by too quickly to put it down to something other than him knowing her alleged secret affair. Fusco takes a second as we watch him watching Carter, we can almost see him making the decision as he thinks it over, mostly in the set of his shoulders. Also where he's glancing though, at Carter, at the HR cop, trying to determine if he can get away with it. Might as well try, can't dance, right? Yeah, Fusco found out Carter has a thing for pepperoni pizza. HR Cop is not amused, and pulls out the dead body thing again, threatening him if he doesn't come up with some good Moretti intel soon. Fusco looks more pissed off at this than upset, really. Those narrowed eyes read more as "How can I get you the fuck off my back and into a jail cell" to me. Minutes tick by, helpfully marked by the Machine. Reese is getting more and more desperate. At least not everyone's in dire straits, Carter's about to make Fusco's day by taking him off to go arrest a murderer! The grin Fusco gives here really is adorable, and not in the pat him on the head he's so naive way. That's a guy who likes what he does, likes being the good guy, and genuinely likes his partner. We'd like to see more of that from Fusco! Unfortunately, this show isn't going to give him the chance to enjoy moments like these. Or Carter, for that matter, because right about now is when Finch calls up to give her the address and a panicked request for help. Not even a specific request, which is how we and probably Carter know it's urgent. Normally if Finch calls up to speak to someone he has a specific request, and an underlying plan that he may or may not divulge the rest of. This time, none of that, it's an address, a description of the situation, and a Help me Detective Carter, you're my only hope. Well, shit, looks like Fusco gets this collar all on his own. Funny how he doesn't look as happy about that as most people would be considering how much gets made of credit for arrests in shows like these. This is probably because he knows his partner and knows that something else is wrong. She won't tell him, because we're still in the stage of the show where no one entirely trusts each other except maybe Finch and Reese and therefore ready sharing of information isn't happening, but he can tell something's very wrong.

Back over to the truckyards. It's been about two hours since the aborted hand-off, which makes it about an hour and a half that Reese and the baby have been in that refrigerated truck. Ouch. Reese is definitely blue. The baby is blue too, and not moving very much, although we can see she's breathing. Out of mostly desperation, Reese has managed to pull the bar loose from the wall and slide his handcuffs off of it, disturbing the baby enough to get up on her knees and crawl. So there's still some fight in her yet! Reese can now wrap her up in his arms, albeit awkwardly, and attempt to keep her warm with his body, but even that'll only get him so far. Poor guy. Finch drives up, but there's a couple dozen trucks in there plus at least one building and he has no idea which of them to search. Or, really, anything about this, how much time he has to search, if Reese and the baby are even still there, etc. He does get to see Reese's handiwork and the open bag where the baby used to be, but nothing else. A view of Finch at a distance from between a crate and some other overhanging thing indicates that he's being watched, too. Not that Finch notices. Back in the truck we have Reese holding a much less wriggly and crying baby, which isn't a good sign, and for the first time we get a clear look at how banged up his wrists are from beating them against the handcuffs to pull that bar off the wall. Ouch. With the lack of crying, though, Reese is ready to cave. That baby has very little time left, and he wants her out of there. He coughs up the address with clear regret but also clear decision, and Elias tells him he would never harm a child, just to dig it in. To point out, maybe, that this has been a giant game of chicken Reese didn't know they were playing? Or just to underscore the fact that Reese was never in control of this situation, Elias was. There's definitely some naked sadism in the fact that Elias doesn't open the door or even unlock it, just tosses in the keys to the damn handcuffs to make Reese do all the work himself. And what if he'd injured himself in there in the meantime? Oh well. Reese gets the handcuffs off, gets them into the cab of the truck where he can run all the heat at full blast, trying to get baby Leila to wake up and cry. Poor bastard. He's also trying to drive the truck out of there to... where exactly? It's hard to say, and maybe even he doesn't know, but he does almost run over Finch. Reese. Hasn't not paying attention gotten you into enough trouble today? They meet up, hand off the baby, Reese takes the car with only "Elias happened" by way of an explanation, Finch gets into the cab of the truck and the baby's crying, so that's all right at least, and Reese takes off and calls Carter on his way. All of it very quick cuts, urgent music speeding up and getting louder. We have an idea how this is going to end, though: Not well. Reese doesn't tell Carter how Elias knows where Moretti is, and going by everything that's happened and the actual naked worry on his face I'd say this is equal parts shame and wanting to give Carter only the salient information at the moment, and get yelled at later. Because it's likely that if he had told her he told Elias where Moretti is, she would stop to yell at him, and they don't have time for that now. Reese may not be the quickest of cats at times, but even he knows when he fucked up bad enough to get a screaming. So. Reese alerts Carter, Carter alerts Szymanski, whispering down the lane it goes. Szymanski finds Moretti in what seems to be good health, and they get ready to move. It's about thirty minutes since our last time stamp, maybe twenty minutes since Reese got into the car and alerted Carter, by the time he gets to the safe house. Carter's frantically looking through the kitchen drawers for rags and this doesn't look good. By the time we get Szymanski on the floor with a gut shot it doesn't look good at all. Carter is very rightfully furious. Exasperated, exhausted as they wait for the ambulance to arrive, and furious. Reese doesn't so much attempt to justify it, in a way? It seems more as though he's trying to explain how he felt he didn't have a choice, but Carter being Carter, she doesn't see it that way. For her, the police has always been a way at least in some respects to get justice, to save people, to stop the bad guys. Reese has been off the official grid for so long he probably only thinks of the police as the people who come in and clean up after the messy stuff has gone, it wouldn't occur to him to call them in to save the baby. Which, I have to add, a few calls to the organized crime unit? It maybe wouldn't have been as sure a thing as Elias, but it might have helped, and it wouldn't have gotten Szymanski shot and Moretti kidnapped. Reese doesn't think that way. And this, particularly, highlights the rift in their views. When put in a tight spot, Reese called a crime lord, prioritized the people in danger, and made a judgment call. Carter sees that, but she also sees that that judgment call lost them a protectee and possibly cost a good cop his life. And she can't work with people who do that anymore. She does, at least, tell him to get out while the getting's good, before the police get there. Reese doesn't want to leave, he wants to make her understand, but at least to his credit he doesn't argue, and he does leave after a bit of hesitation. Finch can only stand there with the baby and listen to this in what appears to be shock and sadness.

There's a happy ending for baby Leila, at least, in the arms of her grandparents, who love her and will take good care of her. Finch is the one to hand her off, not Reese, who seems to be trying to wrap in on himself and be as still as possible. The facial tension on him resembles, in many ways, the facial tension we saw on him in the beginning. Something precious torn away, or something else snapped off inside him that he didn't realize was still there to be broken. The specifics of it come out when he actually says, in something of a breach of the usual protocol of we don't talk about these things, that it might be nice to have a child, to have children. But he doesn't think that'll happen even if he asks Finch if it might, and neither does Finch. And, oh, just to point out the other problem with either of them having children, apart from the fact that they both lead fairly perilous lives, Finch's somewhat off statement of "you never know how they're going to turn out." And with that not at all subtle segue, over to our last parent-child meeting of the episode, Gianni Moretti and Elias. Hello, Dad, indeed. That family could possibly be more dysfunctional, but short of some Game of Thrones Egyptian dynasty style squick I'm having a hard time thinking of how.

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