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Friday, October 21, 2011

Person of Interest: The One Where Reese and Finch Become Friends

Person of Interest
Episode 105

Welcome to this week's Person of Interest.  No preamble this week, let's unpack the episode.  We open with some security footage of a guy getting run down in a parking garage and an Eastern European voice calling someone and telling him that they've got a problem.  Lets table that scene for a bit.

Read on after the jump...

Reese meets Finch in a diner and asks, "What's good here?"  Whoa, whoa, whoa Reese, slow down. That question is loaded to bear and will lead us down a slippery slope of information that Finch is just not ready to share with you yet.  Finch leaves Reese with the diner's menu, which looks like is featuring some Samuel Gates, over easy.  Yum!  OH, Wait, Samuel Gates is the Social Security Number of the Week, not a special.  We learn he is a sitting judge, a graduate of NYU (the second NYU attendee in as many weeks on this show), a widow (his wife, Elizabeth, died of cancer) and father to an only child, Sam Jr. Jr. has a fulltime nanny, Christina Rojas. Gates is a hardass judge who gets more death threats than most. Some say he is waging a one man war against crime. Reese wants to get to know the judge so he tosses his office; that's probably a bigger crime than most breaking and entering.  True to Finch's research, Reese finds an expansive collection of death threats.

In the course of spying on Gates, Reese notices a suspicious skinhead seemingly follow Gates down the street. Reese almost goes to move in when he thinks Skinhead is drawing a weapon; but, its just a phone (the second time he has almost taken down a guy for pulling a phone in as many weeks). However, unlike last week, this cell phone is problematic. When Reese retrieves it from the garbage can Skinhead dumped it in (by the way, I don't care who's life is at stake, I am not sticking my hand in an NYC garbage can ... yuck), he figures out that the immediate threat is not against Gates but against Jr.  Sure enough, Reese shows up just as Jr. is being kidnapped by some bald-headed guys.  Reese does some stop-the-kidnap-fu, but, as he goes to take down the last thug, Longhair (he looks like David Spade and I don't mean that in a good way), Longhair busts a dart gun bullet into Reese and knocks him down. The thugs regroup and take off with Jr.

Back in the Lair, Reese is cleaning himself up and is pissed; he thinks the Machine gave them faulty information.  Finch stands by his Machine and says that there must be a threat against Gates tied in with the kidnapping.

While Finch and Reese squabble about the Machine's fallibility (not the first or last time they've had that discussion ... in which Finch is always correct), Jr. is calling Gates as he is walking on the steps of the courthouse.  When Jr. gets frantic and Gates starts to sense something is wrong, a Dracula/Transylvanian-sounding voice gets on the phone and tells Gates that he wants to suck his blood. Kidding. He doesn't say that. He tells Gates that Jr. will stay alive as long as Gates doesn't involve the cops or the Feds. Stay quiet and you'll hear from them tonight.  Gates makes some calls trying to verify that Jr. is in fact gone ... um, didn't you just hear that in his voice and the Transylvanian?  Hey, where's Christina?

As Gates sits down on the steps, Reese moves in and makes contact with him.  I don't think we've ever seen Reese make explicit contact with a Social Security Number of the Week, at least not so early in a case. He's his usual creepy self (the guy has to work on non-creepy surveillance and speaking enunciation). Reese comes right out with it and tells Gates that he witnessed the kidnapping but wasn't there soon enough to help.  Gates makes a reasonable conclusion that Reese must be one of the kidnappers but Reese says he's not, though he doesn't really explain who he is.  He tells Gates that the fact that they made contact is a good sign; Jr. will stay alive as long as he is of value to the kidnappers.  Reese boils down Gate's confusion into two questions: Who is Reese? And where is Jr.? Reese (arbitrarily I think) tells him he can only get an answer to one of them.

Back from the commercial and it seems Gates chose the latter question.  Gates repeats the kidnappers' rules, no cops no Feds. Reese finds the loophole that they didn't say anything about no Reese. Reese and Finch go about setting up surveillance on Gates' life.  When Finch admits difficulty at breaching the garbage can cell phone providers' firewall, Reese heckles him about not being able to get past a silly firewall when he's built a Machine that can spy on the entire country. Reese really wants to be friends with Finch and Finch just doesn't want to play. Man, Reese IS lonely. By the way, the Nanny's dead. Yeah, this entire time, Reese has been standing two feet from the dead body while talking to Finch.  He dials 911 and leaves the phone hanging.  Ho, hum, just another day in Reese's life.

Over at the only police precinct in NY, Carter's heard some rumors about Fusco's old unit. She's suspicious.  He tries to smooth her over with some street coffee. Listen, if you're not from NY, you have no idea what you are missing with Manhattan street vendor coffee ... sooo good!!!  Anyway,  Fusco is standing on line when Reese joins him and they have a humorous clandestine conversation (humorous because there is nothing clandestine about Fusco).  Fusco fills Reese in on Carter and warns him that she won't stop until she's got Reese. When Fusco mildly complains about long he's going to have to work here as the commute is nightmare for him, Reese responds that (i) he should appreciate making task force so young and (ii) for being alive.  Hard to argue with that logic.  Reese asks him if he's heard anything on any kidnappings and Fusco's ears perks up. He seems sincerely engaged and wants to help with the kidnapping. Reese is skeptical.  He disappears as Fusco is pontificating on how he's still a cop and wants to help, blah blah blah ....   only to find Reese has disappeared.  That's embarrassing when you find out you've been talking to yourself.

Finch gets through the firewall and locates one of the kidnappers likely locations. Reese meets the guy and struggles with him in a stairwell. For the second time this episode, Reese has a harder time than usual in trying to subdue his target and ends up having to throw him down the stairs to neutralize him. When he sees his name is Leon Josef Tursky, the "f" in Josef makes him rip open the perp's shirt. Unconscious Guy has a full length tattoo on his chest of an eagle, which marks him as a member of a nasty Eastern European/Russian street gang. Reese recognizes the symbol as he had some prior dealings with them in his past; they dabble as  drug dealers with Pashtun warlords and commit kidnappings in Warsaw. Seems they've opened up a New York branch; was there a ribbon cutting ceremony? Bloomberg will attend anything with press.  Anyway, Reese grabs the guy and goes.

We're at the Nanny's apartment where Carter has been called because of the BOLO (be on the lookout for) she has out for Reese. Seems, the super saw a guy fitting Reese's description leaving the Nanny's place.  Carter thinks Reese called 911 and is not the killer. At least she seems to be learning how Reese works. 

Gates acts real suspicious while speaking a police officer about his version of the day of the Nanny's death, "Yeah, Christina wasn't home when Jr. got there, so Jr. called Gates and they haven't seen Christina since. Oh Jr.? Yeah, he's totally upstairs and NOT kidnapped. Ok bye." Reese is standing right inside of the door and the asks Gates if he knows of the gang (is he saying "espi nein"?)? Gates asks , “who are you? Ex-cop? FBI? You’re going to get Jr. killed.”  Reese tells him that he can be invisible where the police and the FBI can’t.  And, anyway, I’m going after your son either way so help a brother out. Now, do you know the know the gang ?” Gates doesn’t know the gang (I think he’s telling the truth); who are they?  Speak of the devil and the devil calls

Jr. gets on the line for proof of life. You might want to know that Jr. would like to go home. Shocking.  Transylvania doesn’t want Gates’s money, he wants him to arrange for a case against one Angela Markham to fall apart and for Angela to walk. This brings us back to the opening scene; it was Angela that mowed down the guy in the parking garage.  Angela is an account executive at a tech comp downtown. She is charged on DWI and vehicular manslaughter. Just in case its important later, the guy she ran down was a CPA from her company and she was on her way home from an office retirement party. Why is Angela important? What’s her connection the gang?  Reese tells Gates that he doesn’t know the connection but he does know that the gang is planning on killing you too. Sorry, can't reveal my sources Gates. Reese wants Gates to stall the trial; make it look like you’re cooperating while really buying Reese time.

Finch has found that the gang  operates like a multinational corporation. Very well organized, well funded and spread out everywhere.. Reese is going to speak with his captured gang member.

Back at the lone Police Precinct, Fusco is talking with Carter and opines that the Nanny’s killer is a pro; a jealous boyfriend doesn’t use a silencer … unless of course the jealous boyfriend is also a professional killer Fusco. Just then, Reese calls Fusco; Lionel excuses himself from Carter and acts all hot to trot to work to save the kid.  He makes a good point that identifying the Nanny’s killer will help.  Reese wants Fusco to keep him posted and also, keep Carter out of his way. Returning to Carter’s side, Carter has spent the last few moments deciding to be impressed by Fusco’s analysis. 

Reese and Leon (the captive kidnapper) drive around in rough circles and finally stop at the interrogation destination. I should mention that Leon is riding in the trunk.  Reese gives him some choices. Answer my questions and I will give you have a hamburger and not drive you around in circles anymore. Don’t answer my questions and back to the circles for you.  Turns out that the only useful information that Leon has is the address where goes to get paid.  Reese tosses him the hamburger and closes the trunk. We hear Leon ask how he’s supposed to eat it tied up.  Man Leon, Reese doesn’t have time to answer all of your questions.

The Markham trial resumes.  Gates is sustaining each objection raised by the defense … which is very odd behavior for this judge in particular. The DA (she’s probably an  ADA if we’re getting technical) is clearly thrown off.  Finally, in a show of annoyance, Gates stops the trial for the day so that the prosecutor can properly prep her witness.  Finch is in court.  As soon as he’s back in his chambers, Transylvania calls Gates to complain. Transylvania tells Gates that he is disappointed but does call him “your honor”. I like a respectful kidnapper. Transylvania  tells Gates to stop stalling and then you can talk to Jr.  Gates makes the good point that he needs to throw this case the right way or else the DA will appeal and Transylvania won’t get her girl back.  Transylvania sends Gates a text picture of Jr. tied up on a bed as a reminder of what Gates is working for.  Good cause maybe he forgot.

Outside, we see that Markham is calling Transylvania. Unless he gets the charges dropped against her, she won’t be going back to work for his organization. She’s some kind of money person for them. Reese (finally) takes out Longhair.  Unfortunately, he doesn't know where the boy is either.  After subduing Longhair, Reese walks into a room filled with money and while he’s not sure exactly what that means, Reese is pretty sure he found away to hurt Transylvania. By the way, I am happy to report we are back to Reese working the Bluetooth ear wig piece.

Ok, so Transylvania is now missing two men and half a million dollars. He's upset. Understandable.  Finch has figured out that Markham’s tech company makes anti-money laundering software and works with big banks to install and monitor the AML systems. If she still has access to a bank where she’s installed a system, then the gang would have unfettered ability to launder unlimited funds. Access to one of the accounts might lead to Jr. Gates is running out of patience with how long Reese is taking. You have a better idea grumpy? No, then shut up.

Back at the Markham trial, the judge reverses his previous ruling on the admissibility of the security video from the parking garage for being to prejudicial against Markham. The DA requests a mistrial. Denied. When she starts to balk, Gates sternly calls her to the bench and whisperingly threatens her to drop it. She acquiesces. That’s pretty much the ballgame for the DA.

Finch is posing as third party tech guy at One State Bank (one of the banks that Markham installed her software at). He claims that One State Bank’s account have been hacked when a real bank tech guy stumbles upon him.  In fact, its Finch doing the hacking. I like when Finch goes undercover.

Now Reese has two guys in his interrogation trunk (Longhair has joined Leon).  With freedom being the prize, Reese sets Leon loose to beat up Longhair as to obtain their boss’s name.  I like that he closes the trunk while they fight.  Transylvania’s real name Yarrick Koska. There are no accounts in his name in the One State Bank records so they must be using a shell company. Finch has figured out that Markham shuts down the AML software for three  minutes each morning. This timeframe, repeated everyday, allows for a massive amount of money to be laundered; and not just Koska’s gang but for probably hundred of their clients.  While Finch and Reese are talking, Fusco has found surveillance video of Longhair coming from the Nanny’s place. Carter is curious as to why Fusco thinks Longhair is their guy; she straight out asks him if he’s got info Carter doesn’t know about.  Lionel is the worst liar ever and makes up some story about his having a hunch.  Carter moves on (improbable given what we know about her OCD tendencies towards details that don’t exactly work). Longhair’s license plate tracks to a company (Coldfield Holdings out of Brooklyn) and not a person. Fusco feeds Reese the Coldfield name and he tells Finch to look it up in the bank’s records. Yep, there it is.  Their money is being used to buy boats, planes and real estate, mostly in Manhattan.  Its all coming together.

Finch locates a Coldfield owned building 10 blocks from Gates’ house. It was purchased two days before Markham went on trial. Reese is going to spring Jr., hopefully before the jury springs Markham. The building looks like an abandoned church rectory inside. No Jr.. The jury finds Markham not guilty on all charges. Booo. As he is leaving the court, Gates gets a call to come alone to a meeting so that he can get Jr. back.  It’s a trap meant to kill Gates and Jr.  Reese grabs Markham as she’s leaving the courthouse and now we’re all going to the meeting. Gates demands to see Jr.  That works for Koska cause he’s about to make Gates watch as he shoots Jr.  Koska is cold ya’ll. Just as he’s about to pull the trigger, Reese emerges from the shadows with Markham in tow.  Reese is spouting off all of Koska’s bank details; Koska is not impressed and doesn’t think that Markham will make a very good witness against him.  Expecting this, Reese next shows Koska how he emptied all of his clients’ bank accounts into an anonymous Cayman account.  How do you think your clients will keel Koska?  Reese tells him that if they let Jr. go, he'll move the money back. Koska orders Jr. released but then orders them all shot.  Reese takes out the two goons and then shoots Koska in the leg. After he makes sure Gates and Jr. are ok, he tells Koska and the goons that they are going for a ride. 

As the ADA is finishing a case, she discovers a file on her desk labeled Angela Markham. Inside, she finds records of the money laundering.  We see Finch leaving the courtroom. Meanwhile, Fusco and Carter lead a charge to one of Coldfield’s properties and move on the building only to find the trunk goons; Koska and Markham all tied up with their mouth duct taped; wrapped up like Christmas presents. Reese watches from not nearly far enough away as they get hauled out into police cars. One day Carter is just going to like, look up and Reese will be so busted!

Wrap Ups! Gates and Jr. play some soccer in the park when Reese drops by. Gates thanks Reese but also tells him that if and when push comes to shove with Reese and his vigilante ways, Gates won’t be able to help him.  Reese tells Gates to go play with his son. Back in the diner from the opening scene and Finch asks Reese how things went with Gates.  Reese relays that Gates told them they don’t have to worry and that maybe they can expect help from Gates sometime in the future.  Finch was listening to his conversation and he didn’t hear that at all. Reese tells him he was reading between the lines.  I'm inclined to agree with Reese here. Gates definitely didn’t seem angry at the help they received.  Finch tells him that "time will tell which one of us is right." Reese thanks Finch for giving him a job. As a response, Finch gets up to leave and recommends the Eggs Benedict; he's had them many times. Reese opens the menu but there is no Gates special today.  He smiles sheepishly as Finch walks away. Aw, he made a friend.

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