Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Person of Interest: Welcome to My Montauk House o' Death and Lye Emporium

Person of Interest
Episode 104
"Cura Te Ipsum"

The episode opens with a voiceover of a woman, clearly on some kind of recorded device, talking about something bad that happened to her in the past.  We’ll hear from this woman a couple of more times but I won’t mention it again until the end of the recap. Forewarned is forearmed.  Finch is at the ER and he’s looking for a refill on his pain meds. Backstory reveal, Finch had spinal fusion surgery 1 or 2 years ago according to attending doctor, Megan Tillman (played by the very attractive Linda Cardellini who, according to IMDb, played a nurse on ER for 7 years so, good for her for finishing that fake medical school degree and moving up in the world!).  Dr. Tillman is being a stickler about Finch getting a full work up but eventually agrees to write the script for 3 days worth of meds. Finch repays her kindness by swapping beepers though her swapped beeper still works somehow (maybe he didn’t swap them but just synced them like Reese is always doing with people’s phones). As she walks away, Finch turns towards the security camera (which he’s controlling with a remote, right there in the ER … subtle Finch) and we know now that Megan Tillman will be our Social Security Number of the Week. 

Dr. Tillman works 80 hour weeks, is single and lives alone. She also is living a secret double life wherein she hangs out in clubs and bars to all hours of the morning. My kind of girl!  Reese is on 24 hour surveillance and so he too gets to hang out in bars and clubs all night. After a false alarm wherein Reese (I’ve decided to retire Caviesus) almost kills a drunk bozo that had been hitting on Tillman (Reese thought he was carrying a weapon, turns out it was a Razr 2 cell phone), Reese sees our real threat, a slick looking ladies man chatting up the ladies. Reese knows he’s bad news because he saw him earlier that day standing behind Tillman at the food truck line.  Reese bumps and grabs the slick guy’s wallet; hello Andrew Benton. Reese finds some benzodiazepines (a/k/a roofies or a date rape drug). Bad news slick guy, bad news.

We find out that Tillman was back at work before sunrise but didn’t leave the club until 3:30 am; the bartender said she’s been something of a regular the last week.  That’s what we call burning the candle at both ends.  Reese learns that Benton is an investment banker for Hudson Liberty Financial and he has had many allegations brought against him of the sexual predator kind. However, he’s never been charged. Naturally, a proper Person Of Interest surveillance requires a home break-in and that’s where we find Reese.  Benton’s apartment is basically a shrine to himself and his ego, its covered with monogrammed tapestries and pillows and Warhol-esque 4 frame pictures of himself (like this famous one). Classy.  Reese also notes that Benton doesn’t have a coffee maker but instead does have a nice cocaine sampler in a jar. 

Detective Carter (who is being brought into the episode’s narrative instead of a recap  at the end due to her interactions this episode – welcome inside the fold Detective Carter!) is reviewing bank robbery footage from last week and totally figures out that Finch (who you’ll remember was playing a paralegal innocently caught up in the robbery; wrong place, wrong time) was talking to a big guy in a mask, that she’s confident was Reese.  She continues to randomly talk about Reese with passerby police officers. Carter has got be viewed as an effing weirdo around the office, no?

Finch has competed a review of Benton's computer and there is nothing that shows he's been stalking Tillman. Reese just thinks that proves how smart and cautious the guy is.  Finch did discover that there’s an expunged record from Benton’s freshman year of college but Reese will need to tap sad sack, dirty cop Fusco to get it.  Speak of the devil, poor Lionel is trying to play some street hockey with his son when some angry drug dealers come a calling. Since Lionel is the only one from Stills’ dirty cop band not in jail, the cartel has decided he on the hook for the money owed on the drugs. I have to say Head Drug Guy is doing a horrible Godfather impersonation.   

Back in da’ club, Benton finally hooks up with Tillman though she uses a false name of Kate (Kate Lehman as we’ll learn later). Benton walks “Kate” outside but she successfully keeps from going home with him. As they part ways, creeper Reese falls in line behind her. TWIST!  The good doctor is not headed home but is rather headed to a perch to stalk Benton. From the way the camera focuses, its obvious to us the viewers that Megan is studying Benton’s apartment keypad access number through a camera’s zoom lens.  Man, I hope that’s not an important detail later.

At the Fusco/Reese meeting, Fusco tries to change the terms of their blackmail arrangement and wants Reese to take out the cartel in exchange for Benton’s expunged file (as a bonus, Fusco also obtained the related Medical Examiner’s report). Reese is reluctant to a change in the deal and in fact says he can just get another dirty cop but we know that Reese is going to help Lionel anyway. The expunged file: back in 1996 (also my freshman year of college; TV Watcher = Old), Benton (who attended NYU) sexually assaulted a girl; she waited two days to make report and so the evidence came back inconclusive (hence the no charge thing). The girl in question was Gabriel Tillman (Megan’s sister).  Gabriel committed suicide one year later. Clearly Megan is not the victim but the perp and she is going to kill Benton.  Reese thinks killing Benton will destroy Megan.

Detective Carter shows up at "Mr. Berdett's" house to talk about the bank robbery. Mr. Berdett is Finch.  Dude has just got a fully furnished house hanging out for possible cop interviews – that’s planning ahead.  Carter says, “walk me through the robbery.” She also wants to know if “Mr. Berdett” was injured during robbery, as she notices his stunted gait. Finch assures her that its from an old injury and that he won’t be suing the city; though the stress from the situation certainly aggravated his condition.  When Carter asks if inch heard the name “Elias” (that was the name on the file of evidence that was looted), Finch is all “Elias? Nope. Who's Elias?” Carter: Did anyone speak to you?  “Nope, no one spoke to me.” BUSTED!   Oh reeeeeally says Carter.  Then explain these still photographs picked up by the surveillance camera (ironic that the surveillance camera would betray Finch in this way) which seem to indicate one of the robbers chatting your ear off and you responding.  Finch spins a convincing cover story about how he was terrified and was begging for his life. He also reiterates that the guy originally told Finch to stop looking at him (which Reese totally said to Finch last week as a run-up cause to pull him close and speak quickly. Nice continuity show!!!!). Michael Emerson is the absolute king of the unblinking dead eye stare while speaking.  Its chilling and unnerving to watch but sometimes does give a strong “I’m lying” vibe.

Finch calls Reese to complain about the Carter situation while Reese is surveilling a new dirty cop (Captain Womack as we’ll learn later). Finch is worried about Carter. Reese thinks his new asset will help resolve his Carter and Fusco problems. In a weird blooper miss (which this shows doesn’t have too many of), Reese hangs up with Finch before he's done talking to him. Also weird, why isn’t he on the Bluetooth ear wig device like normal? Anyway, we move on to check out Tillman attending date rape survivior support group. Of course Reese is creeping. When Tillman goes to get coffee, Reese strikes up a conversation.  He says he lost someone close to him, for her part Megan knows someone like the girl telling her story back in the meeting. Kudos to Linda Cardellini’s emoting skills here because she really sells Megan falling apart as she spills her guts to this total stranger.  She says the friend had moved on until she saw [Benton] a month ago at a restaurant acting normal on a date.  It began a cascade of shattering her world. Megan gives Reese the Kate Lehman (this time with a 100% more fake last name). Finch is able to discover that “Kate” has recently taken a rental house in Montauk (which for non-New Yorkers is the very tip of Long Island, past the Hamptons, nicknamed “The End”) as well as a van.  Reese isn’t feeling very muck like helping Benton survive this one, especially as his modus operandi seems to be do lines of coke with the girls, roofie them, rape them and then leave them feeling too ashamed to do anything about it the morning after. 

Out in Montauk, Reese discovers that Megan has got 8 pounds of lye stored up. Heat that up to 300 degrees and that’s enough to dissolve a human body in about three hours.  That’s a little creepier than some of Reese’s other lessons previously dispensed but no less useful (this creepy website says that funerals using lye-based disposal of human remains is the green wave of the future; it also says you only need 4 pounds to get rid of a human body so maybe Megan is going for overkill)!  Though Finch maybe wants to discuss how Reese knows this macabre fact (maybe he’s just done his funeral arrangements?), Reese moves onto some thoughtful rumination on how Tillman will get away with the murder but it will destroy her life.  Reese’s obvious answer is that he will get rid of Benton first.  This self appointed Avenging Angel angle is an interesting road to explore (I think we first saw this when Reese killed the two guys who were hired to kill the philanderer at the start of Episode 2).

Fusco and Reese arrive at Head Drug Guy’s abode.  As Drug Flunky one goes to open the door, Reese practices some explosive and overwhelming violence and knocks out everyone in the time-span of a good “Gooooal” soccer call on the Television. That was a nice effect! Reese then steals some drugs from them.  Fusco is incredulous at the crime being committed here (oh Lionel you crack me up); he’s also kinda bummed that Reese didn't kill the Head Drug Guy … cause they’re going to be back, duh?

Next, Reese gets Benton to drop his window and then cold clocks him, knocking him out.  Reese is lucky the car didn't roll away as Benton lost consciousness but whatever.  Reese then somehow arranges for Benton and his car to crash outside a police station with the stolen bricks of drugs on a seat next to him.  Unfortunately, the next morning Reese, watching from Fusco’s backseat, spies Benton getting sprung from jail. Reese is annoyed.  Fusco remains very worried about the cartel coming after him again.

Remember the woman’s recording that I mentioned in the first sentence of this recap, here is the next mention I promised.  We have been listening to a sort of goodbye message from Gabriel to Megan, left on Megan’s answering machine. Megan has clearly been using this recording as fuel for her anger and now that she’s pumped up, its off to catch her some Benton.  Finch relays that Megan is on the move and Finch is about to head out to intercept her when the Head Drug Guy and his beat up flunkies clobber Reese and take him back to their hidey-hole. 

Benton doesn't understand why his code isn't unlocking his door. Psst, over here.  Its because there is a crazy Doctor Lady already hiding in your apartment, waiting to kill you. As Benton enters his apartment, Tillman sneaks up behind him and tasers him unconscious. She then proceeds to strap him into a wheelchair, load him in her “Kate van o’ death” and off we go. 

As Reese wakes up, he takes in the cartel guys and Fusco; aww man Fusco, you are going to regret this decision.  You don’t sell out Reese.  Reese gets smacked around a bit. As Head Drug Guy goes in for the final beheading move, Reese, in Spanish (which makes this whole thing so much more sinister sounding) blows up Head Drug Guy’s spot  by revealing (so that the Drug Flunkies can hear) that Head Drug Guy has been working with their rival drug cartel helping slaughter Jefe's men as well as Jefe’s son. When the Drug Men start to bicker, Reese is able to cut the line binding his feet and starts doing some major badass “tied up hands-fu.” Fusco looks like he's going to shit his pants and vomit simultaneously. Its really priceless to see his face. After laying out the Drug Men, Reese warns Head Drug Guy that he'll lose his head if Reese ever sees him again. To fusco, Reese tells him that Lionel is due for a change of scenery; Reese is going to have him working on something else going forward and oh yeah, Lionel, do not do this again.  You know, for a killing machine, Reese is very patient.

Reese chances to meet Megan in a gas station on her way to the killing fields and offers her a chat and coffee. Reese calls her Megan and whispers conspiratorially that the guy in van can wait. By the way, there's a cop sitting five feet away in the gas station diner. Reese tells Megan that she'll never really get away with it, even though she will trechnically. Spiritually, she'll be dead.  Reese says the two of them are different, Reese knows what you lose when you take a life. If you’re wondering, you lose part of you.  Not all but the part that matters most. Megan says she can't turn around; he’s seen her face.  Reese explicitly offers to be her avenging angel. Megan wants to know what Reese’s deal is … and how does him taking out Benton help her?  Reese tells her the benefits of his plan include Megan getting a second chance, getting her life back and Gabriel retaining her memory of Megan. She gives Reese the keys to the “Kate Van o’ Death”.  As Reese completes the drive out to the “Montauk House o’ Death and Lye Emporium,” he tells Finch that he's going to have a little talk with Benton. Maybe to break up the Debbie Downer vibe, Reese asks (again) why Finch does this Machine thing. Finch stonewalls (again); he's got his reasons. On the bright side, Reese says the situation with Carter has been taken care of.   And, well maybe not taken care of but on its way.  We see Fusco has been reassigned. (Dirty Cop) Captain Womack un-warmly welcomes Fusco to his new desk and tells Fusco to tell “his guy” to lose the photos of him. We see Carter walk in and sit down across from Fusco.  Fusco has been transferred into Carter's group!!!! Very Tricky Reese! 

WrapUps! Reese and Benton have arrived at the “Montauk House ‘ Death and Lye Emporium.” Benton wakes up to find a gun on the table and Reese staring at him. Reese tells Benton that they’re the same kind of people, the kind of people that break other people. Reese has some self-esteem problems.  Through this entire scene, you get the feeling that Reese wants Benton to reach of the gun as to make his decision easier.  Benton starts backpedaling, blah blahing about how he’ll never hurt anyone again and he’ll be a good boy.  Reese doesn't think people can really ever change. Au contraire mon frere, Benton thinks that not only can he change but that Reese can too!!! He’s feeling like Reese is a good guy on the inside. Reese says that maybe they are no good people, only good decisions. We end with Reese imploring Benton to help him make good decision. The last image of the camera pulling away reveals Reese bent over table, almost in emotional anguish and Benton reflexively leaning back n his chair. Its an excellent framing of the current emotions in the room and then we Fade to Black. WHAT!?!? What did he decide!?!? 

I guess we’ll find out next week. See you then!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment