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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Person of Interest: The One Where We're All Alone and No One Is Coming to Save You

Person of Interest
Episode 103
"Mission Creep"

First, I have to say that IMDb thinks Finch's first name is really Harold and that wasn't some alias last week ... so sure, we'll go with that (though I'm still just going to call him Finch).  Second, I've really come to like the use of the surveillance camera cutaway in lieu of the traditional placard or title card announcing where and when we are.  It puts a little onus on the viewer to pay attention to the locations and times given off by the cameras. I like shows that make me work a bit.

Tonight's episode is called Mission Creep. Mission creep was originally a military term, but one which has been largely adapted into mainstream life; its meaning is to indicate the unintended expansion of mission parameters or goals (e.g., we got to point A, but now we need to track down Point B as a result, and maybe a point C thereafter, etc).  I thin k you'll see tonight's episode fits that bill nicely. More after the jump ...

Anyway Caviesus has caught Finch pulling an all nighter in the lair; he suggests he get some exercise (a nice shout out to last week's flashbacks which showed a very healthy and fit Finch working it out on a treadmill).  When the Machine gives a number, I'm not sure why Caviesus and Finch still act melancholy and surprised. The machine never sleeps, it never stops. That's your job, let's go!

The Social Security Number of the Week is one Joey Durban, an ex-soldier who had served in the Stan and is now working as a doorman in an upscale The Jeffersons type building.  He's married to a waitress named Pia. She waited a long time for him to come home in one piece. Joey also seems to have a girl on the side and is maybe a baby daddy to girl number 2? But we're getting a head of ourselves.

While Caviesus is doing his 3 feet away surveillance technique, he accidentally wanders into a bank robbery in which Joey is taking active part.  Whoopsies; I guess doorman pay is less than lucrative.  Caviesus stops a huddled security guard from drawing his weapon and acting the part of (dead) hero and shuffles out of the bank immediately after the baddies go, as to avoid being caught at the scene when the cops come a knocking. Caviesus sure goes out of his way to avoid the NYPD.  Just a sidenote on the bank robbery. These guys are depicted as being very professional, very focused.  They work on a tight timeline, down to the second, they forgo extra cash in order to stick to the mission plan BUT they let a teller continue to sit next the panic button even after they catch him moving his hand towards it the first time.  Why not move him -- how do they know that the bank teller won't just push the button as soon as they turn their back (like they did) after warning him the first time? Weirdly inconsistent with the whole professional thing.

Finch, still confused by why the Machine would give the name of a nonviolent bank robber, thinks they sure turn Joey D over to the cops. Finch is showing some soldier loyalty and wants to give Joey the benefit of the doubt.  That he is at that very moment spying on Durban giving girl #2 some clandestine cash does not help his optimism.  Finch has discovered the gang of robbers seem to derive from the 107th Infantry unit and their ringleader is former Master Sergeant Sam Latimer, owner of a bar called the Green Zone (cute military lingo) and presumably from the 107th also?  Caviesus infiltrates the gang of robbers using a cover story as an out of work freelance guy fleeing Tijuana; his letter of recommendation comes from a Marine Latimer knew, who is conveniently dead. Latimer is suspicious.  Since there are no "job openings" with Latimer right now, Finch frames up the taxi driving member of the gang and gets him busted by the cops on a weapons possession charge. 

Detective Carter gets her Caviesus fix this week when a colleague working the bank robbery IDs Caviesus' prints from the robbery scene (he left latent prints on the security guard's holster when he kept him from getting himself killed -- no good deed goes unpunished, huh?)  Carter looks like a dog with a bone at the thought of linking Caviesus to something. Using her ex-military spidey senses, she figures out the bank robbers are all ex-military and that puts Caviesus right at home among them ... which is funny because on the other side of town, Caviesus is currently being kidnapped by Latimer's gang as a sort of initiation process? I don't know but i guess they think he checks out (a nice throwaway that Straub mentions Caviesus pay-as-you-go phone had calls to San Diego (home of Marines and Camp Pendleton, Semper Fidelis bitches).

After seeing him up close, Caviesus doesn't think Durban can be the killer, he isn't "that sort of killer".  He has some sympathy for Durban since "not every ex-soldier meets a reclusive billionaire." Aww, that was sweet Caviesus. Finch feels a little awkward at the man love coming off Caviesus and brings it back to the question at hand; if Joey is the target? Who's gunning for him.  Finch also lays out an important issue of motive; why is Durban robbing banks if hes got a god looking girlfriend and a good job?

Carter does bank robbery cop's job by deducing that the radios the robbers used are military issue only and so must have been boosted by a local base. Check out who has left the army in the area recently matched up with some missing radios and you'll have a lead.  The problem with Carter is that it seems like she's trying too hard to show us her military chops.  Back to Caviesus, he's stalking Durban who is creeping on girl #2 and her baby. Oh he's definitely looking like the baby daddy.  Caviesus arranges a chance meeting in a bar with Durban and starts picking his brain on taking orders from Latimer. The conversation devolves into a shoving match with some Wall Street cutouts standing up for the bankers; wait, what?  No fat, banker is going to pick a fight with a guy that looks like Caviesus and Durban (though Durban, to a lesser extent). Caviesus takes the bankers advice to start using head by headbutting him and shattering his nose. Bwah! That was funny. Confession? All I thought during this scene was, "God, Durban's nose is HUGE, how does he get ski masks to fit over the shnozz?!?" Caviesus and Durban finish their chat and Durban mentions that he got started with the bank robbing cause he's got a debt to repay; Straub too (gambling problem). 

Straub and Latimer are having a conversation about how Straub needs more cash or else his mom is going to get tossed/ Just happens, Latimer has a job ... for that night. A big score to pay off all their debts. Straub plants a thought that sounds a lot like he's thinking about offing one of gang members in order ti increase his share of the illegal funds pie.  Carter and her pal have a lock on one of the gang member's phone's GPS feature. When Teddy moves, Carter and the cavalry are going to be there to bust them.  At the same time, Finch and Caviesus are talking about how Caviesus is going to the next heist. Finch is not pleased about his participating in the robbery. Caviesus sees it as commitment to part.  Carter is having back up brought in.  Finch tells Caviesus and Caviesus tells his guys that they have to move out. Straub is reluctant to leave so much cash on the literal table (it was an illegal gambling ring that they robbed).

Latimer is not pleased at the lack of haul and tells Straub there is another job coming and basically tells him that they can kill Caviesus once they are in; clearly this arouses Straub's inner psycho.  Finch has discovered the baby daddy was actually a fellow member of the 107th, KIA (killed in action).  Finch confronts Durban about his "debt" and Straub's growing erratic behavior.  Durban confesses that the baby daddy took Durban's place on a patrol and got killed in the process.  Durban sees it as his obligation to give baby daddy's little girl all of the money and options that baby daddy would have.  Caviesus tries but there is no talking Joey D out of doing the next job.  He's got an obligation.

Caviesus tries to confront Pia at her place of business. Pia is unhappy at how Joey still seems stuck in the war. Caviesus tries to convince Pia that if Joey doesn't come around, she should keep looking; plenty of fish in the sea. Kind of a weird scene. Pia says she's with Joey to the end. Caviesus is done trying, "can't cure someone of his guilt."  He tells Finch to call the police when the details come up on the next job, let them haul everyone in.  Meanwhile, Carter has figures out that someone bumps off the gang members after they've done a few jobs, and recruits some new blood; that's how the gang stays fresh and sharp.

Caviesus is on the way to the crime scene with Straub and the gang.  Durban is trying to get some specifics on what they're nabbing, Straub is only seeing $400K.  Straub also makes Caviesus put his ear piece (and lifeline to finch) into a bucket of water; Caviesus is off the grid.  Ruh-roh!  At the same time, Latimer is speaking on the phone with his boss and the guy makes it clear that there's to be no loose ends; Latimer is fine with that since the current rotation was getting stale. Super Ruh-roh.

Because he was missing Caviesus, Finch has arranged to be at the site of the robbery just as its going down and gets taking hostage along with the other police officers; of I forgot to mention the gang is robbing one item from the police evidence lockup at Center Street. While half the gang is looking for the object, Caviesus concocts a scenario that allows a brief up close chat with Finch; he lets Caviesus know they are being set up. The gang gets the item but a cop shoots Teddy (man, he's a drag on the whole operation all the time) and the gang is slowed down escaping cause they are helping him limp the van.  But, their man problem is actually sitting in the van, its Latimer and once he has Straub hand him the stolen file, he shoots Straub in the gut twice. Turns out those clean weapons that Latimer provided? Yeah, Latimer totally disabled the firing pins from them so they cannot shoot at Latimer but he can pick them off one at a time. Latimer finishes of Teddy easily enough (the guy was already shot for god sakes) but Durban is able to hide behind a car and Caviesus uses a back up gun to chase Latimer off.  Caviesus and Durban escape just in time for the cops (and Carter) to roll up on the scene and find the 2 dead robbers in the street.  Carter is eyeing the military radio attached to Straub's hip.

Wrap-ups! Caviesus is trying to convince Durban to run, cause they'll be on him as soon as Straub and teddy are ID'd.  Caviesus convinces Joey D to call Pia and tell her they can get away together.  Carter is speaking into the radio, clearly trying to raise Caviesus. Caviesus is listening on the other end and suggests that Carter just stop looking for him. She's pig headed so that's a no go.  She doesn't think Caviesus killed the 2 bank robbers but thinks he knows who did. He assures that he'll take care of it. She sees that as a dangerous game and assures him this ends either with him locked up or dead (didn't she see the Pilot episode, Finch told us they were assured to be killed, duh).  He wants to take his chances.  Caviesus tells Finch there is one more thing to do but this case is closed, he needs to rub out Latimer. Unfortunately, the mysterious "Elias, M" has already taken care of that business. You see, while Caviesus was chatting with Carter, we see Latimer trying to negotiate a fee from the mysterious Elias.  While Latimer is speaking, Elias is taking out what looks like some kind of painting tool from the evidence lockup folder; obviously some damning evidence from a case.  By the time Caviesus catches up with Latimer, he's already got a bullet in the chest.  Last scene, we see Pia join Joey D at a just about to depart bus.  Oh, I hope those 2 kids make it.

In flashback/mythology news, this week we follow Caviesus's memories of running into Jessica in an airport in 2006. Unlike last week's Finch flash backs which moved forward in time throughout the episode, tonight's memory will be the same scene partially replayed with new information tagged on to the end in every flashback. Its an interesting device and  hope they keep alternating their flashback use.Caviesus and Jessica have clearly not seen each other in quite awhile, she's not aware he had returned from being overseas (she is very cautious as to not say where, for our benefit I'm sure) and that he's no longer in the service. For his part, Caviesus seems dumbstruck.  Interesting, I had been working on the assumption that Jessica was long dead, what does this mean?  Anyway, we learn that Jessica has totes moved on and she's engaged, she her ring Caviesus? Someone liked it and put a ring on it.  Oh Jessica opens up her bitter box and exposits for us that Caviesus left her one day, stated reason: out of a fear of being killed "over there" and that that would hurt her BUT she thinks he really moved on because it was easier to be alone. He doesn't dispute her theory and Debbie Downs her by saying in the end, we're all alone and no one is coming to save you.  Geez, this guy needs to work on his small talk skills. He tells her to be happy with fiance Peter.  She calls bullshit on his being alone nonsense and tells him to just say the words, "wait for me" and she will (man, Peter can't feel good about his relationship status, should have bought a bigger ring).  When Caviesus doesn't say anything, girlfriend calls him a yellow-bellied coward. After Jessica walks away, Caviesus finally says wait for me (and even adds a mumbled please) but but clearly, she doesn't hear them.  Oh Caviesus, you dumbass. You were supposed to say it when she could hear you.

See you next week (well, the surveillance cameras will see you well before next week).

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