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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Person of Interest: Reese and Zoe Sitting in a Tree, K-I-L-L-I-N-G

Person of Interest
Episode 106
"The Fix"

Have you ever noticed that the opening credit sequence for Person of Interest features that week’s “person of interest” or as we say at On My DVR, the Social Security Number of the Week, as its last person image. We noticed it last week and confirmed it this week. Learning is fun!  Let’s save some people.  
We open with yet another recorded female voiceover; this show is heading down a niche storytelling pattern if it keeps this up. All we here is the woman saying what they’re doing is wrong. I’m sure that will turn out to be the case.  Let’s table that for a bit, k?  Reese is playing fill-in driver for Social Security Number of the Week, Zoe Morgan. We learn she’s a super suspicious person right off the bat and calls into the car service dispatch to verify Reese is who he says he is. Of course, since its Finch verifying the details on the other end of the phone, Reese checks out.  She’s a got a few rules, no small talk, no questions, stay in the car and keep your eyes on the road. Before the episode is over, Reese will have violated every one of those rules.  But, the rules to have a an importance since part of whatever Zoe Morgan is into involves shady purchases at the naval yards with “gangstas” and undressing and redressing the back seat of the car.  Her purchase by the way? A gun.  While Reese is playing chauffer, Finch gets to [lay Reese what with the breaking and entering and snooping around.  I think Finch find a new level of respect for Reese’s felonious skills as picking a lock and trying to search someone’s apartment for useable information is not so easy.  In the end, with Reese’s helpful information that people hide things underneath other things, Finch comes up with a gun. This sets off an “uh-oh” for Reese since he knows that Zoe just bought a shady, black market gun and the only reason to do that is to make it untraceable which is what you want when YOU’RE GOING TO KILL SOMEONE!!!! 

The reason Zoe had to do the backseat quick change is because she has shown yup at a fancy pants cocktail party where she draws a uniformed cop (Lt. Gilmore) into the hallway. Just as Reese is about top put her down as the perp of the week, we figure out that Zoe is actually returning the handgun to Gilmore, seems his dummy nephew left his service piece in the bathroom and subsequently lost it.  In addition to his appreciation, Zoe also says that she’ll need Gilmore to quash an investigation into some congressman she’s working with.  And no Gilmore, we’re not even yet.  The end of another day playing driver and Reese seems to have passed Zoe’s trust test. See you tomorrow Driver Reese. He tells Finch that she’s a fixer (just like them!) and when Finch asks who her enemies are?; who would want to take her out?; Reese says, who wouldn’t want to. I don’t think Finch meant it to the way you do, Reese. 

Detective Carter shows up at the homicide scene of a Vincent DeLuca, (now former) enforcer for the mob from Brighton Beach. There is a HUGE knife sticking out of his chest which is from the stolen evidence locker from a couple of episodes ago (nice continuity show!).  This was the knife that was used to kill Marlene Elias back in 1973 which is funny since DeLuca is the man that was largely believed to be her killer. As Earl will tell you, Karma can be a  bitch Vincent. 

Next day, Zoe is meeting with Samuel Douglas, head of crisis management for Virtanen Pharmaceuticals and the guy sitting in his car is Mark Lawson, son-in-law to the current CEO, Robert Keller, and heir apparent to running the company.  The girl from the voiceover in the opening was recorded having an incriminating conversation of sorts with good old Mark.  Zoe makes the leap to an affair and Douglas doesn’t disabuse her of that notion. Her task is to give the business blogger who made the recording $40,000 to go away AND retrieve the recording.  Zoe meets with Talbot, the blogger, She gets the recording and acts like she has all these ethics not wanting to hear what’s on the tape. You know she listened to that shit on her iPod the second she got back in the car.  Also Talbot? Zoe would asked for $80K.

Carter has called in retired detective Bernie "Sully" Sullivan. He was the cop that worked the Elias case back in the day. Sully had the case locked up like Lindsay Lohan (don’t sue me LiLo) but the DA was bought and paid for so he dropped the case. Elias was a cocktail waitress that slept with the Don.  Don Stereotype got tired of her yapping about being in love and had DeLuca shut her up … permanently. Elias and Don Toomanycanollis had a son together; who happened to be out back when DeLuca offed his mom. It was the son that found her dead in the house. He got lost in the system after that and is probably our killer. 

Later that day or maybe more likely, the next day, Reese is attempting (horribly) to make small talk with Zoe.  When he uses some jazz to lure into opening up, she shuts him down saying she doesn’t like jazz (who doesn’t like Jazz?!?! Listen to Coltrane’s Few of My Favorite Things and tell me you don’t like jazz…. sheesh). We know she is shutting him down just to do so because she had jazz records in her apartment when Finch snooped about.  Reese spots that there is one too many people at the follow-up meeting with Douglas but Zoe scolds him that he’s not paid to think about that stuff when he voices a concern.  Of course, as soon as she hands over the recording to Douglas, he goes into cleanup mode and tries to get Zoe in this blacked out SUV.  Reese swoops in and ferrets Zoe away with only one blown out back windshield. Not too bad.  A funny conversation ensues where he is talking with Finch via the ear wig, filling him in on what just went down and Zoe thinks he is a mental patient explaining to her what she just experienced.  She clues in though and wants to know who the hell Reese is.  Reese wants to know what’s on that tape and also where Talbot is right now.  Zoe made a copy of it and they listen while headed to Talbot’s address. As Reese goes to talk to him, he finds out via Finch that Talbot is dead (from cardiac arrest … that’s convenient when dealing with a pharmaceutical company) … and Zoe’s runaway.  All aboard the fail boat Reese. 

Back at the Lair, Finch is trying to clean up the recording and verify the female voice. He has figured out it must belong to a Dana Miller.  Finch has some history with Ms. Miller as she was a Social Security Number of the Week six months ago.  But since that was before the September premiere of the show, Finch couldn't help her. The news said she dies of a brain aneurysm but the Machine doesn’t detect accidents and natural caused death; Dana Miller was murdered!  He hypothesizes that if the affair with mark went public, Robert Keller would take company away from his son-in-law.  We’re still too early in the episode for that to be the right hypothesis. Let’s continue.

Finch is the newest 8% shareholder of Virtanen which gets him some access to both Mark and old man Keller. Finch is working under the name Partridge (a little sidebar: Can you imagine the vast resources required to set up a full on brokerage account that will handle the massive capital investment needed to buy 8% of a publicly traded company under a phony name? Enormous resources!). As he is ushered in to meet Mark, he gives the slimeball an expensive watch (which is also bugged).  On the tour, Mark explains to Partridge Finch that Virtanen works on making drugs that people really need, like for pain relief.  Their newest wonder drug, just approved by the FDA, called Syluset is a revolutionary migraine medicine. Old man Keller (who is being played by a super famous Hey! Its that guy!, Brian Murray, but that I could only firmly connect to playing Jack Donaghy’s dad on 30 Rock) enters the scene at the end of the tour for a quick glad handing. As Finch walks away, he picks up a call on his cell which is really an open line to Mark’s bugged office. Finch overhears Mark and Douglas talking about how Zoe and the “bodyguard” are loose ends that absolutely need tying up as they can unravel the “whole thing.”

Sully found some evidence on the Elias kid and Carter agrees to swing by to pick it up.

Finch is still working through the garbled recording and has figured out that Dana recorded the conversation in Mark’s office. He cleans up enough to get a point in the tape to where its clear Dana wasn’t talking about an affair; she was threatening to blow the whistle on what the new wonder drug is doing to people!  The garbled, garbled. Finch is particularly affected by what they're doing this week since Dana slipped though his fingers previously.  He sees some real justice in being able to stop this 2 time offender.  Just then, Zoe puts herself back on the grid so that Reese can find her. Which he does.  Reese meets her in a restaurant but they don’t order (that must really annoy waiters and owners when TV people come in, sit down and don’t order – its not a park for meeting people, it’s a for profit business venture here people, move along!). So Zoe knows all the players in the city but who are you Reese? Moving on, Zoe gives Reese the backstory that Finch just uncovered from the tape. But! She's got some more information. Dana was moved out of development and had her access suspended before she was killed. I’m not sure the importance of that?  For once, Zoe isn’t working an angle, she just wants to bring Virtanen down … the whole “they tried to kill me” thing is playing a small part. She offers to go to something illegal with Reese … I don’t think she’s thinking what you’re thinking Reese.  Before going to break into Virtanen, Zoe stops by to settle up with Lt. Gilmore.  She requests that he make sure the cops don’t intervene with tonight’s break-in at Virtanen, ok?  I am not sure how a police Lt. can stop that? But sure, lets go with that.  

Finch is watching the virtual building security as Reese and Zoe make their way into Virtanen. She is totally turned on by his MacGyver skills. These two would be freaky in bed.  At Dana’s old workstation, Finch walks Reese through recovering her work history.  They find an altered clinical trial which was submitted to and approved by the FDA.  The original, unaltered version contained six additional names … all of whom are dead dead dead dead dead dead, all by heart failure within a year of taken the new wonder drug!  The drug has 3% mortality rate which is freaking high! Side benefit of breaking into Virtanen is that Finch is able to capture the last bit of interfering ambient noise from the Dana recording. 

As Finch goes to play with the recording in the Lair, Lt. Gilmore enters the room with Douglas. Zoe thinks it was a bad idea to betray her but I can see his point that doesn’t have much leverage right now.  Next thing, we see Reese and Zoe tied to chairs. They make some small talk while waiting to be interrogated.  She doesn't believe his name is John and he totally creeps her out by relating her pertinent family and life history.  He just doesn’t know why she does what she does? Seems she has some daddy issues which led her to be the person that always has something to trade.

Finch has finished cleaning up the recording and is trying to raise Old Man Keller on the phone while the recording is spooling up in the background.  Then, a few things happen all at once.  Finch hears Keller show up in the recording with full knowledge of the drug’s problems, just as Old Man Keller appears in front of Finch and Zoe, just as Old Man Keller gets on the telephone with Partridge Finch.  Finch hangs up.  For her part, Zoe proves her early point of saving her own ass by appearing to sell out Reese to save her own skin … BUT! As she gives him a Mata Hari goodbye kiss, we see her slip a paperclip into his handcuffed hand.  I think we a double TWIST! In the span of a few seconds there.

After the room has cleared, Douglas flaps his gums about the evil plot just long enough to allow Reese to escape his handcuffs and jam a needle of potassium chloride into Douglas' neck. 

Zoe communicates her destination to Finch inconspicuously as she’s talking to Mark. They are headed to the Naval yards (where she met the “gangstas” earlier). Lawson figures out that Zoe is bluffing and just as he’s about to take her out, Reese swoops in (he got the address from Finch), shatters another car window and eliminates the entire stable of baddies.  His method of fast and overwhelming violence works time and time again. 

Meanwhile, in the best scene maybe of the show, Finch confronts Old Man Keller in a very expensive looking restaurant. Old Man Keller wants to know Finch’s intentions with his company since he bought 8% out of the blue. Never fear, I’m done with your company. In face, Finch says, he shorted Virtanen to the tune of 500 million shares because he “got a tip” that senior management is about to have some legal problems. And, since Old Man Keller only cares about money and not the people he hurts, Finch has decided to take from him, all of his money. While he's speaking Finch lays out a photo of Dana Miller as well as a hundred dollars to cover the lunch he didn’t order.  Suck it Keller. Keller’s open gape as Finch walks away is priceless.

Carter arrives at Sully's just in time to find him dead … and the killer just escaping. Shoot, shoot, miss, miss. However, Carter does spy a bit of blood on the wall and seems to get a small bit of satisfaction … like the killer screwed up? 

Wrap Ups!  We learn via the Exposition Radio Station that Virtanen’s senior management is being investigated and that some people made some big money on short the company. Zoe tells Reese (why is he still driving her?) that Dana Miller's family received a sizeable donation. Also, Lt. Gilmore is under a major internal affairs investigation. When Reese tells Zoe to stay out of trouble, she says it ain’t gonna happen. Oh yea. We'll be seeing her again.

And we’ll see you next week for another Person of Interest!

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