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Surveillance footage makes everything look so pretty.
A woman’s voice tells us that we know why she’s there and how she feels. She can’t hide it anymore because what she’s doing is wrong. Didn’t we just see this episode? No time to ponder that. It’s 21:54:34 and Paige Turco’s on a mission. Her driver opens the door…and it’s Reese? Being the muscle for a reclusive billionaire vigilante should pay better. She sasses him because he’s only a limo driver and he blands that he was a last minute replacement. But you don’t get a brownstone apartment on the Upper East Side by taking the word of lowly, working-class drivers, so she calls the car service to find out what’s up.
Finch intercepts the call and she’s this week’s person of interest. Her name is Zoe Morgan and she’s not happy. Finch apologizes deploying his best Miss Clairee impersonation and saying that Biiilll’s come down with laaaryngiiitis and that he’s caught it from his ssooonn. Zoe asks which son, and he pops back into Finch, telling her the younger one, Andy, and that they sent their best driver in Bill’s place. Reasonably satisfied with that answer, she proceeds to bully Reese around, telling him to just sit in the car and keep his eyes on the road, then she tears his payment in half, saying he’ll get the rest at the end of the night, because she’s a bitch. A quick check that their phones synched, and they’re off.
You know, my day job is working as muscle for a reclusive billionaire vigilante.
Finch hobbles out from the shadows and wouldn’t she have heard him? No matter. He’s taking out his lock picking tool set, probably a gift from Reese, and walks up her stairs. As Reese drives, Finch is telling him that picking the lock isn’t as easy as it looks, but he’s telling Reese, who could probably pick a lock with pocket lint. Finch is in moments later, though, and he announces it like a proud five-year-old. The apartment is rather sterile, but no coke or Warfauxlian portraits, so at least we know she’s not a douchebag. Oh wait. She listens to jazz.
Finch exposits about how she dropped out of law school yet bought a $2 million apartment with cash. As he continues to snoop and wonder why she’s the PoI, Reese and Zoe reach their destination: an old Naval yard. Reese opens the door and like a true Upper East Sider, she doesn’t even notice, he could have been Godzilla for all she cared. As Reese keeps his eye on Zoe, Finch, unused to casing places, wonders where she’d keep things she cares about, then asks Reese. Who up until a few months ago was a homeless drunk living on the subway and smelling like urine. He’s not a hoarder.
Zoe meets up with Slip, the generic thug from Stereotypes R Us. They’re rather familiar with each other and she asks if he has “it.” He smarms that he always comes through for her and hands her a package and she hands him a big roll of bills, telling him to be good.
MGD 64? I was sure she’d have Stella.
With Zoe back in the car, Reese lets Finch know that she bought something with a big wad of cash. Finch, looking for some beer, asks what it was. Reese is all “Hell if I know, it’s dark and I’m just posing as a driver,” then tells Finch that people hide things “underneath.” Huh? Michael Westen explains this shit so much better.
Reese is driving and not being creepy at all staring back at Zoe. She unwraps the gun she bought from Slip and tells him to keep his eyes on the road. Then she starts undressing in the back seat. Reese actually blushes and looks away. Aww, the killing machine wants to respect her privacy.
Finchie’s got a gun.
Finch is crawling around the floor looking underneath the furniture when he finds a gun taped to a chair. That seems impractical. No time for that. Reese has arrived at their next destination, and Zoe looks like a hooker but tells him to keep the car running. Once she’s inside, Reese tells Finch she bought a gun and Finch is like “but she’s already got a gun,” talking like Miss Clairee again. Reese exposits that you buy a gun on the street because it’s untraceable and that means she’s there to kill someone. Except it’s only five minutes into the episode so he’s probably wrong.
Reese runs in, and as she gets off the elevator, we see there’s a party going on. She texts some cop. As he leaves the party, Reese comes up the stairs and it’s a game of cat and mouse. Zoe steps out of the shadows and calls out to Lt. Gilmore. Reese pulls his gun, telling Finch she’s going to kill a cop. But Zoe just hands him back the gun. It’s the service pistol of some dolt who left it in a subway rest room. Gilmore blows smoke up Zoe’s ass about the dolt, but she knows he’s Gilmore’s nephew. Then she tells him to close up his investigation into Councilman Rush. He thinks that makes them square, and she’s all “Yeah, no,” and Reese runs back downstairs before she busts him.
Assassiné, by Dior
Back at Zoe’s house and she’s less hookery without her shoes. She asks Reese if he saw anything interesting and he says nothing worth mentioning, because buying guns, changing into hooker clothes and maybe but not killing a cop is Tuesday night in Reese’s world. She likes how easily he lies and tells him to pick her up at 10 in the morning.
With Zoe safely inside Reese says he hopes Finch is out of her apartment, but Finch has been taking lessons from Reese and sneaks up behind him like a cat, asking what Zoe does for a living. Reese says she does favors for a price, and since the look on Finch’s face says “Hooker?” Reese explains she’s a fixer, and assuming she’s the victim almost anyone could want to take her out.
Do you blink, Mr. Reese?
It’s 8:40:17 in Queens, and showing that they have no idea how police departments work, Mikey Palmice is the responding officer on a homicide, even though Carter’s the homicide detective. She was probably too busy writing her AU fan fic where she’s Finch and Reese has to do whatever she tells him. Luckily, Mikey thought to call her about an actual homicide that she can investigate instead of the hot guy in the suit. Victim is a guy named Vincent DeLuca, former mafia muscle and Mikey has a wistful moment remembering how he used to be mafia muscle on The Sopranos before Christopher gunned him down.
Carter tries to pretend she can profile a crime scene but she needed Fusco to explain a professional hit to her. At least she’s not flashing Reese’s picture around trying to figure out how he fits. She determines that the killing was “personal” and the knife is old and dull. Even though they’re still at the crime scene, she wonders if Mikey the not-homicide detective has a rap sheet on DeLuca. Conveniently, he does and Carter notices the name “Marlene Elias” which triggers her stalking gene, and forget solving the case, it’s time to link Reese to it since the knife used on DeLuca appears to be the one stolen from lockup.
10:29:12 at Columbus Circle. Reese opens the door for Zoe, and seriously, she could have gotten there faster on the subway. I checked. As Zoe walks off, Reese takes a picture of Matt Servitto, and it’s like a Sopranos reunion. Then he takes some pictures of a guy in an SUV. As Zoe meets with Matt, we learn that he’s actually Samuel Douglas, head of “crisis management” for a pharmaceutical firm called Virtanen. Ominous job title for a pharmaceutical company.
The banality of evil. (And is that Alicia Witt?)
He’s meeting with Zoe so she can pay off a guy named Anthony Talbot. He has a recording of Mark Lawson (guy in car, COO of Virtanen) speaking with a young woman. Showing that women make wild gender assumptions, too, Zoe assumes it’s an affair and wonders what’s the big deal. Douglas has his song and dance that Lawson wants to keep it hush hush because Lawson’s married to the CEO’s daughter and is in line to take over once the geezer retires. Plausible, but is it really under the jurisdiction of “crisis management”? Zoe doesn’t care, she just needs directions to Talbot to make the drop. Douglas appreciates her discretion, but we’re only at the ten minute mark.
She meets up with a geek from Stereotypes R Us, and he’s all “hubba hubba.” She manages not to vomit on him so he plays her the file, and it’s the woman from the opening. Zoe takes the flashdrive and gives Talbot his money. He’s a lousy blackmailer and starts counting right there in the middle of Central Park, so she pretty much calls him a dumbass. Reese has been spying the whole time, but this drop was a bust. They can’t figure out where the threat is coming from because she’s as closed off as they are.
Stop looking down my shirt, perv.
Over at Carter’s station she calls in the primary on Marlene Elias’ murder, Dan Hedaya, except he’s calling himself “Sullivan.” And we’re back down her rabbit hole as she buries the lead about the active murder case to launch into her story about Reese, and give it up. Even Hedaya’s like, “I came out of semi-retirement to take this gig listening to her whine about a guy in a suit?” She finally tracks it back to DeLuca because the knife from the Elias’ murder was used on him, too. And even though she had DeLuca’s police file, she’s involved all the active cops she can and is now recruiting retired ones to help her find Reese. Man will she be disappointed when she finds him.
Sullivan explains that he had DeLuca dead to rights on the Elias murder until the DA dropped the charges. Then Sullivan exposits that Marlene was a cocktail waitress who had an affair with some local don and when she got too pushy the don sent DeLuca to take care of her. Turns out Marlene and the don had a son who was about five at the time, and was playing out back when she was killed. He found Marlene and walked to the station. With no legal guardian the little boy was put into foster care. Hmm, wonder who the little boy can be? Carter, being Carter, leaps to the conclusion that the little boy is the killer. Because why follow procedure when you can swing blindly hoping to hit something?
The most intimidating kid at kindergarten.
It’s supposed to be 18:09:22 in late October, but the sun is shining pretty brightly, as Reese tries to get Zoe to warm up to him by playing jazz. She asks about the music, but Reese sounds like such a dork she shuts him down with a “Really?” Then like every rejected seventh grade boy, ever, he calls her a bitch. Well, he says she looks like she knows how to play people and she’s like “I don’t play, I fix things. And jazz sucks.” DENIED!
Yeah, my favorite song is He’s So Dull. Oh, snap!
Five minutes later, they’re at their meeting at some underpass and the sun’s setting at this point, so clearly they have one of those time-lapse suns down in the Bowery. Reese notices a second man and suggests that “Zoe” let him take care of it. She’s all “That’s Ms. Morgan and get back in the car,” then she saunters off. She gets sassy about the muscle behind Douglas and as Douglas listens to the recording the driver gets out. Reese’s Batman super senses have been triggered and Zoe’s questioning why she didn’t take the tall, handsome limo driver up on his offer to get killed.
Douglas tries to shove her in the car and she’s all “No, I’m good,” then out of nowhere Reese flies into the frame to beat up the thugs and shuffle Zoe into their car. Douglas shoots at Reese and Reese shoots out the car tire, and I’m counting that as a kneecapping. They drive off while Douglas shoots out the rear window. As Zoe’s trying to figure out who Reese is, Reese is telling Finch what happened through his earbud. Zoe thinks he’s talking to her and she’s like “I was there,” but Reese keeps talking to Finch. When he asks for Talbot’s address she gets her hackles up wanting to know who he is. Reese says they’re in the same business and he got word she was in danger.
Vigilanté, by Versace
He thinks they need Talbot to find out what’s on the recording and Zoe’s all “I have a copy.” Reese feigns umbrage but Zoe’s not interested in his judgment and plays the recording. Two hours later they finally get to Talbot’s place, because Manhattan isn’t 13 miles long. Reese bolts from the car, but Talbot’s already dead of an alleged heart attack. Realizing that Zoe’s still in danger Reese heads back to the car, but she’s a cat, too, and is long gone.
Early morning at the library and Reese is wearing his lovely lavender shirt again. Finch is cleaning up the recording and explains that the interference dates the recording from about two years earlier. Reese skips flirting and settles on pissy, joking about the recording’s “vintage.” Finch goes straight to telling Reese they have a voice match on the woman and her name is Dana Miller. Reese, still working the sexist angle, assumes it was an office romance.
He patronizes Finch with a “Nice work,” but Finch is agitated. Six months earlier the machine spat out Dana Miller’s number but Finch was still on his own and in no position to act. She supposedly died of a brain aneurysm, but the machine can’t predict accidents so her murder was never reported. Still working the mistress angle, Finch and Reese come to the same conclusion Douglas gave Zoe about Lawson wanting her silenced to protect his place at the company. Finch feels a chance to make right on one of the lost numbers and starts sounding like Reese, which spooks even Reese. Finch tells Reese he needs to find Zoe then heads out to a meeting about a “recent investment.” Wonder where?
Pretty, young, female = Mistress!
8:55:21 at some luxury office complex not in Manhattan. It’s Virtanen and there’s Finch walking up to the entrance. Lawson doesn’t understand why he’s meeting with a shareholder. Douglas has to tell him that the guy just bought 87 million shares so maybe Lawson might want to try not being a dick and if necessary they’ll bring in the old man. Finch comes in with a cane calling himself Partridge. Wonder what his next bird alias will be? He brought a watch as a gift and Lawson conveniently leaves it open, the better for Finch to spy. They tour the facilities and Lawson’s giving his spiel, ending with the pitch for Virtanen’s new migraine medication, Sylocet.
On his way out, Finch meets a flaccid-faced old man named Robert Keller. He’s the CEO and seems avuncular enough. He’s glad handing Finch and singing Lawson’s praises. As the two men discuss Virtanen, Lawson and Douglas excuse themselves. Finch gets a predatory tone as he compliments Keller on his business and they go their separate ways, just in time for Finch to get a call. The watch is voice activated to call his cell, and he eavesdrops on Douglas and Lawson discussing the sitch with Zoe and Reese. Douglas promises to take care of them.
Pardon my wattle.
Carter gets a call from Sullivan who knows how to do investigative work. He’s tracked down some information on Carl Elias, but it turns out he was never permanently placed since he started running away at eight. Hmmm, difficulty forming commitments. Who does that sound like? The child did form a bond with one older woman named Gloria Recento, writing cards that Sullivan analyzes as written by someone who’d grow up to be President or Attila the Hun, so wild assumptions were always a part of detective work with NYPD. Carter tells Sullivan she’ll pick them up. I’m sure that will turn out well.
It’s 18:14:15 at the library and Reese comes by, still without Zoe. Finch is noodling around with the recording trying to clean it up when he realizes it was recorded in Lawson’s office. He takes some of the ambient sound he pulled from the bugged watch and manages to strip that out of Dana’s recording. The recording cleans up enough to reveal that, D’oh, gender assumptions bite them in the ass again because Dana wasn’t a mistress she was a whistleblower. She knew that they’re new drug was flawed and wanted to go public.
Finch has personalized this case and he goes to his wall of old numbers. He’s looking at the wall and Reese comes up behind him unleashing the healing power of the Caviezel on him. Finch gets emotional talking about “before we…before I found you,” making sure to retain that wall between them, that the numbers haunted him but if he can find justice for just one…and Reese’s big blue eyes go glassy but the moment is broken as Zoe’s cell phone is back on and giving away her location. Finch is back in his shell, but teases Reese that this time, try not to lose her.
The healing power of the Caviezel.
Reese is back in his ugly limo driver suit and strolling on up to Zoe in a fancy restaurant. She gives a speech about how she knows how the city works and all its angles, but Reese doesn’t fit and she doesn’t understand him, and she doesn’t like things she doesn’t understand. He wonders why she signaled for him, then. She admits that she has some use for his skills and tells him about Dana Miller. Reese fills her in on what he knows about Dana. He assumes she wants to strike a deal, but like Finch, Zoe’s personalizing this. And Lawson tried to have her killed. Then, for no reason, she flirtily asks if he wants to do something illegal while he drinks a glass of red wine and we’re suddenly in an episode of Red Shoes Diaries.
It’s 1:37:23 on Fifth Avenue. Gilmore is walking up to Zoe and Reese. She tells him that there will be a break in at Virtanen and he needs to make sure the police don’t respond. He agrees and sounds totally convincing. Three hours later, Reese has wired the entrance of Virtanen’s offices so that Finch can walk him and Zoe through undetected. As Reese McGyver’s the security system, he wonders why Zoe’s breaking into Virtanen when they want her dead. She just acts coy so Reese asks Finch about security guards. None in the first floor stairwell, so they’re good to go. They get up to Lawson’s office without incident and Reese McGyver’s the office lock and Zoe’s impressed, again, but now it’s Reese’s turn to be coy.
I’m so dreamy when I’m committing felonies.
Reese hacks into the email server, but Dana’s log has been deleted. Reese is about to go Reese! Smash! when Finch reminds him that nothing’s ever deleted and to just run the recovery software. Derr. They pull up her emails and find the clinical trial report for Sylocet but there are two versions. The approved one is slightly smaller than the original, which has six additional names. They all died of heart failure within a year of the trial, equaling about a 3% mortality rate. While they’re talking, Finch hears the AC hum in the background and realizes it’s the last bit of ambient noise on the recording and gets a sample so he can finish deciphering the message.
Finch runs off to figure out the last piece of the recording while Zoe and Reese lollygag long enough to get busted by Douglas. Gilmore sold them out, and Zoe says if she can’t trust him she’ll have to destroy him. Unaware that Reese is Batman, he gets shirty with her, telling her that he doesn’t think she’s going to be much of a problem and that he’s holding up his end of the bargain and making sure the cops don’t respond.
Stereotypes R Us
Finch drops the final bit of ambient noise and hears Dana say she’s going to Keller with the information. Still believing that Keller is out of the loop, Finch goes back to tell Reese that he’s found something, only Reese is no longer in Lawson’s office. FROWNY FACE!
6:24:54 at Virtanen. Reese and Zoe are handcuffed to chairs thinking this is the worst first date, ever. Zoe finally gets around to asking his name and he says “John” but she blows it off, figuring he’s lying. She still wants to know how he knew she was in danger but he obliques about it not being a stretch given her line of work. She says he’s one to talk and he doesn’t know anything about her. Reese gets extra whispery as he tells her he knows everything about her. He tells her about her comfortable early childhood in Yonkers, her father’s fall from grace and her subsequent working class upbringing in Queens. Then he makes sad eyes, releasing the healing power of the Caviezel, and she’s spilling. Her father was a loyal party flack until he got arrested. The media was making hay with her family until the party fixer came along and in minutes the media circus was over. And that’s when she realized that being a sociopath has its perks as long as you always have something to trade. Reese wants to know what she has to trade now, but doesn’t really want to know the answer. Which is immaterial as Douglas is there.
The healing power of the Caviezel redux.
Finch is freaking and trying to get Keller on the phone at 6:30 in the morning. He’s somehow managed to get an assistant on the phone. I hope she gets overtime. She can’t find Keller but Finch is insistent, calling himself Partridge to remind Keller that he’s very important.
Douglas takes a cheap shot at Reese then Zoe and Lawson discuss the Sylocet report. Since Reese is taking the beating, she’s all sass saying “I hope you don’t mind, but I emailed it to a friend.” Then she says that if anything happens to her or Reese, she releases the report to the public. Lawson doesn’t like that option and comes up with his own, first one to give up the report gets to live. They both kind of flutter their eyes inconclusively and we switch over to Finch, who’s getting patched into Keller’s cell phone…just as he hears Keller on the recording. As Keller picks up the call, Finch hangs up like he was calling his junior high crush but never expected to talk to him.
Keller gets the hang up just as he walks into the lab. Never trust a flaccid faced old man. Unless it’s the guy from Law & Order. Keller takes over the negotiations and is every greedy fat cat stereotype calling the mortality rate a side effect and telling Zoe to be reasonable. Reese is just looking around the room, knowing he’s screwed, and Zoe agrees to take them to the report. They uncuff her and she goes to Reese to tell him that he should always have something to trade. She kisses him, passing him a paper clip that she must have been using when she popped the button on her pants.
Robert Keller, dirty evil
Sunrise over the Empire State Building leads us back to Virtanen. Douglas is telling Reese that he never should have trusted Zoe and grabs a bottle of potassium chloride, a drug used in lethal injections to stop the heart in minutes, and says it’s humane. As he’s about to jab Reese in the neck, Reese says “Lucky you,” and it’s super whispery for added creepiness. Douglas hasn’t seen the earlier episodes so he’s caught unaware when Reese gets out of the handcuffs, pins him to the wall and jabs the potassium chloride into Douglas’ gut.
7:05:13 and Zoe’s telling someone she’s on her way to the old Naval yard. Lawson takes away her phone but it’s too late, she passed the message to Finch. Reese calls in to Finch who reprimands Reese for being incommunicado for two hours, but you can hear the love in his voice. Finch fills in Reese on what he already knows about Keller and Reese tells Finch about how he was blindsided by both Keller and Zoe, who’s on her way to sell back the report to Lawson. Finch says, betraying no irony or sarcasm, that Reese should be more trusting and tells him that she’s taken Lawson to the old Naval Yard. Then he smiles, but he’s not pleased with himself or Reese. He’s trapped Keller, and they’re having breakfast at some swank restaurant. Flaccid faced Keller tries to be all smooth and they trade small talk until Keller asks Finch what his ‘poison” is and Finch gets a rather wry smile on his face.
Reese isn’t the only one who can mess you up.
Lawson and Zoe drive up to the Naval yard and stop about 100 yards from her old friend Slip. Lawson realizes he’s no match for Slip so he tries to fake her out, telling her she didn’t email the report to anyone since the only person she trusts is herself. Meanwhile, Keller’s doing the hard sell on Finch, telling him what a wonder drug Sylocet is and how he’ll never have to invest in another company again.
Lawson’s scrolling through Zoe’s email and telling her how most people would go to the police, but since she’s a procedural cliché she sent it to herself and lo, she did. D’oh. Foiled by network TV tropes. Slip and his friends are moving in on the car but Lawson is a step ahead and tells the driver to leave. Except Reese has impeccable timing and is busting the driver’s side window at that moment, shooting the bodyguard in the kneecap before yanking Lawson out of the car to taze him. Then Reese makes a bad joke because at some point he became everyone’s dad. As Reese is putting away his gun and grabbing the cell phone, Zoe flirts the only way she knows how, by talking shit about him taking his time. Rather than taser her, too, he just asks exactly when she knew she’d do the right thing. She admits it was only right before she slipped him the paper clip.
That’s gonna leave a mark.
Back at breakfast. Keller says he speaks on behalf of the board when he asks what Finch is planning now that he owns 8% of the company. Finch gets a text from Reese that he has the FDA report, so Finch tells Keller he sold his shares on a tip that the price was about to take a nose dive, due to corporate malfeasance. Then he goes into an explanation of stocks that I can’t figure out, but basically he bankrupted Virtanen with Wall Street voodoo trading. Over a $400 breakfast tab, Keller threatens that Finch doesn’t know who he’s dealing with but Finch is “Bitch, I know exactly who you are. One greedy bastard, and I’m going to take away all your money,” then he lays down a picture of Dana Miller on the silver tray holding the bill and five hundreds. With flaccid-faced Keller’s jaw on the floor, Finch takes his leave but forgets to give the old Dorothy Michaels “I said good day, sir,” and I always get sad when someone misses an opportunity to quote Tootsie.
I said good day!
Carter finally manages to drag her ass over to Sullivan’s, alone, after leaving the old guy hanging for a day. His door’s open because someone was just there to kill him. So Carter’s stalking has a body count. She hears someone running down the stairs. She draws her gun and shouts POLICE, even though feasibly she has no real reason to suspect the guy. Lucky for her, she stumbled upon the killer and not some random neighbor, sparing NYPD more unwanted media attention. They have a brief shoot out in the stairwell and Carter nicks the killer on his way out. She runs out of the building but he’s gone, leaving behind a small patch of blood. Rather than call it in and collect it properly, she decides to completely contaminate the crime scene and render all the evidence inadmissible. She’s still the worst.
13:03:23 the next day and Reese is still driving Zoe around and wearing the ugly limo driver’s suit. They’re listening to the news about Virtanen and that their biggest competitor, Beecher, is coming out with their own competing drug. Reese suggests that someone got a big payday tipping off Beecher, but Zoe says it wasn’t that big, although Dana’s family’s legal team got a big donation for their suit against Virtanen. Reese also heard that Gilmore’s up on serious corruption charges, but Zoe’s silent on that one. As a rather pretentious cover of New York, New York starts belching in the background, Reese drops Zoe off and tells her to stay out of trouble. She tells him it’s not going to happen, but he has her number in case they need her to come back for February sweeps. And she walks off as Cat Power continues to whine about New York, New York.
Mani/pedi @ 2:30; corporate espionage @ 6:45; drinks with Rogelio @ 10:00.
A lot of good stuff happened in too little time making the episode feel rushed, but they did introduce a great and likely recurring character in Zoe, and the possibility that Reese is little Carl Elias since the ages match up and would explain his issues. But Carter is still the worst cop on NYPD.
If you’re drinking at home, I counted two unofficial kneecaps (the car tire and maybe the thug in the front seat.)
Any other thoughts?