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Congratulations, Person of Interest. Scoring James Cameron to write a mid-season, non-sweeps episode is a major coup. Wait, it was written by Patrick Harbinson? Really? I was sure it was Cameron considering all the cheap, crass emotional manipulation, poor story structure and sledgehammer subtlety. My bad. (But his movies make billions of dollars and I’m writing recaps, so what do I know?)
Anyway, Person of Interest. The Machine is cycling through data as we hear a conversation between two mooks discussing Moretti getting out of prison. One mook wonders if Elias knows while another figures Elias arranged it. We see Elias’s mugshot and he’s still adorably punkinheaded. Squee! Sigh. The Machine determines that Elias is an imminent threat to Moretti.
Scene shifts to real time and it’s 15:04:27 outside a prison. A police-issue Impala is waiting. It’s Carter and Reese jumps in the car with her. She’s wondering how he got there, but PoI isn’t too concerned with logistics so he just quips that he felt like a walk. Fifty miles from the city. Because saying “I took the train” would be too pedestrian. (Har…see what I did?)
They both see Moretti walk out of the prison yard and now she’s putting two and two together and realizing he’s there for Moretti. Why else would he be there? I mean, other than to give this scene a reason to exist. Carter continues to wonder how Reese knew about Moretti’s release, even though she’s worked on several cases with him and Finch already and should know two things about them. They know shit they shouldn’t and they won’t tell her how. But this week the episode was written on a Mad Libs tablet, so there will be numerous scenes we’ve already seen recently and almost word for word.
Carter sasses Reese about always bringing along trouble but he just wants her to exposit why she’s there. She says she has authority to offer Moretti protection in exchange for giving up information on Elias…but a) she’s a homicide cop not organized crime b) she already tried to get him to talk but he had nothing to offer back then nor did he trust a Lone Ranger cop to do anything to protect him and c) why isn’t she conducting this meeting inside the prison or in some formal capacity? If the offer was approved why is she loitering outside the prison grounds by herself and with no actual plan to get him safely to the safe house other than the shield of her own superfly awesomeness? These questions, and more, won’t be answered though, because Moretti gets into his waiting car and Carter jumps out of hers so Reese can talk to Finch and exposit the next storyline.
Finch is on his way out of the library because a second number came up. Just issued by the Social Security Administration two months earlier so Finch assumes the number, Leila Smith, is either a new citizen or it’s a case of identity fraud and all Finch has is a work address. Reese gets all middle management and tells Finch they’re working Moretti’s case and he needs Finch in the library but Finch pulls rank and tells Reese the numbers don’t wait and says he’ll be in touch.
Carter hilariously walks in front of a known criminal and killer’s car flashing her badge to stop the driver from running her over several times. On principle he should have jumped the car to remind her. She just saunters on up to the window and makes her offer to Moretti, on the side of the road, with no backup. He still dismisses her as a cop working on her own and drives off.
Finch drives his town car down some side street and two randoms are putting on scrubs behind a black van, giving Finch the side-eye while Finch notices. Of course, all that was missing were arrows and flashing neon lights saying “BAD GUYS” over their head so even my cat would have noticed. Finch walks up to the front door of a place called “St. Raymond’s” but goes down to the junction box and disconnects the security system all by himself. Reese would be so proud. He sneaks into the administrative office and we don’t even bother to see him hack their system, he’s just in and finds out that Leila Smith isn’t an employee, she’s a patient.
As Carter drives Reese down some winding road, still following Moretti even though he refused her offer, expositing that Moretti used to own a house out in the boonies, Finch is wearing a doctor’s coat, calling himself Dr. Tillman. Heh. He walks up to the nurse and says Dr. Adalian asked him to check in on Leila Smith to monitor her bronchitis. The nurse says Leila’s pretty much over it, but Finch busts out a doctor’s superiority and tells her to give him the chart.
The nurse takes Finch to Leila’s room, hands him her chart and walks in, showing an adorable baby sucking on a pacifier. Finch is all WTF? but asks why there are no parents listed. Leila’s a safe haven baby who was left outside the clinic. The nurse filed for her social security number so the state would be able to keep track of her, then the nurse exposits why such a cute (and white) baby wasn’t immediately adopted by telling Finch she had medical issues, including the bronchitis, that kept her from being snatched up immediately. The nurse leaves and Finch wonders who would want to hurt a baby, never once considering if she might be the perpetrator. Makes as much sense as anything else this episode.
After a quick shot reminding us where Reese is, we’re back in Leila’s room at the clinic. Finch is looking at Leila’s chart while she’s trying to grab it from him (What are you hiding, Leila?) and Finch recognizes one of the randoms in scrubs. It’s that hatchet-faced guy who two-timed Manny Horvitz with Waxy Gordon and got his throat slit by Jimmy DAH-MAH-DEE so, clearly, he’s up to no good.
Finch calls Reese to tell him he “has a situation,” but Reese blows him off because he does, too. Finch looks in the hallway and sees the nurse bringing the randoms to Leila’s room…and one is carrying a gym bag? This will probably be important later. Meanwhile, the caravan comes upon “an accident.” Moretti tells his driver to go around and right into the path of a speeding truck. Oh NOES, what will happen?
The “accident victims” shoot up the car, conveniently missing the 70-something in the back seat then Carter and Reese come out, guns blazing and out of jurisdiction with no back up, to take out the would-be kidnappers and kidnap Moretti. But it’s okay because she’s PO-LEESE!
19:04:43 and Carter’s back in the city with Moretti at the safe house. Continuity woke up from its nap and had Szymanski waiting (But why he wasn’t at the prison is never discussed.) saying he heard what happened, and that Moretti was lucky “she” was there. No one mentions the big guy with a big gun who was riding shotgun. Moretti just wants to know who Szymanski is.
Realizing Szymanski’s just another cop, Moretti wants to know if he has to stay there. Carter tells him he’s free to get shot any time or he can stay and help them get Elias, even though the only way he helps them “get Elias” is by being bait. Carter and Reese shouldn’t have killed the kidnappers who have a more direct line to Elias, but who cares, just go with it. Scripted entertainment doesn’t have to make sense. Just ask Terrence Malick. Moretti’s equally confused so he doesn’t say a thing.
Carter walks out of the safe house and, oh, look. Reese is just lollygagging and not blending into the neighborhood, again, but in plain view of the living room window where Szymanski could see him and ask Moretti who the big guy talking to Carter is.
Whatever. Reese asks Carter about clearing the safe house with her bosses so she can drop an ACME anvil by telling him it was cleared because there are still some good cops out there, like Szymanski but not her dirty Captain who may or may not be in Elias’ pocket but disregard that, she’s expositing, here. They’ve decided that the father Elias hates and has never known is the “best way” to get to him. Then she thanks Reese for fucking up her attempt to get Moretti into custody legally so they couldn’t call in the crime scene. Then they had to drive him back into the city where he got a good look at Reese’s face during the nearly four hour ride and he tells her she’s welcome, because he doesn’t understand the concept of working in secret.
Carter tells Reese to stay out of trouble and he gets all Smurfy asking Finch “How’s it going.” Finch quavers that “It’s going,” then asks about Moretti. Reese recaps what we’ve already seen then casually asks about “the other number” because, clearly, he no longer gives a rat’s ass about saving the lives of non-criminals. Finch hesitates to answer but eventually admits that he “may have done something rash.” Reese wonders what he means and we see Leila sitting in a box on the floor of the car, and has he been driving around with her for the last three and a half hours? Manhattan’s not that big.
07:48:13 and Reese is finally dragging his ass into the library because a baby’s life may be at risk but that would be triple overtime. Remember how he had to trail Dr. Tillman 24/7 to keep her safe? He sees Leila sitting in her book pen chewing on one of Finch’s ties and makes a really dumb joke about feeding her food instead of his clothes and Finch lets him know that chicken and prunes are her favorite. Reese thinks that sounds disgusting, because it’s not like he’s been mooning over a normal life for the last five episodes, but wonders why anyone would want to kill a baby, while staring at her like she’s a Palmetto bug. Again, written on a Mad Libs tablet.
Finch doesn’t believe someone would want to kill Leila, just kidnap her and dump her in an orphanage “where babies are plentiful and birth records aren’t.” Reese is playing audience manqué and wondering why someone would want to get rid of her. Finch thinks she could be evidence of an affair or an obstacle to someone inheritance (or both!) but Finch hasn’t a clue who they are. But since Leila kept Finch up all night he did some digging and found that the clinic received a $50K donation around the time Leila was born and $10K every month since. The donor is “anonymous” so Finch sent an IRS letter asking for the donor’s tax ID number and threatening to remove the clinic’s charitable status if they didn’t comply. Because that would help all the other children at the clinic.
By the way, Finch must have spent the three hours he was driving around Manhattan with Leila buying up everything at Babies R Us except such non-essentials as a teething ring, crib, playpen or car seat. But I’m sure he just overlooked it, and it wasn’t a ploy to make that cute book pen. Regardless, after a full twelve hours, overnight mind you, there’s finally an Amber Alert issued on Leila featuring a police sketch of Finch:
Har, har…ho ho. Isn’t that funny? Reese winces at the sketch but points out that it’s better than there being a picture and Finch thinks it’s no wonder they never catch anyone with those sketches. Then Reese thinks Carter, who has 14 active homicides plus is babysitting a geezer in the outer boroughs, could piggyback the investigation because it’s not like they have another cop who could help them out. But he wouldn’t be as funny in the next scene, so Finch says he’ll ask her while Reese spends quality time with Leila.
Finch decides to meet up with Carter at Duane Read so he can buy even more stuff for Leila, but still hasn’t bothered to find a play pen or even a baby bouncer. He asks her if Moretti’s given up anything on Elias, and she says no, because he doesn’t know anything since he’s never had any contact with Elias. No she doesn’t she says “they’re” working on it, then wonders why Finch is buying all that baby stuff. He mentions that “a baby went missing from a clinic in Washington Heights,” then Carter shows her keen police know how when she says the baby was stolen by a weird-looking guy and finally puts it together that Finch took Leila.
Finch tells Carter that Leila was in imminent danger of kidnapping so Carter can ask in her outdoor voice if he kidnapped her. She reminds him, and the audience, that there’s an Amber Alert and Finch is all “I’m aware” and grabbing more food for Leila, telling Carter that’s why they need her help. Carter barks that she should arrest him. You know Fusco wouldn’t have argued, but why call him when he’s just a series regular and she’s the third lead AND an Oscar nominee?
Man, this scene just won’t end and I don’t have Finch’s thumbs to jam in my eyes. Carter asks where the baby is, anyway, and Finch tells her she’s with John. Carter stage whispers about what a bad idea that is and Finch admits it’s not ideal. Carter wants to know what she’s supposed to do and Finch wants her to find out about the baby’s parents from the clinic. Carter doesn’t think the clinic would have that information since she was a safe haven baby but Finch thinks the clinic knows more than they’re letting on and points her toward the nurse, Abbott. Then we finally get the payoff for why they called Carter instead of Fusco when the cashier sees a weaselly guy who looks like the Amber Alert police sketch that’s likely plastered all over the city buying baby items but gets all squeally (because GIRLS love BABIES!!!) and asks 50-something Finch if he’s buying all this shit for his first baby with 40-something Carter. Reese, kneecap me now.
Ah, finally a good astringent to wash away the saccharine. Fusco’s chowing down on a tiny powdered donut when Simmons slides on up and jokes about Fusco keeping his “boyish figure.” (Should have been Little Chocolate Donuts, the donuts of champions.) Fusco just says “Bite me” and drinks his coffee. Simmons tells Fusco that Moretti’s out of jail but vanished, then says all the state police found was five dead goombahs (who could have helped in the OFFICIAL investigation) but Fusco doesn’t give a shit. He says “Mobsters killing each other, how tragic,” but Simmons says it wasn’t just mobsters, that Fusco’s “partner’ was there.
Fusco wakes up and asks about Carter. Simmons says she “and a couple of cowboys” are working an “off book” operation (Not according to Carter, so which one is lying? Oh wait. That’s continuity, never mind.) and that they’re hiding Moretti. Simmons wants Fusco to find out where. Fusco still sasses Simmons, though, wondering why HR can’t find him since they have their “fingers in all the pies.” Simmons tells Fusco he is one of the pies, and I love the little fireplug, so can we please not talk about putting fingers in his pie? Please?
12:33:36 down at the clinic and Nurse Abbott’s telling Carter that she doesn’t know anything about Leila because she was left on the doorstep. Carter’s asking the nurse if anything was found with Leila and the doctor who found the baby, Adalian, walks up. He introduces himself so Carter can say she’s “Detective Carter, SVU,” which…why? I know why, but WHY???? Carter’s asking him if they saved anything when she was brought in, but Adalian has to teach Carter about the safe haven law, informing her it’s to protect the babies not prosecute their parents. But he’s a day player, not blessed St. Carter, so he walks off smarmily while Carter tells Nurse Abbott that “All she cares about is Leila,” then hand off her card.
Down at the library, and I realize I’m dead inside. Finch is finishing diapering Leila and Reese smarts off that Finch’s time at MIT wasn’t wasted while he still stares at the baby like she’s a potential threat. He’ll be an AWESOME dad to the kid they’ll introduce by the end of the season. (Not a spoiler!) Finch gets a notice on his computer so he walks off to see that the clinic forwarded the tax information and Reese picks up Leila like he’s picking up a used uranium cell without a hazmat suit. Finch exposits that the donations were made by Petrosian Construction, owned by Adnan Petrosian, he’s married to Nicola and they have a son, Bradley, who’s a Masters student at NYU.
Leila’s getting squirmy and Reese isn’t stopping her. Because he’s being so CUTE by pointing to the picture on the screen asking her which one is her Dada!
Finch isn’t amused and tells Reese to be serious. Because what’s missing is a kitten:
Finch sends Reese off to track the family and we see them at their posh Long Island home, sending Bradley off in his convertible. Reese points out that they have “serious money” and figures they’re probably even members of Finch’s country club. Finch is all “Bitch” but he’s trying to feed Leila doesn’t say that in front of the baby so he asks if they’re acting suspicious…just in time for Reese to hear Adnan yell that they’ve already spent a fortune cleaning up after Bradley’s bad behavior. Bradley’s all “Whatever, asshole.” Ah, the rich. They really are just like us!
Adnan asks if “This is it?” and Bradley tells him it’s taken care of. Reese recaps what we just saw, but Finch whispers in a high-pitched voice “How about a delicious bottle,” and even my cold, dead, evil heart melted because CUTE! but now it’s Reese’s turn to be stern. Maybe if I add a kitten?
Carter gets a call but Fusco answers her phone. Nurse Abbott asks for “Det. Carter, SVU,” for no reason other than to ping his smart cop instinct, and Fusco says she works Homicide not SVU. Carter comes up and sees this but snatches the phone out of Fusco’s hand, because she’s honest to a fault. Nurse Abbott questions why Fusco would say she was a homicide detective, but Carter lies that Fusco’s new, while he’s listening…and still has the doll cam on his desk! Nurse Abbott continues with her exposition that Leila had a silver bracelet with her that had the initials “CC” on it. Carter thanks her for
advancing this ridiculous plot the information then looks at Fusco, wondering what she’ll have for lunch.
Because this episode doesn’t have enough random bullshit going on, we get a scene where Finch just catalogues through the Petrosian staff directory, trying to find a CC that fits while Reese finally stops looking at the baby like she’s the world’s tiniest ninja and starts going soft. Carter still has the long-term memory of a cat and is perturbed that Finch has hacked their database, but she’s running unauthorized investigations right and left so she’s one to judge. Finch finds two more CC’s in the directory a Chad Columbo who is allegedly 40 but unless he’s Chet Baker, he’s 55 if he’s a day and Claudia Cruz, 20, a receptionist at the head office.
Carter starts looking up Claudia’s name in the NYPD database while Finch exposits that she left Petrosian eight months earlier, about the time her pregnancy would start showing. Reese walks over saying he’s going to talk to her but Carter tells them she died in an apartment fire four days earlier and the ME ruled it an accident.
15:05:35 and in case we haven’t developed diabetes from all the sweetness of Jim Caviezel with a baby, here comes a mighty sledgehammer to beat it into our heads as Reese and Finch are walking through a park and two women, in New York City, just HAVE to stop Reese because girls just can’t help themselves when they see a tall, handsome man carrying around a baby. What I wouldn’t give to get cold-cocked with a gun handle right about now. Carter’s facial expression agrees with me. Well, not for me to get cold-cocked, although…
Carter’s peeved that they brought the baby, but not because it might be a danger to Leila but because cops are looking for her, which…good priorities. Or weak set up for a dumb joke about training the baby for undercover work. Reese says she’s a natural, Carter calls her a little angel, and Leila’s face says “Bitch, back off. He’s mine.” Heh.
Finally, Carter remembers to be worried about the baby’s well being but Finch explains that they’re trying to protect her then exposits what we already know about the Petrosians. Reese wonders why would the mother turn up dead so Carter can exposit about her giving the baby up for adoption (not exactly) but changing her mind (not exactly) and Finch can theorize that would expose the family. Carter says she’ll follow up on the crime scene reports with a “mentor of hers who works for the Fire Department” (huh), Finch will check in on Claudia’s parents to see if they know anything and Reese will trail Bradley “after he’s fed Leila.” And Carter gets a look like she’s willing to risk those sharp little baby fingernails.
15:57:49 and Finch is at the Cruz home. He’s posing as Lucas Bennett (still no Booby) with DFS. Mrs. Cruz is wondering why someone from DFS would want to talk to them and Finch has a moment’s pause when he sees the photos of Claudia and the statue of the Virgin Mary and realizes these are actual people who have suffered a recent loss so maybe he should tread lightly. He mentions that the department received an anonymous tip that Claudia was pregnant, but her parents don’t believe that.
Her father asks who would say that, but Finch says the source was anonymous and they have to investigate. They sit and the Cruzes assure Finch she couldn’t have been pregnant, but she moved out of their home nine months earlier, around the time she left Petrosian. Mr. Cruz admits they didn’t see her for “a few months” and she was acting strange about them visiting her but really? A Latino family didn’t question why their 19-year-old recently unemployed daughter decided that was the time to move out of the house? Go with it, because Finch is powering on, wondering if she had a silver bracelet with her initials on it.
This isn’t the most likely course of questioning for a DFS case worker, but grieving parents don’t always think rationally so Mrs. Cruz says yes she did, and just wants to know if they have a grandchild and if so, where is it and can they see it. Finch believes so and offers that he can try to arrange a meeting on neutral ground, but they’d need to keep it confidential, then asks for more information about Claudia, like if she was seeing someone. Mrs. Cruz mentions that Claudia dropped off some papers “a month ago” and just happens to have a photo of Claudia with Bradley Petrosian.
16:40:24 and Reese is trailing Bradley. Finch wonders if Reese has found anything but Bradley’s been a good student. Reese continues that he hasn’t done anything out of the ordinary or made any calls as we see Bradley walk into a coffee bar. Finch starts to wonder if they’re trailing the wrong Petrosian when a young man walks in and joins Bradley. Reese thinks they may be on to something…when Bradley kisses the other man. Rather than just say “Bradley’s not the father because he’s gay,” Reese obliques a long-winded explanation and Finch figures they should follow up with Adnan.
Reese says he’ll get on it and just in case some nasty, dead-hearted recapper still isn’t feeling the feelings about Jim Caviezel with a baby, Reese asks Finch about “their” baby. Nope, still nothing. Finch is about to say Leila’s fine, but she’s managed to escape from her book pen, which is why you buy the baby bouncer. Or a crib. Or an actual playpen. Finch tells Reese he needs to get back to the library, but she’s six month’s old, how far could she go?
We don’t find out because it’s back with Carter at Claudia’s burned-out apartment. She and her “mentor” discuss all the ways the fire was staged to look like an accident, she’d been drinking and lit a bunch of candles (GIRLS love CANDLES!) fell asleep and the drapes caught fire. Faulty fire alarm didn’t go off, but the alarm looked like the wire connecting it was cut. Mentor looks at the ME report and quickly exposits that Claudia was killed from blunt-force trauma from a round object so Carter can find a lamp and Mentor can tell her that heat sometimes etches fingerprints into metal. Convenient, because no one really cares about the actual case.
Reese is yelling at Finch about letting Leila go and Finch is frantic, saying he didn’t let her go, she knocked over the books and “walked off.” Reese has to remind Finch that Leila can’t walk (probably can’t crawl at six months, either) and Finch is beating himself up, saying he’ll never forgive himself. But that’s neither here nor there, she managed to crawl over to Reese’s arsenal and is teething on a grenade. Oh, that little scamp. Reese is trying to coax the canister out of her hand before Finch sees but Finch runs up to mutter “Oh my God, that’s a grenade.” Reese tries to control the situation by pointing out it’s just a tear gas grenade (so good with children) and Finch shrieks “IT’S STILL A GRENADE” before grabbing the baby. I would ask how Leila managed to open the cabinet doors, but really. Is that the most ridiculous part of this scene?
And it’s not over! Finch is all upset because Reese was supposed to “move his arsenal” and Reese is being all contrite husband saying he was planning to. Finch is still power-limping away with Leila, snotting about “When? After the whole place blew up?” Finch doesn’t think the situation is working out since one of them always has to be at the library with Leila and Reese gets in his little bitch, pointing out Finch is the one who stole her. Finch doesn’t appreciate having his own irresponsible behavior thrown back at him, so he tells Reese he’s taking Leila to see her grandparents. Reese thinks that since “the bad guys” already killed Claudia they may be after her parents but this all seems elaborate for a safe haven baby. Whatever, though, Finch says he’s already moved them to a safe house.
Carter’s booking into the station where Fusco’s just been sitting around eating donuts. She’s carrying evidence bags from the apartment, and Fusco asks if she’s working a case without him. Thinking nothing of it, she says it’s just an “accidental death that may be a homicide.” They exposit about Claudia but she gets a call from Szymanski, not her partner, and apologizes that she got caught up in something that wasn’t her case. Fusco offers to help and she asks him to take the evidence to the crime lab. Fusco’s all “sure why not,” then asks about Szymanski, because he’s not stupid. Carter blinks rapidly and looks guilty because she is.
Fusco reminds her that he has her back and she looks like she’s about to crack but instead lies that Szymanski asked her out on a date. Did he take Taylor hostage first? She keeps blinking and avoiding eye contact as she asks him not to spread it around and Fusco’s insulted that she really thinks he’s that dumb, but says he’ll “try not to” then tells her to go on, he’ll run the stuff to the lab. As Carter says she owes him, Fusco gets a look that I would be afraid of if I were Carter.
Reese and Finch pull up to the safe house. Reese goes in to check if it’s still safe, and it isn’t. Carlos the Jackal has the Cruzes bound and is loudly yelling at them, which doesn’t stop Reese from busting in like he’s John Wayne because everyone but Fusco’s an idiot this week. Reese quickly turns off the lights and they scuffle briefly before Carlos books it out of there. Reese follows and the black van from the top of the episode screams off down the street while Reese finds Finch knocked out cold and Leila gone.
19:32:28 down at the safe house, and while Mrs. Cruz tends to Finch’s cut Reese comes in with the GPS tracker planted on the Cruz’s car. Finch feels guilty and tells them they need to gather their things because they’re not safe there. Once they’re gone, Finch wants to know if Reese knows anything about the thugs, and Reese shows Finch a medal with Cyrillic writing and says they’re either Albanian or Croats. Finch wonders what Reese is planning to do, and he says “Whatever I have to.” Ooh, scary.
Moretti wants to know why he only ever sees Carter or Szymanski but Carter nonsenses that since Elias just tried to kill him it’s safer for him if fewer cops know where he is. What? There are 34,500 police officers in NYPD, if it’s an authorized operation they could cough up a patrol car or two as backup. Whatever, Carter gets a call from some random cop telling her they have a match on the killer thanks to a road rage arrest from a decade earlier.
Carter asks for the name but before she gets an answer Reese barrels through the Petrosian’s French doors while they enjoy their snifters of brandy. This is a parody, right? Reese grabs Adnan by the throat while Nicola just yells out SECURITY like she’s RuPaul. Some extra runs in so Caviezel can disarm him in half a second then go back to asking Adnan about the kidnappers. Huh?
Adnan’s swearing he hasn’t a clue what Reese is going on about while Nicola is practically stroking a white Persian cat in the background signaling her evil. Nicola asks if Reese plans to torture Adnan, but she doesn’t sound too distressed about it. As she blathers in the background Reese gets a text from Carter telling him the wife killed Claudia. D’oh…those gender assumptions creeped back in.
Reese is getting all creepy/whispery telling Nicola they have the murder weapon with her finger prints on it and asks if she called the kidnappers. She admits it but when Reese tells her to call them off she says she can’t because it was temporary and she got it from “Family. In Europe.” I have family in Europe, Croatia to be exact. Including a cousin named Nikola. He sails catarmarans. Just showing the other side of the coin.
Anyway, back to this Nicola. Once she paid the man on the other end, the number was cut off, and she couldn’t even call off the job, which was to make the murder she committed look like an accident and to kidnap Leila. Adnan’s all “How could you,” but she tells him someone had to clean up his mess. She tells Reese there’s nothing he can do, which is sadly true because this is CBS and he can’t kneecap women. But Richard Harrow would know what to do. He’s shot a man through his eye socket, a 14-year-old at point blank range and scalped an old man in a wheelchair and chicks still luh-huh-ove him because he’s on HBO.
Instead, Reese heads down to the local Eastern European bar where the Eastern Europeans gather to commit crimes, as we do, and picks a random out at the bar. He drops the medal into the guy’s beer and asks where the man who owns it is. Luckily for Reese, the guy’s a thug and not just some immigrant trying to live the American dream. He shatters the stein on the bar (try that some time and see what actually happens) and tries to cut Reese while all the other Eastern Europeans don’t even flinch so Reese can continue asking where the kidnapper is. Finally all the other Eastern European thugs decide to approach Reese very slowly with a switchblade like they’re in the Beat It video so Reese can smarm “Really?”
Fast forward to 22:06:28 and Carter is just standing in the window of the safe house so Fusco can get a clear view of her through his binoculars, just in time to see Moretti walk in front of her. Fusco is not happy about that.
Meanwhile, back at the Eastern European bar, Reese has POW! BAM! KABOOMED! his way through four extras and is holding a gun on the first random he picked out. He keeps demanding this guy tell him how to find the kidnapper, but I’m going to take a guess that there are more than ten Eastern European immigrants in New York (more like tens of thousands) and they don’t all know each other so maybe the guy’s telling you the truth? Reese is now threatening to kill a guy who did nothing but drink a beer in the wrong bar but the random has a scar through his eye so we know he’s actually a bad guy. Plus he’s telling Reese he doesn’t know anything and that the baby’s gone because “he” already handed her over so go ahead and kill him, just to make sure Reese doesn’t become unsympathetic because he killed an innocent stranger. But Reese still gets wild-eyed because girls love batshit crazy bad boys who take care of little babies. What?
Back at the library and as Reese and Finch look at a photo of Leila Finch thinks there’s no hope because no one knows where the baby is, but Reese says there is still someone who can help find her. Someone who knows the underworld and Finch is all “Hell no,” but Reese wants the burner phone. Finch thinks this is insane, but Reese says they don’t have any other options. Finch still doesn’t believe this makes sense wondering why “he” would even meet with Reese but Reese places the call and says “he’ll” be curious. Why are they being so cryptic about Elias? Didn’t they see the opening credits?
04:25:40 under some bridge and thugs are dragging Reese over to Elias. Ever the gentleman, Elias is all “John, good to see you. Looking for a job?” Reese says he’s looking for help but Elias wonders why he’d think Elias would help him. Reese points out that he saved Elias’ life and Elias is true, but let’s look at the balance sheet. Oh, that’s right. You helped Carter kidnap and hide Moretti. Reese is a little proud as he shrugs and Elias calls him “honest to a fault.”
Elias wonders what Reese wants. Reese tries to tug at his heartstrings and tells him about Leila and how her mother was murdered, like Elias. Elias sloughs it off that “he survived” but he was also a sociopath at five, so he doesn’t count. Reese avoids saying that, focusing on the fact that Leila’s only six months old. Then Reese pings Elias’ ego and says that to take over a city he needs rules and if people are targeting babies, there are no rules. Elias asks who’s behind the kidnapping so Reese vagues “Eastern Europeans.”
Elias tells Reese that their reach doesn’t go south of New Jersey and they’ll hand off the baby to the “Mexicans” because they’re
ethnic stereotypes people smugglers. Reese thinks Elias can get him the location of the hand off. Then he makes his eyes extra sparkly, just in case. Elias looks like he’s considering it. Would a kitten help?
Scarface drops off Reese…somewhere…then gives him the address of the handoff, 1637 Camden, and thinks he can get there in time. Then he throws back his gun and tells Reese he’d have just shot him but “the boss has a soft spot for him,” then drives off. Did Scarface not see the sparkly eyes and kitten? Evil!
06:18:36 at a freight yard and a black SUV comes driving up. The black van also comes up from the other direction and Hatchet Face from Boardwalk Empire gets out of the van…with the gym bag. And it’s crying? The baby is in the gym bag…that ISN’T EVEN MOVING? If only Scarface would come back and shoot me. This is painful. While the Mexicans and the Eastern Europeans have a brief standoff a white van comes barreling down a ramp and all four men start shooting up the van. And Leila’s quiet as a little lamb. Hope she wasn’t shot!
They realize the van is empty in time for Reese to start shooting, taking out a couple of kneecaps, while Hatchet Face still has Leila IN A GYM BAG. They stop shooting, giving Reese time to sneak up behind them. First he tells the Mexican to put down his gun but when the Mexican hesitates he shoots near him so the extras can get out of the scene. Then he keeps coming at Hatchet Face who remembers he has the baby, but Reese is all, put the bag down. Hatchet Face refuses and tells Reese to just shoot him, so he does. While Hatchet Face is still holding the gym bag like a shield. Conveniently, though, Reese hits Hatchet Face, killing him instantly but falling in a way that makes sure the gym bag lands on him, and not the frozen pavement.
Finch is listening in and as Reese carries Leila off to bring her home, Scarface shows up with backup, telling Reese “Boss” had a change of heart. D’oh! Scarface stomps on Reese’s cell phone while Finch has a mini-meltdown when he sees they’ve lost a connection and Reese can’t believe he got bamboozled by a mob boss. Again.
06:46:59 and Scarface is cuffing Reese to a pole in the back of a truck. KINKY! Reese wants to know what he did with the baby so Elias comes walking up with her. He wants to exchange Leila for Moretti, but Reese holds out. Elias isn’t happy about that so he hands Leila off to Scarface and tells Reese it’s a refrigerated truck as the refrigerator unit starts up and frost starts blowing. Elias figures Reese can hold out for a few hours but Leila’s not as insulated. Elias leaves a baby monitor just in case Reese changes his mind. Reese appeals to Elias’s heart as Elias walks off and one of his goons closes the door.
And we see a copier close. Fusco’s at the station when Simmons comes slithering up. He’s asking about Carter. Fusco tells him he learned something about her as she walks in at that moment and manages to actually smile, flashing Fusco a peace sign. Fusco gets conflicted as Simmons asks what he learned and decides at the last second not to sell her out, telling Simmons that she likes pepperoni on her pizza. Simmons reminds Fusco that he’s got a dead body linked back to him so he needs to find out where she’s stashing Moretti then walks off. I’m sure this game of “Kick the Fusco” will end well.
07:49:37 and Reese is still in the truck with Leila. Yeesh, I’m tired of being incredulous. Reese tells Leila to “hold on” like she understands then goes all Mongo on the pipe grunting and screaming and trying to pull it out of its bearings, and I am going to hell because I laughed. Sorry ‘bout it.
Back down at the station and Carter’s in a good mood, telling Fusco that the lab report came back and wants to know if Fusco wants to arrest Claudia Cruz’s murderer with her. Fusco smiles and says “Why not?” but Carter gets a call. It’s Finch telling her he’s lost contact with Reese and Leila and needs her help. Carter tells Fusco “something’s come up,” then hands off the information for him to arrest Nicola because no one really gives a shit about the actual case they were working while cooing over the baby. Fusco’s giving Carter the side eye, but she’s already out of there.
08:16:55 and while Reese is showing signs of hypothermia, and it’s been an hour and a half since he, in his suit and wool coat, and a baby in a onesie and thin blanket were locked up in the truck, he finally manages to pull the pole out of the wall so he can pick Leila up.
Finch reaches the freight yard and finds the dead kidnappers but not Reese. Meanwhile, Reese is still in the truck and finally calls out to Elias. Still using his courtly manners, Elias calmly says “Yes, John?” Reese is ready to give up the safe house to save Leila. He wants some kind of guarantee but Elias is all, “Nope.” He still gives up the address because Leila’s stopped crying. Elias throws the key to the handcuffs into the truck and drives off. Reese really needs a kitten.
Reese busts open the door and gets into the cabin…turning on the engine? Really? How were they powering the refrigerated unit? Magic? He cranks up the heat and begs Leila to cry, but you really should have thought about this an hour ago. Just saying. Reese is driving in one direction as Finch is driving toward him. They conveniently meet at a gate so they can switch vehicles. Finch wants to know what happened and Reese tells him “Elias happened.” He doesn’t wait around to hear Finch yell out “I TOLD YOU SO!”
Reese peels out of the freight yard while Finch climbs into the truck cab and sees Leila on the seat, crying. Phew. Reese calls Carter to tell her that Elias knows where Moretti is and she asks how. Reese doesn’t say. He just tells her to get there, now, and that he’s on his way. Carter calls Szymanski to move Moretti.
Luckily, Szymanksi apparently was just sitting in his car watching the safe house, so he’s pounding on the door, telling Moretti they have to leave. Rather than drag the old man out, though, he tells him to “grab his stuff” and follows him inside. WTF?
Reese is driving through the outer boroughs, trying to get to Queens and it’s suddenly 09:05:53 at the library. Finch is carrying Leila and calling out to Reese. (I’ll just assume there was a cell in the town car.) He’s reached the safe house and is there with Carter. She’s grabbing towels from the kitchen and Reese sees Szymanski lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
Szymanski passes out while Carter calls in the shooting. He asks about Moretti but she tells him Elias got him. Then she still wants to know how Elias found out. Reese barely mutters “I told him,” and says he had to give up the safe house to save Leila. Carter doesn’t understand why he was talking to Elias. Reese says he had no choice because they lost Leila.
Carter gets sanctimonious on him and tells him that there was a choice, the police. It’s what they do. Now here’s the thing. She didn’t even trust NYPD enough to have backup at the safe house which is why Szymanski was so exposed and got shot. Reese gave up the location, but Szymanksi was a trained officer who shouldn’t have been there without back up, and he didn’t have backup because Carter doesn’t trust NYPD any more than Reese does. So I hope that high horse is comfortable, but she’s wrong. She shares the blame for the situation. Reese feels guilty but you know what he needs? A kitten.
While Finch silently listens in, holding Leila the whole time, Carter has a crisis of conscience and says she can’t do this anymore. She can’t work with Reese and Finch. Then she tells Reese to go because the safe house will be swarming with cops, now, but he doesn’t listen so she has to yell at him like he’s an obstinate Labrador. Just swat him on the nose with a newspaper. He finally gets the hint and leaves.
21:16:35 and Finch FINALLY got that car seat for Leila. They’re at the corner of Beverly and Ocean and Finch walks over to Reese so he can say goodbye to the baby before taking her over to her not-legal-guardian-grandparents. They’re happy to have the baby and Reese goes on another of his “Why can’t I have a normal life?” whines like he’s done three times already. Finch is being kind to him, though, and lets him have his pity party, then obliques that the “trouble with children is you never know how they’ll turn out.” Downer.
And we close with Scarface walking Moretti over to Elias. The two men have a brief staredown before Elias says “Hello, Dad.”
So that was a slog for me. Sorry I didn’t think it was so superfly awesome but there was no story, or to be more accurate there was too much half-baked story. I mean, I’m all for hot dudes hugging babies, but if I’m going to have my emotions so baldly manipulated, I’d prefer it was set to Chuck Mangione. Tommy Boy is one of my favorite movies so I’m not looking for Ibsen, I’d just rather the writers pretend I have a functioning brain and make some sense in between squeeable shots of Caviezel with a baby, you know? And with that, we’re into March Madness for the next two weeks and no new episode, or repeats, until March 29. Hopefully I won’t feel so stabby toward the show by then.
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