It’s like looking in a not as pretty mirror.
I just noticed that the final clip in the opening credits is a shot from the episode and this one features a younger and not as pretty Reese-alike being followed by Reese. The opening credits also state that Carter has 37 open cases, 14 of which are active. Told you she was a lousy cop.
It’s 8:40:22 on a sunny day in New York and Reese greets a napping Finch with a cup of coffee and the sexiest, whisperiest “Good morning, Finch,” I’ve ever heard. Oddly, this doesn’t delight Finch as much as it does me and he gets cranky. Reese continues his ineffective flirting by suggesting new jobs for Finch, such as dog walker, now that he’s no longer “Harold”. Finch plays hard to get and says they have a new number – Joey Durban, an Army veteran just back from Afghanistan. Reese and Finch exposit that he’s a decorated soldier from the 107th Infantry and Reese remembers the soldiers from that unit being kids who either grew up fast or died. Way to bring down the room, Reese. But since Joey’s this week’s number he’s alive, if working as a door man. Reese blands about logistics then gets back at Finch for spurning his advances by suggesting he’s fat.
Reese is watching Durban as he practices his Acqua di Gio poses and escorts dowagers from their cars. On a side note, how does Reese have so much access to convenient fire escapes and empty apartments? Back to the story and this kid really could be Caviezel’s brother, not to drive home the over-identification or anything. Once the dowager is safely in the building, Durban takes off early and sends a text that Reese’s cloned phone intercepts. But it’s in code because Durban was a good soldier.
Wow. That is a smart phone. (And nice manicure, Reese.)
Somehow they go from midtown to Brooklyn and Reese is none-too-covertly watching Durban from across the street as Durban kisses his fiancée Pia goodbye. She a waitress and she waited for him for six years. We learn this in a Reese-over, even though he doesn’t appear to be telling this to Finch, which was his MO for exposition in the past. I preferred the old way because he’s already omnipresent. Omniscient would be too much. Especially with him being Jesus.
Reese is still the best dressed man in at least a 10 block radius as he trails Durban, although Durban’s Duran Duran hair, leather jacket and hoodie give him a run for his money. As Durban stops to window shop at a toy store, Reese walks past and stops at a street vendor to buy a water and not look like a total crazy person as he talks to himself. But he can’t keep Finch’s attention, who’s doing push-ups and huffing into the phone, which piques Reese’s flirty interest. That has to wait, because Joey’s on the move, probably to another shop, and after eight hours Reese is getting antsy to hit someone or shoot him in the kneecap. Finch just gives his standard “His number came up for a reason.” Reese finally remembers the coded text and sends it to Finch. Finch asks what it means and Reese snots “I don’t know. You’re the genius.” Clearly Reese does not take kindly to rejection.
Durban’s walk gets brisker as he not-at-all-obviously bumps into a guy on a scooter and even though they’re both New Yorkers neither calls the other an asshole. That should have been sign one that something was afoot. Durban walks into a bank as Reese follows him and the extra who bumped into Durban swings his head around letting the CCTV know he’s up to no good.
Inside the bank Reese tilts his head slightly as he walks past the security camera because he thinks that will hide the fact that he’s a tall, handsome, well-dressed man who looks like Jim Caviezel. He somehow misses both Durban putting on his Carlos the Jackal ski mask as well as the guy walking in behind him and finds himself face down next to the security guard as Durban, the extra and a couple of other guys rob the bank. Obviously, this is the episode where Reese forgets how to do his job.
You can’t see me.
The security guard gets it in his head to play hero and pull his ankle gun, but the healing touch and blue eyes of Jim Caviezel convince him it would be a bad idea. The robbers are in and out of the bank in under a minute and just in time for Finch’s nasal whine to let Reese know he’s back and the message was code for the street address of a bank. You don’t say.
Surveillance footage brings us back from commercials and into a flashback to 2006. Reese is having coffee in an airport as Jessica walks up. Showing why Finch is the brains of their operation, it takes him a full five seconds to register that it’s Jessica. They’re happy, if tentative, to see each other and it’s clear they haven’t been together for a while since she wonders if he’s just getting back from a job and where his uniform is.
As they smile awkwardly at each other surveillance footage takes us back to the present and Reese finally figured out how to blend into his surroundings a little better by ditching the suit for a J. Peterman-looking military jacket as he chats with Finch. They exposit about how Durban’s a bank robber but that’s not why his number came up because the machine is programmed to sort for lethal intent. Finch wants to turn him over to NYPD but Reese thinks there’s more to his story because he was a good soldier. Finch is all judgmental that no one forced him to rob banks forgetting that he created a massive surveillance system that is a felonious violation of epic proportions of every New Yorker’s fourth amendment rights.
I may have built an Orwellian nightmare, but I’m no bank robber.
Reese’s own judgmental nature seems to kick in when he sees Durban meet up with a blonde woman who’s not Pia, hugs her and hands her a big envelope he assumes is full of cash. He takes a couple of cell phone photos then we’re back to Durban at his day job and Reese loitering in the empty apartment across the street. As they wonder if Durban’s the perpetrator and Reese plans to infiltrate Durban’s group, Reese notices that Durban’s taken an envelope with money from a cabbie that he recognizes from the bank job. He shoots a couple of photos of the cab number and the cabbie for Finch to trace.
Back at Finch’s library for some exposition that the cabbie is Willis who served with Joey. Finch also hacked the cab company’s site to learn that Willis stopped at a bar in Coney Island owned by another veteran named Sam Latimer whom they assume is the ringleader. Reese goes into spy mode and tells Finch he’ll need a cover to get close to Latimer, which Finch absently agrees to, and a vacancy within the gang, that Finch hesitates to agree to since Reese is the one who usually takes care of leaving people otherwise indisposed.
Surveillance footage takes us to Coney Island and the Green Zone, Latimer’s bar, as Reese walks in and introduces himself as Tony Miller. Latimer’s not particularly receptive so Reese launches into his cover about a mutual acquaintance of theirs who was killed in action. They speak in military slang and urgent whispers so we know Latimer’s buying the cover. When Reese says he has skills that could benefit Latimer’s operation, he points out where Latimer’s stashing his guns and that he can reach them faster than Latimer. Trust us Latimer, he’s not overselling. Latimer wonders why such a hot shot needs help and Reese fairly says he likes to work with pros who know the neighborhood. To which Latimer fairly points out that he’s such a pro because he’s not given to work with people whose only reference is a dead guy. With their mutual intelligence confirmed, they share a drink but there isn’t an opening at the moment.
I love the taste of scotch in the morning. Tastes like evil.
Luckily, Finch is in Willis’ cab retrieving his case from the trunk before he walks off, just in time for a squad car to order “Yellow Cab driver” to get out of the car. They search the cab, finding the guns Finch planted. Clever, and way less suspicious than kneecapping the guy.
Surveillance footage takes us over to Carter’s precinct where despite having 37 open and 14 active cases, Carter’s sassing other cops, including some random named Molina. It would appear her rogue investigation of a mugging victim is well known throughout NYPD and he came by to give her some bank security footage of Reese reaching out his Jesus hand to stop the security guard. Despite the fact that Reese appears to be an innocent bystander and not even wearing a mask to cover his identity, Carter recognizes the walkie-talkie on one of the robbers as military issue and she and Molina make wild assumptions with no evidence that Reese, who clearly doesn’t work for the bank, is their inside guy. Seriously, this is criminally bad police work. Then Carter asks to keep the disk, which is evidence but why start following procedure now.
Open cases: 37; Active cases: 14; Competency: 0
With an opening in the gang, Reese heads back to the Green Zone for his job interview. Durban’s at the bar when Reese walks in and they size each other up. Durban’s younger and has way better hair, but Reese is still prettier. So Durban leads Reese out back where the rest of the gang throws a hood over Reese’s head and drive him out to some parking lot in Gowanus. Reese’s burner cell checks out but Durban’s still miffed that some old dude is prettier than him so he pulls a gun on Reese. Reese is a bit confused since he hasn’t shot any of them in the kneecap. But he wouldn’t be Reese if he got spooked that easily so he just explains how the 107th trusted him in Tikrit in 2005. One of the other guys, Straub, wants to know how Reese knew what unit they were in and Reese points out that Dalloway, the other guy, has it tattooed on his arm. With his bona fides established, Durban gives Reese a new burner and says “You don’t call us. We call you,” then they drive off like they’re in control.
Back at the library, Reese is expositing about how it takes a certain type to be able to kill a defenseless person at close range and Durban isn’t that type. As it looks more like Durban’s the potential victim, Finch can’t understand why he’d get himself involved in such a mess that could get him arrested or killed. Reese bats his big, blue eyes at Finch and says that “not every ex-soldier meets a reclusive billionaire.” Finch may finally be cluing into Reese’s crush, but he’s still playing hard to get.
You’re so cute when I fluster you with my whispery flirting.
Surveillance footage takes us back out to Brooklyn where Reese is spying on Durban and despite the fact that Pia’s just standing around in a t-shirt both men have on their stylishly casual Fall jackets. Durban and Pia are having an affectionate moment until she says she’s going to look at some apartments with a realtor and wants Durban to go with her. He can’t get out of there fast enough and gives her the excuse that he’s busy at work. As a doorman. Even she knows this is BS and tries to get him to agree to do something but he just walks off.
This makes the light suddenly go blue. Oh wait, it’s just taking us back to Reese’s 2006 flashback with Jessica. While they’re making small talk about Reese’s new job he notices she’s wearing an engagement ring. Reese gets a sad and Jessica starts tap dancing about how his name is Peter and she’s moving back east to be with him. Reese still has a sad but tries to be a good ex-boyfriend, which is exactly not what Jessica wants so she points out that she waited for him. He says he didn’t ask her to, and she’s like “Dude, c’mon. Just say you’re sorry you were a dick and left me hanging.” He tells her to be happy with Peter but he doesn’t sound happy for her and walks off.
Totally doesn’t want Jessica to be happy with Peter.
Surveillance footage swings us back to Carter’s precinct where she’s all “14 active cases be damned, I’m going to keep stalking the bum,” and she and Molina discuss the bank robbers, who haven’t even so much as pistol-whipped an innocent bystander, just in and out of the banks in less than a minute, so it’s completely out of her jurisdiction as a homicide detective. Although they may not have acknowledged that.
Far be it for Carter to be deterred from her vendetta against a bum on a subway. She researched the walkie-talkie and military mumbo jumbos about it. Turns out Carter is ex-military as well, but she’s only series regular, not a lead, so she doesn’t get a flashback. She does give Molina a tip that the only way to get those walkie-talkies is to steal them from a base and some went missing from Fort Drum six months earlier. She might close a case if she used that research time to follow up on her own caseload.
Reese is still following Durban around the city and they end up at Sunny Days Kindergarten where the blonde is picking up her daughter and Durban watches from across the street. Reese and Finch assume the child is Durban’s and Reese suggests Finch find out her name by hacking the Sunny Days firewall. Then he throws in a jab about “if it’s not too tough” for Finch because Reese really doesn’t handle rejection well.
At Finch’s suggestion, Reese conveniently finds himself at Durban’s local bar and after the two have a brief bout of metaphoric dick swinging, Reese buys Durban a beer. They filler about how they’re used to taking orders and then Durban decides to expound upon the plight of the returning veteran. He blames the asshole bankers just as a couple of asshole bankers stop by to have a beer. One of the bankers realizes that they’re no match for a couple of vets and you really look like a massive dick for getting into it with them, but the other is all “Fuck that, you guys chose to be soldiers and it’s been hard on us bankers, too.” The smart banker is trying to drag his idiot friend away and Reese is even trying not to kneecap him on principle, but he won’t stop his rant. When he lectures Reese about how he has to adapt to the new “knowledge economy and learn to use this,” while poking Reese in the head, Reese meekly agrees…then head butts him as Durban cold cocks the other. And that’s why bankers shouldn’t pick fights with veterans.
Ooh. Not a good idea.
Reese and Durban stroll down a lovely Manhattan street and chat about what led a decorated soldier down the armed robbery path. Durban doesn’t really have a good excuse, just that he had a debt to pay, but says it’s more of an obligation. Reese clunkily asks if Durban has kids and Durban’s like “Whuh huh?” so Reese moves on to the other guys, and because they just fought off a couple of douchebag bankers Durban’s treating Reese like his new BFF and says Straub has gambling debts. As Durban walks off to work, Finch informs Reese that the little girl is Amy Miles, her mother is Stacy Miles and no father listed. Reese decides he’s going to follow up on Straub, just ‘cause.
Straub’s little and weaselly so clearly he’s trouble. As Reese hunkers down outside the Green Zone, Straub comes up and exposits with Latimer about how Straub’s in deep and his loan shark’s about to put his mother out on the street and he needs a lot of money fast. Latimer’s all “No problems, big job with $200K coming your way.” Straub pisses about how he’d have to share it four ways and rather than kick his ass Latimer takes Straub into the bar.
Latimer smoothly segues to how Straub can divvy up the money however he sees fit then shows Straub a picture of “Manny & Danny” two other ex-soldiers who retired from robbing banks. Straub couldn’t give a rat’s ass about them, he’s figuring out whether or not he can bump off Durban, Reese or Dalloway and still get all the money. Latimer’s all “Sure, but you’ll all be fine. You’re a team.” And I’m sure he wasn’t shining Straub on or anything.
You’ll all be fine. I don’t have any plans to kill you…yet.
Time to hop over to the incompetent and harassing NYPD. Carter’s still obsessing over Reese instead of closing her own cases and Molina tells her that he has a lead. Dalloway’s fingered as the guy who stole the walkie-talkies because he’s big and left-handed and they have a GPS lock on his phone. Despite being only unethically involved in this robbery case, Carter tells Molina to call her when it’s going down. Because she’s a homicide cop who clearly doesn’t have a boss.
Reese calls Finch to tell him about the next job. Finch is clutching his pearls and Reese is like “I have to keep the target safe.” Finch fairly points out that when he helped Reese infiltrate the gang he didn’t realize it also meant committing felonies. Reese is like “Duh, did you think we’d have slumber parties?” but actually tells Finch to monitor the police band for him.
Once in the van, Straub hands Reese a machine gun and he’s like “the hell?” and Straub explains that it’s an illegal mob gambling operation and that the people playing are likely to be packing because he watched The Sopranos and they always were armed. As they approach, Dalloway tells them all to turn off their cell phones and remove the batteries to turn off their GPS, because it’s not like he didn’t already tip the cops off to where they are, and they’re on the military walkie-talkies from here on out.
Carter joins Molina while she’s off-duty to make sure that any defense attorney could get this case thrown out on a technicality. Since the gang is off their cell phones they couldn’t precisely track Dalloway so Carter and Molina are just kind of loitering, waiting for a sign, when the gang blows off the door. As the gang storms into the game, Molina decides he probably needs back up which allows Finch to alert Reese. Reese doesn’t hesitate and starts bum rushing them out before the cops arrive but Straub’s mommy’s going to get the boot so he tries to pocket some money. Durban gets frantic and they all run out but Straub takes a moment to have a fit that he doesn’t hear the cops just in time to hear the cops. With the gang safely out, Carter and Molina storm in to see that they’re too late. Ha! She really is an awful cop.
We suck at our jobs.
Back from commercials and surveillance footage takes us to the Green Zone. Straub’s explaining how Reese saved them from getting caught but they also didn’t get any money and Latimer’s like “new guy’s priorities are wrong.” Straub asks for another chance. Reese and Finch are listening in as Latimer agrees then tells Straub that Reese is expendable. This doesn’t sit well with Finch who wants to know Reese’s exit plan (he really does care) but Reese still wants to save Durban because he’s over identifying. Finch doesn’t agree and explains how things are getting complicated because Durban’s putting money into a savings account for Amy but he’s not her father. Amy’s father was Frank Stephens and he served with Durban but was killed in action.
Reese meets up Durban in Coney Island so Durban can explain it all again, and that Stephens was killed when he covered for Durban on patrol because Durban was picked to babysit a visiting politician. Durban feels guilty and pledged to take care of Amy since Frank couldn’t. Reese’s parental instinct kicks into overdrive and he tries to convince Durban to walk away and be with Pia but Durban won’t walk away.
Which leads Reese to totally not-at-all creepily go to Pia’s restaurant. He tells her she’s prettier than Durban said and that Durban’s crazy about her but she’s a beautiful woman and if he can’t see it there’s plenty of other fish in the sea. And despite looking like Jim Caviezel, that’s like level 14 creepy so Pia politely says she’s sticking with Durban and for some reason doesn’t call the cops on Reese. Which is good because Finch wants to know if he talked any sense into Durban. Reese says no because “you can’t cure guilt” and once they know where the next job is, he’ll call the cops on the gang.
Wow, dude. That was hella creepy.
And it’s time for another visit to the harassing and incompetent NYPD. Seems Carter is good for something, even if that something is sifting through actual, open homicide cases to see if any link up with the robbery she’s investigating as a homicide detective and she exposits to Molina that the two allegedly retired ex-soldiers, Danny and Manny, are actually two dead ex-soldiers. Turns out the gang is able to function so covertly because of the constant turnover due to members turning up dead.
Cut to Latimer tossing the picture of “Manny & Danny” and talking on the phone about the next job at the long term evidence lock up facility on Center Street. Finch is intercepting Latimer’s call to an unidentified third party laying out the job as Straub explains it to the gang, who are dressed in cheap suits to blend in with the cops. Finch is still listening to Latimer’s conversation when he hears them talking about an “exit strategy” but the unidentified third party says “No loose ends,” and Finch has to warn his boyfriend, except Straub is having everyone dump their electronics in a bucket of water and Finch loses Reese’s signal before he can warn him. OH NOES!
Back from commercials and surveillance footage takes us to the evidence lock up. Despite using the hoary, old movie cliché of holding something up to a peephole to hide your identity, the cop still opens the door because it’s a badge and the gang bum rushes him taking the two cops hostage. Finch is using a much more effective approach, pretending to be a probate attorney claiming to have called ahead about “the Allmann estate” and glumly going through procedure when the gang comes running down the stairs screaming “DON’T MOVE.” Reese notices Finch and bugs out his eyes and if Reese is freaked the situation is dire. Straub and Durban go back to the storage cages conveniently leaving Reese and Dalloway to watch the hostages. Reese starts an argument with Finch so that Finch can warn him about Latimer setting them all up. Then to keep up appearances he throws Finch on the ground, but you know it broke his heart.
Totally not obvious
As Straub and Durban look for the item and Reese tries to warn them about the set up, one of the cops tries to play hero but he’s better prepared than a security guard. Finch sees this and when the guys return, Finch signals this to Reese who manages to take cover behind Dalloway as they run up the stairs, but the cop only wings Dalloway in the leg, because it really is the safest way to incapacitate a perp. As the guys hobble out, Reese decides to hang back as Straub runs ahead to the van where Latimer is waiting. Once Latimer has the item he kills Straub and Dalloway in a shoot out with Reese and Durban. On the street. In broad daylight. A block away from a shit ton of cops. Who don’t even notice.
As Reese ineffectively sprays the van with bullets allowing Latimer to get away, Carter and Molina respond to the call, even though there are a shit ton of cops way closer but that gives Reese and Durban enough time to flee the scene as well. Carter just walks up to the dead bodies and meaningfully looks at the military walkie-talkie.
Reese, still over identifying with Durban, hands him some money and has a heart to heart with him. Rather than wonder how in the hell Reese knows so much about him and his fiancée, Durban agrees to call Pia and leave town. That was easy.
You remind me of me at your age. Only shorter. And not as pretty.
And convenient since Carter’s calling on the stolen military walkie-talkie which is now even more contaminated evidence because she clearly doesn’t understand protocol and evidence handling. She pontificates and overacts and basically explains her raison d’être and Reese says what the whole audience thinks when he tells her she could always stop looking for him. But proving how sorely outmatched she is, she doesn’t even see him when he’s standing directly in her sight line, talking on the walkie-talkie. She tries to be tough, telling him this all ends with her arresting him or him bleeding out somewhere and he can barely contain the guffaws as he says he’ll take his chances because he probably knows that she has 37 open cases, 14 of them active.
Carter doesn’t see that, though, because she literally can’t see what’s right in front of her and she goes back into lock up walking right past Finch and sees the empty evidence box marked “M. Elias.” Hmmm.
Finch and Reese debrief about Reese letting Durban go and that this case is over, but Reese is like “Not quite.” Cut to Latimer talking to someone off camera who’s looking at the stolen evidence, which is a case file with a knife and photos of a female murder victim and the knife. Latimer is ready to talk money as the scene switches to surveillance footage. Time lapse takes us ahead ten minutes to Reese walking into Latimer’s office, but he’s already dead. Finch wonders if Reese knows who did it, but all he knows is the name on the evidence box was “Elias.” So, goody, we now have a new layer to the onion.
OH NOES! Jessica?
With that loose end unraveling Reese creeps around the bus station to make sure Durban and Pia get out of town. And as they board the bus the light turns blue which means we’re back at the airport with Jessica and Reese. She tells him, again, that he left because it was easier for him to be alone and he tells her that we’re all alone and no one’s coming to save you. As he turns to walk away she stops him and says that if he tells her to wait for him, she will. But he doesn’t and she walks away, clearly heartbroken. After she’s walked off, a perfect tear wells up in his big blue eyes and he mutters “Wait for me. Please.” Damn that seven second delay.
So that’s it for this week. Thanks for reading. As we learn a little bit more about Reese, and that he went back to the military after 9/11 which led to the break up, we also learn Jessica had a fiancé, who I think was Finch’s partner. But I’m just making this up.
New questions: Who is this Elias person? Is Jessica the woman in the photo? Or is Elias a stand-alone, multi-episode arc?
And if you were drinking along, kneecap count was zero. Told you Reese forgot how to do his job.