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Previously, Reese foolishly decided that Carter was the most blessedly saintly human ever to walk the earth after Jesus himself and that she must live forever and ever amen and had to tell a homicide cop to wear her bullet proof vest when wandering the side streets of New York City to meet her ex-junkie CI so he wouldn’t shoot her, dead. I’m sure this won’t backfire on him.
23:53:10 on Roosevelt Drive and two men are discussing “the kid.” One hasn’t seen him and the other said they never should have trusted him because he’s always been reckless. Then a car swerves into the CCTV frame and flips. I’m sure this won’t surprise them. Still, we linger briefly to see the machine do a tag match but we don’t find out who it is.
That’s not good.
12:03:04 at the library and Reese is lollygagging his way in to work. I’d say “Must be nice,” but then remember Finch is in the habit of randomly jabbering away at Reese at one in the morning, so maybe not. Finch isn’t planted at his bank of monitors and Reese gets a mischievous look in his pretty blue eyes as he strolls back to the stacks and finds a not-at-all obvious or symbolic copy of Ghost in the Machine just lying face up screaming LOOK HERE MR. REESE. Which he does because, again, not the brains of the operation.
A photo falls out that says “In the beginning… N.I.” and features the most hilariously photoshopped B/W picture of Michael Emerson and Brett Cullen wearing Sally Jesse Raphael glasses and Elmer Fudd hat, respectively, that it has to be a joke on Reese, right? We’re not actually supposed to believe that was a REAL picture, are we? I do better paste-up jobs on MS Paint.
As Reese is looking at this picture wondering WTF? Finch calls out to him saying “Whenever you’re ready, I’m here.” Reese saunters on in from the stacks with a disarmingly cute smile on his face wondering where Finch came from. Finch makes a nerd joke but when Reese doesn’t respond he gets a sad that he’s dealing with a meathead and moves on saying he sensed his privacy being invaded but that will have to wait for later, numbers have come up. Reese asks what he means by numbers and Finch can’t resist being a dick and saying “What plurals usually mean,” because he’ll never not take a chance to show the jock he’s smarter.
This week’s case has four numbers, Claire Ryan, 42, lecturer at NYU, Matt Duggan, 33, waiter, Wendy McNally, 29, hairstylist, and Paula Vasquez, 23, ethnic stereotype unemployed. Reese says they seem random but Finch, again, has to explain how the machine works (Reese really is a cat.) that whenever clusters come up they’re connected. Reese starts throwing out obvious ideas and Finch tells him yadda, yadda, go follow up on Claire Ryan because her name came up first, if only by a millisecond. He sends Reese off to her apartment in Queens and then stops him to reminds Reese to be careful what he looks for, he might find it. Like embarrassingly photoshopped pictures of Michael Emerson wearing Sally Jesse Raphael glasses?
This look only gets you out of trouble if you’re five years old.
12:43:44 at Carter’s precinct and she’s interviewing about last week’s episode with department brass. They’re going over the details of Bottle Cap shooting her but getting fatally shot by an unknown shooter. They wonder, what the rest of us have been wondering all season, why he’d save her life. She says because he saw she was about to get shot, I think because it was in the script, and department brass man says “Because he cares for you?” Carter shakes that off with a little smile and is writing “Mrs. Detective Carter Guy in Suit” in her head again.
Department Brass Lady asks if the unknown shooter is also the guy Carter’s been wasting her time stalking for the last three months while she’s had 14 open and active cases waiting to be closed, and she says she “believes” so. Brass Man points out that it’s strange that the man she’s allegedly trying to arrest saves her life and she just laughs that he used the word “allegedly.” Probably because he’s unaware that she’s never closed any case without Reese handing her the perps. So he tells her that he thinks she’s just using the stalking as a way to cover up that she’s working with him. Even Carter can’t figure out that logic so she ends the interview saying she won’t speak with them again without her delegate present.
Fusco’s keeping the extras amused with stories of dumb criminals when Carter comes back to her desk, still trying to milk sympathy for almost but not quite getting shot and Fusco follows through and tells her to get some rest. This gives her the opening to be all Eastwood about it so we can tear up at what a brave little toaster she is.
Where’s Carter to bring us down?
Fusco comes over and asks how the inquiry’s going, sounding like he’s concerned for her. She says it’s going as expected and that she’s on desk duty until it’s closed. Fusco continues milking her for information asking what she said about the shooting and wonders if she got a good look at the shooter’s face. She says no and Fusco suggests it was a good thing because if she knew who he was she’d have a tough time deciding whether to thank him or arrest him. “Bang him” goes unspoken. Carter says it wouldn’t be a tough decision, she’d arrest him. Because, clearly, she’s too noble for gratitude.
13:12:05 and Reese arrives at Claire’s apartment to find crime scene tape and a horde of CSU guys swarming around. After taking a brief moment to pose and remind us that he’s still a very handsome man, he slides past an open trunk of a police cruiser, grabs an evidence kit and windbreaker and without showing any kind of ID at all whatsoever except the windbreaker is allowed to cross over into the crime scene. Really, producers? Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the hypnotic power of Jim Caviezel’s pretty, pretty eyes is strong indeed, but for reality’s sake, can’t he have some psychic paper to make sense of these scenes where he just enters secured areas at will.
Whatever, he’s in and wearing the windbreaker OVER his suit jacket which I find amusing but when he enters the apartment he sees that the Machine was too late. Claire Ryan’s lying dead on her living room floor. You’d think the crime scene tape and CSU would have given that away.
Shouldn’t NYPD require more ID than good looks and a windbreaker?
Flashback to the accident. A car pulls up and the driver gets out to see what happened. The Machine does a cell phone analysis and determines that it’s Claire Ryan as a second car pulls up. Meanwhile, back in her apartment, Reese is pretending he’s Dexter, stealing evidence and downloading her computer files. As he waits, a gruffly familiar voice is running down Ryan’s deets. With Carter sidelined, Fusco’s the only homicide detective in all five boroughs and he’s responding with his new partner, Detective Olson. Reese snags his flash-drive and hot foots it out of the living room because Lionel doesn’t react well to surprises.
Fusco notices that Ryan just went on a spending spree pointing out all the new things she just bought and as Det. Olson is conveniently looking away, Fusco looks at the kitchen to see a tall, dark and creepy guy lurking. Reese signals him to go outside and while Fusco’s wondering if the Mad Men cut would look good on him like it does Reese, Olson says he asked a question.
Out on the street Reese is telling Finch that with three numbers he’ll need help with tracking them. Finch is still a mole rat so daylight isn’t his favorite time and he tries to pretend that he’s more helpful back in the library trying to find the connection. Reese correctly points out that connections won’t mean dick if they’re all dead and, as awesome as he undeniably is, he can’t be in three places at once. Finch can’t really tell his favorite toy no, so he agrees to do some legwork.
Still looks like a mole rate.
Reese decides to take the hot redhead Wendy, Fusco can take Paula and Finch will follow Matt. Fusco comes out to join Reese and out of the blue asks if he killed Ryan? The hell? Is it Super Stupid Day at NYPD? Reese just looks over Fusco’s shoulder and says “Lionel, after all we’ve been through,” to which Fusco hilariously says “Exactly,” and he has a point. Okay, not so stupid.
The script still requires Reese to worry about Carter and he asks why she’s not there. Fusco exposits that she’s on desk duty and showing that Carter’s not the only one who keeps forgetting that she’d be dead if Reese hadn’t stepped in about 895 times last week says that “ some lone gunman caused her a world of grief.” Because being dead would be better? I mean for her. The audience would have been just fine with it. He rhetorically asks if Reese knows anything about that but Reese blows him off and gives him Paula Vasquez’s picture for him to track.
Fusco wonders why and Reese says so she doesn’t end up like Claire Ryan. But when Fusco asks if she might, Reese says she won’t because Fusco will take the bullet for her. This doesn’t exactly amuse Fusco so he asks what he’s supposed to do about the Ryan homicide. Reese, again, explains that they’re connected so he could close one by preventing the other.
Carter comes back to her desk after getting a coffee and some food to see that stuff has been taken from her desk. Thinking people still listen to her, she asks who messed with her desk and her captain (the one who likes hookers…) asks her to join him in his office, and thanks to Occupy Wall Street I appreciate the continuity of having him wearing a white shirt since we’ve gotten so used to seeing supervisors in their white shirts “controlling” the crowds. Captain asks what else she has on her “special forces guy” and she says everything she has (which is basically a bunch of redacted crime scene reports) is in her file that “this guy” is reading, and this guy has badger eyes, a jaw line that could cut glass and aggressive male pattern baldness so you know he’s evil.
All that’s missing is a mustache to twirl.
The captain can’t believe she doesn’t have anything more than “tall guy in suit who sometimes drives a motorcycle” but wouldn’t he know about her solve rate? He says that her letting him run has caused a problem for the department. She defends herself, but neglects to say that she was too busy doing the worm and moaning like Jenna Jameson while he speechified about what a good person she is so there was time to grab him. Evil guy asks if he shot her CI and she says she won’t answer any questions until she knows who she’s talking to. Captain tells her to answer the question or turn in her badge, and even though she’s the purest, truest force of honesty and good in this dirty world of ours, she gives up Reese.
Reese, meanwhile, is watching Wendy at her salon. Everything seems normal until some guy drives up on a motorcycle and Reese decides the absolute best way to handle the situation is to barge in behind the guy…who’s just a courier dropping off a package. Derr. As the courier leaves Reese finds himself face to face with Wendy and suddenly forgets that he’s a hot man in his 40s getting all goofy, stammering that he wants to make an appointment. She asks what he wants, suggesting a “more modern” cut, clearly unaware that the Don Draper IS modern, then asks him if he dyes his hair gray. Really? Is that a thing?
Not quite at the age where only women want to sleep with him.
The scene delves deeper into Jonah Nolan’s massive mancrush on Caviezel as Wendy flirts aggressively; taking Reese’s arm, asking if he’s single and when he chirps “Yes” announces it to all the women on the floor. Yay, equal opportunity sexual objectification and gender assumptions! As she places her pink (oy) phone at her station she seats Reese but when he tries to wriggle his way out of the cut she says she can’t let him leave “looking like this.” Like he’s a troll. Doesn’t she work for tips?
Out on the street, Paula Vasquez walks up to a couple of Festers to buy a gun. In broad daylight. Okay. As she’s putting the gun away she looks across the street, makes one second of eye contact with Fusco and pegs him as a cop. Heh. Even funnier is the angry fireplug getting out of the car to chase a 23-year-old woman with a 100 yard lead. She’s gone before he closes the car door.
While Reese sits in the salon with a towel around his neck but still wearing his suit jacket, Finch calls him to tell him that he’s found Duggan, who’s having an early mid-life crisis, quitting his job and buying an overpriced, Italian motorcycle. With the phone cloning done, Finch listens in on Matt lying about his aunt leaving him money. Reese realizes how boring it must be to listen to him exposit everything he sees. Wendy strolls up and tells him she’ll be right back then takes a call on the salon’s phone and Reese asks Finch if anyone’s watching Duggan.
Does he ever take the suit jacket off?
Finch isn’t used to tracking people, though so he just looks around simultaneously assuming everyone and no one is suspicious. Trying to dial down his own creepy, suspicious behavior, Reese has been chatting with Finch on his cell phone and Fusco calls in. He tells Finch to call him back if he sees anything then takes Fusco’s call. He tells Reese that he lost Paula and Reese cracks wise but when Fusco says he also thinks she bought a gun Reese is a little less amused, but still amusing with that damn towel around his neck. Reese is all set to quip when he notices that Wendy’s gone, too.
Random blonde walks up and Reese asks where Wendy is, but surprise, surprise, she’s long gone. D’oh. Remember, when you point a finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at you, Reese. Blonde offers to “fit Reese in,” but they’ve moved on from the junior high crushing so no one giggles and Reese goes back to talking to Finch. Who didn’t call back, but screw continuity!
Matt’s leaving the showroom when a woman in a headscarf and Jackie O glasses leaves her baby stroller, in traffic, next to Matt’s car. They both realize it’s a bomb but Reese is nowhere nearby and Finch is hobbled so there’s nothing they can do. Reese tells Finch to get down but Finch is compelled to help the number and runs toward the car. The bomb explodes before he can get too far, knocking him down in the process. Finch, stunned from the explosion, isn’t responding to Reese so Reese gets worried calling out for “Harold.” Reese’s eyes go glassy as Finch’s eyes tear up watching the car burn and a dozen slash writers twitch reflexively.
Back at the accident and cell phone analysis shows the second car was Matt Duggan’s. The driver’s dead but they see he has cocaine in the car with him. In the library, Finch is still angry and shaky from the explosion. He’s beating himself up that it didn’t register sooner that the stroller was a bomb and that the mother was wearing a scarf and big glasses to hide her identity. Reese is trying to talk him down, but his mind is still racing with ways to blame himself and find a connection. He says that Paula’s online footprint is minimal which means she’s either paranoid or likes to fly under the radar, both of which he relates to…and Reese, remembering he has the healing touch of the Caviezel, places his hand on Finch’s shoulder. Works like a charm, relaxing Finch as Reese repeats “Connections.”
Finch is back on track expositing that smart phones are constantly seeking Wi-Fi signals and keeps the last 100 saved. He’s tracking Wendy, Matt and Claire to see if they intersect and they see that the all met up on Roosevelt Drive for four minutes. Finch looks up the time/location of when they intersected and he sees there was a fatal accident, but the victim’s name was withheld. The only one missing from the scene is Paula because they can’t track her phone, and they both decide that since Fusco thinks she bought a gun she could be the killer and Reese needs to find Wendy. She’s blown out of her apartment, but Finch has an address on her mother, up in Putnam County. Which according to my map is really close to Cold Spring, so Reese, if you see a pretentious twit with Bieber hair carrying a camera, kneecap him for me.
Ah, the convenience of Wi-Fi.
At the station, Olson and Carter have made a collage of the evidence she’s gathered on Claire Ryan’s murder, in case we forgot that she’s the bestest cop in the land. She ran Claire’s prints and they showed up at the car accident along with Duggan’s and both went on big spending sprees before turning up dead…we already know this so anything new? Fusco exposits that they probably swiped the money from the car and wonders who was driving. CSU ID’d the driver as Jamie Hallen, son of Congressman Hallen. Fusco continues to play Sherman to Olson and Carter’s Mr. Peabody and wonders how they kept this on the QT. They exposit that Rep. Hallen was investigating Wall Street and is a friend of the police union. But the accident appears to be just that, an accident from Jamie speeding while he was speeding on coke. Carter suggests that she go down and review the real-time footage, but Olson likes his gig and tells her to stay at her desk. Then she looks into the captain’s office and sees evil agent man who closes the door evilly.
As Reese drives up Kings Highway, in a vintage Mercedes (he’s really taking Finch for all he’s worth) Fusco calls him from the rest room. I know they’re all becoming BFF’s but isn’t that a bit…intimate? Oh, he’s calling to tell Reese about Ryan being at the accident and suggests Reese give this information to his “little friend with the glasses.” Finch jumps in and says he’s on the line and Kevin Chapman doesn’t even miss a beat when he wearily says “Yeah, right. Hi to you, too.” Reese and Finch put the last piece of the puzzle together when Fusco mentions that the victim was Jamie Hallen and Fusco wonders if there’s anything they don’t know. Then Reese makes me hurl when he asks how Carter’s doing. FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, MAN. LET IT GO! You literally saved her life. She owes you.
Okay, now this is just getting weird.
Finch could not give less of a fuck about Carter but pretends to because Reese! Smash! and tells Fusco to keep his phone on when he talks to the Congressman. Fusco seems surprised that the two creepy guys who seem to know EVERYTHING can somehow hear him all the time but Finch just tells him to move his phone from his belt to his jacket pocket because he’s way too familiar with the comings and goings of Lionel’s intestinal tract. HA! Fusco’s duly freaked out but when Olson harasses him about taking too long he just barks back.
How Finch feels about Carter’s “predicament.”
Over at a swellegant UES townhouse, one ever so refined gentleman named Davis is offering his condolences to yet another ever so refined gentleman, Congressman Hallen. As Davis leaves, an aide to the Congressman introduces Olson and Det. “Fiasco” and no matter how unlikely it is that a woman that smart would make so dumb a mistake, HA!
Hallen doesn’t understand why they’re back since he already spoke to the police but they have further questions regarding the new murders. They ask about Jamie’s whereabouts that evening and he was at a party at a “Davis Bannerman’s” house. Olson wonders why his son would be socializing with a man he’s investigating and Hallen says he can’t control his son’s social life, but cutting him off would have done the trick. They let that slide, though, and Fusco asks if Jamie had a lot of money on him. As Hallen hems and haws Finch locates Bannerman’s home. Fusco goes into bulldog cop mode and asks if Jamie was dealing drugs. Hallen tries to play grieving father and not answer, saying he’s dead and it doesn’t matter, but Fusco has to remind Hallen that two other people are also dead, so yes, it matters. Hallen softens up and says that he was worried that Jamie was involved in things he shouldn’t have been involved with but “that’s all he can say about it.” (Interesting phrasing.)
Olson says they’ll have to talk to Bannerman but Hallen says to take what he has to say with a grain of salt because they’re not friends. Fusco sees the pamphlet for the Haitian children’s organization that was found in Jamie’s car and asks about it and Hallen says that’s how he likes to remember his son. Finch notices that the crash was north of Bannerman’s home but Jamie lived directly west. Curious.
Angry little fireplug.
Reese is finally at Wendy’s mother’s house and sets up about 20 feet from a big picture window in plain view. Blending in wherever he goes. Wendy’s on the phone, pacing, and Reese is lining up his rifle sights when he sees Paula come in waving the gun. The music and Reese’s clenched jaw tells us this is all very tense and as he puts his finger on the trigger about to shoot…the two young women hug. That was unexpected.
Reese relaxes and we are inside with the two young women. Paula hands Wendy a new phone and Wendy asks if she told “mom” anything. Paula didn’t but she tells Wendy that Matt’s dead and people are looking for them. Like a cat, Reese is suddenly looming in the doorway so tiny Paula points the gun and threatens to shoot him. But he’s got about a foot on her so he just swats at it and drops the magazine to the ground, warning her that if she’s going to point a gun at someone she should know how to use it. Wendy’s all “Wait, I know you…” but Reese just wants to know how they know each other. He’s being all sparkly-eyed cute, but it don’t work on tough little Latinas. Paula just spits out that they’re foster sisters and it’s none of his business. Realizing the healing power of the Caviezel isn’t working he brings up the money they stole but Paula is still not willing to trust just any tall, handsome stranger and we have found a unicorn, my friends. Someone immune to the healing power of the Caviezel.
What a unicorn looks like.
Someone knocks on the door and Paula is familiar with horror movies and TV tropes so she gets an “Oh shit,” face because she knows what happens to the ethnic, especially when Reese sends her off to answer the door. That’ll teach her not to fake an attraction to the giant peacock. Paula goes to the door but doesn’t open it. As Reese has her back she talks to the guy at the door who’s “car broke down” and his cell is dead and the kids “are scared” (It’s broad daylight in a leafy exurb.) and he just wants to use their phone.
Reese tells her to open the door and she’s thinking about telling him how tall and strong he is to get out of it, but does what he says instead. The guy’s got a gun, but Reese gets the drop on him, pushing Paula out of the way. While Reese pummels the guy the women run out the back, just in time to miss someone shooting at the window. Reese takes cover giving the killers time to leave. With the killers and the women gone, Reese takes us out to commercial with a little posing.
Damn. That was a gun in his pocket.
15:52:17 at the station and Fusco and Carter are watching the CCTV footage of Jamie Hallen’s accident. Carter exposits how she got copies and then tells us everything we already know. Then we see Paula and Wendy walk over and the four witnesses take the suitcase with the money and split it. Fusco pretends he doesn’t already know about Wendy and Paula and says they need to find the girls but Carter says a Det. Foster is already looking for them. Curious. Then they see another car pull up about 30 minutes later and the guy who gets out checks the car and makes a call. His SUV doesn’t have plates but they discuss this like they’re discussing which SEC team will win the National Championship this year. Fusco suggests Carter “get in more trouble” by talking to Foster.
Speaking of, here he is still snooping around the McNally house when he conveniently finds a piece of mail from St. George’s Hospital addressed to Susan McNally. Finch tries to make small talk when Reese realizes his voice has been in normal human registers for the bulk of the episode and gets extra whispery expositing the last scene to Finch and then assuming that if their mother is in the hospital that the women are likely to go there. She is in the hospital but she’s injured not sick. Fell and broke her hip. Clearly Finch doesn’t understand the cycle: Fall, break hip, get pneumonia, die. Anyway, he also learns that the house is in foreclosure so they can rest easy that the women are noble, not greedy. Reese wonders who the money belongs to, but Finch hasn’t figured that out.
Carter’s walking down the street barking a voice mail at Fusco about how there is no Det. Foster. As she walks with a purpose a chill wind blows down her spine because a perniciously balding man with badger eyes has fallen in step behind her. That and a crazy bystander is TOTALLY messing up the shot doing double takes and staring at her as she tries to say her lines. She orders Fusco to call her and then turns on the evil agent, wondering what’s wrong with him following a cop. He tells her he’s worried about her and she tells him “and his preppy friend” not to be, but he suggests they go somewhere to talk. Probably to get away from the crazy bystander.
Awesome lady, stay awesome.
They sit down at some coffee shop and she talks about how she ran into CIA when she was in Iraq and doesn’t trust them so why are they worried. Badger-eyed evil agent says because the man she’s chasing is dangerous. She counters that he saved her life. Badger says that just proves he still has good instincts. Carter nonsensically asks if Badger even knows Reese and he says, “Yeah, we’re besties.”
The partner shows some photos and makes vague accusations. Carter wonders why they’re telling her this and Badger says so she can know who he is, then exposits what we already learned about his past, but Carter didn’t see those episodes so she doesn’t understand. Badger shows her a pretty, pretty picture of Stanton but no post mortem or evidence photos and while Badger is making it sound like they were the greatest love of all, killing people and saving each other, the partner says “He killed her.”
Then, and I didn’t pick this giant anvil up before, partner adds that Reese disappeared and was presumed dead until his prints showed up three months earlier when Carter started sniffing around. Now, if this is true and not just lazy writing, why were his prints and all the files related to his work redacted? He wasn’t presumed dead, he was scrubbed from the Machine. And they’re supposedly showing her photos of the crime scenes that were redacted, so they knew he wasn’t dead. Of course, Carter should have known this since she couldn’t get any information on Reese other than he was tall and wore the hell out of suits, but she is Carter. She’s buying what they’re selling with very little resistance or verification and asks what they want from her. To gain his trust and sell him out, of course.
I would TOTALLY believe anything these two told me without corroboration.
Over at the station Fusco and Olson are meeting with Davis Bannerman. Fusco not-at-all-obviously puts his iPhone on the table then they start interviewing him about Jamie being at the party. Bannerman says Jamie was there, but he was wasted so they called him a cab. When Fusco asks if Jamie was dealing drugs, Bannerman says he doesn’t know then adds, “He was dealing with people he shouldn’t.” Olson and Fusco exchange meaningful glances then Finch is on the line with Fusco saying he heard and his story confirms the congressman’s. Fusco, showing that morally and ethically fluid though he may be he’s a damn good cop, points out that their stories don’t just confirm each other they match, word for word, which means it’s fabricated. He thinks that Bannerman and Hallen were working together and are scapegoating Jamie.
Reese is at the hospital when Finch decides to start jabbering. He finds Wendy with the mother, leaving the ethnic to become bait but no sign of Paula. Finch has made headway with the money trail. Jamie was going to La Guardia airport to catch a flight on Davis Bannerman’s private jet to the CayMEN Islands. Producers, the plural of Cayman is not CayMEN. Derrrr.
While Finch keeps talking in Reese’s ear a nurse asks if he’s looking for anyone. Reese runs through his rolodex of gender assumptions and sees that “lady nurses = kindly” and condescends to her. I’m sure that won’t bite him in the ass later. She walks off and Finch continues to exposit that Jamie was on his way to the Caymans on behalf of the Haitian children’s organization he headed. Finch signs off saying he’s going to look into the organization.
Reese goes over to the room and gets Wendy’s attention. He asks “Where’s Ethnic?” and Wendy says “wandering around becoming bait” “Getting something to eat” and that they were worried about Reese. Rather than wondering if maybe, as the ethnic one, she’s been taken hostage as bait, he just chats up Wendy saying he’s not the one they wanted to kill. No it was the Wendy AND THE ETHNIC ONE who’s not there…shouldn’t he be looking for her since he knows Wendy’s safe?
No, he should keep chatting her up so she can exposit what we already have learned, three times, about the car accident. Except she adds that they all figured the money was illegal so they split it, $250K each. She whines about how it was wrong and they should have called 911 but Reese wants to know where the money is? Where Ethnic is? Who cares. Money’s on the mother’s side table. The nurses think it’s her knitting.
So where is Ethnic? At some out-of-the way vending machine becoming bait! It’s now been at least five minutes and probably longer since Ethnic went to the vending machines. You’d think this would have pinged Reese’s avenging angel/stalker gene, but no. He and Wendy are having a bonding moment, so screw her. It’s time for him to become all sensitive while Wendy cries prettily about how they want to give the money back. Finally, the guy who took Ethnic as bait realized no one was coming for her so he sends Wendy a picture text from Paula’s phone. Killer says to bring the money to the third floor of the parking garage and leave tall, dark and looming behind. Wendy gets upset, because she’s the good sister, but Reese looks pissed because I guess he was planning on getting laid and now that’s shot.
Just realized he’s not getting laid.
Back at the accident scene, half hour after the witnesses booked with the cash, and we learn a nifty little Machine trick. When they can’t identify cell numbers they activate the microphone remotely and record the calls. That’s not Big Brothery. Guy in SUV is saying that he found Jamie, but he’s dead and the money’s gone. And there are cameras so he’ll need help. There was also audio, but some trade secrets are best kept secret rather than broadcast on a major network show that pulls in about 13 million viewers. Oops.
20:31:08 and the aide tells Hallen that a “Thomas Paine” is there to meet him. Clever. Finch is dressed casually and Hallen says he’s always happy to meet a representative of the “blogosphere.” Is that still a word? Then he, too, points out the Thomas Paine thing and Finch says it’s a nom de plume dragging out the “u” for added nerdiness.
He’s there to “warn” Hallen that his enemies are out to get him through Jamie and his Haitian children’s organization. Hallen feigns shock so Finch tells him that they’ve collected $30 million but none of the money has gone to Haiti. He then explains Hallen’s money laundering operation to him. Hallen wonders if “Paine” has taken this to the police, but Finch says no, they’re all corrupt and he’s offering Hallen the chance extricate himself by transferring all the money to the Red Cross. Hallen looks like he’d rather eat a bug, but tells him it’s a “brilliant” idea. Then he asks for Finch’s contact information and Finch hands him a pen, nerding out that it’s his plume de nom then has to explain that joke, too, because he doesn’t know enough nerds.
These are his “blogger nerd” glasses.
Hallen thanks Finch and says he owes him, but once Finch is gone and eavesdropping through his plume de nom (I got it!) we hear Hallen calling Bannerman about the accident and how it’s going to put them both in jail. Bannerman tells Hallen to calm down but he’s freaking because an “idiot blogger” knows about the Cayman set up and that they need to dump it immediately. Finch is not happy about being called an idiot but sends the recording to Fusco.
Carter, who is on desk duty and has a 14-year-od son so you’d think she’d be home with him since it’s close to 9:00pm, is at her desk when Reese calls, still in over-identification mode. He’s apologetic about her getting heat because of him, because the alternative, death, was preferable? But he wants to make up saving her life by telling her the men who killed Ryan and Duggan will be in the parking garage at St. George’s Hospital. Realizing that she hasn’t even thanked him yet, Carter manages to croak one out. My, how generous of her.
Wendy comes out of her mother’s room with the bag and you’d think they’d have put something over all that money, but nope, it’s out in the open in a big, brown bag. As Reese and Wendy walk off, Carter agonizes for a full two seconds before she calls Badger to give him Reese’s location. But remember, she’s the good guy. You can tell because she scrunches her face and closes her eyes while telling Badger.
Selling out the guy who saved her life causes Carter too many feelings.
Reese and Wendy are walking through the parking garage and he’s holding her hand because this show realized they haven’t made the fangirls jealous since Zoe kissed him all those weeks ago. He sets up his gun and tells Wendy to call the number but that she won’t come out until she sees Paula. She does and killer agrees, sending Paula out so we can see that he has a gun pointed at her back. Reese tells Wendy to walk toward Paula and if he shouts (Can he shout?) she runs. I guess Paula just dies like a good ethnic. As Wendy walks toward Paula, Reese spots where the killer is by first marking Paula, then a heating duct above her then moves his sight back a few feet.
He thinks he has the shot lined up when he hears someone come up behind him. It’s the nurse. She remembers him and is friendly but thinking she’s “kindly” because she’s a nurse he says he’s waiting for someone. But then he remembers how every single time he makes a gender assumption he’s way wrong because he’s a sexist jerk and looks back to see she’s about to shoot him. He ducks behind the car as she takes her first shot and he calls out to Wendy and Paula to run. Of course, Paula’s confused because she’s the ethnic and therefore supposed to die, but he shoots the duct over her head and tells her to run, again.
The nurse comes back at him, but after confirming that he assumed she was nice because she’s a nurse, they get into an actual, physical fight which lasts about 5 seconds, one to disarm her, three of her taking a few wild swings and then one of him slamming her head through a car window before throwing her to the floor. Damn.
Redefining “fights like a girl.”
The other killer comes at him, gun blazing, but Reese drops him like a stone with four quick shots to the heart. Wendy and Paula come up, and even though Wendy was useless while Paula had the gun, tried to protect Wendy, then became bait, Wendy’s all protective big sister hugging the tiny Latina like she was the scaredy cat. White people. While Reese asks Wendy if she’s okay Paula tries to give the money to him, but he says they earned it and to get away quickly.
They leave and we cut back to the library where Finch is reviewing this day in Carter. He gets misty-eyed when she thanks Reese for saving her life but Finch fast forwards the video to her making another call, telling Badger where Reese will be. Oh hell no. She’s messing with HIS precious killing machine. Finch gets properly freaked and hobbles off.
Just because it’s an emotional scene doesn’t mean we can’t have some levity.
As the appropriately-titled When Things Explode starts pounding on the soundtrack, Badger’s whiny voice asks if they’ve taken out the cameras and we see the security cameras in the hospital parking lot go static. Reese is parked on the roof and is walking to his car when an SUV pulls up to him. He looks and sees Carter get out and then Badger, who says “Hello John.” He calls Badger “Mark” and then Badger says he’s glad to see John’s still alive. Reese doesn’t seem to believe this. Mark babbles some more and Reese asks what he wants. Slate’s been wiped clean and they want him to come back. Carter’s all slack-jawed because even though she’s been a military interrogator and homicide detective and knew Badger knew Reese she can still be tricked by a game of “Gotch’yer Nose.”
I’m still a very handsome man.
We see that Partner’s set up in a sniper position and when Reese tells Badger that he’s not coming back, Partner shoots Reese in the abdomen. Reese goes down shooting so Partner kneecaps him. As Badger and Carter take cover behind the SUV, Reese takes off…even though he was shot in the kneecap. Okay. Badger’s not incompetent so he confirms with Partner if he can see Reese but Carter IS incompetent so she runs off behind him. Without back-up. Why did he save her last week?
Badger realizes they have a “situation” on their hands and hauls ass out of the parking structure as Reese hobbles down the stairs. He starts talking to Finch who’s speeding through the city to save Reese. As Reese appears to be bleeding out, he tells Finch it “doesn’t look good,” and Finch speeds even more. He bitterly tells Reese that Carter sold him out and that “they” got to her. Reese, rather than just call her an ungrateful bitch like the rest of us, says “They’re clever like that.” No, she’s just that stupid, John.
As he slows down, Reese thanks “Harold” for his second chance. Finch gets more frantic and tells “John” that it’s not over. He just needs to get to the ground floor. Reese doesn’t want Finch to risk it, so Finch drives through a red light. Meanwhile the two stooges are trying to get to Reese themselves. Carter, slowly, very slowly, walking down the stairs behind a dying man who was shot in the knee and Badger, a little smarter, careening his SUV down a very circular parking structure.
And a thousand slashes were born.
Reese comes out of the structure just as Finch barrels in with his limo. As Reese stumbles to him and Finch catches him (that wasn’t too Stations of the Cross or anything) Carter charges out telling them to hold up. Bitch, he’s fucking dying because of you. But she has a gun so Finch does. The men look at her and mentally have the same conversation they had about Elias but when she sees Finch, I guess she realizes that if she doesn’t do something that petition is going to have 13 million signatures by Friday night and helps Reese into the back of the limo. She holds the door open for a second so we can see him rethink his actions from last week then she tells Finch to go. Well, he had her permission so I guess that wipes her slate clean?
So, yeah. No good deed goes unpunished. He saves her about 300 times last week, she gets him nearly killed. Then she has to stomp all over Finch saving him and then, THEN, they end the show with her bug eyes tearing up. Really? Still, a great, tense episode with an amazing closing song that should carry the audience over until January.
No more new episodes until January 12, so have a safe and happy holiday, whatever holiday that is, even the Feast of the Epiphany since that’s January 6, and I’ll see you all back here in the new year. But as my little “gift” here’s one of my favorite seasonal songs, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, which is actually a song from a movie that has nothing to do with Christmas, but it’s beautiful and sounds so wintery.