No time for pleasantries, this one had a lot of…stuff. Fade in on the Machine’s-eye view as we hear emergency calls calling in such emergencies as a flat tire, loud neighbors and a philandering wife until a boy calling from Los Angeles (213 area code, really producers?) says someone shot his brother. The automated operator tells the boy that all circuits are busy and the Machine decides it’s detected a threat. Ya think?
19:10:05 at the library and Reese is being all Big Man with a Gun (and Flashlight) giving a cursory look to see if it’s safe while Finch loiters behind him to turn on the generator then sweeping the hallway for bugs, or cats, since he’s sweeping with a laser. Reese uses his empathetic whisper to calm Finch down, saying he’s never seen him like this before, but Finch is twitching around with his laser saying “Only the paranoid survive. Sage advice.”
Feeling reasonably assured they’re safe, Finch exposits, while yanking out a motherboard (I think, I’m not tech support), that he has to rebuild the systems and reinforce the firewall. Reese wonders if there is anything he can do. Short of shooting the computer and dissolving it in lye, no, so Finch hands him their new number. Reese, showing that even if he’s not the brains of the operation he’s still no Carter, wonders how Finch got the number with the system down. Finch hesitates briefly but powers through the exposition assuming Reese will get distracted and forget: Darren McGrady, 14, “last known address.” Finch continues fiddling, missing Reese’s lingering, wary expression. Oh, no.
Not a happy face
20:19:24 and Reese is in Brooklyn checking out Darren’s “last known address.” He picks the lock and tears off some crime scene tape, asking Finch if there’s any chance the Machine gave them the number a few days late. Reese’s tone is neither taunting nor dickish, which is new for him whenever he’s questioning Finch, but Finch still doesn’t like his tone and wonders “No-oo. Why-yyy?” Well, he had to “crawl” through police tape to get in, but I guarantee if Caviezel EVER crawls, they’ll make that the promo and the show will post its highest ratings, ever.
Finch doesn’t care. He’s taking umbrage at Reese, again, questioning the Machine’s infallibility. He gets his Dorothy Michaels on, saying that even though the library was compromised he CAN ASSURE Reese the Machine was not. Whatever happened, Darren’s situation is ongoing. Reese figures it was a home invasion and asks whose blood is on the floor before finding some photos. Super busts Reese and wonders who he is. Reese flashes Det. Stills’ badge from the pilot (He’s not using it.) and asks what happened. Super obviouses that it’s obvious, tenant got shot. Travis McGrady, good tenant, always paid his rent on time. Reese sees a picture of Travis with Darren, and his trumpet, and asks where the boy is. Super’s all “Hell if I know, cops took him,” and Reese leaves, as the super futilely asks when he can clean the place.
Carter’s waiting around in her police car as Reese slips in the back seat, dazzling us all with his twinkling blue eyes and full smile. He greets her with a rakish “Miss me?” (Which is also how he greeted Fusco in “Legacy,” by the way.) Carter tries to be smooth, joking that she always pictured him in the back of her car, in handcuffs. Reese ponders it for a moment before blowing it off with a “To each his own,” and moving on to asking for Travis’ case file.
Who can turn the world on with his smile?
She exposits the facts of the case: Travis took two shots to the chest, three African-American men seen fleeing the scene, Darren came home soon after and found his brother bleeding out. Travis was already dead when the EMT’s arrived. Mother dead, deadbeat dad so Travis was Darren’s legal guardian. Darren still MIA when DFS didn’t show. Reese tries to leave, but Carter hasn’t acted like an asshole yet, so she asks if he’s ever going to tell her how they get their numbers. Reese just grins because he got what he needed and she offers to talk to the detective working the case because Reese looks so pretty in the morning light. Reese badgers her to find out how the detective lost Darren in the first place.
And here’s where I am certain the writers have taken to taunting me. Carter’s down in Brooklyn, talking to the detective working the case, but he’s polishing up her halo wondering why someone from homicide task force is following up on a (lethal, mind you) shooting in Crown Heights. Then asks if she doesn’t have something more high profile, like the guy who’s (non-lethally, mostly) kneecapping people. Because why work a homicide when she can work a nuisance case?
I pause the DVR to do some yoga breaths…except, they have her expositing that the Chief of D’s wants the task force to help close open cases…like her 37 OPEN CASES? Of course, this is just the cover she created and the detective is just a day player so he doesn’t point that out and gives her the deets.
If I ignore her maybe I can get through this scene without laughing too hard.
Travis was working at “Thighs and Fries” when three guys started harassing a waitress. Travis and the men got into an altercation, they probably followed him home and killed him. Darren said one of the guys took Travis’ work hat and Carter, showing why she’s awesome, asks if he has any leads or if anyone gave a description, because she has so good at getting statements from witnesses in sketchy neighborhoods. Det. Day Player agrees with me. Carter remembers to find out about Darren, but Det. Day Player says he can’t chase after every little kid who can’t sit still. She sasses Det. Day Player, because she keeps forgetting that Reese is the one who closes her cases.
11:05:55 at the library and Finch is assembling a new computer while Reese recaps the last scene and that if the shooters think Darren knows anything, he’s in danger. Finch is mildly concerned that they have no idea where Darren is or who the shooters are, but Reese figures the witnesses know who they are, leading into the requisite “stroke the peacock’s ego” where Finch asks why Reese thinks witnesses will talk to him, and he gets to pose and say he has his ways.
A pretty girl leaves the Thighs & Fries while Reese and his gorgeous coat loiter in a doorway. She doesn’t notice the tall, well-dressed man just standing there, so he has to call out to her. It takes the girl, Lisa, half a second to peg him as a cop and tell Reese she already told the cops what she knows. Heh. Reese tells her he’s not a cop, that he’s just looking for Darren, and Lisa tries to leave, again. Finally, he grabs her arm, unleashing the healing power of the Caviezel, and tells Lisa that he knows she’s scared, just like Travis probably was when he stuck up for her against those thugs. His voice is extra whispery, just in case.
Resistance is futile.
Lisa’s own pretty brown eyes get all soft and glassy and she says the thugs come in all the time and she doesn’t know what Travis was thinking. Reese whispers that he cared for her like he cared for Darren and that the thugs may be coming for him next. She says she wants to help, so Reese gives her an out that he doesn’t need names, just a point in the right direction. She says a guy like Reese, coming out of the shadows looking for bad guys, would fit right in at the comic book store a few blocks down.
12:16:08 at the comic book store, and a bunch of kids are hanging around reading while Malik Yoba’s handing out free comics waiting for Alphas to go into production on season 2. One of the kids asks about the comic since the hero doesn’t have a costume or a cape, and Malik furthers the thread that Reese is Superman by saying being a super hero isn’t about costumes or capes or cowls it’s about looking out for your fellow man when no one else will. In case some people are really slow on the uptake, we get a close up on Reese shot from below so he looks like he’s hovering. Subtle like a jackhammer.
No time to linger, some punk-ass wearing a Thighs & Fries hat is blowing out of the store, right past Malik, who’s puny compared to Yoba. Rather than grab him and slam him into the wall, Malik just snottily says “Uh, excuse you.” Reese, for some reason, has a line open to Carter and tells her he thinks he found one of the shooters, heading toward Crown and AL-bany. Carter says she’s “two minutes away,” even though her precinct is in Midtown and they’re all the way out in Brooklyn. Unless she just never went into work.
Reese follows the punk-ass then spies Darren hiding behind a car. Finch asks if Darren’s safe, but Reese says “Not for long,” because Darren is 14 and stupid and pulls a gun on the punk ass, whose name is Brick. Heh. Darren and Brick chat so Reese can grab Darren’s arm and fire into the air, then grabs the back of his collar to immobilize him. Brick toughs out and says, “This fool’s as good as dead,” but Reese just counters with “I won’t miss,” while holding the gun and Darren simultaneously. Darren’s squirming but Reese is calmly wrangling him by the neck, like Darren’s a kitten.
Puppy with a nunchuk
Carter pulls up and snots at Reese, about “making friends as usual.” (Say thank you first.) Reese just tells her he found his missing kid, now he has to get him out of there and that Brick’s her murder suspect. You’d think she’d have figured that out on her own but…she’s Carter, why put two and two together when she can act like a bitch and have it handed to her? She orders Brick to put his hands behind his head, dropping his phone, letting Reese snatch it up before he drags Darren to Carter’s car to steal it to get Darren to safety. But he does remember his manners and apologizes.
Darren and Reese are sitting in thecar when a call comes in about the shots fired. Darren wonders about cops picking which calls to answer. Reese says he’s not a cop so Darren wonders what he is, then. Reese Eeyore’s that one day he’ll come up with a good answer. Reese tries to make small talk by grilling the kid about how he bought the gun and what he pawned, but lightens up and asks about the trumpet, and if Darren’s any good, actually forcing out a grin, which takes our count to three in the first ten minutes. Must be sweeps.
My face is beginning to hurt.
The smile guilts Darren so he admits that Travis wanted him to go to music school instead of getting mixed up with the thugs, opening the door for Reese to go all Daddy pointing out that here he is, mixed up with the thugs. Obligatory sigh. Reese wonders if Travis would have wanted Darren tracking down his killers, getting himself in trouble, but Darren gets all tough about how Brick was wearing Travis’ hat and it wasn’t right. Reese says he’ll take care of it, and despite watching how he handled the situation ten minutes earlier, Darren wonders what Reese thinks he can do. Told you 14-year-olds are dumb. Reese chuckles and drives off, leaving Darren to wonder where they’re going.
To meet up with Fusco at a youth group home. Reese introduces the boy to Fusco, a “f-fr-friend.” Fusco pulls a face as Reese chokes on the word, and I have a theory. Reese didn’t choke on friend because it’s so ridiculous, I think he realized, in that moment, that Fusco is his friend. They established in the pilot that Fusco makes his bad choices more out of loyalty than greed, and since trying to get Reese killed by the Mexican death squad, to save himself and protect his son, he’s gone beyond what an asset would do, putting his own safety at risk by taking that beating in “Witness” and saving Reese’s life in “Foe.”
Plus, there’s his ongoing concern about Carter. Finch will never be Reese’s friend because the power of their relationship is balanced too much in Finch’s favor (although I do think their bond is deeper than Reese and Fusco’s.) and he knows he can never fully trust Carter because Finch will never trust her and she has her “rules.” Fusco is the closest he has to a peer. A morally compromised man who made very bad decisions for what he thought were good reasons (Reese for his country, Fusco for loyalty and his family) and who is trying to atone for those bad decisions.
People let me tell you ‘bout my be-est friend.
Putting Fusco on Finch’s tail was a big step in forging their bond, since Finch has started viewing Fusco as his own asset, and Fusco’s lived up to Reese’s trust and expectations. If Snow ever said anything that was true, it’s that Reese is always looking for someone to trust but is too paranoid to accept it. Fusco’s the perfect friend because Reese knows and understands how he operates and can suss out if he’s lying. So he wants Darren to trust Fusco and tells the boy he’s his friend. Not his colleague or associate, but his friend and means it.
Darren’s not so sure and scoffs because he thinks it’s so obvious that Fusco’s dirty. Furthering the “friend”connection, Fusco’s all up in Reese’s personal space, hectoring him about trailing their “mutual friend” and babysitting the “disrespectful punk,” and reminding Reese he has a day job, which brings him in contact with Carter, who’s going to start asking questions. With my new theory in place, Reese tells Fusco to leave Carter to him, but probably to keep from losing Fusco’s faith and trust if he finds out. Then he changes the subject to find out if the group home is safe. It is because the woman likes to help kids but hates paperwork so Darren’s not going to pop up in any computer. Reese takes Fusco at his word because, friend, and tells Darren he’ll be back soon.
Some soulful close ups and Reese sees Darren’s notebook with his sketches. The music implies it’s heart-rending, but he’s just looking for clues, not getting all wistful for a conventional life. Yet. He finds some when he sees sketches of a basketball court and Brick and a place called “Ferdy’s Bar.” Convenient!
This is probably important.
Carter’s high on herself for bringing in Brick forgetting Reese practically put a bow on him, and sashays into the interrogation room like she’s Raja. She asks Brick where he got the hat and he says he found it in the street. She says it’s in the lab right now and thinks she has Brick, saying, “DNA always tells the truth,” and that she’d rather hear the truth from him. But, what truth? DNA will say it was Travis’ and Brick was wearing it which supports his story. Instead of pointing out the obvious, he goes off on how it will take three months to get those results (really?) and either they can get real cozy or she can give him his phone call. Good cop that she is, she refuses another person his rights by saying the phone’s broken. Why is she still so awful if they want us to like her?
He then says that she can’t hold him if she can’t charge him which only peeves Carter to point out he’s done all this before. Because someone knowing his rights is Carter’s worst enemy. Then she “good cops” him by pushing him and telling him he’ll get out of there when she takes him to his arraignment.
Just tell me what I want to know or I’ll make you cry with my overacting.
Hip Hop takes us to a basketball court at 16:15:03. Some randoms are playing while Reese practices for his Helmut Lang photo shoot and flips through Darren’s notebook. He sees Det. Washington from Detroit 187 send a text to Michael Imperioli wondering WTF? and snaps some shots. Oh, I’m sorry. Reese gets the text on Brick’s phone. He’s “Curtis” wondering where Brick is. Reese texts him back that it’s “Business as usual,” and snaps some more photos of them passing around bills from an envelope before getting into an Escalade.
Reese is back at the library taping photos to the glass wall and discussing it with Finch…who’s not with him. Reese wants Finch to run the plates but Finch says he’s still rebuilding the hard drive and claiming to be on a hardware run while rocking back and forth in a leather office chair. He says if everything goes right, he’ll be back up in a couple of hours. Reese seems to accept that and says he’ll check in with Fusco, but also asks Finch if everything’s all right. Finch lies that everything’s fine and Reese hangs up, knowing that everything’s not fine, but Finch couldn’t see his face so he has no idea that Reese isn’t as dumb as he thinks.
At least pretend to feel bad about lying to the killing machine with trust issues.
An assistant comes in to tell “Mr. Wren” that a Mr. Ingram is there to see him. Finch tells her to send him right in. Will’s impressed with Finch’s digs and Finch jokes that in insurance, business booms when bad things don’t happen. Finch is finishing up some busy work and Will lets him know that he’s almost done sorting through Nathan’s stuff.
Finch asks if he found anything interesting. Will says a few things he’d probably want Finch to have, mostly boring stuff except…and he hands something small wrapped in a napkin to Finch. Finch is bemused until he unwraps the napkin and sees a champagne cork and the words “Day One, The Machine. 2/24/05” written on the napkin. You can practically hear the full body clench but Will just calls it “Interesting.” Finch tries to be nonchalant but is twitching and unable to maintain any eye contact with Will. He just keeps staring at the napkin. Smooth. Reese would smile and fancy pageant walk to distract Will.
All that’s missing is the neon sign saying IMPORTANT CLUE.
Will continues that he’s looking into the period when Nathan shut down IFT. 2/24/05 is right in the middle of it leading Will to wonder what his father was celebrating. Finch says he has no clue and that Nathan used any excuse to drink champagne. Will says maybe, but there’s one more person for him to contact and maybe Uncle Harold knows her, Alicia Corwin? Finch does the classic liars move of looking off and then down when he says no, but Will’s not picking up any cues today, continuing to exposit that her name kept popping up during that time and she worked for the White House.
Finch “wonders” if Will got in touch with her, hoping for no, but Will can suss things out when he wants to. He found her in a tiny town, Green Bank, WV, which is the only town in the US that’s completely off the grid. Imagine that. Finch is furiously avoiding eye contact and acting like this is all news to him, suggesting that Will is chasing shadows. Will thinks maybe, but there is that government contract for $1. Nathan signed it the next day. Finch tries to play it off before quickly saying he’s starving and checking to see that he’s synched with Will’s phone. Man, it’s going to suck having Will killed, isn’t it Finch? (Not a spoiler, just wild speculation!)
I don’t look suspicious at all.
As Finch and Will leave, a camera site takes photos of them. It’s Fusco, still hot on their trail from ten feet away which Finch fails to notice, even when Fusco gets an unsatisfactory call. Back in Brooklyn, Reese and his gorgeous coat are just sitting on some stoop, completely ignored by the various residents walking down the street. Curtis drives up in a beater as Reese gets a call from Fusco. He’s pleasant enough until Fusco tells him that Darren slipped out of the group home, reminding Fusco he was supposed to keep an eye on Darren. Fusco’s all “No duh, asshole, that’s why they called me,” because, friends.
Reese is over his anger, since Darren has a habit of doing that, but as we see Curtis help an elderly woman get out of the car, Fusco goes on record that it wasn’t his fault because he’s doing double-duty for Reese by trailing Finch, too. Reese asks how that’s going . Fusco says “Interesting” and he’ll let Reese know when he has something concrete, then asks what they’re going to do about the kid. Reese remembers the sketch of Brick and heads over to Ferdy’s Bar, like in the sketch.
16:54:32 and 14-year-old Darren strolls on into the bar, no questions. Really? He walks up to two extras asking if they know Curtis and Shrimp. The extras wonder if “Scrappy Doo” is looking to get killed…and he’s so Scrappy Doo. Darren keeps sassing the extras and one asks if he wants to get tossed, until a whispery voice suggests it’s not a good idea. Extra sees the tall, middle-aged, guy in the expensive suit and coat and figures he can take him but Reese just takes them out with two jabs to the chest and a flip before dragging Darren out. He refrains from saying this will hurt me more than you, though, so Darren’s safe.
18:34:44 as Reese has Darren at some diner. Darren’s all hyped over how easily Reese took out the extras calling it “Shaolin, Wutang whoop ass,” throwing in a Pow and Boom for those of us who still kick it with Adam West. Reese looks like he’s got a pounding headache and uses his indoor whisper, hoping to lead by example, telling Darren that he’s a smart, talented kid and he wants Darren to promise him he’ll stop looking for the guys who killed Travis.
Snow was less annoying. And he had me shot.
Darren calms down and pulls out a stack of bills, and a quarter, and says he wants to hire Reese to take down the guys who killed Travis. Reese takes umbrage at this, saying that if he’s not a cop then he’s a mercenary, and I think that hit a little too close to home for our batshit crazy, elite, killing machine. Darren says, no, he’s a Ronin. Reese supposedly doesn’t know what that is so Darren can exposit that it’s a samurai with no master who should have killed himself but instead is out roaming the land helping people and avoiding getting hit with the exposition sledgehammer.
Darren wants to hire Reese, but Reese says he’s not for hire. Darren proves he isn’t completely stupid and points out that he’s going after them, regardless, but has a better shot with Reese. Reese anemically asks one more time if he won’t just lie low, but Darren says no. So Reese pushes the money back, taking the quarter as payment, and says they’re doing it his way, no killing. Darren agrees then asks his name. Reese smiles, (smile count: 5) thinks about it, and says to call him “Reese” instead of John like he does with the lay-dees.
10:57:34 the next morning and an Escalade pulls
up to the bumper, baby up to a curb. Homeless guy tries to clean the windshield as Reese and Darren watch. Darren, flush with power, says he didn’t hire Reese to just sit and watch but rather than dump the kid on his head, Reese explains that step one is to observe and that the most efficient way to lose a fight is to act without knowing your enemy, never once considering if this is really the best thing for a scrawny, little 14-year-old. But hey, he’s Reese. At least he didn’t kneecap Darren to keep him in the group home.
By the way, I’m highly unstable and don’t play well with others.
Shrimp and Curtis walk over to some shop owner to collect their money. He hands them $300, but that’s just the protection money, they want his take from the illegal numbers he’s running. In between discussing the morality of all this, Reese hears one of the thugs mention a guy named Andre. Darren doesn’t know who that is and Reese explains that now that they know how the thugs make their money, they’re a lot less untouchable. Darren sees the light and says “Observe,” but Reese hasn’t shot anything or wrecked a car and is getting antsy. He tells Darren to wait and while the thugs are still shaking down the shop owner, he sneaks over and steals their car in about 10 seconds, calling Darren to tell him that was step number two and to meet him at Rutland and 52nd.
He catches up with Darren, saying he strategically stored Shrimp’s car to see what shakes loose. Finch calls Reese whosnots that he needs GPS tracking on the thugs cell phone. Finch says it will be a moment and he’s not sure he’s in favor of Reese’s troubling arrangement with Darren. Reese, in a decidedly angry tone, says he’s not sure he’s in favor of their troubling arrangement, what with Finch disappearing on mysterious business. Finch ignores him and says the GPS is up. Darren asks who he’s talking to, and Reese blithes “tech support.”
Whateverwhateverwhatever. GPS is on. By-eee!
As they walk down the street to find Shrimp and Curtis, Darren asks Reese if he’s ever killed anyone. Reese, showing just how long he’s been out in the cold, thinks it’s a good idea to tell a 14-year-old the truth about his past, says yes, and that only some were bad. The kid exposits some more about Ronins but we know Reese’s damage. Luckily, they find Shrimp and Curtis before he can explain about the lye and Darren asks what step three is. Some Art of War crap because that’s not cliché and 2000 or anything. While Curtis and Shrimp debate whether the car will magically reappear and that Curtis should probably just grab his grandmother’s beater so they can go to Andre’s for the money run, Reese tells Darren that steps four and five are finding the boss and figuring out how to hurt him.
Down at the station Brick is miming the time at the security camera while Carter sits around waiting for Reese to call. Dirty captain, Womack, asks after Brick and Carter says she’s waiting on a photo packet to place him at the shooting and that they have until the next day to arraign him. Womack tells her if she can’t arraign him by five, she has to let him go.
21:03:16 and Reese and Darren are across the street from the comic book store when Shrimp and Curtis drive up in the beater. Darren thinks they have Malik on the numbers scam. He starts to walk across the street but the long arm of Reese reaches out and stops him, telling him it’s not that simple as Shrimp calls Malik “Andre.” Darren’s surprised that Malik is Andre so Reese can oblique that the higher up you go, the harder it gets to tell the good guys from the bad.
Where’s that voluntary “fight or flight” response when you need it?
Andre takes the idiot twins back to his office and wonders why they drove up in the beater. Curtis starts to come clean that it’s his grandmother’s but Shrimp lies that it’s part of the plan to keep them safe, what with Brick in jail. Andre says he can smell them lying, but Curtis continues the cover story. Andre tells them to let him worry about Brick, all they have to do is get his $500K out to Brighton Beach tonight If they mess it up, he’ll kill them himself. Brighton Beach? Curious. Darren recaps what we just saw and asks what’s step six. Reese gets a very unfortunate glint in his eye and says it’s the fun part. He does remember that Darren’s only 14, right?
Surveillance footage shows Grandma’s beater drive through an intersection. The idiot twins are talking about whether Brick will talk and that Andre will take care of them if they take care of him until Curtis sees a black Escalade barreling down on them and asks if that’s Shrimps ride…right as Reese plows into the driver’s side. Hilariously, the show actually has a “Reese wrecks a car” theme song which I recognize from last week, as he steps out of the Escalade and walks over to the beater to tell them he “found their car.”
POW! BAM! KABOOM!
07:28:11 the next morning as two uniformed cops get into their patrol car and smell something in the back seat. It’s Shrimp, waking up in his underwear, covered in beer bottles as the cops have a good laugh at him. Carter calls to nag Reese about his traffic “accident” and how he’s responsible for Darren’s well-being and what is Reese doing with the other guy from the accident and nagnagnag. To paraphrase Elvis, a little less conversation a little more competence, Carter. Reese coos that Shrimp’s about to brief “them” on Travis’ murder to get her off the phone.
He pulls the gag out of Curtis’ mouth and tells him he can scream. Curtis tries to be tough and pretends not to know about Travis’ murder until Reese, in gloves (gulp), pulls out a blow torch and asks again with a very scary, very intense, somewhat deranged, and totally hot gleam in his eye. He’s creepier than when he was asking Benton to help him make a good decision. Curtis starts peeing himself but doesn’t give anything up. Reese pulls out the bag with the cash and says the money was supposed to be in Brighton Beach, but instead it’s still in Crown Heights. Curtis says Andre’s going to kill Reese, but Reese asks if Andre would believe that story. Reese says he’d just assume Curtis stole it all, and the only way Curtis survives is if he comes back with every dime. Then he lights the blow torch again, in case Curtis forgot.
Reese asks, again, who killed Travis. Curtis still isn’t talking so Reese sets $20K on fire. Curtis is visibly shaking at this point so Reese asks where’s the gun. Curtis still isn’t talking and Reese sets another $30K on fire sing-songing “FIFTY thousand dollars of your LIFE up in smoke.” Curtis is twitching, saying that Andre will believe him, so Reese says “Let’s find out” before throwing the bag full of money on the floor to set on fire. Curtis stops Reese to tell him the gun is in the chimney on his grandmother’s building and Reese threatens that it better be.
Finch is walking through a park, eavesdropping on Will and Alicia. She’s looking the worse for wear and is not the confident, high-powered woman she was when last we saw her. Will wants go inside to talk but Alicia would rather not. She apologizes for not going to Nathan’s funeral, but it was a difficult time for her. She does offer that Nathan was a “lovely man,” (Yes, Brett is…) and Will says he only wished he knew him better. Then he hands Alicia the champagne cork and napkin and asks if she knows anything. Alicia’s in the dark until Will mentions that the next day he signed the contract for a dollar and asks her about it. Alicia asks if Will really wants to know, and Finch gets such a sad face I almost forget the Machine’s an Orwellian nightmare and not some adorable puppy.
Green Bank, WV – Off the grid and mirror free!
Instead of telling Will about the Machine, she comes up with a story about how Nathan was in dire straits and she convinced the government to bail him out, under the rubric of paying him a dollar, for his patents. Will’s disappointed that it was nothing more and can’t understand why his father would celebrate. What does “the machine” mean, to be “crushed by the machine?” He’s seeing that his father was just a flawed and fallible man instead of this master of industry he believed.
Alicia gains some of her steel back and says “Yes, crushed by the machine,” continuing that Nathan was in a dark place in his last days, going through the divorce and Will should let it go. Will’s accepting what he thinks is the truth and tells Alicia she sounds like his “Uncle Harold.” This tweaks every last one of her paranoid/Cassandra impulses and she asks who Uncle Harold is. Will says his father’s best friend “Harold Wren” and is surprised she never met him. Alicia runs off saying no and she’s sorry she couldn’t be more help while Finch watches on in concern…but for what?
It may be an Orwellian nightmare but I, I mean, it has feelings.
18:40:41 and Andre is voicing over that his delivery was intercepted, Captain, and that he’s missing two couriers and $500K in Brighton Beach money. He needs the captain’s help, and it’s AU David Johansen. Hmmm. Andre says it was out of his control but the captain says force majeure is not covered by their protection and their “associates” are holding Andre responsible. Andre says he’ll handle it but he needs Brick released, unless “that’s not covered by [their] protection.” Captain says he’ll see what he can do.
20:02:20 down at the station and, again, Fusco and Carter are at work while their children are…where? Who cares, AU David Johansen comes in and greets Fusco so Carter can judge him for knowing him, asking if he’s “a friend.” Fusco says “yes” but it sounds like “FML.” The dirty captains meet briefly before Womack harangues Carter for not letting Brick go. She’s all “Oh, I was just about to do that…17 hours after you told me to…” but he just tells her to release him, now, as AU David Johansen thanks him. Smooth.
Captain Womack: Unlikely voice of reason
Darren’s with Reese on the roof looking for the gun and apologizing for thinking he was a cop. Reese smurfs that there’s nothing wrong with cops, just bad ones. He refrains from adding and Manichaean “good” ones who inadvertently nearly get you killed because they let their high, rigid, morals get in the way of their common sense. Reese pulls the gun out of the chimney and thinks Darren will be ready to let it go since they have the evidence to arrest Travis’ killers. But Darren’s just starting his vengeance campaign and wants to go after Andre. This is why you don’t take kids on your vigilante sprees.
Reese turns on the Batman whisper and wonders how far up Darren wants to go? To Andre’s bosses? Try to bring everyone down and it still won’t bring Travis back, it will just get Darren thrown in jail. Then he throws in the kicker of wondering if that’s what Travis would have wanted for Darren. Damn, when did Reese turn into my dad? All that’s missing is “I always expect you to act like a lady,” and that’s eighth-level, Puerto Rican guilting going on there. The kid just wanted to kill the guys who killed his brother and bring down organized crime in Brooklyn, it’s not like he came home piss drunk at four in the morning, Reese.
Sorry dude. I fell asleep halfway through your lecture.
Reese calls Carter at the station, all happy that he has the gun so she can arraign Brick. She’s all, yeah, about that. I let him go ten minutes ago. But they’re not friends so Reese walks away to talk to Carter, saying that Brick can ID Darren. She nags him that he needs to get Darren off the street, now, and Reese says not to worry, he’ll get her the gun and Darren…in time to see Darren hightailed it out of there. At some point just let natural selection take its course. Instead of hanging up, Reese tells Carter she’s going to say “I told you so.”
20:34:44 and Reese is walking down the street telling Finch that Darren ran off, probably to kill Brick, and this time he has the gun that killed Travis. Finch can’t resist calling Reese a dumbass but uses a lot more words. Reese is all, whatever, bitch at me later, “I need you to bring me the bag.” Finch doesn’t know what he’s talking about so Reese coys “The one labeled Plan B.”
Carter holsters up like she’s John Wayne prompting Fusco to ask if she needs backup. Rather than say “Yes, thank you,” she snots at him, “I don’t know, do I?” and rather than just call her a bitch, since no one ever calls Carter on her bullshit, Fusco says he figures it has something to do with ‘the fish” she just let go. She smarms that she got a tip and asks if Fusco wants to go fish.
I wouldn’t even have to do anything. She tends to walk into trouble, and traffic, on her own.
21:15:01 down at the comic book store and while Andre’s minions sort money, Darren breaks into the office. Andre asks Brick if he’s the kid and starts talking to Darren. Darren pulls the gun, forgetting how easily Reese disarmed him, and swings it around back and forth between the two men. Andre sees the gun and lets out the most disinterested “Wow” ever.
Reese drops a bag that is literally marked “Plan B.” That’s a little too corny. Luckily he pulls out a really big gun. Finch gets squirrelly because Darren’s in there but Reese, still rather peeved with Finch, tells him to relax, it’s just bean bag rounds because he promised no killing. Then he says on his signal to cut the power to the building. He loads the rifle and snots “That’s the signal.” Finch just stares at him wondering what bug crawled up Reese’s ass.
Cornier than the Iowa State Fair.
Andre starts talking like Jason Bentley hosting Metropolis, lulling Darren with all the bass tones in his voice and calm demeanor. He pretends to bond with Darren that Brick took something from him and now he wants something from Brick. Brick gets all “Whuh…huh,” but Andre tells him to shut up, as he moves over to Darren, telling him he can see the kid has conviction. He’s behind Darren now and telling him to go ahead and pull the trigger. He can come work for Andre and by the time he’s Brick’s age, he’ll be running the streets. He keeps telling Darren to “claim his reward” but Darren freezes and Andre snatches the gun out of his hand. He pretends he’s going to shoot Brick but says “the thing about comics is, they’re just comics,” then turns the gun on Darren…
Just in time for Finch to cut the power and for Reese to shoot up the store with his high-powered rifle with bean bag rounds and a night vision scope. While Reese is shooting, Carter and Fusco show up. She sends Fusco out back and aims at Andre, telling him she’s NYPD and to drop his weapon. Instead he takes a shot, instantly becoming my hero because you know she’s not wearing her vest, but he misses. Damn. Instead she hides behind the car while he has his back turned because Darren made a run for it, and as Andre takes a shot at Darren, an angry, little fireplug comes flying out of the dark to take a bullet in the ass for the “disrespectful little punk.”
Angry, little, flying fireplug
This gives Reese enough time to come out of the store to shoot some bean bags at Andre, incapacitating him enough so Carter can act like she’s the hero, checking on Fusco to make sure he’s fine and pulling Darren to her. Fast forward to the cops arresting Andre and his minions as EMTs take Fusco and his big, ass bandage into an ambulance. Fusco tells the kid to give it to him but Darren just thanks him for saving his life. Fusco, because he really is a good guy, says “You’re welcome.” Carter mercifully remains silent. Maybe she can learn.
08:05:24 and Finch sees Will at the office. He’s all “Geez, just when I thought you were staying,” but Will says Manhattan’s too claustrophic and a job came up in Sudan. He tells Will he’s sorry to lose him again and wonders if “that woman” told Will what he wanted to know. Will says he’s not sure if it’s what he wanted to know but she did fill him in on some things, it’s just hard to hear that his father was an ordinary guy who made mistakes. Finch sends Will off by saying that regardless of what Alicia said, Nathan always considered Will his greatest achievement. They hug goodbye, but Finch’s face gets all scrunchy, and not out of wistfulness or melancholy.
Reese parks to tell Darren Fusco has a lead on a foster family. Darren’s still being an idiot and says he had a family. Reese decides to over-identify with a cranky, intransigent child and says “We don’t get to choose what happens to us.” It’s what we do about it. Then he tells Darren he looked into the family and they’re good people. Darren wonders what happens if they aren’t and Reese says he’ll take care of it since he’s still on the clock. Then Darren pulls out some unfortunate fan art of him and Reese but Reese is nice about it and says he always wanted a sidekick. Then they get schmaltzy as Reese tells him he got him into the charter school Travis wanted him to attend and they have drawing classes and rainbows and ponies and here’s your trumpet and Darren tells Reese that, someday, he’ll find a home, too.
Reeseman and the Flying Fusco. (I see the fireplug, Nolan.)
Luckily, Fusco limps up to take Darren back to the group home. Darren teases him about taking another bullet in the other ass cheek to even out the limp, but Fusco’s in a good mood because he likes good kids. Reese gets out of the car so they can say goodbye to Darren and discuss how Carter’s still looking for Reese and how Reese hates lying to Fusco, his f-fr-friend. That might have been my interpretation, though.
But Fusco doesn’t dwell, he moves on to talking about Finch and how he has so many aliases he couldn’t keep track but the oldest one he could find was Harold Wren, the name he used when he was at MIT where he met Ingram. They graduated together, but here’s the bombshell. Wren only goes back to 1976. Finch has been living under so many assumed names, Fusco figures he doesn’t even remember who he is anymore…and then we see the most unfortunate headshot of Michael Emerson s Reese repeats Finch’s words about how “only the paranoid survive.”
No wonder he changed his name to “Finch.”
Reese coys at Fusco that he could have been a good cop if not for a few bad choices. Fusco comes back with Reese is having him follow his boss, but HE makes bad choices? Reese sing-songs that Fusco has a point and they walk off in different directions as the surveillance footage shifts to the Machine and their respective boxes turn from white/yellow to red and a dialogue box opens saying “System Administrator – Security Breach,” choosing from one of three courses of action: subvert, mitigate or monitor, thankfully landing on monitor…for now. Dun…DUUNNNNNN.
So, for a bridge episode, that was pretty good, with enough martial arts/superhero/dystopian/mythological references to keep any geeks happy. My favorite, which was probably inadvertent but maybe not, is turning Corwin into the Cassandra because every great story needs a howling madwoman driven insane by knowing too much and yet no one believing her.
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