Person of Interest 1.20: Matsya Nyaya
This week’s title is an interesting bit of trivia. “Matsya nyaya” is a Hindu phrase that means “law of the fish”, or basically “the small fish become prey of the big fish”. A Hindu principle is that government is required to prevent this fundamental law of nature. All in all, an interesting little bit of philosophy when thought about in the context of this week’s episode…
Flashback to 2010 – Reese and his female partner, Kara, are in the middle east, interrogating a suspect. Reese checks his voicemail and gets a message from an old girlfriend, Jessica, who he hasn’t seen in 4 years. She is really distraught and he promises her that he’ll come get her within the next 24 hours. A while later, agent Snow (the CIA guy who had Reese shot earlier in the season), shows up. He tells them that a laptop containing a dangerous computer virus has been stolen and they are both immediately reassigned to China to recover it. Reese tells him that he can’t go because he has a family emergency, but he’s told that he doesn’t have a choice. He’s also told that Kara is working with Hezbollah and after they recover the laptop, he is to kill her.
Back in 2012, Carter and Reese are having a drink at a bar and seem quite at ease with each other. She tells him that she doesn’t trust anyone at the force including Fusco. She trusts him and Finch, but she wants to know as much about each case as they do. Reese agrees, shows her a picture of the latest number, and tells her that they will work together. Carter recognizes the person – he’s seated behind them, kissing a girl. Reese informs her that the girl he’s with is not his girl. Just then she walks into the bar, sees him and the other girl, pulls out a gun, and shoots in his direction. The shot misses and Carter immediately grabs her and cuffs her, scolding Reese for not telling her more.
Finch calls Reese to ask if they’ve got the other case wrapped up yet, because he has a new number. Reese heads back to the bat cave and Finch wonders, in the spirit of trust and honesty, whether they should tell Carter that Fusco is working with HR at their “behest”. Reese thinks it’s safer for both of them not to know, however, so they concentrate on the new number. The number belongs to Tommy Clay, a family man who works a a “hopper” for an armored car company. Reese joins the company as a guard in training (leading to some ironic joking about him working as “something like” a mall cop in the past). He puts a license plate scanning camera on the armored truck and they pick up a van that has been following the armored truck. Carter tracks the van to the uncle of recently released felon.
One of the truck’s pick ups is 1.3 million dollars worth of platinum and Finch and Reese expect there will be a robbery when they pick it up, but it doesn’t happen. Just when Reese and Finch think they are in the clear, an explosion goes off, throwing the truck onto its side. The truck is under fire from automatic weapons and Reese manages to escape and shoots a masked man standing by the front of the truck. Another masked man has the driver hostage and Reese also shoots him. Seconds later, Reese is shot from behind (he’s wearing a vest) as is the truck driver. Before he loses consciousness, Reese sees that Tommy is the shooter. Tommy and the other gunman climb into a van and drive off, leaving Reese and the driver lying on the sidewalk.
2010 – Reese and his partner arrive in China to find a seemingly deserted city full of lots of dead bodies – the scene of a massacre. They find one mortally injured person who tells them that “they came and took the machine”. They search the compound and find a laptop. They then go looking for a safe place to hide out until they can be extracted.
2012 – Reese wakes up in the hospital. He has broken ribs and a minor wound, but his vest did its job. The driver wasn’t so lucky – he’s dead. While the medical staff tries to resuscitate the driver, Reese looks to escape, but he’s banged up and groggy. Carter shows up at just that moment and helps him off the gurney and into a deserted room where they can talk. Finch calls her phone and is relieved to find out that Reese is okay.
Fusco, meanwhile, has also gotten embroiled in the same case. HR is running low on money so they are extorting it from the street thugs. HR sends Fusco to collect from a group of thugs and when he gets to the location, he runs into Reese, who went there after Tommy. They find two dead bodies and two empty cases that used to hold platinum. Fusco begs Reese to help him – HR will assume that he stole the platinum – but Reese assures him that he’s a good enough liar to weasel out – that’s why he picked him in the first place. He goes back to the HR guys and offers to help go after the platinum.
Carter interviews Tommy’s wife and it soon becomes clear that Tommy has a mistress, a waitress named Ashley. Reese approaches her and she tells him that Tommy was supposed to meet her several hours ago. She’s crying and tells him that they were planning on running away to Cabo together.
Agents Snow and Evans approach Carter and warns her not to talk any more to the FBI. He tells her that he’s closing his net on Reese and she’ll want to be on the right side when it closes.
Finch tracks Tommy’s phone (through a clever worm that he plants in the manufacturer’s software). He recovers Reese goes to a deserted gym and scuffles with Tommy and Reese quickly gets the upper hand. He asks Tommy where the platinum is, but he won’t tell him. Like all good villains, though, he feels the need to explain his motivations – he has been protecting other people’s money for 10 years and had nothing to show for it, so he decided to take his share this time. He’s not terribly intimidated by Reese, though, because he’s not alone.
Just then a gun cocks behind them – turns out Ashley is in on the whole plan, and she has a gun trained on Reese. Tommy ties up Reese and then the girlfriend shoots him. She then faces down Reese. He reasons with her and she lowers the gun and attempts to flee, but never makes it out of the gym. She’s shot by one of leaders of HR. He and Fusco enter the gym and check that all the platinum is there. Mr Bad Cop sees Reese and starts beating him with his gun. He goes to execute Reese but before he can, Fusco shoots and kills him, with Ashley’s gun. He unties Reese and they leave.
2010 – As it gets dark, Kara and Reese proceed to the extraction site. She sets off the flare that they were given and Reese steels himself to shoot her while her back is turned, but he can’t do it. Just as he is about to tell her his orders, she turns and shoots him – “it’s nothing personal”. She tells him that she was told that he was compromised and he tells her he was told the same thing – turns out the CIA wanted them both, as well as anyone else who had contact with the laptop, to die – the flares were actually a locator for an airstrike. Reese runs from the scene as fast as he can with his injury, and the complex explodes behind him, presumably killing both of them.
Finch and Reese meet in their lair and try to decide if they’ve accomplished anything. They decide that at least Tommy didn’t get away with murder…other than that, it’s pretty murky.
We next see surveillance footage and audio of Snow and Evans – they have a lead on Reese – an asset in North Korea tells them of an injured CIA operative that was helped out of China in 2010. The asset gave them the number for an offshore bank account, which was accessed just a few days earlier. This leads them to a hotel room. They enter and find it full of munitions – and a pair of high heels. Both of them are soon shot from behind with a suppressed weapon – apparently Kara isn’t dead afterall…
My thoughts: I really enjoyed this episode! (Disclosure: I enjoy them all!) The additions to the Reese back story brought as many questions (who is Jessica, does she have a son? Is he Reese’s son? What is Kara’s end game?) as answers (now we know why Reese was presumed dead and why Snow is so interested in making that rumor a reality). It’s so nice to see Carter and Reese interacting almost as if they are friends. When she showed up at the hospital, I’ll have to admit that the girl in me couldn’t help but think “awwwww…”. There also seems to be a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel for Fusco – it was great to see him save the day and take out one of HR goons that has been putting the pressure on him.
And then there’s Kara. When I first saw the last scene I wasn’t sure whether it was a flashback or not. After rewinding, it was clear that it was meant to be current day. She seems to be on Reese’s side…or is she acting on her own out of vengeance against Snow? Are Snow and Evans dead? Can’t wait to find out!
…goes to church every Sunday, except during football season… – Finch
…an ordinary guy – Reese
The people I help – I never know if they are going to be the victim or the perp. This time, I think you’re both – Reese
The problem with trying to be the bad guy – there’s always someone worse – Reese
What did you think of the episode? Watch Person of Interest on Thursdays at 9/8c on CBS!