Person of Interest 2.06: The High Road
2004 – Finch is giving Nathan a demo of the Machine and telling him about how he taught it to understand human nature. Nathan isn’t sure that Finch is the right person to teach a computer about human nature, but Finch shows him the Machine knows about the young woman that Nathan spent the night before with (he was on a trial separation from his wife at the time). The Machine also calls their attention to a woman, Grace Hendricks, who is painting along the water near them, but Finch assumes it must be a glitch (the woman is the same woman that Reese later discovered when he snooped into Finch’s past at the end of last season).
Back in 2012, Finch is looking into the new number when Bear jumps up on the desk and licks some of the donuts in a box on the corner of the desk. Just then, Reese arrives and grabs one of the licked donuts. Finch watches, amused and slightly horrified, as he bites into it, but doesn’t say anything as they get down to business. This week’s POI is Graham Wyler, who lives in…the…suburbs! He’s been married 14 years and has a teenage daughter, a house with a reasonable mortgage, and one paid-off car. He and his wife own a hardware store and seem very respectable and normal. Reese heads out to the ‘burbs to to the hardware store to check things out and bluejack his phone. He sees him in a clandestine dealing with an unknown man at the store as soon as his wife leaves. raising Reese’s suspicions.
Reese has misjudged the situation, though, as when Wyler goes to pick up his daughter after school, he shows her the tickets to Springsteen that he bought from the man in the store as a surprise present for his wife. Reese’s surveillance is thwarted when a cop arrives, and unimpressed with his charms, tickets him for being in a no-parking zone.
Meanwhile, Finch has done some digging and apparently the real Graham Wyler died in 1997, so their POI is an impostor. Reese brings his parking ticket home; he’s a bit frustrated about the logistics of doing his job in the suburbs. Luckily, Finch has a plan for Reese to blend in better. He’s bought the house next to the Wylers (for nearly $600k) as well as a car, wardrobe and, of course, golf clubs. Everything Reese will need…but a wife – that’s Reese’s to acquire.
Reese meets Zoe on a bridge. She asks what he needs her for and he pulls out a ring and asks her to be his wife. Clearly she accepts, as the next thing we see, Zoe and Reese (and Bear) are settling into their new home. Neither of them are thrilled to be in the suburbs and Zoe claims that this favor settles the score she has with Reese for saving her life. Finch calls and they discuss how best to make friends with the Wylers.
Turns out it will be pretty easy – the doorbell rings and there they are, with a dish full of ambrosia and an invitation to a BBQ later that day. At the party, Graham and Reese chat. Reese (all decked out in a polo shirt) tells him that he works as a private security consultant. Wyler shares that business at the store hasn’t been great. Meanwhile, Zoe schmoozes with Wyler’s wife. She tells her that she met Reese when she was stranded in town and he gave her a ride and they ended up spending a lot of time together driving around after that (haha!).
Wyler’s daughter brings him a blank postcard from Philadelphia that came in the mail. Graham seems disturbed by the postcard and leaves Reese manning the grill. Reese takes the opportunity to snag his beer bottle.
After the party, Reese lifts a print off the bottle and sends it to Carter to run. While they wait for Carter to get back to them, Zoe and Reese wonder what one does in the suburbs for fun. They settle on drinking, smoking cigars, and playing poker (and that’s different from what people do in the city?).
The next morning, Wyler looks exhausted as he walks to work with his wife. A man bumps into him on the sidewalk and calls him “Lloyd” before jumping into a pickup truck and driving off. Graham denies knowing the man when his wife asks.
Later, Carter calls while Reese is watching Wyler’s daughter’s soccer game. The print belongs to a man named Lloyd who is wanted for a string of burglaries. His buddies all got arrested in 1997. Carter sends pictures of the guys and of course one of them is the guy from the pickup truck, who is also watching the game. Reese heads to the parking lot to talk to him as the soccer game finishes. When they get to the parking lot, however, the man is gone, but the Wylers’ car is one fire. Graham’s cell phone rings, and it’s his old partner-in-crime, taking credit for the car fire.
Wyler is paranoid now, so he asks Reese to set up a security system for him. Finch comes out to install it, conveniently. He has done some more digging and found out that in all Wyler’s gang’s robberies, they used a safe-cracker. In their last heist, they shot a guard to get another employee to open the safe and they got caught and have spent most of the past 14 years in jail. Apparently Wyler was the safe-cracker. He didn’t participate in the last heist, and they hold him responsible for getting caught.
Wyler’s wife tries to talk to him about the insurance company and the car, but he’s very agitated and tells her that he needs to go to the store. He leaves the house and Reese drives up and asks him where he’s headed. Wyler tells him that he’s going to grab the train into the city. Reese tells him he’s headed in anyway and offers him a ride. They get to talking and Wyler tells Reese that he used to be a bit wild in his early days, but now he does everything for his wife and daughter, and Reese believes him.
Back in the ‘burbs, his wife is at home and she’s not happy, as Zoe and Finch can see on the security cameras. Zoe heads over to drop off the bowl that the Wylers had left so she can talk with her. They share stories about their “husbands”. The Wylers met at a Springsteen concert when Graham, a stranger, helped her fend off advances from an unwelcome man. While they talk, Finch is watching the whole conversation play out on the security cameras like it’s a show on cable.
2005 – Finch and the Machine are “playing” in the park. Finch asks the machine to identify links between various people he sees around him. The woman from a year earlier, Grace the painter, walks by and goes to set up her easel. and the Machine picks her up again. It keeps picking her up as an anomaly, but Finch thinks it’s because she’s a good person and harbors no ill will towards anyone (which is enough to make her an anomaly, apparently).
After dropping Graham off , Reese meets up with Carter, who has been watching (and listening to) the bar where Wyler is meeting his old team. Apparently they found him unexpectedly when they saw him in the background of someone else’s Facebook photo (!) after they got out of prison. They need him to break into an Everhold safe for a major heist and then they are leaving the country. They threaten to hurt his wife and daughter if he doesn’t agree.
Reese has heard enough and is ready to get physical, but Carter persuades him to wait so they can catch them in the act and have a solid legal case against them. Instead of beating them up, Reese bugs their truck so they can track it.
Wyler heads back home, checks on his daughter, and leaves a note for his wife. Zoe and Reese hear his wife call for him and realize that he’s slipped out of the house, avoiding the security cameras. Reese and Zoe head into the city while Finch hacks into Everhold Safe’s database to find out where the safe might be. They track the previous locations of the pickup truck and find a place that has a safe near a spot where the pickup was parked for several hours.
It’s a nice building with good security, but Zoe knows someone who will let them in. Wyler and his gang enter the building through a service entrance dressed as caterers. They have masks for everyone but Wyler. The nephew of the apartment owner is throwing a party and they are going to crash it. When the nephew opens the door, they storm in with weapons raised and demand that everyone give up their jewelry. They locate the safe and Wyler reluctantly goes to work.
Zoe and Reese meet up with Carter outside the building. Zoe introduces herself as Reese’s wife, much to Carter’s amusement/confusion. Zoe and Reese go to her old client’s penthouse apartment and gain access to the roof. Finch, meanwhile, hacks into the building security system and is able to access the security system for the apartment.
Reese rappels off the roof and down the side of the building, landing on the balcony outside the apartment. He disables the guard sent to investigate the noise, takes the guy’s clothes and mask, and enters the apartment. The party host uses the distraction to hit a panic alarm installed under an end table (who has a panic button under their end table?!). The alarm alerts the police, and the countdown begins. Finch asks Carter to do what she can if Reese is unable to escape before the police arrive and she reluctantly agrees.
Graham manages to crack the safe, and after removing the contents, his old partner goes to shoot him. Just then, Finch activates the apartment’s alarm and Reese takes the distraction to do what he does best – shooting kneecaps and kicking ass, enabling Wyler to gain control of the gun and point it at his old partner. Reese reveals himself and tries to convince Graham not to pull the trigger because of his family.
The police arrive downstairs, and Carter takes charge, taking them up to the apartment. Finch texts Reese that the back stairwell is clear and he and Wyler escape. After they get out of the building, Reese wants to drive him back to his family. However, the note Wyler left his wife told her everything, so he has nothing to go back to and he decides to turn himself in.
Several days later, Reese goes to the Wyler’s house. Graham agreed to be state’s witness against his old gang and is now on house arrest. His wife answers the door and thanks Reese, telling him that Graham told her that he helped him. Reese and Graham talk – he’s so glad that his wife is going to stand beside him.
Reese goes back over to “his” house where Zoe is waiting. She suggests that they need to get divorced…but there’s still time for one more exciting night in the suburbs if he wants to try to win his money back.
2006 – Finch buys an ice cream cone (in January), from his favorite truck by the park. The Machine texts him to let him know that Grace is in her normal spot by the water. He looks up and there she is, painting. He walks over to her and says hello.
This episode, while fun, didn’t live up to my expectations. The set-up of Reese and Zoe undercover in the suburbs as a married couple, while certainly not a unique idea, had a lot of potential. However, I’ve seen the same scenario used much more effectively on [easyazon-link asin="B009GYS73S"]Chuck[/easyazon-link] and [easyazon-link asin="B000BOH986"]The X-Files[/easyazon-link]. Even so, watching Reese trade his suits for polo shirts and the city for the ‘burbs was fun.
One gripe that I had is that the women in this episode didn’t have a lot to do. Both Carter and Zoe seemed underutilized, which is a shame as they are both fantastic. On the plus side, we’ve now seen Zoe in two consecutive episodes, making me wonder if she’s going to become a more official part of the Scooby gang.
We got another big glimpse into Finch and the Machine’s back story. I had been wondering when we were going to learn more about Grace, the love of Finch’s life (played by Emerson’s real life wife, Carrie Preston), and low and behold, tonight we did. Who knew that the Machine, among its many other talents, is also a match maker? I love the irony – the computer that Finch teaches to understand human nature at the expense of his own relationships actually brought him close to a woman that he would have otherwise never known. Maybe this was its way of “saving” Finch as we know that it was forbidden to otherwise protect him.
Suburbs? We’ve never had a number out there before – Reese
Unfortunately, murder isn’t confined to a zip code – Finch
It’s harder to tail someone in the suburbs than in the city – Reese
I heard. Your man-in-the-suit routine doesn’t exactly play – Finch
…hard to see how he had the money to move east, much less support a city lifestyle – Finch
Maybe he met a reclusive billionaire – Reese
Watch Person of Interest Thursday night at 9/8c on CBS!