Person of Interest 2.13 Dead Reckoning
I have to apologize – my DVR chose 10 minutes before the show to die a sudden, tragic death, and so I had to write this based on just the live viewing, so it may be lacking my usual detail and/or have some errors. Disclaimers aside, WOW, what an episode!!!
We start out with the car crash, Kara shooting Donnelly, and abducting Reese. Carter is left in the car, unconscious. A cell phone rings and Carter stirs. She is finally able to get her hands on the phone and sees three missed calls. The phone rings again and she answers. She’s dazed and Finch asks her if she’s hurt. She isn’t, but she’s still handcuffed to the car. She warns him about Kara, but he already knows. He tells her that she has to leave the accident scene immediately, before anyone sees her. She’s reluctant to leave the scene of an accident, but Finch’s insistence cuts through her mental fog (He even calls her by her first name!) She finds the handcuff key on Donnelly’s body, frees herself, and staggers off.
Elsewhere in the city, Reese also wakes up – he’s in the back of a public bus filled with normal people going about their lives. Kara is across from him and Snow beside him and both he and Snow are wearing bomb vests. The bomb detonators are cell phones and she’s got them both on speed dial if they try to escape or disarm the bombs. She gives Reese an earpiece and tells him that he and Snow will run errands for her. If they succeed, she won’t blow them up (yeah, right!). She gives Reese a piece of paper and exits the bus.
Carter is at home – she may not have any serious injuries, but she’s banged up pretty badly. She’s checking herself out when Fusco calls to report Donnelly’s death. He tells her the Feds are asking for her and she tells him that she’s on her way.
At the accident scene, she does her best to act normal. Fusco asks if she’s heard from Reese or Finch – Finch called him the night before and said it was an emergency, but he never met him afterward. Carter shrugs him off as an FBI agent approaches her. He asks if she spoke with Donnelly after he left Riker’s, but she tells him that she hasn’t. The Bureau had been getting concerned that he was getting obsessed and paranoid about the man in the suit and he asks her what she thinks. Carter tells him that Donnelly was a good man.
Carter starts poking about in the wrecked car, looking for something. Fusco approaches, holds out a gold ring. She accepts it gratefully. The two of them meet Finch down by the waterfront. He gives them the info he’s obtained on Kara, which includes information about a hard drive. Carter remembers Snow mentioning both Stanton and a hard drive when she confronted him before.
Reese and Snow are in some grimy building, running an errand for Kara. They knock on a large, industrial door and hear gunfire. Seconds later, though, the door opens, and a man ushers them inside. Another man is playing a first person shooter video game while they talk with the man. They’ve come to pick up a hard drive he formatted. The man is very impressed with the technology and tries to raise his price. Kara tells Reese to kill him, but Reese doesn’t immediately, so she arms the bombs on both of their chests. Snow, Reese, and the two men draw their weapons, but before anyone can shoot, the two men are killed from shots fired through the building windows – Kara is outside with a sniper rifle. She disarms the bombs (it’s Reese’s last warning, she says) and Reese and Snow leave with the hard drive.
2010 – in the Middle East. It’s the same scene we’ve seen before where Reese and Kara are sent to China after a laptop. We see Snow tell Reese to kill Kara and then tell Kara to kill Reese. In China, after they recover the laptop, Reese can’t shoot Kara, but she does shoot him, although not fatally. Reese realizes that they’ve been set up at the last second and he hobbles off as the cruise missile hits it’s mark and the town is engulfed in flames.
Kara regains consciousness surrounded by Chinese solders. She next wakes up in a hospital – she’s the only patient in a large multi-bed ward. A handsome, smartly dressed older man comes to see her. He knows her name and a whole lot more. He tells her that info is his business and he has the hard drive that they went in to recover and he asks her if she wants to know about it. She doesn’t care and tells him off.
Present day – Kara, Reese and Snow are at a dinner. Kara’s annoyed that Reese won’t eat. She tells him that Snow was like that initially, too, not eating to get at her, but then he accepted his fate. Reese tells her that he’s just not that hungry, but assures her that he when he does fight back, she’ll know it. Snow gets tired of their discussion and tells them that they’re both damaged goods, which is why they were ordered to kill each other. The missile was just back-up.
Two men get up from the counter and Kara indicates that Reese and Snow are to follow them and steal their car. Reese disables the first man, and prevents Snow from killing the other. In the car are the man’s jackets – they are ATF. A cell phone rings in the car, and Reese answers it, saying as little as possible. The person on the phone says there has been an incident at 780 Mercer and their presence is requested. Reese tells him that their own their way. He ditches the phone and they take the car and jackets.
Finch and Bear are in the library, worrying about Reese. Carter calls – she has some more information on the hard drive – it’s an NSA certified secure hard drive – serious stuff. Finch’s phone buzzes – he has a text from an unfamiliar number – all it says is UXO. He reads it aloud to Carter, who tells him that it is a military acronym for “unexploded ordinance”. They realize it must be a message from Reese – Kara has got him wearing a bomb vest. Carter attempts to track the cell phone.
Reese and Snow show up at the address they were given. Ironically enough, a bomb threat was called into the office building. As they enter the building, NYPD tries to stop them, but they pull rank and head for the elevators. Kara tells them to go to the 21st floor.
Finch calls Carter – the building has 21 floors, but only 20 in directory. The 21st is registered to Stillwater Industries, a shell corporation, likely a Defense Department facility.
Kara tells Reese and Snow to go the the 21st floor – it’s a Level 5 Defense Department Facility. She tells them to kill the Delta Force soldiers protecting the place, but Reese shoots knees instead, and binds the men in duct tape. He again has to stop Snow from killing them.
2011 – Kara is still in the hospital, watching TV in Mandarin. The smartly dressed man is back. She suspects he works for the Chinese government, but he denies it. He talks about the Titans – how they were scared of their children, much like Kara’s government is of her. He wants her to work with him – he can offer her answers. She wants to know who is responsible for her near death – not Snow, but the person who sold the laptop to the Chinese. He tells her that the Titans were defeated when Zeus choked on a boulder.
Snow and Reese disable the security cameras and Kara instructs them to head towards an area marked “Applied Research”. The facility is a secure government computer facility. Kara won’t tell them what he goal is. Reese takes a hostage and uses his hand print to access the facility. He forces him to log-on to the computer in the room. Reese assumes Kara can’t hear them or blow them up because cell signals are blocked in the room. He tries to convince Snow to disarm the bombs and defeat her, but Snow isn’t going to play along. He stays at the computer work station while Reese has the employee take him to the server room. Once away from Snow, he convinces the employee to help him so they will both survive.
Reese asks what they are working on in the facility and the man tells him that it is all about cyberweapons, including a supervirus called Cignus. Finch, meanwhile, has been searching and also knows about Cignus. It has the capability to kill the entire internet, even shut down The Machine.
Reese triggers the fail safe to erase all the drives, but just as the sequence starts, the bomb on his chest is armed. Snow sees the containment system come on and his bomb arm as well. Reese comes back into the room and he and Snow fight. They stop when the bombs change from armed to a countdown. Just then, Kara shows up with a big handgun. She didn’t trust Reese to actually do what she wanted. Reese tells her that the drives are all erased. She doesn’t care, though, she didn’t want to download something, she wanted to upload something. She stops the bombs and marches them all into another room where she uploads something from the hard drive to the server that monitors all other government computer systems.
Reese pleads with her not to go through with it, but she touches his cheek, and then arms both bombs with a 5-minute countdown. She locks them into the facility and shoots the hand canner security device. The employee shows Reese how to overload the power supply for the door and they are able to get it open. They grab their ATF jackets and Reese tries to convince Snow to leave with him and get to someplace away from civilians before the bombs explode. Snow refuses and tells Reese that he’s going to go to an Agency safe house. They fight, but Snow escapes.
Meanwhile, while this was all going down, Fusco and Carter managed to get into the building and climbed up 20 flights of stairs. They run into Reese in the hall and Carter wants to help him disarm his vest. Fusco and Reese remind her of her son. She pleads with Reese to let her try, but he refuses. He says goodbye to them both, then heads for the roof.
As he gets on the roof, Finch approaches him. He threatens to shoot him, but Finch knows he won’t. He’s never defused a bomb vest before, but he knows the basic idea. He talks himself through it step-by-step, which makes him seem incompetent and pretty much convinces Reese that they are both going to die. He thinks he can disarm the bomb by hacking the phone. He manages to narrow down the unlock code to 5 choices, but the phone only gives you 3 changes to put in an incorrect code. He tries the first two, but they are wrong.
Kara calls the well-dressed man as she leaves the building with the hard drive. She tells him it’s done – she wants the name of the person who sold the laptop. He tells her that all he has is the name – the person otherwise does not seem to exist.
Finch is down to his last chance on the phone code. They remember that Finch told Reese initially that sooner or later they would likely both end up dead. Finch would rather the later than sooner, however. With less than 10 seconds until detonation, Finch makes one last try at the code and the countdown stops at 7 seconds. He and Finch breathe a sigh of relief and wonder about Snow.
After getting the name, Kara climbs into a car. To her horror, Snow is in the backseat. Seconds later, the car explodes in a massive fireball, killing them both. Carter and Fusco are watching the roof, but no explosion. Seconds later, though, they hear the car explode and run to the scene. There is nothing left of the car and the area around it is scorched.
Reese has a joyous reunion with Bear back in the library. Finch is trying to figure out what Kara uploaded, but all he can tell is that it will go live in 5 months. Reese thanks Finch for saving his life.
Carter is at work when the FBI agent investigating Donnelly’s death comes to see her. He tells her that the suicide bombers were rogue CIA agents and shows her pictures of Kara and Snow. He tells her that they are convinced that Snow was the Man in the Suit, but now he’s dead.
We see surveillance footage of Kara talking on the phone, then getting into the car. The car explodes, sending debris everywhere. A small piece of burned paper floats through the air. There’s a name on it – Harold Finch.
WOW! After the last episode, I wondered how they would manage to wrap up the Donnelly story with Reese and Carter still safe and also where the show would go from that point. Pinning all the Man in the Suit stuff on Snow is near perfect as he fits their profile in so many ways and was in some of the same places as Reese.
I also had pondered Finch’s connection with Reese based on Alicia Corwin’s being involved in his last mission and this week’s bombshell suggests that Finch was much more directly involved than I could ever have imagined. We’ve got another big mystery that can be slowly revealed over the remainder of the season. What exactly was on that hard drive, and how did it end up in China? If Finch was responsible for it being there, why? Does it have to do with The Machine? Was it actually intended to be some sort of altruism that got out of control, or does Finch have a much darker past than we currently know?
I’m really looking forward to getting those questions answered. Meanwhile, though, with Kara, Snow and Donnelly dead and 5 months before Kara’s cyber weapon is set in motion, there’s time for the show to lighten up a bit and go back to predominantly non-mythology episodes for a few weeks while slowly building towards that climax, likely for the season finale.
Other things that I really liked about this and every other episode is how the relationships between the characters keep deepening. The entire cast has fabulous chemistry and it’s really enjoyable to see how they have evolved since season 1. Carter’s desperation to save Reese, even at the cost of her life, after she already risked nearly everything else for him in the past few episodes, was a terrific bit of acting and writing and a fantastically poignant scene.
Finch and Reese on the roof was also a great contrast, thinking back to the pilot. In the past season, we’ve really seen that they genuinely care for one another and will do whatever is necessary, but it takes a little something extra to stand seconds away from certain death to try to disarm a bomb to save a friend.
This show just keeps getting better and better! I can’t compliment the creators, writers, and cast enough! It’s definitely become my one “must see” show of the week.