PERSON OF INTEREST Recap: Social Networking

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Person of Interest 2.14: One Percent 

This week’s POI is Logan Pierce – a college-dropout with a genius IQ and weak social skills who started a social networking site called Friendczar (haha) with his best friend, making them both billionaires. Their company is soon to go public, for a major windfall. Pierce is attending a benefit auction and Finch has already picked out Reese’s tux.

Carter is still looking into the disappearance of Davidson based on the anonymous tip, and now she’s suspicious about Stills – two missing cops in one year, no bodies. Finch emails Carter with a list of people suing Pierce and asks her to look into the plaintiffs’ backgrounds.

Reese makes his grand entrance at a charity auction

Reese makes his grand entrance at a charity auction

Reese goes to the auction and watches Pierce, his partner Justin Ogilvy and his lawyer Jeremy Campbell. Reese is undercover as a hedge fund manager with a $100 million portfolio. Pierce is greeted by Caymen and his wife, competitors that Friendczar ran out of business. Caymen and Pierce get into a bidding war over some some letters written by Albert Einstein. Reese outbids Pierce ($10 million) on  because he is annoyed that Pierce is used to always getting his way. Pierce get a phone call and Reese follows him (he was unable to bluejack his phone). He finds Pierce kissing Caymen’s wife in an out of the way area.

Reese gets distracted for a minute and Pierce disappears. Out in the street, Reese hears a helicopter and sees one take off from the building behind him, which is apparently illegal in Manhattan, just Pierce doesn’t care.

2001 – Finch is working at a computer in a dark room in a tall office building when Nathan arrives. He turns on the TV – it’s 9-11 and Finch has been totally cut off from the outside world all day and is completely oblivious of what has happened. They vow to do something to change the world – they need to do something to prevent future attacks.

Pierce shows up in a coat and boxers to pick up his dry cleaning. Finch is behind the counter and hands over his suit while swapping out his credit card for one with a microphone. Pierce proceeds to get dressed standing in front of the counter (and the windows) and then leaves the store. Pierce then goes back to the office for a meeting involving one of the many lawsuits Friendczar is involved in. His next meeting doesn’t show – Emily Morton, who has developed a dating website, Alchementry, who Friendczar has sued for for patent infringement. Her lawyers don’t know where she is.

Pierce tells off one of the Friendczar board members and heads to Coney Island for a hot dog, Reese following behind on a motorcycle. His car soon is careening out of control – he can’t slow down his car. Finch is able to hack into his fancy car’s system and reset it, allowing him to stop seconds prior to smashing into a large truck. Reese goes up to the car and opens the door, but he’s not there. Reese sees him jump into a cab half a block away.

Giving up on subtle tactics, Reese decides to take the direct approach and goes to Pierce’s office. When Pierce refuses to see him, he tosses his security guy into Pierce’s office and storms in. Pierce agrees to let Reese stick close to him for the next 48 hours. He takes Reese to his apartment and offers him a drink. Reese refuses, but Pierce pours himself a glass. Finch calls to tell Reese that the Friendczar board has replaced him as CEO due to his erratic behavior.  When Reese breaks the news to him, he is non-plussed and downs his Scotch.  Within seconds, Pierce is in obvious distress – he is having an allergic reaction and his throat is swelling closed. Reese grabs some tubing from the bar and managed to intubate him with it so he can breathe (ok, the show’s medical advisor seriously missed the boat with this scene!).

Some time later, Pierce has recovered and he and Reese talk. Pierce’s parents both went bankrupt – they weren’t willing to change, but Pierce isn’t going to make the same mistake. He tells Reese that he’s going to bed. Reese leaves him for a while, taking the Scotch bottle with him. He meets Finch on a street corner, gives him the bottle, and gets keys to one of Finch’s safe houses. As Reese turns to leave, Pierce is right behind him.

Pierce has a pretty good profile for both Finch and Reese and he’s realized that they don’t have a digital footprint. He knows who they are, just not what they do. Finch reminds him that they have saved his life twice already. Pierce suggests a different safe house – in St. Petersburg, Russia. He and Reese fly there and he shows Reese his bomb-shelter cum bar and offers him some pierogies. Reese is getting pretty annoyed.

Carter finds prints on the Scotch bottle – it’s Pierce’s lawyer, Campbell. Just then, said lawyer shows up in St. Petersburg with some papers for Pierce to sign. When his board forced him out, his non-compete clause was nullified  so he’s already looking for his next project. Reese confronts the lawyer and accuses him of trying to kill Pierce. He unwisely tries to threaten Reese, who quickly drops him and cuffs him. Just then, a bunch of Pierce’s friends show up for the party. So much for a safe house. Reese storms out.

Fusco talks to Carter, who is still investigating the missing cops. He tries to come clean to her about his past, but she cuts him off. He has told her that he has changed, and she trusts him, but she doesn’t want to hear about his past mistakes and they’d better not come back to haunt him because she will not back him up, even if they are partners and friends.

Reese talks with Emily Morton

Reese talks with Emily Morton

Another number has come in – it’s Pierce’s again. Apparently Campbell wasn’t the only threat. Finch tells Reese that Pierce’s credit card was just used at a hotel, so he goes to that hotel and Emily Morton opens the door with a gun. Reese quickly disarms her and she tells him that Pierce had hid her there – he planned to use Alcheminstry to destroy Friendczar after the board relieved him of his position.

On a bridge, Ogilvy and two thugs confront Pierce. The friends argue – it was Ogilvy’s idea to sue all their competitors, and Pierce didn’t agree with it. Ogilvy leaves and tells the thugs to get rid of Pierce. Reese arrives just in time, shoots some knees, and rescues Pierce

2009 – Nathan comes in to tell Finch that the Machine is headed to Des Moines. Finch tells him that they could get involved with green business and other ways to give back. Nathan points out that they lost their chance when Finch gave the Machine away. Nathan asks him what if they had a way to communicate with the Machine and could still help people, but Finch shuts him down.  We later see the Machine predict a “non-relevant crime”.  Nathan has a picture of the person involved and goes to her house. We see him sit in a car with a gun as she walks by, followed by a hooded man presumed to be her violent ex-boyfriend.

A news station reports that Ogilvy has been arrested for attempted murder and that Friendczar stock has tanked at the news of a new venture from Morton, Caymen, and Pierce. Reese watches Pierce play basketball with some guys at an outdoor court. He makes a bet to swap cars with the first person to score a hoop. One of the guys immediately grabs the ball from him an dunks it. He gives the man his car keys.

Reese approaches and shoots a perfect hoop.  Pierce thanks him for his help and gives him a gift – his watch, or a replica of it. Reese shows it to Finch, who immediately stomps it underfoot, reviewing a GPS tracker inside (hope that wasn’t actually a $2 million watch). Pierce is too smart, too rich, and too curious!

My Thoughts:

After the last three blockbuster episodes, the bar had really been raised and it’s not surprising that this week’s episode felt like a bit of a let down. There were some very interesting bits, but overall it seemed to try to hard.  There were tons of pop culture references this week, with a few scenes seeming pulled right from the screenplay of [easyazon-link asin=”B0034G4P7G”]The Social Network[/easyazon-link]. While these scenes and the other references to social networking were entertaining, the A plot didn’t tie in well with the minimally developed B (Fusco and Carter) or C (Bear the dog being depressed because he needed a friend) plot lines.

The introduction of yet another character who knows way too much about Reese and Finch is intriguing, especially one as seemingly unstable and erratic as Pierce. How long can Reese and Finch remain secret with Elias, Root, Pierce, Leon, the teenage computer guy from a few weeks ago, Zoe, and several other rather powerful people having a pretty good idea of who they are and what they do?

The few flashbacks were informative – we learn that Finch’s access to the Machine was indeed Nathan’s “contingency” and that he initially tried to do the same thing Finch and Reese now do, and potentially died because of it.

Memorable Quotes:

He’s a college-drop out? I’m guessing it wasn’t to become a professional athlete – Reese

I thought you invented social networking, Finch. – Reese
Well, he perfected it – Finch

You know what they say – what happens on Coney Island… okay, well, I guess nothing good really happens on Coney Island – Pierce

Exactly how much money do you have? – Reese to Finch

Do you like pierogies? – Pierce
You flew me halfway across the world for fried dumplings? – Reese

Cay’s family thinks her obsession with pop culture is “not normal”. Normal is boring!