Thursday, October 13, 2011

Person of Interest 1.02: "Ghosts"

Sarah's back today with a write-up of a recent episode of the other show she's covering for MTVP this season, "Person of Interest." Enjoy!


“I know what it’s like to lose someone and to feel the need to disappear. But trust me; you don’t want to leave people behind.”
- Mr. Finch

We begin this week with a man talking on the phone to who we assume is his wife. He’ going to meet her at their usual place and he’s carrying flowers. He gets on to the elevator and just as the doors are about to close, a man rushes in. It turns out to be John. Somehow he’s looking less gray than he did in the pilot. Anyway, he strikes up a conversation with the flower guy, Bill. And within seconds it becomes clear that Bill’s number is up. Bill’s been cheating on his wife and John says that while some women would just leave, others would hire hitmen to make it look like a robbery gone bad. He takes out the two hitmen in the elevator and as the doors open on the ground floor, Bill backs out as John coolly walks off, recommending Bill call the cops and a good divorce attorney. John does like his violence.

We briefly see a man answer a pay phone. He’s been given an assignment and I’m betting it’s not to deliver dry cleaning. He appears to be a gun for hire. We then find John on the street and he calls Mr. Finch. They’re on opposite sides of the street but they can’t just meet. It would look sketchy. John gives Mr. Finch a rundown of the night before and says he wants to meet. Finch tells him they’ll meet when he (Finch) wants to. Meanwhile, Detective Carter shows up at the scene where John took out the two hired guns. For once, he only wounded them. Even though it’s not a homicide, she says it is part of a bigger investigation into the man in a suit who “helps” people. I have a feeling she doesn’t like our unconventional vigilante.

John and Mr. Finch eventually meet up in a cemetery. The machine gave another number, belonging to a fifteen-year-old girl. But there’s a problem. She’s been dead for two years. Murdered along with the rest of her family. Identity theft in week two, really? Things get even weirder as we get our first flashback. We hop to 2002, shortly after 9/11 to find Mr. Finch in a rather large building, running on a treadmill. Another man, who appears to be his business partner, shows up and says they’ve won another award for service to humanity. He’s more interested in what Finch is working on. He’s got all the feeds from the NSA that covers New York. He’s still teaching the machine recognize to people by cell phone data and facial recognition. He wants to be able to teach it sort though the people, seeing as terrorists don’t just stand out on street corners. But it is likely to take another four or five years to get to that point. I like that we are seeing the development of the machine and how Finch got to where he is now.

Back in 2011, John and Finch meet up at the last place Theresa (the dead 15-year-old girl) was seen. She and her family went out on their boat, and supposedly no one came back alive. The father killed the two kids and his wife and then killed himself. But Theresa’s body was never recovered. Something is obviously fishy here. John is off to twist Lionel’s arm for information. He needs the police report from the case. Lionel is less than pleased to see John again. Apparently IA is looking at him pretty hard. John could care less. He just wants the file. Back at HQ, he’s watching old footage of Theresa’s aunt and uncle after the bodies were discovered. He’s also got a lead in a friend Theresa was arrested with once or twice. John thinks it was a professional hit made to look like a murder/suicide. So we actually get to see Finch out in the field. And he’s not half bad. He gets the aunt to tell him that she and her husband divorced and that they didn’t have any kids, though Theresa was like a daughter. She’s hoping that the currents will bring Theresa’s body back so she can have some closure.

At police headquarters, Carter is running into more trouble. She’s got John’s prints at eight crime scenes but half the files are redacted. Looks like the feds aren’t going to play nice. Meanwhile, John is still looking for Theresa but has no luck, until he spots the kid she was arrested with. The kid claims he hasn’t seen her since she’s been dead. It gives John enough time to clone the kid’s phone and see he sent a message to “T”. John finally spots her and chases after but gets cut off before he gets too far. Plus, Theresa had a blade and cut his hand. He seems more pissed about losing her, honestly.

In a surprising turn of events, we see where Mr. Finch actually works. He appears to be a somewhat low-level employee named Harold. But John’s done some digging (and showed up at the office kind of creepy-like). Finch owns the whole company and if John were to say the wrong thing or talk too loudly, most of the office would be overhauled to keep the secret. John explains he lost Theresa and he’s going to look into who the shooter was while Finch searches for the uncle (who is MIA) and looks further at the father’s financials. John gets Lionel to help him out again by taking him to a bar where he can find a fixer. Said fixer usually has a cut in every contract killing in the city but won’t talk to anyone who just walks through the door. John doesn’t seem concerned. He goes and gets thrown out immediately. He gets up, dusts off his jacket goes in again and beats the crap out of enough people so he gets a name. The guy’s in prison though. He doesn’t deny killing the family but says he doesn’t kill kids. So John thinks whoever hired him found out and sent a new guy to finish the job.

Finch has found some useful information. The uncle had some land holdings in a company and sends John the address to check it out. Unfortunately, just as John gets there and finds Theresa’s uncle, Finch says he’s found Theresa through the skimmer she’d been using to support herself. She tried to sell some credit card numbers online. John finds her just in time for the new hired gun to show up. They have a fight and it looks like John’s gotten beat for once (ncluding smashing through a window). But he puts three or four bullets in the guy and gets Theresa to at least go with him to a hotel. Too bad the hitman was wearing a vest.

John took the liberty of renting the whole floor in the hotel on Finch’s card so they would be sure no one would bother them. As soon as Finch arrives, John’s off to have a word with Theresa’s uncle. We get a quick glimpse of the hit man installing a wiretap on the aunt’s phone as she calls her ex husband again asking him to call her back. Things aren’t exactly as John assumed when Theresa said she didn’t trust her uncle. It turns out the uncle got some money launderers involved in one of his brother’s land holdings that was affected by an oil spill. The government didn’t clean it up fast enough so the shady guys hired a hit man to take out the family and made the uncle the administrator of the estate. So now John understands why they’re after Theresa. She’s the legal heir to the land (and it’s gone up in value 40-50 times).

Back at the hotel, Finch tells Theresa that he saw her aunt and relays the message that she’s missed and loved. Theresa really is not too trusting. But we get another Finch flashback, this time to 2007, when his partner discovers that the machine picks up non-terrorist crimes too. He’s appalled that they’re not doing anything but Finch says that he’s set it to erase the irrelevant list at midnight (information we already knew). Back in the present, John’s relaying the information that Theresa is worth millions just as the uncle gets home to find the hit man sitting in his living room. The uncle gets dead pretty quickly while John follows the father former business partner to a meeting with a councilman. Somehow John manages to find a dump trunk to commandeer long enough to hit the business partner’s car. But he’s too late. The hitman listened in while Theresa called her aunt (didn’t say anything but it was long enough to trace the number) and is now at the hotel.

Theresa and Finch manage to trick the hitman a couple times by turning on the light in the adjoining room when he kills the power in the hallway. And calling her cell phone on the room phone while they slip out into the hallway. Things aren’t looking good when he corners them. But Theresa is ready to face him. Luckily, John shows up and puts a few bullets in him (not enough to kill). Later that night, John calls Carter. He’s tired of her just chasing after him and asking questions, so they set up a meet. Of course he doesn’t actually show up. Carter brings all kinds of back up and all she finds is Theresa sitting on a wall waiting for her. We get a pretty happy ending. Theresa is reunited with her aunt and her father’s ex-business partner is arrested. John shows up at the office of the company Finch owns to find Finch gone and none of the employees seem to know what happened. Just as John is about to leave, Finch calls and says that he’s really not a trusting man and that in the future, he (Finch) will call John. As Finch leaves the building, we see a bust of his former business partner with what looks like a year of death as 2010.

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