Monday, December 12, 2011

Person of Interest 1.07: "Witness"

Hey everyone, it's Sarah. Jen has given me the privilege of posting directly to More TV, Please! So from now on, I'll be posting my Body of Proof and Person of Interest recaps, along with a few Ringer or New Girl come January while Jen is out of the country (lucky girl). So here's episode 7 of Person of Interest. Enjoy.


“The machine found the man who was targeted for death. We just didn’t know he was also a killer. John we have limited information. We knew when we began this that we might make mistakes.”
- Finch

This week we begin with a phone call where two guys, one sounds Eastern European, set up a hit on an unnamed target. Through surveillance footage we see a guy get shot twice in the chest at close range in a convenience store. Carter and Lionel are on the scene and it turns out the victim was Benny Degastino, a member of the Italian mob. There’s a gang war going on between them and the Russians and this murder was likely payback for a slew of murders a few weeks earlier. And it turns out our mysterious Elias is the head of the Italian crew. But, the cops think they’ve gotten lucky. There is a witness. Meanwhile, Reese is busy snapping photos of Charlie Burton, a high school history teacher living in Brighton Beach (Russian mob territory) (played by the wonderful Enrico Colantoni of Veronica Mars fame). Just as Finch relays that there’s nothing really special bout Charlie, Lionel calls tell Reese about the missing witness. Turns out the witness and Charlie are one in the same. And a Russian hit team has just showed up at Charlie’s apartment to finish what they started. Reese has no choice but to go in.

In typical Reese fashion, he just appears in Charlie’s living room. I have to admit I would be a little freaked out too. But he gets Charlie to go with him. They get out of the building without being spotted and Reese takes out one of the guards but his phone gets smashed in the process. So he and Charlie are on their own. Reese steals a car to try and get Charlie back to Manhattan to tell the cops what he knows but the Russians shoot up the car and one of the bullets hits Charlie. Another exciting casting choice about this episode is that one of the Russian is played by Enver Gjokaj (Victor/Anthony from Dollhouse). And his character kind of reminded me a little of some of the imprints he had as a doll. Anyway, Reese and Charlie head in to the Double Bs, an apartment complex run by a Bulgarian drug lord. Even the Russians are scared to go in.

They wander through the building, spotting some drug dealers, before finding an empty apartment that is pretty disgusting. But it will work. Reese gets Charlie’s story and it seems credible. He was grading papers late and went to get something from the store when the Russians showed up. He claims Benny had a message for Elias that Vinnie would finish the job. But Charlie says he doesn’t know anyone named Elias. Reese inquires as to why he didn’t’ call the cops and Charlie says that the Russians own the neighborhood and you never know which side they are on. Back across the river, Lionel, Carter and their gang task force buddy are talking to Benny’s wife. She tells them that it doesn’t matter if they find the Russians that killed her husband because Elias will and he’ll kill them all. She says that Elias is on the war path and is going to reunite the five families and wipe the Russians out.

Near Charlie’s apartment, we see Finch fiddling with an ATM camera, likely to hide the footage from the shooting so that they can’t find Reese or Charlie. But a bystander caught some of it on her phone and they find out one of the guys that were after Charlie is the son of the head of the Russian mob. Apparently, Finch didn’t wipe the ATM footage; he just made it so he could remote access it from HQ. He’s checking the footage and finds a silver SUV pulling up in front of Charlie’s building and a cop getting in. He calls Lionel to have him the license plate and says the Russians might not be the only ones looking for Charlie. Speaking of the Russians, Lazlo (Enver) wants to bust in to the Double Bs and hunt down Reese and Charlie. But his brother, Peter, tells him they have to respect the agreement with the Bulgarians. They will cover all the exits so that Reese and Charlie can’t get out.

Inside, Reese is trying to bond a little with Charlie, asking how he got involved with teaching. It’s not nearly as complicated as his own change in career. Charlie is trying to help his students, many of whom are descendants of Russian mob members, to get out of the life. It doesn’t always work. Reese outs down to the guys we saw earlier to get some drugs to help Charlie with the pain. It wouldn’t be an episode of Person of Interest if he didn’t get to beat some people up while spewing witty banter. Meanwhile, Finch pays a visit to Lionel and tells him to report the car (which could belong to Elias) stolen and to send the report to an email address.

At police HQ, things are starting to fall into place. Carter makes the connection that Elias’ father last ran Brighton Beach before he got locked up. So junior is trying to clean it up and claim what is his. Reese returns to their crappy hiding place with the drugs (cocaine) and some crazy glue to numb the pain and seal the wound. Unfortunately, the Russians and the Bulgarians are going to hunt them down together since Reese beat the Bulgarian boys up and stole their drugs. Reese goes all MacGyver and finds a still-working landline to call Finch. He explains the situation and tells Finch to get a message to Lionel that they will be on the East River ferry to Pier 11 at 7am. And Finch finds them an escape route. Unfortunately, they don’t get to use it. But one of Charlie’s students, Will, let’s them hide out in his apartment. He’s even tough enough to make the Russians go away.

Finch gets the vehicle report from Lionel and calls Vehicle Recovery to get the GPS locator and microphone in the car turned on. He’s going to do a little surveillance of his own. He tracks the car to a parking garage and snaps a bunch of photos of the cop he saw before. He speeds off pretty quick when he gives a report that the Russian have Charlie trapped in the Double Bs. Finch thinks this cop could be Elias. Reese and Charlie are still hiding out in Will’s apartment when he tells them they should use the old entrance to the building. So, they head back the way they came and end up having to hide out in the same apartment to keep from being spotted. And they manage to snag Lazlo as a sort of hostage.

Back in the city proper, Carter and her gang buddy are paying a visit to Peter’s dad, the head of the Russian mob. He denies knowing anything about the convenience store shooting and alibis his son a being in the house all day. He also says that he didn’t start the war. Elias did by coming into the Russians’ territory and making trouble. Back in the Double Bs, Reese gets a message to Finch to let Carter know where the Russians and reminds him to let Lionel know where to meet them. Things are starting to look up when Finch overhears a conversation in the silver SUV in which someone says they got a tip that Charlie and company would be a pier 11. Finch thinks Lionel is the leak. Unfortunately for Lionel, the other cop shows up and knocks him out when he’s on the phone with Finch. We see the cop take Lionel’s gun as the ferry is approaching.

On the ferry, Reese is trying to get Charlie to agree to testify but things take a turn for the weird. We get intercut between the ferry and the interrogation room with Carter and Peter and we learn that Charlie is Elias. I have to say I thought Elias would be younger. And I’m not sure I like that it was sort of wrapped up in this episode as to his identity and what he wanted. But, he makes Reese flex cuff himself to the railing and he shoots Lazlo in the leg. Elias tells Reese that if they stay out of each other’s way, they won’t have any problems. Elias gets away clean and Reese is not happy that because they saved this one man, more number could come up. We see the cop shooting the Russian mob boss in his office before meeting up with Elias on the pier and walking away.

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