Thursday, March 1, 2012

Person of Interest 1.13: "Root Cause"

“There are no bathrooms on a stakeout, Finch.”
- Reese

This week we begin with the Machine going a bit crazy picking up chatter on a traitor. Next we find Finch getting to HQ and pouring himself a cup of morning tea before calling Reese. In quite a comedic scene we find Reese still dealing with a different number (aka Reese is kicking the crap out of the guy while Finch stands making hilarious eye twitches at the sounds). Of course, there’s a new number; Scott Powell. Husband and father of two, he looks pretty normal and he works in construction. Reese follows him to a park where he makes calls for want ads. Apparently Scott’s been out of work for eight months and has been selling stuff at pawn shops to get money to make it look like he’s been working. Reese tells Finch he needs Carter to do a background check on Scott while he continues to tail him. Lionel is still tailing Finch (though he doesn’t know it). And since Finch needs access to Scott’s home computer, he’s joining Reese on the stakeout. This is going to be good.

On the stakeout we learn a little something about Pringle cans. They’re aluminum and the perfect dimension to pick up Wi-Fi radio signals. Yay for MacGyver-ing stuff. They find a big encrypted file as well as Scott’s blog on politics. They also hear him get a call for a 2-day staff position at an event which turns out to be for a Congressman (same one who pushed for the budget cutbacks that put Scott out of work). Finch decrypted the file to find an anonymous email account sending death threats to the Congressman. Carter also finds out he applied for a firearms license for a rifle. Looks like he’s going to assassinate the Congressman. Reese and Finch manage to get into the event (though Reese has to toss his gun in the trash to get through security) but things start going wonky. Finch’s system alerts him to discrepancies in the death threat emails and Reese tackles Scott to find he has a confetti canon only to see another man shoot the Congressman. Reese chases after the shooter but loses him and Scott gets arrested. Someone has set him up.

Reese calls Carter to see what’s going on with Scott and she tells him the Feds have swooped in and are taking him into interrogation. She manages to slip in to watch (with her phone still on the call) and they hear the Scott denies owning a rifle or shooting the Congressman. Whoever set him up did really well (they weren’t even on the surveillance cameras. Unfortunately, everyone in the room gets a text from the hospital saying the Congressman died. Scott’s facing a murder I charge. The Feds let Scott call his wife and he tells her to cooperatie and to take the kids away from the house for a while. Poor guy. I really do feel bad for him, especially knowing that he hasn’t been completely straight with his wife about the job situation.

Finch thinks he’s gotten into the hacker’s system and finds blueprints of the federal courthouse. Whoever set Scott up is going to more than likely take him out there and so Reese heads off to do a little rescuing. Yes, he actually kidnaps a guy in federal custody from the FBI. Just as Reese lets Finch know of the success, Finch realizes they’ve been played. The hacker let them in and is now monitoring all of their communication. Time to go off the grid.

Finch picks up a burn phone and leaves a message at the hotel Reese is heading to with the new number. Finch is now holed up at the public library where he’s meeting a specialist. Zoe Morgan (the POI from “The Fix”) is back to help our boys out of this jam. While Finch is explaining the situation to Zoe, the Feds are talking to Scott’s wife and they dish out the cold truth about his unemployment and maxed out credit cards. Back in the hotel room, Scott is watching news footage of reporters trying to hound his wife. He doesn’t understand why someone would set him up but Reese doesn’t have much time to explain or console. They’ve got company in the form of a hit man. Reese takes him out long enough for them to get away but the guy is by no means out of the game. Zoe works her magic on Mr. Matheson (the dead Congressman’s business partner and campaign manager). She tells him she knows about how he’s been cutting corners and paying off inspectors and that he is going to lay all the blame on the Congressman. Right after Zoe leaves, Matheson calls his hacker and she threatens to expose him of he doesn’t do what she wants. She then gets in contact with the hit man to send him after Reese and Scott in the subway.

Reese is trying to give Scott a pep talk on the train after realizing the hit man probably planted a tracker on Scott earlier that day at his house but Scott is pretty dejected. He wants to talk to his wife to explain he didn’t do it. Reese agrees and calls Carter to set it up. He tells his wife he’s going to fix the situation but Reese cuts the call short when he spots the hit man. The hit man follows who he thinks is Scott into the men’s room only to be beaten down by Reese. Scott’s made it to the precinct to turn himself in. Reese gets into a cab where Finch is waiting and the hit man’s phone rings. The hacker is calling to see if the job’s done. Finch answers that it’s not quite done but will be soon and sends Carter the recorded conversation between Matheson and the hacker. Cops show up at Matheson’s house to find him dead with a suicide note on his computer.

Scott has obviously been released and he’s home with his wife. They’re being hounded by reporters and both Zoe and Reese are watching. I was a little disappointed they only had one scene together and it was the very end. But there’s still a hint she could come back again. She wants a drink with him as compensation for her work. Finch is back at the library and he gets an incoming IRC chat from the hacker. I’ll be honest, at first I thought it might be Zoe but all the timing of when the hacker showed up didn’t fit. But now, it looks like Finch has got himself a new foil and foe. This is going to be very interesting.

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