Monday, January 14, 2013

Person of Interest 2.12: "Prisoner's Dilemma"

“It’s funny how the choices you make change who you become. Pick one path or the other. You hear an explosion in a bank, try to help and suddenly all these years later, I still wonder if I’d re-upped after the towers came down, who would I be now?”
- Reese

We pick up pretty much right where we left off. John is still in custody in Rikers and Donnelly has tasked Carter with shaking our 4 suspects and using her superior interrogation skills to make them crack. Carter chats with each of our guys and they give their explanation of why they were in the bank the day of the explosion and what they do. On the surface they all look legit. Which is the problem for Donnelly. It’s all too neat and clean. He has men looking into the three suspects who were hired to take out our Bonnie and Clyde as their aliases live out of state. So Donnelly and Carter take a trip to John Warren’s Wall Street investment firm. Carter has a little chat with Finch after seeing the place (it looks legit) and she learns that John Warren is Reese’s most complete cover and is never used for work. It also most closely mirrors his real past which I found to be very intriguing, picking out which details we knew from past flashbacks were false and which might be true. I also had a serious “aww” moment (okay so a couple) when Finch got back to the library and Bear is sad that Reese isn’t with him. Poor pup misses his other daddy.

We have a very small side plot with Lionel this week so I won’t take much time on it. I do like they are using him more. He basically gets assigned to watch out for this week’s POI, a pretty Russian model. We see them throughout the episode as they meet 9and Lionel gets pepper spray in the eyes), to them being chased by the Armenian mob and finally escaping their pursuers. Lionel even gets a kiss from the leggy blonde afterwards. Of course I have a feeling he’s going to have a hell of a time come the next new episode.

Things aren’t going to end well for Reese. Not only does he have Donnelly trying to nail his ass but the government types from the beginning of the season (the ones looking into Corwin’s death) are sending a guy into Rikers to kill all 4 suspects. He gets arrested for discharging a weapon in public. Back in Rikers, Donnelly gives Carter an earpiece so he can direct the interrogations. That’s not really letting Carter do her job, buddy. Just saying. Anyway, Carter goes back in with Reese and we learn he killed someone in 1995 in Bosnia. He doesn’t like talking about it. I have to say this was probably the most vulnerable we’ve ever seen Reese. He usually hides his emotions well. We also get a flashback to Prague in 2007 where Reese and Kara complete a mission by taking out a US traitor and some Asian businessmen trying to buy secret government tech. Reese is a little uncomfortable but Kara tells him he needs to learn to love his work (which is basically being a killer). Back in 2012, Carter and Donnelly go hard at all 4 guys, testing the limits of their cover IDs. And so far they’re all holding up. Except that Carter is being a little nicer to Reese. She claims it’s to build rapport. Pretty soon our 4 suspects are down to 3 when Donnelly uncovers that one of our guys is an ex-Navy Seal. So he’s off the board.

The warden steps in to order the prisoners to get an hour of yard time and of course Reese ends up getting summoned to a meeting with Elias. I have to say, I love the continuity on this show and how characters don’t just show up and fade and are forgotten. Elias still has a lot of pull in the crime world and he does owe Reese for saving his life. Anyway, Elias offers Reese his assistance and Reese tells him to get a photo of the government guy to Finch. Reese can’t be seen talking to Elias though since Donnelly once thought Reese was in Elias’s employ. Luckily, Lionel IDs the guy as one of the government spooks sniffing around Corwin’s death. We also get another flashback, this time to 2009 in Paris where Kara is a little annoyed at Reese for question their orders of who to kill. But they do their gig without another complaint.

In the present, Carter is trying to get Reese to explain why he didn’t re-enlist after 9/11 when one of the other suspects says he wants to talk. He reveals his true identity and wants immunity. Donnelly says if he can tell them who the man in the suit is, he’s got a deal. Finch then triggers the fire alarm so Carter can slip her phone into the suspect’s pocket. Finch bargains with him to finger the other remaining suspect instead of Reese. Unfortunately, Donnelly’s paranoia is rising and he distrusts the ID. So he’s going to go after Reese, especially since the government guy got to the first suspect (made it look like a hanging suicide).

We jump back to Paris in 2009 again to find Reese and Kara finishing up their op when they get another gig. Kara offers Reese some time off but he says he’s fine. She’s apparently tired of him being a killer and a nice guy and tells him to choose. This prompts him to start snogging her. Back in Rikers, Carter is going full court press on Reese. He continues to answer her questions while Finch backstops the information but he needs time to build up a backstory for any relationship Reese brings up. So we learn a little about Carter’s military time. The first time she killed a man was during a 2am raid where someone failed to clear a room. Then Reese launches into a story about Alison West, the woman he loved, and the reason he didn’t re-enlist in the military. It’s a slightly opposite path story to what really happened, as we know. He and Jessica were in Mexico, not Niagara Falls and he did go back, despite not wanting to lose her. The truth bleeds through, though when he admits that he still lost her. I have to say, even if it was only half-truths, this scene made me tear up. The music, the way Carter was so wrapped in Reese’s tale and the way he spoke with that real emotion, that he really had lost the one person he’d loved. Damn Jim Caviezel!

Donnelly still isn’t convinced Reese isn’t his man so he sticks him the yard with the Aryans (he ran into the guy who took Bear from earlier) and they beat the crap out of him. But Reese doesn’t fight back (Donnelly was hoping for some mad skills to pop up). Elias steps in just as our government spook is about to step in and stick Reese. Carter is obviously upset and goes hard at their last remaining suspect. She pushes him enough that he tries to choke her out. Reese is free to go and we get a rather amusing bit where Finch is in prison guard garb with a shot gun ready to storm the castle and get Reese out. But Carter has beat him to it. She and Reese have a chat on a bridge but before she can learn whether any of what he said was real, Donnelly shows up and arrests them both. Unfortunately, as Finch is out walking Bear, the Machine alerts him to a new number. Donnelly is in deep shit. A big truck flips the SVU with him, Reese and Carter in it and from out of the shadows, a woman appears and shoots Donnelly twice in the head. Can’t say I was sorry to see him go. And we finally have the dream team reunion. Kara greets her old partner (we flash back briefly to prior flashbacks where they were told by Agent Snow to kill each other in China) and she drugs him. I can’t wait to see how Reese reacts after waking up from his drug/car crash stupor.

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