Monday, February 18, 2013

Person of Interest 2.14: "One Percent"

“Finch, how do we keep up with a guy who breaks all the rules?”
- Reese

Overall, “One Percent” was not one of my all-time favorite episodes. I found the POI of the week to be annoying and that just detracted from the story for me. Reese is out surveying our newest number, Logan Pierce, self-made billionaire. He’s playing a pick-up game of basketball with some guys before heading off in his ridiculous sports car. It turns out we’re basically getting Person of Interest’s version of “The Social Network”, complete with the IPO going public. In an effort to get eyes and ears on Logan, Reese has to go to a black tie charity auction. He speaks briefly with Logan but Logan finds him boring and moves on. See, another reason I dislike this guy. We get to the auction part of the evening and Reese feels the need to outbid Logan to make a point. Of course Finch is aghast at the fact Reese just threw down $10 million. Reese tries to keep taps on Logan but he disappears to have a tryst with his competition’s wife and then ducks out the roof on a helicopter. And then there’s the matter of poor Bear. He’s all depressed and won’t even play fetch.

Carter and Lionel have a very small side plot this week so I’ll just get it over with quickly. Carter is still looking into the IAB detective’s disappearance and now she’s picked up on Detective Stills. Obviously Lionel can’t admit he had something to do with both of those disappearances (or that Reese was involved with the first one). Near the end of the episode, he tries to come clean but Carter won’t hear it. She tells him that she believes him that he’s doing good now but if his past comes back to haunt him, he better not expect her to cover his ass. Carter does have something else to do for our boys though. She’s sorting through all 200 lawsuits against Logan and his company.

Our first flashback this week is to 2001 where Finch is working on starting the Machine. Nathan comes in and tells him that something has happened. They turn on the news and sit and watch footage from 9/11 in quiet horror. And so the real idea for the Machine is born. In the present, Reese is tracking Logan to a dry cleaner. Logan’s basically got boxers and a coat on. And he apparently only owns one suit. Finch has taken over the dry cleaners and swaps Logan’s credit card for one with a listening device. Reese then tails Logan back to headquarters for some depositions in a couple of the many lawsuits pending. It seems the company is very litigious and will file bogus infringement suits if small CEOs or competitors try to go toe to toe. But Logan agrees to give one guy startup capital. Another case, with a match-making site, is a little curious because the plaintiff has disappeared. Logan doesn’t seem that worried as he heads off to Coney Island for a bacon wrapped hot dog (it sounds revolting). On the way, Logan’s breaks won’t work and he’s tuck at 50 miles per hour. Finch manages to reset the system just in time to avoid turning Logan into a road side pancake. Unfortunately, when Reese catches up with the car, Logan is already in a taxi pulling away.

Reese’s solution is to bust in, beat up Logan’s security and say that he can keep him safe if they stick together. Logan seems intrigued by the idea and so he lets Reese hang around. He blows off a party that night to hang out at home and play video games. And drink scotch that is poisoned. Reese manages to save him by improvising an intubation tube to get air into his lungs. Reese also learns that Emily Morten (the match-making site designer) is tech savvy and could be after Logan. And the Board of Logan’s company has voted him out as CEO. Logan is just not having a good night.

We flash back to 2009 and Finch and Nathan have already sold the Machine to the government and it is on the train to its new home. Finch thinks now they can invest in things like clean water and energy but Nathan said they had their shot at helping the world with the Machine and they just gave it away. Finch says they need to move on but Nathan isn’t having it. We already know he built in a back door. And we see him following a woman whose number has come up. I’ll be interested to find out eventually how Finch learns about the back door and what Nathan is doing. And we still never found out how Nathan died.

Reese and Logan have a little heart to heart where Logan isn’t quite as annoying. We learn his parents went bankrupt because his dad couldn’t anticipate and keep up with change. Reese lets Logan get some sleep and meets Finch on the street to pass of the decanter with the spiked scotch. Finch also brings up that Bear seems upset. Well yeah, his master’s not been around and he’s been in stressful situations. Unfortunately, Logan shows up and reveals he figured out the listening device and he wants answers. He’s impressed, however, with their nonexistent digital footprint. Finch tells him that he should stop digging into their affairs if he wants to stay alive. They’re going to take him to a safe house but he has a better idea. He drags Reese halfway around the world to St. Petersburg to a bar in a former bomb shelter for pirogues. You see why this guy got on my nerves. Reese was getting pretty testy near the end, too.

Reese has even more reason to be cross with Logan when his lawyer shows up. In short order, Reese and Finch reveal that the lawyer was the one behind the spiked alcohol. Reese takes him down just as fifty or so of Logan’s friends show up. Infuriated that Logan isn’t taking his safety seriously, Reese leaves. Of course he gets called back when Finch tells him that Logan’s number is up again. It appears that someone else wants Logan dead and now we know why. He’s actually partnering with Emily Morten to take her software public. And he’s also partnering with his competition. His current business partner isn’t so happy about that and gets a bunch of thugs to beat up Logan and they’re about to dump him over the side of a bridge when Reese shows up and deals with them. Back in New York, Reese finds Logan playing ball with his buddies and he ends up giving them his car. I guess he’s trying to de-junk his life or something. He gives Reese a gift (a multi-million dollar watch that tells time to the nanosecond) for saving his life. Reese presents it to Finch as they’re out in the park, watching Bear play with a new doggie pal (really Bear just needs some quality time with Reese) and Finch smashes it. Not surprising, Logan put a GPS tracker in the watch. I have a feeling Mr. Pierce is going to show up again later. If not this season then perhaps in season 3.

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