Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Person of Interest 2.20: "In Extremis"

“I was a dirty cop. I killed people. But since I met you and our friends, that’s all changed.”
- Lionel

We have been waiting for a Lionel-centric episode all season and we finally got one. The Machine tracks back to after Reese’s first meeting with him and he’s burying Detective Stills. As he’s doing it, Lionel breaks down, and the Machine picks up chatter that an old buddy of Lionel’s (who is in prison with other members of HR’s dirty-cop network) is going to spill the beans on Lionel. In the present, Reese is acting as a waiter at a fancy award ceremony while Carter and Lionel attend Beecher’s funeral. The two scenes are intercut in an interesting way where Lionel confronts Simmons as Dr. Nelson (the POI of the week) accepts his title of Professor Emeritus and then runs into a patient, a colleague and his former research assistant. Simmons tells Lionel that IAB is looking into him. True to word, the minute Lionel gets back to the station, IAB takes his badge and gun. Meanwhile, Dr. Nelson is not looking so hot; dizziness, nose bleeds. Helping him is going to be interesting.

Carter is not a happy camper after trying to get Lionel to open up about what’s going on with Internal Affairs. Lionel reminds her of the time he tried to go to her to explain things and she wouldn’t listen. Now he doesn’t want to talk about it. Carter demands that Finch help her before she helps him run down names of potential people who want Dr. Nelson dead. Reese’s attempt to intervene with the good doctor goes sideways after his symptoms get worse and he calls 9-1-1. Nelson knows Reese from the reception and he thinks maybe Reese had something to do with it. Then the cops show up and Reese has to duck out.

As the questioning from IAB begins, we see a series of flashbacks to Lionel’s past. He first denies that he and Still were close friends but we see from a flashback in 2004 that they were really good friends. Stills even let Lionel stay on his couch the night his wife served divorce papers and kicked him out of the house. Meanwhile, Reese checks in on Dr. Nelson in the hospital while Finch retraces the doctor’s steps searching for anything. He finds low levels of radiation. The doctor was poisoned and they’re definitely too late. Nelson didn’t receive treatment in time so he’s got 24 hours to live. The Machine is definitely not acting as it should. But Reese convinces Nelson to help him track down the person who poisoned him. And that apparently starts with him trying to make amends with his daughter Molly (hello Claudia Donovan…why are you so far from the Warehouse?). She’s still mad at him for not being around but says she’ll call in the next day.

We jump back to 2004 to the first time Lionel helped out Stills and another friend of his cover up a murder of a drug dealer. It is very clear that he did not want to help but Stills twisted his harm into doing it. And by the way Lionel looks, he was expecting it to be a onetime thing. Carter pays a visit to the rat in prison and tries to sway him to do what she wants. He’s not giving it up though. It sounds like he’s made a deal with someone else for something sweeter than what she’s offering. She shares her lack of good luck with Finch but also tells him she found out the SEC is investigating the asset management firm of one of Nelson’s clients for insider trading. Reese asks Nelson about it and Nelson realizes he did tell his patient about the impending failure of a drug trial. The client’s company made $500 million. And now they have to tie up loose ends.

Reese and Nelson pick up the hedge fund manager and he eventually admits that his boss mace him commit crimes to turn profits and not get fired. He also eventually tells them where the boss is. They dump him on t5he side of the road and head upstate where Nelson has a chat with the guy and poisons him, too. Not really the kind of justice we see our boys dish out most of the time but I guess it works. Meanwhile, we also learn that Lionel has killed people. In 2005, he shot a guy but it was really self-defense. And that’s when he got in deep with the crew. The look on Carter’s face as she listens to all of this is just one of shock. Probably wouldn’t have been if she’d let Lionel tell her the truth to begin with weeks ago. Unfortunately, IAB has figured out that Stills is dead and they found four plots out in Oyster Bay that had disturbed earth from the night Stills went missing. So they’re going to find out which one contains the body by digging up all four of them come morning.

They finally let Lionel go to the bathroom and Carter confronts him. He admits to being a dirty copy, thinking at first he was cleaning up the streets. But he killed people and since he met her and Reese and Finch, things have been different. Carter is appalled and doesn’t want to hear it. She is really not interested. But come morning when IAB heads out to Oyster Bay, they find that where Stills actually was buried is empty. And as Carter heads home once Lionel has his badge back with Bear, we’re lead to believe she went and moved the body to protect Lionel. And it seems perhaps Elias had something to do with getting the rat inside to shut up about Lionel’s involvement in HR business. The more pressing issue is the Machine. It’s been giving them numbers too late to save people for several numbers now. And we see the entire Machine start to go red and pixelate before it all just shuts down. Whatever the virus is that Stanton planted, it’ found its target and it isn’t letting go any time soon. Our boys are going to have to do some fancy maneuvering to save the Machine before it’s too late.

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