Thursday, November 7, 2013

Person of Interest 3.07: "The Perfect Mark"

“No, you didn’t think. You just looked the other way.”
- Carter

This week is all about the hypnotherapy. At least that’s what our heroes think at first. Their latest number is one Hayden Price, hypnotherapist who is actually a con artist who uses certain imagery techniques to gain access to patient bank accounts. It seems he’s got a girlfriend who is a former patient and all he wants is to get enough money to escape this life and jet off somewhere exotic with her. Despite having no more patients for the day, he pops off and meets a guy and adopts a European accent to dupe a guy as Reese and Shaw follow. Things look kind of sketchy when a fraud investigator shows up and Hayden shoots him. The cop shoots him too and the mark scurries off, leaving them to split the money. This is kind of crazy. Oh and Root is still being held captive at the library. She points out that Finch is jealous that the Machine talks directly to her and not him. I’m not really sure where the Root storyline is going at this point. And I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, I really wish the HR plot would wrap up soon.

It seems I may get my wish sooner rather than later. Carter is having coffee with the head of HR and she declines his offer to get the mayor involved in following her leads on Cal’s murder. I swear she needs to wise up to his involvement. Anyway, Simmons is up to his old shenanigans. He sets Carter’s partner up to take out a money launderer who just so happens to be one of Price’s clients. Finch has gone back to see Price and things get a little dodgy when Finch starts probing into what brought the pseudo-therapist to New York. And Carter, Reese and Shaw all converge at an auction house (where Carter’s partner and one of the other HR cops are watching. They seem to know that Price is a fraud and Simmons orders they do a two-for-one. And Carter is confused as to why an antiques dealer would be laundering money for HR or why he spent almost $1 million on an old baseball card and then just chuck it away in a cabinet in his shop. Something tells me he may have inadvertently allowed Price to get some HR’s money. Which would explain why they’d be going after them both now.

Our heroes’ time table is moved up considerably when Price decides to skip town with his honey. He heads to his office and is destroying files when two masked gunmen descend on a window cleaning thing outside and shoo the place up. Shaw and Reese show up just in the nick of time and we get a bunch of exposition. He didn’t know he was stealing from HR. He may be a con man but he’s probably not that brainless. Anyway, he can’t go anywhere without his girl (who Finch has secreted away to safety in a motel). Meanwhile, Carter gets an explanation of the HR money laundering outfit. They get dirty money from the Russians, they give it to the antiques dealer and he moves it into his own accounts and then bids high on specific auction items as instructed by HR (the stuff is usually worthless or a fake).

Carter’s partner is getting squeamish about what Simmons has told him to do and the reality that he didn’t think before getting into bed with HR is painfully smacking him in the face (as is Carter…albeit verbally). But she gives him a task of shadowing Simmons the next day while she gets some answers from the antiques dealer. He does one last job and bids on a $4.4 million dollar signed baseball. Unfortunately, Price has played them all a bit more. He altered an email telling the dealer to bid of lot 426 instead of 424 so he got the real ball. And then a kid comes in and buys the real one for $5. Carter and Lionel do a little interrogating of their own and learn that the dealer had customs trouble when he got into the country and Simmons agreed to help if him he laundered funds. And then we get a rather amusing bit where Lionel squirts fake blood all over the dealer’s face and makes it look like he’s dead so that Carter’s partner can send it to Simmons. Too bad HR realizes the ball mishap and tells the rookie to hold off. Things are definitely not going well for our team. I do like that Carter’s investigation seems to be tying in to the case our guys are working. It’s a nice way to bring everyone together.

Of course, Price has run off and gotten the baseball back from the kid. He calls his girl and promises to explain everything. But HR is on to him, too. They are going to take him and his girl out and it seems like it’s going to work. Lionel confirms the ball appears real just before Price gets the call that HR wants him to bring it to the auction house in exchange for his girlfriend. Carter’s partner is tasked with watching the girl while everyone else goes inside. And when everything is sorted, he’s supposed to kill the girl. Oh and one can hope he actually got a picture of the head of HR talking to Simmons earlier. Luckily, Carter and Shaw show up to get the girlfriend to safety. Too bad the ball Price brought is a fake. Something tells me our guys switched out the real one for a fake.

Well my prediction was completely wrong. The girlfriend was working a con on our con man and she bribed the kid for the real ball and jetted off somewhere nice and warm. Reese and Shaw let Price go but tell him to get out of town. A reasonable request. And back at the library, Finch and Root have a moment where they both say they’re worried for the other. Something big is coming and Root thinks that she can finish what Finch started. They really have an odd relationship.

And things with HR come to a head. The dirty cop reports to Simmons and Simmons basically says to go find Carter’s partner and hunt down the real ball. He shows up at the partner’s place but the kid doesn’t answer. Probably because he’s giving Carter the lowdown on his pictures. Unfortunately, the cop shows up and things get messy. Both he and her partner die but before he breathes his last, he points to the head of HR in one of the photos. If Carter wasn’t on the super crazy war path before, she sure as hell will be now. The next three episodes have been touted as a three-week event. I shudder to think what the carnage will look like when November sweeps is over.

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