Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Person of Interest 3.15: "Last Call"

“I understand you won’t give up on Aaron. I won’t give up on you.”
- Finch

This week begins right in the thick of things. Our number belongs to a Sandra Nicholson, 911 operator. Finch has gone undercover to keep an eye on her up close while Reese and Shaw keep eyes on them from afar. Finch does quite well handling a call, until he realizes it has to do with squirrels eating a guy’s car interior and transfers it away. We also get to see Sandra in action when she helps a co-worker keep a woman in a sinking car calm and gets her out alive. She’s rather impressive, I must admit. It makes me wonder what is going to happen to her. Across town at the precinct, Lionel is getting asked for all kinds of advice from how to get DNA to identifying a murder weapon. It seems with the takedown of HR, he’s shed his dirty cop persona is now a venerated detective. Finch reminds him of this and he goes to help a new transfer with a case. We do learn that Sandra has a sealed juvenile record but since the department has cracked down since the whole HR mess, Lionel can’t do anything without a court order. Back at the call center, Sandra gets a call from a little boy whose apartment is being broken into. Reese and Shaw head off in case the cops don’t’ arrive in time and things go south quickly. The little boy is discovered and the guys who broke in are now holding him hostage. If Sandra doesn’t do what they say exactly, he dies.

It seems like Lionel is going to be stepping into a mentor position with this rookie. They head to the victim’s workplace after Lionel points out details on the body that lead them to believe it was murder. The dead woman’s coworkers are kind of creepy in that “we’re so perfect” kind of way. Reese and Shaw make it to the apartment but no one is there. Thanks to Finch setting up a feed on the boy’s laptop, they see that he was kidnapped by a Mexican cartel band of kidnappers. With an assist from Lionel, Reese is on the way to talk to (which probably means beat up) some cartel guys while Shaw is off tracking the GPS of the caller. The mystery caller has some ground rules for Sandra once he establishes he’s not messing around and that the kid is really in danger. First, she calls off the police and marks the boy’s call as a prank in the system. Next he has her disable the backup generator. She starts to draw the line when he orders her to delete thirty thousand calls from two days earlier. My guess is this guy knows a call went to 911 that could hurt him and wants the evidence gone. We’ll see if I’m right. I have to say I’m very impressed with how calm Sandra is in this situation. I suppose you’d have to be in her job. We also get a little nugget of information about that sealed juvenile record. Something happened with a little boy name Joey. And things get more complicated when Shaw stops the car with the GPS and doesn’t find anyone in it.

In typical Shaw fashion, she’s already got the driver tied up in the trunk when Finch explains that the device she found in the back seat is a phone relay. It’s how the caller is getting through to Sandra. And it seems I was right that there is a call amongst the 30,000 that the caller is trying to get rid of. Finch realizes that the caller has placed a webcam on Sandra’s headset and that’s how he knows everything that’s going on. Creepy! Finch manages to mute the call and offers to help Sandra by looking through the calls to find the one they need. While she’s off getting a fob from the IT guy to delete the calls, Finch narrows down the potential calls to 312. Just as time is running out for Sandra to get back to the server room, Lionel realizes that his homicide victim is probably the 911 call the guy is trying to delete. It would appear that our two cases are dovetailing nicely. I have to say, I always like when that happens. Unfortunately, Sandra looks at Finch when she walks back into the server room. Big mistake.

The caller sets off a bomb in a parking garage and promises that the next one will blow up Aaron. Sandra now has fifteen minutes to delete the files. Meanwhile, Finch gets the backstory on the sealed juvenile record. Sandra was babysitting a young boy who drowned in the bath. Even though she was acquitted, she still felt guilty and she’s going to do what is asked to save Aaron. Reese and Shaw get a description of the kidnappers and of course Reese does get to go beat the crap out of some Mexican thugs. Oh, and Lionel and his newbie partner make some connections of their own. Their murder victim was sleeping with the boss and the boss and his wife hired someone to get the 911 call deleted. They didn’t know that he was going to kidnap or harm a child. They manage to call off the operation just as Sandra is about to delete all the files. Her services are no longer needed but the caller can’t risk any details getting out. So he’s going to kill Aaron (the bomb countdown has less than three minutes left) and the power goes out at the call center. At least Shaw and Reese are in the building where Aaron is being held so he’s got a shot at being rescued. And Finch convinces Sandra to leave the call center a different way, seeing as it is likely the caller is waiting for her to follow protocol and leave through the front entrance. It turns out that was probably the wrong move as there’s a guy shooting at them. Reese and Shaw manage to take out the kidnappers and defuse the bomb so Aaron doesn’t go boom but they’ve been played again. And the guy chasing Finch and Sandra at the call center is just another errand boy as well. It seems they are setting up another nemesis for our team to face off against. Sandra gets some closure thanks to Finch but the mystery caller warns Finch that he is the next target. Finch doesn’t seem particularly perturbed by this. Which makes me think we really need to be worried about what’s coming.

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