I hated this episode the first time through. It reminded me unfavorably of last season’s third episode, “Lady Killer.” Second time through, I realized it actually had quite a bit of charm.
Andre was part of my original dislike for the episode. His piggish comments and profession were never going to endear him to me. But his person of interest story really did work. No, it didn't reinvent the wheel but at least Andre’s inner turmoil over turning on his friends was underplayed. Most of the time, it just doesn’t work when the show’s persons of interest get all emotional because the show hasn’t invested enough time in the character to get us to care. Here, the show didn’t even try and was the better for it.
They tried with the humor but I honestly think it could’ve worked better. There was something just off about Andre and Fusco’s rapport. Or was that just me? Also I kept expecting Shaw to show up and allow herself to get picked up so Fusco could save face with Andre. He did see her (allegedly) checking Fusco out but that was all we got. On that front, I’m also disappointed he didn’t recognize her (or acknowledge recognizing her) at the end. After his whole “women wear high heels because men like it” thing I kind of wanted him to acknowledge that an itty bitty woman just saved his life. And a dog. Never forget the dog.
Balancing out Andre and Fusco’s Hitch act were two side plots: The Misadventures of Root and Finch and Reese’s one man crime solving show. The Root and Finch pairing only gets better with time. He’s snarky, she’s smug, and it just works. The Machine in its/her infinite wisdom cooked up a terrifying alias for Finch and sent him and Root on what appeared to be a series of bizarre errands. I was ready to relate Finch’s quest to the tale of Abraham and Isaac (God commanded Abraham to kill his son Isaac to test his faith but stops him at the last minute) until Finch abruptly backed out of the arms deal with the mob. Oh Finch, ye of little faith. But then, it turned out that Finch didn’t need faith in the Machine; the Machine had faith in him and knew he wouldn’t go through with the deal. It’s an interesting dynamic. Almost as if the Machine was trying to reassure Finch that it was still good after his crisis of faith at the beginning of the season. In the last episode Root told Finch that the Machine believes that “humans must make their own choices.” But here, it knew what choice Finch was going to make before he did. What does that say about the concept of free will under the Machine? And how does this relate to what happened with Congressman McCourt last season?
Rounding out the hour was Reese and the show’s new “ma’am,” Captain Moreno, who is quitting smoking and is not happy about it. Reese’s transition from vigilante to cop has not been a smooth one. He used to be able to kneecap whoever he wanted and drop them at Carter and Fusco’s feet and then run off to buy more suits and ammunition. Now he has...paperwork. Now he has to prove people’s guilt using (gasp) legal methods. Poor thing. What are they doing with Captain Moreno? Are she and Reese going to be a thing? Will she be Team Machine’s newest recruit? Is she secretly working for Decima/Samaritan/Greer? She was too central to the episode to be irrelevant. See what I did there?
Bits and Pieces
Fusco called Reese “Mr. Fabulous.” Fusco could give Sawyer a run for his money in making up nicknames.
Finch’s tough guy persona was Mr. Egret. Also, did Egret seem like Finch’s best impersonation of Reese to anyone else? In any case, Finch playing tough was one of the highlights of the episode.
Bear is seeing a lot more play this season. There’s no bad there.
Root’s also competing in this season’s kneecapping Olympics. Reese and Shaw better watch their backs. And their knees.
Moreno: “What is that, the third or fourth guy you’ve kneecapped this month, Riley?”
Reese: “Fourth, ma’am.”
Moreno: “I suppose I should give you points for being such a good shot.”
Reese: [smiles stupidly]
Moreno: “Hey you in the fancy suit.”
Shaw: “Do you know how expensive a nice pair of heels are? What a racket.”
Shaw: “Don’t worry, Reese. Harold and I decided we needed someone with a few more people skills and a little less hair gel.”
Fusco: “I think I know who’s going to kill our guy.”
Fusco: “I’m not cynical. I just know that people are terrible.”
Andre: “Smile, but not too much. You don’t want to look like a crazy person.”
Finch: “Are you feeling a little exposed having an anti tank missile in our possession the middle of Manhattan or is that just me?”
Root: “This is going to be interesting.”
Finch: “It’s going to be a lot less interesting when we’re dead, Ms. Groves.”
three out of four missiles, or is that too much?
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