Person of Interest: Pretenders (4×06)
Synopsis: Reese has an admirer who got in with the wrong people. Finch is off in Hong Kong making lady friends. Shaw and Fusco are just along for the ride as Elias and the Brotherhood clash.
This week on Person of Interest, John has an admirer and things get complicated because of it. Their number is that of a man named Walter. He’s a virtual nobody. The guy works a normal office job, has an amazing mustache, and appears to be rather typical. That is, until they realize he’s been investigating the death of an employee’s brother. The brother supposedly committed suicide, but for some reason Walter doesn’t buy it and ends up in the middle of a gun smuggling scheme because he decided to stick his nose in the wrong place.
While the team at home deals with the number, it is revealed that Finch is in Hong Kong attending a conference as his alias. The highlight of it is when he meets a lady who ended up criticizing his work. Harold, never one to really let other people get to him, shrugs it off and verbally spars with her over the research they both do. Eventually they hit it off, even though she still wasn’t convinced about his opinions, and they get their own little adventure together.
It was nice to see Harold interacting with people outside of Team machine. Sometimes I forget that he can be a rather charming individual. I also appreciated the fact he got kissed on the cheek, because Michael Emerson once pointed out that the only on-screen kiss he’s ever gotten was with his own wife (Carrie Preston). Of course I wouldn’t consider a peck on the kiss an “on-screen kiss,” but I remembered that little mention and smiled none the less.
Back at home, Reese, Fusco, and Shaw attempted to keep Walter from being kidnapped. Early on Reese realized that they weren’t trying to kill Walter, they were trying to capture him. Though he was unsure as to why this was the case, they ended up bringing him into the precinct to try and keep him safe.
I appreciated the character. At first, after seeing the preview last week, I worried that I was just going to be annoyed. The last thing I wanted was for some dopey, annoying character to screw everything up for the sake of trying to be just like Reese. Instead, the writers gave viewers something a little more. The nice thing about Walter was that he, in a way, represented the audience. A lot of numbers have looked at what Team Machine does in awe, but not quite like Walter.
Somehow, Walter understood it on a different level. He wanted to make a difference, wanted to change his little corner of the world, and got a chance to be a part of something absolutely fantastic. He also pointed out the fact that Reese really is a superhero, and for some reason that stuck out to me. I don’t know if anyone’s brought up that fact before. Aside from the Machine, the Brotherhood, Elias, and all of the other crazy things, at the end of the day Reese is a superhero-like character. For some reason I forget just how phenomenal he is because week after week everything he and the rest of the team does is just expected.
Walter brought in a fresh point of view I think I needed.
Back in Hong Kong, Harold and his lady friend walked down the street and ended up getting mugged. Instead of calling the police, Harold insisted they go after it themselves. They tracked the delivery boy who stole their bags back to the restaurant he worked at and waited. Once he was about to drive away, Harold took the kid out with an umbrella and retrieved their bags.
In the middle of a gun smuggling investigation, Scarface showed up disguised as an FBI agent to try and grab Walter and take him back to Elias. Apparently a few of Elias’ men had, at some point, infiltrated the NYPD because Fusco gets knocked out, Walter almost got snatched, and Reese ended up having to pull a gun only to make eye contact with Scarface. He quickly realized that Elias had something to do with the entire situation and tracked him down almost immediately.
Elias informed Reese that he was not the one smuggling guns as much as he was attempting to be the one to control the smuggling of guns. It is Elias’ same stance, that crime will always happen and therefore all that is necessary for peace is someone to rule over the crime. Unfortunately he’d met his match in someone called “The Armorer,” who happened to be a front for the Brotherhood. So Elias is pitted against the Brotherhood in a fight for control of New York City crime, all while a crazy supercomputer watches everyone’s moves.
Thing moved forward and Walter ended up getting kidnapped by the Brotherhood. Reese finally figured out that while Walter didn’t know anything, he had the cell phone of someone the Brotherhood had accidentally murdered. They’d used the victim (the brother of Walter’s co-worker) to drive in the crates of illegal, “next generation” guns and he’d ditched the truck after having a change of heart. Of course the Brotherhood wanted their product and went to any means necessary to obtain it. The cell phone Walter had led them right to the shipment, just in time for Reese to swoop in and save the day.
Joined by Scarface, who appeared at just the right time, they took out the Brotherhood, took the guns, and saved Walter’s life. There were a few injuries, but nothing too severe.
After taking the guns, Elias requested a meeting with the leader of the Brotherhood, Dominic, and it doesn’t go well. Dominic wanted his guns, Elias refused to give them to him (never mind the fact he’d allowed them to be turned over to the NYPD to be destroyed), and they bantered. It was a scene where the old attempted to assert dominance over the new and neither of them walked away happy.
Elias used a metaphor to describe his own activities. Even though he’d been under ground, or under thick river ice as the illustration went, he was still alive and moving. The speech was beautifully delivered, but Dominic wanted nothing of it and simply replied, “A man is not a river, and you are not a King.” There’s going to be some strife between these two entities in the future and it doesn’t take someone able to predict the future to see it.
Meanwhile, back at home base, Reese returned Walter to work as a hero. The best part? Walter admitted he came up with his identity as a detective because the “man in the suit” had disappeared and crime had been on the rise. He wanted to help, even though it was dangerous, but realized very quickly that the man in the suit was alive and well and doing whatever he could to help. So he retired his fake badge and appeared to return to a life of office work.
The episode closed first with Harold in Hong Kong, then one quick look at Samaritan. Apparently Harold had orchestrated the mugging in order to plant something on his lady friend’s computer. He is suspicious, or else the Machine told him something, as we never got to see them have their conversation. Regardless, Harold did a bit of spy work of his own and it turned out to be on the right track. His lady friend, whether she knew it or not, sold her soul to Samaritan which is quickly expanding as an entity.
The scary part? Greer has no clue what Samaritan is doing.