Synopsis for 4×17: A therapist takes justice into his own hands as he goes after the people who harmed his clients. We also get a flashback to 2010, shortly after the death of Nathan Ingram, and learn more about Finch’s earlier struggles.

Rating: ★★★★★

Person of Interest went back in time this week. We got a chance to go back to 2010, shortly after Nathan Ingram had been killed. Finch was bitter, still injured and in a wheelchair, and ready for revenge. His target? Alicia Corwin, who tragically died earlier in the season at the hands of Root. Apparently shortly after Nathan’s death, Finch threatened her and set out to end her life.

Back to the present, the ghosts of the past were brought into the therapy room. First it seemed Finch was being open and honest about the loss of Nathan. Yet as the camera came into focus, it was revealed that he was faking a new injury and applying old hurt to a new, false situation. It was all to keep the attention of the number of the week, a Mr. Shane Edwards. Doctor Edwards had started a non-profit organization focusing on counseling the victims of violence.

He seemed like a pretty nice guy, so it was difficult to see just how anyone would want him dead. As they finished up their session, Harold planted a camera. Team Machine was in business and began to do their background work to get to the bottom of Edwards’ life.

It involved a cute dog, which is always awesome.

While Reese tailed Edwards, it became pretty clear that Edwards wasn’t exactly as clean and squeaky as he seemed. Reese followed him to a gym where Edwards planted a gun in a strange locker and then proceeded to a bank. While at the bank, he set a flash bang in the garbage can and picked up the business card of a random banker. With the business card in hand he called a man who had gotten out of a drunk driving charge. The woman who had been hit by him was one of Edwards’ clients and he planned to get his revenge.

In a beautifully orchestrated frame job, Edwards lured the man into the bank and told the banker whose business card he’d stolen that he was an “associate” and the bank was going to be robbed. That call, plus the flash bang and the gun in the man’s bag sealed the deal. Edwards was good at what he did and it certainly wasn’t the first time he’d done something of the sort.

It was revealed that he had established his non-profit in light of his wife’s death. She had been the victim of a violent crime, bludgeoned to death in their home. A man by the name of Morris had gone down for manslaughter because Edwards claimed to have seen his delivery truck outside of their residence that evening. It was the crime that started his non-profit and the moment when he decided to enact vigilante justice.

Since Edwards had planned to speak at a gala that evening and demonstrated some suspicious behavior beforehand, the team managed to get into the gala to watch him. Reese, still meeting regularly with his therapist, convinced her to invite him and Fusco to the event. She was always looking for NYPD representation at events like the gala and was happy to bring them along. There was also some awkward chemistry between Reese and his therapist that I have yet to really pin down.

At the gala, Morris appeared. He’d gotten out of prison on probation and apparently had sought out Edwards. Looking shifty, he approached the stage while Edwards was talking. As the good doctor greeted guests, he realized Morris was there with him. They got into a slight altercation, though the exact words were inaudible to Team Machine leaving them in the dark.

The fight was promptly broken up, but as they made their way outside Reese realized that Edwards’ car was rigged to blow. Tackling him to the ground, he saved him from getting any closer as his car exploded. All signs pointed to Morris, and either the recently free convict was looking to get back at him, or it was another frame job.

After that it was time for another flashback. Finch was preparing his plan to kill Alicia Corwin. However, every step of the way the Machine tried to contact him. It hadn’t been given a voice yet, so there was nothing but static on the other end. Yet the Machine tried time and time again to contact Harold, to convince him to stop, though all it could offer was garbled static. Harold refused to back down and continued forward with his plan.

In present time, Edwards was brought into the police station for questioning. He gave the same story he’d given to the police and given in court. The weird thing was that it was word for word what he’d said in all of those instances. It was testimony that had put Morris behind bars and it was being brought into question.

They released him, but soon they found activity on Morris’ account. Apparently Edwards was using Morris’ old email to arrange a gun pick-up. He’s beginning to put together another frame job. Not only did he pick up an illegally purchased firearm, but he worked on other things. He created gunshot residue. He pulled fingerprints off of the lapel of his suit where Morris had grabbed him and planted it on the bullet casing and gun.

He even went so far as to go to Morris’ brother’s house in order to post pictures of himself and his wife all over the walls. Edwards wanted Morris to appear as obsessed as he believed.

While he’s going about his frame job, Finch and Reese got into a bit of an argument. Reese resonated with Edwards. He believed Morris was a bad man and thought they should just let nature take its course. If they took this frame job away from Edwards, the man would never be able to move on. Finch disagreed vehemently.

As the final step, Edwards spoofed Morris’ brother’s cell phone and sent a text asking him to meet him at the botanical gardens. It was where he’d met and proposed to his wife. It was a happy place, and it appeared that he planned to kill Morris there. Of course now there’s a flashback to 2010 where Finch found himself in a similar position. With explosives planted in Alicia Corwin’s car, he waited for her to enter and locked her in. He then called and blamed her for Nathan’s death. He essentially read her a list of her crimes and was ready to press the button.

She admitted her fault, though she had never intended for Nathan to die. With her admission and the phone ringing with the Machine’s plea to back away, Harold gave in. He let her go.

Naturally it was Finch that ended up at the botanical gardens, faced with Edwards and Morris. Morris claimed he was innocent. He’d delivered the package earlier in the day and hadn’t gone back. Edwards refused to believe him. He made Morris dump the gun powder all over his hands. For all intents and purposes, it looked like Edwards planned to kill Morris. Finch asked him why he would desecrate the space where so many happy things had occurred.

Edwards laughed and said he had no intention of killing Morris. He was going to kill himself. I called it the moment he asked an office mate to take care of his dog. However, Finch managed to talk Edwards down. He shared about his own plan for revenge and told him it wasn’t worth it. If Edwards lived, then his wife would continue to live on in his memories. If he killed himself and framed Morris, the only thing that would be remembered would be how he’d ruined another man’s life.

Thankfully Edwards backed down and the situation was diffused.

The scene switched to Reese’s next therapy session. Since his therapist had gotten him into the gala, she asked him to share something about himself. Something real. It was in this moment we looped all the way back to first season as he talked about the woman he’d loved. He’d left for the CIA and when he returned, burned, he heard she was dead. She’d been killed by a man who was supposed to protect and love her. Reese hadn’t been able to save her and he still carried it with him all this time. Reese is a man who is lost and continues to lose the few things he manages to find.

Edwards returned to his non-profit and his life. Finch watched him, no doubt thinking about his own decisions in life. He then took Bear for a walk with Reese and they discussed Morris and the uncertainty of his innocence. Reese said the Machine probably knew, and Finch conceded but pointed out that it may never let them know the truth. But, if he decided to kill again, they’d be there.

They can protect people now in ways they couldn’t when they were alone.

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