Synopsis for 4×18: Reese’s therapist decided to end their relationship, while Finch struggles with a lady friend of his own. Root foils a plan against Samaritan in order to protect Harold’s identity, and our drifter friend Harper makes an appearance. All of this is happening as Team Machine tries to protect a bounty hunter who is the number of the week.
This week, Team machine was hot on the trail of a hostess at a sketchy poker match. She’d been working her way up the ranks from waitress to hostess, and Reese got in on the game to keep an eye on her. However, she got roughed up by the man running the whole thing and was escorted into the kitchen. Ready to protect her, Reese pursued only to find that the young woman had everything under control. It turned out she was a bounty hunter chasing after Ray. She went by the name Frankie Wells and stole Reese’s badge before taking off.
Meanwhile, Finch rekindled his relationship with Beth, the woman he’d met in Hong Kong. They went out to coffee together and her number unfortunately came up, splitting up Team Machine between two people at risk. Reese and Fusco were set on taking care of Frankie, while Finch and Root had to focus on Beth. It was revealed that Beth was getting close to finishing her algorithm that would be inputted into Samaritan, though she wasn’t aware of the specifics. She was Finch’s best connection to Samaritan, which was why he happened to be romancing her.
Oh, that and he actually really liked her. Finch is a terrible agent.
While all of that happened, there was strange tension between Reese and his therapist. She approached him after he returned to the police station to get Fusco’s help in tracking down their bounty hunter. She insisted that they needed to end their sessions and she could no longer be his therapist. He didn’t appear to take the news well. Then again, when does Reese ever react well to change?
He managed to track down Wells at a bar where she was looking once again for Ray, who’d gotten away after the card game incident. Reese easily took her down, retrieved his badge, but ended up spooking Ray who made a run for it. Both the bounty hunter and Reese pursued, only to watch Ray get into the car with an old friend. Harper, who went by the name Athena, rolled up and saved the day as Ray leaped into her car and she drove off. She was the drifter from earlier in the season, in the episode titled Blunt.
I knew we hadn’t seen the last of her. Honestly she was probably the best part of this entire episode.
With Beth’s number Finch’s biggest concern, he and Root took to following her. As they followed her to her hotel they witnessed the woman get into a fight with a rather overbearing gentleman. It was difficult to hear what they were saying but he was being extremely pushy and seemed like a good candidate for a perpetrator. They easily jumped to the assumption that he was the reason her number came up and Root offered to look into it further. With Reese tied up, Finch needed the help.
Speaking of Reese, he was focused on luring Harper back into their grasp. She had managed to make Ray disappear and they needed to find Ray. They were able to lure her in but it all went to hell when a man by the name of Mr. Worthy showed up. Apparently he’d been Wells’ backing and was the one who wanted Ray, because he’d stolen a lot of money from him at one point. Harper got out of dodge and Mr. Worthy took down both Reese and Wells who were promptly abducted.
Harold returned to his university office to find it ransacked. He then revealed to Root what his plan had been all along with Beth. He’d managed to put a Trojan Horse into her programming. Since her programming was slated to go into Samaritan’s core itself, he would activate the Trojan Horse and they’d be able to pull a tiny amount of data. As Root put it, they’d have a piece of Samaritan’s DNA and could then work from there on dismantling it.
While continuing to pursue Beth in order to protect her, it became clear the man from earlier was her ex-husband. It explained why Harold’s office had been ransacked, too. He’d seen them together out for coffee and became jealous. That’s probably what caused her number to come up, according to Root. He was also jealous enough to go and screw up Harold’s office simply out of spite. With their case seemingly solved, Root said she had to take care of something and made a graceful exit. Finch followed, suspicious of her actions.
Wells and Reese had to face Mr. Worthy, who threatened them. If Wells didn’t tell him where Ray was, then they’d kill them both. This didn’t make much sense to me because then Mr. Worthy really wouldn’t know where Ray was. Nonetheless, the threat was there and yet Reese and Wells managed to get out of the situation. To be honest, their story line really paled in comparison to what was happening with Finch and Root.
Finch followed Root to Beth’s room and found her going through her stuff. It was revealed that she was actually the threat to Beth, because if Beth wasn’t killed and Finch went through with his plan, then his alias Professor Whistler would probably be killed. The connection was one they couldn’t risk because Samaritan would potentially figure it out and determine the easiest solution would be to kill Finch. So Root revealed that she had plans to knock Finch out and kill Beth kindly.
As always, Finch stuck to his high morals and made a brash move when he finally realized there was no convincing Root to stop. He took the poison that was supposed to be given to Beth and tried to kill himself in order to save her. The scene was heartbreaking as Root tried to convince him to let her take him to the hospital, but he was adamant. His belief that every life matters was unwavering, and is honestly the backbone of the entire show. If it weren’t for Harold Finch, this show would be much darker and much sadder.
Back with Reese and Wells, they found themselves in a weird shipping yard warehouse of sorts. Meeting them there was Harper, Ray, and eventually Mr. Worthy. Everyone was pissed. Harper had made a deal with Ray and had a jump drive with his insurance policy on it, which Mr. Worthy wanted. Of course Wells just wanted Ray dead, and Reese wanted everyone to take a chill pill and stop firing bullets.
In a quick move, Harper made a deal. Mr. Worthy got the jump drive he wanted, Ray would get arrested, Harper would walk free, and Wells would give up her pursuit in order to save her own life so that Mr. Worthy or Ray wouldn’t try to kill her. When it was all said and done, with Harper in the middle of it all, everyone got their way. Mr. Worthy slipped out, Ray was arrested, and surprise surprise, Harper had the jump drive still.
Finch was saved from near death when Root finally agreed not to kill Beth. It didn’t stop her from later discrediting Beth with an email supposedly sent from Harold’s university account. His Trojan Horse plan had been dismantled and his relationship with a woman he cared for had ended. Yet they were both still alive, and in the end that’s what mattered to Root, who was behind the email.
As Reese focused on clean-up, he talked with Harper who revealed she still had the jump drive and she was now receiving texts from the Machine. Apparently Team Machine now has a new member to take over while Shaw is out of commission.
Reese and his therapist kissed. I got really upset about it. It was a throwaway plot line and really bothered me.
In more compelling writing, Finch and Root had a beautiful moment. She admitted that, even if they weren’t going to be friends anymore, his life was worth it. He would forgive her, but mentioned that he didn’t want to see her for a while. There’s something in their chemistry which makes their relationship so compelling, and I’m fascinated with how they’ve grown. Root bowed out, and Finch was left to ruminate over everything that had happened.