Tonight’s show begins with Mr. Reese and a man on an elevator. This man is clearly the latest member of the list, as Reese interrupts his murder. Detective Carter is called to the scene after Reese departs, leaving her one step behind again. Mr. Finch tells Reese about the next Social Security number that came out of the machine with one small concern – Theresa Whitaker, the girl whose number is up, is supposed to be dead. She was murdered along with her parents and brother, though her body was never found. As Reese states, they are looking for a ghost.
In a series of flashbacks, we see Finch meet with a man who is his public face. Any recognition that Finch receives is accepted by this more debonair man. This mysterious partner was present when Finch developed the machine, and it is this man who spurs him on to investigate the “irrelevant” crimes on the list. As far as I can tell, this man remains unnamed.
Reese contacts Fusco to get Theresa’s police file. She is linked to a male friend, Deacon, and survived by her aunt and uncle. Reese doesn’t believe the claim that Theresa’s father Grant killed the family and then himself, but instead recognizes that this murder was a professional hit. He finds Deacon and is able to track a very much alive Theresa, but she escapes Reese by slicing open his hand with a knife. She’s become quite adept at taking care of herself on the streets by selling stolen ATM accounts and pins online.
Reese drops in on Finch at his day job, where he works as a meek software engineer at his very own company. None of his coworkers are aware of his true identity. In this episode we see Finch walking around, and his stiff and awkward gait is much more pronounced. It’s possible he was in an accident, or perhaps handicapped by childhood disease. Not much is known about Finch since he is, as he insists, “a very private man.”
Reese meets up with the family’s killer in prison, a man named Solnick who says he let Theresa go because he doesn’t kill kids. Footage plays on the screen of a man harassing Deacon in the park. The same man comes to kill Theresa just as Reese tracks her down. Reese shoots the man as he flees with Theresa, but the man is wearing a bulletproof vest and runs off, unseen by Reese.
Finch stays with Theresa at Reese’s hotel room while Reese finds Uncle Derek and grills him for information. Grant had worked in real estate and had invested in a land development deal that promised big money. When the payout didn’t come quickly enough, the investors that Derek had brought into the deal killed Grant and his family so they could back out of it. In present day, however, the land is worth a great deal of money and Theresa stands to inherit it, which is why she is in danger. To underline this point, Uncle Derek is killed by the investor’s hit-man when he doesn’t give up Theresa’s location. He finds her anyway by tracing a call on the uncle’s cell phone. As Finch and Theresa cleverly outwit the hit-man, they are forced to run, and Theresa refuses to abandon the lurching Finch. He has previously told her, “Sooner or later you’re gonna have to trust someone,” and she has picked this moment to trust in him. Just as the hit-man is about to kill them, Reese appears and shoots him instead.
Reese schedules a meeting with the curious Detective Carter, but in his place she finds Theresa wearing Reese’s jacket. Back at the station, Theresa refuses to give information about Finch or Reese. The aunt comes to claim Theresa in another happy ending. Reese visits Finch at work again, but his desk has been cleared out. A bust near the building’s doors reveals that Finch’s partner died in 2010.
I’m very pleased with Finch’s character. Each small detail the writers reveal leaves me with ten more questions. Who is the business partner and what happened to him? What’s his mysterious and no doubt tragic past? Has he ever cracked a joke?
Reese, on the other hand, I’m a little iffy on. I’m curious about his past too, and what made him leave the CIA. So far he always manages to catch the bad guy, though, which hasn’t built a lot of tension. Even when Finch and Theresa are facing down a gun, I wasn’t concerned because I knew Reese was going to be coming around the corner. To be interesting, Reese needs to be fallible, which means at some point he needs to fail. How his character comes to grips with that – with confronting his inability to save everyone again – will be what keeps me riveted most of all.
In case you missed last week’s episode read our ‘Person of Interest – Pilot’ recap to catch up.