Person of Interest: Masquerade
Reese is appropriately reserved upon meeting Sofia's boyfriend Jack
A few things stand out about this week's Person of Interest. There was very little time jumping, the series regulars seemed to be working hard on being friends with each other, a few of the plot lines seemed a little too predictable although there were a couple of change-ups at the end that were good, and Pete Vonder Haar, despite his promises of two weeks ago, will not be filling this week's wrapup, deciding instead to go to a wedding.
Tonight's episode, "Masquerade," started with that old reliable: man falls several flights down the outside of a building and lands on a car and is dead. Then we cut away to Reese and Finch at Finch's place and we know the good feelings are still flowing from Finch's captivity and near-death experience with Root the wacko lady because Reese calls Finch by his first name, Harold. And invites him to go out for a beer. Which doesn't happen because they've just got a new number in.
(We also get to see Bear, the dog Reese rescued and then handed off to Finch, is still around, although it's clear Finch remains a bit uneasy about this new relationship.)
Anyhow, turns out the number belongs to Sofia, a 21-year-old daughter of a Brazilian diplomat. In case you didn't know, and we didn't, the children of diplomats who are in this country get assigned "transient" social security numbers. Her background is swiftly sketched in: deferred admission to Oxford as she follows dad around on his postings, speaks six languages and dad is getting ready to run for the presidency in Brazil.
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We also find out Sofia is a jerk to the bodyguard assigned to protect her. "Heel. Now stay," she says explaining that if he's going to act like a dog, she'll treat him like one. Reese follows them into a clothing stores, bumps into the guard and the next thing we know, two security officers are checking the guard's pockets and asking why he has an expensive watch in there. Sofia will need a new bodyguard.
Back at the police station Detective Lionel Fusco offers Carter a chance to talk over Danish and when she turns him down, shows her the evidence he swiped from the apartment of the Alicia Corwin who was killed by Root. Although he tells Carter to stay out of it, that they accomplished their mission with Finch's safe return, she is obviously going forward.
Fusco to Carter: "Whatever level these guys are playing at, we're not there."
Meanwhile, Finch has been working his computer magic and now Reese has been transformed into John Randall with all sorts of background that establishes him as a top notch security officer. Just to go that one better, though, Reese manages to pick the pockets of all the other candidates in the diplomat's waiting room, attracting the interest of Sofia's dad when Reese shows off what he's done.
Dad to aide who doesn't want to hire Reese: "These other men can't keep track of their own wallets, how can they keep up with my daughter?"
Still acting like a brat, Sofia declares that she doesn't want Reese as her bodyguard, saying he has "squinty eyes." She then makes fun of Reese to the Russian diplomat, calling him an oaf in Russian, but Reese speaks Russian and lets her know this.
She says she's drawing a bath and going to bed, but, of course, she slips out another door while dressed to the nines. Just as predictably, Reese catches her and drives her to go clubbing. The club is loud, Reese who looks pretty awkward, meets Sofia's friend Gabi and things go about the way you'd imagine for a 21-year-old wild thing: Sofia downs seven vodka shots and then gets up and dances on the bar. Reese pulls her away, but not before smashing cameras held by folks recording the moment.
Back on the home front Finch has started a tentative game of catch with Bear, who so far has been a great addition to the show.
Going for the gun
Reese and Sofia go clothes shopping at a high end boutique, giving him the chance to look awkward again and her to give him the slip in the old I'm-saying-I'm-going-to-the-dressing-room-but-I'm-really sneaking-out-the-back-door routine. Finch, using his monitoring equipment, is the one who alerts Reese that the bird has flown, and Reese barrels around the corner to find Sofia on 14th Street (this will be important) with a man standing by his Porsche. Thinking abduction, Reese goes to pull his gun but no, meet Jack, Sofia's boyfriend.
They part, but Sofia's already missed a photo op at the embassy with the Japanese that her father wanted her there for. Reese steps up and takes the blame saying traffic was bad. It's that moment that Sofia starts to like him. She smiles, leaves the room and for the first time ever, leaves her purse and ever present cell phone behind and Reese is finally able to clone it.
Carter goes down to the morgue to do some more investigating about Alicia Corwin and meets none other than CIA Agent Mark Snow coming out of the deep freeze. He's limping and cryptic as he walks away attributing his walk to an "old mistake that comes back to haunt me now and then." There's a new two-inch incision on the top of one of Corwin's arms, done post-mortem, the attendant says, because there's no blood or puffiness.
Now that they've cloned her phone, Reese and Finch know that Sofia is worried about her friend Gabi who has disappeared and is not answering her calls. Sofia says she wants to go clubbing again; they're followed over there by some bad guys who, as it turns out, whip out cameras not guns in their confrontation. Paparazzi. And Reese makes short work of another camera.
Carter tries to get in touch with Snow and instead has a spooky exchange with an unknown man who questions her and then says "We'll be in touch."
At the club, there no sign of Gabi. The bad guys arrive in force looking for Sofia and Reese gets to beat them up under flashing strobe lights. One gets shot and Reese takes a picture of his head and neck. There's some weird branding on his neck.
Now Reese is cooking for Sofia and she tells him about Paul, who she and Gabi partied with the other night. Turns out, as Finch checks, that he's Paul Romano, a small time drug dealer who took a dive off a penthouse a few nights earlier. Voila!
Sofia hands Reese the video Gabi took while they were over at Paul's place and he sees one of the bad guys from the night club talking to Paul. They jump in the car - she insists on going along - to look for Gabi. Reese says OK, but "When we get there, you stay in the car." Not a new line and not one we won't get to hear again tonight.
Back at the office, Finch is throwing the ball some more. Carter calls him and says the penthouse camera at Paul's place was turned off the night he died. Finch tells Reese that the branding means the guys are 14th Street Mafia members.
Carter calls in to say they can stop looking for Gabi. She's in the city morgue. Reese asks Finch to take over the Sofia babysitting duties because he can't get this sorted out with her along.
Finch says ok and brings Bear, but his recent extended captivity has him still rattled and he has a meltdown in the middle of a New York City intersection (it's lucky both he and Bear weren't killed!) and retreats to the apartment. He gives the news to Reese who takes in calmly and says he'll call in Detective Fusco.
While they're waiting for Fusco to show, Sofia confesses that Gabi didn't want to go over to Paul's place the other night and only did so because she made her. And Sofia had gone because she was mad at boyfriend Jack who'd left a party they were at early. She confesses how lost she is and Reese tells her he was lost too until someone found him and "Told me I needed a purpose."
The handoff to Fusco is made and the detective and Sofia head over to her father's party at the embassy. Reese and Carter team up and head for a bar where he's going to get some information out of more bad guys. He tells her to wait in the car too; fortunately she disobeys and shoots the one bad guy he hasn't been able to put down. "I got bored sitting in the car," she tells him.
Back at the party, dad announces he's running for the presidency and Sofia asks Fusco for a moment alone. He stand on the other side of a closed door and despite her despair over her friend's death, is launching a meet-up with boyfriend Jack who happens to be right outside. She gives Fusco the slip which Finch alerts him to by his constant monitoring.
Also Finch passes on the information that closer analysis of Gabi's video reveals there was another man in Jack's penthouse that night and it was Jack. Turns out, Jack was the rich guy with money who bankrolled the small time drug dealer Paul and the 14th Street Mafia into bigger drug deals. Sofia walks up to Jack who says "I'm really sorry about this babe" as the 14th Street Mafia guy (we eventually find out his name is Monty) walks up with a gun and takes her away. "Sorry baby. You're a beautiful loose end," Jack says as he exits the scene. Finch tells Reese he's in the wrong place and he'd better get going.
In the next scene, Sofia is in a car with Monty the gangster who asks her if anyone else has seen the video on her cell phone. She says no and he's about to shoot her in the head. The window next to the guy's head shatters instead and in one of few moments of genuine surprise in this episode, the knight in shining armor turns out to be Fusco, not Reese. Sofia exits the vehicle and runs to Fusco.
But alas, Monty gets Fusco's gun and is ready to shoot them both (another surprise: good guy/bad guy Fusco is shielding Sofia rather than standing behind her) when Carter rams her vehicle into the bad guy's which throws him forward and hurt. Second surprise:Reese is just the passenger.
But there's still things for Reese to do. We cut to Jack with drink in hand on the phone setting up an "11 o'clock flight to the Cayman's" Reese grabs him and holds him upside down on building, asking Sofia if he should I drop him. Instead, Jack is marched out to a waiting police car and Sofia says she's going back to Brazil with her dad.
A spooky female agent shows up at Detective Carter's office, asking her more about her encounter with Mark Snow. Carter tells the agent it's "your job to keep tabs on snow." And that she's done doing her work for her.
Then we find out Snow's being kept in a kind of basement dungeon by Reese's old partner Karen from his before, bad guy days. Wait, he's been out and about, what's he doing back here? He reports that Corwin is truly dead. Then he opens his shirt to reveal a bomb strapped to his chest, which Karen resets before locking him back in.
Final scene: Finch finally consents to go out for a beer with Reese (and dog). And as they walk down the dark city streets Finch asks: "Does it have to be beer?" And Reese smiles.
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