Person of Interest: Will There Be "Many Happy Returns" for Reese?

Worst. Key party. Ever.
Worst. Key party. Ever.

I get it now; the "hunted by the authorities" part of the opening credits has been moved so it plays over a surveillance camera shot of Reese instead of Detective Carter. If you'll recall, I questioned whether he was really being "hunted" by her any more after a certain point.

I'm wrong enough trying to predict things in this show, I need to toot my own horn when applicable.

There was a poem by somebody, I think it was Rowdy Yates, that said, "The centre cannot hold." The past is finally starting to catch up to Reese and Finch, and last night saw the Feds starting to close in on the Company man, but it was Carter who ultimately unearthed his true identity.

It looks like we'll be skipping back and forth between the present merry month of May, 2012 and 2011, when the series, just before Reese was working with Finch. Today, however, is Reese's birthday. Finch's present: the day off (and a box with a key in it, but Reese doesn't open that until later), though his story about there being no Number of the Week isn't entirely true: It's Karen Garner, who even in her DMV photo looks a little...haunted.

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How does Reese celebrate? By playing chess with a blind Chinese guy in the park. The two are apparently friends of some standing, and frankly, this is a very George R.R. Martin thing to do, introducing new characters so late in the game.

Special Agent Donnelly shows up to brief Det. Carter on their attempts to track down Reese. They traced the blood he left in the car (from "Blue Code") back to a homicide in New Rochelle. The feds think he was the triggerman, and Donnelly asks Carter to assist. Conveniently, Finch calls right after for a meet-up. Finch is hip to New Rochelle and intimates Carter could destroy any evidence linking Reese to the murder (a real estate developer named Peter Arndt). Who cares, right? Except that's Reese's ex-wife's new surname. "Gee, Pete, you remember eveything." No I don't! Because right after commercial we return to 2011, when Reese gets the news she's dead. Obviously her death, her husband's death and Reese's gunshot wound (visible in the flashback at the beginning of the episode) are intertwined. I'm going to say they scuffled over the Reichenbach Falls.

Back in 2012, Finch enlists Fusco to tail Garner...if that's her real name (it isn't). She's wanted for identity theft and fraud, and Finch insists that the two of them handle this particular NotW. Fusco isn't particularly inconspicuous, but he tails her. And loses her. Finch tries his hand, only to turn up a U.S. marshal named Jennings with his own questions about their quarry. Reese pulls him out, and Finch reveals he didn't bring him in because Garner follows a pattern of women popping up because they're threatened by their husbands/boyfriends, and this is somehow obliquely related to Jessica dying in a car crash with Arndt. Just roll with it.

Carter joins Donnelly in New Rochelle and in the politest way possible implies the agent is an idiot. Arndt's body was never recovered, but No One Could Have Possibly Survived that much blood loss. Further, even though their Mystery Man (Reese) is meticulous about covering his tracks, the messy state of the crime scene means it must have been his first job. This guy must have been promoted after handling evidence for the O.J. trial.

Nonetheless, Carter sniffs around New Rochelle and determines darling hubby most likely beat Jessica to death, then crashed his car to hide the fact. I'm sure Reese took that news well.

Garner likes to travel by fire escape like Daredevil, but Reese is waiting in her apartment like Batman. He and Finch divine her real name is Sarah Jennings...JUST LIKE THE MARSHAL. He's her husband, and he's been using his massive U.S. Marshal powers to track down Sarah, but Reese vows to make it so "she doesn't have to run anymore." He has a thing for guys who "hide what they really are until they get home," and vows to show Jennings what a "real monster looks like."

That's right: This time, it's federal. 

Why no, I don't think my girlfriend's death is relevant to this situation at all.
Why no, I don't think my girlfriend's death is relevant to this situation at all.

What follows is pretty cool, if unbelievable. Reese goes into Jennings's field office and kung-fus everybody in it. But he and Finch have a bigger problem: Sarah's rabbiting, and hasn't done a good job covering her trail. She's popped by NY transit cops, and darling husband scoops her up. Now Reese plans to make up for not shattering his trachea at the office.

Maybe it's just me, but the whole "threatening a guy who carries a badge and a gun and has the combined might of the United States Government behind him" might not have been the smoothest of moves.

But first: 2011 again. Reese watches Peter Arndt strap on a knee brace and leave his home, then checks out his ex-lady's new pad. See, this all ties in to when she called him in Morocco and he couldn't help. Oh, the guilt. THE GUILT! It's exacerbated by his watching their home movies and seeing her obvious fear of her husband. Fine, we get it, this is why he's so single-minded in his pursuit of Jennings. Jeez.

Carter and Donnelly talk to Jessica's mom. He's pulled out to deal with the Reese vs. U.S. Marshals incident, and Mom divulges that Jessica was dating "a soldier" before she married Arndt. Carter finds a picture of Reese with Jessica and has a friend pull his military record. Dun dun daaah.

Jennings turns out to be a textbook TV psycho stalker, promising Sarah everything will be all right, then backhanding her. Reese shows up and takes out this highly trained law enforcement official with embarrassing ease, freeing Sarah and later blowing off Carter when she tries to get him to turn Jennings over to her. In his riverside debriefing with Finch, he says he took care of Jennings (it's "Cura Te Ipsum" all over again). Finch acknowledges Jessica was probably a NotW, but no one could do anything about it, and gives Reese an address to go along with his key. Reese now has a very nice luxury apartment. (I think I saw it on Million Dollar Listing New York.)

Carter gets Reese's record and shreds it (after leafing through it, still no indication of his real name). She keeps the photo, though. Finally, there's a call from a Mexican penitentiary informing her that a "Marshal Jennings" delivered her prisoner. Now we know where Reese stashes his undesirables. And I honestly can't say if it was more horrifying when I thought he was killing them and disposing of the bodies, or the discovery that he's really sending them to rot for eternity in a south-of-the-border hellhole.

Reese gets an apartment.

Finally finally, the final flashback: Turns out Finch and Reese first "bumped into each other" at that New Rochelle hospital where Reese first found out about Jessica's death. Coincidence? Pfft.

Next week: guns, guns, guns!

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