Person Of Interest: A Marked Cuban

We're almost halfway through the second season of Person of Interest and I'm starting to wonder if we're due for any shake-ups next year. CBS has already opted to pull back on the flashbacks, meaning we don't know a hell of a lot more now than we did at the end of last season. Is it time to expand the core group of four? Beyond adding a dog, I mean.

Or maybe they'll kill somebody off. In order of least to most likely, here's who I think might get offed by season's end: Finch, Reese, Carter, Bear, Fusco.

Sorry Fusco; Bear's a cool dog.

Can you really tear hundreds in half and then tape them together.

Our Number of the Week is Fermin Ordonez, a Cuban-born cab driver with spotless credit who nevertheless just emptied out his bank account. Finch installs surveillance and GPS in Ordonez's cab, and Reese follows on motorcycle. Obviously, shadowing a cab driver presents a unique set of difficulties. Especially one who used to be a major league pitching prospect until he blew his arm out and gets a bit irate when drunk fares demand to hear the ballgame.

Meanwhile, one of the Machine's audio intercepts picks up a convo between two of Elias' men stating the gangster wants nothing more to do with HR, going so far as to wonder "who's even left?" Well, Simmons (Robert John Burke) and Quinn (Clarke Peters) are, and Quinn knows they need Elias to get revenue flowing. Looks like Simmons is going to meet Elias' guys, and he's taking Fusco with him as backup.

Ordonez is rounding up money to buy something. I hope it's Elian Gonzalez. But no, it's just to bring his wife Maria and son Jorge up from Cuba. How boring. But now a Mr. Mendoza tells him his $40K is only enough to bring in one. What will he do? What. Will. He. Do?

Well, for starters he hits up a fellow defector from the Cuban national team who's now doing well for the Yankees. He doesn't get much out of him. Figures. Fucking Yankees.

Simmons, Fusco, and an as-yet unnamed recruit meet with Elias' guys in one of those bombed out warehouse districts that used to make NYC so enjoyable. Simmons offers the current whereabouts of Grifoni, the sole survivor of the Mafia Don Massacre, in exchange for Elias' help in rebuilding HR. Elias accepts, provided HR brings Grifoni to him. That shouldn't be hard.

Carter, backtracking Ordonez's GPS logs, comes across a murder investigation swarming with Secret Service (led by the nominally frigid Agent Regina Vickers). The dead man is a Russian named Vadim Pushkov, who just happens to be the guy who gave Ordonez the torn hundreds. Reese helps Ordonez escape from a bunch of Russkies Estonians led by a blonde who looks kinda like Billy Madison-era Bridgette Wilson-Sampras. WANT TO TOUCH THE HEINEY.

Pushkov left a laptop in the cab, and Ordonez sold it for immigration money. They go to the pawn shop, but his buddy Aziz is dead. Viva Estonia. He sold the laptop to someone online and Finch decided to arrange a meet before it's sold on the "dark web" or somewhere else the writers heard about on Wikipedia.

Reese updates Carter, then he and Ordonez have a heart-to-heart in the cab about baseball and family while lite jazz plays in the background. So American.

Agent Vickers would like to know how Carter comes by her information, and tells the detective Pushkov was a hacker previously wanted for credit card fraud and selling flight encryption protocols to Pakistan. The Secret Service don't know what he was selling this time, but Finch suspects he stole Homeland Security passenger data that could be used to smuggle bad people into the country. Sure enough, the anonymous online buyer is now offering it for $50K. Reese shows up at the spot, but finds only a (candid) camera.

Fusco balks at joining Simmons in picking up Grifoni, and immediately received an anonymous email showing him stealing records and shooting Davidson. He changes his mind. The grab goes sideways though, and Grifoni send Fusco back with a message to Simmons: HR can "go to hell." Fusco takes a little too much enjoyment in delivering the message, and Simmons calls an anonymous tip in to Carter telling her Davidson was shot by another cop.

"D3MN8," the online laptop seller, bails on the sale but Finch traces his location to a pool hall. He has to go solo (well, with Bear) as Reese is delayed by angry Estonians. Finch buys the laptop (for $100K) from "Albert," his offhand dressing down of the kid is pretty funny, but just as he's leaving, the Icy Blonde enters. Her biggest mistake was telling her goons to shoot Bear, because that's just when Reese decides to get his aikido on. He's also saved by a little timely chin music from Ordonez.

But maybe there's a way to make everybody happy: Finch gets Ordonez a new cab, and Carter introduces him to Agent Vickers, proposing an exchange of the laptop for safe passage for his family from Cuba. Yeah, that sounds like the federal government I know.

Oh, of course it works. Mom and son show up, and it's a real Field of Dreams moment.

Next week: it's the winter finale, and the FBI is gunning for Mr. Reese.

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