How long have we been on hiatus, anyway? Two weeks? Three? Lousy NCAA Championship, and who the hell has Wichita State coming out of the round of 64, much less making it to the Final Four? Gah.
But enough about my gambling problem. Person of Interest returned for one week to tie together some larger conspiracy threads and also to kill a semi-regular character. That's what I call making up for lost time.
Justin Lee is dead. I assume we'll find out why we should care later.
Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson) and Elias (Enrico Colantoni) are playing an odd game of chess, as the incarcerated crime boss removes his own pieces from the board to demonstrate his vulnerability. What would Kasparov say?
Anyway, the Number of the Week is Monica Jacobs (Traci Thoms), an executive for networking company Rylatech. Jacobs is presumably a high-profile target because of her hyper-competitive industry. Why, even now she's in a pitch meeting with customers, wowing them with insider knowledge and showing off their humble founder, Martin Baxter. Look at that lovable old coot. Did you ever see someone so incapable of evil?
Beecher (Sterling K. Brown) just won't give it a rest, and Carter (Taraji P. Henson) doesn't want to hear it, especially since she suspects her former loverman set up the recently deceased Detective Szymanski. She asks Fusco (Kevin Chapman) for help, and he takes the subtle route: confronting Beecher in the john. Beecher has his own questions, and takes them to Quinn (Clarke Peters), who tells the detective -- and his godson -- the tip came from inside the hous...er, Elias's people. He leaves (without noticing Simmons lurking in the background) and goes straight to Elias, who semi-smugly informs the earnest detective he's being played by HR. And now Quinn knows as well.
Jacobs accesses Justin Lee's (the dead guy) laptop for something. Finch knows this because he's gotten himself hired by Rylatech as IT support. He and Mr. Reese (Jim Caviezel) are conversing (Reese is on a stakeout related to the death of Michael Cole) when the ex-spook is interrupted by Samantha Shaw (Sarah Shahi), Cole's old partner. Shaw's back to set the record straight to Cole's parents and maybe to get the drop on any of Control's men who might have nefarious ideas.
Finch follows Jacobs to an impromptu meet with Ross Haskell, her head of Product Development, about the deceased Mr. Lee. She suspects Lee may have been a corporate spy. From his creepy facial hair and the pointed way he asks Jacobs, "Who else knows about this?" it's pretty obvious they're trying to paint Haskell as a bad guy, though we know from past experience he probably isn't.
Even if just about everyone else with that name is a total creep.
No sooner does Jacobs get back to the office than she gets fired for corporate espionage after confidential files were found on her computer. Welcome to the New Economy, lady. If I had my way, your SAG card would've been revoked after Rent.
Finch keeps running down "Lee," who has a hell of a cover identity. His body's also disappeared from the morgue, according to Carter. Finch finally decrypts some e-mails and learns Lee was spying for the Chinese, as was Monica's assistant Jerome (YES). A sniper gets Jerome before Reese can question him, but spirits Jacobs away. Good news for Finch, until Shaw comes strolling into his inner sanctum. Man, that chick is good. They banter, but she really wants info on Root. Still pissed about that interrogation, I guess.
Finch and Jacobs's efforts to hack into Rylatech's servers remotely are "explosively" unsuccessful, so they have to take a more direct route (with Bear's help). Unfortunately, half the company appears to be in cahoots. Only the bad guys aren't spying on Rylatech, they're using Rylatech's equipment to spy on their clients (DoD, banks, Pixar). And pulling the strings, of course, is sweet old Mr. Baxter. Of course, he's not working for the Chinese, he's working for Control, and The Big Cheese Who Looks Kind Of Like John Hurt orders him via cell phone to take one for the team. Baxter complies.
Meanwhile, Fusco tells Carter that Beecher's clean. A bit late, as HR unceremoniously executes him in a stairwell. Rylatech goes down in flames, while Jacobs gets an offer from a company you have heard of (IFT).
Finally, Finch has discovered this "other" organization called Decima Technologies (that's better; "Rylatech" sounds too much like "R'lyeh Tech" for my liking) hoarded most of the stolen data and was likely behind the virus that targeted the Machine. And TBCWLKOLJH closes us out by looking at his watch. 541 hours until...something happens.
I was gratified they advanced the mythology so much this week (plus: Bear), but am a little annoyed CBS is giving us a whopping one episode over a five-week span. Mostly because my short-term memory is shot and I keep having to go look up names.
Next week: POI until the 25th. Spend some time with your loved ones.
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