Person of Interest: Lone "Wolf and Cub"

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Tension is growing between Reese and Finch, those partners in crimestopping. In the beginning, the ex-CIA operative's needling of his nerdy OCD boss seemed almost good-natured, but as Finch continues to deflect Reese's inquiries about The Machine, the latter has moved into full-scale investigation mode with the help of Det. Fusco. These efforts finally bear fruit this week, raising some interesting questions about both the past and current movitivations for the show's resident genius.

First, there's another Number of the Week. And is Reese still "hunted by the authorities," like they say in the intro? Now that Carter's been flipped, that just leaves Agent Snow and company, and we haven't seen them in weeks.

Maybe we'll find out Reese has a library book from 1979 he never returned.

Reese and Finch return to their HQ for the first time since Root's incursion into their network. Finch is going to have his hands full securing everything again. Even so, he gives Reese the next Number: 14-year-old Darren McGrady. Checking his last known address, Reese finds evidence of a home invasion. Darren's older brother Travis was shot dead and the cops took Darren.

Carter tells Reese Travis was Darren's legal guardian and now Darren's AWOL. It *sounds* like three toughs followed Travis home from work after an altercation. Case closed.

Fine, we'll keep going. Reese talks to Lisa, the girl at work Travis protected from the goons. She points him to a comic book store, where he picks up the trail of "Brick," one of the murder suspects. My attention is tuned to the store owner, one Mr. Wilcox, who parcels out some life-enhancement crapola about how superheroes don't always have super powers, but they still help people. Oh please, this guy's totally evil.

Aaaaand here's Brandon, with a mind to gun the Brick down. Reese intercedes, Carter shows up and bags him, and Reese dumps Brandon on Fusco. Carter attempts to interrogate Brick, while Reese traces the other two to a basketball court and observes them moving significant amounts of money.

Will Ingram (the son of Reese's old business partner, remember) shows up with more questions about dad. He's uncovered some info on Ingram's old government contact Alicia Corwin, who has since quit the government and moved to the one place in the country without cell phone or wireless Internet: my house Green Bay, West Virginia.

Brandon escapes again and heads to a bar, looking for Curtis and T, the other two dudes. Reese shows up once again and impresses young Brandon with his "Wu-Tang" moves. Brandon tries to hire Reese, figuring him for a ronin. For those not into manga, the title of last night's episode ("Wolf and Cub") refers to Kazuo Koike's series Lone Wolf and Cub, about a disgraced samurai traveling the land with his young son.

Reese takes Brandon under his wing, which is annoying because the kid playing Brandon is. They find out Curtis and T are running protection money for...HA! Mr. Wilcox! I'm getting better at this. Reese "apprehends" them by ramming into them with their own Escalade, dumping one of them (I don't know which is Curtis and which is T) in a cop car and interrogating the other with a blowtorch.

Oh, relax, he only burns their money. This *is* network TV, after all. Unfortunately, as we learn from Wilcox, the money was heading for Brighton Beach. And as you may recall, the mob boss in Brighton Beach is none other than the MIA Elias.

Meanwhile, Will meets with Alicia; he thinks the $1 contract he signed with the government had to do with his old company (and we call know differently) and wants to know if she can shed any light. Instead, she tells him the $1 was so the government could buy the soon-to-be bankrupt Ingram's patents. Then she gets spooked when Will mentions "Uncle Harold" and bolts. Finch, observing as always, is probably relieved that Will has hit another dead end.

It's odd, because as she was talking, I felt sure Finch had gotten to her, but then she freaked out at mention of his name. Does she think he's dead? And what the hell really happened to Ingram?

Wilcox meets with Womack, a dirty cop, who springs Brick. Reese finds the murder weapon and counsels Darren to eschew revenge, which is a tough sell when he finds out Brick is out and goes to confront Brick and Wilcox at the comic store. Wilcox urges him to shoot Brick, akin to Palpatine telling Luke to kill his father. Darren balks, and Reese shows up and beanbags everyone.

Meaning "shoots them with beanbags." I know what you people were thinking. Seriously, though, how does Carter write these incidents up? "Mysterious dude showed up and kicked ass, then disappeared. Look behind you!" [Runs away.]

Finch has a last conversation with Will, who says he's conveniently leaving to go work in the Sudan. Everything's coming up Harold.

Except...Fusco has found some deets on Finch. His oldest alias is that of "Harold Wren," who was top of his class at MIT (where he met Ingram). Unfortunately, before 1976, there's no record of Wren, so aside from a few academic records and creepy photos, there's not much to go on.

And in a blink-and-you-missed-it end shot, the Machine appears to have detected Reese and Fusco's nosing around and elects to monitor for further developments.

So new relationships are forged (Reese develops a grudging respect for Fusco) even as existing ones start to fray (nothing good will come from digging around in Finch's background, I assure you). "Wolf and Cub" was an okay single entry, but I want to see where the rest of these threads lead us.

Next week: Reese goes undercover.

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