After a few weeks of mythology building and numerous trips in the Way Back Machine, POI was due a night off. Not an "off night," necessarily, as "Triggerman" wasn't really a bad episode, but it was the first one in a long time that overtly (and slavishly) adhered to CBS's tried and true procedural formula.
So while they hit the expected notes -- brief misdirection, "surprise" guest appearance, callbacks to previous episodes -- we didn't really advance anything. And I suppose that's understandable. After all, you've got 23 episodes to produce per season. Some are going to be closer to the Mendoza line than others.
Opening voice-over: "Back in the day, people understood things like respect, loyalty, honor. Those days are gone." Colonel Jessup, is that you?
No, it's George Massey. He and his son Eddie are Irish mobsters (they still have those? How...quaint). They're joined at their plot exposition lunch by an "associate" named Riley Cavanaugh. Reese grabs a table near them and "force pairs" Riley's phone before semi-charming the pants off the hostess. The restaurant was recently renovated, but George isn't sympathetic (sound familiar?). He threatens to sic Riley on the owner if he doesn't pay up. Then he hits on the hostess, who it turns out is the widow of one of George's men who got in hock to the Russians and...Jesus, are they really having this conversation in broad daylight in the middle of a restaurant. Does no one remember John Gotti?
Reese tails the three to Massey's bar and plants a bug. Massey has still got his Irish up (heh) about Annie (the hostess). He orders Riley to "disappear" her. But what what what? On the way to do the job, George orders Eddie to kill Riley, only it goes the other way, and Riley calls Annie afterwards, confirming the two are officially an item. Did Riley kill her husband? Is it all a crazy dream?
[Commercial break: That Brad Pitt Chanel No. 5 commercial makes me want to nuke France.]
For a button man, Riley isn't very interested in covering his tracks. Massey's men have already staked out his place, so Reese sends Finch to Annie's (whose relationship with Bear the Belgian Malinois continues to grow). Is Finch really to be trusted with this task? Earlier this week I caught an episode of Law & Order: SVU where Emerson played a child murderer and I can't shake it. WHY COULDN'T HE EVEN CHANGE HIS HAIRCUT?
Hey look, it's
The Geico Guy Detective Schemansky, alive and kicking after getting gutshot by Elias. He and Carter deliver the bad news about Eddie to his dad, but George already knows. In fact, he sends a little ambush party to break up Riley and Annie's reunion. They escape, with Reese's help, and how does Riley express his gratitude? By shooting Reese in the chest. Fucking Irish.
Reese, of course, is wearing a flak jacket. He'll need it if he keeps following the guy in broad daylight. Meanwhile, Schemansky and Carter are piecing together Massey's involvement, which seems like a waste, considering Reese and Finch could bring her up to speed in ten seconds. Fusco, who's staking out Massey's bar (and to be fair, he's the only one of the four who could do so convincingly), informs Finch the mobster has put out a million-dollar bounty on Riley.
Annie and Riley need getaway money, so they go to the owner of her restaurant. He's happy to help, but then a couple dudes looking to cash in on Murray's bounty show up. Reese helpfully takes the assailant out, and Riley shows his gratitude by cutting Reese's head off. JUST KIDDING.
Well well well, Finch pays Elias a visit in prison. He wants the former (ha ha) mob boss to put the brakes on Massey's hunting party. In between chess analogies, Elias agrees, but for an as-yet undisclosed price. Finch relates the news to Reese, but some swarthy fellow with a lazy eye snatches Annie anyway, somehow out from under Reese's nose. Somebody's been out of the CIA for too long.
Interesting: Finch drops Root's "bad code" terminology in reference to Riley. Reese finally confronts the dude and gets it out of him that Massey was the one who had Annie's husband Sean murdered...by Riley. The guy says he just wants to protect Annie. Reese buys it, and gets Carter to redirect the hounds. But Massey has Annie. Can Reese and his new buddy Riley save her? Is Finch turning into Root v. 2.0? When does Bear get into the action, dammit?
Reese pulls a prisoner transfer from cell block 1138 and brings Riley to the abandoned bar where Massey's holding Annie. Predictably, a bloodbath ensues, facilitated by the mobsters' utterly horrible tactics (two guys firing at us from behind cover? Let's charge!). Riley shoots Massey, but Mysterious Lazy Eye Assassin gets Riley. Reese puts Annie on a train, and we find out Elias's price: a chess game with Finch. Aww, how Prisoner of Zenda.
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- No flashbacks this week, also no Kara Stanton or Snow.
- Elias obviously has some ulterior motive for getting close to Finch. I doubt it's to exchange hair care secrets.
- Once again, we end with a fade to black wondering if Reese killed a guy. I realize this is probably just simple repetition, but part of me worries Reese is populating a torture dungeon with these guys.
Next week: a journalist is in danger! In other news, there are apparently still journalists somewhere.