After several weeks' hiatus, I fired up the DVR last night to something of a nasty surprise: the new Rob Schneider vehicle Rob, the forward-thinking sitcom about a white man making jokes about his Mexican in-laws, is the new lead-in for PoI. CBS apparently hopes proximity will allow some of the rating love for its highest-rated new show to spread around. That, or the network is greatly overestimating the intelligence of the average Rob Scheider fan.
While I was fast-forwarding with extreme prejudice, I also saw the blurb that PoI won the People's Choice Award for "Favorite New TV Drama." I guess competition from Terra Nova wasn't as stiff as they'd feared.
"Stitch him up, no questions asked, and you can be a doctor again." With these instructions, Finch solves the messy problem of dealing with the CIA-inflicted gunshot wound Reese suffered at the end of last year's mid-season cliffhanger.
CIA agent Snow has returned to surveillance mode in the hopes of flushing out Reese. He attempts to intimidate Carter as well, and the two compare dick size over each other's respective illegal activities (he: threatening a police officer, she: lying to a federal agent), before Carter goes to work.
And breaks into Fusco's PC to discover he's had Finch's (a.k.a. Burdett, as Carter knows him) cell phone number the whole time. She's off to run a location trace while Fusco tries to look clueless. It isn't difficult.
Hey, another flashback. This time to 2005, where a pre-limp Finch is lurking in Battery Park, keeping tabs on a conversation between the NSA -- who are getting antsy about all the information they're giving to The Machine project -- and Finch's old partner Nathan Ingram. Ingram gives them a SSN. To be continued.
Back in the present. Reese moves into a new safe apartment with a very chatty super named Trask. Trask says he used to be "in nightclubs" in Miami and had to give them up for his health and blah blah blah, and we know this is important because the name of this episode is "Super." And, of course, he's also the Number of the Week.
But it turns out his story is bullshit. Trask is just a small-town dude who just happened to recently obtain an unlicensed firearm. Finch hacks into the various wireless networks in Reese's building, but finds he has to "do a little legwork" Trask apparently has a thing for his landlord's girlfriend and has been spying on her.
Returning to 2005 (I bet Michael Emerson enjoys these flashbacks where he can actually walk and turn his head), Deputy NSA director Weeks wants Ingram to tell him how The Machine works (turns out the number was a traitor with Top Secret clearance in the CIA). However, Finch, observing the proceedings remotely, discovers Weeks is a threat as well.
Returning to the present. Trask's possible target is one Lily Thornton, a building tenant and a rising restaurant star, but they still don't know if Trask wants to kill her. Digging deeper, Reese finds out Trask used to be married (his wife disappeared....dun dahhhh), and Lily is aware she's being stalked.
The CIA tails Carter, who loses them on her way to Queens. Snow is less than pleased, with good reason: She can shake trained spooks by changing coats? No wonder nobody saw 9-11 coming. Meanwhile, Finch makes contact with Carter and puts her on another Number: Derek Watson. Unemployed for a year and a half and "about to be involved in a violent crime." Your move, Carter.
Trask, boringly enough, seems like he's planning to kill Thornton's apparent boyfriend. But we were mistaken about the stalker. Turns out Rick, the guy we assumed was her boyfrend, is actually just your run-of-the-mill whack job with an unhealthy fixation on Thornton.
Things wrap up pretty easily. Reese proves he can kick ass even when he's not fully ambulatory (crutch fight!), Fusco throws the CIA off the case by planting a prescription bottle with Reese's prints in Connecticut, and it turns out Trask really was "in clubs" in Miami. He's just been in witness protection because he testified against the Cuban mafia.
Oh, and Carter gets her man. And her proof of Finch's and Reese's noble motives.
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In our final flashback to '05, Finch gives Ingram a glimpse "under the hood" of The Machine and tells him of his plans on encrypting it totally once it's finished (Weeks has been attempting to tunnel in for some time, necessitating some urgency).
And then, as they're leaving the building, unseen to both: "Possible threat detected; subject: Ingram, Nathan C."
Another solid episode. Nice standalone subplot with some good movement on the bigger story. Involving Carter was expected, but given the glacial pace of so many other procedurals, PoI is moving along at a decent clip.
Next week: Is Carter in? Or is she out?