When I learned PoI was paying a visit to our very own Lone Star State this week, I was happy as a clam at high tide. Not because I expected CBS to actually fly the cast and crew to Texas or even show some half-assed establishing location shots. No, I just always enjoy the way those from outside the state choose to represent us.
In all fairness, last night's episode "Bad Code" didn't go quite as far into redneck stereotyping as I feared (I really expected some racism against Carter, which Reese would've dealt with by breaking 20 guys' kneecaps). The only discernible difference between this episode and any other was the vaguely yellow tint (Traffic has so much to answer for) and the amount of camouflage worn.
Oh, and we also found out Root's true identity, which was kind of important.
This week's episode jumps back and forth between present day and 1991, when a 15-year old girl named Hanna Frey went missing. Reese is convinced she's Root, and insists Carter accompany him to Bishop, TX, her last known whereabouts. Fusco gets to hunt up why Corwin was in NYC. Oh, and look after Bear the dog. I'm glad Bear is sticking around, and enjoyed the Turner & Hooch-ness of his and Fusco's interactions.
The sinister Solicitor General is also looking into Corwin, and his man on the inside at NYPD isn't too worried about Fusco's competency level, though he mentions Corwin used to work for someone named Denton Weeks. The SG tells him not to sweat Weeks, which means he's probably showing up soon.
Then it's on to Bishop, TX, where Carter is a bit taken aback at the menfolk cleaning their hunting rifles in a hotel parking lot (it's the start of deer season, city slicker!). She next tries to talk the chief out of Hanna's file, but she craps out and Reese has to sneak in and nab it. They go to the library where she went missing (right after playing "Oregon Trail") and talk to librarian Barbara Russell, who tells them she also checked out Flowers for Algernon. They talk to Hanna's dad next, he still believes it was Cody Grayson, the punk ass kid who was obsessed with her. Cody is a current barfly, and after the obligatory bar brawl (and a ridiculously easy credit check) the two discover someone opened a bank account in Hanna's name two years after her disappearance.
In Maryland, Root continues her post-human ranting. She's also kidnapped the aforementioned Mr. Weeks, a White House lawyer, threatening to kill him if he doesn't tell her where the Machine is or if Finch doesn't show her how it works. When Root leaves momentarily, Weeks tells Finch they have to stop her, and so Finch helps Weeks escape and incapacitate Root. This turns out to be the slightly lesser of two evils, as Weeks pointedly asks what Finch knows about the Machine's location. Stupidly, Finch reassures Weeks the Machine is safe from remote access, which the latter is happy to hear, since he's the only one who knows the servers' location. He's about the reward Finch with a bullet when Root tases him, bro.
Carter and Reese's trail takes them back to the librarian's house. The deceased husband, Trent Russell, was apparently co-signatory on a bank account for Hanna two years after her murder, then murdered by the drug runners Hanna swindled out of $100,000. After dealing out a second redneck ass-kicking, Reese attempts to track a copy of Flowers for Algernon sent to Barbara's house (a la The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, someone's been sending a copy to Barbara's house every year on the anniversary of Hanna's disappearance). Of course, Barbara knew Hanna got into Trent's car the night she went missing, and threatened Hanna's young friend if she told anyone.
Reese's trace continues, and Root's influences are showing once again (one of her aliases is "Von Neumann," another is Kelly "Dyson," which probably refers to George Dyson, but could also refer to this guy). He narrows it down to Maryland, at least. Who knows how much faster he would've figured it out if he'd read any Neal Stephenson?
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Finch appears to be growing tired of Root's spiel, and I don't blame him. Her disgust with the sort of people Finch "sold the world" to is understandable, but her next level strategy doesn't sound very appealing. Then again, I'm sure Cyberdine Systems were just hoping for the best when they created Skynet.
After further questioning of Barbara, it turns out Hanna really is dead, but her friend Sam Groves who originally called 911 (and was intimidated into silence by Barbara Russell) looks like the real deal, a suspicion confirmed by her beating "Oregon Trail" in less than a minute.
The SG's man doesn't turn up anything at Corwin's, because Fusco beat him to the punch. However, the SG does put him on to Weeks' love nest. In Maryland (where Root's apparent alias is "Julie Davenport"). Thanks to a clue left by Finch, Reese tracks them down to the train station and drives Root off, while failing to pursue her? Smooth move, Ex-Lax. She calls Reese some time later to thank Reese for finding Hanna and tells Finch she'll be in touch. Obviously we haven't seen the last of her, or the SG, but there are Numbers of the Week to save.
Next week: there is no next week. PoI will be back on the 18th.