Even Men in Suits have to take a holiday break, and as Person of Interest slouches towards its mid-season hiatus, that "hunted by the authorities" thing is getting more and more serious.
In another flashback-free episode, we find the Agent Donnelly-led Feds closing their noose around Mr. Reese, while a critically damaged HR organization shows new signs of life. My biggest beef with the mid-season finale? Not enough Bear. That dog should be tearing out Achilles tendons every week, man.
FADE IN: An apparently troubled young woman apologizes to her parents via video clip for deeds as yet uncommitted, while a mysterious helmeted guy steals a motorcycle. Are they connected? Of course they're connected
Our Number of the Week is Abby Monroe, honor student, who until recently worked for a military charity. Brother was killed serving in Afghanistan. Mr. Reese (Jim Caviezel) abruptly leaves a Bear bath to recon the situation (note: This actually refers to bathing the dog, not a hairy bathhouse thing).
Speaking of romance, detectives Carter (Taraji P. Henson) and Beecher (Sterling K. Brown) already had their first date and it went so swimmingly, Beecher's ready for more. I'm still taking bets on whether it's him or Fusco's new lady (absent this episode) that buys it first. Anyway, they chat a bit about the missing-courtesy-of-Fusco-but-nobody-knows-it-yet Det. Davidson.
Their tender moment is broken up by Agent Donnelly (Brennan Brown). Now that HR is down (but not out?), he's refocusing his attentions on the "Man in the Suit," who the Bureau is convinced is working for a Chinese-backed private intelligence firm. He also thinks CIA Agent Snow was turned by Reese. Donnelly wants Carter on board, and offers her a temp-to-perm FBI gig. Naturally, the first thing she does is warn Reese. Donnelly sure can pick 'em.
Abby (the NOTW, recall) has flown the coop from her temp job after "downloading a file illegally." I bet Lars Ulrich called in the tip. Turns out it was for diagrams of some bank building on Wall Street. Reese, of course, knows about Donnelly and the FBI's offer. Carter is a bit put off by the fact Reese and Finch (Michael Emerson) are apparently listening in on *everything*. She makes noise about setting boundaries, then they watch surveillance tape of Monroe and the motorcycle guy together as reports come in the bike's plate caught on camera near the site of a Semtex theft. Blueprints? Explosives? The guy must be a freelance demolition consultant, right?
Finch points out if Monroe was an actual terrorist, the Machine would've passed her info on to...someone else. Clearly something else is afoot and oh god, it's a Jack Reacher commercial. TOM CRUISE ISN'T TALL ENOUGH TO RIDE SPACE MOUNTAIN MUCH LESS PLAY JACK REACHER, AAGGGGGHH.
Reese tracks down Abby's address and finds the memorial shadow box for Monroe's little brother, who was killed in 2010. Meanwhile, Finch talks to charity head Mr. Chapple and discovers Abby was fired for theft. This shortly after hooking up with a one-formed former explosive ordinance disposal expert named Shayn ("Shayn?") Coleman. Plus, Abby's recording mentions doing something that would "make Josh (the deceased brother) proud." Chapple attempts to have Finch followed, meaning he probably was involved in some kind of scumbaggery (ripping of veterans or the like) and Abby found out, leading to her firing and newfound thirst for REVENGE.
Against Reese's instructions, Finch breaks back into the charity and finds Shayn, who has just blown the safe. He grabs some Important Looking Documents and a key and they escape Chapple's goons while Reese introduces himself to Abby. After some initial unpleasantness, Reese learns Chapple has been making usurious mortgage loans to returning servicemen, including Shayn. Grr. Reese angry. Reese let Abby go. Turns out Chapple and a local bank are in cahoots in foreclosing on the mortgages and Abby and Shayn ("Shayn?") are planning to explode-ify their way in and redistribute the wealth somehow (they're a little vague on the particulars). Subtle.
Carter tells Beecher about the FBI offer and he encourages her to take it. Then he gets a call and has to leave. Why? Because it's HR head honcho Quinn (Clarke Peters). Oh, Beecher, are you too good to be true? Fusco (Kevin Chapman) keeps tabs, and the confab seems innocuous enough (Quinn wants intel on some crime wave, a Russian gangster displaced by Elias), then Simmons shows up to act ominous. Turns out Quinn wants to develop a new revenue stream with this Yagarov. "We need new friends." HR isn't going away any time soon, it would seem.
Donnelly and the Feds have found a way to track Reese's phone. He conveniently tells Carter this when she agrees to take his offer (didn't even have to clear it with her superiors, nice). Reese, for his part, appears to have gone a little soft. He's bought Abby and Shayn's sob story and is now actively helping them break into the bank. Finch detects the FBI tracking, but Reese refuses to leave, and the three of them are pinned down by Chapple's hired goons ("Hired goons?").
Shayn and Abby make it out, thanks to Finch, who agrees to help take Chapple's ill-gotten $30 million and spread it out among legitimate military charities, but the Feds and SWAT show up at the bank en masse. Reese is apprehended along with Chapple's guys, though I figure Reese will engineer an escape long before it gets to the thumbscrew stage.
See y'all in 2013.