Elias is back and doing his whole understated badass thing! Plus we find out about how Finch studied diaper implementation at MIT. Last night's episode Person of Interest gave us some major arc developments combined with baby shenanigans. It was sort of like LOL POI with mobster action. Spoilers ahead!
A perfect example of why the writing on this show is so comic booky
In many comic books, especially ones about superheroes, the very best part of the writing is the plot. The twisty action, return of old enemies, and constantly evolving cast of characters can make comics absolutely addicting. But many beautifully plotted books have abysmal writing at the sentence-by-sentence level. What you see in those dialogue bubbles is groanworthy far too often . . . just like the dialogue in this scene, where Elias' mobster dad Moretti gets out of prison. Carter is waiting for him, and Reese sidles up and pops into her car. After some patter, Carter sighs, "Whenever you show up, trouble's right around the corner." That is not only an AWFUL line, but it doesn't even make sense, given that Carter deliberately showed up to confront the "trouble" herself. Shouldn't it be "Whenever there's trouble, you show up"? I mean that would be awful too, but at least it would be accurate.
Anyway, my point is that this episode was fantastically plotted, with Reese forming a disturbing alliance with teacher/mob boss Elias, and then facing the consequences of playing with a homicidal master criminal. And, as usual, the speech bubble writing was kind of cringey.
Whenever Finch gets a number, LULZ are right around the corner!
This week's number belonged to a baby who was given up anonymously, but turns out to be the illegitimate child of a rich guy who knocked up his secretary. Carter helps Finch and Reese figure out that a bunch of Eastern European mobsters killed the baby's mother. Now they're after the baby, too.
While Finch and Reese try to protect the baby, Carter has her hands full trying to protect Moretti from his vengeful son. After Elias' henchpeople try to murder Moretti while he's driven home from jail, he agrees to stay in a police safehouse that Carter and her colleague are protecting. Meanwhile, Elias is pushing his corrupt cop cronies to tell him where Moretti's safe house is . . . which means that Fusco has to spy on Carter. I like Fusco best when his loyalties are divided, since he is basically as scumbag in a lot of ways. The whole "spy on Carter" subplot worked nicely.
OMG Baby Can Haz a Grenade?
Yes, there are shenanigans where Finch tries to protect the baby by bringing her back to headquarters and putting her in a crib made of books. Of course she breaks out instantly and starts chewing on a grenade from the arsenal Reese is stowing on few of the lower, child-accessible bookshelves. We also see Finch changing diapers — pretty skillfully, I might add.
I love the scene later in the episode where Reese says to Finch, while watching the baby play with her grandparents, "Do you think we'll ever have that?" And at first they think they can't, but Dan Savage and David Gerrold walk in and explain that single men and male couples adopt kids all the time. Oh wait, I might have made up one part of that. But you know what I mean, right? Anyway it was really heartwarming because I think maybe Finch and Reese are going to have a baby together in like season 5 of this show.
Elias is the best thing about this show!
But back to Reese and our infant number of the week. He's desperate for a way to protect the baby, who's been kidnapped by the same thugs who killed her mother. So he calls Elias on his burner phone and arranges a meeting. I love that there's this kind of bond between Reese and Elias, and that Elias is always offering him a job. Anyway, as you can see in this scene, Reese tries the old "tug on Elias' heartstrings" trick, and it seems to work — Elias helps Reese snatch the baby back from the thugs — but then of course the whole deal backfires.
Elias' goons throw the baby and Reese into a refrigerator truck and nearly kill the baby with cold before Reese cracks and gives Elias the address of Moretti's safe house. And of course that means that Moretti gets snatched and Carter's clean cop buddy gets shot in the stomach (a pretty deadly wound). See what happens when you deal with crime lords, Reese? Elias tries to claim that he never would have let the baby die, but we don't actually see any evidence of that.
I think Reese and Finch may have alienated Carter forever, which is a great plot development. When she finds out how Elias got Moretti's address, she gives Reese the total smackdown. Reese protests that he didn't have a choice, and she points out (rightly), "You do have a choice - it's called the police." Go, Carter! Stop being the lapdog of these vigilante guys! She's gotta be the lawful good to their chaotic good.
Anyway, Reese and Finch give the baby to the mother's grandparents, who look sort of weirded out and happy. Which leaves Reese still wanting to beat the shit out of whoever killed the baby's mom and tried to kill the baby in the first place. They finally figure out the rich guy is the dad, and Reese is all set to beat the crap out of him when Finch pipes up in Reese's earpiece and says that the prints on the murder weapon belong to the rich guy's wife. Then Reese totally does NOT beat the crap out of her because she's a lady (even though she killed the mom by crushing her skull with a lamp), but does force her to admit to her husband that she did it and then got the baby snatched by calling 1-900-EASTEURO MOB. Seriously, she actually says something like that — apparently due to family connections she has an anonymous number she can call for emergency assassinations. Um, OK.
Either way, now her husband is kind of mad and the cops have her prints so she's going to jail (or at least paying for a really expensive lawyer).
Meanwhile, back in the interesting part of the plot
Elias has Moretti and is confronting him! What will happen next!? Stay tuned, and remember — the Machine is watching you!