Last night's Person of Interest had a lot of after school special messages in it, like how being a good teacher will help you escape death by machine gun, and how you should keep your iPhone in its protective carrying case or you'll lose touch with your surveillance mastermind buddy while you're crushing some guy's windpipe. I love how this show always delivers an upbeat message.
Also Veronica Mars' dad, Enrico Colantoni, came on the scene for what I hope might be a regular guest star gig. Spoilers ahead!
I'm a little bummed that I was too busy at the World Fantasy Convention last week to recap that episode, because it was actually a bit more awesome than last night's. Still, basically all you missed from last week, other than a hyper-competent female version of Reese, is the realization that the fat, white blogger (or skinny white snaggletooth blogger) with something on a USB drive has become a staple of procedurals at this point. Oh and also? Carter is still hot on the trail of the mysterious Elias, whom she now believes might be the missing, bastard son of a mob boss who once ran Coney Island. I love how this subplot is developing into Batman-meets-Boardwalk Empire.
Anyway this week's episode opens with a crime scene populated by Carter and Fozzie Bear (note tongue - why is this guy's tongue always lolling?). Some retired mob guy has been shot in a Russian mafia zone, and a nice schoolteacher (Enrico Colantoni, AKA Keith Mars!) is caught on the security cam getting the last words from the dead guy. Now Carter and every other police officer wants to find Keith Mars, because he's the only witness.
Turns out that Keith Mars is also the guy whose number popped up on Finch's magical mystery machine this week, too. So Reese is already casing Mars' joint when the Russian mafia (featuring Viktor from Dollhouse) rush on in with the big guns to silence their witness.
Thus begins this week's "let's evade the authorities" dance, with Reese giving Mars his usual "I help people" speech — which is starting to remind me of The Equalizer in a delicious way — and then murdering as many bad guys as casually as possible to remind us that this isn't Batman. Turns out Mars is a nice schoolteacher who just wants to help all the mob kids go to college instead of getting "into the life." Awww, what a sweetie.
Just as Reese and Mars are getting away, Mars is shot. The two have to hide out in a building run by some other mumble-mumble white ethnic group (seriously, I think Mars called them the Mumblemumbles) that hates the Russian mafia. So they're safe for a little while, since the Russians don't dare go into the Mumblemumble territory. But then Reese has to go beat up a couple of drug dealers to steal some painkillers and duct tape for Mars' gunshot wound, and the Mumblemumbles get pissed off enough to invite Viktor and the Russian mafia in for a little perogis and death.
That's when we find out what it really means to be a good teacher like Mars, because one of his students is in the building and hides Reese and Mars. He even tells off the scary Russian mafia guy by playing the Mumblemumble card. Awww, isn't that great? Being a teacher helps kids get off the street and prevents the mob from killing you. This is definitely a great "be a teacher" moment.
Luckily, this show is not as sappy as you thought! Here's why.
Reese and Mars manage to take Viktor hostage, so they've got a Russian mob guy, AND they're going to meet Fozzie Bear at the docks so Mars can testify about the mob killing. I'm not sure what ferry it is exactly where you can tie a guy up and wave guns around and nobody notices, but who cares because Viktor is all tied up and damn. Everybody wants to see that.
Anyway, as soon as they are on the Ferry Where Nobody Cares, we discover . . . dum dum dum! . . . Mars is really Elias! And he was posing as a schoolteacher so he could learn all the mob's secrets from their kids! This was actually a great plot twist. Good job, everybody.
Even though Reese gave Finch his usual kisses when they reunited, he was kind of pissed off. Why did the machine give them Elias' number? How many more numbers would they be given because they saved this man's life? OMG THAT IS SUPER PROFOUND. Fozzie Bear tongueface for you.
But on a serious note? It was great seeing Elias looking all badass triumphant and schoolteachery, after his guys murder the final boss of Coney Island. He's walking the boardwalk with his henchmen in trenchcoats, all Fuck Yeah I'm In Charge, and I got a brief Martin Scorsese shiver. I hope this show continues to bring back Elias on a regular basis, because the schoolteacher mob boss of Coney Island is a great character.