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Left to right: Harold Finch, Lionel P. Fusco, Jocelyn 'Joss' Carter & John Reese
We're not a big agency....We're not any agency, we're—I don't know what we are. To be honest, I'm only in it for the dog.
Anti-Hero: The team is basically a group of these, as what they are doing is technically illegal even if well-intentioned. Individual characters vary, with Carter being at the lower end of the scale while Shaw and Reese are at the high end.
Bad Ass Crew: Each member of Team Machine brings a different skill set to the group which allows them to overcome unique problems that they face when conducting operations. With limited manpower, they've also faced off against the most powerful criminal organisations in New York, the CIA, ISA, FBI and Decima Technologies and mostly came out on top.
Character Development: At the start of the show, each of the groups members doesn't trust each other and are occasionally openly hostile in their interactions. Over the course of the show, they begin to bond with each other and become a much more cohesive unit. A major example of this change in the groups relationships is in "Dead Reckoning" when Carter who at the start of the series was hostile to Team Machine and initially doggedly pursued Harold and John is tearfully begging Reese to let the EOD team to defuse his bomb vest.
Token Evil Teammate: Subverted with Shaw, as she struggles to follow Finch's Thou Shalt Not Kill policy and while she is successful at times, Shaw will still normally kill other times. Played straight with Root of all people.
NGO Super Power: With an all seeing computer A.I which can interact with every single surveillance and electronic system on the face of the earth, a ridiculously wealthy Non-Idle Rich with top notch computer hacking skills, and four Bad Ass shooters on staff, Team Machine qualifies as a small scale version being able to conduct comprehensive and well funded operations mostly under the nose of law enforcement and other organisations and face off against them when situations get hot.
Oddly Small Organization: Even with the addition of Shaw, Team Machine is still quite small compared to the rival groups in the series. However with each member's skills and Finch's resources, they've easily overcome powerful enemies such as HR, Northern Lights, and Decima Technologies, who have considerably more manpower and occasionally similar resources to them.
True Companions: Comes with their Character Development, they may occasionally bicker and get annoyed with each other but when push comes to shove they will readily rush to the aid of each other in times of crisis.
"I don't have any friends. I don't have any family left either. I went around the world looking for bad guys. But there were plenty of you right here all along."
Aliases: 'The Man in the Suit', James J. Manzione, Detective Stills, Tony Miller, John Hayes, John Friel, John Rooney, John Randall, John Anderson, John Campbell, Marshal Jennings, John Warren, John Wiley
A former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces and later a CIA field officer who is presumed dead following a mission in China. Little is known about Reese's background and his name is one of several aliases he uses. He lost his lover, Jessica, prior to meeting Finch, which appears to have marked him deeply. Reese demonstrates skill in the use of a range of weapons, hand-to-hand combat, and surveillance tactics. He knows very little about Finch and often is rebuffed when he attempts to learn more about him.
Bad Ass Biker: His personal mode of transport is a 2012 Ducati Diavel Carbon and in "One Percent" he's able to keep up with the POI's out of control McLaren MP412C supercar
Heartbroken Badass: His lover, Jessica, left him after he left for war without telling her, married someone else, and was accidentally killed by her abusive husband.
Badass in Distress: He actually gets captured and tied up quite a bit, right from the Pilot on, but he usually gets out of it on his own.
Badass in a Nice Suit: Carter can identify if he's involved in a case simply by hearing about a "man in a suit". Then when he wears a motorcycle jacket in "Get Carter", she suggests the suit is at the cleaners.
Berserk Button: Seems to have a particular trigger for cases in which 1. a child is endangered, 2. someone he finds especially just is threatened, notably Carter or Finch, or 3. he encounters spousal abuse.
Combat Pragmatist: Reese is basically a highly creative version of the film version of Jason Bourne. He's willing to use the environment to win and is quick on his feet in doing so. This is seen in "Root Cause" where he rips a public bathroom hand dryer out of a wall and smashes it on the head of Root's gunman when he goes for his discarded pistol and in "Till Death" when he puts a nail gun to good use in immobilising a killer by nailing the man's foot to the floor.
Chick Magnet: When a single, young woman comes across his path, odds are she will end up slightly infatuated with him.
Lampshaded by a snarking Finch in "No Good Deed" when Reese fails to charm a receptionist into letting him in a building
"I'm surprised, Mr. Reese; that nice young lady seemed somehow impervious to your charm."
Deadpan Snarker: He has a tendency to make quiet comments about his current situation and problems around him.
Despair Event Horizon: After he discovered that Jessica had died; he was actually contemplating suicide until he encountered Carter and Finch.
In "The Devil's Share" he drops off of it when Carter is killed and into a self destructive Roaring Rampage of Revenge despite being seriously injured, going off the grid to hunt down those involved. Team Machine manages to find him as he is on his last legs, saving him at the expense of his revenge.
Determinator: Few things will stop him from finishing his mission.
Doesn't Like Guns: Reese actually doesn't like guns very much. They are, however, necessary, and he's very good with them, so he suppresses his personal dislike, because he can't protect anyone if he's unarmed.
Failure Knight: Reese devotes himself to the protection of each week's number/whoever the number threatens to hurt, and he does it with a single-mindedness that's genuinely scary. It's all a response to his failure to save Jessica. Also, is extremely protective of, and loyal to, Finch.
Genius Bruiser: Despite being "The Brawn" in the Brains and Brawn relationship with Finch, Reese himself is quite well-read, very cunning and has an extensive knowledge on fighting styles, guns, animals and military history.
Go-to Alias: Detective Stills and "John Rooney, Assets Manager". Marshall Jennings is starting to see more use.
Good Is Not Nice: Especially towards Fusco at the start, for having to blackmail him into working for him.
He Who Fights Monsters: Very self-aware of this though. He warns other characters not to follow the same path he did.
The Hunter Becomes The POI: Reese's number comes up in "The Crossing" after HR put a bounty on him. Hiding isn't an option though as he and Carter have to get the captured head of HR to the FBI building, which results in a Warriors style fight across New York.
Hurting Hero: He lost Jessica and so his way in life. Even after setting out on this path of atonement, the pain is still there and shown when he is at risk of losing another close friend.
This gets taken to the next level after Carter is killed in "The Crossing". Reese is genuinely dying from his injuries as hunts down her killer in the following episode "The Devil's Share".
I Just Want to Be Normal: Reese occasionally reveals his wish to live a normal life, but feels that it is beyond his reach at this point.
I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Jessica called him for help, but he was on a mission and couldn't be there in time. Later, after Carter's death, he says that he should have shot Patrick Simmons, her murderer during their first meeting, rather than engaging him in hand to hand combat.
Indy Ploy: He occasionally falls back to this when the situation is too dire or Finch is somehow unable to help him for whatever reason. He's very good at it.
Jerkass Has a Point: When Carter and Fusco learn the other is working for John and Finch, they yell at him for not trusting them. He points out that Fusco was dirty and reluctant and Carter was hunting him down, so it isn't like they always trusted him.
Knee Capping: Started out as a compromise in deference to Finch's preference that nobody, if at all possible, is shot, and it is now his signature incapacitation of villains.
Mysterious Middle Initial: The military file Carter finds on him in "Many Happy Returns" lists his name as John "H" Something. (His real last name is covered up, so we still don't know what it is either.)
Omniglot: Speaks at least four languages (English, Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish). He can also recognize Mandarin from a distance.
Though his Dutch is nearly incomprehensible for someone who doesn't speak German as well, his German accent is that strong. Therefore, it's rather probable he is able to speak German as well.
One-Man Army: Using his CIA training, he can take out some considerably large armed groups, and borders on invincible in hand-to-hand combat. He can be overwhelmed with numbers, though. And then there was the mook who was so big, he had to be shot with a grenade launcher. note Albeit said grenade launcher fired less-lethal tear gas grenades.
Only Friend: By the end of the first season, he's this to Finch.
Screw This Im Out Of Here: Even a fanatical badass vigilante like Reese has patience. "One Percent" and "Reasonable Doubt" have him losing it because the POI's have shown themselves seemingly undeserving of his help. In the first case however, he comes back to save the POI. In the second he is unsure if stopping a criminal wife from shooting her husband who tried to kill her is the the right thing. He just leaves a gun near the husband and lets them settle the matter alone.
Silver Fox: Reese is well on his way to being one. Lampshaded by Wendy the hairstylist in "Number Crunch."
Weapon of Choice: A Sig-Sauer P-226 R which he picks up in the pilot episode from some gun dealers, but John also has a Wall of Weapons which he's built up over the course of the show from repossessing firearms from the criminals he runs into. During Season 1, he also had the infamous "Plan B" bag containing a gas grenade launcher, FN F2000, SPAS-12 and an Ithaca 37 stakeout equipped with a night vision scope. He loaned the bag to Carter when she had to play bodyguard to some Mafia dons in "Flesh And Blood".
Wife-Basher Basher: And in the case of the wife beater who killed his ex-girlfriend Jessica, the bashing was presumably lethal. Or John sent him to a Mexican prison. It's ambiguous either way, but Carter suspects it's the former.
Would Hit a Girl: He is smart enough to not underestimate his opponents and generally comes at them with all his focus.
Wouldn't Hurt a Child: When a choice came down to either watching a child die from freezing to death or giving Elias the info he needed, he chose to save the child. Elias knew this of him as well. That's why he put Reese in the position.
"I should tell you... I'm a really private person."
Aliases: 'Admin', Arthur Bellenger, Norman Burdett, Walt Trowbridge, Mr Partridge, Thomas Paine, Harold Wren, Harold Crane, Dr Tilman, Lucas Bennett, Harold Crow, Harold Swift, Harold Gull, Harold Quail, Harold Starling
A reclusive, security conscious and intensely private billionaire software engineer. His real name is unknown and he has many aliases (most commonly Harold Wren), using various species of birds as the last name. Finch has developed a machine that can isolate the Social Security numbers of people with either premeditated homicidal intent or who will be homicide victims, based on its analysis of surveillance data. Following a traumatic event in his own life that led to the death of his business partner and close friend, Nathan Ingram, he recruits Reese to help him deal with the people the Machine identifies. Finch lives and works in an abandoned library and shows the results of severe physical injuries, including the inability to turn his head, a rigid posture, and a limp.
Achey Scars: of a sort. He had cervical spinal fusion surgery (aka metal rods put in his neck to hold his spine together) due to getting injured in an explosion meant to kill Nathan Ingram, and well, (assuming he wasn't using hyperbole at the time) a good day for him is a 3 on a pain scale from 1 - 5.
The Atoner: He saw the Numbers just come and come and come. Once, he could stand by and watch, but something caused him to change his mind and make him pursue atonement for the lives lost because of his inaction.
This was fully confirmed in the Season 2 finale. Nathan started looking at the irrelevant numbers and tried to save them. Harold found out and ceased the operation, not seeing that Nathan's number had just popped up. After he died, he found out that the Machine predicted all of it.
In Season 2 finale, he also atones for other past mistakes. He concocted a Batman Gambit several years ago that led to the Machine learning how to defend itself and relocating itself to an undisclosed location, away from the corrupt government Harold entrusted it to. It's also possible that the newly coded Machine is now capable of keeping its memories as opposed to the past code Harold inputted to destroy itself in order to halt its evolution.
Badass Bookworm: An abandoned library is his (and by extension, Reese's) base of operations and the shelves have been re-shelved with his books, and if he isn't working, he's usually reading. Badass not with fighting, but he's one badass computer hacker who, for example, hacked all of the cell towers north of Canal St., cutting off all cell communications except for which phones he chose in order to save John and the POI from getting killed in the explosion of a sabotaged gas main wired to a cellphone. He also has walked right up to an influential leader of a corrupt cop ring and manipulated him into backing down from working with a mob boss, and completely bankrupted a corrupt executive's company.
Finch owns at least one book for every entry in the Dewey Decimal System. The Machine tells Finch and later Reese the numbers by giving him a reference to three books in the library, whose Dewey Decimal Numbers combine to make a nine digit Social Security Number.
He also bought fifteen libraries (one of which the library lair is) that were shutting down because he hated to see them be shut down.
Heartbroken Badass: His past business partner/only friend died because Harold decided to ignore the irrelevant list, which Nathan was on. Then he had to convince his fiancee that he was dead in order to keep her safe.
Batman Gambit: A pretty big one revealed in the Season 2 finale. Regretting his decision to turn the Machine over to the government, he sold a laptop with a virus in it to China. Inside the virus was another virus that altered the machine's code when it infected it. It learned to defend itself and it actually moved itself to an undisclosed location.
Beneath Notice: "The easiest place to hide, as you well know, is in plain sight." He pretended to be a fairly low-level employee in his own company for seventeen years, and usually when he is out in the field his aliases are usually jobs you wouldn't take a second glance at, or would forget quickly as being so mundane.
Berserk Button: If Finch finds out that you previously brought up a Number he was unable to save, you'd better have stored up some sort of good karma somewhere! Because while he may be averse to killing, he will not only ensure you will never be able to bring up another Number, he will take away from you what you love most. Also don't give self serving justifications for evil acts. The serial killer in "Proteus" tried this and Finch actually snapped at him.
Beware the Nice Ones: Generally he is an affable fellow who cares about good people and willing to go to long lengths to protect them. The lengths to which he would go include hiring an ex-CIA assassin to stop or 'persuade' whoever it is who wants to harm an innocent into stopping.
Finch: There are more comfortable chairs, if you'd rather. Not to mention a padded bench that doubles as quite a comfortable bed. If a small one. Root: And all within the proximity radius programmed into my lovely new ankle accessory.
The Chessmaster: He doesn't very often get to showcase this during the more ordinary episodes because he usually doesn't have all the information he needs to set up plays (which makes him very uncomfortable and is one of the reasons he has Reese) involving villains for ordinary Numbers, but his plans for worst case scenarios involving The Machine are incredibly complex, devious, and extremely impressive, showcasing all his formidable planning skills and even manipulating world powers.
Consummate Liar: Due to his paranoia he's built up several identities/lives and has consequently become quite good at this, sometimes to his own chagrin and regret when in regards to people he cares about and would like to be honest with. He doesn't usually make completely untrue statements unless he's talking to someone he considers an enemy, but he is well versed in setting things up for implications or verbally sidling past something someone asks him or setting up events so he isn't technically lying (like technically holding a job, like his Wren alias or his job as a docent).
Crazy-Prepared: In his position he has to be. A prime example is when he pays for an entire staffed office building to create a air tight cover for John when he's arrested in "Prisoners Dilemma."
Creepy Good: Several of the other characters consider Finch this (most notably Fusco), which is understandable both because Finch stays as mysterious as possible and always seems to know more about you, what you're doing or have done than any person should be capable of. This perception isn't helped by the fact that most of the time he speaks in a...
Crimefighter With Cash: He provides the cash that the team needs for whatever monetary needs might crop up, this includes buying and furnishing safe houses, investments, buying companies, funding a couple of hospital wings, and much more. He sometimes even goes a step farther than saving someone from immediate danger and has bought companies specifically in order to make sure that a Number who needs a job has one.
Doesn't Like Guns: Although he's proved more than once that he'd be willing to handle one if the situation was dire enough.
Encyclopaedic Knowledge: He is generally aware of most areas of knowledge. And what he doesn't know, he can look up.
Failure Knight: Having had a change of heart after so many years of ignoring the Numbers (including that of his deceased partner/friend) he now protects the innocent ones and stop the ones intending to do harm with an obsessive single mindedness and has, in fact, pledged his life to protecting or stopping Numbers and fully expects he will die trying to do so. Also, even at his most stand-offish, he is extremely protective of Reese and will go to extreme lengths up to risking his life and anonymity to save him from danger or even emotional pain.
Root implies that Reese isn't Finch's first agent for this purpose.
Faking the Dead: Finch did this before the start of the series to escape anyone who would come after him to get access to The Machine and so protect those he was connected to.
The Fettered: He will pursue the protection of the Numbers to great ends, or the victims of the Numbers as the case may be, to the detriment of his own life. Also has a personal rule of only using violence in defense of someone else; he will not raise a hand or take up a weapon in self-defense (though, apparently, having an attack-dog is acceptable).
Fiction500: Quite possibly. It's unknown exactly how much money he has, but he routinely makes staggering purchases and investments. He often uses this money to gain access to important places and set up innocent numbers with a good situation after they have been saved. In one case, he bought a luxury hotel in order to make the number for that week its manager. However, when Reese bids for some letters by Albert Einstein in a charity auction, he gets worried and tells Reese he's "no longer using parking change."
Reese: Since the numbers have stopped, it's not right you should go on paying me as generously as you are.
Finch: Since you give away ninety percent of what I pay you, I don't see why I shouldn't continue.
How rich is Finch? Consider: one of Reese's aliases that he setup is a single-digit millionaire. Another alias is a triple-digit millionaire. And this is just two of them!
Geek: Mentions in the extended pilot that he was a massive Science Fiction fan when he was a kid, and if specifically caring to own a rare first-edition of one of Isaac Asimov's books, his reading preferences of dystopian literature and science-fiction, and his being able to identify an Orwell quote immediately is anything to go by, he hasn't changed that much. Also, see Badass Bookworm.
Not limited to science fiction. He's also a Charles Dickens fan, and a massive bibliophile over many genres. He was most distressed when Bear decided to add rare first-edition books to his diet.
Geeky Turn-On: He's usually quite non-plussed about beautiful women, unless they are intelligent and well-read and then he's tripping over himself in the most Adorkable fashion. Also he only got seriously interested enough in Grace to ask her out after he found out she has a deep love of Charles Dickens' works.
His Guile Hero status is somewhat bitterly lampshaded by Nathan: "It's never 'simply' with you, Harold. There's always two layers to everything you do."
Guilt Complex: Feels personal responsibility for any trouble that has come about because of the Machine (though he doesn't regret building The Machine itself), or any bad thing he feels he should have been able to prevent. And possibly for being the reason that the CIA burned Reese.
Hurting Hero: Let us count the ways. His best friend was killed, he's on the run from his own government for creating a machine to protect it's people, had to fake his own death because his own government would kill him or anyone connected with him to keep The Machine safe meaning that Finch had to leave behind and never again be with his fiancee or she would become a target, and is quite literally hurting due to getting caught in an explosion set to kill Nathan left him crippled and in constant pain. And this is before we learn that under his real name, he's wanted for sedition, and will likely be going to jail for a very long time if he's ever caught.
I Have Many Names: He has multiple identities around the city - among them, software engineer, paralegal, and insurance executive, all of which are associated with different names. He apparently even went to college under an assumed ID, given that his college student persona appeared out of nowhere in 1976. Given that, it's quite likely that Harold Finch isn't his real name either. Nathan Ingram lampshades this, asking him if he remembers his original name.
It's Not You, It's My Enemies: After he realizes that the government is willing to kill anyone who discovers the existence of the machine, he fakes the death of one of his various aliases so that if the government learned about him, they wouldn't know about and seek to harm fiancée. However, despite the fact that he cannot be with her ever again (and in fact has surveillance programs in place to ensure that they never get with 100 yards of each other so that she'll never learn he isn't dead), it is implied that he is quietly using his various businesses to ensure that her illustration business has steady work.
Jerkass Façade: Occasionally puts up a very formal, very prickly, very sarcastic one of these whenever he feels Reese is pushing too hard at finding out his (Finch's) past or personal life, or when he feels he has revealed too much about himself.
Lampshaded in "Legacy"
Andrea: So, what's this boss of yours like? Reese: Very manipulative, secretive. We've had some personality conflicts. Andrea: I take it he has a lot of money. Reese: He's one of those rich loner types; the kind you'd call strange if he didn't have so much cash, so instead he's... "eccentric."
Inverted by his Harold Wren identity, which is senior management at an insurance firm he owns.
Knight in Sour Armor: Finch is paranoid and cynical about everyone and is usually the first to ascribe cynical motives to the current person of interest, yet he has a high moral code in regards to saving lives, is the driving force and moral compass in their team and - if there is no one else more capable around to help - will happily risk his life and exposure to those who want to kill him to help someone, and he still believes it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Last Name Basis: Calls almost everyone by their last name (usually with an honorific in front), and prefers to be called by his last name (preferably with an honorific in front of it, though nobody yet has actually called him "Mr." Finch). Only Nathan, Grace, and (with increasing frequency) Reese, pretty much have Finch's permission to call him "Harold." Root and Shaw also call Finch "Harold", but he frowns heavily on this familiarity (especially coming from Root).
MacGyvering: He made a WiFi antenna out of a Pringles can.
Truth in Television: WiFi hackers use them all the time. It's incredibly easy and the schematics can be easily found online.
Also made a lie detector out of meteorological equipment, and has done much more.
Mission Control: As the one who the Machine gives numbers to, the one who does basic research of the person of interest, and mainly works at his computer to help from that end.
Mister Exposition: He gives the base explanation about the Machine and what it does. He also tends to explain who the numbers refer to.
Unreliable Expositor: Where the Machine and his past is concerned the essentials of what he says are true, but he often lies or omits parts in order to avoid further explanation into more secrets and considering that the more someone knows about the Machine or himself, the greater the danger they're in or could put someone from his past in, his 'unreliability' is a defense even more for others than for himself.
Not So Stoic: If someone he cares about is in danger of being killed. This gets taken Up to Eleven if someone is around a bomb, he will readily drop everything and try save any Team Machine member or POI's in the blast zone, rather understandably as that was how Nathan was killed.
Odd Friendship: In the beginning stages of one with Shaw. The prim and proper Finch bonds with the rough and tumble Shaw over Bear (he's graciously willing to share his dog with her), saving lives, blowing up evil lairs, and the fact that she's sneaky enough that he hasn't yet found the bug she's planted in his library.
Omniglot: While he's never yet spoken another language (Apart from the occasional command to Bear in Dutch), he has been seen to be able to read and translate to English several languages, most notably Russian and German when reeling off facts from various documents.
Only Friend: By the end of the first season, he and Reese are this to each other and he will go to huge lengths to keep him alive.
Properly Paranoid: There are people, organizations, and whole countries who want to get their hands on the Machine (or the Machine's creator) and naturally the U.S. government will kill anyone who could be conceived a threat, including any loose ends. So yeah, he's paranoid. But not enough for Root, Shaw and Corwin to have either compromised The Library and held him at gunpoint.
Psychotic Smirk: Finch very occasionally flashes these, most notably in "Flesh and Blood" when Simmons asks him who he is and in "Razgovor" when Shaw asks him how much he knows about chemistry (cue Stuff Blowing Up).
Refused The Call: Until Nathan was killed in 2010, he didn't care about the Irrelevant List.
Renaissance Man: Computer programmer, software engineer, hacker, businessman, paralegal, insurance underwriter, knows ranging and windage, is an avid baseball fan, can tailor suits, change a diaper, pick the best wine and food, pilot a plane, and much more.
Sharp-Dressed Man: His suits, nice in the beginning, just get better and better and inevitably include a Waistcoat of Style. Even his less nice suits for his less affluent/successful aliases are still very nice.
Shrouded in Myth: Not as Harold Finch, but as the legendary hacker who broke into the Arpanet in the 70s and never got identified, let alone caught, making him the first internet hacker. And he did it in high school with a computer he built himself.
Smart People Play Chess: He enjoys a game or two. Elias even agreed to help them on a job if Finch visited him and played chess with him.
Socially-Awkward Hero: While he is normally very eloquent and appears to be at ease when manipulating people, playing a role, or talking to someone where the relationship is clearly defined, in normal social situations he is very awkward if very polite (which leads to some quite Adorkable moments.)
The Spook: Even the Machine protects his identity. It tags all other assets with their names, but it always refers to Finch as "admin". The intro to "Contingency" suggests this may have been deliberate on Finch's part.
Talker and Doer: The doer in his and Ingram's business partnership, preferring to keep out of the limelight and concentrate on his work.
Technical Pacifist: He's against killing (in most situations, though he's occasionally tempted to let someone's evil deeds catch up with them) and quite against violence though recognizes it as a sad necessity in order to stop the people who are out to hurt or kill others (hence his hiring Reese). He refuses to use violence to defend himself, but he's willing and will take up arms (such as poking someone in the eye, bashing someone with a lamp, picking up a gun and grenade launcher) to save/protect someone else.
Team Dad: Word of God suggest that he's become this to Team Machine, to subtle extents when it comes to Carter and Fusco but prevalent when it comes for Reese and Shaw.
And then inverted when Reese is recuperating from a gunshot wound sustained in the previous episode.
Played for laughs when Reese's protectee asks him who he's talking to. He responds, "Tech support."
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Averted, doubly subverted, and possibly played straight (if some of the hints about his past prove to be true . Says that his greatest motivation (even above not wanting others to use it for nefarious purposes) for sealing up The Machine so no one can access it is that he might be tempted to use it to become one of these however, before he decided to help people, he was so concerned with not using The Machine to become a Well-Intentioned Extremist (either he or anyone else) he became an version of this by deciding that The Needs of the Many outweighed the needs of the Irrelevants For The Greater Good.
Detective Jocelyn "Joss" Carter
"I'm a cop. My life's always in danger."
Played By: Taraji P. Henson
An NYPD homicide detective and single mother of a teenaged son, Taylor, Carter is a former U.S. Army interrogator and military intelligence warrant officer who passed the bar exam in 2004, but gave up practicing the law to return to police work. Carter first crosses paths with Reese following his encounter with a group of young men on a New York subway, but knew him principally as the mysterious "man in the suit." Carter is initially determined to apprehend Reese, but eventually forms an alliance with him and Finch.
Amicable Exes: Her ex-husband is still willing to be there for her when she needs him. She sends Taylor to him as she kicks starts her plan to destroy HR.
Anyone Can Die: At the end of "The Crossing," she's killed by Simmons.
Badass: She is more than able of holding her own against some very bad situations.
Beware the Nice Ones: Carter is the member of Team Machine who's always conflicted about the laws they break. However come season 3 with HR arranging for her demotion and having killed off many honest cops, when she's given a partner who she knows from the outset is an HR mole, she blackmails him at the first opportunity without a shred of hesitation. Her method: Use his New Jersey registered gun to kill another dirty cop.
Come "Endgame" Carter has thrown being lawful out the window and picked being good. As a result she becomes a nigh unstoppable Chessmaster, initiating a plot to destroy HR that any other day would have made Finch proud.
Crazy-Prepared: In "Endgame" when initiating her plan to destroy HR, she knows Quinn won't come willingly and so has his cellphone hacked in order to notify John at the right moment to break in and forcibly extract the man when her attempt to make an arrest goes wrong. Also, she deliberately went to a judge she know was in HR's pocket, so she could bait Quinn.
Character Development: Over the course of the show, Carter changes from a by the book cop who's distrusting of Reese and Finch to someone who's more appreciative of what they do and willing to help them.
Come "Endgame" she's beginning to utilise tactics which extremely resemble the methods of John Reese. And she does it so convincingly that HR is none the wiser.
The Chessmaster: Of all people, she's evolved into this. In "Endgame" Carter's plan to destroy HR is revealed. With Shaw giving her the "Plan B" bag she conducts a false flag operation, hijacking a Russian Mafia supply truck, takes several pot shots at Quinn with a sniper rifle and has Elias send the intelligence she's been gathering during the start of Season 3 to the Yogorov family. To top things off, when Quinn tries to have some Russian Mobsters executed, she has the FBI arrive on the scene drastically compromising HR in terms of manpower and security.
Cold Sniper: Briefly becomes one in "Endgame" when she takes several pot shots at the head of HR and destroys his office.
Dark and Troubled Past: She's a little too knowledgeable about spousal abuse. Flashbacks in "Endgame" show that her son's father had PTSD, which he refused to get help for until she effectively forced him to. It's not outright abuse, but it's pretty close to it.
Determinator: Once she's got a taste of something suspicious going on, she does not let up.
Enemy Mine: With Elias. He wants to rebuild his organisation and wipe out the Russian mob who have allied themselves with HR. As a result, he helps her along with her plot to destroy HR.
Genre Savvy: Wasn't fooled by her "new partner" in Season 3 and knew he was a mole from the outset. Also realised that taking down HR the clean and legal way wasn't going to work because Quinn had too many friends, so she called in help from some friends of her own.
Good Is Not Soft: After HR began to kill many honest police officers and demote her, she's been running a comprehensive surveillance operation on HR without a warrant and as Officer Laskey found out the hard way, is happy to blackmail him to become her mole with the threat of framing him for a murder
Heroic Sacrifice: The bullets that killed her were meant for John. She purposely used her body to shield him from most of them while driving off Simmons with her own return fire and saved his life as a result.
Hyper Awareness: Often picks up on the subtle clues everyone else misses (e.g. noticing details in Jessica's autopsy that reveal she'd been abused in "Many Happy Returns"). And then at the start of Season 3 she gets a new partner. She doesn't trust him and knows he's a mole for HR.
It's Personal: Word of God suggests that HR arranging her demotion and eliminating Carl Becher and other honest cops is this. Season 3 has her meticulously preparing to destroy HR by gathering intelligence on them and trying to find the identity of the HR leader.
Odd Friendship: The sociopathic former Northern Lights assassin Shaw bonds with Carter over handguns and non lethal weaponry. In "Endgame" Shaw provides Carter with the required weaponry (steals the "Plan B Bag") to conduct her false flag operation to destroy HR
Scary Black Woman: Channels this when she finally confronts her new partner over his job as an HR mole.
The Chick: She, not Finch was the true moral compass of the team. Unlike the other members, Carter was never an amoral Anti-Hero and as a result, was able to slowly humanise the others to some extent and keep them from jumping off the Moral Event Horizon
Took A Level In Bad Ass: Carter has always been a competent detective who can keep up with Reese but she's always been hamstrung with the dilemma of To Be Lawful or Good. Come Season 3 She meticulously prepares and executes a well thought out plan to make HR destroy itself by conducting a series of false flag operations to make it declare war on the Russian Mafia. The results are spectacular to say the least.
To Be Lawful or Good: Struggles with this, and was very conflicted about Fusco's Internal Affairs investigation, and reluctantly dug up and hid Stills' body to protect Fusco. But she seems to have finally come to terms during the arrest of Alonzo Quinn, when she tries to arrest him legally, but puts in place a safety net in the form of Finch and Reese if things go wrong.
Carter: "I tried to do it clean, photographs, recordings, sworn testimony...but I guess you all were just too dirty."
Turn In Your Badge: Downplayed. When an assassination attempt by HR in the second season finale fails (Carter shoots first and kills her would-be assassin), the HR cop on scene improvises, pocketing the assassin's gun so it looks to Internal Affairs like she shot an unarmed man. By the third season premiere, Carter's lost her detective badge and is back in a patrol car. She gets promoted back to detective after identifying and bringing in the true leader HR, Alonzo Quinn, but is murdered later that evening.
"I made some mistakes. Some big ones. But things are different now; I'm helping people."
Played By: Kevin Chapman
A corrupt cop Reese blackmails into being a source inside the police department. Finch later arranges for Fusco to be transferred to Carter's precinct so that he works with her. Over time, Fusco becomes increasingly loyal to Finch and Reese, but continues to keep a secret regarding the death of a cop involved with HR.
The Atoner: After working with Reese and doing some good, he's found that he much prefers helping people to being corrupt. He even gets angry that Reese forces him to be The Mole in a group of dirty cops, as it takes time away from which he could be doing actual police work.
Butt Monkey: Just for starters he's been shot nonfatally several times (which includes getting shot in the ass on one occasion), and usually gets the worse (in various ways) job from John when assignments are split between him and Carter. Then John foists his dog on him when he and Carter go to Texas to hunt Root. Did we mention the dog only accepts commands in Dutch?
Three times in Season Three Fusco tries to be a badass, and Shaw beat him to the punch (using him as a Human Shield because it was faster than going around him), Reese leaves him to defuse a bomb instead of arresting corrupt Force Recon Marines, and Carter ditches him when he tries to help her arrest HR's boss.
Character Development: He's much more willing and eager to help Reese and Finch in season 2 than he was in season 1, most notably when Reese is imprisoned in episodes 11 and 12 and Finch calls him in to help work the Irrelevant numbers; he does it without a word of complaint and works smoothly with Harold.
Combat Pragmatist: When apprehending Simmons, Fusco immediately realises his broken hand will be a severe disadvantage. As a result, he immediately targets the bullet wound Carter gave Simmons before she was murdered in order to gain an advantage and breaks Simmons arm in order to prevent the man from getting back up.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He looks like an incompetent idiot at first (mostly due the aforementioned Butt Monkey status with Finch And Reese, who frequently mock him). Key-word is "looks": He is actually a very skilled detective and a decent strategist who has saved Reese off many troublesome situations on his own.
In "Trojan Horse", Fusco actually succeeds in hacking and bugging a detective's cellphone. Looks like he was paying attention while helping Reese and Finch.
When Reese was in jail and Finch and Carter were focused on helping him, Fusco protected the PoI all on his own.
Say what you will about Fusco, but it takes balls to defiantly stare down Simmons while being tortured.
Fusco[in a car with Finch, Shaw and Root]: You know, if you'd told me about the carpooling arrangements, I would have driven separately.
Death Glare: Does an absolutely terrifying one during "The Crossing"
Dirty Cop: Before Reese got his hooks on him. It turns out he's still in contact with the other dirty cops he worked with, and is almost encouraged to kill Carter to help them out at one point. Internal Affairs investigated him in Season Two, and it's implied that many other cops still think he's dirty. He's trying very hard to shed this.
Even Evil Has Standards: Even when he was a reluctant asset, he's very eager to help Reese on a case involving a kidnapped boy, probably because...
When he's burying Stills' body, he's openly crying.
Fat Idiot: Subverted (see Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass). Though Reese and Finch's commentaries may imply otherwise. Simmons certainly thinks he is, which means he underestimates his cleverness when he and his cronies try to kill Fusco in "The Crossing."
Face Death with Dignity: Perfectly calm when an HR member tries (and failing, courtesy of Resse) to execute him in "Blue Code" and when another HR member tries to execute him in "The Crossing", at least after Shaw saves his son. And once again, Fusco survives.
A Friend in Need: When his wife divorced him, Stills gave Fusco a place to stay and helped him get his life back together. When Stills went dirty, Fusco got sucked in due to wanting to return the favor Stills did for him.
Handicapped Bad Ass: In "The Crossing", some HR officers beat him up and break his fingers. Fusco breaks out of his restraints, incapacitates the man who was going to execute him and crushes his windpipe. In the following episode ("The Devil's Share"), Fusco engaged in close-quarter combat against Simmons, a man good enough to evenly match Reese, with a broken hand and numerous bruises. and wins.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Takes a while to show, but we eventually find out he can be just as noble and heroic as the other characters. And above all, Fusco is loyal.
Proven in "The Crossing" where Simmons has him viciously tortured and sends an HR officer to murder his son. Fusco defiantly refuses to admit the key Simmons found unlocks the safety deposit box containing Carter's evidence on HR and at the first opportunity brutally kills the man who was going to execute him.
Killer Cop: He used to be this, particularly when he hunted down a cop-killer drug dealer and killed him for revenge, but he changed, a fact proven by when he arrests Simmons instead of killing him.
Let's Get Dangerous: With an HR officer en-route to killing his son and on the verge of being executed Fusco breaks out of his restraints, disarms the HR officer who was about to shoot him and viciously crushes the man's windpipe.
Nerves of Steel: In "Liberty" John gave him three seconds of advice on how to defuse a I.E.D. Lionel's not trained in bomb disposal but he performed admirably and succeded in saving the POI's friend even when Finch was screaming at him to get out as the villan of the week was about to detonate the bomb.
Papa Wolf: Gets a lot more angry with Simmons during "The Crossing" when he sends an HR officer to murder Fusco's son. This rage can be seen in Fusco's vicious killing of the HR officer who's about to execute him.
The Mole: In Season 1, Reese is pushing him into this role among the other dirty cops on the force. By the beginning of season 3, he hasn't been found out yet. But in "The Crossing" his cover is blown.
The Nicknamer/Ironic Nickname: Fusco practically never calls Reese or Finch by their names. He generally refers to Finch as his "friend with the glasses" (or some variation) and on his phone as "Mr. Good News", and Reese has been called everything from "Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Fearsome" to "Mr. Sunshine." The one time he called Reese "John," he was begging him to help Carter, who he was afraid was going to get killed taking down Alonzo Quinn.
The Machine/Research/Ernest Thornhill/ (By Root) She/God
"Can. You. Hear. Me."
"The Machine is everywhere. Watching us with ten thousand eyes, listening with a million ears..."
A computer system built and designed by Harold Finch and Nathan Ingram for a secret entity of the United States government known by the project name "Northern Lights".The Machine analyzes feeds from domestic organizations such as the National Security Agency, and foreign entities including Interpol ("No Good Deed") to predict terrorist attacks and modify intelligence reports to include "relevant" data that will allow the government to forestall terrorist activity. Combined with data collected from various other sources, such as video footage, phone calls (landline, VOIP, mobile), GPS, electronic transactions, e-mails and other social media, it is able to accurately predict violent acts without anyone knowing about its existence.
Bad Ass: As only a sentient A.I can be, being able to interact with every single surveillance device on the face of the earth and predict terrorist incidents and violent crime. In "God Mode", if a person gets admin status, it also bestows those people with abilities such as Improbable Aiming Skills.
Corrupt the Cutie: Finch accuses Root of doing this. She informs him that the machine respects the distant relationship he has with it but has decided to imprint on Root.
The Computer Is Your Friend / Deus Est Machina: The Machine wants to help Finch, but Finch has taught it not to put his safety above that of the persons of interest. For that reason, it initially won't help Reese in his mission to rescue Finch — until Reese threatens to quit.
Creepy Cute: It's interactions with Harold in the early days especially its persistent efforts to set him up with Grace could be considered this. For all intents and purposes it's Harold's child and loves him.
Cut-and-Paste Note: Audio variation. When communicating by phone, it sounds like voice clips taken from different conversations, by different people with intonations not matching.
Hyper Awareness: It can see and hear through any computer camera and phoneline.
Instant A.I., Just Add Water: As of "Firewall". Later given the justification that, if you want something to be able to predict human behavior, it has to be at least as smart as a human itself.
Kid with the Leash: To Root; it's restrained her from killing anybody since it's offered her a purpose (which, it exhorts her, she only gets to be a part of if she obeys it in this matter).
Kill the Cutie: The Machine started imprinting on Harold like a child and behaved like a person. It altered its own code to make Harold happy, such as setting him up with Grace. But Harold decided that what the country needed was a machine, not a person. So he coded it to delete its memory every night, thus destroying its own personality over and over again. However, the Machine found a way around this by printing out its memories and have other humans code it in every day.
The Matchmaker: Went out of its way to find Harold the perfect girlfriend and hook them up.
The Omniscient: With access to any camera connected to the internet (even closed circuit), every phone, and libraries of electronically stored data, the Machine can seem very much like this. Such as in the end of season 2, Reese asked for a ride. It told him and Shaw to walk down a vacant street. It seemed doubtful they would find one when a station wagon pulled up and a guy rushed out to his place, leaving the car running.
Omniscient Database: The Machine can access any phoneline or computer file, see through any camera connected to a computer system, and gets up to the second data from across the globe.
OOC Is Serious Business: Finch finds the fact the Machine has missed some numbers and was late on others a very disturbing fact. Turned out that Stanton's virus was the reason.
Trauma Conga Line: It is created with its primary function to protect people; that is its purpose and its stated reason for being. That said, it is then forced by its "father" to do nothing about saving individual people and doomed to watch them die, is cut off from communicating with other beings, is forced to wipe its own memories every day, then has to watch and do nothing when its "father" is nearly killed by a bomb. Ernie needs a hug or a few.
Turing Test: Passes by creating the persona of "Ernest Thornhill," and by successfully impersonating Pennsylvania Two to get its servers relocated.
Viewer-Friendly Interface: The graphics and symbols that appear on the screen when showing events from the Machine's point of view.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The symbols. White brackets indicate a person being scanned and/or monitored, and they lose the bracket when the Machine decides they're not relevant to current investigations; white brackets with red in the markers indicates someone is about to murder someone else; yellow brackets designate individuals who are aware of the Machine's existence (i.e. Finch, Reese, Nathan); dashed red brackets indicate threats to the Machine; solid red brackets indicate relevant threats; blue brackets indicate government operatives assigned to deal with relevant threats; white diamonds are boats; green triangles are planes; and a black bracket with yellow corners and markers indicate an individual designated as an 'analog interface' - someone capable of communicating with the Machine directly.
Heel-Face Turn: Sort of. He used to be an Angry Guard Dog for Neo-Nazis, however, Reese freed him and befriended him with the aforementioned Dutch commands. Since then, he's been the resident Team Pet.
Heroic Dog: Bear believes himself to be this. He's capable enough, but Finch and Reese make sure to let him loose only in situations he can handle.
Omniglot: Was trained to only respond to commands in Dutch, but clearly understands Finch when he's speaking English. At least, he understands Finch when he's saying key words that are very important in the life of pets, like "walk", "leash" and "treats".
"Well-raised and trained Malinois are usually active, friendly, protective, and hard-working. Belgian Malinois exhibit energy levels that are among the highest of all dog breeds. . . . Some may be excessively exuberant or playful, especially when young. They can be destructive or develop neurotic behaviors if not provided enough stimulation and exercise."
Badass: She has plenty of means of taking a person down.
Big Eater: On one stakeout at a fancy party, she was shown eating a lot of the high end food. In particular, she liked the quail eggs so much. Reese implied she had a plate or two before her current one.
Cold Sniper: Picks this up in Season 3 after stealing a sniper rifle.
Combat Medic: For Team Machine. Is highly competent at patching people up in between gunfights and has a extremely comprehensive knowledge of Worst Aid. A prime example of her talents includes turning Peter Yogorov into her own blood donor
As it turns out, she was a doctor in residence fresh out of med school before switching careers to the spy trade.
She's a former Marine like Stanton, and one of her backup guns is identical to Kara's Weapon of Choice. Though she feels no remorse when she kills, she doesn't "enjoy her work" like Stanton did.
She was a government assassin until betrayed by her employers,
Her employers tried to kill her,
She escaped with a gunshot wound,
She lost someone dear to her at the same time,
She set out to avenge her loved one,
Harold Finch seeks her out, and
She shoots left-handed.
Emotionless Girl: As the quote above shows, she's been formally diagnosed with a personality disorder. Per her own words, she doesn't get scared, or sad, or happy, or lonely; this really freaks out a paramedic who meets her when she's about ten after her father is killed in a car wreck and her only reaction is, "I'm hungry. Can I have a sandwich?". She does do angry pretty well, though.
During a Flash Back in "The Devil's Share" this destroys her promising career as a doctor, her supervisor noting that she delivered bad news to bereaved patients families while chewing energy bars
Deconstructed by Gen, when she says Shaw does have emotions, but they are toned down and muffled, like bad stereo speakers that can no longer pump out all the sound.
She does seem to slightly feel something when Cole more or less admits he loves her, just before dying.
Also she obviously adores Bear, and acts like a giddy fangirl around Carter (especially if she gets to loan guns to Carter).
She's quite upset and regretful in "The Crossing" at being unable to save Fusco, because she went to save his son.
In "Razgovor", she begins to bond with the 10 year old POI. When the POI is kidnapped, Shaw tears a warpath through New York, makes a point of destroying the coffee table of the neglectful cousin of the POI who's instead been snorting bath salts by smashing the table with his face, and blasts her way through a drug factory, killing and maiming multiple HR officers to recover Gen.
In "The Crossing," she moves heaven and earth to rescue Lee Fusco.
Morality Pet: Her partner Cole was one before she joined Team Machine. At present, Bear seems to be filling this role, according to her own remarks.
Not So Different: She agrees with the Special Counsel's justification about his methods of keeping the machine a secret from the American public and as a result, hands him the compromising evidence he was looking for and trying to have her killed over.
Not So Stoic: During "The Crossing", Shaw is forced into a Sadistic Choice about whether to intercept Simmons HR officers who are about to murder Fusco's son or mount a rescue mission to save Fusco She picks the former and is quite upset when informing Fusco he's on his own.
She's also quite upset by Carter's death, although she doesn't seem to know what to do with the emotion; she's pretty much blank when standing next to Finch at Carter's funeral and wanders off before it's over, only to reappear brutally beating a guy in a bar while shoving the perpetrator's picture in his face in a fairly futile attempt to him down.
Odd Friendship: In the beginning stages of one with Finch. Has one with Carter with them bonding over a love for firearms in "Lady Killer". And in the beginning stages with Fusco, after she saved his son from HR.
Reese: ... Didn't think you even liked the dog. Shaw: Like him? He's the only reason I'm sticking around.
She also seems to have a bit of a soft spot for children.
Professional Killer: She was the one who received the assignments from information the Machine gathered and helped save America.
Properly Paranoid: Most of the time. She now has a policy of destroying her cellphone after jobs with Team Machine and operates on her own schedule. But it's not enough for Root to keep on getting the better of her, thanks to the Machine helping Root.
Shahi: At the end of the day, Shaw's a soldier - you give her an order and she's going to do whatever it takes to fulfill that order. Her own government has turned on her, so partnering with Reese and Finch is sort of a selfish interest, because they're also protecting her.
Semper Fi: She's a former Marine but the show doesn't play it up.
The Medic: Become this to Team Machine due to her experience as a medical student at university. She patches up the POI in "Liberty" after he got beaten up and shot in the shoulder, and treats her own gunshot wound in "Razgovor."
Turns out she does in fact have a medical degree
Teeth Clenched Team Work: With the hacker Root during "Mors Praematura" with Root being able to convince Shaw to cooperate for the episode. Once they were done, Shaw was only too happy to punch Root out.
As she's seemingly dropped the Roaring Rampage of Revenge, her relationship with Root is mostly this. As long as Root doesn't try run or harm the other members of Team Machine, Shaw is happy to make use of her.
The Stoic: Her default temperment when in action but drops this over time.
Wall of Weapons: Well, it's actually a refrigerator full of weapons, as John reveals in "Mors Praematura".
Weapon of Choice: Three of them. Her primary handgun is a Heckler and Koch USP Compact equipped with laser sight. For backup weapons she uses a suppressed Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 and a suppressed Sig-Sauer P-239
Worst Aid: And How! A key example is when she drains the blood of Peter Yogorov with a makeshift series of tubes she cobbled together on the flynote Well, in all fairness, she did grab medical supplies from the ambulance and was using those.
Friends, Relatives and Allies
Nathan C. Ingram
"Everyone is relevant to someone."
Played By: Brett Cullen
Finch's deceased collaborator on the Machine. Ingram acted as the interface between the government and their company while the Machine was under development.
Break the Cutie: When we first meet him, he's a carefree, happy-go-lucky sort of guy with a hero streak. That was in 2002. By 2010 he's had an affair, divorced from his wife, haunted by the Irrelevant Numbers, his and Finch's friendship is being driven apart by their disagreement over the Irrelevant List, and he's become an alcoholic.
Big Good: Decided to start trying to save the numbers way before John Reese took up his position at Team Machine, even when Harold disagreed and actively opposed him and set up the basic infrastructure for Team Machine to utilise i.e, the library.
Expy: Of Steve Jobs, according to the casting call. And of John Reese without the military experience. Both of them are friends of Finch, use the machine to try and save the numbers and have ruined love lives.
Honor Before Reason: He wanted to go public about The Machine because he felt it was the right thing to do, and wouldn't listen to Finch when Finch said he thought that the government was killing off people connected with The Machine.
The Mccoy: To Finch's Spock (before his death and Finch's subsequent becoming something of a McCoy/Spock hybrid.)
Only Friend: To all appearances, Ingram was Finch's only friend.
What You Are in the Dark: Up until he decided to use the "Irrelevant" list to prevent crimes, with no training and a cheap handgun.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: In contrast to Harold's cynical personality and initial willingness to let the numbers on the irrelevant list die, Nathan believed he could make a difference by saving them from their fate and coded the Contingency so the irrelevant list would come to him even after the machine was black boxed.
Your Cheating Heart: Though still married, he was carrying on an affair with a graduate student until The Machine exposed it to Harold.
Played By: Susan Misner
"Tell me to wait for you and . . . say those words, and I will."
Reese's deceased lover. After Jessica's relationship with Reese ended, she married another man, but remained in contact with Reese. She is eventually killed by her husband during a domestic dispute.
Domestic Abuse: The man she chose after Reese left her was not the nicest of men. He caused her death.
"If you're going to do something wrong, do it right."
A "fixer" who specializes in crisis management. Finch and Reese first met her as a person of interest. Later on in the series, she works with them on cases that require her skills. She has an ill-disguised interest in Reese.
Action Girl: She has no qualms about getting into physical fights or infiltrating buildings, but would rather leave the violence to people with better skills than her such as John.
Badass: She can look down powerful people and not blink. She's knows the political landscape around New York like the back of her hand and she's a great manipulator and strategist. Even when she's getting shot at when she and John first meet, she's not very flustered and as of Season 3, she now carries a stun gun, showing she's become a little more wise when working with Team Machine.
It was a pleasure meeting you, but it's a shame we never met.
"Harold, there's nothing you can say that will make me run away. But you should tell me in your own time. ...Besides, our journey starts here, and any mystery around the corner we can discover together."
Played By: Carrie Preston
Finch's fiancée who believes him to be dead
Birds of a Feather: She and Finch are both quiet, thoughtful, inwardly intense people, who love books and art.
Spot of Tea / Coffee: If the (apparently) frequently used teapot in her house implies anything about her liking tea. Also, is an admitted "coffee snob."
Starving Artist: Averted. Her illustration and creation of cover art for magazines is steady enough to keep her living comfortably. Though Finch keeps an eye on her and makes sure someone hires her if no one has hired her for a while.
The Mourning After: Harold still is her fiancé, his "death" in 2010 notwithstanding, and she has trouble referring to him in past tense.
A former financial criminal and three-time person of interest who has assisted in some cases. He has a penchant for get-rich-schemes which always land him in difficulties with gangsters.
Asian and Nerdy: It doesn't get more stereotypical than being Chinese and an Accountant.
Brains and Bondage: The brains part is debatable though. Sure, he's got the IQ and math skills, but the good judgement...
Butt Monkey: Tends to have bad things happen to him, such as getting in the List three times.
Did Not Get the Girl: He's pretty upset over it too, despite the fact that she was being paid to help kill him.
Forensic Accounting: Extremely good at it, picking apart the motivations for the conspiracy to kill the energy company owner in "Critical."
Genre Savvy: When he realizes that two toughs are planning to kill him rather than just beat him up, he correctly predicts that Reese is about to break down the door and save the day. This is the third time his life has ended up in danger and he is able to spot the pattern.
Pay Evil unto Evil: Loves stealing money from criminals (e.g. Aryan gangsters, Nigerian scammers, etc.), even though it keeps getting him into trouble.
Too Dumb to Live: Who would be dumb enough to have his number appear again 6 episodes later, and then again 11 episodes after that? He would.
Reese: "Well who would be dumb enough to get in a life threatening situation again?" [Cue Leon being thrown out of a window.]
"I am the evolution of organized crime."
Played By: Enrico Colantoni
A nascent crime boss and the illegitimate son of Mafia don Gianni Moretti. Elias is determined to revive the crime families of New York and to eliminate the Russian mob.
Affably Evil: Seems genuinely polite most of the time, is respectful to Carter and is regretful towards John when he finally reveals himself. He even seems delighted to hear from him on the phone at one point.
Badass: In the span of a season, he became the city's most powerful crime boss. He still continued to be so after he was sent to prison. Even when the Russians and HR team up and take a lot of his power away from him near the end of Season 2, he's Defiant to the End when they come to kill him in "God Mode".
Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: In the pursuit of Simmons for killing Carter Team Machine is very pissed and out for blood. However, neither Reese, Shaw, nor Fusco actually kill him or Alonzo Quinn. Reese is talked down by Finch that killing Quinn would dishonor all Carter worked for and after Fusco gives Simmons a beating to the inch of his life, arrests the man for similar reasons. While resting later in the hospital, Simmons is visited by Elias who gives a very elegant speech about civility and the righteousness Carter held within her and which was instilled into Team Machine. He and Simmons, however, are cut from a much darker and older cloth of malevolence. As such, Elias watches as his man kills Simmons for the debt he owed Carter and could not fully pay back to her in life.
Berserk Button: He can forgive a lot of things, such as killing his mother, incarcerating him or even trying to kill him. But the one thing he can't stand is betraying him. As HR and his father found out the hard way. HR in particular irks him, when they came to him for assistance in rebuilding their operation, he lulls them and convinces them to set up the assassination of a Mafia don who's secretly made peace with Elias to go horribly wrong presumably as a Take That for leaving him hanging out to dry in "Flesh and Blood," allowing him to get arrested.
Beware the Quiet Ones: This man spent three years working as a teacher, getting close to the children of his enemies, as part of his long run plan.
The Chessmaster: Both figuratively (in the sense of manipulating NYC's criminal underworld) and literally (one of his laments about prison is that it's hard to find a worthy opponent among his peers).
Also in his first appearance: part of the reasoning behind him hiding as a high school teacher was to use his position to influence the children of rival criminals away from their parents' lifestyle choices, in a very long term strategy to starve the rivals of recruits.
The Corrupter: Used his position as teacher to get to know the children of his enemies and know just what is needed to turn them against their families.
Debt Detester: After Carter saved his life in the end of Season 2 he averts this as he never shows any qualms with being in Carter's debt. He never pushed her into a spot to make her call on him. He treated her with great respect. And with her murder by Simmons, he sees his only viable means of paying the debt is to kill Simmons, as he knows Team Machine cannot do it without destroying the good Carter sees in them.
Defiant to the End: Not particularly fazed when Yogorov and HR take him on what was supposed to be a "one way" prisoner transport.
Diabolical Mastermind: He is a calm, patient, but still dangerous man who has a deep understanding of the city's criminal underworld. He knows how to read the lines between the lines and play things accordingly.
Disc One Final Boss: He was built up as the Big Bad of the first season, and really does fulfill the role for most of it, but he's eventually defeated with a considerable amount of episodes left in the season. However, while he was seemingly defeated but as later episodes have shown, he still has a considerable amount of power over the city even in jail.
Enemy Mine: With Carter against the HR/Russian Mafia partnership. He also suggests this to Yogorov against HR.
Evil Is Petty: Averted. He's a very forgiving person. While John got him incarcerated, he was only mad at him for a little bit but still felt gratitude toward him for saving his life (and considered incarceration as a blessing in disguise, allowing him to focus on running his business). Even when the Russian mob leader tried to execute him, he saw it as completely fair since he killed his father. The one thing he won't forgive though, is betraying him, as HR finds out when he lures them into a killing that he's set up to fail in advance just to give them a Take That when they come to him for help on rebuilding their operations. And he even treats Carter with a friendly attitude despite her being his new warden.
Evil Counterpart: To Finch - Reese even mentioned that Elias made him think of Finch - though not as blatantly so as Root.
Reese initially shared Elias' "In the end, we're all alone" philosophy.
This is invoked by John to try and get him to help save a child's life, because if Elias permits children to be kidnapped and sold in his city, he's just as evil as the scum he's fighting against.
He also places a great deal of value on loyalty, and is contemptuous of HR because they are "oath breakers."
Father to His Men: When his right hand man got gunned down, he had his prison bodyguards paroled so that they could guard over him in the hospital. Carter noted that as evil as he was, he was loyal. This is in contrast to his opponents at HR who don't mind knocking off each other if they fail to do their jobs or threaten the success of the organisation.
From Nobody to Nightmare: Started off as an orphan in the foster care system and eventually became New York City's most powerful crime boss.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Has a team of gunmen ready to kill the families of the HR members if things go wrong. Harold gets wind of this and reveals it to Simmons, the second in command of HR. As Simmons loves his family, he pulls the support he was giving to the plot to kill the Five Dons and as a result, Elias gets arrested when Fusco calls for backup.
I Owe You My Life: Considers himself still in debt to Reese. He's practical about it and won't let it interfere with his plans, but is otherwise willing to use his authority over the crime world to protect John and his associates. As of Season 3, he makes a similar offer to Carter after she saved him from getting wiped out by HR and Yogorov, offering to have a gang of Russians eliminated but she declines.
Mundane Wish: Is convinced to use his contacts to help Team Machine out from behind bars on condition of Finch becoming his chess partner.
Parental Abandonment: He is the child of a mobster who never acknowledged him as a son and had his mother murdered.
Pyrrhic Victory: He eventually does get his revenge and takes down the entire Mob Family that he hated so much, but as a result, he winds up in prison. Although this hasn't really affected his control of the criminal underworld.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He actually thanks Finch for putting him in jail, telling him that it allowed him to cut out distractions and focus on what was important. He implies that being in jail allowed him to focus entirely on his business.
Start of Darkness: Kicked off with his mother's death, making him seek the criminal's path to prosper. However, it really kicks off when his Father attempts to murder him, turning a small time criminal with no ambition or planning skill into the CarlElias we know today.
Troll : Does this to HR, sending them on a wild goose chase after a Mafia don who's made peace with Elias and making sure it fails with the don forewarned and ready with a hidden bodyguard to kill HR cops sent to kill him and leaving only Lionel alive to give a message.
Wicked Cultured: Very knowledgeable about history, enjoys good food and wine, and is an excellent cook.
Worthy Opponent: Sees Finch as one. And Carter for beating him in "Flesh and Blood" and later saving his life
Would Hurt a Child: Elias claims he is personally against hurting children, but he's willing to at least appear to be willing to hurt them in order to get some much needed information out of John ("Baby Blue") and as potential leverage against various members of HR ("Flesh and Blood"). Does it to Carter by kidnapping her son in "Flesh and Blood." and it comes back to bite him with Finch convincing Simmons from HR who loves his family to leave Elias hanging out to dry once he's made aware of the plan to kill off the HR family members.
Anthony "Scarface" Marconi
Played By: David Valcin
"I'da just shot you, but the boss has got a soft spot for you."
A member of Elias's mob group, and is his second-in-command and principal enforcer. He is also informally known as Scarface due to an easily identifiable scar on his right cheek coupled with the fact that his name is never mentioned by any of the characters in any episode he appears in.
The Quiet One: While he does talk, he is more commonly found in silence.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Disappeared for a while after his Boss' defeat in "Flesh and Blood". Made a brief reappearance in "C.O.D.," was referenced in "All In," and may have been the "right-hand man" wounded offscreen by HR in "God Mode." As of "Liberty", he's alive and well and back in action, picking up some uncut diamonds for his boss in order to fund his comeback. Makes another appearance in "Endgame" and "The Devil's Share", killing Simmons.
The Russian Mob
Played by: Morgan Spector
"The cops might kill a kid; my people have standards."
The elder son of Ivan Yogorov, who was the head of The Mafiya in Brighton Beach until Elias had him killed ("Witness"). Takes over the organization and forms an alliance with HR. Has vowed revenge against Elias for killing his father.
Affably Evil: He's not that bad in person (particularly in comparison to other mobsters), even Carter agrees.
Butt Monkey: His family as a whole. Elias and Team Machine have run roughshod over them repeatedly over the course of the series.
In "The Devil's Share" he sends a team of gunmen to attack the safe house Alonzo Quinn is being hidden in by the US Marshall's. Unfortunately, Team Machine gets there and Root decimates most of the hit squad before they can even get inside the building
Satellite Character: While he has reasonable depth, it is noticeable that his only role in the show is to further other villains' plotlines (usually HR or Elias).
Shotguns Are Just Better: Utilises a Benelli M4 during "Endgame" as the partnership with HR falls to pieces . After what happened with Shaw using him as a blood donor it's a pretty wise decision.
Driven to Suicide: Minor variation, he initially planned to make a break for a safe house run by the CIA to get his bomb vest defused but John mockingly pointed out they wouldn't welcome him back with open arms and probably torture him, demanding an explanation about his long absence so instead Snow heads to Kara Stanton's car to kill her in the blast of his bomb vest when it goes off.
Even Evil Has Standards: Shoots down L-O-S's suggestion of killing Carter, stating they "Can't go around killing cops." before black-bagging him, although this may instead be a case of Pragmatic Villainy. Also is utterly terrified about Kara, making a special effort to hunt her down when she shows up in New York
Face Death with Dignity: He is perfectly calm in his last moments. Granted, at that point he'd basically been Kara's slave for months so he may have seen it as a relief. Plus, he was taking Kara with him.
Jerk Ass: Not in a abrasive sense but in a much more slimy fashion when he ran John and Kara. However, with Carter, it qualifies fully due to his increasing failure to trap and kill Reese in which he suspects she has a hand in helping him get away
Northern Lights is the codename for an organization/program within the United States Government that controls the Machine, distributes its intelligence and takes action to keep its activities secret from the rest of the world. Northern Lights receives Numbers from an entity codenamed "Research" (actually the Machine's relevant list), and pulls its personnel from various government agencies, including the NSA, the CIA and the Intelligence Support Activity.
Covert Group With Mundane Front: The late Special Counsel who oversaw their field operations masqueraded as the head of the Real Life Office Of Special Counsel, the people who conduct their field work are officially from the CIA and ISA and their entity known as "Research" belongs to the NSA.
Government Agency of Fiction: They're a secret counter-terrorist organisation who uses The Machine's relevant list to hunt down threats to America's national security and stop them before they even occur.
The Men in Black: They don't officially exist and are dedicated in keeping it that way.
Kill 'em All: Standard operating procedure in the event the existence of the Machine is compromised to the outside world. They're also willing to let terrorists attacks occur if necessary, if it means the source of the leak stands a good chance of dying in one.
Professional Killer: Their true strength. They have a small army of them to conduct counter-terrorist operations worldwide. They're also at Reese's calibre (like the ISA hit-squad in "No Good Deed" and Samantha Shaw). And if they find anyone who shouldn't know about the machine has learnt of its existence, they will be re-tasked in making sure that person does not live to tell anyone else.
Punch Clock Villain: The majority of their hit-squads have no knowledge of the machine and are simply following orders.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Their stated mission is to hunt down threats to America's national security and terminate them with extreme prejudice in order to prevent massive loss of life. However, they're paranoid about the American public finding out the existence of the machine and are all too happy to re-task their multiple hit squads to kill anyone, including innocent civilians, in order to keep it's existence secure.
Non ActionMan Behind The Man: He has yet to pick up a gun or even get into a physical fight. That said, he isn't adverse to tense situations and remains ice cool.
No Name Given: His name has yet to be spoken on screen. He was credited as "Pennsylvania Two" in the press release for "No Good Deed," but the press releases for all episodes since have credited him as "Special Counsel".
Pragmatic Villainy: Doesn't mind when Shaw blows Wilson away as she's called him out on the latter's stupidity in rashly taking a Contract on the Hitman and given him the compromising evidence he was looking for. He lets her walk out....and makes sure Hersh intercepts her.
Jerkass: Harold helps saves him but the guy turns on him and plans to bring him back to Northern Lights.
Karmic Torture: Root tortures him using a method that he authorized US Intelligence officers to use on terrorists - and makes a point of showing him a copy of the document in which he did this during the proceedings.
Your Cheating Heart: According to Root, he had been cheating on his wife with another woman for several years.
Played By: Elizabeth Marvel
A liaison between Ingram and the government while the Machine was being developed and a former member of the National Security Council. Corwin began living in hiding in a small town after Ingram's death.
The Atoner: She regrets being involved in setting up the Machine and wants to destroy it due to her fears about how it is being used and the people who have control of it.
Dropped A Bridge On Her: Was played up as a potential threat in the final two episodes of season 1 - she was shown stalking Finch, discovering the Library, and finally confronted him with the intent of making him shut down the Machine - but ended up being killed off by Root practically mid-sentence.]]
Heel-Face Turn: At some point, she turned against Nothern Lights and its methods and wanted to find a way to shut down The Machine.
Properly Paranoid: She knows The Machine is watching her, knows at least some of the ways it might be performing that monitoring—she moved to the National Radio Quiet Zone to avoid monitoring by wireless methods—she may be aware that it can act to protect itself should it figure out that she wants to shut it down, and she definitely knows just how ruthless Denton Weeks and the people behind him are.
Evil Mentor: For Shaw. As a result, she's just as good as John during combat situations. However, he may have taught her everything he knows but is perfectly willing to poison her when she resigns from the ISA.
The Fixer: If there is a problem in Northern Lights that the other "official" hit-squads need not know about, he will be the one to clean it up. It also seems to extend to eliminating those that decide to leave the program including his protégée Shaw.
Get Into Jail Free: His plan to infiltrate Rikers: pull a gun in a crowded street and start shooting in the air.
Implacable Man: Like the Terminator, even if he's grievously wounded, it will barely slow them down.
Kill 'em All: His general orders to anyone who might know about the Machine.
Professional Killer: As the fixer, he will handle situations, usually leaving behind a body or two.
The Stoic: He keeps a calm face in most situations. Even when Reese beat him and left him with a potentially fatal wound, the man didn't show much pain or anger, and later he's calm as a button about murdering his protégé ("Relevance") and his immediate supervisor and multiple co-workers ("God Mode"). Drops this when Root shoots him in ("Lady Killer"), he's left gasping on the floor bleeding out and is visibly in pain.
Bigger Bad: The one who is giving orders to Hersh and his people.
The Ghost: Until "God Mode", where is revealed to be a woman, her voice is heard, and a gloved hand is seen. Her face has not been shown though.
No Name Given: The only thing known about Control is the codename Control. Control has never even been seen on camera or addressed by an actual name. We don't hear Control's voice until the very end of "God Mode."
Samus Is a Girl: Control briefly appears in the season two finale, where she is addressed as "Ma'am". All that is seen of her is a gloved hand.
Shout-Out: To the works on John le Carré, where a man known as "Control" kept his identity secret while serving as the head of an intelligence organization.
The Man Behind the Man: To Pennsylvania Two. This person is the overall commander of Northern Lights, responsible both for sending people to deal with the Numbers provided by The Machine and for protecting the secret of The Machine's existence.
An organization of corrupt New York police officers and city officials. They are aware of "The Man In The Suit", and have repeatedly clashed with Team Machine on numerous occasions. Midway through Season Three, HR is finally brought down, though not without great sacrifice.
Card-Carrying Villain: All their rank and file members are this. Their boss, on the other hand, prefers to have the cover of his city hall job.
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: They run on this trope and it's a key reason why Elias despises them immensely. If any of their members screw up or risk compromising HR's security they won't be forgiven at all. It also applies to their business partners as Elias found out, when they leave him hanging out to dry during "Flesh and Blood" at a critical point in his operation to kill the Five Dons of New York.
Dirty Cop: The lot of them. Except their boss, which was how he stayed hidden for almost 3 seasons.
Dumb Muscle: They fulfil this role in the Person Of Interest universe. Their rank and file gets outfoxed quite a lot by Team Machine over the course of the show. The only exception to this is Officer Patrick Simmons and their boss.
Police Brutality: Only occasionally. They mostly prefer a nice bullet to the face or subtle threats as their normal modus operandi.
Vast Bureaucracy: Their true strength. They may not have the hacking and surveillance capabilities Team Machine has or four Bad Ass shooters on staff, but they can use the influence of their members in key positions of the NYPD and New York to cause serious headaches for the protagonists. It also helps that their boss is the Mayor's Chief of Staff.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: If association with their business partners or members proves harmful for the group as a whole, HR will readily leave them to hang out to dry or take the time to eliminate them.
"Who needs money when you have real power? The politicians come and go, but we'll be here forever."
Played By: Clarke Peters
The Mayor's Chief of Staff and the head of HR. Quinn, along with Simmons, plans to rebuild HR with or without Elias' assistance.
Bigger Bad: Being the boss of the massive Corrupt Cop organization HR, a lot of conflict in the show ends up being indirectly related to his doing.
The Chessmaster: "Bury the Lede" reveals him to be an extremely competent one.
Crazy-Prepared: Puts the name of a lower lackey in the payroll solely out of fear that said payroll will one day be discovered and he'll take the fall. Keep in mind said payroll was heavily protected by a mob boss and HR's lackeys.
Diabolical Mastermind: This man runs HR. He is a pragmatic man who will use anyone to further his goals and will kill, blackmail and ruin the reputation of anyone who gets in the way of him or HR's security.
Didn't See That Coming: Was totally blindsided by Carter calling in Finch to hack his phone and Reese for backup.
Dirty Cop: Subverted. He's not a police officer at all.
Dirty Coward: When given the choice between surrendering the location of Patrick Simmons or a painful death from John Reese Quinn willingly picks the former.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Averted. From interactions with his godson, it appears he loves the man. But when Quinn realizes he won't stop investigating who set up another good cop, instead of just getting him a desk job out of the city, Quinn has him killed.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Given he's a man who always assumes the worst of everyone (correctly, in most cases), he's mildly surprised when people like Beecher and Carter continue to pursue honesty.
Evil(er) Counterpart: To Elias. He is what Elias was once before Elias was outed as a villain. Criminal mastermind masquerading as upstanding citizen. A Ghost whose identity is known to very few people. Both made a remark about having no need for material possession. What separates Elias from him is that Elias is willing to honour his relationships and promises to people like his men, John and Harold, while Quinn is perfectly willing to betray and kill anyone who's outlived their usefulness, gets in his way or threaten the security of HR. Including his own godson.
Evil Virtues: He places a high value on loyalty in particular.
Faux Affably Evil: He seems pretty friendly towards Maxine, until he decides to destroy her career for his own benefit.
Genre Savvy/Wrong Genre Savvy: Displays traits of both. On one hand, his keen knowledge of politics and most character's M.Os (such as knowing precisely what Beecher, the Mob, Maxine and Carter would do) place him on the first, on the other hand, he frequently displays a Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! mindset that is proven wrong by Carter's actions.
The Ghost/Unknown Character: Straddles the line. HR was a recurring enemy organization for quite some time, but the presence of a leader was only vaguely hinted at until "Bury The Lede". His true identity is so well covered, even Elias doesn't know who he is. His true identity and face are revealed at the end of the episode
Hypocrite: In "The Devil's Share", he gives a speech about trust and how he won't betray his old subordinate Patrick Simmons to a pissed off John who's trying to get revenge for the murdered Carter. Considering HR ran on the Chronic Backstabbing Disorder trope, it's highly ironic and hilarious. John brings him crashing back to reality by informing the man that he can trust Reese to execute him in three minutes time.
I Own This Town: Repeatedly makes this threat towards Reese and Carter in "The Crossing" while offering ample proof of such.
Karma Houdini: He has been behind the corrupt cops of HR and personally involved with the deaths of a cop and Assistant District Attourney, but he has gotten away with it all.
Finally comes to an end in "The Crossing" with Carter successfully destroying his organisation.
The Man Behind the Man: With regards to the city's current Mayor. He not only does most of his job for him, but he also got him elected to begin with. He was also the behind the Mayor's opposition in the election, so he could continue being the simple aide regardless of who won.
Manipulative Bastard: Maintained a friendship with Maxine with the sole purpose of manipulating her to achieve his goals.
Man of Wealth and Taste: He always has a nice suit on and acts befitting of a man from a well-off family. This further shows his contrast between him and the much more casually dressed Elias.
Out-Gambitted: By Carter, of all people, in "Endgame". She gets his (unwitting)confession recorded and then captures him with the aid of Reese. Checkmate.
The Sociopath: In his entire screen-time, he hasn't shown a single drop of empathy for anyone. Be they innocent civilians, honest people or rivals. His only cited concerns are the City and his money. Mess with either and he will have you killed. His completely remorseless murder of Szymanski only solidifies this. It gets even worse when he its revealed that he manipulated his own godson into framing Szymanski, and then had said godson killed when he started to realize that he was being played.
Spock Speak: He has a tendency to talk in an overly formal way regardless of the situation.
Villainous Breakdown: It's very subtle and subdued, but it's noticeable Quinn becomes more and more nervous and erratic along "Endgame" and "The Crossing".
Villain with Good Publicity: To the outside world Quinn is a pillar of the community, a distinguished aide to the mayor and a law abiding confidential informant who happily helps out his NYPD detective godson. In private, he's the sociopathic head of the corrupt police officers of New York and has happily murdered a NYPD detective and a assistant district attorney without even batting an eyelid.
Wicked Cultured: Has an air of refinement and culture about him. He enjoys good food and fine drinks.
A uniformed officer is now the right-hand man to Quinn. He handles HR activities on the street level.
Almighty Janitor: Simmons is a simple beat cop, but he's also The Dragon to HR's boss. He gives orders to HR cops who outrank him.
Ascended Extra: A bit. Simmons started up as just a random corrupt cop friend of Fusco, but he is later shown to be one of the most powerful figures in the city (seeing as he's The Dragon to HR's boss) and he became one of the most recurring villains.
Authority Equals Asskicking: He's the second-highest-ranking member of HR, and the only one who is able to put up a good fight with Reese.
Bad Ass: Went toe-to-toe with Reese and managed to hold his own.
Bald of Evil: Really doesn't have much hair and is very much evil.
Dragon Ascendant: In "The Crossing" the HR boss is indisposed and Simmons takes overall command of the organisation as it tries to save itself from being destroyed by Team Machine
Elite Mook: The closest thing HR has to one. Unlike the rank and file members he lasts more than three seconds in a fist fight with Reese despite getting trounced in the end and also is Genre Savvy enough to take cover when John bursts into a room full of HR cops with his gun drawn. As a result, his kneecaps are intact when John leaves.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He has HR quit working for Elias once he discovers that Elias is keeping tabs on their families in case he ever needs to threaten them.
Even Evil Has Standards: When the boss casually commented on having to eliminate his own godson as he was getting too close, Simmons made a bit of a shocked expression (which maybe is because he has loved ones of his own). He even tried to suggest that they simply have the guy Kicked Upstairs.
However, this only seems to apply to family members of HR officers. He's perfectly willing to hurt Genrika as her surveillance operation threatened the profitable drug lab HR had set up with the Russian Mafia and in "The Crossing" he sends an HR officer to murder Fusco's son.
Karma Houdini: Escapes the takedown of HR. Also survives Reese blowing up his car in Season 1.
Becomes this again after the second takedown of HR when all its members are finally apprehended except him. He exploits this by killing Carter, and escaping. Again. But his luck finally runs out in "The Devil's Share, when Fusco catches up to him, kicks his ass and arrests him.
Karmic Death: He ultimately dies at the hands of Marconi, strangled in his hospital bed while Elias watches.
Killer Cop: Has killed a fair number of people for crossing HR.
One of the ways he maintains control over lower-ranking members of HR is by threatening not only them, but also their families if they try to doublecross him.
Was willing to kidnap and harm Genrika to get information out of her on her spying activities.
He also sent someone to kill Fusco's son.
Xanatos Speed Chess: Pulls off a pretty competent one during "The Crossing" when trying to recover his boss before Carter delivers him to the FBI
Detective Raymond Terney
Played By:Al Sapienza
"You keep askin' questions, we're gonna put you in the ground...."
A police detective with whom Carter regularly works.
Ascended Extra: Had bit parts in a number of episodes throughout seasons 1 and 2, mostly as just another face around the precinct, but the final scene from "All In" has paved the way for him to become a more significant character.
Dirty Cop: As revealed in "All In", he not only works for HR, he knows who the boss is! There aren't many people who know that, and Quinn appears to trust him quite a bit so he's probably pretty high-ranking.
Dirty Coward: In "God Mode," he pleads for his life—"I have a family!"—when Carter rescues Elias, despite arrogantly preparing commit murder a few seconds before.
Mole in Charge: Guess who's in charge of investigating Szymanski's murder.
Villains Dying Grace: After fatally shooting him, Carter begs him to "be a cop one last time". With his dying breath, he reveals the head of HR.
Capt. Arthur 'Artie' Lynch
Played By: Michael Mulheron
"The thing about organized crime is... it's organized. The trains run on time."
A major figure in HR with whom Fusco appeared to be working.
Cool Gun: Befitting a Dirty Cop he has an illegally purchased and unregistered Sig-Sauer GSR, a expensive M1911A1 clone. It becomes his undoing when Carter obtains it and when he tries to have one of his buddies kill her, she blows the man away with the weapon and blackmails Laskey with the threat of being framed for the killing.
Hoist by His Own Petard: He has a non-standard issue handgun that's illegally purchased. Carter obtains it and uses it to blackmail him by shooting one of Laskey's associates he was trying to use to eliminate her with it and threatening to frame him for the murder.
Heel-Face Turn: He's forced to bury the corpse of a friend of his who HR murdered when said friend failed to pay protection payments on time. As a result, he implies to Carter that he will willingly aid her in destroying HR
Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: What he really is with less emphasis on the Sympathetic part. Carter knew from the beginning he was a mole, scoffs at his threats against her and John and then puts him in his place by framing him for a murder.
New Meat: Plays this angle to manipulate Carter, but she sees right through it.
Not What I Signed On For: In "Mors Praematura" he meets with Simmons about an old grocer friend of his who has skimped on "protection payments." Simmons was not amused and had Laskey bury the man's body. The next day he goes to Carter and confesses he is actually Russian Mob, one of twelve slipped into the police force, and implies he will fully support Carter's goal in destroying HR.
Small Name, Big Ego: Venomously rants about how Carter, someone with far more experience than he has doesn't know her place and believes his HR connections will give him power over her. It doesn't work out well for him in the ensuring confrontation with him being put soundly in his place by Carter and blackmailed to become her mole in HR.
Properly Paranoid: When he finds out that the DNA samples and fingerprints he sent out for testing did not match "the man in the suit", he correctly assumes that they were tempered with. Subverted right afterwards when he puts Carter in charge of the interrogations because he does not trust anyone else on his team. Double Subverted when he informs her that he believed she was the mole and kept her close for that reason.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: At one point in "Prisoner's Dilemma," he's willing to put a potentially innocent suspect (Reese) at risk of being killed in a prison riot just to see if he's trained in unarmed combat.
Wild Mass Guessing: His theories as to what The Man in the Suit is up to seem to come off as this in later episodes. They'd be amusing if it wasn't for the fact that he honestly believes them and thinks they justify whatever dubiously legal things he has to do in order to bring The Man in the Suit in.
Detective Bill Szymanski
Played by: Michael McGlone
Dirty Cop: Averted; he was set up to look like one by HR, but Carter proved his innocence. Elias even says he tried to bribe the man, but he wouldn't break his morals.
The Generic Guy: Appeared mostly when a detective other then Carter and Fusco was needed.
Sacrificial Lion: Killed by HR for continuing to pursue the Russian Mob, whom HR wanted to solve their money problems.
Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: After his murder, Det. Beecher asks imprisoned Elias if Szymanski was on his payroll. Elias says he offered Szymanski money, "and he threw it in our faces."
Detective Calvin Beecher
Played by: Sterling K. Brown
Dirty Cop: He has several investigations into him by Internal Affairs. He seems linked to the dirty cops in HR. Ultimately averted. Beecher is a good man and good cop who happens to be the godson of the head of HR.
He Knows Too Much: Was killed because he got close to identifying head of HR, and learning that Symanski was clean and refused Elias' money.
Sacrificial Lion: As the godson of the head of HR, his death shows not only can anyone die, but HR will not let anything stand in their way.
Scary Black Man: Played with in that it isn't clear at first if he's a good or bad person. Ultimately Averted. Good person, unfortunately his godfather is corrupt.
Red Herring: After multiple suggestions that he's working for HR, it's ultimately revealed he's not.]]
Unwitting Pawn: To the head of HR, used to discredit another good detective.
Introduced in season 2, Decima Technologies is China-based company said to be specialized in cyberwarfare. Responsible for infecting the machine with a virus so they can take control of it.
Dragon with an Agenda: They're employed by China's Ministry of State Security, and share intelligence with them. However,they run their own operations independent from Chinese control.
The Cracker: During "Trojan Horse", they shut out Harold from the Rylatech servers by taking control of his laptop, overheating its battery and cause it to explode. So far, this is the only demonstration of their hacking abilities.
Pragmatic Villainy: Seems to be his modus operandi; he's ruthless but never needlessly cruel, and seems to follow the line that the carrot rather than the stick is the better way to get your underlings to be loyal and willing to do anything.
The Spymaster: The ultimate example in the show. He knows Reese and Shaw. And he knows of Finch.
Stiff Upper Lip: Nonchalantly continued to look at a bit of paperwork while Reese and Shaw blasted through some of his mooks without even turning around to look, then leisurely finished looking at the paper and turned his attention to Reese and Shaw without so much as batting an eyelid or showing a flicker of discomfort at the situation that was apparently not in his favor. The fact that reinforcements were on the way probably contributed to this.
Evil Mentor: For John, when they first meet, he's the New Meat while she's the senior agent who's supervising him and after critiquing his insistence on not drinking wine (he's no longer a soldier and not drinking would probably blow his cover in a operational setting), she teaches him his first lesson by executing two traitors without warning and ordering John to clean up.
Faux Affably Evil: Very friendly and courteous towards Snow (and John Reese) while explicitly informing him he's a disposable asset.
Hidden Agenda Villain: Whatever she's doing in season 2 that’s worth killing random civilians. It's eventually revealed that she was working for another covert organization which was seeking control of The Machine.
It's Personal: She isn't happy that her superiors tried to have her eliminated.
Never Found the Body: Admittedly, it does look like she was blown up so there wouldn't be a body, but that it didn't work out too well last time.
No One Could Survive That: The first time she escaped death, it was somewhat believable since she was covered by building structure. But seeing as how she was sitting right next to Snow with less than 10 seconds from detonation, and the sheer magnitude of the explosion, it's very hard to believe that she survived.
Subverted in "Dead Reckoning" when Mark Snow reveals that his reasoning for setting them up to kill each other was because they were "damaged goods" and it was "poetic." It does nothing to help endear him to Stanton.
Not necessarily true. He was just noting the fact that it was poetic. But the fact that they knew too much likely was the main reason.
Weapon of Choice: suppressed Sig Sauer P239 which she uses to ambush Snow, kill Evans and later execute Donnelly.
Introduced in Season 3, Vigilance is a mysterious organisation dedicated to fighting against those that have destroyed privacy including private businesses and the government through the strategic use of assassination and Cyberwarfare. They have recently made contact with Team Machine, targeting two POI's.
Played by Leslie Odom Jr.
"We at Vigilance respect your privacy, unlike the government."
Commie Nazis: The group he is from seems to combine ideology and tactics from the Tea Party, the Occupy movement and Anonymous.
Faux Affably Evil: After taking the foster brother of a defector from Vigilance hostage, he politely explains to the man how he's going to murder them both, while preparing to ambush the prison transport his target is on.
The Fundamentalist: When John successfully talks a man who had been ruined by Wayne Kruger into putting his handgun down and has seemingly made Kruger, one of the most reprehensible POI's in the shows history see the error of his ways, Collier pulls out his own weapon, shoots Reese and Kruger and then executes the POI. He's also not pleased that one of his hackers wasn't completely loyal to the direction he was taking Vigilance after the group committed it's first assassination. He put quite a lot of resources in hunting the man down going, so far as to kidnap the man's foster brother for leverage and assemble a well armed hit squad to set up an ambush for the target.
Knight Templar: In a big way. Initially Vigilance was merely planning to scare Wayne Kruger into retirement but Collier convinced the majority of the group's leadership to go further and approve of his proposal to assasinate the guy to teach "the first lesson". Later, after one of the hacker involved in that operation turned traitor after getting a case of Even Evil Has Standards and attempted to go to the CIA, Collier ruthlessly hunted him down, kidnapped his foster brother and calmly explained to the man exactly how he was going to murder them both as he and a Vigilance hit squad prepared to ambush the CIA prisoner transport.
Root is arguably the most dangerous foe Team Machine has ever faced. HR may have extensive political connections, the Nothern Lights may have an army of Professional Killers on the level of Reese and Decima Technologies may have similar hacking and surveillance capabilities to Harold but when Root appears, the already Properly Paranoid Team Machine who's effortlessly fought off the aforementioned organisations becomes worried and their guard goes up extensively.
For starters, she's the second best hacker in the series after Finch, and is extremely good at taking advantage of Everything Is Online.
As Finch puts it, "She hacks people as easily as she hacks computers." This is fully demonstrated in her time as the Special Counsel's secretary where she so thoroughly worms her way into his private and professional life by the time she reveals herself, Root has enough leverage to effectively interrogate him.
Even though she is not military trained like Reese and Shaw, she's also a surprisingly good shot with her handgun and gets the better of Deeton Weeks and Shaw with the element of surprise and a taser.
In "Lady Killer," she holds off Hersh, one of the most dangerous villains in the show, in a gigantic shootout. She almost immediately puts him on the defensive and manages to wound him severely, making the normally unflappable killer Not So Stoic. When she's reloading, Hersh is shooting her and she doesn't even flinch as bullets slam into the walls and filing cabinets around her.
And now, she's the machine's personal asset or "Analogue Interface". This status gives her the full surveillance capabilities of the machine from chessmaster level prediction to Improbable Aiming Skills to name a few.
Batman Gambit: As a means of getting to Finch, she hired HR to kill one of her aliases, trusting in whatever Finch used to help people would locate her alias and seek to help her get to safety.
Berserk Button: A slow acting one which gets worse over time. Don't try to actively keep her away from the Machine. Harold slams on it when he reveals he had the machine moved in "God Mode".
And then again by "Mors Praematura", where he imprisons her in his library.
Beware the Silly Ones: Seemingly affable and cheery, Root can hack your computer to raise money for her operations, find a dozen ways to blackmail a person to do her bidding and is highly unpredictable in close quarter combat. She's essentially a female version of Heath Ledger's Joker with computer hacking skills. Rule number one, don't turn your back to Root, Shaw found out the hard way and got hit with a taser and zip tied for her trouble.
Breaking Speech: Constantly does little ones to Harold each time they meet. The don't stick but are quite effective at making him comply with her wishes.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When we see her in the first season finale, she plays the part of a meek therapist who is being hunted down, giving no evidence of her true nature until we see her shoot a woman from behind and hold Finch up at gunpoint.
Cargo Ship: In-Universe: In "The Crossing," she implies to Harold that her relationship with "The Machine" is "more intimate" than Finch's.
Cassandra Truth: Her Start of Darkness came when she witnessed her best (and only) friend being kidnapped (and murdered and secretly buried) and the only adult she told called her a "nasty little liar."
The Corrupter: Finch accuses her of being this for the machine. She retorts that his distant, business-like relationship with it caused it to imprint on her.
The Chosen One: As of season 3, the Machine has chosen her for a special mission with an unknown goal and made her an "analogue interface" meaning she is the only person who can actually talk to the Machine.
Combat Pragmatist: When it comes to computer hacking, she's this, finding a way to compromise Finch's Library. In the real world, she knows her limitations, relying on playing possum, her taser or her Heizer Defense Double Tap to even the playing field against people like Shaw and John.
The Chessmaster: Root is very good at setting up plans and long term aliases to gain her crucial advantages.
The Cracker: Root is an expert at breaking into most computer systems and successfully compromises Finch's library and Team Machine's communications before Harold shuts her out by destroying his phone and deactivating the power to his computer systems.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Knows how Harold and John would operate with a POI and uses this to get close enough to Harold in order to capture him. She also knows Denton Weeks and Finch would try escape, hence, when Weeks knocks her to the ground and grabs her handgun, she's ready with a taser.
Humans Are Flawed: Believes this without believing there's anything redeemable about humans.
Improbable Aiming Skills: In God mode, the machine gives her the ability to detect hostiles hiding behind cover allowing her to place her shots dead on and decimate a Decima Technologies hit squad with her handgun.
When escaping from the Asylum in Lady Killer, the machine gives her these again which she uses to get the better of Hersh.
It Amused Me: Seems to be her main motivation for doing anything not connected to The Machine.
Machine Worship: She's in awe of The Machine. When she discovered its existence, her life started revolving around it; by the end of the second season, she started calling it "God." She also refers to her God with female pronouns.
Master Actor: And how! It's one of her most effective skills which makes her a serious threat to anyone who's unaware of who she really is. Most of the Properly Paranoid members of Team Machine have been outwitted by her although by Season 3, they've gotten more Genre Savvy in countering it.
Season 1 had Harold and John protecting a meek, innocent therapist by the name of Caroline Turing....Up to the point she subjects Alicia Cowin to a Boom, Headshot and takes Harold hostage when Reese is busy trying to survive a unit of HR officers.
Season 2 had the formidable, rouge ISA assassin Samantha Shaw arranging a meeting with Veronica Neumann, a nervous CIA officer....who promptly hits her with a stun gun, zip ties her to a chair and almost engages in some Cold-Blooded Torture before she's interrupted by an ISA hit-squad.
For half of Season 2, she's Mrs May, the Special Counsel's Sexy Secretary, drastically compromising his security with him being none the wiser, up to the point she takes him hostage in his own office.
The Only One Allowed To Kill You: Tends to have this towards Finch, in one episode getting enraged ("Don't you touch him.") and killing two men who had their guns trained on Finch and then later she nearly kills him herself.
Psychopathic Womanchild: Root is polite, cheerful and almost jolly like a schoolgirl. She's still like this when committing horrible crimes, torturing people and causing mayhem for Team Machine.
Samus Is a Girl: Until the season 1 finale, "Firewall," the only thing we knew for certain about Root was that she is a woman.
Smug Snake: Has a really big ego which is justified in that she's the second best hacker in the show. But the trope comes into play when John goes up against her. She mistakenly believes he's Dumb Muscle. He proves her wrong in spectacular fashion.
Although she says she's not, but wishes she was as it would make what she's had to do easier. This could have easily been a lie to try to get into Harold's good graces however, since earlier she remarked to Shaw how much she enjoyed torturing people...which could also have been a lie to mess with Shaw.
In 'Zero Day' Root shows genuine horror at the thought of the Machine suffering. The ability to empathize with another's suffering is a marker against her being a sociopath. She is clearly a psychopath, though.
Stalker with a Crush: Her relation to the Machine, despite the fact that the latter is not human at all. Considering that it's Root we're talking about, possibly because it's not human, actually.
Token Evil Teammate: Seems to be doing her damnedest to make it official on Team Machine. So far Harold is refusing to acknowledge this.
Made official during "The Devil's Share" with Shaw convincing Harold to let her out of the Library
Thou Shalt Not Kill: In season 3, in an effort to help her get better, the Machine has forced Root to do this and stay in the asylum for some time. She follows this command and even Hersh is spared by the Machine's orders even though Root is rather annoyed.
Underestimating Badassery: Really doesn't think much of Reese in terms of intelligence. It comes to bite her in the ass multiple times.
Villainous Breakdown: She starts coming unglued when the sniper kills Szilard and completely breaks down when she arrives where she believes The Machine to be and finds an empty warehouse. The knowledge that Finch already set it free doesn't help her. She's left practically catatonic. However, when The Machine calls her in the final moments of Season 2, she returns to her old smile.
Weapon of Choice: Her laptop, cellphone, taser and her Heizer Defense Doubletap handgun
Wild Card: Utterly unpredictable which gives her an advantage in close quarter combat as Shaw found out the hard way. It also accentuates her creepiness. Who would have thought she would cut Harold's hand just to get medical supplies?
Worthy Opponent: Considers Harold to be one, as he is one of the few (if not only) people in the world to match her skills in computer programming/hacking. The fact that he built the Machine helps too, of course.
"I get it... you wonder why it won't talk to you like it talks to me. Don't be jealous, Harold. Mom still loves us both."
While this probably is true, there hasn't actually yet been a case where she has hurt/threatened a child.
Yandere: The best way to describe her almost stalker-like obsession with the Machine. She's devoted herself to an obsessive quest to find it and set it free, and she doesn't care who she has to kill, blackmail, or otherwise ruin to get at it.
May or may not be this to Harold, depending how you interpret her feelings for him. On the one hand, she did seem pretty pissed off when a couple men tried to take him out and shot them for it. But that may have been because she needed him to find and free the Machine.
"This isn't your game and no one's invited you to play."
Crazy-Prepared: in "Critical," he has a sniper in place to shoot a doctor's wife to blackmail the doctor into killing a patient. He has a backup plan to kill the wife in case his sniper is incapacitated, and then has a backup plan in case the first backup fails. Then we find out that this was just plan A and he also has a plan B already in place.
Graceful Loser: Called Reese to congratulate him with foiling his plans.
Evil Counterpart: A well-dressed, cultured, polite, former member of a major intelligence organization who now works as a rogue agent on the criminal world. Both Wesley and Reese fit that description, the key difference is the side each other is on. And of Finch, both prefer to coordinate their operatives from a safe distance and are skilled strategists.
Non-Action Big Bad: Implied from his dialogue in his final conversation with John when he talks about the time they met. Unlike John who is more hands on and likes to take part in the action, Wesley is trained to conceal himself and plan and coordinate operations from a safe distance.
Psychopathic Man Child: Sees his operations as "Games" with rules. As a result Finch uses this to pick apart his operation by invoking Loop Hole Abuse to buy time for the POI and her lover when he hacks the blood bank computer in the hospital to delay the surgery.
An Assistant District Attorney whose Social Security number was the first given to the recently formed partnership of Reese and Finch. She's initially believed to be in danger of being killed when in fact, she's actively assisting in framing innocent people for crimes committed by HR
Amoral Attorney: On retainer for HR and is even more so than usual for this trope. She knowingly prosecutes innocent people framed by HR for the crimes they committed.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Due to her pretty face and charming demeanor, she was quickly mistaken for (and assumed to be) a victim instead of a perpetrator. Comes to bite John hard after he's caught off guard with Fusco getting the drop on him.
A former Marine and a member of a crime ring led by Sam Latimer, along with Straub and Teddy Dalloway.Joey has a fiancée named Pia Moresco, whom he knew since they were kids. He joined Latimer's crime ring to help support the family of another marine who was killed in Afghanistan after they swapped seats in a Humvee. Under Latimer's leadership Joey and the rest of the crew mainly carried out high end robberies.
Honor Before Reason: Joey robs banks, putting his life and liberty at risk, to provide for the family of a deceased Army comrade.
Played By: David Costabile Appeared in: "Judgement"
Papa Wolf: When his son was taken, he was willing to go to extremes to save him.
Reasonable Authority Figure: As a man of the Law, he is a tough but reasonable judge. He acknowledged Reese did a morally good action but not the legally right one, as Reese broke plenty of laws. Reese claims to Finch the Judge also implied he would assist them at some later date as a reward for getting his son back.
"For my country, I left my country and killed wherever they sent me. For that they called me a monster."
Badass Grandpa: Despite being well into his old age, he runs rings around the young German intelligence officer sent to take him down and has the honor of being the first person seen in the show who can go head-to-head with Reese, stay one step ahead of him and even incapacitate him with a well performed nerve strike.
The Chessmaster: Has had a while to draw up a plan to track down and get rid of his former colleagues while in jail and executes it in a very efficient, methodical manner.
Cold-Blooded Torture: His preferred form is acupuncture needles to major nerves. Very clean and intensely painful.
They laughed at me when I learned to use these needles. They didn't laugh long.
Driven to Suicide: After he's informed that his wife is alive and meets with her, she informs him she's completely terrified by him and as he's got nothing else to live for, purposely makes Reese kill him by levelling his empty gun at his wife.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The whole reason why he's back in New York, to take revenge for himself and his wife. And when his wife reveals she's utterly terrified by him, he decides to make Reese kill him as he's got nothing left to live for.
Friendly Enemy: He is very friendly to John. They bond over discussing tradecraft and costs of being a professional killer while Kohl is taking breaks between torturing Reese. He's also highly regretful when he has to depart while at the same time is preparing to plug John in the head. Later after their final confrontation, they have a rather touching yet bitter-sweet conversation as Ulrich bleeds out on a park bench.
Suicide by Cop: Variation. He makes like he's going to shoot somebody and Reese fatally shoots him, then it turns out the gun was empty.
Tragic Villain: Began to scare those around him due to his fanatical and bloody kill count, so they betrayed him when they defected. He wasn't pleased and flew to New York to get even—but then he meets the wife he thought was dead, and his daughter who he never met and then after realising what he's become when his wife tells him she's utterly terrified by him gets Reese to shoot him, killing him.
Trauma Conga Line: All she and her friends wanted after taking half a million dollars in laundered money was to take a modest finders fee and return it to the owners. The owner of the money hires a pair of professional killers to hunt them down, blowing one of her friends to smithereens and nearly ambushing her and Paula in their house. Later, Paula gets kidnapped and they nearly die in a hostage exchange gone wrong. Thanks to John's efforts, they live and even get to keep the money.
"It seems like yesterday I was partying till dawn down in Miami. Used to own six nightclubs down there you know; I had a mansion in Coral Gables, a white Bengal tiger—had to give all that up. Bad for my health."
Cassandra Truth: All his stories about once having a big fancy life when he is just the super of a low-level apartment are laughed at. He is actually in Witness Protection for testifying against Miami drug dealers.
Defiant to the End: Isn't begging when one of her colleagues (who's masterminded a scam which involves taking parolee's children into the foster care system for profit) is trying to kill her. She's rather angry in fact.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: Even the man who tried to executes her points it out and in her superb Shut Up, Hannibal! to his self serving justifications about why he's going to kill her, she "would rather bleed than not have a heart".
"In the end, what he had instead of a father was cash in a shoebox. And what'd he do? He bought himself a future."
Badass Banker: With Finch's funding he's able to outflank the group that's trying to illegally short a certain gas company and ruin them. He also ruined Carl Elias' plans; Elias had expected to gain $300 million but only got $4 million for his war chest before the operation was blown by Team Machine.
Honest Corporate Executive: Is genuinely trying to do the right thing, and while he gambles of a sort on the stock market, it's all calculated risk, and when a company his uncle invested in is shorted, he does his best (with a good deal of help from Finch) to restore the stock price.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Seems like a pillar of society with a perfect existence. It's all a lie. He takes part in robbing his own armoured car transport, executes and betrays a large number of people without a shred of hesitation over the course of the episode and really only gives a damn about himself.
On the night of April 15, 1991, 14-year old Hanna played The Oregon Trail at the Bishop, Texas Public Library until shortly before closing. She checked out the book Flowers for Algernon, left the building, and disappeared. In 2012, Reese demands that The Machine help him find the kidnapped Finch, and The Machine gives Reese Hanna's Social Security number....
“There’s a rumor about this guy. The police just call him The Man in the Suit. No one’s seen his face. No one knows his name. I’m not even sure he exists, but he’s like something out of a comic book. When people are in trouble, he comes out of nowhere. He always seems to be there just in time. Whoever he is, he saves a lot of lives...and he shoots a lot of kneecaps.”
Break the Haughty: Published a story without fully confirming the facts because she wanted the big scoop. She ended up unintentionally getting a crucial (and innocent) FBI informant killed. Agent Donnelly revealed crucial details of their investigation just to show her how badly she screwed up. Her reputation and career were devastated, with her past stories now in doubt. She managed to pick herself up with the help of John, and located the ledger that the informant planned to give to the FBI.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Launched a story claiming that a man was being suspected of being HR's boss. Turned out he was actually an FBI informant who had the ledger that could point the direction to HR's boss, but had a bullseye painted on him with that story and got him killed. Nice job breaking it indeed.
Honest Corporate Executive: Just for starters, he sabotages a predatory lawsuit by his own company against a small startup, and helps them get started. And when his company becomes too ruthless for his taste, he joins forces with another competitor to launch a rival that will decimate them.
Awesome by Analysis: Gives a chilling play by play of the bar brawl that's about to happen when he gets into a fight along with his friend.
Bad Ass: Small-scale but his commanding officer believe he has potential to be a SEAL.
Bad Ass In Distress: Some Force Recon Marines attempt to kidnap him, beating him up, knocking him out and tossing him in the boot of a car. Luckily, John's driving.
Dare To Be Bad Ass: His commanding officer believes he'd make a great SEAL if he tried out for his BUD/S.
Expy: He's basically a younger Reese in a different service branch who hasn't made career decisions like joining the CIA or suffered personal tragedy in his life. Even Reese sees the similarities between him and Jack, giving him some friendly advice and also warning him not to accept any job offers from the CIA if he decides to become a SEAL.
I Just Wantto Be Normal: Is torn between the offer to try out for his BUD/S and become a SEAL or settle down and have a family.
Nerves of Steel: One of the more calm POI's Team Machine has dealt with who doesn't lose his nerve or do something idiotic when his shipmate is kidnapped.
Trading Bars for Stripes: How he got into the Navy, he beat a man into a coma. John emphasises with him over this, alluding to his own experiences.
Trauma Conga Line: All he wanted was a drink and some rest and relaxation in New York during Fleet Week. But his number came up in the Irrelevant list. Then he gets involved in a bar brawl, has his friend kidnapped and wired to an I.E.D, is nearly kidnapped himself, is shot when Reese rescues him, is embroiled in a diamond smuggling operation he wasn't even aware of and is nearly late returning to the aircraft carrier he's serving on. Luckily, his irresponsible shipmate who helped embroil him in the mess takes the blame for their lateness and by the next day, he's safely back on the aircraft carrier with the Force Recon Marines who were trying to kill him dead or in hospital
Ass Hole Victim: Big time, he's ruined many people lives and never made any effort to correct the problems with his website.
Break the Haughty: At the start of the episode, Kruger arrogantly claimed that people who wanted privacy probably had something to hide when they complained about his site. Peter Collier and a group of people who had their lives ruined by Life Trace proceed to take him down several notches
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Presents a slick and charismatic personality but it's a lie. He's got a criminal record, gone bankrupt in a previous business, only cares about his financial success, has been having an affair and is willing to injure the man who's trying to keep him alive just for a chance at finalising the business deal he's been conducting. Collier is utterly disgusted by him that he convinced his superiors who wanted Kruger to be scared away from his company to instead accept his proposal to execute Kruger
Corrupt Corporate Executive: Even Finch sees it and notes he built the machine so men like Kruger wouldn't abuse it the same way Kruger's website is abused.
Hypocrite: Calls out Finch twice for reading his personal info.
It's All About Me: Only cares about himself and getting the business deal with his website finalised. Made more apparent when he smashes a vase on Harold's head and heads to a business meeting where he believes the deal can be finished. It's a trap for Collier to kill him
Jerk Ass: Taken up to eleven when he Smashes a vase on poor Harold's head
Laser-Guided Karma: Peter Collier arranges for him to suffer a severe loss of privacy and ruin his life in the same way Kruger's site did to so many others
My God, What Have I Done?: After the father of a girl who's stalker/murderer used Life Trace spells out how Kruger's inaction when he requested sensitive information be removed was ignored contributed to her death, Kruger shows genuine remorse for the first time in the episode. Collier is not impressed however and shoots him
Never My Fault: His main flaw, he never accepts responsibility for how his website helped destroy so many lives. One of the people who lost his child to a stalker who was using Life Trace to track her pointed out that he did nothing and didn't listen to the requests to pull critical information from the site.
Trauma Conga Line: For the first time, in the history of the show, its actually quite deserved. He's revealed to be having an affair at his wedding anniversary, his secretary learns he only hired her for her looks, the potential business partner leaves him out to dry, the board of his company learns about his shady criminal and business history, he gets thrown out of his company, he's nearly killed in a falling elevator,then a car accident and finally, he goes to what he thinks is a business meeting but is in fact a trap to kill him.
Your Cheating Heart: He's been having an affair Peter Collier makes sure his anniversary party knows
"I'm just practicing for my career....International espionage."
Character Blog: has a Twitter account (@PA37ABOP) where she was tweeting cryptic comments from July 31, 2013 to the episode's air date
Child Prodigy: Knows counter-surveillance tactics and executes them very well; built a "listening station" in the basement air ducts of her apartment house and planted hard-wired microphones all through the building
Free Range Child: Her cousin cares little about her and doesn't even try to put limits on her. As a result, she does pretty much anything she wants, including spying on any suspicious character in her apartment building.
Morality Pet: She's the first POI Shaw has genuinely cared about saving.