Season 1, Episode 2
The police only see what they choose to look for. The Machine sees almost everything.
The newest number corresponds to Teresa Whitaker, a teenage girl who has supposedly been dead for two years, the victim of a massacre when her father went crazy on a houseboat and killed the entire family. Digging deeper reveals that the murders were carried out by a hitman who refused to kill a child, and now the people who hired him are determined to finish the job. Meanwhile, Detective Carter keeps tracking the appearances of the Badass in a Nice Suit
, determined to arrest him.
In a flashback to 2002, Finch works on building the Machine in absolute secrecy while his business partner, Nathan Ingram, acts as the public face of the company and deals with the government, who believe Nathan built the Machine and don't know that Finch exists. In 2007, after the Machine has been taught to track people and spot terrorists, Nathan discovers the existence of the "irrelevant" list and is horrified that so many people in danger have been ignored; Finch defends his decision to delete the irrelevant list because the Machine wasn't built to save "somebody", but rather to save "everybody"
Tropes present in this episode include
- Actor Allusion: Brett Cullen is once again a colleague of Michael Emerson, and again is a Posthumous Character.
- Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Reese uses Finch's credit card to book the floor of a hotel. And order a $50 cheeseburger.
- Batman Cold Open: In the teaser, Reese protects a cheating husband from a pair of hitmen hired by the man's wife.
- CEO Incognito: Finch has a low-level IT position in a company that he owns.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Reese beats up a bar full of thugs to get the name of the hitman who murdered Teresa's family. Sadly, we don't get to see exactly how he does it.
- Destination Defenestration: Happens to Reese, of all people.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus / Foreshadowing: While Finch and Nathan are discussing the irrelevant list in the flashback to 2007, one of the names and faces to appear is Jessica Ardnt, Reese's ex-girlfriend.
- Never Found the Body / Not Quite Dead: Teresa Whitacker, obviously.
- Our Founder: The final shot of the episode is a bust of Nathan Ingram, confirming his identity as the founder of IFT. There is a Freeze-Frame Bonus here too.
- Posthumous Character: Nathan Ingram, as revealed in The Stinger.
- Redemption Equals Death: Theresa's uncle decides to keep quiet and buy her some time when the Landale hired hitman interrogates him. He shoots him dead.
- Stock Episode Titles: At least 67 other episodes share this title.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Carter is established as one in this episode.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Nathan Ingram's reaction when he discovers the Irrelevant list.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The man hired to kill Teresa's family refused to murder a child.
- Your Cheating Heart: The POI in the Batman Cold Open. Rather than go for the straight divorce, the man's wife hired hitmen.