Recap / Person Of Interest S 01 E 05

Season 1, Episode 5:


Samuel Gates: They said no cops, no FBI.
John Reese: They didn't say anything about me.

The latest person of interest is Samuel Gates, a New York City judge with a reputation for being tough on crime. Reese and Finch keep him under close surveillance but only discover too late that Gates' son, Sam Jr, is the intended target of a kidnapping by an international crime organization called SP-9. In exchange for his son, Gates is ordered to dismiss the case of a hit-and-run driver who is secretly SP-9's money launderer. While Gates stalls, Reese tracks down the kidnappers and rescues Sam Jr, and Finch hacks the SP-9 bank accounts and delivers them to Detective Carter and the NYPD. Gates is grateful for Reese's help, but warns him that sooner or later, the authorities will catch up with his illegal vigilante activities and there's nothing he'll be able to do; Reese tells Finch that despite this, Gates may be an ally in the future.

Tropes present in this episode include:

  • Battle in the Rain: The final shootout.
  • Book Ends: Begins and ends with Reese and Finch sitting in a diner.
  • Bound and Gagged: Not the kidnapped child, but everyone Reese kidnaps.
  • Brick Joke: The gang member was given a burger as a reward for giving Reese information, despite having his hands tied and being unable to eat it. Guess what he is seen eating when he is finally allowed out.
  • Buy Them Off: Averted; Judge Gates has a considerable amount of money, but the kidnappers aren't interested. It turns out they're running a money laundering racket worth millions.
  • Character Development: "Try the eggs benedict, Mr. Reese. I've had them many times." Finch begins to open up to Reese.
  • Climactic Music: "Intro" by The XX.
  • Come Alone: the kidnappers to Judge Gates.
  • Death Glare: Judge Gates to Angela Markham, when she's acquitted.
  • Drunk Driver: The events of this episode are set in motion when SP-9's money launderer has a hit-and-run accident while drunk.
  • Even Dirty Cops Have Standards: When Fusco hears that Reese is investigating a child's kidnapping, he's eager to help.
    Fusco: Child abduction, is that what we're dealing with?
    Reese: "We"? Huh. Since when are you on board?
    Fusco: It's still a missing kid. Hey, whatever else I've done, I'm still a cop. You need some help, you let me know. You understand? [Fusco looks around, to find that Reese left while he was talking]
  • Exact Words: See the page quote.
  • Friendship Moment: At the end of the episode, Reese thanks Finch for giving him a job. Finch in turn recommends Reese try the Eggs Benedict, despite refusing to recommend anything at the start of the episode because it would tell Reese something about him.
  • I Have a Family: Reese is interrogating a mook, trying to get the name of his boss.
    Mook: I have a family. You gonna kill them, too? Because he will!
  • If I Do Not Return: When moving in on the place where he thinks Sam Jr. is being kept, Reese tells Finch to call the police and tell them everything if he doesn't call back in four minutes.
  • Implied Death Threat: The judge is sent a photo of his son with a gun on the table in the foreground, pointing at him.
  • Just in Time: Averted; it looks like Reese will save the kid before the jury verdict, but they've already moved him to where they'll make the exchange.
  • Think Nothing of It: The judge says he doesn't know how to thank Reese.
    Reese: You don't need to say anything. I'd prefer it, actually.
  • Kill 'em All: The boss of SP-9 decides to cut his losses when Reese gets the upper hand.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The woman involved in the hit-and-run designs software to detect money laundering. She uses her inside knowledge to enable SP-9 to launder millions in dirty money for themselves and other illegal organizations.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: SP-9 only use their street monikers for security reasons. It takes a while for Reese to get the proper name of someone in the hierarchy so Finch can start tracking him down.
  • Papa Bear: When the prosecutor objects to how Judge Gates is handling the case, he threatens to find her in contempt, saying she has no idea how far he will go.
  • Prisoner Exchange: Reese takes Angela Markham hostage and offers to swap him for the judge and his son. He also has all the money SP-9 is laundering for other clients transferred to another account. Unfortunately the boss decides to Kill 'em All rather than negotiate.
  • Properly Paranoid: Reese casually asks for Finch's recommendation on what to eat at the cafe, but Finch says he's doing it to establish if Finch eats there regularly, a step to discovering Finch's home.
  • Punk in the Trunk: Reese does this as an interrogation technique. He'll stop driving recklessly and let the mook out of the trunk when he agrees to talk. When the mook gives him the location of a second member of their gang, he ends up in the trunk as well.
  • Rats in a Box: Cited by Reese. He has two villains in the trunk of his car. The first man doesn't have any useful information. The second refuses to cooperate, so Reese cuts the bonds of the first man and says he can go free if he gets the information. Cue first man beating up the second until he talks.
  • Reality Ensues: One-Man Army Reese throws down with two mooks sent to kidnap a kid. He knocks them around easily enough, but one draws a silenced pistol and shoots him in the chest. His vest stops it, but it drops him long enough for them to get away.
  • Shout-Out: The book Finch is reading in the cafe is It Can't Happen Here. Foreshadowing for later seasons?
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: A subversion where we actually see Reese sneaking off while Fusco is still talking.
  • Stock Legal Phrases: One of the examples listed on that page is quoted verbatim.
    Gates: Has the jury reached a verdict?
    Foreman: We have, Your Honor.
    Gates: What say you?
  • Subtext: Reese thinks that just because Judge Gates has said he can't help him, doesn't mean he won't when the time comes. Finch (who was listening in on the conversation) is skeptical, but not dismissive.
  • Tattooed Crook: Reese rips open the shirt of a mook to reveal a tattoo on his chest, revealing his association with SP-9.
  • Who Are You?: The judge to Reese, who refuses to answer the question.
  • Vigilante Man: The subject of some discussion between Gates and Reese.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness/Leave No Witnesses: Because The Machine detects lethal intent, Reese and Finch know that the judge and his son will be killed as soon as SP-9 have what they want.