Recap: Person Of Interest S 01 E 18

Season 1, Episode 18:

Identity Crisis

Fusco: Did you work an identity theft case?
Carter: Every arrest I ever made. They all say I got the wrong guy.

Reese and Finch are thrown for a loop when the latest number, Jordan Hester, winds up being the victim of an identity theft. Of the two people who could be their person of interest — a barman or a lady who deals in antiques — they have to figure out which is the real Jordan Hester and which is the imposter. At first it seems the man is the fraud and the leader of a drug production ring, but when Fusco investigates a previous victim of the same criminal he learns that it's the woman who runs the drug ring, and the man is trying to get to the bottom of who stole his identity. With help from Fusco, Reese and Finch manages to get the real identity thief arrested

Meanwhile, Carter is approached by Agent Donnelly of the FBI, who has been investigating the "man in the nice suit" who intervened on behalf of Powell after the congressman's assassination. He knows that Reese was once a black-ops officer for the CIA but believes that now he's selling his services to the criminal element of New York, such as Elias. Donnelly wants to get Reese off the street and maybe get evidence of CIA wrongdoings on American soil, and he offers the resources of his FBI task force to help Carter track Reese down, but she decides not to tell Donnelly what she knows.

Tropes present in this episode include

  • Adorkable: Both smitten and drugged Finch.
  • Above the Influence: A non-sexual version - Reese refuses to take advantage of a drugged and uncharacteristically friendly Finch's brazen (and certainly quite tempting) offer, "Don't you want to talk? Ask me anything!" He even says that Finch would regret it in the morning.
  • The Atoner / Dude, Where's My Respect?: Fusco is making a genuine effort to turn his life around and be a good person, and is annoyed that Reese, Finch and everyone else only see him as a Dirty Cop.
  • Becoming the Mask: The real Jordan Hester tries copying his doppelganger, but realizes in the end that they're not the same.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Finch invented online social networking in order to provide the Machine with data on everyone.
  • Climactic Music: "Amongster" by Poliša.
  • Continuity Nod: Donnelly (who first appeared in "Root Cause") references many of Reese's actions in previous episodes, albeit a bit out of context.
    • Reese uses the bump key he made in "Super".
  • Mister Exposition - Finch lampshades his role.
    "Meandering exposition is kind of my thing."
  • Mushroom Samba: Finch is doped on Ecstasy to keep him from making trouble. It's hilarious.
  • Not with the Safety on, You Won't: Jordan Hester threatens to shoot Reese, but Reese simply snatches the gun away and smugly asks how he was planning to do that with the safety on.
  • Prophecy Twist: The number, Jordan Hester, is both victim and perpetrator because they're actually two people and one is planning to kill the other.
  • Inspector Javert: Donnelly takes Carter's place as the well-intentioned law enforcement officer trying to catch Reese. The reason he's this trope and not a Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist is because he's got the wrong idea about Reese and thinks he's trying to bring in an insane black-ops hitman working for the mob.
  • Shout-Out - The real Hester is like a genuinely sympathetic Walt from Breaking Bad.
  • Slipping a Mickey
  • Stock Episode Titles
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Again, a major dilemma for Carter.