Recap: Person Of Interest S 01 E 19

Season 1, Episode 19:

Flesh and Blood

Sometimes I wonder what kind of man I'd be if she hadn't been killed. I hear people change when they lose a parent. Especially when that parent is murdered.

In a flashback to the 70s, a young Carl Elias is bullied in school and resentful because he doesn't know anything about his birth family. His foster mother promises to help Elias track down his father, and by 1991, Elias is a low-level soldier in Don Gianni Morretti's organization. He has a reputation for being resourceful and tenacious and that brings him to the attention of Morretti, who recognizes the name and knows that Elias is his illegitimate son. Morretti promises to help Elias rise up in the ranks, but soon after, under the pretense of a job, he's taken out to the woods by two thugs who have orders to kill Elias the way they killed his mother. Briefly overcome with tears, Elias promises to destroy them all. The thugs attempt to strangle him with razor wire but Elias fights them off, scarring his palms in the process, and shoots both thugs.

In the present day, it becomes apparent that Elias is ready to make his move: Fusco is ordered by Simmons to pass along details of the FBI and Carter's manhunt for "the guy in the suit" and advised to take a few days off work at homicide; Carter learns that Elias' bank accounts have been drained and all $4 million has been parceled out to hundreds of hired goons; and the Machine spits out five separate numbers that correspond to the dons of the Five Families, including Tommy Morretti, the son of Don Gianni and half-brother of Elias. Reese offers protection to one of the dons, but he refuses and minutes later is killed by a car bomb triggered by Scarface, Elias' right-hand man. Carter offers police protection to another don, but as she collects him their police backup leaves: Elias has made a deal with HR and all the cops and officials in their pocket are turning a blind eye. The don is killed by a gunman and Carter is only saved by Reese's intervention.

Carter buries the hatchet with Reese and Finch and fills them in on what the NYPD has learned. Finch tracks the money transfers and identifies some of the goons who Elias has paid in the past few days, but when Reese follows them, he learns they're shadowing the families of HR's people, so that Elias can use them as leverage to force HR to cooperate. Meanwhile, Carter goes to the remaining dons and offers them protection, bringing along the only cop she trusts — Fusco — as backup. When the dons refuse to come along, Carter kidnaps them at gunpoint just minutes ahead of Elias' goons attacking. Finch steers them towards a safe-house but HR officers soon find them and cordon off the building. Reese guesses that Elias will try to use Carter's son, Taylor, as leverage to get her cooperation but he doesn't make it in time to prevent Scarface from taking Taylor. Elias calls Carter and threatens to kill Taylor if she doesn't let him have the dons — people who, he reminds her, make their living by selling guns, drugs and women — but she refuses. Elias eventually turns up at the safe-house himself, supervising as his goons try to break down the steel-reinforced door.

To get Taylor's location, Finch meets with Simmons and informs him of Elias' surveillance of HR's families. Convinced that Elias isn't a true ally, Simmons passes the information up the chain and HR withdraws its support, and gives up Elias' base of operations. Reese goes and saves Taylor, as well as Don Morretti. At the safe-house, Elias breaks down the door but Carter refuses to hand over the dons; the HR backup leaves and uniformed officers arrive to support Carter, called in by Fusco. Elias is arrested, processed and sent to jail, and Taylor is returned to his mother. Morretti also returns to his son, but as they get into a car, they receive a call from Elias, who managed to get a cell phone in prison, saying goodbye and regretting that he can't be there in person. Moments later, the car explodes.

Tropes present in this episode include

  • Ass Hole Victim: Arrogant and completely ungrateful for Carter and Fusco putting their lives on the line, The Five Don's aren't the most likable bunch. Elias invokes this troupe when trying to convince Carter that they deserve to die by recounting their activities.
  • Bad Ass: Lampshaded by Taylor re Reese.
  • Badass Boast: Elias gives one to the two Mafia mooks who are about to kill him.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Finch, who has always been very anti-firearms, asks Reese to teach him how to use a handgun in order to rescue Taylor. Reese... well, he appreciates the thought.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Elias swings the man who's garotting him around so he catches the bullet fired by his partner.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Used to great effect by Reese, who takes several rounds in the chest during a shootout and doesn't slow one jot.
  • Car Bomb: Though remotely-activated by Scarface rather than linked to the ignition.
  • Continuity Nod: The bank accounts that Carter suspects belong to Elias were discovered as a result of his failed Wall Street scam.
  • Cool Guns: Loads of them in this episode as all sides break out the heavy artillery. They include a KRISS Vector used by Reese, a Spectre M4 and MP5K's by Elias' hitmen, and a SPAS-12 shotgun and an FN F2000 bullpup rifle by Carter.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Elias.
    • Intermediate Checkpoint of Darkness: Covered in the flashbacks, where Elias realized just what kind of worthless scum his father was and vowed revenge while he already worked as a low-level mafia soldier.
  • Deal with the Devil: Finch makes one with HR, via Simmons.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Elias uses this to his advantage to corral his would-be allies, and HR balks at helping Elias when they discover this.
  • Every Scar Has A Story: Elias looks at the garotte scars on his hands, then we flashback to how he got them.
  • Graceful Loser: When he realizes he's been outmaneuvered, Elias surrenders and offers up his hands to be cuffed.
  • I Have Your Son: Elias pulls this on Carter.
  • Jerkass Victim: They are mafia dons. Reese even considers letting these numbers pass, but realizes he can't since the mob war will hurt and kill innocent people caught in the crossfire.
  • Mugging the Monster: Zambarno really shouldn't have gone for Fusco's back up revolver and expected to be able to force the two Bad Ass cops trying to keep him alive to let Elias in.
  • Ironic Echo: Moretti has his men tell Elias that he's sorry he couldn't be there at the end before they try to kill him in one of the flashbacks. At the end of the episode Elias calls Moretti and his son and tells them that he's sorry that he couldn't be there at the end before one of his men successfully kills them.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: When Elias sees that Carter has backup not on his payroll, he surrenders and orders his men to do the same.
  • The Mafia: Gets a much bigger focus in this episode than any other.
  • Manly Tears: Elias weeps when he realizes his own father has set him up to be killed. Then it starts raining.
  • Not So Different: Elias to Reese.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Elias tries to persuade Reese and Carter to remain neutral, and that the city will be a better place if they let him kill off the Mafia bosses.
  • Psychotic Smirk: It's easy to miss, but Finch flashes one of these when Simmons asks him who the hell he is.
  • Reverse Polarity: Apparently all it takes to turn a speaker into a microphone.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Carter takes this attitude when it comes to keeping the dons out of Elias' hands.
    Finch: You seem to be having some influence on her, Mister Reese.
  • Shout-Out: This episode is like one drawn out version of the end of The Godfather.
  • Villain Episode
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Elias, until his father betrays him.
  • You Are Not Alone: In the end Fusco ignores Carter's orders and calls for uniformed backup, knowing that Elias hasn't bought every cop in the city.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Carter refuses to open the door and let Elias' men inside.