Season 1, Episode 20:
Problem with trying to be the bad guy is there's always something worse.The latest number is Tommy Clay, the hopper for an armored truck service. Reese infiltrates the crew, believing that the truck will be the victim of a heist and that Tommy is a victim, but it transpires that Tommy is the mastermind behind the heist when he shoots Reese in the back and makes off with the cargo, unprocessed platinum. Reese and Finch attempt to track down Tommy and the platinum — as does Fusco, playing the part of a HR man. Since Elias' arrest, HR has been collecting the payouts that normally went to the Mafia and they want a slice of the armored truck robbery, so Fusco is dispatched by Captain Lynch, one of his HR bosses, to find Tommy. Reese and Fusco both find Tommy's hideout, but the rest of his crew are dead, murdered by Tommy. Finch locates Tommy's mistress, Ashley, and Reese uses her to find where Tommy is hiding, but Ashley turns on both of them, tying up Reese and killing Tommy. She tries to leave with the money but Fusco and Lynch arrive and kill her. Lynch tries to kill Reese too but Fusco shoots him with Ashley's gun, making it look like the three had a falling-out and preserving his cover with HR. Meanwhile, Carter is visited by Snow and his partner, Evans, who warn her not to cooperate with the FBI's manhunt for Reese.In flashbacks to 2010, Reese is on assignment when he gets a call from Jessica, who is distraught and wants him to come and see her. Reese promises to be there soon, but Snow arrives, along with Alicia Corwin, who assign Reese and Stanton to retrieve a laptop with stolen software on it from a research center in Ordos, China. In private, Snow tells Reese that once the mission's over but before they're extracted, he's to kill Stanton. When the pair reach Ordos, they find almost everyone at the research center dead from bullet wounds. One technician, wounded, tells Stanton in Chinese that their killers came and took "the Machine", but Stanton doesn't tell Reese this and puts the technician out of his misery. They find the laptop, which Stanton secretly slips into her own backpack, before setting out glow-sticks to signal for extraction. Reese finds he cannot kill Stanton and is going to tell her about his orders when she shoots him, having been given the exact same instructions by Snow. He realizes that their mission wasn't about recovering a laptop, but confirming that everyone in the research center was dead and no one knew what had really happened. Reese flees as CIA fighter jets fly over and, guided by the glowsticks, bomb the facility into oblivion.In a present-day coda, Snow and Evans receive intelligence that links the survivor of the Ordos mission to a hotel room in Manhattan. They go in and find guns and equipment, but Evans is killed and Snow captured by the room's occupant: Stanton.
Tropes present in this episode include: