Recap / Person Of Interest S 02 E 10

Season 2, Episode 10:

Shadow Box

"There's no such thing as a risk free life, Mr. Reese."

The Machine gives Finch the number of Abby Monroe, the sister of a deceased soldier who just stole the blueprints for a bank. When it turns up that her boyfriend, Shayn, has stolen a number of explosives, the police think that she's going to commit an act of terrorism. Finch disagrees, because if she was then she'd be a relevant number, not an irrelevant one, and her number would have been given to whoever controls the Machine now. He can't explain that to Carter without revealing the existence of the Machine, so he and Reese must find another way to figure out what Abby is actually planning.

Meanwhile, the FBI has revised their theory as to who is behind the Man in the Suit (now believing that he's working for the Chinese), and discovered a way to figure out his approximate location, and start closing in.

Tropes present in this episode include:

  • And Then What?: Reese asks this question of the robbers, who haven't put much thought into it.
  • Bait and Switch: The FBI have captured the Man in the Suit, but when he turns to face them, Carter is glad to see it's not Reese. Then it turns out Reese has also been captured.
  • Call Back: Finch uses his "Harold Wren" Go-to Alias.
  • Character Development: Finch goes ahead with a possibly dangerous break-and-enter, despite Reese offering to take his place.
  • Climactic Music: "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones.
  • Continuity Nod: Reese using the badge he stole from Marshal Jennings last season.
    "He wasn't using it anymore."
  • Cacophony Cover Up: The robbers wait till a subway passes before setting off the explosives.
  • Destination Defenestration: Riding through a window on a stolen motorbike.
  • Enemy Mine: HR decides to try an alliance with the Russian mob because they are enemies with Elias.
  • Evil Counterpart: Played with; the mercs appear to be working for the same kind of private intelligence agency that Reese is assumed to work for.
  • Evil Gloating: Quinn and Simmons enjoy the news that the FBI is closing in on the Man in the Suit.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Finch comments early on that Chapple's hired thugs are well-dressed, low-key and vaguely menacing, like Reese. That comes in handy at the end.
    • While Donelly's theories about Reese are inaccurate in his motivations or associations, they tend to have some truth in them when Reese is taken out of the equation. Therefore, while his rants about private intelligence networks and a Chinese network making a lot of moves recently sounds a bit paranoid or delusional, it appears he was onto something once Decima is introduced.
  • Having a Blast: Reese finally met a POI that wanted to blow stuff up as much as he did. Unfortunately, it was still a really bad idea.
  • Honour Before Reason: Reese catches a case of this and it doesn't go well.
  • I Am Spartacus: But not willingly.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Reese jibes Carter about her new boyfriend by promising to pay him a visit if he treats her wrong.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The mercs miss a clearly exposed Finch, shooting Bullet Sparks off Shayn's motorcycle instead.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Carter's not happy when she finds John posing as Marshal Jennings. John, well, he thinks it's fun.
  • It Has Been an Honor: "Thanks, Harold. It was fun."
  • It's Personal / Pay Evil unto Evil: Shayn and Abby's whole scheme was based on this. They didn't think it through very well.
  • Know When To Fold Them: Reese and the mercenaries all surrender quietly to the FBI.
  • Leave No Man Behind: It looks like Shayn will abandon Finch to the mercs (he doesn't know the guy, after all) but he comes back and gets him, saving his life. When Finch urges Reese to abandon Shayn and Abby, he performs a Heroic Sacrifice so they can escape.
  • Meaningful Echo: Reese echoes Finch's "There's no such thing as a risk free life."
  • Mid-Season Twist: And the writers were just getting started.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Thoroughly averted. There really was no way out.
  • Person with the Clothing: Which presents a problem when the FBI arrest four Badass in a Nice Suit types at the crime scene.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: They save Shayn and Abby, and Chapple finally gets his due, but Reese gets arrested by the FBI in the process so no one really cares.
  • Recognition Failure: Donnelly completely fails to recognize Reese. It's slightly justified in that he'd only ever seen him on surveillance feeds, but also a bit of a stretch given that he had several very clear looks at him during "Firewall" and the video quality was not that bad.
  • Too Happy To Last: Reese jinxed the whole thing when he told Finch that he'd felt happy when he woke up that morning.
  • Tracking Device
    • Chapple plants a GPS transponder on Finch, who puts it on a car heading for Jersey.
    • Finch is quite proud of hacking Shayn's artificial arm so it will give away its location.
    • Donnelly works out how to track the Man in the Suit, by searching for the unique pattern of cloned IMSI's at the crime scene.
  • Unwitting Pawn: At first it looks like Carter's new boyfriend is working for HR, but Quinn is pretending to be inquiring on behalf of the Mayor.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Reese helps the POI rob a bank and then gets captured by the FBI not even 24 hours after telling Finch that he was feeling happy. Really, Reese? That's what you do when you're happy?
    • Bear shakes his wet fur all over Finch's suit.