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:

  • 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."
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Finch comments early on that Chapple's hired thugs are 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.
  • 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.
  • Mid-Season Twist: And the writers were just getting started.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Thoroughly averted. There really was no way out.
  • 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.
  • 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?