Recap: Person Of Interest S 02 E 13

Season 2, Episode 13:

Dead Reckoning

John Reese: "So what's this really about?"
Kara Stanton: "This is about three dead little spies in a brave new world. It's about the afterlife, John, and us negotiating our places in it."

Following the events in "Prisoner's Dilemma," Finch, Carter, and Fusco race to save Reese, who has been kidnapped by Kara Stanton and is being forced to assist her in carrying out an act of cyber-warfare.

Tropes present in this episode include:

  • Day in the Limelight / Death In The Limelight: For Kara Stanton and Mark Snow.
  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: Invoked accidentally. When the FBI realize that the recently blown up Mark Snow is an ex-CIA agent who meets the vague description Carter had for the Man in the Suit, they decide that he is the MitS, pin Donnelly's death on him, declare the case closed with the death of the suspect, and go home.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Reese has to stop Snow from putting a bullet in a mook's head after the mook punches him in the face. Kara Stanton's plot, even though she knows Reese wasn't responsible for putting her on the suicide mission to Ordos, she still drags him along for the ride.
  • Explosive Leash: For both Mark and John.
  • Foreshadowing/Freeze-Frame Bonus: A few minutes into the episode, one of the Machine's-eye-view cuts shows a skyscraper with the top couple floors marked in red as an exclusion zone, and labeled 'NSA DSF'. Presumably this is the same building Kara sends them to infiltrate later in the episode.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: Kara Stanton is out to eliminate anyone she blames for the Agency betraying her. Including John, despite knowing that he had nothing to do with it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Reese was prepared to make one, but it was thankfully averted with a little help from Finch.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Kara Stanton. Doubles as Laser-Guided Karma and Death by Irony.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • Mark telling Kara that she was right; he's going to be great at being dead.
    • Snow had tried to get Reese and Stanton to kill each other by telling them the other had been compromised. Reese tells Snow the same thing when he tries to run back to the CIA.
  • Oh, Crap: Kara's face when she discovers Mark - and consequently, his bomb vest - waiting in the backseat of her car.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Finch disarms the bomb vest with 0:07 seconds left on the timer.
    • The whole episode is Inception. They thought Stanton was trying to steal a cyber weapon when really she's trying to plant a virus.
  • Stock Episode Titles
  • Taking You with Me: Well hey, if Mark Snow has to die he might as well make sure he's not the only one. Doubles as a Dying Moment of Awesome.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Reese and Snow aren't very fond of one another. The dislike is justified.
  • Think Nothing of It: Reese thanks Finch for saving his life, but Finch tells him not to mention it. And it seems there may be a reason for that.
  • Third Time's the Charm: The third code to hack the phone bomb, not to mention if Finch had messed up the phone would have locked him out.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Reese wakes up on a city bus after losing consciousness in a wrecked car. And then he see Kara Stanton sitting across from him...
  • Wham Episode: Mark Snow takes out Kara Stanton with his Dying Moment of Awesome, but not before she's already activated a cyber weapon that may be a threat to the Machine. And then in the final few seconds we learn that Finch may have been the one ultimately responsible for Reese and Stanton being set up at Ordos.
  • Wire Dilemma: Except with guessing the code, but essentially the same