Recap: Person Of Interest S 02 E 17

Season 2, Episode 17:


The Machine gives Finch and Reese the numbers of six individuals who have all vanished without a trace from various cities throughout the country, and who may have all been victims of a serial killer who likes to take over the lives of the people he kills. Their investigation leads them to Owen Island, where they are forced to wait out a severe storm with a group of locals and unknowns... one of whom may be the killer they're searching for.

Tropes present in this episode include:

  • A Storm Is Coming : At the end of the episode they have this conversation.
    Reese: At least the storm is passing.
    Finch: No, Mr. Reese, I have a feeling that it's just beginning.
  • Beach Episode: Averted.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Carter and Cal play this at the end.
  • Bullet Proof Vest: Saves the murderers life the first time he's shot. The second time... not so much.
  • Closed Circle
  • Detective Mole: The Serial Killer killed the FBI agent tracking him down and took his place.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: Well considering they have no idea who they're looking for, yeah.
  • Foreshadowing: Finch and Reese both know something is wrong with The Machine because it went three days without giving them a new number. There were also a large number of blue-screens visible during the shots where the Machine pans from one scene to the next.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul
  • Hidden Depths: Finch can fly a plane. Also doubles as an Offscreen Moment of Awesome because he quite succesfully landed his seaplane in the middle of the town.
  • Hostile Weather: The storm that traps them on the island with the Serial Killer.
  • Lightning Reveal: Well that was freaky.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies
  • Noodle Incident: Reese noted that this was not the first time someone shot at him with a spear gun.
  • Not So Different: The murderer points out that he and Finch are a lot alike in their approach to assuming a false identity and hiding who they really are.
  • Oh, Crap: When Finch realized that the Killer had a Bullet Proof Vest.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In-Universe example. The serial killer's accent is all over the place during his climatic scene with Finch, including a truly chilling moment when he reveals that he plans to assume Harold's identity and then he repeats Finch's previous question multiple times so that he can adopt his speech pattern.
  • The Radio Dies First / Cell Phones Are Useless: The bad weather first interferes with Reese and Finch's cell phone connection, and then later the murderer destroys the radio at the police station after Carter tries to contact them with information about his identity.
  • Red Herring: Several. The killer disposes of the people he replaces by burning their bodies after pulling out their teeth, two of the suspects are dental hygienists. One man owns a military grade knife that is used in a killing. A third is a fisherman who keeps trying to get to his boat in the middle of a storm. The dental hygienists are just dental hygienists. The man with the knife is a deserter from the Marine Corps. The fisherman is a drug smuggler. None of them are the killer.
  • Serial Killer: The bad guy of the week.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Finch delivers a nice one while talking with the murderer.
  • Shout-Out: Harold Finch was totally channeling Benjamin Linus during his confrontation with the murderer.
    "You'll never get off the island."
  • Spoiler Opening: You probably won't notice it on the first time, but usual Couch Gag shows two different scenes - one with today's number, other with Reese entering the garage. This is his scene with today's killer, but we don't know it yet.
  • Whole Plot Reference/Shout-Out: And Then There Were None the name of the island, Owen Island to the character that invited the guests in the Agatha Christie story, UN Owen(Unknown). The nature of the storm causing everyone to be trapped is also similar.