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Recap / Person Of Interest S 01 E 10

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Season 1, Episode 10:

Number Crunch

"I wanted to say thank you, Harold, for giving me a second chance."

Reese and Finch are pushed to new limits when the Machine spits out four new numbers at once. The first number is dead before Reese can intervene, so he enlists Fusco and puts Finch in the field to keep track of the remaining numbers. Inexperienced at field work, Finch doesn't spot the signs in time to stop the next number being killed by a car bomb. The NYPD and Finch discover at the same time why these numbers are being targeted: they were witnesses to the death of a congressman's son in a car crash and found a large amount of money at the scene, which they took and someone is trying to recover. Reese tracks down the two remaining numbers, who are foster sisters trying to use the money to help their foster mother.


Meanwhile, Detective Carter has been pulled from duty while her shooting is investigated by internal affairs and a mysterious bureaucrat. She kills time by helping Fusco investigate his current case — the dead numbers — until the bureaucrat makes contact and introduces himself as Mark Snow, a CIA officer. They claim Reese is deranged and that he murdered his former partner, and they want Carter's help to bring him in. Finch works with Fusco to track down the source of the money and who's trying to kill the numbers; they discover that the congressman's son was a go-between for a fake charity run by the congressman and a corrupt bank, and expose it. And the killers track down the remaining numbers and kidnap one, holding her for ransom in exchange for the money. Reese tips off Carter where the exchange is taking place and Carter thanks him, but then calls Snow and passes on the tip.


Reese shadows the exchange and takes out the killers when they try a double-cross. The numbers leave with their money and Reese waits for Carter, but Finch learns from their police station spy camera that Carter has sold Reese out to the CIA. Carter and Snow make contact while another CIA officer covers the meeting with a sniper rifle and shoots Reese twice. Badly wounded, Reese makes it to the stairwell with Carter on his heels and Finch on his way with an escape vehicle. Carter catches up with the pair and has them dead to rights, but instead she helps them escape.


Tropes present in this episode include:

  • Baby Carriage/Baby Boomers
  • Blatant Lies: After seeing "Matsya Nyaya", it becomes apparent that nothing Mark Snow says about Reese in this episode is true.
  • Come Alone: The sister is told not to bring the 'muscle' to the Hostage for MacGuffin exchange. Reese of course comes anyway. Unfortunately he calls Carter, who also doesn't come alone. The hitman isn't alone either, as the 'nurse' who speaks to Reese earlier turns out to be a gunman who nearly kills him.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Finch does a good imitation of a slightly flaky conspiracy blogger.
  • Climactic Music: "When Things Explode" by Unkle. It's impossible to imagine that final scene without this music over it.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Finch poses as a blogger named Thomas Paine, which he admits is a pseudonym (his "nom de plume"). A few moments later, he offers someone a pen with his name and phone number on it and explains that it's his "Plume de nom..... rather than nom de plume."
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Finch risks arrest or exposing his existence to the CIA to rescue Reese, despite the latter warning him away.
  • Fish out of Water: One of the (hilarious) few times we ever see Reese genuinely uncomfortable and embarrassed. He's pulled into a hair salon by a stylist, who muses about giving him a haircut that's "a little more modern" and asks if he's single.
  • Foreshadowing: Finch's reckless attempt to warn the victim of the bomb explosion given that he saw his friend Nathan Ingram killed the same way.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: Albeit a non-lethal version, when the senator asks this of the blogger (actually Finch) he's just checking to see if he has time to cover his tracks.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Reese is getting up Fusco for losing the woman he's tailing, when he realizes his own subject has given him the slip.
  • I Have Your Wife: One foster sister is kidnapped, and the other is sent a picture on her phone and told to bring the money.
  • It Has Been an Honor: After being shot twice by a CIA sharpshooter, Reese calls Finch to thank him for giving him a job and a second chance.
  • It's All My Fault: Despite knowing little about physical surveillance, Finch blames himself for not realising the woman with a baby carriage was suspicious.
  • It's Personal: Snow has a particular hate-on for Reese.
  • I Want Them Alive: The sniper shoots Reese in the stomach and leg. The next episode confirms the CIA were hoping to capture him alive for interrogation.
  • Leave No Witnesses: The four Irrelevant Numbers witnessed a fatal car crash and are being targeted because they stole the money from the car. Oddly enough, the killers take out the first two witnesses without even bothering to try and get the money back from them.
    • Though the first is mentioned as having been beaten up before being killed, so presumably there was an interrogation. Doesn't explain the car bomb with victim number two.
  • The Men in Black: Snow and his partner Evans.
  • Mercy Lead
  • Parking Garage
  • Shell-Shock Silence: Finch after the bomb goes off.
  • Silver Fox: The hairstylist Reese encounters lampshades the trope.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: The dilemma Carter struggles with. Reese is certainly a criminal and its her job to bring him in, but he's also helping people and probably doesn't deserve whatever fate the CIA has in store for him.
  • Wham Episode
  • Whole Plot Reference: A Simple Plan given the way the POI's of the week found the money.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted; the sniper shoots Reese the moment he refuses to go with Snow.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Carter on seeing Finch, having encountered him in "Cura Te Ipsum" as an apparently Innocent Bystander.

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