Season 1, Episode 12:
Reese: You're not the only person who believes in second chances.
Carter finally has her face-to-face with Reese when he enlists her help in protecting a young attorney who's representing a man who was wrongfully convicted. Together, Reese, Finch and Carter unravel a conspiracy to collect money from the foster system by taking in the children — real and fabricated — of paroled cons who are reimprisoned.
During the case, Finch gets a call and leaves Reese to wrap things up on his own. He goes to a local police precinct to bail out Will Ingram, the nephew of his late business partner Nathan Ingram. Will has returned to New York to pick up a few items from his late father's loft, but decides to stay and investigate his father's death after running across cryptic references to the Machine and the $1 deal with the government among Nathan's notes. Unbeknownst to the pair, Reese has been shadowing Finch and witnesses his meetings with Will. He enlists Fusco to tail Finch and learn more about him.
Tropes present in this episode include:
- Action Survivor: Andrea acquits herself reasonably well with the telescoping baton Reese gave her and creatively uses the drawers in the room she's in to stall the man who tries to kill her.
- Batman Gambit: Finch knows the corrupt DFS officer will shred the incriminating files, while finding those files is like looking for a Needle in a Stack of Needles. So he installs a scanner in the office shredder, so every time someone feeds in a file it will scan to his phone. Both problems solved!
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Will Ingram shows some slight signs of this.
- Clear Their Name: Andrea is determined to prove that Terrence King is actually innocent.
- Continuity Nod: Reese is still feeling the effects of the gunshot wounds he received in "Number Crunch."
- Crusading Lawyer: Andrea, of course.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Andrea has some of these traits.
- Exact Words: Reese utilises this to justify his repeated law breaking activities when he and Carter get to work together officially for the first time. She can't do things like frame Asshole Victim parole officers for drunk driving or break into their houses but there was nothing said about Reese not being able to.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: Chris was the brains behind the DFS scam.
- Framing the Guilty Party: Reese knocks Dominic out, puts him behind the wheel of a car with a gun in his hand, dumps liquor over him, and calls 911.Reese: Hello. My name is Dominic Galuska and I may be a danger to myself or others.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: And Carter is the bad cop!
- Headphones Equal Isolation: With the blaring music in her ears, Andrea doesn't notice a hitman walking up behind her and pointing a pistol at her head, nor the noisy hand-to-hand combat when Reese intervenes.
- Hes Back: Reese returns to the field for the first time following the events in "Number Crunch," and proceeds to annoy Carter by leaving a trail of mayhem in his wake. But he's having so much fun that we don't blame him.
- Look Both Ways: Alonso Garcia failed to do this.
- Oh, Crap!: Finch realises Will has stumbled on evidence of the Machine, and is likely to keep digging.
- Properly Paranoid: "You're being paranoid, Carter. That's a step in the right direction."
- Sharp-Dressed Man: In case we hadn't noticed that Finch wears nice suits, Reese lampshades it for us.Reese: You look worried, Finch. Did your tailor move out of the city?
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: While posing as an employee trying to sue his boss, Reese cheerfully slanders Finch, who finds it Actually Pretty Funny. Finch gets in his own snark while infiltrating into the DFS.
- Stock Episode Titles: At least 103 more episodes have this title.
- That Was Objectionable: The prosecutor thinks Andrea's case is baseless and a waste of time. She thinks he's wearing an ugly tie.
- Throw the Book at Them: Reese beats down a mook using a criminal law textbook. The look on his face when he realizes what book he just used states he finds it quite ironic.
- Unicorn/Animal Motifs: Andrea was visibly disappointed when Reese told her he was an ex-con, explaining that she'd hoped he was the "Unicorn" she'd been looking for. Ironically, this episode aired only a few days after someone posted a picture on Tumblr and observed that Reese was majestic, like a unicorn. Unfortunately, these occurred too close together to be a Fandom Nod, but it's still a hilarious coincidence and Reese being a unicorn has since evolved into a popular fan joke.
- The Worf Effect: A steroid-enhanced hitman gets the better of Reese thanks to his still-healing injury. Reese is more prepared the next time.