Season 1, Episode 17:
Reese: What do you mean by rash?
Don Gianni Morretti is being released from prison and Carter thinks it was arranged by Elias, so that he can make a move on his Mafia father. Reese tags along with Carter and they're able to intervene when a hit squad tries to kidnap Morretti; she and another NYPD dectective, Symanzki, one of the few cops Carter trusts, take the Don to a secret safe house in the city for his protection. While Reese is occupied, Finch investigates the newest number, a woman named Leila Smith whose social security number was only registered six months ago. He tracks Leila to a hospital and discover that she's only a six-month old baby who was delivered anonymously. A pair of killers disguised as nurses show up looking for the baby, so Finch, seeing no other option, kidnaps Leila. Now with the added pressure of having to take care of a baby, Finch and Reese work to track down Leila's real family and discover that she's the daughter of a wealthy industrialist and his former receptionist who was murdered by the same killers.
Fusco is approached by HR's representative, Officer Simmons, and ordered to get Morretti's location out of Carter. He trails Carter and discovers the safe house, but tells Simmons he didn't find anything. Finch tries to leave Leila safely with her grandparents, but the killers find her and take the child. None of their contacts know who's behind the kidnapping, and with only a matter of hours before the killers attempt to get rid of the child, Reese uses the burner phone to call Elias and enlist his help, appealing to his experiences as an orphaned child. Elias tells Reese where to go and he's able to recover Leila, but at the last moment he's double-crossed and thrown in the back of a freezer truck along with the baby. With only minutes before the cold will cause permanent damage to Leila, Reese reluctantly gives in to Elias' demands and tells him where to find Morretti. Elias keeps his word and frees Reese, who gets word to Finch and Carter that the safe house has been compromised, but it's too late: when they arrive, the police captain has been shot and Morretti is gone. As a result, Carter refuses to work with Reese and Finch.
Tropes present in this episode include:
- Adult Fear: When the baby goes walkabout. Then they find her playing with one of Reese's hand grenades.
- Ambiguous Situation: We never find out what happened to the guy Reese was threatening in the bar. But considering it looked like he was about to put a bullet in the guy's face when the scene cut, it's possible this may have been a Gory Discretion Shot.
- Audit Threat: Finch sends a nasty email supposedly from the IRS demanding to know the details of some large donations that arrived at the charity hospital the same time as the baby.
- Bar Brawl: Reese of course, trailing for information. With requisite Battle Discretion Shot.
- Book-Ends: John meets Elias at the place where he was first introduced to Finch with a bag over his head. At the end of the episode, Carl sees his dad for the first time in the same place.
- Bittersweet Ending: They save Leila, but Elias succeeds in kidnapping Don Morretti, Szymanski is seriously injured, and Carter refuses to work with Reese and Finch anymore. And then there's also the part where Reese talks about how he'll probably never have children of his own. All in all, it was a rough episode.
- "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Or in this case, 'hacking'.
- Blatant Lies: Fusco claims he hasn't found Moretti's safehouse yet, despite following Carter there.
- Blindfolded Trip: Reese is hooded when taken to see Elias, though it seems unnecessary as he meets him out in the open, not at a specific location.
- *Click* Hello: Scarface on Reese.
- Continuity Nod:
- Finch uses the name "Dr. Tillman", the person of interest in episode 4.
- The same 'funneling' technique used in "Risk" is used to ambush Don Morretti, and the phone Elias left for the protagonists at the end of the episode is used to contact him.
- Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: Reese has bruises on his wrists from the handcuffs when he tries to break free.
- Cuteness Proximity: Compared to their usual stoic selves, Reese and Finch go positively gooey over Leila.
- Deal with the Devil: Reese goes to Elias for help in recovering Leila. It blows up in his face.
- Decoy Damsel: A woman by the side of the road with a broken leg is used to lure Morretti into an ambush. Morretti refuses to stop, but the fake accident scene does slow down his car, funneling it into a position where it can be rammed.
- Destination Defenestration: Reese smashes through the French windows of a Big Fancy House to have a nice friendly conversation with the father.
- Designated Girl Fight: Carter shoots the lone female member of Elias' hit squad.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Reese & Finch really do start acting Like an Old Married Couple.
- Donut Mess with a Cop: Fusco carries on the tradition.
- Doorstop Baby: Leila Smith is one.
- Dressed to Heal: Finch infiltrates the hospital wearing a Labcoat of Science and Medicine and a stethoscope around his neck.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Reese tries to play on this to get Elias' co-operation, saying that a man seeking to run all the organized crime in New York will need to set rules on what is allowed.
- Facial Composite Failure: The Amber Alert sketch of Finch the Creepy Child Kidnapper.Finch: It's no wonder they never catch anyone with these things.
- Face Palm: Reese gets in a fantastic one after they find Leila chewing on one of his tear gas grenades and Finch chastises him for leaving his weapons lying about.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Fusco's loyalty to HR is tested when he's ordered to find where Carter is hiding Morretti.
- Infraction Distraction: When Fusco over hears Carter talking on the phone with a detective from Organised Crime (who's guarding Moretti), Carter claims the detective asked her out on a date.
- Intimate Healing: Reese hugs the baby in the freezer truck.
- Irrevocable Order
- Karma Houdini: Finch got away with kidnapping.
- Kinda Busy Here: Played for Drama — the hit on Moretti and the men trying to steal the baby happen at the same time.
- The Kindnapper
- Locked in a Freezer Truck
- Mugging the Monster: When a thug pulls a switchblade on him in a bar, Reese gives an evil smile. "Really?"
- No Bisexuals: Reese sees Bradley Petrosian kissing another man, and instantly — and correctly — concludes that he can't possibly be Leila's father.
- Not So Stoic: The first time we see Reese lose his cool.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Rather than his usual kneecapping, Reese shots a man using the baby as a Human Shield in the head, and may have killed someone in the Bar Brawl. He also gets Not So Stoic in the freezer truck.
- Occam's Razor: Finch fails to apply this to Leila at the beginning of the episode. He thinks she's either in witness protection or someone with the resources to get data inserted into the Social Security database due to the fact that her SSN has only existed for six months. The real explanation is much simpler - Leila's SSN only came into existence six months previously because that's when she came into existence.
- Overt Rendezvous: Carter, Finch, and Reese...with a baby carrier.
- Rich Bitch: Mrs Petrosian is an incredibly heartless example, John's not happy, especially after he learns she's the one who killed the POI's mother and planned to sell her off.
- Sadistic Choice
- Shoot the Hostage Taker: A mook holds the bag with the baby in front of him.
- "They Still Belong to Us" Lecture"Don't you guys at HR have fingers in all the pies?""You are one of the pies, Fusco."
- To Be Lawful or Good: Carter has had enough of Team Machine and her double life.
- Un-person: The baby will be taken overseas and dumped in an orphanage in a country with poor birth records.
- Wham Episode: Befitting Elias' first major appearance in a while, this episode has a shocking Downer Ending in which Elias forces Reese to reveal Moretti's location, resulting in Szymanski being shot, Moretti being kidnapped, and Carter deciding to quit helping out Reese and Finch.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Reese tells Carter he didn't have any choice. Carter points out that he always had a choice. He could have let the police handle it.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Scarface says he would have just shot Reese, "but the boss has a soft spot for you."
- Would Hurt a Child: Elias, though he claims otherwise. Specifically, he knows that Reese won't take the chance that Elias will let them freeze to death.
- You Owe Me: Reese tries to play on this with Elias.
- You Said You Would Let Them Go: Averted — Elias keeps his word.