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Recap / Person Of Interest S 03 E 02

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Season 3, Episode 2:

Nothing To Hide

"...let's be honest: those crying the loudest about privacy are probably the ones trying to hide something."
Wayne Kruger

Wayne Kruger is a successful internet entrepreneur who makes a living selling his clients personal information to businesses, individuals, and even the government. When his own privacy is compromised, Team Machine needs to uncover who is targeting him before the attacks escalate further. Meanwhile, Carter continues digging into Cal Beecher's murder and is unexpectedly assigned a new partner.

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Tropes present in this episode include:

  • Angry Guard Dog: Bear apparently took a bite out of Kruger when he was leaving after knocking out Finch.
  • Asshole Victim: Kruger is really not very likeable.
    Shaw: I gotta ask, though, is this guy even worth our time?
    Finch: You know, that's not a question we entertained when we saved you, Ms. Shaw.
  • Attack Hello: Shaw instinctively grabs the janitor's arm in a vice-like grip when he goes to empty the bin next to her.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Kruger wowed a potential customer by showing how his company's software enabled him to deduce that the customer's wife was pregnant.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Criminal of the week wins, anyway. It's debatable how much of a "Bad Guy" he is.
  • Bait-and-Switch: As events progress, it becomes ambiguous whether Sommers or an increasingly crazy Kruger will be the killer. The Machine is even shown doing a probability analysis in which Kruger changes from potential victim to potential perpetrator. Then it turns out Sommers was another victim who received an anonymous package, and the real killer is someone else.
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  • Big Eater: Shaw again, as Reese notes.
  • Blindfolded Trip: Kruger is given the traditional black hood when taken to the library.
  • Break the Haughty: Kruger's personal and public life get completely and methodically destroyed. Then he gets killed.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Saves John's life, but not his ribs.
  • Call-Back: At the beginning of the episode, Shaw is shown tailing Finch, who loses her at the exact same corner where he lost Reese back in the season 1 episode, "Ghosts".
    Reese: He does that.
    • Carter visits Beecher's grave. She runs into Quinn there, and remembers him from the eulogy he gave at the funeral.
    • Kruger's Range Rover is hacked in a similar fashion to Logan Pierce's McLaren MP412C from "One Percent". The difference however is that the perpetrators take active control of the Range Rover's steering and successfully cause it to flip.
  • Coup de Grâce: Reese and Kruger are shot In the Back. The killer then finishes off Kruger with a bullet in the head, but leaves Reese alone.
  • Darker and Edgier: Possibly the darkest episode so far. Word of God says that was intentional.
    Greg Plageman: Episode two is a very disturbing episode with a very unconventional ending...that I'm hoping the network likes.
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  • Downer Ending: For the Mystery of the Week, at least. Kruger's life is destroyed and then he's murdered, Reese is injured, and the people behind it all are still out there. Carter's storyline ends on a better note.
  • Elevator Failure: One of the attacks on Kruger.
  • Embarrassing Slide: In this case a deliberate version.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Murderers versus an information broker whose business ruins lives (albeit unintentionally — though also unapologetically).
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Kruger has a criminal record, foreshadowing his own lapse into violent behaviour.
    • Our introduction to privacy terrorist group Vigilance.
  • Humiliation Conga: Invoked with Kruger. In a few short minutes, his secretary finds out he only hired her for her looks, the board of directors finds out about his shady past and immediately forces him out of the company and the icing on the cake is when he gets into an elevator which immediately goes into free fall.
  • Ironic Echo: Simmons enjoys using recordings of Kruger's New Era Speech against him.
  • Jerkass: Kruger. BIG TIME.
  • Justified Criminal: Not the people who were ultimately behind the scheme, but the people they used to bring Kruger down were all people whose lives had been destroyed by his company. It's hard not to feel sorry for the woman whose fiance broke up with her after old photos with an ex-boyfriend were exposed on Kruger's website. Or the man who lost his job because the website confused him with a serial rapist with the same name. Or the father whose daughter was murdered by her ex-boyfriend who used the website to stalk her multiple times. Finch openly states that people like Kruger are the reason why he designed The Machine so that nobody can see the raw data it's working from.
    • Rooting for the Empire: The people set out to destroy Kruger's life were more sympathetic and likeable than Kruger himself. This was intentional.
  • Kick the Dog: Any illusions of ambiguity about Kruger's actions are firmly shattered right along with the vase he breaks against Finch's head, showing that he's more than willing to knowingly hurt people to get what he wants.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Kruger ruined countless lives by violating people's privacy. His life is ruined as several details of his own private life are revealed.
  • Leave No Witnesses: Averted; the killer lets Sommers go, and even congratulates him on his willingness to take action against men like Kruger. He then finishes Kruger off with a bullet in the head, but not Reese whom he probably thinks is just a bodyguard. Reese doesn't press his luck by Playing Possum until he leaves the room.
  • Paranoia Fuel: There's plenty of it running rampant throughout the episode.
    • One slightly less obvious example comes from Carter as a patrol officer. She pulls a woman over and knows the crime that she had committed. The idea that a random police officer could know about such a crime is rather disturbing from the criminal's perspective.
  • Playing Possum: After being shot, with the impact breaking his ribs, Reese pretends to be unconscious when Collier is giving his Motive Rant.
  • Sexy Secretary: Kruger claims that the only thing his secretary has going for her is her nice butt. Unfortunately for him, she finds out.
  • Scare 'em Straight: The intention was never to kill Kruger, just to scare him into changing his ways. But Collier decides he will never change and kills him anyway.
  • Shout-Out: The voice of World Control is heard during the Elevator Failure.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Finch loses Shaw at the beginning of the episode (see Call-Back)
  • Too Dumb to Live: When Kruger found out he had a chance to repair a business deal, he decided to leave anyway despite having a stalker out there trying to kill him. To top it off, he decided to knock out Finch, the guy who was trying to save his life.
    • Collier stated that the organization planned to simply scare him off. But due to all his unapologetic behavior, he had convinced them that warnings wouldn't work on him and elected to execute him instead.
  • Troll: Shaw seems to enjoy tweaking Finch by making frequent mention of her alleged desire to shoot people.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Kruger shows no gratitude for Finch saving him, choosing to knock him out by smashing a vase on his head.
  • Vehicular Sabotage / Murder by Remote Control Vehicle
  • Vomiting Cop: Carter's rookie partner pukes after seeing his first dead body, with his eyes staring up at him.
  • We Are Everywhere: Collier claims his organization contains thousands of people.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: There's a new player on the scene, a radical organization determined to restore the people's right to privacy by any means. For Team Machine, who violate that privacy on a daily basis, this cannot be good.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The rookie says he volunteered to work with Carter when others wouldn't (because of her role in breaking up HR) and if she's not interested in teaching him, he should just leave. Carter then starts acting like the training officer she's supposed to be.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Kruger's anniversary party turns sour fast when the heartwarming slideshow meant for his wife gets hijacked by a video of him having sex with another woman.
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