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Recap / Person Of Interest S 04 E 09

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Season 4, Episode 9

The Devil You Know

Elias: Whose guardian angel are you this time?
Reese: Yours.

After Martine identifies Shaw and shoots up the department store, Root (with The Machine's assistance) helps Shaw escape, leaving Reese to work the latest Number alone. That Number would be none other than Carl Elias—the Brotherhood is out to kill him and take over his organization.

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Annoyed as she usually is with Root's flirting, Shaw doesn't hesitate to try the Puppy-Dog Eyes when trying to convince Root to reveal Reese's location. Root thinks it's cute, but doesn't yield.
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  • Arc Words: "Always another way out."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Scarface does one to Link. Link asks him if he is willing to die for his boss. Scarface shoots it right around, telling him that one day he will most likely be in the same position he is right now. Link looks genuinely troubled by this. When Dominic then uses the We Have Reserves line at the end, Link once again looks very troubled.
  • A-Team Firing: Shaw utterly neglects to use the sights and fore-grip of the P90 when returning fire against Rousseau.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Essentially what Dominic has done in the end of this episode. The sole and only reason Elias has allowed him to run around as of now was because he was willing to see him as just a business rival. Now that Scarface is dead Elias makes it clear This Means War! and is going to hit back hard.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Elias deliberately leaks the location of a trusted subordinate's office to an employee who betrayed him, and once there, reveals the location of a very high tech hidden safe. Once Dominic finds it, he spends half the episode trying to get the combination out of Elias and Scarface. In the end, Elias gives the combination over a cellphone, only for the men in the penthouse to discover that the safe is a bomb Elias prepared to deal with anyone launching a serious offensive against him. The blast takes out a lot of Dominic's best men - and Scarface.
    • Elias's final exit strategy relies on Reese following his moral compass and putting the Number's safety above all else, despite the fact that Elias pulled a gun on him to put himself in Dominic's grasp in the first place.
  • Bookends: Elias starts the episode walking down the boardwalk of Brighton Beach with Marconi. He ends the episode walking down it alone.
  • Brick Joke:
    • The police doll camera Fusco was lumped with back in Season 1 with still works and Team Machine still has access to the feed.
    • Shaw makes a point of tearing off the namebadge she hated in the season opener.
  • Call-Back: Root sedating Shaw and returning her to Harold for safekeeping nicely inverts "Mors Praematura". The shot is almost identical in composition to the shot in "Relevance" where Hersh gives Shaw what is intended to be a fatal injection and even uses identical dialogue: "Sorry, Shaw."
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Lots of it.
  • Character Development:
    • Three seasons ago, Elias was the closest thing the show had to a Big Bad, and Reese only protected him because he didn't know who he was. Now Elias is a somewhat ally and Reese is protecting him despite knowing who he is - because allowing Dominic undisputed control of the streets would be much, much worse.
    • Shaw finally begins to show signs of suffering from Chronic Hero Syndrome. She tries to flirt, beg and cajole Root into taking a detour to help John rather than getting the hell away from Rousseau and the other assets coming after them. Root is forced to shatter some of the trust between them by catching her off guard and sedating her.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome:
    • Shaw finally begins to suffer from this. Root catches on and has to pump Shaw full of a powerful sedative to prevent her from resisting being taken back to the subway station.
    • Elias knows John suffers from this and counts on it to cause Reese to engage in a Big Damn Heroes moment during the climax.
  • Cool Guns: Shaw's P-90 which she uses to counter Martine's tactical advantage of being hooked up to Samaritan.
  • Covert Pervert: When they're hiding in the back of the moving van, Shaw pushes aside Root with irritation because she's pressing against her longer than necessary.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Seems Shaw has been talking to Root about what happened with Martine and made the appropriate preparations for a worst case scenario. When Martine tracks her down, Shaw breaks out an automatic weapon from underneath a cosmetic product storage counter, to prevent Rousseau's tactical advantages coming fully into play.
    • Elias always has another way out, be it a back exit, a Bookcase Passage, or an explosive vault.
  • Dark and Troubled Past/Fire-Forged Friends: Elias and Scarface, both alumni of a reform school in Brooklyn which was later closed down for abusing its residents. Scarface ended up there after killing his own abusive father.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Elias and Scarface.
  • Defiant to the End: Scarface's last words? "Morior invictus."Trans. 
  • Department of Child Disservices: The group home where Elias and Scarface met was eventually closed down for abusing its residents. Being in the room "where bad behavior was corrected" clearly brings up bad memories for Elias.
  • Driving into a Truck: Root drives her motorcycle into the back of a furniture-moving truck. Fusco uses his police authority to stop the truck so they can get out in an area not monitored by Samaritan.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Another contrast between Elias and Dominic. Elias is shown to fully understand that good is needed and is more to take a hit himself if good helps him. Dominic doesn't seem to understand why someone would be so loyal.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Tying into the above, Scarface calmly awaits his death.
  • A Father to His Men: The big contrast between Elias and Dominic. Elias shows he cares for the people working under him and especially Scarface and Bruce, who he sees as brothers. Dominic couldn't care less that he lost a lot of good soldiers and just states We Have Reserves.
    Elias: [Holds up a picture of Bruce, Scarface and himself] Now that's a real brotherhood.
  • Fanservice: Shaw brandishing an FN P-90, dressed in a Little Black Dress that exposes her cleavage.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Scarface's last service to his boss is performing this on Link by asking him what he's going to do when it's his turn to be captured - and his boss' turn to do something about it or not. Link seems a little shaken, but does not change his actions. Then, in the last scene with Dominic, the latter notes that they can always get more soldiers when some die, inadvertently reinforcing Scarface's words. Dominic just may have sown the seeds of a betrayal there...
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Root tells Shaw, "Look on the bright side, Sameen. I'm pretty sure you just sold your last tube of luminizer." But in one take included in the Season 4 gag reel, Amy Acker winds up saying, "Pretty sure you just sold your last tube of lube."
  • Hyper-Awareness: Fusco realizes Martine is lying about being a DEA agent almost as soon as she announces herself as one.
  • I Have Your Dragon: The Brotherhood manage to shoot and capture Scarface, which drives Elias to turn himself over to Dominic for the chance that he might let Scarface go. Scarface isn't having any of it, though, and elects to die rather than let Dominic get one over on Elias.
  • Instant Sedation: Root jabs Shaw with a syringe that knocks her out cold in less than ten seconds.
  • It's Personal: Elias had been perfectly willing to consider the Brotherhood to be business rivals competing for shares of New York's criminal underworld. The death of Scarface makes it clear that they cannot be anything other than deadly enemies, and Elias decides that if Dominic wants war so badly, he can have it.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Fusco uses this brilliantly against Martine Rousseau
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Elias mentions Scarface's real name, Anthony Marconi, Reese just admits he always just called him Scarface. Something fans have been doing since the first season.
  • More Dakka: Shaw's FN P-90 in spades.
  • Moving the Goalposts: Elias turns himself over to Dominic because he said he would let Scarface go. After being caught Dominic asks for the safe number which Elias states wasn't part of the original deal. Dominic replies it's the spoils of war, made even clearer as to why since he did not want to kill Scarface with the bomb.
  • Not So Stoic: The unflappable Magnificent Bastard Elias barely holds it together as he gives up the arming code for a hidden bomb which he knows will catch his best friend in its blast radius.
  • Oh, Crap!: Link, when he realizes what the code Elias gave him actually does.
  • Origin Story: We finally learn how Scarface got the scar on his face: he got it when he killed his father after getting fed up with him abusing his mother.
  • Plot Armor: Link escapes an explosion that demolishes the entire floor with only minor injuries.
  • Poor Communication Kills: If Elias had just told John that the safe was a bomb, John might not have dragged him away before he could finish arming it, the Brotherhood would have been caught in the blast, and Scarface wouldn't have gotten shot, captured, and blown up with them.
  • Public Secret Message: The last phone conversation between Elias and Anthony/Scarface has shades of this.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Harold making a "passive radar system" from a WiFi network looks like classic Techno Babble. Turns out it's not...
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: At the end of the episode, Elias orders one against "everyone that flipped."
  • Room 101: Elias seems particularly troubled when hiding in one room. He later informs Reese it was the room where bad behavior was 'corrected'.
  • Shout-Out: A particularly devastating one. The safe code Elias provides is the date of the "Rumble In The Jungle"; when former heavyweight World Champion Muhammad Ali defeated the incumbent, undefeated World Champion, George Foreman. It also happens to activate a booby trap which kills a group of Brotherhood thugs and Scarface.
  • Spotting the Thread: Fusco immediately catches on to the fact that Martine Rousseau isn't who she claims to be, and dangles a few threads to confirm his suspicions. It's unknown whether the information he fed her was false or if he just noticed how vague and non-committal her responses were.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Dominic tries to use a Breaking Speech on Elias once he's captured, only for Elias to turn it around on him and reveal that Dominic's overconfidence has played right into his own contingency plans. Cue Oh, Crap! moment and massive explosion.
    • Earlier, Link tried to do the same to Scarface, with an equal lack of success.
  • Taking You with Me: The Brotherhood keep demanding the code to the safe. Knowing it will kill him and Dominic's soldiers, Scarface persuades Elias to give it to them.
  • This Means War!
    • Elias is determined to avenge himself on Dominic, and warns Team Machine to stay out of his way.
    • Greer introduces Martine to her team of Samaritan operatives who will be used to track down Shaw.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: If you saw the trailer, you knew ahead of time that there would be an explosion in the penthouse, which meant you'd be able to predict that "combination" to the "safe" was actually the arming code for a bomb.
  • True Companions: Elias, Scarface and Bruce, all from the same reform home.
  • Undying Loyalty: Scarface, who wants Elias to activate the explosion code.
  • We Have Reserves: Dominic is rather untroubled by the loss of so many "good soldiers." This doesn't exactly boost Link's morale.
  • Wham Episode:
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted (and how!) by Martine, who starts blasting away at Shaw in the middle of a crowded perfume store.
  • You Do NOT Want to Know: Inverted when Fusco finds Shaw and Root hiding in the back of the truck.
    Fusco: Should I even ask?
    Shaw: Really wanna know?
    Fusco: Honestly? No.