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Recap / Person Of Interest S 05 E 03

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Season 5, Episode 3

Truth Be Told

Finch: I think it's good that you're attempting to have a more normal life. That is, when you're not risking your life saving people.
Reese: Or trying to stay a step ahead of an artificial superintelligence bent on world domination.
Finch: Or that.

The latest Number is a man searching for information about his brother, who died in Afghanistan in 2010—at the hands of Reese and Stanton—and he's drawn the attention of Reese's old boss from his CIA days. Meanwhile, Root goes undercover as driver for a delivery company which uses brown trucks in an effort to learn more about Samaritan's malware.


  • Aborted Arc: Some things had to go with the series being Cut Short, so the Reese/Iris romantic plotline was dropped.
  • Armor-Piercing Question
  • Bait-and-Switch
    • Beale looks like he's cornered Finch, but it's another man in a fedora and the laptop is abandoned on a nearby table.
    • It looks like Reese has killed an innocent man, until The Reveal that Brent Tomlinson was a traitor after all.
  • Bland-Name Product: Finch pulls up an "Equian Union Credit Report" on the latest Number. In Real Life, the three major credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Root works for a delivery company called APS.
  • Boring, but Practical: Rather than her usual bizarre disguises, Root is now a delivery driver, and for once we're shown how this disguise helps Team Machine assemble another clue as to Samaritan's intentions.
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  • Briefcase Full of Money: Well, about a third full, hidden under a false bottom for safekeeping.
  • Call-Back
    • Root can't always dress as brides or bears.
    • As in "/", the Machine gives a Number related to murder that was committed by a main character before they joined Team Machine.
  • Can't Stay Normal: Ultimately what Reese decides. He breaks up with Iris at the end of the episode.
  • Car Fu: It's not a Reese-centric episode without it. Beale notes that he picked out Reese in part due to his "creativity" with vehicles.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: The episode reveals that all of Reese's biological and adoptive relatives are dead. His complete lack of outside connections was one of the reasons the CIA flagged him for recruitment.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Finch has already had a cover identity with security clearance prepared for Reese, in the expectation that he would have to use one to investigate a Number.
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  • Cryptic Conversation: Despite being an open system, the Machine prefers to communicate in riddles.
  • Eyes Never Lie: Bearle recognizes a masked Reese; the steering wheel stunt only confirms it.
  • Government Conspiracy
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Knowing Bearle will be expecting him to hide in a No-Tell Motel, Reese takes the Number to an expensive hotel, much to Finch's alarm as he no longer has his Arbitrarily Large Bank Account.
  • "How Did You Know?" "I Didn't."
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Reese, now and in the past.
  • Improvised Weapon: Reese slugs a hitman with a fake bone in Scallywags.
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue
  • I Owe You My Life: Beale leaves Reese out of his report partially because Reese didn't shoot him when he had the chance.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence
  • Kinda Busy Here: Iris rings up Reese to find out why he hasn't turned up for the meeting with her parents. Turns out he's in the men's room, slugging it out someone trying to kill a Number.
  • Lying to Protect Your Feelings: Reese realizes that the Number is better off without the truth — that his brother was a traitor who had leaked the location of a missile shipment to the Taliban. So Reese told him a comforting lie, saying that his brother was questioned, cleared, and then coincidentally died in action a few days after the interview. Beale chooses to go along with the lie.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Iris gets Put on a Bus.
  • The Mole: The man Reese killed in the flashback. His brother is suspected of being one as well in the present.
  • More Dakka: Reese turns up with a SAW after realizing Gonna Need More Trope.
  • Mysterious Protector: Even CIA bosses like the idea of a Man in the Suit out there, doing what needs to be done.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Beale, at least in comparison to the rest of the CIA and government. He does what he deems necessary (including ordering hits on US citizens) but he decides not to pursue Reese or the number of the week.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Machine's puzzle turns out to be "Cocoon Above! Cocoon Below!", a poem by Emily Dickinson.
    • Beale's name is a reference to Thomas J. Beale, the purported author of the Beale Ciphers. Doubles as a Genius Bonus.
    • There is a quote from Robert Frost's poem "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" that's also an apparent reference to Telefon: "You've got miles to go before you sleep."
      • If it is a reference to Telefon, it could also be seen as Foreshadowing of the next episode, in which Samaritan uses mind control to turn Shaw into a Sleeper Agent programmed to kill the rest of Team Machine.
  • Shown Their Work: The Special Activities Division, the real life paramilitary/assassination unit of the CIA is name-dropped by Agent Beale.
  • Smoke Out
  • Swiss Cheese Security: You'd think that Bearle would know the wisdom of cuffing Reese.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Scallywags
  • Tap on the Head: Root immobilizing the delivery driver.
  • Trespassing to Talk: Reese and Stanton appear in Brent's quarters without invitation.
  • Van in Black: The CIA drive an SUV in black.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Root tells Finch that Team Machine needs to start talking risks if they're going to defeat Samaritan.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: The CIA mook when he piles into his SUV to chase Reese, only to find the steering wheel missing.

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