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Recap / Person Of Interest S 05 E 05

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Season 5, Episode 5


Garvin: ...she's out there changing the world while the rest of us are wearing headphones, and now she's gone, and nobody cares.
Reese: You care.
Garvin: Another missing person, three days gone. You know how this ends, don't you?
Reese: No, and neither do you.

The latest Number is Ethan Garvin, an audio technician who works on the ShotSeeker gunshot detection system. Garvin discovers evidence of a kidnapping (and probable murder) that has been covered up—by Samaritan! Meanwhile, Finch begins an experiment with the Samaritan malware code recovered in "Truth Be Told," and Fusco is growing increasingly curious about where Team Machine gets its information from.


  • Absentee Actor: Sarah Shahi received a "With" credit in the opening credits, but Shaw did not actually appear in this episode.
  • Addled Addict: Subverted. At first, Ethan looks like a strung out junkie. In reality, he's been popping stimulants for days, unable to sleep until he finds out what happened to Krupa.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Reese agrees to take Bruce to the safe house and explain who killed Elias, the viewer's led to believe that Bruce will be told about the Machine and Samaritan. Instead, John brings him to Elias, holed up at the safe house.
  • Batman Gambit: Finch's plan to save Ethan depended on him correctly predicting that Samaritan would stop sending assassins if the research was released.
    Finch: Let's assume that Samaritan is targeting Garvin because his investigation threatens to unearth a copy of Krupa's research.
    Root: Which is exactly what happened.
    Finch: By that logic, if we disseminate the research now, Garvin ceases to be a threat. The danger that he represents would've already come to pass.
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  • Beard of Sorrow: Ethan; Fusco tells him to shave at the end.
  • Big Brother Is Watching You: At the end of the episode, Samaritan is shown using the ShotSeeker microphones to listen in on what people are saying.
  • The Bus Came Back: Bruce from "The Devil You Know" returns. Elias is revealed to be alive.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Carrick was allegedly involved in the murder of six farming activists in Ecuador, which makes him a useful patsy for Samaritan.
  • Cowboy Cop: Carrick refuses to be intimidated by Fusco and demands his lawyer. Cue Fusco locking the door and moving towards him.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Finch creates a virtual reality where a version of the Machine and Samaritan can battle. Samaritan proceeds to hand the Machine her proverbial ass in over 10 billion simulations.
    Finch: I'm afraid we're fighting a war we can't win.
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  • Defiant to the End: Mary says "Go to hell!" to a hitman just before he shoots her.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Like any dictator, Samaritan is good at making people disappear.
  • Faking the Dead: Elias, after Fusco saved his life the night of the shooting, is hiding in a Team Machine safe house.
  • Fiery Coverup: Elias supposedly burned up in the prison transport.
  • Fictional Counterpart: to the real-world ShotSpotter gunshot detection and location system.
  • Foreshadowing: Early in the episode, Finch decides to check security at the safehouse and cleans up a coffee cup left on a table. Both elements hint that Team Machine is keeping someone there.
  • Frame-Up: Carrick never stole Krupa's research or arranged her murder.
  • Friendship Moment: Fusco puts his life on the line to mobilize the NYPD to look for Reese. At Finch's urging, Reese makes a point of thanking him.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Bruce reports that four other crime kingpins were assassinated at the same time as Elias. Bruce has been waiting to see who fills the void left by their deaths, but no-one has. Not knowing of the existence of Samaritan, Bruce has come out of hiding to bring his enemy into the open.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Samaritan's behind it all once again.
  • Hopeless War: Suggested by Finch and Elias. Rejected by Fusco and Reese.
    Ethan: Krupa's still missing. Mary's dead.
    Fusco: Yeah, we did the best we could.
    Ethan: It wasn't enough.
    Fusco: Hey, it never is. That's the curse of what we do, and why we never stop. I'm not giving up on Krupa. She's not alone among the missing.
  • Implied Death Threat: Bruce to Fusco's son. In response, Reese doesn't go for implied.
    Reese: You want to talk about loyalty? I'll kill you myself you ever go near Fusco again.
  • Irony: Root lets walk away the man who will kill her. Although even if she had shot Jeff, another Samaritan gunman would have just taken his place.
  • The Kindnapper: Fusco handcuffs Ethan to his desk. Unfortunately this leaves him vulnerable when an assassin appears. Fortunately Fusco makes a Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind.
  • Leave No Witnesses: Samaritan does this to anyone who knows about Krupa's research...until Team Machine publicly releases the research anyway, at which point Samaritan cuts its losses and stops trying to kill Ethan.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Fusco, still. He's not happy.
    • Jeff, too. He doesn't know who actually employs him.
    • Apparently averted by Elias. He tells Bruce just how much of a threat Samaritan is, but without using the name.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Ethan was incited to take the case because he vaguely knew Krupa in high school; before that the names of the victims didn't mean much to him.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Not Named in Opening Credits: Enrico Colantoni, preserving the surprise when Elias shows up alive.
  • Not So Stoic: Samaritan gets the closest to being pissed off so far: after Fusco deals with the assassin it sent to kill Garvin, it declares the entire scene and everyone involved disruptive and prepares to continue sending assassins.
  • Only Bad Guys Call Their Lawyers: Subverted; Carrick may be a Smug Snake, but he really is innocent.
  • Papa Bear: Invoked Trope; Bruce threatens Fusco's son, knowing it will bring Reese out of the shadows. Root compares the Machine to a child being bullied in an attempt to incite Finch to protect Her.
  • Properly Paranoid
    • Bruce wears a cap to obscure his face and keeps out of sight of CCTV cameras.
    • The Samaritan assets also stay off the grid, no doubt guided by Samaritan.
    • Finch locks Root out of the Samaritan vs Machine test.
    • Even though Bruce says the men guarding him are Elias loyalists, Reese knocks them out before taking Bruce to see his boss.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Jeff, who is Only in It for the Money.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Once again an assassin walks right into the police station to kill his target.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Both Reese and Elias urge Bruce to Run or Die. But Bruce is Not Afraid to Die, and is determined to resurrect their criminal empire.
  • Shoot Him He Has A Smartphone: Ethan, which is only foiled by Fusco physically standing between him and the responding police.
  • Shout-Out: Possible one to Chuck, when Fusco refers to the rest of the team as the "nerd herd", towards the end of the episode.
  • Side Bet: On whether the gun used in a shooting was a Glock 22. Ethan wins.
  • Spies in a Van: Though a van in silver this time, not a Van in Black.
  • Suicide by Cop: Mentioned by name by Fusco, although it is more of a case of an "Attempted murder by cop", when Samaritan tries to frame Ethan as an armed & extremely dangerous killer.
  • Team Rocket Wins: Team Machine for once stops Samaritan from getting what it wants without incurring major losses, though two innocent people still get killed.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Reese says, "You can relax, Finch. He's gone" only to get jumped by another couple of thugs, this time working for Bruce.
    • Fusco handcuffs Ethan to a desk in his office to protect him. Cue Samaritan dispatching an assassin there.
  • Villain Has a Point: Finch briefly wonders if Samaritan had good reason to destroy Krupa's research.
    Finch: Why does Samaritan want to buy that research so badly? Could solving world hunger lead to an overpopulation problem?
    Root: We can't pretend to understand Samaritan's motivations. For all we know, it did all of this just to assume control of the global food supply. But what we do know is that we can save a life today by doing the opposite of what Samaritan wants.
  • Violence Is the Only Option:
    • Root urges Finch to modify the Machine to take a more aggressive stance against Samaritan.
    • Averted with Root and Jeff. With the police approaching, she gives him the option of walking away. He does.
  • We Will Meet Again: Root thinks they haven't seen the last of Jeff.
  • A World Half Full: Reese and Fusco both urge this on Ethan, who's starting to give up hope of finding Krupa alive. The fact that things appear hopeless is exactly why you should keep fighting to make a difference.