It looks like Reese and Finch have caught the travel bug. Last week the two took off to a stormy island. This week, the machine sends Reese to the motel-glam of Atlantic City. The person of interest is a gambler who has fallen into significant debt. But before we get to the rough and tumble world of geriatric Baccarat, Reese has to rescue Tao from the hands of some unscrupulous men.
It feels like a long time since we’ve seen Tao. His character’s moral ambiguity and banter with Team Machine is always entertaining to watch. It’s also like having a mini Lost reunion. They should really try to coax Evangeline Lilly into a guest spot. It was particularly amusing when Tao learns that the thugs want to kill him. He warns them to leave, right before Reese and Bear bust through the door. I like that Reese is taking Bear on patrol. Bear makes every scene better.
With this bit of business out of the way, Reese heads to Atlantic City. The change of locale is good because it keeps things visually interesting. There are only so many high rises and ship docks you can lurk around before it starts becoming mundane. Reese comes across Lou, who he and Finch are convinced must just be some harmless old man who’s gotten himself into trouble. When I saw Lou sitting at the card tables, I instantly thought of Whitey Bulger.
It turns out that Lou is unwillingly up to no good. He and the rest of Shady Pines are helping a casino owner launder money through a bogus pharmacy. When the casino owner realizes Lou is skimming money from him, he puts a hit out on him. Reese foils that plan, and Finch drops Lou off at a bus stop and gives him a pile of cash to be on his way. It is obvious from the ease in which Finch shuffles Lou onto the bus that Lou has no real intention of leaving. It’s not surprising when he pops back up, endangering Team Machine’s plan to bring down the casino owner.
While this is all going on, there’s drama with Carter back at headquarters. My least favorite storyline has popped back up – HR. I think I audibly groan every time I see Officer Simmons back on screen. We’ve had a nice long HR break, and I was kind of hoping it would be one of those “hey, whatever happened to…” storylines. I’m still not sure what’s up with the Russian mafia, and, more importantly, I don’t really care. The Quinn character has been a big flop. They’re obviously gearing up for some HR showdown later in the season. I wish they would get it over with so we can move on from this.
Back at the casino, the plans have gone wrong and Tao, Reese and Finch are all captured. I hope that Reese’s dive after one weak punch was intentional so that he could be taken to where Finch was. It was great that during the game of point and shoot, Reese didn’t flinch when the trigger was pulled. It was even better when Lou cold-cocked the bad guy. Score one for the AARP.
The best part of the entire episode came at the end when Reese and Finch return home. The scenes with the two of them together work so well because they can interact. Finch is clearly hurt and conflicted about losing Grace. Reese’s concern for Finch was touching, especially when he told him, “Some of us don’t get to grow old with the one we love.” Even more heartbreaking was Finch’s response, “I’ll grow old with her Mr. Reese, just from afar.” In this moment, you saw the vulnerability in both men and felt how alone they both must feel.
This was one of the more run of the mill person of interest stories, but it was good that they mixed it up with a new location and brought back Tao.
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