Person of Interest - S04E03 - Wingman
Is it just me, or does an episode early in the series that gets you chuckling throughout usher portents of doom for later in the series? And since I don't think there was a good 5 minutes where I didn't give a little guffaw I'm wondering how much of a kicking there's going to be involved later on in the storyline. Plus, this was an episode that let Detective Lional Fusco (Kevin Chapman) out to play somewhat, and it's about time, too!
Opening with a chase, Detectives Riley (John Reese) and Fusco are in hot pursuit, on foot, of a chap who looks entirely frightened. Fusco remains with the perp as he dashes out across a road and nearly gets wiped out by a car and continues in to a park. John, on the other hand, boards a tour bus and gains access to the top floor. The perp sprints through the park in amongst a crowd of people, Fusco really trying his best to keep up with the spry runner.
Don't laugh, he'll kill you with his tie... he's done it before.
John draws his sidearm, to the alarm of those on the bus and takes his time with what is a particularly long shot for a handgun and fires a single round. The bullet passes clean through the runner's leg and he falls to the ground in the park.
In his usual manner, John turns and displays his badge to the locals informing him that he's NYPD to rapturous applause.
Fusco isn't so impressed. While they're scooping the man up, Fusco berates him about the rules of conduct that come with the badge and all the morals and ethics that are indicitive to that role. John, half-heartedly, reminds him that once upon a time Fusco was a dirty cop but Lionel is swift to rebuke him, and rightly so - he's changed a lot since we first met him.
Meet the new Captain of the 8th Precinct. Lovely lady, but ready to fire herself right now. She casually asks John how many times he's kneecapped people in the last month and he assures her that it's only 4. She almost compliments him and he gives some kind of smirk thatI don't think I have an appropriate name for. We are also privvy to some exposition here: heat wave is making people nutty, crime rate is up, homicides are up ( and then some). And then, as they're leaving, the Captain then slows John by saying,
"Hey you, in the fancy suit..."
Coincidence, perhaps? What with Reese having been 'The Man in the Suit' for the last 3 years, getting his idiom well and truly recognized around the precincts, is it possible that she knows something that she's not saying? Either way, she goes on to insist that Reese stop shooting people and points out that he's part of a team. He then gets another little reminder from Fusco that, while John is currently hiding behind the false identity of Detective John Riley, ex narcotics officer and newly transferred to homicide, Detective Lionel Fusco is his real identity and he can't escape the real-life situation that they've all put him in. ANd then there's the moment that Reese suddenly takes it all seriously and promises Fusco that he will make a point of keeping his shenanigans in check, just in time for a call from Finch.
A new number has turned up and it's time to get to work.
To the Bat Cave!
Shaw is encouraging Bear to find and kill a subway rat and Finch is trying to work despite the destractions. He's also concerned about their financial situation - since The Machine has gone in to hiding, as such, he doesn't have access to the coipious funds that they are used to having acces to. They are, in fact, now living on the wages of their alter egos - though to be honest, that can't be so bad: a police detective, a make-up clerk and a University Professor surely can manage to find extra dog food and grub for themselves, even in New York, right?
Enter John, who passes on the message that the Captain and Fusco are currently keeping him on a tighter leash; Shaw asks him if he'd shot someone else and his silence spoke volumes, so Finch decides it's his turn to remind him how fragile the alter egos are and how careful he needs to be with it. All John can do to respond is,
"It was hot out."
But, you see, I totally get that!
Finch and Shaw have nothing to say and John requests the brief in order to turn the attention away from him.
Meet Andre Cooper, former longshoreman now a social liaison, otherwise reffered to as a professional 'wingman' for those that a looking to get in to relationships but have issues connecting with prospective partners. Reese is adamant that he can't help with this particular job, for reasons other than that ones he's already stated, and Shaw assures him that they were actually going with someone else, specifically with 'more people skills and less hair gel'.
Lionel Fusco is sitting at a bar and smiles at a girl who promptly smiles back but looks away with an aire of 'not interested, weirdo' about her.
Enter Shaw who drops off a phone and adds insult to injury by asking him when the last time he had a date was. Submitting to the point, enter Andre Cooper, looking good - aviator shades, pressed suit, designer stubble, got the whole GQ thing going and evidently a whalloping great big crosshair on the back of his head - he screams perp out of his depth for those that watch the show regularly enough.
Andre rolls up to Fusco and immediately dresses him down for looking like a cheap schmuck, explaining that what he does isn't offer tricks and gimmicks to get girls to get interested, but to tailor the man and make them look good and offer the ladies something to be impressed by. Fusco nearly walks out after being insulted, and Shaw isn't helping, but that doesn't matter, Cooper manages to take Fusco under his wing and they begin their crusade of making Fusco look like that guy.
Enter Root, making Finch's day more interesting. She mocks the train car, but is somewhat impressed at how difficult it will be for folks to find it. And while FInch is entirely reluctant, Root is recruiting Finch to do the Machine's bidding once more. She also drops the note that she doesn't get the same amount of information that she would ordinarily get due to Samaritan watching most of the corners of the internet, but she wants to assure Finch that the Machine still loves him and wants to sweeten their relationship with something, a something that Root isn't privvy to at this time. Finch, not entirely conviced, concedes and heads out in to Manhattan.
The Captain is about to bust Reese's / Riley's balls when he notices the nicotine patches and impresses her with observational skills. He then explains one fo the cases that he's been working on and that one of his 'developmentals' has offered him a lead in to the case and a solid lead on the perp. She plays the angle of allowing 'fast and loose' but if he wants to bring him down, she wants a solid lead that can go to court. Pretty certain Reese likes this woman.
Root and Finch have entered a garage workshop, dark and foreboding, while Shaw is on comms and explaining that Cooper has been bad boy and received death threats from a jilted client but has also been served paperwork with regards to a missing shipment of weapons - looks like a deal went super bad. Someone's already gone missing, money is serious and at the same time Cooper swapped careers. Finch is fairly conviced that's a good lead to follow as they aproach their unexpected destination. Shaw requests further assistance because Fusco is busier than expected...
Fusco has been introduced to cuff-links. He really doesn't get it. And what's worse is that Cooper has really got him pegged. He has to reinforce the idea that when women are getting all spruced up it's because they're looking for a guy that can get spruced up too. He also points out that there are time that Fusco looks like a cop, and since Cooper's been told Fusco is in to insurance, it gives pause for thought. Cooper also comes to the conclusion that Fusco is a sourpuss, a 'cynical misanthrope', the kind of condition that comes with being on the force for as long as Fusco has.
Back to Root and Finch, they are met by a man who refers to Finch as Mr. Egret, and also seems to hold the man in high regard. He states that he's read an awful lot about Egret's tour in the Gulf and his work with the Blackwater PMC. Root and Finch exchange glances and prompts the man to ask who the 'hottie' is. In a flip of personas, Finch replies in a manner not entirely dissimilar to Reese on one of his frightening days,
"She's none of your concern".
Whatever this alias happens to be, his stern reply unsettles the men around him and they silently go about their business of producing a rather serious piece of hardware, namely an "AT4 Anti Tank Shoulder Launched Munition System with 84mm rounds and a firing range of 300 meters" which Root divulges to the quietly impressed goon squad. The man is then handed an envelope of $50,000 and Finch gets to scare the young man once again in a fashion that would keep Reese proud.
Upon leaving, Finch enquires about what the rocket launcher is for, to which Root doesn't know, and when he points out that the Machine has just enabled a bunch of weapon smugglers, a squad of police turn up as the men start moving cases of equipment to a vehicle and arrest the lot of them. Root and Machine really are trying to get Finch back on board with their plan.
Enter a new look Fusco, with Cooper scanning the field.
But the suit alone a man does not make. And Fusco manages to fail in every possible way to keep the attention of anyone. And it's at this point I feel it is fair to point out that Chapman's comedy timing is flawless. You can argue that editting makes all the difference, but you have to have something you can edit in the first place. Also keep in mind that Chapman hails from Boston and that Bronx accent he's got going on is entirely his own manufacture. Add to that the array of expression he has been able to throw in to the series, including some of the character's darker moments, it would be fair to say that Chapman is easily on par with his cohorts with regards to acting savvy. If you're not sure what else you've seen him in, watch 'Blow', 'The Boondock Saints' and 'Mystic River'. Oh yeah, he's got profile!
But I digress...
Enter Nick, 'an old friend from the docks', a guy that Cooper hooked up and talks about going out for a meal. All seems pleasant, but Cooper seems on edge for a moment, uncomfortable but it passes as they both hug and talk stuff out. He moves on and Cooper glances back at a girl at the bar who'd already been checking him out, only to have the boyfriend approach and to throw a punch for Cooper.
Fusco intercepts with a smooth 3 part takedown, involving a table, and offers the guy a look at his badge. He's broken cover with Andre who is going to get super suspcious about it, but the general concensus for Fusco flips from running joke to admiration for his prowess.
Shaw calls and informs Fusco about Milo Jacobs, the dock worker that went missing and the link back to Cooper. Fusco manages to bury the issue by pointing out that if the other cops discovered he was getting assistance finding a date, the precinct would eat him alive. Cooper accepts the semi-lie and they continue on with their mission to find Fusco a date.
Reese is back at the station with the husband of the murdered woman, along with a recorded confession and a perp with a stinking black eye, not to mention a Captain who has hit a second patch. They have a little more time getting to know one another and Reese updates her on the case he's now working - he's acquired a credit report on two guys who have been up to no good and sets up a play with the Captain - get her to come over and read the riot act on him in front of the two fellows who are waiting for the interrogation room and make it obvious that if he doesn't close this case, he might be looking for a new job. These two suckers are played a lovely line and end up confessing to their crimes, plus a nice slive of bribery on the side, to both Reese and the Captain (who hides on the other side of the mirror).
But seriously, who would admit to anything like that in an interrogation room? But then it's Reese and he's got a way with words. And that makes it two cases in one day; he's going for the hat trick as the Captain gives him a third job to do with an illegal street vendor and Reese notes the third patch. He doesn't judge, but to her credit, she's playing it calm... for a sultry minx!
Fusco and Cooper are at an art do, Shaw keeping tabs. Fusco and Shaw make eye contact, only to be misread by Cooper, but Shaw throws the dig in anyway over comms. It's not long vefore they're opening up to one another over the secrets of their trade when Fusco and Shaw spot a bad man patrolling. Fusco pulls Cooper out in haste while Shaw covers their retreat which culminates in a fairly vicious assault with a knife. If the goon hadn't cut her with it, Shaw mightn't have planted the knife in his guts for the trouble. Either way, it's slowed her down...
Outside, Fusco and Cooper run directly in to Nick whose distraction leads to both of them being kidnapped by armed man and thrown in to a van.
Root and Finch are in public with a case containing a rocket launcher and playing their usual game of 'Machine Logisitics' when a man walks up to Finch and asks him if he is Mr. Egret and introduces himself as 'Jerry'.
Seriously, would you buy / sell rocket launchers from this man?
Finch plays his tough guy card once more, and Egret's background is enough to make Finch entirely plausible - never judge a book and all that. Jerry escorts them off to a buyer for the weapon.
Reese patches up Shaw and discovers what's happened to Fusco and Cooper but is unable to help; the Captain even calls to find out where he is. This leash is getting tighter. Shaw accepts the excuses but decides that she's taking Bear for a stroll... good dog.
It's confession time. Cooper spills the beans to Fusco about Nicky - he's the one that deleted a container full of weapons off a ship's manifest andMilo hauled it away, but Milo got caught in a bad place and it's safe to assum that Milo is dead someplace. The reason why Cooper got served was because he was supposed to be providing evidence for the state but didn't because he couldnt turn his back on his friend, something that Fusco knows all to well about. He even goes on to explain that to Nicky who is all to happy about killing Fusco and planting it on Cooper.
Reese is busy bribing a witness with a clean getaway. He offers an evelope with a fair whack of dosh in it for a 'genuine' ladies handbag and a little bit of information. How could anyone in his position refuse? Meanwhile, Jerry leads Root and Finch in to a textile workshop to meet some pretty mean looking guys. Shaw and Bear approach the warehouse where Fuco and Cooper have been held and only find a hankerchief from Fusco's pocket, but that's enough to get Bear on the trail. Fusco and Cooper, however, are getting loaded in to a container, one which will terribly hot given the heat wave, but the, assuming theiy're not dead from heat stroke they'll be drowned within days, assuming starvation and thirst doesn't run them down first.
And now, for the wrap up!
Root and Finch are maintaining cover as Mr. Egret and his associate, selling the rocket launcher to some entirely unsavoury characters. The mobsters pay off Jerry and he legs it. He probably knows what's coming. Finch plays the 'I'm a very private person card' much to the joy of the buyer, only to fold when the briefcase of $150,000 is handed over to them and secures the rocket launcher. Guns are pulled and all of them are aimed at Finch and the buyer is particularly unimpressed with the failure of a smooth transaction. Root, on the other hand, reminds Finch that the Machine knows him better than he would like to think and promptly kneecaps all four of the mobsters in as many seconds, resulting in her brandishing two pistols and looking super awesome once again.
I love it when Amy Acker does her bad-ass thing...
They walk out with a lot of cash and a rocket launcher. The very definition of a win / win situation.
Meanwhile, Fusco has found a use for the cuff-links: picking the lock on his own handcuffs and then goes about freeing Cooper but still they are trapped, but Shaw is en route with Bear and is going to find Reese has made the connection: the street vendor was one of the Nicky's distribution network and filled him in on the guns and the shipment. They release Fusco and Cooper and are promptly intercepted by Nick's goons. Shaw makes short work of them by kicking seven shades out of him, while Reese draws down on a goon with style and then, discovering he's finally run out of bullets, and comments on the lack thereof, proceeds to execute on of the most painful looking full body charging tackles I've seen in a TV show. The two of them make short work of their dance partners only to be ambushed by Nick himself who has a bead on Fusco and Cooper, cooper placing himself in the way of Fusco - his act of true redemption; looks like love to me. Bearworks a distraction tactic and Fusco leaps forward a slugs him out cold.
Back at the 8th, they're dusting off and the Captain is happy to receive the handbag (full of nicotine patches) and is brought up to speed while explaining that the four Latvians sitting on the bench were part of an anonymous tip off. She does wonder whether Reese / Riley has knee capped them too, but he was elsewahere at the time of the incident, so drinks are on her tonight. Reese get commended for his good cop show and Lionel has a date for the night, not to mention that he manages to square thing away with Andre Cooper.
Back at the Finch Cave, Root is trying to explain that the Machine has an invested interest in Finch and the gang, and to prove as much, she introduces Finch to a wee stockpile that the briefcase and the rocket launcher are the final parts thereof; a few large sacks full of hard cash appropriated from the criminal factions around the city, along with munitions and kit (including lying on one side a very sturdy looking FN SCAR L assualt rifle, amongst others). Finch appears to be finding his 'faith' in the Machine once again, but then the episodes with an entirely useable quote,
Finch - "What will we do with the missile?"
Root - "I'm sure we'll think of something." with a wry smile.
I'm sure they will... ;)