Person of Interest - S04E04 - Brotherhood
The Brotherhood are mentioned int he first episode and one can't be sur if they're about to become a new bunch of players or a simple agitation, either way, they're back for a second round, and it's not every day that Elias suggests caution around elements of the underworld.
The episode opens with three very heavily armed goons walking in to a secured building and then, without warning, gunshots and yelling kick up - Samaritan coldly refutes it as irrelevent. So be it. That's Samaritan for you, but then it forces me to ask a new question: what is Samaritan's goal? It's important to understand that, working on the assumption that an A.I. isn't motivated by things such as happiness or duty, Samaritan has an objective - an endgame that isn't simply it's own personal survival, so what is it? World domination? Control over all of the resources it can muster? Then what? What does it want / need? Which would then usher the question, 'Why?'. Is Samaritan in service to someone/something else? Does it want to leave the planet? Am I looking in to this too far? Am I not looking in to this far enough? If you were an A.I. with the ability to function as these ones do, what would your endgame be?
Answers in the forums please! Seriously, I'd love to hear them...
John's in a playground while Finch is talking to him over comms arriving at the Finch-Cave (can I get away with that? Perhaps...) and John's desperately trying to palm off his current assignment on to Finch, to no avail, especially when Finch discovers that Bear has devoured all of the homework that the students have handed in.
Good job, Bear...
Meet the lovable Tracy Booker, currently in grade school, and latterly her older brother Malcolm. Father is dead and their mother is doing time in Ryker's for a weapon violation, not other relatives. Shaw is strutting her stuff trying to get Malcolm's friends to talk but they weren't so knowlegeable, but damn does she wear that black one piece well... or is it the other way round? Not sure, don't care... hubba hubba, and all that jazz. John is therefore forced to be ripped by little girls in a play ground who swindle him good, and what's worst is that he knows it. Fortunately for him, the intel if good and stumbles across the crime scene, but isn't the first one there; the DEA are all over it and there we meet Agent Lennox, a tall, fashionable women with plenty confidence and quick eye for John's inquisitiveness. Introductions are made and details are shared. Groovy. But there's one thing that's nagging me: how quickly is she going to wind up dead? She's already aware of the brotherhood and first impressions suggest she's playing the long game. I gave her until the end of the episode.
Finch has found the kids in a shop buying some nice new clothes, paying in cash from a large black duffel bag that screams 'illegal goods transaction in here'. Finch is fairly certain that the kids have somehow managed to steal a thoroughly impressive amount of drug money, but he's foiled in his pursuit as Malcolm spots him and places a stack of notes on the grating above a subway vent and turns the pavement in toa cloud of bills and jostling people in a matter of seconds. Finch, as usual, is in no position to give chase. John has a plan though, once that no one's going to appreciate.
A subway train is rattling away and Finch gets to the rendevous with Elias (Enrico Collantoni).
Have I ever told you how much I love Enrio Collantoni? No? Why, perhaps it's time I did. You've seen him in all sorts; Flashpoint, Veronica Mars, Galaxy Quest, the list goes on. He is such a versatile actor with a profound range and such a unique counternance that makes the shift between the wise, cuddly father figure to the sociopathic mastermind bad-ass something of an event. He can pull authority with the same ease that he can be concerned dad and private investigator and for that I am so glad to see him playing Elias; perhaps one of the most understated roles throughout the entire programme - we know virtually nothing about Elias other than he has clout in places that police don't want to look in to, dangerous associates who make a mess of others and enjoys playing ches with Finch. After that, your guess is as good as ours. He knows what he is, which, as far as he's concerned, is an integral part of society, 'something older' than law and order, perhaps even elemental, and whatever his agenda actually happens to be, I'm thoroughly looking forward to finding out, even if it just happens to be that he becomes a season bad-guy, but personally I'm expecting more from the writers.
Elias is already aware of the situation and is more than happy to remind Finch that they are currently in debt to him for his intervention earlier on in the series. Finch is frightened, and Emerson's portrayal is wonderful - Finch had, up until recently, had the advantage of Elias being under lock and key, but now that he's back on the streets, there's no telling what he's capable of. He can, as it happens, control the Armenian Cartel that was involved in the shooting but the Brotherhood is Finch's problem, adding that Dominic can be incredibly elusive, perhsp as much, if not more so, than Harold - not something you'd expect to hear given that Finch has the Machine keeping him from becoming relevent (in big red letters). And Elias knows it - he even confronts Finch with that. He points out that he is aware that Finch's gang is operating differently than usual and that something has changed across the board. Finch dodges telling him the truth, or even a smidgeon of it, but he's not that good at lying to Elias; Elias is well aware that Finch knows more than he's letting on, but doesn't stop him from leaving.
Fusco is waiting for John, and so is Lennox, back at the precinct, and neither of them are happy to see him. Fusco is unhappy about the seven homicides that have arrived on his desk but also points out that the ganger, Linc (from the first episode), has been freed because a fall-boy just took his place. Smooth operation right there. Lennox, on the other hand, is trying to find someone she can trust. Despite the background checks and the swap of barbs, Lennox and John sit down adn exchange further notes, including her theory that there's a mole in the department, not to mention that the Brotherhood has infiltrated most avenues of law enforcement - Dominic is well informed and seems to keep appraised of most situations relevent to him and the Brotherhood. Lennox shares that the children have also purchased cell phones and now the race is on to track them down.
Shaw gets in to an ambulance, dressed as a paramedic. With a gun. One of the Brotherhood soldiers who was wounded in the gunfight, lies within and is looking thoroughly worse for wear. Shaw isn't going to make his day any better. With her usual pleasant demeanour, she convinces 'Mini' (because he's so big) to divulge Linc's location. She then uncuffs him, pulls off all the medical tech and informs him they're going for a little jaunt. 'Mini' is about to have a really bad day...
The two kids have just walked in to the garage of a large law firm, as opposed to using the front door and lose all their money (not rightly certain how that would happen, but hey, it sets us up for shenanigans), and while Malcolm is trying to assuage his sister's fears, a large black SUV belts down the runway with an automatic weapon firing away. These buttheads want to mow down children. What ever they were before, now the Brotherhood are in for a world of hurt. As the kids attempt to hide from further salvos, another vehicle reverses at high speed in to the rear of the Brotherhood vehicle: Shaw is up to all her old tricks, 'Mini' sitting in plain view of the other gang members. The kids bolt for it, right in to the path of John and Agent Lennox who escort them away to a safe place. Shaw makes her getaway, neither of which have broken cover.
John manages to get Lennox and the two kids to a place where the most distinguishing feature is a massive blood stain on the carpet, one he quickly drapes his jacket over as he shuts the curtains and they have their little chat. Malcolm and Tracy explain that they're doing all of this to try and get their mother back - the charges against her are wrong: it was her deadbeat boyfriend making a row and causing a scene that got the house investigated and since the house wwas under her name and the boyfriend was nowhere to be seen she took the fall for a gun she'd never even used. All that explained, Agent Lennox went to take the money from the drug dealers and opens it to discover that all that remains is shredded newspaper. While this is the second time that kids have made a fool out of John, he really appears to be impressed with Malcolm and Tracy. And to be honest, I'm really starting to warm to these two.
John continues to try and get the kids to do the right thing, but at the same time, I get the impression he might have been trying to get Malcolm to do a run for Dominic; hints such as making sure his sister used the bathroom, taking care of his family, stuff like that. However, it's got to that time the gang gets throw for a curve. While Shaw has been transporting around Mini and hidden him someplace dark, he's not the talkative type, Lennox takes a little too long getting her perimeter sweep done. Fusco calls and has managed to get a phone number for what may be Dominic. He gives it a call and John discovers it with Tracy (who appears to be a Minecraft fan... good for her!), thus deducing that Lennox is in fact the mole in the department(what a shocker!). The building is surrounded in short order and Fusco is on his way, but things are looking quite dicey, but then Reese is good at extracting people from all kinds of situations. Shaw is going to put her Mini back on the streets and follow him, while John on the other hand is rigging the elevator with an IED and effecting an alternative avenue of escape.
Mid escape, while they evade gunmen advancing up the stairwell, Malcolm makes a full confession: the gun the police found on their mother was actually his; he just wanted to protect his home and his family. Reese can appreciate that, too, and assures him that while Malcolm's made some mistakes, they can make this all right again
Elsewhere, Shaw has successfully allowed her detainee to escape and is now leading Finch to where ever he's expecting to go. Shaw also admits to having placed bugs, at some point or another, on both him, Fusco and even Reese. This, again, mildly unsettles Finch. For this season he will be known as Finch the Unsettled.
John and the kids are making their escape when, as per Malcolm's earlier observation about his sister's impractical footwear, Tracy looses a shoe and draws atttention down the stairs. John incapacitates the two following them with a bit of fancy turn, drop and hip shooting, only to be flummoxed by the other two goons whose immediate response is to grab the kids and tell him to relinquish his firearm. Fusco, on the other hand is happy to kneecap them both for him. He's going to love the extra paperwork.
But they're not out of the woods yet: another large, black SUV turns up and the first thing Fusco does is grab one of the AK47s the goons had been carrying. They go to fortify by basic cover and tell the kids to get back, only to find out that Malcolm has left.
He's gone up to the black vehicle and makes an offer: his life for his sister's. He'll do whatever they want, including being a corner boy, something that Linc is entirely willing to consider. He lets him in to the vehicle and they are about to leave when John steps out and presents a large bag and pulls some money out of the bag and presents it as a bargaining point. Malcolm gets out and John gets in. To be honest, Reese is damned good at dealing with tight spaces and dangerous stuff, but these folks are dtermined and it's not a sure thing if a fight were to kick off in the car.
At a laundrette, Shaw has followed Mini in to the building where he is madly searching through various bits and pieces, including considering a gun, when Shaw makes herself known and deduces the location of a sizable quantity of drugs. Well timed, too, especially since there's a bullet aimed for John's head when they discover that the bag is filled with shredded newspaper. When asked, Reese is more than happy to let them know that Lennox is doing away with the money, but Linc appears to be happy about facing down with the guy that put him away for all of ten minutes. Shaw is able to change his mind, though, made considerably easier when you hold their entire stash of smack and a lighter. She convinced that whoever they're dealing with won't be happy if they were to find out that they just let the product burn and did nothing to stop it. John quite literally gets out of the vhicle and walks away.
Tracy goes back to school. Malcolm has a chat with Reese - even goes so far as to tell him that he's inspired him to be a cop, but would try ever so hard not to shoot so many people. A new family in the works, a decent lawyer about to get in contact and the Brotherhood off their case for the forseeable future: it's finally looking up for those two, and Reese definitely likes the cut of their jib.
On a train, surging through the underground, Finch meets up with Elias once more, this time a little more forthcoming:along with a copy of The Invisible Man and an address for the Brotherhood's last stash house, Finch divulges indirectly that saying something, even in a public place could be what gets you 'caught' and that the world has changed, also implying that there was 'no going back'. It is in my opinion, Finch wants to get Elias on side for the war against Samaritan, and I suspect that Elias prefers his freedoms, something that Samaritan would not be so inclined upon given his perpensity for avoiding being seen. Elias knows Finch, they've played Chess together and they know how these urban conflicts are likely to roll.
I very much hope we're going to see more of Elias over this season, if for no other reason than to see what Collantoni can do with the character.
And then there's the Brotherhood.
If for no other reason, this episode gets it's high score for the unveiling of perhaps the smartest bunch of dealers ever on TV, possibly with the sole exception of Walter White (but then, he wasn't always that smart, was he...). Mini has played Shaw several times over: Mini is Dominic AND he was aware of the tracking system she'd put on him, thusly leading her to a stash house of minimal importance, one of which they didn't lose. He then goes on to ensure that Malcolm and Tracy's mum is going to get sprung from prison and see if the kid comes back to them of his own free will - a longer game plan is unfolding. As for Lennox, she's been caught with the money on her and Linc has caught up with her, bagged her, dropped her in the back and has also reacquired the money. Dominic is more than happy to shoot her in the face and dump the body. I can see these boys making it to the end of the season at the very least. I'm liking the way they play the game, even if it doesn't last that long.
So, yeah, spoiler alert - she was as good as dead from the word go. Nice try, though, pet, but even the dealers were smarter than you.
This episode has been more intimate than the previous ones, and while offering he scope of where the season might be going, there's certainly a closeness there from the earliest episodes. Probably not the strongest one we've seen this season, but certainly a entertaining watch, but I'm very much interested in the next episode - I believe we're about to get a serious history lesson about the Machine and what Finch whent through to make the Machine what it was. I suspect, possibly even a bit of a game changer. And what's been happening with that crazy murderous blonde from episode one? Are we going to see her again? I suspect very soon, as it happens. ;)