'Person of Interest' Recap: Reese Bets Against the Machine
'Person of Interest' Recap: Reese Bets Against the Machine
Candice Block Lombardi
Candice Block Lombardi
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
It might be reasonable for Person of Interest fans watching this week's episode, "Reasonable Doubt," to anticipate a follow-up on Root's escape from the mental institution with the help of Finch's Machine. After all, The Machine warned Root that she was being hunted, told her when and helped her plan her escape.

While waiting on that revelation, we begin the episode with The Machine continuing to feed Finch irrelevant social security numbers of people who are in imminent danger of becoming victims or perpetrators of violent crimes. Just the numbers, no more. 

Finch's team is frustrated that The Machine gives them little information; they are placing bets on whether the POI is a killer or not. The Machine is playing favorites with Root this season, although Finch likely does not know that yet.

Quick Shoot-Em-Up in the Animal Hospital

Finch and Reese bring Bear to the Animal Medical Center for a check-up because he won't eat and sleeps all day.  Whether or not that's true, Reese uses this moment to shoot four youths who arrive with guns and demand ketamine. The doctor asks who Reese and Finch really are; Reese says they are merely concerned dog owners. Finch says they'll be back for Bear's vaccinations.

Person of Interest: Murdering Spouse or Framed Innocent?

Reese listens to the 911 call from today's person of interest, Vanessa Watkins. She says she lost her husband when he fell asleep on the boat. 

We learn Vanessa, a prosecutor, had put away some of the city's greatest offenders, while her husband, Jeremy, had allowed criminals to walk on technicalities. Jeremy was missing for two days, and the Coast Guard was still looking for him.

Reese tracks Vanessa to a street where she was walking with Nicole, her best friend from college. Nicole consoles Vanessa, and then the NYPD pulls up. Vanessa is under arrest for the murder of Jeremy Watkins.

Shaw wonders if The Machine gave the number too late, but Finch says the threat is new and imminent.

The police bring Vanessa into the station's interrogation room. Detective Fusco becomes Finch's eyes at the scene and peers through the one-way glass into the interrogation.
The police interrogator plays back Vanessa's 911 call from the boat, but says there is physical evidence at the scene to convict her of murder. There's gunshot residue, for one thing, and she was the only one with him on the boat. They also found a gun -- a witness saw her drop it in Long Island Sound. Vanessa notes that there is no body, and she asks for her attorney and wants all cameras removed.

Reese says it sounds like she shot the husband. They were going to keep her overnight in custody, so Finch believes they must get her out before someone tries to kill her. Fusco heads back into the interrogation room, but Vanessa is gone, and her attorney is on the floor without her clothes on. (Vanessa stole them and then escaped.)

Maybe The Machine gave her number because it isn't finished.

Evading the NYPD

Vanessa is seen on camera purchasing a bus ticket to Philly. The NYPD is branching out across a five-block radius. Carter and her new partner are among them.

Finch notes that Vanessa looks straight at the cameras when buying the ticket. She has no intention of getting on the bus. "She's beginning to remind me of you, Mr. Reese," says Finch. We will see if she is truly as sneaky as Reese.

Shaw heads to the bus station and retraces Vanessa's steps. Finch sees on the video that Vanessa picked a pocket before leaving the station. Shaw asks an elderly man if his wallet was stolen; she asked for the number and they can track it to find his phone.

They track his phone, and Vanessa, to a drug corner. Reese and Shaw watch from a car as Vanessa meets with a drug dealer she had put away for murder, but more recently talked to a judge and helped him walk. The drug dealer gives Vanessa a brick of coke, and then a tip brings six police cars to the scene. Carter says Cameron told police that Vanessa is armed and dangerous (although she is not), and they are determined to bring her in dead or alive.
Finch says Reese and Shaw need to leave the premises.

The police run inside the building, and Finch tells Carter that Vanessa's cellphone pinpoints her at the southwest corner of the roof. Carter finds her. Vanessa yells, "No one can help me, but I swear I did not kill my husband." She jumps from the roof of the building onto a moving trash truck below.  

Carter stands on the street talking to Reese about why Cameron wants Vanessa dead. Carter says it's personal; Jeremy Watkins had a bad client and yet Vanessa, his wife, let him walk. Carter's rookie partner walks up behind her like he overheard her speaking with Reese. This is the second time her new partner has done that this season. At this point in the episode, I wonder if HR put him there? He appeared in episode 2 right after Quinn told HR that they had a problem with Carter wondering about her partner's death.

After Vanessa jumps off the building rather than be arrested, Finch and all wonder if she might be a victim rather than a perpetrator. Shaw wants to wager $100 on this. 

Undercover at the Not-So-Best Friend's Book Club

Vanessa is on the run, and Reese notes that people on the run always contact someone they know. Vanessa was with her friend Nicole when she was arrested, they remember, and a website shows that today Nicole hosting a book club. "Mindy" replied online that she was a "Maybe," so Shaw decides to go undercover at the book club. Shaw rings the doorbell as the friend of poor Mindy who couldn't make it. Nicole almost does not let Shaw in until she shows her secret weapon: a million bottles of Chardonnay. 

As well-dressed book clubbers drink and gossip, Shaw leaves to visit the powder room and logs into Nicole's bank account. She pairs her phone with Nicole's and sees a lot of texts from "Hot Stuff," aka Vanessa's dead Jeremy. Shaw returns to the book club and asks Nicole sweetly, "Did you frame Vanessa for Jeremy's murder because you were sleeping with him?" Shaw pulls out her gun; the ladies gasp. "If was up to me, I'd shoot your sorry ass, but it's not." Then Shaw asks what they think of the book that they are reading.

Finding Vanessa

The gunshot residue is primarily make-up cosmetics, so it looks like Vanessa was framed. Reese heads to the marina where Vanessa is getting off of Scott Roans' boat; he is the witness who will testify against her.

Next, Carter's rookie partner asks her about "the man in the suit." She does not say, so he suggests it is her boyfriend and says it's good she's moving on from Beecher. He's definitely HR, I believe.

Back with Vanessa and Jeremy, he owed a mobster $5 million for his group, Innocence Now. He's in debt. Vanessa gets off Scott Rolins' boat; she planted drugs on the witness to discredit him. Reese follows her and hides in her car.

Finch's Courtroom: Looking for Reasonable Doubt

Vanessa is tied to a chair at a table: Reese, Finch, Carter and Shaw put Vanessa on trial; this time they are the prosecutors. If she's innocent, they'll help her escape. If she's guilty, they turn her over to police. They tell her about the gun residue and that it's mostly make-up; it's not real. Vanessa says she knows; she swiped a police report from Cameron's desk. She found $50,000 in Scott Rolin's locker, which proves that he was paid to plant the gun and frame Vanessa.

But Carter says that could be there for any reason. The "prosecutors" use evidence to show that she does not love Jeremy and wanted to kill her husband; she denies it all. Even with each of them having affairs, and the fact that their living trust means that if he dies under suspicious circumstances, she does not get to keep their wealth.

This story makes me suspect Jeremy is still alive: on the night of his disappearance, Vanessa says she went below deck, and when she came back up Jeremy was gone.

As the interrogations continue, Shaw and Fusco head to the bank to see who was co-signer on Jeremy's account that owed money. Carter tells Vanessa that her husband was having an affair with her best friend Nicole. They dismissed Vanessa's motives and said they found reasonable doubt. They finally believe Vanessa. 

Reese takes her to the train station and gives her his loaded gun. That seems really stupid, considering she is a person of interest and could kill someone.

Meanwhile, Shaw learns that Jeremy Watkins is still alive ... he cleaned out his account and faked his own death. He and Vanessa were faking the death together, but he was framing her -- Carter realizes this when she sees that Vanessa had torn his photo in anger during the interrogation while she still said she loved him, before the information about Nicole. 

Vanessa heads to her husband's boat and finds him there; he hears her and assumes it's Nicole. Vanessa pulls a gun on him for framing her. Reese arrives as a concerned third party. 

Reese is mad at both of them for their lies, so he leaves his other gun on the table and leaves the boat. Reese then unties the boat and casts it loose from the dock. He tells Finch he doesn't care who lives or dies. 

Reese wears a poker face, but he's betting against the Machine and letting fate take its course. 

Two gun shots ring out across the marina, and we never know if Vanessa is a victim, murderer or both.

Person of Interest airs Tuesdays at 10pm on CBS.

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(Image courtesy of CBS)