This week's number is Arthur Claypool, a man with a terminal brain tumor that affects his memory. When Shaw goes undercover at the hospital to investigate, she finds that he's got a Secret Service detail. Turns out Arthur worked for the NSA and is now spilling secrets left and right because of his condition. Shaw reacts to this by trying to find something flammable and crawling through the ceiling to stop a mysterious woman from interrogating Arthur. She really would have been wasted as a doctor.
The Secret Service detail proves startlingly inept, getting knocked out by spiked takeout. We learn that the people after Arthur are Vigilance, led by our old friend Collier. Shaw and Arthur's wife, Diane, try to move Arthur before Vigilance gets to him, but he doesn't recognize either of them and refuses to go. But surprise! He and Finch went to MIT together and he's more than happy to follow his old friend. Once they get him to safety, Arthur talks about a project called Samaritan, which was his attempt at building the Machine. It was shut down when the actual Machine was created.
Just as Finch is preparing to set Arthur and Diane up with fake identities, it's revealed that the actual Diane died two years before and that the woman with them is an imposter. Called it! Since Arthur's mind is stuck circa 2005 and he was married to Diane in 2005, it didn't really make sense that he wouldn't remember her. "Diane" calls in her team, which is led by none other than Hersh. It turns out she's the mysterious "Ma'am" that Hersh has been reporting to. She believes that Arthur hid drives pertaining to Samaritan somewhere, and she wants both them and the location of the Machine. The episode ends with her holding a gun on both of them.Next Stop: Backstory
On the less-exciting-but-important-for-character-building side of things, this week we finally get a peek at Finch's early life. We see scenes spanning 10 years, from 1969 to 1979. As a young boy in Iowa, Finch is already interested in birds and frighteningly adept at mechanical engineering. His first attempt at making an artificial intelligence is in response to his father developing what appears to be some form of dementia. While Finch believes that he can create something to solve their problems, his father explains that some things just can't be fixed.
It's pretty evident that even at this age, Finch has a god complex and that this is the origins of his desire to fix seemingly unfixable situations with the sheer power of his intellect. He also demonstrates his disregard for the sanctity of privacy, saying, "If they don't want you to get inside, they ought to build it better." You get the feeling that young Finch knows he can make the world bend to his will because he is just that damn capable. Minus the homicidal streak and borderline insanity, he really does have quite a bit in common with Root.
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And then there's Reese, who has about three minutes of screen time this week. We got extra Shaw as a result, so I'm not mad. He and his stubble of depression have made their way to Colorado, which they make clear by having everyone wear plaid. He's drinking and not stopping violence even as it happens right in front of him, meaning he's seemingly reverted to his hobo mentality from the pilot episode.
It kind of makes sense that he would end up here; he lost himself after Jessica died and only found himself with Carter's help, so with her gone he's at a loss once again. I got the impression that his feelings for Carter were more platonic than romantic even with their little kiss, but love doesn't have to be romantic to have a profound impact.
Of course, no one can do anything privately on Person of Interest, so Fusco shows up to try and get Reese out of his funk. Reese explains that trying to help people is pointless because they can't stop everything bad from happening, like Carter's murder. Fusco thinks that's crap, especially because Reese was such a good influence on him. They end up fighting, and Reese only slightly kicks Fusco's ass, partially because he's drunk and partially because they're friends. Naturally, this ends with them getting arrested. Life is very cyclical for Reese, isn't it?
What do you think? How will Finch and friends get out of this mess? Will Reese's depression stubble turn into a full-on beard of despair? Will you be shaking and crying until this show comes back like I will? Share your thoughts!
Person of Interest
returns Tuesday, January 7 at 10pm on CBS.(Image courtesy of CBS)