Tracie Thoms as the person of interest
This weeks episode of Person of Interest comes after a break of three weeks and unlike the previous two episodes focuses almost solely on the shows mythology. Trojan Horse is intended to set the stage for the season finale later in May by placing all the pieces on the board. A figure of speech emulated in this episode when Elias plays a game of chess with Finch and detective Beecher. The ‘number of the week’ storyline also ties in with the shows mythology and as such viewers will probably feel more involved than on past occasions. To top it all up, Sarah Shahi returns as ex-CIA hit-woman Samantha Shaw with the intention of finding Root (Amy Acker). Overall, this episode moved at a quick pace and felt as an exciting chapter to a much larger story arc.
As for the plot of Trojan Horse…
Finch (Michael Emerson) is at Riker’s Island prison playing chess with Elias (Enrico Colantoni). Elias suddenly removes some pieces from his side of the board before the game even starts. He states that it is important to learn to win from a disadvantage. Finch says that many of his associates have been removed from the prison and that whoever is organizing the transfers is bound to make a move against Elias. Finch also mentions the District Attorney and detective Szymanski that were both murdered in the previous episode.
Reese (Jim Caviezel) has meanwhile been staking out the home of the parents of agent Cole, the murdered partner of CIA agent Shaw (Sarah Shahi) in the hopes she would turn up at the place. However, Finch has a new number for him. Monica Jacobs (Tracie Thoms) who works at Rylatech has been identified as the next possible victim by ‘The Machine’. Finch infiltrates the company as an employee and closely shadows Monica. He quickly develops a rapport with her but otherwise can’t find out why she may be a target.
Elias (Enrico Colantoni)
Detective Carter (Taraji P. Henson) meanwhile investigates the death of detective Szymanski. She briefly mentions the Mayor’s aide Quinn but otherwise is suspicious of detective Cal Beecher (Sterling K. brown). Fusco says that he will tail Beecher to find out if he set up Szymanski.
Finch continuous to shadow Monica Jacobs. She finally shows strange behavior when she breaks into the R & D department to look at the laptop of a deceased employee. As Finch discusses this with Reese over the phone Reese is paid a visit by agent Shaw. Shaw admits that she wanted the parents of Cole to know he wasn’t a traitor as the governments led them to believe. As Finch tries to find out what information Jacobs obtained from the laptop he is interrupted by her personal assistant. The man seems suspicious of Finch’s presence at the company but Finch manages to convince him he is installing updates for the security system.
Fusco meanwhile questions Beecher’s involvement in HR only to be countered by him with his own dark past. Beecher does begin to question where the information came from that led to arrest of Szymanski.
Sarah Shahi as Samantha Shaw
Jacobs meanwhile sets a meeting with the head of R & D, Ross Haskell, to show him what she has found. Finch hatches a plot to retrieve the information himself but Reese simply picks his pocket to speed things up. On the files are references to the deceased employee, Justin Lee, a man whose background is a complete unknown. They quickly suspect him of being involved in corporate espionage.
Beecher meanwhile questions Quinn (Clarke Peters) about the tip he got. Quinn states he got from one of Elias’s men who is down on his luck. Beecher seems pleased with this information and leaves. Quinn is joined by Patrick Simmons (Robert John Burke) who asks whether Beecher is going to be a problem.
At Rylatech Jacobs is framed for espionage and is told she is fired. The next day she shadows her personal assistant as she suspects him of being involved in her being framed. Reese follows her both and manages to intervene after the personal assistant becomes violent. Reese questions why the man was speaking Mandarin on the phone. The personal assistant is promptly shot by a sniper and Jacobs and Reese barely manage to escape.
Detective Fusco (Kevin Chapman)
Beecher questions Elias in jail and asks whether Szymanski was truly dirty as Quinn told him he was. Elias denies it and warns Beecher that he must plan his next move very carefully. Simmons later warns Quinn of Beecher’s visit to Elias. Quinn than orders Simmons to take out his godson Beecher.
Finch meanwhile is visited by agent Samantha Shaw in his secret lair. She questions who gave the tip to the newspapers about agent Cole being an agent of the CIA investigating domestic terrorists instead of being one himself. Shaw sees a picture of Root on the wall and asks who she is (Shaw has almost been tortured by her in a previous episode). Finch says its a long story. Shaw leaves with a list of Root’s know aliases and states she intends to find her.
Reese has meanwhile taken Jacobs to a safe house where she is properly introduced to Finch. They both suspect that Justin Lee was murdered over corporate espionage and that the head of R & D, Ross Haskell, is involved. After they fail to break into Rylatech remotely they infiltrate it physically. Finch’s dog Bear manages to trap a number of security guards while Jacobs and Reese gain access to the server room. Finch discovers from a data tap planted that Rylatech routers and switches have a backdoor built into them by the Chinese to steal data from the US government.
Finch (Michael Emerson) shadowing Monica Jacobs
After trying to confront Haskell with this discovery they find him murdered in his office. It transpires that the CEO of Rylatech, Baxter (Larry Bryggman), was the real perpetrator. He explains that after the Dotcom bubble burst he needed funding and thus made a pact with an unknown Chinese organization. Suddenly he is by phoned Greer (John Nolan), the man who met with Stanton in Ordos. It is revealed that he is behind the Rylatech scheme and not the Chinese government. Greer orders Baxter to commit suicide and the man promptly does so.
Detective Carter is meanwhile confronted by Fusco with evidence that Beecher was set up to give a tip that Szymanski was corrupt. Fusco convinces to keep the information a secret because there is no one to trust. Beecher meanwhile attempts to arrest a drug dealer only to be lured into a trap by HR and murdered.
The last scenes of the episode tie up the plot. Rylatech is under investigation for espionage. All routers are being removed from government servers. Finch discovers that from the information obtained from the Rylatech servers that the Chinese government got very little of the stolen information. Instead, an other organization has hoarded it. Finch says that this organization is the same as the one that has implanted a virus into ‘The Machine’. Greer is on the phone to an unknown person whom he reassures that he will neutralize the person who obtained the information from the Rylatech server.
Greer (John Nolan)
As you may conclude from reading the episode plot outline. A lot has happened in just 43 minutes. And there are plenty of subtleties in the dialogue that remain to make two viewings advisable.
I have few problems with this episode as it is very effective at continuing multiple storylines. However, both detective Carter and Fusco do get just a tad too little time on-screen though their scenes are very intense. The re-introduction of Sarah Shahi’s character Samantha Shaw and John Nolan’s Greer is nothing short of amazing and adds a lot of momentum to the show. Person of Interest is slowly developing those sci-fi roots it desperately needs. We learned a great deal more this week about who is attacking ‘The machine’ and so a return of Amy Acker’s Root and Brett Cullen’s Nathan Ingram are a sure thing before this season is over. The death of Cal Beecher (Sterling k. Brown) was somewhat premature though, I was just starting to understand his character. As I have said in previous Person of Interest recaps is that I hope this show will have more regular characters. Much in that regard has improved but most are villains who always remain at a distance from our protagonists. I hope we will see Tracie Thoms again as Monica Jacobs. She and Finch definitely have a lot in common.
In short. A good episode to tie us over, it’s more dialogue than action but I didn’t really mind.
Score; 8 / 10.
Person of Interest will be back on April 25th with the episode ‘In Extremis’.
Cal Beecher (Sterling K. Brown) shot dead
Finch at Rylatech with Monica Jacobs
Monica Jacobs (Tracie Thoms)
Samantha Shaw (Sarah Shahi)
Alonzo Quinn (Clarke Peters) & Patrick Simmons (Robert John Burke)
Reese (Jim Caviezel), Monica Jacobs (Tracie Thoms) and CEO Baxter (Larry Bryggman)
Tracie Thoms as Monica Jacobs