Once in a while Person of Interest manages to shine with a non-mythology episodes. It doesn’t happened often but it does happen. What also sets this episode apart is the resolution of the Carter/Laskey plot. The resolution comes in a cold and swift fashion that is familiar to PoI. Though it may have come too soon.
The Perfect Mark
In this weeks episode a con man name Hayden Price is the Person of Interest. Despite resorting to some very dirty tricks Finch (Michael Emerson) believes him to be the intended victim. Finch infiltrates his practice when Mr. Price uses hypnotherapy to illicit confidential information from clients. One client particular, the swede, is of interest because despite his antique business he has connections with HR. Alonso Quinn, Cal Beecher’s godfather, questions Carter on her progress in his murder. She thinks HR was responsible but otherwise states that her investigation is stuck.
Carter learns from her HR partner Laskey that he is supposed to murder the swede because he has held some money back. At the antique auction Shaw and Reese manage to put two and two together when they follow Hayden Price there. Terney recognizes Price as the hypnotherapist that has managed to persuade the swede to tell everything about the money laundering business for which the antique shop is a front and tells Laskey he is going eliminate him.
Price is saved by Reese and Shaw while Carter learns from Elias how HR is using the Antique auction to launder russian drug money. The swede places a 4.4 million bet on a Babe Ruth signed baseball thinking he is doing what HR want from him. However, unbeknown to the swede Price has changed his email from HR and the swede has bought the wrong item. The fake HR item remains unsold while the real item bought by the swede is sold for 5 dollars because he thought it was a fake.
Alonso blames Simmons for the entire debacle and orders him to fix it. Fusco and Carter fake the swede’s death and send a picture to Laskey telling him he should send a message to Simmons that the hit has been done. Simmons just sent a message cancelling the hit. Simmons moves to plan B and kidnaps Price’s girlfriend to get 4.4 million baseball back. Reese and Shaw confront Price and retrieve the baseball. They escort him to auction house where Simmons intends to authenticate the ball. Laskey stays with Price’s girlfriend, Shaw and Carter quickly set her free and give Laskey a black eye as cover story. Inside the auction house Terney learns the ball is fake. Reese and Shaw just manage to prevent Terney from shooting Price dead.
Price discovers that his girlfriend has the real baseball and has split town, conning him out of the con. Simmons confronts Terney and tells him that if he doesn’t find the ball it is light out form him and Laskey. Laskey shows Carter the pictures of all the people whom Simmons has met over the last few days. They are confronted by Terney who demands that Laskey kill Carter. Laskey instead draws his gun to shoot Terney but is killed. Terney is in return shot by Carter. With his dying breath he fingers Alonso as the man heading HR.
The story of the con man Price and antique’s dealer the Swede is nicely woven into the HR storyline. A lot happens in this episode and though the involvement of Laskey was resolved too soon it was obvious he was going to die. Its like Star Trek in that regards, they kill of the extra’s to spare the lead cast. It was obvious that Laskey had to go and PoI is wonderfully unforgiving in that regards.
Kevin Chapman also manages to shine in this episode. We haven’t seen much of Fusco during the third season so far, mostly because his HR plotline was already been resolved. However, the humor that Fusco brings to the show is never too much and often missed when it isn’t there. In my opinion the character of Fusco needs a reboot to stay relevant to the overall plot. Perhaps bringing back his dark past as an HR cop would do the trick.
Despite detective Terney being dead and Alonso Quinn being fingered as the head of HR it will be difficult for Carter to take him down without evidence. Now that she has lost her only way to get close to HR she will have to resort to more dangerous tactics. It would be interesting to see if her morality would allow her to contact Elias and have him take out HR. This could potentially give Elias an advantage against the Russian mafia. These kind of moral tightropes are also what drives the Finch/The Machine storyline, which I guess is ultimately a lot more interesting.
Root (Amy Acker) remains a prisoner of Finch and the gang. She does seem to have resolved her antagonistic relation with Finch to some degree though I wonder is she could ever really become one of the good guys. Her attempt at being one of the show’s main villain perhaps ended too soon. It would be difficult to find a place for her as an protagonist now that Shaw (Sarah Shahi) has already joined the gang.
Score; 8.5 / 10.