‘Mission Creep’ is the third episode of Person of Interest and is for that matter it’s first ‘social-security-number-of-the-week’ episode. Meaning that the writer’s did not want to advance the mythology any further but instead wanted to concentrate on making an episode with the things that are already in its universe. Usually these episodes make up the bulk of a tv-series and as such are of a little lower quality than the mythology episodes. That is certainly the case with this episode but the quality is only a little less than the previous episode and that makes me anxious for a lot more ‘social-security-number-of-the-week’ episode. That said, at the end of the episode there was a small matter concerning an unknown adversary for Reese and Finch which hints at a series antagonist. Up to this point I wasn’t really in the mood for one but the little spoiler piqued my curiosity.
As for the story…
Reese looks up Mr Finch at his secret lair in what I remember was a library, after being woken up by a cup of coffee finch announces that ‘The Machine’ has come up with a new social secruity number of someone who is either a victim or perpetrated of a murder. The man they are looking for is Joey Durban, a retired soldier who now works as a doorman. Reese at first can’t figure out how the man is involved with any kind of criminal activity until Reese follows him into a bank where Durban with three other men suddenly rob the place.
For Finch it seems like a done deal. Durban is clearly a perpetrator and the easiest thing to do is in his own words ‘gift wrap the evidence’ so Durban would have to go to jail and not be able to murder anyone. Reese disagrees and questions why a man such as Durban would be involved in a crime spree as he has a fiance and possibly a child from an earlier marriage. Finch agrees Reese should do more and find out more and thus Reese joins the gang. This he does by contacting the ring leader who is a retired officer and present owner of a bar.
Finch makes a vacancy within the gang possibly by first taking a ride in a cab who is driven by a gang member and leaving a bunch of guns about in the boot before calling the police.
To the viewer it just seems a little easy for Reese to just walk up to a bartender and being allowed to join the gang even if his cover story is good. That is until we find out the bartender Sam Latimer doesn’t intend for Reese to get away from his first task unscaved.
After a difficult meeting with the rest of the gang, who consists of not so memorable members we see Reese making careful approaches to Durban. Slowly the details around the gang start to emerge. It appears that the ring leader Latimer makes a clean sweep through the gang once every year or so and that is what ‘The Machine’ picked up. Reese and Durban questions each other as to why they joined the gang, Durban speaks of a debt and Reese understands he doesn’t owe anyone any money but that something else is going on.
In the meantime one gang member called ‘Straw’ needs money quickly, Latimer showes some sympathy and says a big score is going down soon.
After a filed shakedown of a casino they are finally sent onto their final target, the evidence locker’s of a police station. The gang members are pressed by Straw to hand in their communicators and as such Finch can’t contact him with the news that the heist is a set up. Finch instead beats Reese to the police station and pretends to be a lawyer when the gang shows up. Reese continues with the heist anyway and makes a getaway with the gang after they have obtained the sought after evidence. Latimer is waiting for them at their getaway vehicle and after recieving the evidence promptly starts shooting the gang members. The weapons the gang is carrying don’t have live rounds but Reese has a back up and scares Latimer away leaving two gang members dead.
The next scene shows Reese asking Durban why he was in the gang, Durban reveales that a buddy in Iraq took a position on a patrol from him and got killed, he needs the money to pay for the education of his friends daughter. Reese warns him that the police would soon know his involvement in the gang and that he needs to skip town with his fiance, this Durban does.
Latimer is seen with a unknown man during which Latimer gives the man the evidence obtained during the heist. It is alluded that Latimer is killed and later on Reese finds his body. Reese and Finch now know a very dangerous man has just obtained something very important and if the man knew they were after him they would be in danger….
There is a less personal development of the characters in this episode and that was certainly missed, the character of Durban is the sole exception to that and as such is also a character that may return in the furture.
Detective Carter yet again has only a marginal role and that is a shame because the number of characters should increase if this show wants to continue being interesting.
Viewer rating; 11.46 million (so far viewer numbers have not disapointed).
Next weeks episode preview.