By Michael Griffin, Hollywood Staff
This was the second part of a three-show arc, where A Hero Will Fall. All the previews seemed to point towards Kevin Chapman's Lionel Fusco dying, but the showrunners have been known to completely mislead everyone.
The episode opened with footage of John Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson) talking about the head of the corrupt police squad, HR, Alonzo Quinn (Clarke Peters) as they dragged him away from the crooked judge's place. They decided to go to the FBI. The scene then shifted to the judge's place, with the harried jurist sitting in a ransacked place. The corrupt cop Patrick Simmons showed a picture of Reese to the judge, saying he was coming up with a plan and that they will find Carter and Quinn. Simmons was also working on story about how the house came to be in that condition and then shot the judge. Real cold. He wanted Quinn and Carter alive, but his directive for Reese: Shoot to Kill.
Outside: The Machine called Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) and gave a bunch of numbers. That's never a good thing.
Reese, Quinn, Carter got on a subway to go to the FBI office. Reese said the cavalry was coming. Part of that cavalry was Fusco, who was putting his son to bed at the moment. He showed him the key that Carter had given him for the lockbox that had all the information on HR, and tucked him in bed. After closing his room door, he found Samantha Shaw in his kitchen. After she told him the situation, that they were going to have to get Reese and Carter, Fusco tried to set boundaries. Shaw replied with a bored voice. I'm already sorry I have to listen to your whiny ass all the way to Queens. She's very empathetic. Not.
Reese was the number, since Simmons had put the bounty out. As if on cue, a group of thugs came into the subway, one of them brandishing a knife. Really. A knife against Reese? Hah. Commercial.
The show started again with the thugs bouncing out of the subway and the three fugitives exited. Quinn, the defiant one, pickpocketed Reese's phone and broke it, severing a very important connection to Finch. Once they realized the communication with Reese was lost, Shaw suggested that Finch talk to the Machine. Finch demurred. Shaw pointed out the Machine talked to Root. Finch was not convinced and decided to separate Shaw and Fusco. Every horror movie fan all said, Uh-oh...
Finch went to talk to Root in her Faraday Cage in their library. He opened the conversation in an odd way, saying that he used to see the machine in his dreams when he built it, but Root had changed the DNA and corrupted the image. She replied that while the Machine spoke to Finch, she had a more intimate relationship with it. Root then struck a nerve by asking if the 'big lug is in trouble', meaning Reese. She offered her help, as if Finch would just forget that she kidnapped Finch and dragged him around the country while killing people. That was just mischievous fun between friends, right? Finch said that bad things would happen and she said that he has probably burned through previous 'helper monkeys' anyways. The only thing missing was her wearing a mask and talking about Chianti and fava beans.
Simmons and a detective named Petersen (played by Lee Tergesen, one of my favorite character actors) were talking while running a road block to try to catch Carter, Quinn and Reese. Walking through the subway station Shaw saw an Asian gang looking at people with suits. She contacted Reese, who was in an ambulance, wearing an EMT uniform. They rode by Simmons and Petersen and since it was dark, they almost made it. Of course, Simmons had to look at the back of the ambulance and saw a bloody handprint on the side. It may have been a deliberate signal on Quinn's part, but it was likely bad luck. He screamed to stop the ambulance and Reese took over driving while gunfire rained. Fusco laid down backup gunfire and the ambulance drove away. Of course, Simmons probably tracked down the path of the shooting and captured Fusco. Uh-oh. Another phone smashed. The prop department probably paid more than usual for its prop phones in this episode.
After the commercial, Shaw was talking to Finch. When it came to locating Fusco, she didn't find it very feasible. Remind me to hire an optimist, Finch deadpanned. The scene shifted to Fusco tied up in a fortune cookie factory. Simmons was feeling cheery, describing how Fusco would be screaming. Chapman really turned in a great performance here, cracking wise. The punches began. Simmons held up the lockbox key that Fusco had, and the formerly dirty cop replied that it was for his locker in the Y. Simmons then read a bunch of fortune cookies until he got the one he wanted: Tell the people holding you everything or they will break your bones. I think he made that one up, though.
Quinn, Carter and Reese were on the street, looking for a place to hide. Reese and Carter saw some gangs looking for them and did a quick turn, breaking into what turned to be the morgue. Reese grabbed a phone and contacted Finch, Carter figured out through their conversation that Fusco was being held. Outside, a cop was sitting in a car talking about not finding Reese. Shaw slipped in next to him and after a brief conversation, put a grenade in his hand and made him hold onto it. She asked where Fusco was and the cop stalled. With his lip quivering, he said that if he crossed Simmons, he would hunt down his family. He picked the wrong person to complain to. Shaw was unmoved and threw the pin into the backseat and exited, leaving a very panicked cop.
We went back to the fortune cookie factory to find Fusco in bad shape. There were distinct sounds of bones cracking. He was still quite defiant, but he was up against a psychopath in Simmons. The monster mentioned his child and as casually as asking someone to get some milk, he called an accomplice to kill the kid. Desperate, Fusco gave an address for the bank, somewhere in New Jersey.
Things got worse for Reese and Carter very quickly. Cops outside found the gang who had caused them to make their hasty exit and one member showed the morgue's broken lock to cops. Momentarily unaware of how bad things were getting, Reese and Carter were talking in the morgue. They shared their fatalistic views on life and their near-death experiences. Carter talked about birth of her son, a C-section. Reese said he thought of suicide, but the events that happened in the show's first episode saved him and that she was the best thing for him. After a moment, they kissed, culminating about two seasons' worth of sexual tension. He then said tenderly that she changed him. A major buzzkill then occurred: They saw people swarming the morgue. Carter declared they were coming in for the kill. As Scooby-Doo says: Ruh-roh.
The post-commercial break saw Reese and Carter barricading themselves and then Finch leaving Root breakfast. She was puzzled, since it was 4 in the morning. Finch said that he has to go. and left after resisting another entreaty of hers to help, even though she said she understood why he didn't trust her. She did casually say that she was sorry for his loss, which he responded with a shocked look.
We were taken to Simmons outside a bank, but Fusco had lied. It was the wrong bank. Fusco said that he would take them to the place himself, but an angry Simmons retorted that he kept his promises and told Petersen to have both killed. Back in the morgue, a cornered Reese and Carter were looking for things and Reese told her to look in supply closet for some chemicals. Carter came back out -- we know where this was going, right? -- to find the room empty and an air vent open. She called out his name, knowing he was possibly sacrificing himself. They talked outside the door, with Carter laying a guilt trip on him, saying she'd hate him if anything happened to him. He wryly replied that she was stuck with him and that he'd see her on the other side. At Fusco's place. a corrupt cop had his clearly terrified son on the bed while he stood in the doorway. Petersen wanted to twist the knife a little bit and had Fusco talk to his son before he was to be killed. Again, Chapman was excellent here, He was trying to comfort his son in what would probably be his last moments, telling him to close his eyes. There was a gunshot. Then Shaw's voice was on the phone. She had saved Fusco's son. But that meant that she couldn't save Fusco. Fusco nodded grimly at the news, but he seemed happy that his son was alive. He shook it off and stared death in the face. Of course, there was another commercial.
Fusco was staring down the barrel of Petersen's gun. But it was odd, he was talking calmly to him. Petersen was gloating, saying he had broken Fusco's fingers. That made it no big deal to break my thumb, Fusco replied. That meant he was able to slip out of the handcuffs, and he managed to grab Petersen and choke him from behind with the cuffs.
It turned out to be Finch in the morgue. He dropped one guard with a taser and then started pulling on the power supply door. It was still dark and Reese started shooting. After some gunfire and dropping all but one cop, he managed to get out, holding his arm while hoping the lone cop would follow him outside. Finch turned on the power and used the loudspeaker to announce that all was clear. Carter dragged Quinn outside.
We saw Reese walking outside, with the Machine predicting his survival chances, which were dropping precariously by the second. Fate intervened, though, with Reese getting arrested by apparently the last two honest cops in NYC, due to an anonymous tip from Finch. They figured he would be safer in custody. Carter managed to get Quinn to the FBI, which began a whole montage of arrests, including Quinn getting a mugshot. The Machine said HR was neutralized.
Fast forward a bit. Things seemed back to normal. Finch ran into Carter outside her precinct. She was a detective again. She indicated to Finch that she knew about the Machine, which had Finch with another shocked look. She said she would make sure Reese was released. Another scene showed Fusco with his son at hockey. Shaw got in the car's back seat, but Fusco didn't say anyting about boundaries. He said thank you, which Shaw accepted.
It was later that night. Carter found Reese in holding as a John Doe. She walked him out and Finch was getting ready to drive Reese back to the library. It was mentioned that Simmons was still loose. Just as Finch was getting out of the car to cross the street to get Reese, a pay phone rang, to indicate a number. Finch stood frozen, staring at the phone. While Finch stood there, Simmons came out of an alley and shot both Reese and Carter. Carter winged Simmons, but got a bullet mid-center for her troubles. While Reese, badly hurt himself, held Carter, she died. Finch could only still stand there in disbelief.
Previews for Part III seem to show a very, very unhinged Reese. It should be fascinating, though it will be difficult to say if people will have processed the events of this episode in time. A week is very short.