Person of Interest had no problem following up on last night’s outstanding outing, “6,741.” “ShotSeeker” builds on some of the work done by the previous episode as it continues to push the show into darker territory. Team Machine is slowly starting to realize that they’re fighting a losing war as series-long plotlines are starting to crisscross in interesting and fraught ways. There is no escaping the dread.
Number of the Week: Ethan Garvin
Ethan Garvin is an analyst who works in the NYPD’s Real Time Crime Center. He handles a program called ShotSeeker, which uses audio surveillance systems around the city to locate gunshots. It’s his job to double check if the gunshots are real or false alarms. This subtle plot point — that Garvin is responsible to varying ShotSeeker’s results — highlights how even the most sophisticated technology requires a human hand to keep an eye on it. You know, who watches the watchmen and all.
At first blush, all signs point to Garvin being a perpetrator. Reese tails him to a Columbia University apartment building where he breaks into the apartment of a doctoral student named Krupa Naik with a gun. Reese follows him into the empty apartment and finds him shooting into the fireplace. It turns out that ShotSeeker registered gunshots there several nights ago but determined that it was false alarm. However, Garvin analyzed the actual data and discovered that there were actually gunshots, and Krupa has been missing ever since that night. So, Garvin has decided to investigate since no one else will.
While Fusco is watching his son play street hockey, he receives a visit from Elias’ childhood friend and associate Bruce Moran, who wants to know who was responsible for Elias’ death. He threatens Fusco’s son but backs down when he realizes that Fusco actually doesn’t know anything and that Reese is the one he should be talking to.
Tonight’s episode picks up on some of the threads in the season premiere, particularly Fusco’s frustration about being kept out of the loop. It’s obvious that Reese and Finch know more than they’re saying, and it’s about time that Fusco starts demanding to be let into the metaphorical room where it happens. At this point, Team Machine can use all of the help they can get, and they’re basically handicapping themselves by not reading in Fusco.
Reese tells Fusco he’ll handle Bruce while Fusco accompanies Garvin to talk to Ben Haas, the head of a nonprofit that Krupa worked for and the man who filed a missing person report for her. While being questioned, Ben tells Fusco and Garvin that Krupa developed something that could solve world hunger. (Check out Person of Interest casually solving world hunger like The West Wing casually solved social security. Gotta love TV.) On the night that Krupa decided to give her work to Ben’s nonprofit, she went missing and someone hacked into the nonprofit’s files. Ben suspects it was JD Carrick, a corrupt CEO who was also after her work.
As Finch and Garvin leave the nonprofit, ShotSeeker registers gunshots at that exact location, and a police report identifies Garvin as the shooter. The police show up and almost shoot him, but Fusco gets them to stand down. Someone arranged for this suicide by cop. And by someone, I mean Samaritan. It appears that Garvin’s good Samaritan work has put him on, well, Samaritan’s radar.
One of Krupa’s neighbors calls Garvin to meet up because she’s ready to talk about what she knows. However, when Reese and Garvin arrive at the school, they find her shot. This is when the episode really kicks into high gear. The sequence of Reese chasing after the gunman while Fusco shows up with the cops and Finch starts putting the pieces together about Samaritan’s involvement unfolds beautifully and injects the episode with some adrenaline. Unfortunately, the gunman manages to escape in a gray van being driven by Jeff Blackwell, whom we met in “SNAFU.” Right as Reese loses them, other men show up and knock him out.
NEXT: The return of a favorite character