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Person of Interest 2×12 Recap and Review

Written by Alexander Tucker   // 01/11/2013

Person of Interest 2×12 Prisoner’s Dilemma Recap and Review

Person of Interest 2x12 Prisoner's DilemmaPerson of Interest 2×12 Prisoner’s Dilemma Synopsis:  While Carter tries to maintain her cover as an FBI temporary agent while helping Reese, Fusco is “forced” to protect a new Number on his own while Reese ducks some old enemies from the past.

Person of Interest 2×12 Guest / recurring stars: Karolina Kurkova as Karolina Kurkova; Charlotte Maier as Megan; Tom Titone as Dawson; Terry Serpico as Byron; Tony F. Devito as Ragazzo; Enrico Colantoni as Elias; Brennan Brown as Special Agent Donnelly; Jay O. Sanders as Special Counsel; Boris McGiver as Hersh; Annie Parisse as Kara Stanton; John Sharian as Warden Hutchins; Creighton James as Packer; James Knight as Kelly; Brendan Griffin as Macavoy.

Person of Interest episode 2×12, “Prisoner’s Dilemma,” was a really good episode with a surprise ending, elements of which they’ll hopefully fill in when next week’s episode is aired.

The episode opens where it left off last week, with Reese in Rikers and Donnelly telling Carter that she’s the only one he trusts and he wants her to interrogate the four men, starting with Reese.

As Carter interrogates Reese, as well as the other three men, Donnelly watches through the one-way mirror and checks their stories on his laptop. He’s particularly interested in Reese, but he’s willing to be swayed that one of the other three men might be the “Man in the Suit.”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Machine has spit out the number of Karolina Kurkova, but since Reese is occupied, Finch asks Fusco to handle it. At first he protests, but then he sees the pictures that Finch sends to his computer. “Yeah, I got this,” he says, trying to keep his eyes from popping out of his head. After reading a mini-article in TV Guide about Kevin Chapman, I had the impression that he would get some good screen time, but that wasn’t the case. The first scene shows him being pepper sprayed by Karolina and then he convinces her he’s a cop. Then there was a scene where he, as Fusco, was pinned down in a car with Karolina. She tells him to save himself, but he tells her to run when he gets out of the car with guns blasting. The last scene was toward the end when she kisses him and says, “Thank you, Lionel, for everything. Call me!”

Interspersed with the interrogation scenes of Reese and the other three men, Hutchins, Packer, and Macavoy, are scenes from the previous episodes involving Reese with his CIA partner and handler, Kara Stanton. This back story of Reese was originally introduced in “Foe,” episode 1×8, furthered in “Number Crunch,” episode 1×10, and “Masquerade,” episode 2×3, where they’re on a mission to steal a laptop and are both told to “retire” the other when they go on the mission to China. After Stanton had shot Reese, the air strike had hit and it looked like Stanton was killed. Not!

Anyway, when Carter asks Reese his name he says it’s “John Warren, just like it says on my license.” He’s an investment backer and was in the bank that day to meet clients. When he heard the explosion and saw smoke coming from the stairwell, since he was in the military once he went down to see if he could help. He heard shots fired and then the swat team knocked him to the ground. He convincingly says he doesn’t know why he’s there but he has a life he needs to get back to, “I just want to go home.” The way he says it is so heart breaking and so convincing you just want to hug him. Carter is his only hope to get him out.

A guy on the street gets a call and is told to track down the rogue operative and make him disappear. The guy is told the FBI arrested four men, one of whom is the rogue operative, and they’re being held at Rikers. “Then I’ll remove all four,” he says. When in doubt, shoot them all. I’m assuming this is a CIA guy. He goes to an outdoor café and shoots his gun into the air to get arrested and sent to Rikers.

Back at Rikers, Donnelly, like a ferret, won’t give up on his prey. Clark, Watts, and Holt all live out of town, but Reese/Warren works on Wall Street. They go to “Warren”‘s Wall Street business, where Finch has set up a perfect “clean” cover identity for him, to make sure his story of being a Wall Street investment banker checks out. Of course it does; Finch is very thorough. So Donnelly has to make Carter dig deeper and his harder with her questions. He instinctively knows the “Man in the Suit” is Reese/Warren and wants Carter to break him. Back at Rikers, he gives Carter an ear piece so he can feed her questions as she’s interrogating the four men. Finch hacks into the ear piece in such a way that only Carter can hear him, and what he’s saying to her won’t interfere with what Donnelly is saying to her. He’s so clever! If they can come up with a military background for even one of them it might be enough to get Reese released.

Donnelly thinks the “Man in the Suit” is backed by a powerful private intelligence network, capable of fabricating an air-tight cover. He’s not going to let the guy slip away just because his driver’s license checks out. Carter asks Reese/Warren if he’s ever killed anybody. He counters by asking her if she’s killed anybody. Then he tells an emotional story of how he killed somebody when he was in the army in ’95 in Bosnia while on a peace-keeping mission. In the middle of the night he snuck out to take a “whiz” in the woods and there was a guy with land mines, an AK-47 pointed right at him. It misfired, which is why he’s still alive. Before he could pull the trigger again Reese jumped him and broke his neck after thrashing around in the dirt. He doesn’t like to talk about it.

Donnelly pulls her out and wants to know why she’s getting off-script. She tells him she’s trying to build up a rapport. Donnelly tells her that everything he’s saying checks out. That’s because as soon as Reese talks about something Finch quickly fabricates it and feeds it to Donnelly’s laptop.

Carter hits hard on all four and turns out the Kelly guy is really a Navy seal named Clark, but he’s not the “Man in the Suit” because he was in Iraq during some of the incidents.


Person of Interest 2×12 Prisoner’s Dilemma Promo and Synopsis


Reese is released into the yard for some exercise, and who should he encounter but his old friend Elias, “Hello, John.” Reese asks Elias to help him out by feeding Finch the picture of the guy sent by the CIA so Finch can make Donnelly think that guy is the guy he’s looking for. “You and me working together,” Elias says. “Very exciting, John.”

Finch sends the picture to Fusco who says he’s a government spook. Meanwhile, Finch makes the prison fire alarm go off and tells Carter to put her cell phone in Macavoy’s pocket. So Finch calls Macavoy and tells him he knows all about his life and has drained his off-shore account of his millions, so who would he rather make a deal with? The FBI or Finch? All he has to do is ID Kelly instead of Reese. So when he’s shown a picture of Reese and Kelly he IDs Kelly. Unfortunately, Kelly got hung in his cell by the guy sent by the CIA to eliminate Reese. Donnelly tells Carter somebody’s been tampering with the investigation since the beginning, and he thinks it’s Warren network.

Carter has to hit Reese harder. She asks about a girl friend. Finch tells her to stall while he puts one together, so Carter tells about the first time she killed somebody. Once the girl friend info is ready for Donnelly’s eyes, Carter asks again about a girl friend and Reese tells her about somebody named Allison West. But some of the details are really about Jessica, the girl who he let get away because he just couldn’t leave the life he had created as a killer. “The choices you make changes what you become,” he says. If he had made a different choice, “who would I be now?” So true for all of us.

Carter tells Donnelly she thinks Reese/Warren has checked out clean, but Donnelly says there’s one more test. They release Reese into the yard with no guards around. Reese is attacked, but he knows he can’t fight because it will prove he’s the one Donnelly’s looking for. Reese is down on the ground and the guy sent to eliminate him moves in with a knife for the kill, but Elias authoritatively breaks up the fight. Carter accuses Donnelly of being over the line. He used to be one of the good police.

As she questions Vincent he gets riled up and chokes her, calling her a bitch. Donnelly has to break it up, but it looks like it’s the proof he needs to release Reese.

After Reese is released, he and Carter go to the river where they go sometimes to talk and she asks him if any of what he told her was true. Donnelly comes out of the shadows with his gun drawn and tells Carter to handcuff Reese. “Congratulations, Carter. You’ve just caught the Man in the Suit.” Then he gives Carter his handcuffs and tells her to handcuff herself. He trusted her, and she threw it all away.

In the car, on the way to a safe house, Donnelly tells Carter that he knew it was Reese when her eyes showed genuine concern when he wanted to release him into the yard for the final test. He wants to know what her price was. “No price. Just helping a friend,” she says. “He’s nothing but a highly trained murderer. You don’t wind up with that job by accident. He chose that life. He chose to become the monster he is.” explains Donnelly, as Reese looks the other way in shame. “And now you’ve made your choice, too.”

Finch loses contact with Reese and Carter, so he sends the last coordinates to Fusco and tells him to meet him there. As Finch walks bear, all the pay phones along the way start ringing. He finally answers one and gets a new number. When he checks the number it turns out to be Donnelly and he’s in grave danger. He immediately calls Donnelly and tells him to stop the car and get out, but then the car is broadsided by a semi. Donnelly looks like he’s pinned in the car when a woman, Reese’s old partner Kara Stanton, walks up with gun in gloved hand and shoots him in the head. Then she comes around to Reese and plunges a hypodermic needle of something into his neck which knocks him out. “Hi lover! Miss me?” she asks. Then she walks away.

So Kara’s not dead, but Donnelly is. What did she inject Reese with? What’s her motive, what’s she after? Why did she do this? Why kill Donnelly? What happened to Carter? They didn’t show her. How will Finch get them out of this mess? Too many questions. Next week can’t come soon enough!


Cecelia Lawshe can be contacted via Cecelia Lawshe on Facebook.


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