Reese first encounters Bear as an attack dog, then named Butcher, who was owned by Byron, an Aryan Nationalist. Byron took him from his previous owner because he did not have the money to pay a debt he owed the group.
When Leon Tao is captured by Byron and the Aryan Nation after he embezzled about $8,000,000 from them, Reese rescued him. Realizing Bear was previously a military dog, Reese befriends the dog using the familiar Dutch command he had heard while in the military, turning him against Byron. With Leon rescued, Reese takes Bear with him.
Reese gives Bear his new name because he ate the bearer bonds Leon had stolen while waiting in the car for Reese and Leon to return. (“The Contingency”)
After Finch's rescue, Bear moves into the Library; Reese claims his apartment building has a strict policy regarding dogs, although he would later be taken there as part of Reese's cover in “Bury the Lede”. Bear also displays a keen interest in rare first edition books, bringing one to Finch in his mouth, much to Finch's dismay. (“Bad Code”)Finch seems frustrated that Reese brought Bear to the Library and complains about looking after him at the expense of his books, especially the leather-bound ones, including an atlas of Patagonia and a first-edition Gatsby. (“Terra Incognita”)
At first, Finch does not seem pleased to have Bear with him until Bear helps him to recover from PTSD symptoms Finch develops after Root abducted him. Soon after, Finch begins to play with Bear and gradually warms up to him. (“Masquerade”)
Despite living in the Library with Finch, Bear becomes very attached to Reese and misses him when Reese is incarcerated at Rikers Island. (“Prisoner's Dilemma”) Although Finch allows him to snuggle with one of Reese's jackets (“Prisoner's Dilemma”) Even after his return, he remained disheartened, and Finch was very concerned until he finally realizes that Bear needs a friend of his own, so he and Reese took him out in the park to play with other dogs. (“One Percent”)
New and Old Friends
Bear and Leon meet again after Reese saves Leon from new trouble and lets him stay in the Library while pursuing a new number. (“Critical”) At first, Leon is suspicious of Bear but soon becomes very good friends with him. When Leon finds himself in trouble for the third time, Bear helps him by fighting off Nigerian fraudsters in a hotel room. He was happy to see Leon again, licking his face as Reese frees him. (“All In”) When Finch and Reese go looking for the Machine, Bear stayed with Leon. (“God Mode”)
Bear meets Sameen Shaw in an ambulance and greets her by licking her face after Finch and Reese (with the help of Leon Tao, who posed as an EMT) saved her from being killed by Hersh. (“Relevance”) Shaw becomes very fond of Bear and buys him a metal studded collar. (“Lady Killer”) She states on multiple occasions that Bear is the best thing about Contingency operations. (“Zero Day”) (“Razgovor”) (“The Cold War”) Fusco tells Shaw that Bear is the only one on the team that likes her. (“The Crossing”) When Shaw goes missing, Bear clearly misses her. (“M.I.A.”)
Helping the Team
Bear often accompanies Reese and Finch, using his skills as a military dog to help them out in the field. He helps save Finch from being attacked while helping a person of interest who was in trouble with the Estonian mafia. (“C.O.D.”) When Monica Jacobs' number came up, Bear assists the team by diverting Rylatech's security team by wearing Monica Jacobs' RFID card to catch the team off-guard and chase them into an office, keeping them contained while Monica, Reese, and Finch unraveled Rylatech's secret connection with Decima. (“Trojan Horse”)
Bear plays an important part in Carter's mission to help Detective Fusco deal with his past when an anonymous tip regarding Fusco's former corruption and the disappearance of Detective Stills was sent to IAB. With Carter's guidance, Bear helps her track down and move Stills' corpse. (“In Extremis”)
In order to save another number, Bear pretends to be sick so that Finch and Reese can protect a vet named Dr. Rachel Jensen who is threatened by four armed youths intent on stealing ketamine. Reese shoots three of the would-be thieves, but Bear catches the fourth, who held Dr. Jensen at gunpoint. (“Reasonable Doubt”)
When Root is kept in the Library, Bear seems to get used to her company. (“The Devil's Share”) Later, when Root is going after Greer, she loses track of him due to his counter-surveillance tactics. To avoid failing again, she decides to bring Bear with the ability to track people with the sense of smell along and eventually manages to track Greer. (“Allegiance”)
When Vigilance kidnaps Finch and the blackout begins, Fusco receives instructions from Root to bring Bear to Reese and Hersh. Bear assists Reese in rescuing Finch from Decima and later accompanies Finch as the team parts when Samaritan comes online. (“Deus Ex Machina”)
Bear stays with Finch, who is hiding as Professor Whistler, for a while, but due to a rule about having dogs on university campus, he is passed over to John, who is hiding as Detective Riley. (“Panopticon”) Bear moves into the Subway when Finch gets it up and running. (“Nautilus”)
Shaw takes Bear with her to find Fusco and Andre Cooper and he distracts an armed perp for Shaw to apprehend. (“Wingman”) Bear assists Fusco by pretending to be a police dog and sniffing drugs in a woman's purse. (“Honor Among Thieves”)
When The Machine attempts to decompress too early and sets fire to the station, Bear wakes up the unconscious Finch and retrieves a fire extinguisher for him to use. (“B.S.O.D.”) Finch later takes Bear to the safehouse where he keeps the recovering Elias company. (“ShotSeeker”)
Following Samaritan's destruction, Bear ends up in the care of Fusco as Finch is believed to be dead. After meeting with Fusco, Shaw takes Bear who she now calls her dog and they walk through the streets of New York together before getting a call from the Machine with a new number. (“return 0”)
- Since his introduction, Bear has appeared in every episode except “2πR”, “Booked Solid”, “Aletheia”, “Last Call”, “RAM”, “Most Likely To...”, “Death Benefit”, “Beta”, “A House Divided”, “Prophets”, “If-Then-Else”, “M.I.A.”, “Guilty”, “Q&A”, “Skip”, “Terra Incognita”, “Asylum” and “YHWH”
- In “Endgame” Reese suggests that Finch have a canine ballistic vest made for Bear, which he wears in “Deus Ex Machina”.
- On some occasions, Bear goes undercover with Reese. (“Bury the Lede”) (“The High Road”) (“Reasonable Doubt”) He has also worked surveillance with Fusco (“Bad Code”) and helped Root when she was tracking Greer. (“Allegiance”)
- It appears Bear has learned some English commands as he responded to Root when she spoke to him in English. (“Allegiance”)
- Bear on Twitter (Unofficial, in Dutch)