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Episode 404: Brotherhood
A group of Armenian drug dealers pull up at a run-down building, ready to make a heroin deal with the Brotherhood. However, it goes wrong and a gunfight ensues.
At a playground, Reese searches for Tracie Booker, one of the two numbers received, the other being her 14 year-old brother Malcolm, who Shaw is looking for the school he goes to. Finch, meanwhile, informs them that their mother was incarcerated over an unlicensed weaponry charge while their father is deceased. Both Reese and Shaw's searches look fruitless, but Reese is able to collect a lead from a group of schoolgirls - Malcolm walks Tracie to school every morning. Finch is confused, since the siblings attend different schools on opposite sides of the city.
Reese arrives on NYPD duty at the scene of the gang shootout and meets DEA agent Erica Lennox and her partner Thompson. Impressed at his knowledge of the Brotherhood, Lennox briefs him on the DEA's progress on the case, noting one survivor from each gang plus a stash of heroin found. The drug money, however, is missing.
Meanwhile, Finch is following Malcolm and Tracie and witnesses them in possession of the drug money, using it to purchase new clothes. The kids soon notice Finch and place some money on the ground which is soon scattered by the wind, prompting the passing crowd to grab for it and create mass chaos, amid which the kids disappear. Aware of the kids' being under danger from the gang, Finch informs Reese that they need to consult someone with criminal experience.
In a subway, Finch meets with Carl Elias, who is aware of the situation. The mob boss tells him that while he can deal with the Armenians, the Brotherhood will have be up to them. Elias notes how leader Dominic proves difficult to find, and then realizes that something else has changed among Finch and his work, demanding the truth. Finch simply tells him that they're both in the dark and gets off the train.
At the precinct, Fusco reprimands Reese over leaving him to the paperwork, warning him that Brotherhood member Link is also looking for Reese following their last encounter (“Panopticon”), and got off on a misdemeanor charge after a corner boy covered for his activities. Reese dismisses the matter in favor of meeting with Agent Lennox, who is waiting for him there. She confronts him over his missing history prior to his becoming a detective, but Reese counters with information of his own on her, including her graduation from Annapolis at the top of the class as well as her two-year Navy history, advising that they discuss the case instead. Lennox informs Reese of a rumor concerning a Brotherhood mole within law enforcement, expressing her trust in Reese. She also shows him security footage of Malcolm and Tracie purchasing both clothes and a phone. She tells him a warrant should be out in a few hours. Finch calls to warn that they don't have so much time, as well as his new limitations to phone tracking following the loss of the Library.
Shaw sneaks into the ambulance in which the injured Brotherhood member from the shootout rests. The man goes by "Mini". Shaw has him call Link at gunpoint, and receives info on an address at which the kids are predicted to be at. She takes Mini out after cuffing him and holding him at gunpoint.
Malcolm and Tracie, meanwhile, are heading to a law office, but are shot at in the parking garage. Shaw arrives to take on the incoming Brotherhood members, while Reese and Lennox take the kids with them. Reese informs Lennox that they have to get off the streets to evade Link.
Reese and Lennox arrive with the kids at a safe house with bloodstains on the carpet. Doing their best to comfort the paranoid siblings, they are informed by Malcolm that they need to money to bail their mother out of prison and be a family again. Malcolm complains how his mother's boyfriend was abusive and his mother needed the unlicensed weapon, though she apparently didn't even fire it. They still agree to hand Reese and Lennox the money to admit into evidence, but inside are simple crumpled newspapers. Malcolm refuses to disclose the location of the real money.
Finch calls Shaw to notify her of an APB put out on her stolen vehicle, before telling her that they need to talk to Dominic. Shaw takes Mini out of her car and tells him that he will take her to Dominic.
That night, Lennox attempts to comfort Tracie and gets out of her the feeling of reliability, something she hasn't felt in a long time. Reese, meanwhile, talks to a skeptical Malcolm and attempts to reason with him - Malcolm considers this and asks Reese to promise Tracie's safety. Reese agrees and in turn receives the address at which the money is being kept. Lennox says that backup should come soon.
Shaw brings Mini to a dark room lined with pipes, having him cuff himself to a chair. Mini refuses to talk, though Shaw acknowledges that he is the kind of person to take and enjoy pain, like her. Mini voices his ideology on a life of crime and feels Dominic is no different than everyone else, and is unsure about himself if he reveals anything. Shaw promises to ensure his safety, though Mini concludes with the one thing the Brotherhood remembers: "We all die in the end". Shaw appears moved.
Fusco calls Reese to report a number used by one of the men at the crime scene, figuring it could be Dominic's. However, when called, the phone that rings belongs to Tracie - she says that Lennox gave her the phone, leading them to realize that Lennox is the mole she herself mentioned. No backup is on the way, and it's instead the Brotherhood, closing in on them.
Finch figures that Lennox wants the money to herself.
Shaw has been removing all the pipes within the room to decrease the temperature and make Mini bleed out over the shock.
Reese and the kids hide from the Brotherhood members, two of whom are ambushed by a smoke bomb in the elevator. An ashamed Malcolm reveals that he was in fact the owner of the gun which his mother lied about her possession of to go to jail instead of him. He claims that he needed the gun to protect his home.
Shaw proceeds with her experiment: to unshackle Mini and use the shock and temperature change to drive him into a mad search for medical help, figuring that Dominic would be the first person he'd run to. Finch knows that she put a tracer on him, but is surprised to know that she has bugged the whole team.
The Brotherhood catches up with Reese and holds the kids at gunpoint, but Fusco arrives and shoots them. More men close in, while Malcolm disappears. He is outside meeting with Link in a car, asking to be a potentially sacrificial member of the Brotherhood, or to do anything to ensure the life of his sister. Link asks him to get in the car, but their drive is cut short by Reese, who exchanges Malcolm for the money. Reese is then also ordered inside the car.
Shaw corners Mini at a laundromat, which she figures to be a spot used by the Brotherhood. She finds a large stash of heroin under a cart of clothes.
The moneybag that Reese gave Link is the one with the newspapers. Link is about to kill Reese when Shaw calls, threatening him with a picture of her about to light the stash on fire, thus having the situation come down on him and forcing him to face Dominic's wrath. Link is forced to let Reese go while Shaw leaves Mini in the laundromat, waiting for pickup.
Malcolm and Tracie return to school. Reese informs Malcolm that he has arranged with their social worker a new home for them, plus a lawyer. Malcolm is thrilled.
Finch meets with Elias again in a train, saying he was right about the recent change, and warns him that the truth will put him in grave danger. Elias agrees there's no going back. Finch gives Elias a copy of The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, with an address inside leading to the Brotherhood's laundromat. Finch feels that Elias can use it to further study his enemies and potentially lead them to Dominic.
Link picks Mini up in his car. Mini informs Link that he has discovered Shaw's tracer, before breaking it. Link reveals a captured Lennox in the backseat, who begs to talk to their boss before Mini shoots her in the head, then revealing himself to be Dominic. He tells Link he has underestimated him, but tells him to have the Brotherhood break Malcolm and Tracie's mother out of jail, making it clear that they were responsible and inducing a sense of gratitude towards them that can persuade the kids to join the gang. He repeats the phrase "We all die in the end", and drops off a dead Lennox on the road.