As Harold's father fixes a pick up truck engine, he calls a young Harold over to help him. After leaving briefly to answer the phone, he returns to find that Harold has dismantled a major component of the engine and found the defective part. Harold's father tells him that he shouldn't take things apart, but Harold responds by asking why the object wasn't built better if the creators didn't want anyone getting inside it.
Harold's father finds his son at the kitchen table, working with a fully assembled circuit. He is impressed at Harold's knowledge of circuitry, and Harold explains how he wants to build a machine that "is a memory" so it can store all of his father's memories. Harold's father says that some broken things were not meant to be fixed, referring to his own disorder.
Harold's father is picked up by the police after he wanders off on a cold night. An officer finds Harold and tells him that if he can't take care of his father, maybe he should find a place where his father will be cared for.
Harold, now a teenager ready to go to college, talks with his father, who tells him to go to college and find a good job instead of taking care of an old man. Harold once again relates to his idea of a true artificial intelligence, but his father warns him not to get into things he shouldn't. (“Lethe”)
Harold makes arrangements to have his father admitted to a care center called "The Pines" where he can receive help for his memory disorder as well as basic care that Harold has trouble providing.
Harold is later caught by the FBI for his hacking activities. Harold assures his father that the things he did were not in any way meant to be harmful. It has come to a point where Harold's father's mental condition has rendered him unable to remember his own son. Harold, devastated, asks his father about a bird, which he expects him to know from Harold's childhood years, but his father is unable to identify it. Harold gives his father a book about birds, kisses him on the head, and leaves. (“Aletheia”)
In B.S.O.D. it is revealed in Finch's flashback that his father died in 1981, from Alzheimer's disease.
In a flashback in Return 0, Finch tells Grace that his father died alone as Finch stayed away from him out of fear that his father would recognize him rather than that he wouldn't. He tells Grace that his father knew nothing of birds before he was born and Finch, as a fussy baby, would only calm down when he was taken outside to see the birds. As a result, his father learned all about them to teach his son about them and they would watch bird migrations together every year.
- ↑ His name is partially visible in a single frame of “B.S.O.D.”, when Finch closes the windows displaying the obituary and the certificate.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The only two dates visible on his certificate of death are 08/11/1981 and 07/15/1914.
- In the first flashback in “B.S.O.D.”, which is in 2006, the Machine reminds Harold of the 25th anniversary of his father's death; 1981 is 25 years earlier than 2006.
- On the top left part of the certificate the number "67" is visible that most likely is the age at his death; 1914 is 67 years before 1981.