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Episode 303: Lady Killer
On the lake in Central Park, Reese and Shaw are posing as a couple, rowing a boat while watching their latest POI. Finch briefs them on Ian Murphy, a successful investor at a variety of businesses. Finch tells them about Murphy's background and suggests that one of them investigate his apartment. Reese decides to do so while Shaw follows Murphy. She sees him exit a store in new attire and follows him.
Reese enters Murphy's apartment while Shaw watches Murphy sit with another girl at a bar. Finch tells them that Murphy finds his dates online through smartphone applications, while Reese discovers printed documents containing information on various women.
Shaw suggests they take him out, but Finch says they can't assume he's a killer. Reese disagrees, as he finds a printed missing persons case about a woman named Jenna Lakritz, as well as an article about the fatal car crash of a woman named Dana Wellington. Shaw figures that the car accident was a cover-up for a murder, and Reese agrees, leading them to believe that Murphy kills the women he stalks.
Hersh, meanwhile, is searching psychiatric facilities in an effort to locate Root. He's discussing her whereabouts with Control over the phone, and looks at his map for more facilities. At Stoneridge Hospital, Root is talking with Dr. Carmichael, and she tells him that it's time for her to leave. Carmichael is beginning to acknowledge that there is in fact a voice that is speaking with her, and plays along with her assumption that it's going to tell her where she's going. Root says that the Machine has a plan, and that she doesn't know what it is yet.
Back at the Library, Finch tells Reese that the missing woman from Murphy's file was one of Murphy's former girlfriends, and learns that Murphy has an app that deletes his text messages once they're read, making Finch unable to trace them. He also learns that Dana Wellington, the girl who died, is the daughter of Bruce Wellington, a wealthy auction house owner, philanthropist, and real-estate magnate. The only connection he could find with Murphy was that he and Dana attended college together. He finds out that Murphy frequently visits a nightclub called Blur, and that all the women from Murphy's files have checked into it at least once. Finch tells Reese that he'll create a fake profile for him, but Reese suggests another idea. Finch then calls Carter and tells her to meet at a safe house tonight, and tells her to dress in "evening clothes".
That night, a well-dressed Shaw and Carter meet with Reese and Finch at the safe house. Zoe Morgan arrives to help them, and the three all confirm with Finch that they are prepared and armed. Finch says that he has created profiles for them on the site Murphy uses, and tells them to download it onto their phones. The three women prepare to head out.
At the nightclub, Shaw, Carter, and Zoe enjoy drinks and dance while Fusco, as their backup, observes the club's entrance. Murphy arrives, and has Carter's profile on his phone. He sits down with her and talks for a bit, and offers her a chance to come over to his house tomorrow night. On Finch's request, she agrees. Carter leaves the club and starts walking down the street with Fusco and Reese watching. Fusco tells her that Murphy is following her, which he appears to be doing, and Carter continues walking until she runs into Reese. Fusco arrives and says that Murphy is gone, and figures that Carter is his next victim.
At the Library, Shaw is playing with Bear while Finch investigates Murphy. He tells Shaw that the money Murphy supposedly received from his uncle actually came from a company founded by Bruce Wellington. He also says that Murphy was at the place the same day as Dana's funeral.
That night, at Murphy's house, Ian is making dinner for Carter and discusses her job. He says that she seems more like a detective, and Carter admits she used to be one. She watches Murphy suspiciously walk towards her with a knife in hand, but he was simply getting mushrooms out of the fridge. Shaw, meanwhile, is pointing a sniper rifle at Murphy while watching him with Reese on the roof of a nearby building. They discuss each others' relationships while Murphy talks to Carter about his past life.
Meanwhile at the hospital, Root sneaks into a room and uses the Machine's help to hack into a computer and steal three containers of prescription. She takes them and leaves.
Carter leaves with Ian and they kiss. Suddenly, two armed men show up and aim their guns at Ian. He throws his money on the floor, but the men say they're not there for money. Carter pulls out her gun and shoots one of the men while Shaw snipes the other. Carter asks Ian if he's okay and he remarks that Carter is a lot better than what she said she was.
At the mental hospital, Root walks into another room and hacks into the thermostat.
At a safe house, Fusco calls Finch and tells him that the men that were sent to kill Murphy worked for Bruce Wellington. Finch thanks him and hangs up before going to Ian, who is being questioned by Carter and Reese. When asked by Carter, Ian denies that he'd ever hurt anyone, but Reese tells him that they've seen his stalking evidence. Murphy says it's not stalking, but rather research, and claims that women like the fact that he can anticipate their needs, but that those relationships aren't meant to last.
When asked about Wellington, Ian admits that nine years ago, he and Dana fell in love when they were in college, but Dana's father didn't approve of it. He says that Dana got pregnant, but one of Wellington's men showed up at his door and said Dana had an abortion, and gave him money to leave town under the threat that Wellington would ruin him if he didn't. Ian says that he had nothing to do with the Wellington family ever since, until he attended Dana's funeral, because he just had to. Wellington broke out in a fit of anger and started yelling at him on the spot, and Ian says he doesn't know why Wellington hates him, but he never stayed to find out.
The next day at the Library, Finch looks though Wellington's information and finds a picture of a young boy. They realize that the boy is Ian's and that Dana didn't have an abortion after all. Reese goes to meet with Wellington while Finch has Carter go reveal the truth to Ian. Shocked at the truth, Ian wonders why Wellington would do this to him. Carter promises him that they'll get Ian's life back, but Ian demands that he goes with them.
Reese and Zoe meet Wellington at his property, and Reese discusses a privately owned Picasso while Zoe goes to assist Shaw in finding Ian's son's fingerprints. Shaw climbs in and Zoe shows her to the safe.
While Shaw cracks it, Zoe finds a file about the boy. His name is Alexander Wyatt, and Wellington is planning to send him off to a boarding school in London.
Finch and Murphy watch Alex leave for his new school, and Finch tells Ian that Wellington wants to keep his family's legacy alive. Suddenly, a payphone rings, and a perplexed Finch goes to answer it while Ian watches Alex. The Machine gives Finch a new number while Ian walks off towards Alex. He knocks out the cab driver and enters disguised as one. Finch, meanwhile, calls Stoneridge Hospital to check on Root, claiming he's her uncle. The woman on the phone tells Finch he's the second one to call about Root, the first being anonymous.
Meanwhile, Alex gets in the car, and Ian introduces himself. A horrified Finch watches the car drive off and tells Reese that Murphy just kidnapped his son. At Wellington's place, Shaw is unable to find Alex's birth certificate. Reese asks Wellington where it is, and the man says that Alex will never know that Ian is his father. Reese knocks him out while Carter calls Ian and asks him where he is. Ian says he just did something really stupid.
Ian and Alex talk with each other at the park. Ian says he knew Alex's "aunt" Dana, and shows him a picture of him and her when they were young. Carter arrives and gives Alex some money to go buy an ice cream, while Ian tells Carter that even though he knew it was a stupid move, he just had to meet his son. Carter takes Ian to the police station, and gives him Alex's birth certificate so Ian can go get custody of his son. Ian kisses her goodbye and leaves.
At the hospital that night, Root talks with Carmichael and tells him it's finally time for her to leave. Though he remains skeptical, Root says that there's a government operative sent out to kill her, and that she's going to escape. Carmichael thinks she's bluffing, until she explains the plan. Root says that the phone on Carmichael's desk will ring to indicate that it's time, and that she'll take his car keys from him. She explains that the guards will be incapacitated by vaporizing chemicals. She says the Machine helped her steal the chemicals, but that she closed the vents in Carmichael's office so it won't get him. Root points out the silence outside and says she's very excited. Carmichael's phone then rings.
At the bar, Shaw, Carter, and Zoe celebrate the end of the case. Zoe says she's getting a ride home from Reese, while Carter says she has to look after her son. Zoe and Carter leave while Shaw finishes her drink and leaves with Bear.
At the mental facility, Root exits the office and follows the sound of a ringing cellphone into a hallway full of unconscious guards. She picks up a gun from one of them and an earpiece from another, while a horrified Carmichael walks in and asks what's going on. Root says it didn't kill the guards, and then opens fire on Hersh, who has arrived. She pushes Carmichael behind a shelf and reloads her gun while Hersh continues searching.
She then looks at Carmichael and signals to be quiet, and then shoots Hersh while not even looking at him. She holds her gun to him and debates whether or not to kill him. The Machine tells her not to, and she listens. Root says goodbye to Carmichael and leaves.
Finch arrives at the hospital and is horrified to find Hersh and the unconscious guards lying there. Reese calls him, and Finch tells him that they have a problem.