Missing info from: all episodes since “Panopticon”
|“||At first, I uh, I thought I was helping to clean up the streets, you know? 'Who's gonna miss some drug money from a low-life dealer'. Then it became 'Who's gonna miss the dealer'....Then you find yourself in a situation, a bad situation that you shouldn't be in. I killed people, Carter. I was a dirty cop.||”|
Detective Lionel P. Fusco is a homicide detective in the New York City Police Department (NYPD). John Reese has turned him into his own source of information and support within the police department. He has a son, Lee, whom he is close to.
Life as a corrupt cop
Fusco was originally part of the 51st NYPD precinct, and good friends with Detectives James Stills and Louis Azarello. In 2004, Fusco's wife files for divorce and demands full custody of their son, kicking Fusco out of their house. Stills meets with Fusco at a bar and offers to let him stay at his house, which Fusco accepts.
Stills and Azarello begin to manipulate and persuade Fusco to join them in their criminal activities. Fusco is reluctant to help them, but still teaches Azarello how to cover up their killing of a drug dealer who was uncooperative in a deal gone bad. Fusco is later horrified to see Stills and Azarello's killing of several people in a second drug rip off. Fusco shoots another dealer in self-defense, and Stills gives him some of their drug money, welcoming him to their crew. (“In Extremis”)
Fusco, however, is not opposed to getting his hands dirty when his fellow officers are hurt. Fusco confesses to a shooting while being questioned by a department psychologist, and tells the story of how when a 24-year old rookie cop was gunned down by a drug dealer named Jules, Fusco exacted revenge by catching Jules off-guard without protection and shooting him twice in the chest, later making it appear justified. Fusco claims that Jules got what's called "the Devil's share", or a cruel form of karma in his eyes. (“The Devil's Share”)
Involvement with Reese and Finch
Fusco first comes into contact with John Reese when he, Stills, and Azarello become part of a gang led by ADA Diane Hansen, which Reese was attempting to take down. After catching him, Fusco drives Reese to Oyster Bay to kill him, but Reese escapes from the car and takes Fusco's sidearm. With it, Reese later kills Stills in an armed standoff and hides his body in the trunk of Fusco's car to link him to the crime and blackmail him into working for him. Reese orders Fusco to dispose of Stills' body, and Fusco becomes Reese's source of information inside the NYPD.
After Fusco attempts to have Reese killed a second time in some dealings with the Torrerós drug cartel, Reese blackmails the 8th Precinct's corrupt police captain in order to get Fusco transferred to the Homicide Task Force and partnered with Detective Joss Carter, who was hunting Reese at the time. Fusco is then ordered to keep Carter's investigations directed away from Reese and to keep Reese informed of what Carter is doing. (“Cura Te Ipsum”)
While providing Reese with more information involving another case, Fusco meets Harold Finch, who is initially uncomfortable about Reese's decision to work with Fusco, but eventually gains his trust. (“Witness”)
As time goes on, Fusco does demonstrate a loyalty to Reese. Their relationship is comical; their conversations are filled with dry humor and witty annoyance. Carter later begins working with Reese and Finch as well, (“Legacy”) but she and Fusco do not know that they are working for the same people for the remainder of the season.
Fusco helps Reese and Finch on another case, where he meets up with his friend, corrupt police officer Patrick Simmons, for information on a smuggler involved with the crime organization HR. When Fusco is later caught and taken out to be executed by Ian Davidson, a corrupt IAB detective, while running an errand for Finch, Reese shows up just in time to kill Davidson and save Fusco's life. Reese, however, forces Fusco to go undercover in HR to keep him informed of their activities and cover up Davidson's death. Fusco goes to Simmons to help cover up the killing, but Simmons warns Fusco that he belongs to HR. (“Blue Code”)
Finch is uneasy keeping Fusco and Carter in the dark about each other and their connections in working for Finch and Reese. Carter's suspicions about Fusco come to a head during a standoff between Reese and the FBI, where she barges into the men's bathroom, confronting Fusco and holding him at gunpoint, accusing him of being a member of HR. Fusco is forced to confess to her that he is working for the "Man in the Suit", namely Reese. Both detectives are shocked to learn that they are both working for the same person. Working together, they are able to rescue Reese during a shootout with HR. (“Firewall”)
Simmons finds out about Fusco's involvement with the "Man in the Suit", and forces him into doing one more favor for HR under the threat that Simmons will kill Fusco's son if Fusco does not comply. Simmons tells Fusco that his boss is currently pulling the strings of HR, and that they are close to being defeated. While aiding Reese in protecting another person of interest, Fusco locates a ledger containing the names of the members of HR. Fusco tears out the pages containing the names of him and Simmons. (“Bury the Lede”)
Fusco is later forced back into HR by Simmons, as Simmons blackmails him with his cover-up of the murder of Detective Davidson. (“C.O.D.”)
Fusco becomes suspicious of Detective Cal Beecher and his relationship with Carter, and begins trailing him. He is discovered by Simmons, who firmly tells Fusco to go home. Fusco learns that Beecher is somehow connected to HR, but is yet to determine the connection during the time. (“Shadow Box”)
While the rest of the team is busy dealing with Reese's capture by FBI agent Nicholas Donnelly, Fusco is forced to single-handedly protect supermodel Karolina Kurkova from Armenian gangsters. (“Prisoner's Dilemma”)
After Fusco and Carter learn that Beecher was the one who informed the IAB about Detective Bill Szymanski's possession of dirty money, which framed Szymanski and eventually got him killed (“All In”), Fusco confronts Beecher in the bathroom, warning him to stay away from Carter. The conversation becomes increasingly heated until Raymond Terney breaks them up.
Fusco then records a conversation between Beecher and Carl Elias in jail, and Elias tells Beecher that Szymanski was clean and Beecher got played by HR. Beecher is eventually killed by HR after they realize he knows too much. (“Trojan Horse”)
Fusco's past life catches up to him when the IAB begin to investigate his involvement with Stills. Azarello had been instructed by HR to tell the IAB that Fusco had killed Stills (not knowing that Reese had staged Stills' murder exactly that way), triggering the investigation. Fusco refuses to cooperate with the IAB, but Carter, who has been recording the interrogations, confronts Fusco in the bathroom. Fusco tells Carter that he didn't kill Stills, but confesses that he was a dirty cop. Carter refuses to continue listening when Fusco tries to point out that things have changed, and she is devastated at what she hears.
The IAB eventually track down the location of Stills' body to Oyster Bay, and force Fusco to tell them exactly where it is at the place. They take Fusco with them and dig up the spot, but discover that the body is missing. Fusco takes his gun and badge back and returns to the precinct. It is later revealed that Carter used Bear to dig up Stills' body earlier to save Fusco from being arrested. (“In Extremis”)
Later, Fusco aids Sameen Shaw in taking out some gangsters who were after a POI that Shaw is dealing with. After Carter is demoted to patrol officer, Fusco also gets a clumsy new partner about whom he expresses his dislike to Carter. The two detectives have reconciled since Fusco's investigation by the IAB (“In Extremis”), and still occasionally help each other. (“Liberty”)
Upon Carter's request, Fusco attempts to access Beecher's NYPD file. He and Carter are both shocked and confused to discover that the file is restricted, and Fusco figures that someone has tampered with it as there are many HR moles still remaining in the NYPD. (“Nothing to Hide”)
Fusco also plays smaller roles in helping Reese and Finch on other cases, including assistance in watching Carter while she is presumably being stalked by a POI (“Lady Killer”), reviewing information on a lawyer and POI while watching her interrogation about a crime she was framed for (“Reasonable Doubt”), giving Reese information he was able to find on the whereabouts of Root and a kidnapped Shaw (“Mors Praematura”), and assisting Carter in faking the death of a sports memorabilia owner targeted by HR. (“The Perfect Mark”)
Fusco gives Reese some information on the Russians and their involvement in HR during an investigation of an intercepted drug delivery. He also later talks with Carter and insists that she could use some help in bringing down HR. Carter falsely accepts, and ditches Fusco while he goes to get his weapons from his apartment. (“Endgame”)
Fusco later assists Reese in watching HR's patrol of a federal department, since HR wants Reese dead. When Simmons sees bloodstains on an ambulance that Reese is hiding in, he sends his men after the ambulance, and Reese forcefully drives it away. Fusco shoots down two HR cops, but is discovered and knocked out by Simmons.
Simmons, Officer Lin, and Detective William Petersen keep Fusco in a fortune cookie factory and brutally interrogate him on the location of files Carter had of HR members. Simmons breaks Fusco's fingers, and later threatens to kill his son Lee if Fusco does not cooperate. Fusco finally gives in and tells them a location, which Simmons checks out. When Simmons finds out that Fusco lied, he sends Lin to go kill Lee and tells Petersen to kill Fusco. When Fusco profusely begs Petersen to have HR spare Lee, Petersen allows Fusco to call Lee to say his last goodbyes. Fusco promises Lee that everything will be all right, then hears a gunshot and begins to cry, but Shaw is the one that comes in on the other end, saying that Lee is safe. However, she says that she doesn't have enough time to save Fusco, and tells him she figured that he would've wanted her to save Lee.
Petersen then aims his gun at Fusco's head, but Fusco, who has been working at his handcuffs, frees himself and brutally strangles Petersen to death.
Later, Fusco is very grateful to Shaw for saving Lee. In his car, he watches Lee happily go to play hockey with some men (one of them presumably being Lee's coach and/or Fusco's friend(s)). (“The Crossing”)
After Carter's death at the hands of Simmons (“The Crossing”), Fusco and many other NYPD officers attend her funeral. Fusco then aids Finch and Shaw in finding Reese as he begins to lose control within his grief, using ruthless tactics to find Simmons. Reese finally finds HR's leader Alonzo Quinn, and prepares to kill him once he gets Simmons' location. Finch, Shaw, and Fusco arrive in time to convince him to stop, and Reese collapses from his prior injuries from Simmons during Carter's death. Finch and Shaw take Reese to a hospital while Fusco stays behind to make sure the FBI re-arrests Quinn.
While no one is looking, Fusco secretly picks up the piece of paper on which Quinn wrote down Simmons' escape route.
Simmons, who has purchased a fake Canadian passport to escape New York, arrives at an empty airport. Fusco, who has already told the pilot that Simmons would be missing his flight, confronts Simmons. The two engage in a brutal fistfight, and Fusco eventually wins by breaking Simmons' arm. Fusco then goes on to emotionally explain to Simmons how Carter saved his life by making him a better person. Fusco then arrests Simmons instead of killing him like he would have years ago.
Fusco later brings Simmons into the NYPD precinct in front of all the other people inside, who stare on in amazement. (“The Devil's Share”)
In the aftermath of the war with HR, Reese, who has become so unstable and upset at Carter's death that he has decided to leave the team, heads to Colorado. Finch sends Fusco to find Reese, which he does at a bar. Fusco sees that Reese has begun to drink and advises against it, pointing out that drinking was one of his own bad habits that he quit because of Reese. Reese says that all the work he's done with the team seems pointless now, and Fusco is appalled at how Reese could say such a thing. He challenges Reese to a fight, and the two engage in a fistfight out in the rain. However, the police arrive and find the two. (“Lethe”)
In a police cell, Reese tells Fusco that it was stupid of the detective to pick a fight with him, going on to say that he is lucky to still be alive. Fusco ignores the comment and says that the sheriff is keeping the two locked up for now. After Fusco convinces Reese to help Finch, they save Shaw and Finch when they are held at gunpoint by Vigilance. (“Aletheia”)
When Team Machine has to help Kelli Lin steal the Gutenberg Bible in order to entrap Cyril and rescue her daughter Kai, Fusco provides critical help in carrying off the heist by - providing security plans for Symmetric Security (where the Bible is stored), running distraction on Agent Bouchard, getting legitimate prints by tricking a Symmetric Security guard named Farrow, and running extraction for Reese after Reese gets himself captured as part of the plan. He then provides extraction for Shaw in the aftermath of the apprehension of Cyril by NYPD, when Shaw has to shoot Cyril before he can shoot Kelli.
He later joins the Team for a celebratory drink at Finch's safe house that night. (“Provenance”)
Ever since Fusco has arrested Simmons, his prestige at the precinct house has increased, leading to many detectives asking him for help. This initially irritates him, till Finch reminds him that this respect is what he has been working towards all the while ever since he decided to become a good cop. Once this starts sinking in, Fusco goes over to help Detective Jake Harrison, albeit a bit grudgingly, when the body of Tara Cooke is fished out of the river.
He and Jake go over to the workplace of Tara, a private equity firm. When they're checking if the carpet fibers found on Tara's body match the carpet there, her coworker Brent Holm wonders as to why they're checking the office when Tara's been killed at the river. Gina Kincaid and her husband Ron, the CEO and CFO of the company, meanwhile assure the detectives of their help. Fusco, in return, asks for security footage from Tara's last day at the office before she was murdered.
In the midst of all this, he's also been helping Team Machine with their person of interest, Sandra Nicholson, by checking to see if she has a criminal record, confirming the location of the Templarios gang hangout to Reese and then helps Finch analyze 911 calls. When he finds a call where Tara had called 911 and got Sandra, complaining about her boyfriend hurting her, that's when the Team's person of interest case and the Tara Cooke murder case tie up. He checks the map location and realizes that the call came from the same location where Tara died.
He and Jake then go back to Tara's office to confront Gina and Ron with footage from office showing Tara carrying the burner phone which she used to make the 911 call, a "delete voicemail" message (from phone records) that Tara left to Ron, saying that she wasn't going to help him cheat on Gina anymore, and exact match between the carpet fibers on Tara's body and Ron's trunk. After Gina admits that she and Ron hired someone to delete the 911 call made by Tara, leading to the current person of interest situation, Fusco and Jake arrest them.
After he and Jake return to the station, Jake thanks Fusco for his help. Fusco congratulates him back on his handling of the case, and then asks him to return to work. (“Last Call”)
Fusco then helps Team Machine protect Cyrus Wells from Decima Technologies, by keeping Cyrus safe at the precinct for a while, and then by engaging Decima men in a firefight when he and Reese have to rescue Cyrus after Decima kidnaps him.
He then escorts Root to the airport to help her catch a flight to Paraguay. (“Root Path (/)”)
When the next number is of Maria Martinez, Fusco and Shaw perform surveillance on her, and later they defend Maria from the French Legion hitmen who are after her. He then interrogates Ken Davis, CEO of the company Maria works in.
Later, when Team Machine attack the UN building to rescue Maria, posing as firemen, Fusco elects to drive the fire truck, pointing out that he always wanted to do that. He then assists the rest of the team fight of the French Legion hitmen, and takes down the key conspirator, Sevon, himself.
Fusco then delivers Omar Risha's paperwork for asylum at a restaurant with an open and attractive view of the New York skyline, where he's sitting with Maria. He then trades light banter with Shaw, buying her a champagne and wishing her a Happy Persian New Year, calling her "Sameen". (“Allegiance”)
While helping Finch investigate Leona Wainwright's murder by Vigilance, Fusco gets taken hostage by Collier, forcing Finch to give up key documents, relating to Northern Lights, to Collier. Fusco is then saved by Root. However, Collier uses those documents to force the government to shut down Northern Lights. (“Most Likely To...”)
When Greer gets Grace's details from Samaritan, during his effort to track down Finch, Fusco plays a key role in trying to protect her. He takes her to the NYPD Precinct, fends off the Decima operative posing as a FBI Special Agent and helps Root take down the security cameras inside the precinct, thus preventing Samaritan from watching.
Later when Greer's men release Grace in exchange for Finch, he's present at the exchange, driving her away to safety, and escorting her to the airport, where she goes on to her new job in Italy, based on new credentials created by Finch and passed on to her by Reese. (“Beta”)
Fusco is out on the streets during crowd-control, during the total blackout created by Vigilance, when he meets Reese and Hersh. When they talk about the trial orchestrated by Vigilance, Fusco has no idea what they are talking about.
Later when Samaritan goes fully operational, and one of Decima's operatives shoots down a Vigilance member to tie up strings, with the escorting cop as a collateral casualty, Fusco is one of the first to arrive at the scene. (“Deus Ex Machina”)
- Fusco's home address is 160 Morris Ave, Apt. 4F, Bronx, NY 10468. (“Title Sequence/Season 2”)
- Fusco has 55 open cases and 8 active cases. (“Title Sequence/Season 2”)
- Despite his corrupt past, he has no official criminal record, although the Machine estimates his violence probability index as high. His level of social networking is low. (“Title Sequence/Season 2”)
- In “Number Crunch”, after making a series of mistakes, another law enforcement officer refers to him as "Detective Fiasco."
- Fusco's sidearm is a Glock 17. Detective Riley and some NYPD officers are also armed with the Glock 17. In reality, the Glock 19 is the only Glock approved for onduty carry by NYPD officers.
- Fusco is one of only a few who know that Alonzo Quinn has an affiliation with HR. (“Shadow Box”) He later learns that Quinn is in fact the head of HR. (“Endgame”)
- Fusco, Simmons, and Quinn are the only named characters known to not be in HR's ledger.
- His shield number is 7565. (“Q&A”)
- Fusco and Root are the only main characters who haven't appeared in some episodes (This applies to Root only in Season 3, when she was promoted to a main character). Fusco has not appeared in “Mission Creep”, “The Fix”, “Root Cause”, “Risk”, “The High Road”, “Proteus”, “Zero Day”, “God Mode”, “Razgovor”, “4C”, “RAM”, “Death Benefit”, “A House Divided”, “Truth Be Told” & “6,741”.
- Fusco was until recently the only main character (excluding Bear) who had no knowledge of the Machine's existence, until Reese's revelation in “Sotto Voce”.
- Despite rarely getting into a fist fight, Fusco has shown himself to be a skilled hand-to-hand combatant proficiently using boxing to subdue his opponents, having taken down Simmons in a fight. As well as this, he also was able to match Reese for a while, though Reese was not fighting back at first and claimed he was holding back after the fight.
- Lionel was named after a lion cub his father fed at the Franklin Park Zoo when he was a child. (“The Devil's Share”)
- Lionel is the only main character who hasn't had his number come up at least once (excluding Root and Shaw whose numbers came up before they became series regulars, and Bear).
- Finch: Mr. Four-Eyes, Mr. Vocabulary (“Flesh and Blood”), (Mr.) Glasses (“No Good Deed”) (“The Perfect Mark”) (“The Devil's Share”), Mr. Peabody (“Blunt”)
- Reese: Wonderboy (“Many Happy Returns”), Captain America, various nicknames in the form of "Tall, Dark and X" (e.g. "Tall, Dark, and Fearsome" (“Triggerman”), "Tall, Dark, and Deranged" (“The Devil's Share”) ), Detective Sunshine (“Blunt”)
- Root: Cuckoo's Nest (“Root Path (/)”), Cocoa Puffs (“Root Path (/)”) (“Beta”), Superpowered Nutball (“Root Path (/)”), Nutella, Banana Nut Crunch (“If-Then-Else”)
- Shaw: Miss Congeniality (“The Crossing”), Maybelline (“Point of Origin”)