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Episode 103: Mission Creep
Waking a startled Finch, who has fallen asleep at his desk in the Library, Reese is given details of the Machine's newest person of interest: Joey Durban, a former soldier from the 107th Infantry Division who recently returned from Afghanistan, and currently works as a hotel doorman.
Reese watches Durban from a room across the street. He reads a message sent to Durban that contains the text "ANCHOR D0.GG -GC.I.E. 1630." Later, he follows Durban, first to a meeting with his girlfriend Pia, then around the city. He sends the text to Finch, who attempts to decode it. As he does, Reese follows Durban into a bank, and soon finds himself in the middle of a robbery in which Durban is a participant. During the robbery, Reese prevents a security guard from shooting the thieves. Durban and his team flee with no shots fired. Reese leaves the bank, frustrated.
Reese follows Joey and sees him delivering money to a blonde woman, even though Joey is engaged to his girlfriend Pia, who waited for him for six years while he was away. During his surveillance of Joey, Reese spots a fellow thief working as a cab driver, delivering more money to Joey. Identified as Willis, Finch discovers one of his stops was to a bar called The Green Zone, owned by a former soldier, Sam Latimer, also from the 107th.
Figuring Latimer to be the gang's ringleader, Reese visits him under the identity of former soldier Tony Miller and implies that he is interested in joining the team, though, according to Latimer, there is no open spot currently.
Finch plants weapons in Willis' cab and calls the police to get him arrested, creating a place on the team for Reese.
At the police station, Detective Carter is approached by robbery Detective Molina, who shows her footage of the robbery, including Reese stopping the guard from shooting, and tells her that he identified Reese from fingerprints he left behind. As she watches the video, Carter recognizes the movements and equipment as indicating they are soldiers. They speculate whether Reese was their inside man.
Reese receives a call from the group of robbers, who he meets in Latimer's bar in Brighton Beach. They kidnap Reese and question his interest in their team. He claims he fought alongside the 107th in Tikrit. Handing him a cell phone, Joey instructs him not to call them, but rather wait for them to call him. Reese returns to the Library, where he and Reese sum up the situation to date, and wonder if Durban has what it takes to kill up close.
John watches Durban as he visits Pia at work. She wants them to look for apartments, and to spend time together, but he tells her what he's doing is important. She's trying to be patient, which he seems to understand, kissing her as he leaves. The scene triggers memories for Reese.
Carter talks to Molina again, who gives her more details on the team's activities: a dozen robberies of banks and other sources of valuables, in less than 60 seconds, always four unarmed men, but with no injuries to any civilians. After examining the footage more closely, Carter recognizes one of the robbers' radio as a 148 military radio, which she used when she served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Knowing that this type of radio is restricted to military personnel, Carter finds a report by Fort Drum of a stolen radio package six months ago. With this lead, Carter and Molina start investigating former soldiers discharged from Fort Drum within the last six months who are currently residing in New York.
After witnessing Joey watching the blonde woman from a distance, Reese also notices she has a child. He pretends to run into Joey at a local bar, where Joey opens up about his hopes and dreams about his homecoming. Due to the bankers' control of the country, though, Joey failed to find success. They are overheard by two bankers, which leads to a bar fight. Meanwhile, Finch identifies the blonde woman and child as Stacy and Amy Miles; the father's name is unavailable.
Straub, a fellow robber with gambling debts, confronts Latimer and demands more money. Latimer confides in him regarding an upcoming robbery that will result in them acquiring $400,000 - and as always, will be split in half between the soldiers and Latimer. When questioning Latimer whether the deal remains the same if others might get killed, Latimer confirms it.
Molina tells Carter he's followed up on the radios. Molina has identified another robber, Teddy Dalloway, who was discharged at Fort Drum five months previously. Carter notices he's left handed, and asks Molina to call her if he makes a move.
As the new heist at the casino approaches, Reese decides to join in order to protect Joey, with Finch monitoring the police bands. Meanwhile, Carter and Molina follow the GPS in Teddy's phone, and call for back-up when the heist begins. Warned by Finch through his ear-piece, Reese forces the robbery to be cut short, with much of the money left behind. Carter and Molina burst, but the team has already gone.
After learning that Joey has entered nearly $10,000 into Amy Miles' bank account in the last four months, Finch discovers the identity of the father: Frank Stephens, a fellow 107th soldier killed in Afghanistan.
Joey and Reese walk along the Coney Island boardwalk, talking about Straub. Joey tells Reese that the robberies help him pay back an obligation he has, though he has no children. Frank replaced him on patrol and was killed during an attack. He is helping to build Amy's future, despite Pia being unaware of this. Once that's done, he's with Pia completely. Reese encourages him not to wait, but to be with her now. He tries to persuade Joey not to do the job, but the obligation is too great, and Joey refuses.
Reese visits Pia, pretending to be an old Army friend of Joey's, and convinces her that Joey loves her. She wonders if Joey will ever open up to her, rather than living as though he's still overseas. Despite that, she tells Reese she's always loved Joey, and is committed to him. Reese then instructs Finch to call the police during the team's next heist, taking place later that night.
Meanwhile, Carter discovers the record of two murdered soldiers, with stolen Fort Drum radios found by their bodies. She concludes that Latimer's robbery team keeps changing members, with new former soldiers replacing the ones who are killed during the heists. As they do, Latimer destroys their pictures, and reports to someone on the phone.
On the phone, Latimer discusses refreshing the team, deciding that the upcoming heist will be their last. Finch listens in on the call, but is unable to warn Reese, as Straub, who was warned by Latimer to keep an eye on Reese, forces him to destroy his cell phone.
Finch goes to the robbery location, an evidence lock-up, arriving just before the team. He quietly warns Reese of the trap when the robbers arrive. Despite Reese's attempts to warn the team, Straub insists on finishing the job and retrieves an evidence package labeled "Elias, M.". One of the guards fires and injures Teddy. The NYPD is called after the gun shots are reported. At the robbers' van, Latimer shoots Straub and Teddy, then escapes with the package. Reese and Joey are the only survivors, and they escape before Carter and Molina arrive and discover another 148 radio.
Reese instructs Joey to flee the city with Pia and supplies him with a few thousand dollars. Carter uses her newly found 148 radio to contact Reese, and tells him she knows he is innocent, and warns him he will end up either imprisoned or dead. Reese replies that he will take his chances. Joey walks away, and Reese hears a voice over his radio: Carter. She warns him she knows he's out there, and is looking for him. Reese suggests she stop looking, but she tells him that's not an option. She tells him he's playing a dangerous game, and she's not sure why. Reese tells her he'll take his chances.
At a dark apartment, Latimer delivers the evidence to his client. Reese eventually tracks him down, only to find Latimer murdered in his apartment. While he and Finch don't know who's responsible, Finch goes on to look into the name on the evidence, "Elias". At a bus station, Joey and Pia leave for Phoenix, with Reese watching from afar.