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Episode 122: No Good Deed

Act I

Countless lives

Nathan Ingram walks across the 35th floor of the IFT Plaza, past rows of servers toward Finch, who is tinkering with one of the servers. They discuss the fact that the Machine is to be turned over to the government the next day. Ingram comments that he is glad to be rid of the Machine and corrects Finch when he comments about the lives saved, stating that countless "relevant" lives have been saved. Nathan says that everyone is relevant to someone and that Finch would know that if he had someone in his life. Nathan informs Harold that he is concerned about the fact that Harold has been working with the Machine and watching other people's lives for so many years, and urges him to invest some time in his own life. Harold implies that he has spent some time on his life but Nathan, laughing with Finch, informs Harold that he would know if Harold had someone special.

New number

Reese is tailing Finch down the street when Finch's phone beeps. After looking at the cell phone he picks up the receiver of a nearby pay phone, listening. Finch then calls Reese to advise him that they have a new number and to meet. At the library Reese is looking at "Crime and Punishment" as Finch explains about the latest person of interest, a financial analyst. Finch, annoyed at Reese's seeming inattention, asks if Reese is following him. Reese repeats that they are discussing a financial analyst. Reese informs Finch that he knows that Finch did not get the number while at the library and wants to know more about how the Machine communicates with Finch, commenting that Finch would want their work to continue if something happened to Harold. Harold tells John that he has a contingency but gives Reese no other information.

Perhaps you should reschedule

Reese begins his surveillance of Henry Peck, the newest number from the Machine. Reese is unable to get any WiFi or phone signals from Peck's office and as Finch is unable to access Peck's email, voice mail or internet accounts, plants a wireless bug on Peck when he leaves the office. When Peck returns to the building, Reese follows him inside and observes him walking past the secretary into a locked room. Reese attempts to get past the secretary by claiming to be there to see an employee. The secretay, politely yet firmly, stops him and his well trained eye notices her reaching under the desk for a holstered .45 caliber pistol before advising him to leave.

We need to pay attention

Reese now realizes that Peck is really a spy working in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF). In order to access the facility Finch hides a camera and transceiver inside a coffee maker, using the building's electrical wiring to transmit the signals.

Peck is an intelligence analyst

Reese and Finch then discover that the office is a listening station for the NSA and that Peck is actually an intelligence analyst. While Reese is watching Peck that evening, the police show up to arrest him for drugs that were planted in his apartment. Finch realizes that there is someone else listening when the bug has feedback and Reese sees someone leaving the area, but loses him. They now realize that Peck is being set up.

Act II

Sencha Green

Back at the library, Reese notes that Finch has several copies of the same magazine and copies down the lot number of the cup that held Finch's tea. Detective Carter calls Reese with arrest information about Peck, relaying the fact that he had a speeding ticket expunged after preparing a 78 page brief for the judge. Finch is able to obtain video of someone entering Peck's apartment. Reese, listening on the coffee pot bug, hears that Peck is fired. Peck continues to try to contact the Deputy Director of the NSA.

They want him dead because of me

When Peck arrives back at his apartment he is attacked, but Reese, after fighting with the intruder, realizes that someone in the government is trying to kill Peck. Finch uses the wireless bug to track Peck down and overhears the conversation between Peck and the NSA Director. Finch is shocked to discover that Peck has been asking questions about the Machine, although Peck is unaware of this. He informs Reese that Peck is being threatened because of him.

Act III

I'm terrible with Maths

Nathan meets Alicia Corwin in a bar to discuss the transfer of the Machine. Nathan inquires about the facility for the Machine and asks about how the information is to be disseminated. Corwin reassures him that the information will not be able to be tracked back to the Machine. Nathan comments that only eight people know about the Machine and Corwin, visibly shocked, corrects him and states that only seven people know about the Machine. Ingram, realizing his mistake, tries to laugh it off, but comments that Corwin seems unsettled. Alicia comments that she will be glad to be done with the Machine and return to her 'day job' and when asked about it states that it is classified.

Reese and Finch continue to follow Peck and overhear a conversation with Alicia Corwin in which she tells him about Sibilance and tells him to run. Peck ditches his phone and the bug and empties his bank accounts and gives away his credit cards to throw off his trackers. Reese tells Finch that Peck is being followed by a 3 man team, probably an Army black ops squad, and that he would look for Peck by targeting his needs. Finch is able to track Peck to a cash-only hotel with internet access and realizes through Peck's internet searches that he is planning to break into the NSA.

Get rid of them

The black ops team following Peck check in with their handler, a person at the Office of Special Counsel, and are told to "get it done". Reese and the hit team separately track Peck to the NSA, where he proceeds to copy reports that he had completed. Reese is able to rescue Peck from the assassins but a distrustful Peck deliberately attacks a police car and is arrested.

Act IV

Total system shutdown

After the meeting with Corwin, a visibly shaken Ingram meets again with Finch at the IFT building. Nathan informs Harold of his concerns about Corwin's actions during their meeting and asks if Harold has a contingency plan if they ever discover that the government is misusing the Machine. Harold tells him that they need to trust the Machine and states that a back door could compromise it. His voice cracking, he tells Nathan that it would be "very bad" if someone else found out how to access the Machine. Reminding Nathan that he used to be a talented engineer and should know about the risk of a back door; Harold then turns the Machine off to ready it for transit and silently leaves the building.

You want a soda

Peck is taken to the 8th precinct, where while talking with Fusco he comes to the realization that the only way the government could have the information that they do is to have a Machine. After Fusco leaves the interrogation room, a disguised Reese releases Peck and takes him out of the building. Peck calls the Office of Special Counsel with a stolen cell phone, giving away their location. Reese tells Peck that there is no one safe to talk to. The taxi that John is driving is ambushed and set on fire.

Act V

Reese drags Peck out of the burning cab just as they are attacked by the Army assassin. Peck escapes, but Reese is able to determine from the dying assassin that he knows nothing about why he was hunting Peck.

In the early hours of the day after turning the Machine off, a determined looking Ingram restarts the Machine, is recognized and begins a new additional core program: Contingency.

Yes it exists

Peck is able to make contact with a reporter and a meeting is arranged. Peck is surprised when Finch shows up instead and confirms that there is a Machine as Peck suspected. Finch tells Peck to stop asking questions for both of their safety and gives him a passport, plane tickets and a card to a bank account in order to disappear.

Finch tells Peck that knowing about the Machine has cost him something that he values "more than my own life", and that Peck should go and live his own life. When Finch is asked how he knows all this information, he tells Peck that he built the machine.

At the police station, Detective Terney gives Carter a piece of paper from the burned out cab with only one word legible: Sibilance. Reese is at a coffee cart in a park, where he has tracked the purchase of the cup he had earlier retrieved from Finch's trash. Just as he is about to question the barista, he sees a truck delivering the magazines that he had earlier observed at the library to a nearby brownstone. He approaches the home and knocks on the door which is opened by a woman. Reese introduces himself as Detective Stills and enters the house on the pretext of investigating a disturbance call.

1x22 - Grace's photo

Once inside, he sees a picture of Harold and the woman, Grace, an artist who draws for the magazine. She informs him that Harold was once her fiance, but that she lost him in an accident 2 years ago. A sympathetic Reese tells her that he is sorry for her loss. Upon leaving the house, he sees Finch seated on a bench in the park in the distance. They talk about Grace and a visibly saddened Finch informs Reese that he had to protect Grace by faking his death. Finch tells Reese that he feels that he was lucky, that he "had four years of happiness. Some people only get four days". He limps away, leaving behind a stunned Reese.

I built it

The machine's footage returns to the previous day, to the moment in which Finch tells Peck the truth about the Machine. Unknown to the both of them Corwin is at a nearby table, listening in on the conversation with a parabolic microphone. She is visibly frightened when she hears Finch state that he built the Machine.

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