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Episode 302: Nothing to Hide
The Machine monitors a conversation between two men confirming that their plans are in place and they are ready to begin some sort of action against a man identified as Wayne L. Kruger. The machine links Kruger's financial and criminal records with the intercepted phone call.number and that she and Reese should meet him that the library.
Meanwhile, Carter visits Cal Beecher's grave and is surprised when Alonzo Quinn, Beecher's godfather, walks up and introduces himself. She compliments him for the eulogy he gave at Cal's funeral. Quinn tells her that the police chief has speculated to him that two of Elias' men were the shooters. Carter isn't certain, figuring that there's more to Cal's death than the official story.
She excuses herself as she is late for her shift and as she goes to her car while Quinn calls one of his associates and says that Carter may still be a problem. Meanwhile, Carter calls Fusco at the station and asks him to check the police database for any leads on Cal's killer since her access to the database has been removed. Fusco warns that he could lose his access like she has if he gets caught, but reluctantly agrees to help her once the coast is clear.Finch briefs Reese on Wayne Kruger while Reese follows the CEO. Kruger is a 43 year old internet entrepreneur and the founder of a company called Lifetrace. He has also been happily married for 15 years. Lifetrace markets itself as a service for anyone wanting to find an old friend or family member on the Internet. However, Kruger's real business is collecting and selling the personal details of unsuspecting internet users.
Finch derisively refers to him as a "Data Broker". Kruger sells the data he gathers to other people, the government and any companies that will meet his price. When Reese comments that it sounds similar to what Finch and the Machine do, Finch points out that the Machine never redistributes the data it collects other than the Social Security numbers of its persons of interest, and firmly insists that are very different.
Kruger enters his office buidling and Reese points out that the surveillance is now in Shaw's hands. Kruger waits for an elevator and when it opens Shaw is waiting in business attire. Pretending to be listening to music, Shaw takes advantage of her proximity to Kruger in the elevator to bluejack his phone. Kruger enters a conference room to join a meeting with three men from Riverton, a large retail company interested in purchasing Lifetrace data. Also present is Kruger's assistant, Barry Timmons.
Kruger begins his pitch to their CEO, Neal Jenkins, while Shaw, who is posing as a new Lifetrace employee, takes a seat at a desk and is listening in. Jenkins admits he does not fully grasp the new technology but admits that he's impressed by the report provided by his VP, Peter Collier.Collier begins to discuss the scope of the review he performed but Kruger interupts Collier and startles the others when he gives Jenkins' other executive, Aubrey Hayes, a present: a silver baby rattle. Hayes admits that his wife is expecting, but they haven't told anyone outside of their immediate family. Kruger explains that he had monitored the man's shopping habits and had detected a recent change in his consumption of wine versus dairy products.
Collier asks if they've had anyone mention any privacy concerns, and Wayne says that there are always those who want to stand in the way of progress. However, he insists that information-gathering is the way to a better future where they can provide everyone with whatever they need. Kruger uses this as an example of what he sees as the future: Corporations being able to anticipate the needs of their customers because they possess vast information of the habits and history of each customer. Collier raises the question of personal privacy concerns to which Kruger responds that only those with something to hide need worry about their privacy being invaded.
To make his point, Kruger asks Barry to bring up his own personal profile page, saying that he has nothing to hide. Jenkins and Hayes are visibly impressed, and Jenkins says that they'll discuss the proposal with their board and get back to him in the morning. Finch, listening in, speculates that Kruger must have something to hide despite his supposedly public persona.
Finch has Carter review Kruger's criminal history but she tells him there is nothing of note. He compliments her on her return to the day shift and as she implies that she had to trade something for the transfer just as her new rookie partner, Mike Laskey, enters the car and gushes about what an honor it is to work with her, but Carter impatiently cuts him off and tells Laskey to do what she says. The two drive off with some tension.
While Shaw waits in the office to monitor Kruger, she complains to Reese about the lack of action. A janitor comes by unannounced and reaches under her desk. Instinctively Shaw grabs the man's arm and squeezes painfully. He quickly backs off while Shaw listens in as Kruger talks to Timmons. Barry is unhappy about the stunt Wayne pulled off on Hayes, but Kruger figures that it sealed the deal. Kruger's secretary Haley comes over and tells him that his credit card has been declined at the restaurant where he's holding a party for his 15th wedding anniversary that night. As she leaves, Wayne makes a sexist comment about her. Reese, overhearing, tells Shaw that they're going to the party.
That night at the restaurant, Kruger thanks everyone for coming and thanks his wife Deedee for being there for him. Reese tells Finch that they've spotted nothing unusual, while Finch checks Kruger's background and discovers that he's gone to great lengths to systematically remove negative references to Lifetrace from the Internet. Meanwhile, Kruger shows a slideshow in honor of Deedee and their marriage.
The slideshow begins with loving images of the happy couple but suddenly a grainy video of Kruger having sex with another woman begins to play instead. Shocked, Kruger finally orders the presentation to be stopped and feebly tries to explain it to his wife.She slaps him and walks away, and Kruger screams at the guests that the party is over. Reese connects the credit card problem to the video to conclude that someone is after Kruger. However, Finch points out that the Machine would not have issued his number if someone had only wanted to humiliate him. Reese observes how upset Kruger has become and tells Finch they need to find out who is responsible before Kruger does.
The next day, Shaw supplies Finch with the restaurant's security camera footage. She reports that after speaking to the wait staff, there was one female waiter there none of them had seen before. Finch reviews the photos of people who had filed a class-action suit against Lifetrace for violating their privacy. The lead plaintiff is Sherry Harper, whose daughter Chloe was killed when her abusive ex-boyfriend used Lifetrace to locate and stalk the girl, eventually killing her. Finch checks the security footage against pictures of the plaintiffs of the class action suit and confirms that the "waitress" is a woman named Karen Mills. Shaw gets up to pursue the lead but Finch tells her to stay put at Lifetrace while he reaches out to Carter for help.
Carter soon locates Karen driving her car and pulls her over on a phony charge. She tells Laskey to stay in the squad car and then goes over to talk to Karen. After checking her license and insurance, Carter asks why she's going after Kruger and Karen explains that an anonymous mailer sent her the doctoredslideshow DVD. She admits that she wanted revenge because an ex-boyfriend posted sexual pictures of the two of them up on the Internet and co-workers at her legal firm used Lifetrace to find them.
Karen's fiancée broke off their engagement as a result and Karen wanted to humiliate Kruger. Carter lets her off with a warning not to do anything like that again and instructions to drop the package off with Fusco. Finch and Reese have heard the entire conversation and figure that someone else used Karen to get to Kruger.
Shaw listens in on Kruger's phone as he tries to call his wife without success after discovering that someone has cleaned out their bank account. When Kruger tells Haley to call his accountant, she plays a voicemail message someone sent her of his earlier sexist comments about her and then walks out. Kruger turns to see Hayes and Collier are leaving the conference room with Jenkins, and runs after them. Collier tells Kruger that new develepments have arisen and Riverton won't be doing business with Lifetrace. Kruger goes into the conference room and discovers that someone has put up his criminal and bankruptcy records. He insists that they were expunged and that the DUI was from when he was in college. Barry informs him that the board has already voted and and placed Kruger on a leave of absence.
Furious, Kruger enters the elevator. As the car descends, Kruger gets a call from someone using a voice scrambler. The caller tells him that he's hurt a lot of people and the elevator suddenly drops in a freefall. Shaw, overhearing, tells Finch what's going on and he confirms that someone has disabled the safety cutouts. Reese runs into the building to do what he can while the mysterious stalker stops the elevator just in time. Kruger staggers over to his car, removes a pistol from his glove box and drives off before Reese can reach him. Finch warns the others that if this continues, the only thing the stalker will have left to take from Kruger is his life.
As Reese leaves the building, Finch tells him that he was unable to trace the call to Kruger. However, he has discovered that a man named Dennis Paulson cleaned out Kruger's bank accounts. Paulson was another plaintiff in the class-action suit and lost his job and was arrested when Lifetrace confused him with a serial rapist who had the same name. Fusco has spoken with Paulson and confirmed that someone sent him an anonymous package with the information necessary to access and plunder Kruger's account. Finch warns that there are too many plaintiffs to be able to track them all down, so he sends Reese Kruger's GPS coordinates.
Meanwhile, Carter and Laskey secure a crime scene where a gang member was shot dead. Laskey is eager to do some investigation work, but Carter reminds him that their job is just to secure the area and take statements.
Laskey, seeing his first dead body, throws up. While he recovers, Carter calls Fusco, who informs her that access to the police file on Cal's murder is now restricted.
That night, Reese traces Kruger and follows his car. Kruger is on the phone leaving a message for Collier that the whole thing is a mistake when music suddenly blares out of the loudspeakers. A video of Wayne's illicit affair plays on the car's screen and the vehicle goes out of control. Finch warns Reese that someone has hacked into the car's onboard computer system, but there's nothing Reese can do but watch as Wayne's car rolls and crashes. Once it comes to a stop, Reese goes over to help the stunned Kruger out of the car.
Reese takes a black hooded Kruger to a safehouse where Finch and Shaw are waiting with Bear. Finch explains that someone hacked his car and points out that Kruger may have won the class-action suit, but not everyone is happy with the results. He checks on Chloe Harper and discovers that her mother and father were divorced. Her father's name is Stu Sommers. Shaw recognizes Sommer's picture as the janitor from the Lifetrace offices. Finch confirms that Sommers was an electrical engineer at an aeronautics firm, meaning he could easily have sabotaged the elevator and hacked the car's systems. Kruger figures that they can get Sommers' address from the company's personnel files, but Finch has already hacked the Lifetrace office building servers. He sends Reese to Lifetrace in case Sommers is still there, and Shaw to Stu's address.
Finch continues trying to triangulate the call Kruger received in the elevator while Kruger paces nervously. Kruger tries to sneak out a call on the phone, but Finch pulls the wire and points out that it's ironic that Wayne is losing his privacy when he's done the same thing to so many. Kruger insists that he's not the only one and that there are plenty of other companies that do the same thing, but Finch isn't impressed. Kruger says that he wants to call his wife and Finch reluctantly agrees to access his voice mail on his laptop. Finch plays for Kruger a message from Collier saying that the Riverton executives want to meet with him at the Mayfield Hotel to discuss finalizing the deal. Finch refuses to let Kruger go alone, warning that someone else - probably Stu - checked the voice mail first. Kruger reluctantly agrees, but knocks out Finch by smashing a vase over his head from behind.
When Finch wakes up a few minutes later, he calls Reese. He also finds evidence that Bear attacked Kruger. Reese has located Sommers' locker and finds a photo of Stu and his daughter Chloe together. He pockets it and figures that Sommers wants revenge on Kruger for unwittingly helping the man who killed Chloe. As Reese heads for the Mayfield, Finch warns him that Kruger may still be the ultimate perpetrator rather than a victim. The Machine then calculates the chances of Kruger's being the victim and perpetrator, and shows high results for both.
At the lobby of the Mayfield, Sommers is waiting when Kruger comes up behind him and puts a gun in his back. He tells Sommers that he's going to help him get everything back and then escorts him into the meeting room where Collier is waiting. Kruger notices that Jenkins and Hayes aren't there and Collier explains that they already flew home. He then tells Wayne that Riverton won't make the deal after all. Furious, Kruger takes out the gun he's kept out of sight and aims it at Stu, and tells him to explain to Collier what he's been doing. Sommers goes for the gun and manages to wrestle it away from Kruger, and prepares to shoot him. Meanwhile, Collier runs from the room.
Reese arrives and tells Stu to stop before he does something that he'll regret. Stu insists that Kruger has to pay for getting his daughter killed because Lifetrace refused to take down Chloe's address. Her ex-boyfriend-stalker found her three times and each time Sommers asked Lifetrace to remove the address, but they didn't. The next time the ex killed Chloe. Shocked, Wayne apologizes, saying that he didn't know, but Stu isn't interested in hearing an apology.
Reese walks in front of the gun and tells Stu that Chloe wouldn't want him to kill Kruger in her name. After a moment, Stu reluctantly gives Reese the gun while Reese replaces it with the picture of Stu and Chloe together. Meanwhile, Finch finally triangulates the call from elevator... and warns Reese that the phone is in the hotel.
Suddenly Collier steps into the room with a gun and shoots Reese and Kruger, and tells Sommers that it was he and his people who sent the package to him. They had to improvise when the car crash failed to kill Kruger, but they're satisfied that everything is working out. Collier tells Stu to go and Sommers quickly leaves. Collier then walks over to the wounded Kruger and tells him that he's responsible for people losing their dignity and everything else because they've lost their privacy thanks to men like him.
Now people are mobilizing against the invasion of privacy, and Collier claims to represent a large group of people who have vowed to fight back. Collier tells Kruger that they set out to teach him a lesson but then shoots him dead. Ignoring Reese, Collier walks out. Finch asks Reese if he's okay, and Reese confirms that his bulletproof vest stopped the bullet but his ribs are broken. Shaw arrives and helps Reese out before the police arrive to investigate the shooting. Reese wants to go after Collier, but Finch tells him that it will have to wait.
The next morning, Laskey gets into the patrol car with Carter and tells her that the last two rookies that were assigned to work with her requested reassignments. He insisted on working with her because he read about how she took down HR and wanted to be trained by the best. However, Laskey figures that she doesn't want to train anyone, and tells her to cut him loose if she won't train him. Carter gets a call and, after a moment, gives the radio to Laskey. He takes the call and they drive off together.Finch meets with Shaw and Reese and tells them that he checked Collier's background and is confident it is an alias and that Collier has not returned to Riverton. The man started working at Riverton four months ago for the purpose of getting close to Kruger so he could initiate and witness the whole scheme against the him. As far as the others that Collier mentioned he was working with, Finch has no way to trace them. The packages to Kruger's tormentors were sent from mail processing centers scattered across the country. Finch admits that he's worried and is sure that the attack on Kruger was just the beginning.