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Episode 212: Prisoner's Dilemma
The Machine monitors Reese's capture and determines that its asset may be compromised.
At Rikers Island, Carter interrogates Reese while Agent Donnelly watches through a one-way mirror. She informs Reese that he's being held indefinitely as an enemy combatant and will not be allowed access to legal counsel until his identity is confirmed. Reese remains silent.
At The Library, Finch calls Fusco at the station. The detective wonders where Carter is and why no one is returning his calls, and Finch tells him that he needs Fusco to protect their newest Number. Fusco isn't impressed, until Finch sends him photos of the woman, supermodel Karolina Kurkova.
At Rikers, one of the other men claims his name is Devon Clark and he was at the bank applying for a loan for his pest control company. The other two prisoners have similar cover stories. When Reese is brought in, Carter warns him that he's being watched and asks for his name. Reese sticks to the name on his fake ID, John Warren. Donnelly brings up the files they have on the ID while Reese claims that he has no idea why he was arrested and tells Carter that she's his only hope of going home.
In Washington, Special Counsel receives a memo from the FBI asking about his connection to the man in the suit. He calls his man, Hersh, who has been tracking the rogue operative, and tells him that he has to find the operative and make him disappear. When Hersh warns that the operative is hard to track, Special Counsel tells him that the FBI believes he's one of four men being held at Rikers. Hersh promises to eliminate all four and then arranges his own arrest by shooting a gun into the air near two police officers.
Warden Hutchins warns Donnelly that he's holding the prisoners too long, but Donnelly warns him that he's aware of plenty of penal violations and tells him to tend to those first. Carter comes in and asks Donnelly to uncuff the men so that they'll trust her enough to come clean. Donnelly reluctantly agrees and then figures that the man they're looking for could have created an airtight cover. The three mercenaries all live out of state and agents are checking on them, while Reese apparently works on Wall Street. Donnelly leaves with Carter to check out the address and see if it's valid. As they go, Carter sends a text message to Finch about their investigation, and Finch tells her to check it out.
When Donnelly and his men arrive at the office address with Carter, they discover that it is a complete business. Reese has an office with photos of his family and a concerned secretary who says that she hasn't seen Reese in several days. Once she's alone, Carter calls Finch, who confirms that the John Warren ID is John's most complete cover identity. However, he admits that John Warren is still an incomplete cover and if Donnelly spots a flaw, then their work will be in jeopardy. Finch warns Carter that she's in danger as well, while Carter warns Finch that right now the three mercenaries think they're being held for the murders they attempted two episodes prior. Once they realize that Donnelly wants the man in the suit, they'll give Reese up immediately. Carter figures that they should pin the man in a suit persona on one of them, and Finch confirms that he's already trying to identify the mercenaries and their backgrounds to figure out which one they can tie to the crime while also working on an escape plan in the event that is not possible. Carter suggests that maybe Fusco could help her, and Finch checks on Fusco. The detective is busy being pepper-sprayed by Karolina when he follows her into a park. He finally identifies himself as a cop, and Finch tells Carter that they'd better handle it on their own.
Donnelly finds Carter and admits that the office set appears convincing. He gives her a wireless earpiece so that he can feed her questions during her interrogations. Donnelly assures her that they will go through the lives of all four prisoners with a fine-tooth comb.
Carter asks Reese if he's ever killed anyone and he responds by asking if she's killed anyone. She refuses to be diverted and Reese explains that he killed someone in Bosnia when he was on a peacekeeping mission. He describes in graphic detail how he killed a militant after the man's gun misfired. Reese says that he doesn't like talking about it, but Donnelly figures that they've hit a nerve and tells Carter to keep pushing about the dead militant. Carter keeps Reese talking about his family and Donnelly confirms that they were alive, while Reese asks Carter where she served. Donnelly finally calls Carter out and complains about her approach, but Carter insists that she's trying to build rapport. The agent admits that everything Reese has said checks out and says that they need to hit the other three men just as hard.
As Hersh is brought to Rikers, Carter continues interrogating Reese and the other prisoners, and all of their information checks out. Donnelly and Carter finally break the cover on one prisoner, Brian Kelly. However, now that they've identified him, they can no longer hold him as an enemy combatant. Donnelly has confirmed that Kelly has an alibi for the murder in New Rochelle, eliminating him as a suspect.
The time comes for food and exercise, and Reese is taken out to the exercise area, where Bear's previous owner, Byron, is among the prisoners. He and his fellow skinheads come after Reese, but another prisoner stops Byron when he tries to throw a punch. As the skinheads leave, the new con tells Reese that someone wants to see him. He takes Reese over to Carl Elias.
Elias talks to Reese privately outside of camera range. The crime lord knows all about Donnelly's hunt for Reese and admits that he still appreciates Reese saving his life. Elias wants to help him and Reese tells him not to protect him because Donnelly used to think that he worked for Elias. Reese points Hersh out and warns Elias that he's a dangerous man, and suggests that Elias get a photo of him to Finch. Elias is glad to help.
Fusco grabs Karolina and tries to take her to the station, but she insists that she doesn't want the police involved. As they hide behind a vending cart, Finch calls Fusco and sends him a photo of Hersh. While the Armenians after Karolina close in, Fusco confirms that Hersh is a government man who was looking into Alicia Corwin's death. Finch thanks him and cuts off before Fusco can ask for help.
Back in Rikers, Donnelly tells Carter to push for details that Reese doesn't want to answer. He talks about how he left the military just before 9/11 and never reenlisted because he was afraid he wouldn't know how to be anything else if he stayed a soldier for too long. Reese continues to recite his background info while Donnelly confirms that it's all valid. When he mentions his boss, "Howard French," Finch hacks Carter's link and assures her that the French ID will check out.
After checking on French, Donnelly calls Carter out because one of the other prisoners, Charles Macavoy, wants to talk. He figures that one of the other prisoners is ratting him out and gives his real name. Macavoy asks for immunity in return for what he knows, and Carter starts to bargain. Donnelly comes in and asks Macavoy to confirm all the information they have on the man in the suit. Carter objects but Donnelly figures they can shock Macavoy into giving himself away if he's the one they want. Macavoy has no idea what Donnelly is talking about and the agent promises that he'll get the immunity deal if he can identify the man in the suit.
Just as Macavoy agrees, Finch sets off the prison's fire alarm and a guard takes Macavoy away. Finch tells Carter that she should drop her phone into Macavoy's pocket, which she does. Out in the yard, Finch calls Macavoy and tells him what he knows about the man's family as well as the $6.2 million that he had in a Cayman Island account until Finch removed it. As Macavoy realizes what's happening, Finch asks if Macavoy wants to make a deal with him to get his money back, or with Donnelly.
The fire alarm is confirmed to be false, and while the prisoners are escorted back in, Hersh goes to Kelly's cell and kills him.
Donnelly gives Macavoy a blanket immunity deal and tells him to identify the man in the suit. Macavoy looks at the photos of Reese and the remaining man, Packer, and points out Packer. However, Donnelly gets a message and realizes that someone got to Macavoy. Outside, Carter asks Donnelly what happened and the agent tells her that Kelly apparently hung himself in his cell. Donnelly figures that the alarms were a ruse and that Macavoy is now too nervous to be telling the truth. Since Macavoy pointed to Packer, Donnelly figures that Reese is his man.
Donnelly tells Carter to break Reese and sends her back in. When she asks why he left the military, Reese responds by repeating his earlier question about whether she has killed anyone. Finch tells her to go slow so that he can backfill any details that Reese provides. Reese continues providing details and Finch manages to stay a step ahead of Donnelly. Carter is forced to stall as Finch creates the template for a fake girlfriend, and she agrees to trade a question for a question. She tells Reese that she killed a man during a raid and still doesn't know if he was a terrorist or a civilian. Carter then asks Reese about his girlfriends, asking if he was ever in love. He tosses out a name and tells Carter she's the reason he left the military. Reese relies on the truth, explaining that they were in a hotel room in Niagara Falls just after they got out of the service. Reese wanted to go back but realized he'd never have a life with his one true love if he went back into the military. When Carter asks what happened, Reese says that he let her slip away and wonders what his life would have been if he re-upped.
Carter goes out to meet with Donnelly and asks if they've managed to break Reese's story. The agent says that they can try one last test. Meanwhile, the guards take Reese back out to the yard. Donnelly watches on the camera and tells Carter that he saw Byron come after Reese earlier. He figures that if they leave the two of them alone, they can force Reese to demonstrate his combat skills to stay alive. Hutchins objects but Donnelly has him order all of the guards out of the yard.
Byron comes after Reese and starts beating him, and Reese nods to Elias' man to stay out of it. The Aryans beat Reese, who refuses to put up a fight. Hersh begins to move in with a knife, but Elias, spotting the killer, calls the Aryans off and says that Reese has had enough. In the office, Carter tells Donnelly that what he is doing isn't right. She gives him back his earpiece and goes to interrogate Packer again. Carter pressures him, claiming that Macavoy and Kelly made a deal with her. He finally gives her real name and demands a lawyer, but Carter demands to know who he was working with. Packer finally snaps and starts choking her, and the guards come in and subdue him. Carter walks out and tells Donnelly that Packer is his man.
Donnelly soon releases Reese. Finch is busy making final preparations to break into the prison when Carter calls to tell her that it won't be necessary.
Later, Reese meets Carter and asks how Fusco is. She tells him that Finch has Fusco tied up with something.
Fusco and Karolina are on the street, hiding behind a car as the Armenians try to kill them. The detective tells her to run and Karolina reluctantly leaves him while he fires back with two guns.
Reese thanks Carter, admitting that he couldn't have gotten through it without a friend to talk to. As she asks if any of what he said was true, Donnelly arrives and holds both of them at gunpoint. He congratulates Carter on capturing the man in the suit. Carter drops her gun and Donnelly tells her to handcuff Reese. After she does so, Donnelly handcuffs her and tells her that she threw away a career. When Reese apologizes, Donnelly tells him that Carter is the one who gave him away and takes them both away.
Karolina kisses Fusco and thanks him for his help. She walks off after telling him to call her, and Fusco gets a call from Finch. Finch sends him Carter's last known coordinates and warns him that it has an emergency. As Finch heads out with Bear, a nearby pay phone rings. Finch ignores it, and all of the other nearby phones ring. He finally picks up a phone and The Machine gives him the next Number.
Donnelly begins driving Carter and Reese to a safe house so he can contact someone in Justice. He admits that he doesn't know anyone that he can trust for backup. Donnelly suspected Carter after Reese's DNA and fingerprints disappeared, but confirmed his suspicions when he saw her reaction to Reese being beaten at Rikers. Carter says that she was just helping a friend and tries to explain, but Donnelly insists that Reese is a highly trained murderer and he made that choice.
Finch returns to the library, decodes the Number, and is horrified to realize that it's Donnelly. He immediately calls Donnelly and tells him to stop the car. Before Finch can explain, a truck rams into Donnelly's car, slamming it off the road. All three occupants are injured, while Kara Stanton steps out of the truck and shoots Donnelly dead. She then asks Reese if he missed her and injects him with a sedative.