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Episode 314: Provenance
The Machine reviews various footage of thefts of valuable antiques by a masked figure. Videos are shown of authorities apprehending similarly dressed people of which none are the real thief. Interpol agent Alain Bouchard reports that he and his men have caught the wrong people and that a stolen artifact has not been recovered.
In the Library, a returning Reese is greeted by Finch and Shaw, who inform him that they have a new number: Kelli Lin, a recent immigrant. Finch says that Kelli is an event planner with an impressive resume, and that she will be at an exhibition opening at the Metropolitan Museum of History. He tells Shaw that he has arranged for her to be one of the guests, and she gladly accepts. She also adds that she moved Reese's weapon stash to the history section of the Library, and suggests he update his arsenal.
That night at one of Finch's safe houses, Reese puts on his new suit while Finch gives him details on the quality of his clothing. The two exchange quirky remarks before Shaw comes in wearing a glamorous white dress. She tells them they shouldn't be late and the three prepare to head out.
As the rain hits, Reese and Finch walk towards the museum, and notice a band of protestors behind fences holding up signs saying things like "return our treasures". Finch says that the people believe the cultural artifacts should be "returned to their cultures that they came from." Shaw checks in with them from inside the building, and Reese says that Kelli could have multiple threats due to the fact that she's running the event. Right then, Shaw spots Kelli conversing with a group of guests.
The museum director informs Kelli that he heard there may be dry ice in the building, but Kelli calmly informs him that she's take care of it. Shaw spots a man choking on shrimp and merely slaps his back to get it out. She sarcastically remarks that there are no threats in the building besides shrimp puffs. Kelli comes over to compliment Shaw, and the two have a brief, friendly conversation. Shaw points out that Kelli is "causally evasive" and wonders who would target her. Finch, on the other hand, identifies himself and Reese under the names he signed them in under - the museum staffer is charmed by Reese's looks. Finch shows Reese an artifact called the Noel Codex, just as the lights suddenly go out.
Kelli instructs everybody to stay where they are and remain calm, while Reese finds dry ice bombs going off. Finch points out that they're being used as smoke screens, and Shaw figures it's the protestors from outside. Finch denies it as he sees a masked figure stealing an artifact. The thief takes down a guard and runs off as Shaw gets into pursuit. The two engage in a brief fistfight outdoors before Shaw unmasks the figure to reveal the thief: Kelli. She shoves a guest at Shaw and escapes, and Shaw informs Reese and Finch that she has identified the thief.
Shaw goes back into the building and acts clueless to a policeman so she can go inside and retrieve what she claims is her bag. She steps inside the investigation zone and finds Kelli's bag, in which she takes out a computer. Off to the side, Interpol agent Bouchard describes Kelli's attributes to the police and states that he has been pursuing her for over a year. He informs the policeman that Kelli uses small-time criminals as decoy thieves to distract authorities while she, the real thief, escapes. She kills the decoys afterwards. Bouchard tells the policeman to get his detectives ready for the investigation.
Shaw returns to Reese and Finch's car, where she hands Finch Kelli's computer. They find all the cover information she has used as an event planner, and Reese decides that the information is pointless as it is all fake. Finch disagrees and hacks into the computer, informing the other two that all portable devices nowadays are equipped with GPS tracking. He searches for places that Kelli frequently visits and pinpoints a bar. The group believes that it's where Kelli meets with someone.
Finch keeps his car parked outside the bar and hacks into the phone communications inside. He locates Kelli's phone and they listen in. Inside, Kelli meets with her employer, Cyril, who evaluates her work. She hands him the stolen artifact, and says that she's done. Cyril denies her departure and tells her that she has one more job - his associates in Prague are appreciative of her work, but the next operation is a masterpiece job. He warns her that she has not only everything to gain from it... but everything to lose.
The next morning, Reese takes Bear and watches Kelli enter her apartment complex, which he confirms is her residence and not a robbery. He walks up to the door and figures that Kelli's apartment is the one without a number listed on the directory. Finch, meanwhile, points out how Cyril addressed Kelli as "Jiao" at the bar - he looks up Jiao Lin and learns that Kelli was once an Olympic gymnast and silver medalist as a teenager at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. He sees that she was removed from the roster while practicing in the Czech Republic, and no reasons for her removal are listed. He suggests that Reese investigate her apartment.
That night, Shaw enters Kelli's apartment, noticing its resemblance to her own home. Finch says that Kelli is likely to hurt someone on this last job and that they need to find out when and where the operation takes place. Shaw looks for clues based on how she would hide her plans if she was the robber, and goes to a mirror mounted on the wall. She takes it off and finds an envelope hidden on the back of the mirror. Upon opening it, Shaw finds streetmaps of New York City with an intersection marked. She snaps a picture and sends it to Finch, who identifies the location and believes that it's where her next operation will take place. Shaw also finds an article on the Gutenberg Bible, an artifact being shipped back to Italy the next day as Finch promptly discovers. Shaw realizes that the Bible is in transit right now and goes after it.
At the street they found, Shaw sees broken glass from an overhead lamppost and spots spike traps on the road. She removes them, warning Finch that Kelli is likely planning something violent. Kelli suddenly appears with a large gun aimed at Shaw. The two see a pair of cars go by, and Kelli looks on in dismay. She says she was instructed to stop the vehicles and it's too late now. She receives a call from Cyril, who asks if she has retrieved the Bible. Kelli responds with no, and Cyril warns her that there is much at stake. He sends her a video chat, on which a young Chinese girl is seen. The girl addresses Kelli as "Mommy" and Kelli warmly greets her daughter, Kai. Both Finch and Shaw are shocked, and Finch says that they've made a terrible mistake.
Shaw ties Kelli to a chair in a safe house and tells an entering Finch that she has a "feisty one" with her, implying that she and Kelli fought before the latter had to be restrained. Finch sits down before Kelli and informs her that he is there to help her, regarding the now known fact that she does not commit crimes voluntarily. Kelli solemnly explains that she tried to hide her pregnancy for long enough, and eventually went to Europe. She was running low on money and gymnastics was simply not enough to provide for her baby. She used her silver medal to pay for medical needs to give birth and begin stealing to find enough money to survive. She was eventually caught and needed to repay her debt, and the people who found her had a spot on their team for a thief. Shaw says that she could've said no, but Kelli says that the people took Kai from her, leaving her with no choice. However, Kelli is surprised when asked about the deaths of the decoys, denying that she killed anybody. She figures that Cyril has the decoys killed to cover his trail as he hires them. Finch asks if the Gutenberg Bible was her last operation, but Kelli says it's too late to get it, as it has been delivered to a secure building owned by a company called Symmetric Security. Finch says that the company is based in the UK but there is a building in New York City. Kelli confirms that the Bible is in the New York building, having seen the building herself. She describes the place as a "fortress". Finch decides that they need to get the Bible from the building as Kai is all the way in China. Kelli gets up, having cut herself loose from her bonds, and they prepare to get the Bible.
Shortly afterwards, Reese briefs the team and Kelli on Symmetric Security and informs them that they have to access security privileges to break in. Fusco walks in and remarks that someone from the NYPD would have all the needed resources in a legal way. Finch reviews the building's access points, informing the team that the building is locked down at a certain time - the only way to the upper floors from there on is through an elevator shaft in the parking garage. The Bible will be kept in one of six secure rooms in the upper floor- the room with the Bible is guarded by a fingerprint scanner access pad. Inside the room is an electrified wall around the artifact, as well as proximity-based motion sensors surrounding the already guarded artifact. Acknowledging the extreme level of security, Reese decides he meet with someone from the company.
The following morning, Fusco calls Agent Bouchard and informs him that he has a lead on the thief. He provides Bouchard the address of Kelli's apartment and instructs him to stay there in case he finds any clues - this is merely an attempt to keep the agent distracted. Finch, meanwhile, purchases a 3D printer. Fusco pulls over the car of a Symmetric Security guard named Farrow and tells him that he found a report of a stolen car in the area. Farrow informs him that the car he is driving belongs to the company he works for, and Fusco confirms his ID. Now having a legitemate set of fingerprints, Fusco tells Reese and Finch that he will provide them with the prints. Finch informs Reese that Cyril and his gang are part of an extortion scheme that targets culturally significant artifacts and sells them to the highest bidder or back to the owner after Kelli steals them. In the meantime, his 3D printer generates a fake hand with Farrow's fingerprints.
Later that day, Kelli is leaving her apartment just as Agent Bouchard bumps into her. He boasts of how he finally found her and how she is the hardest thief he has pursued. Kelli claims that he can't prove anything, but Bouchard warns that he will catch her the next time she tries anything at all. He walks off as Kelli takes her items and longs on at him, reciting the phrase "hook, line and sinker".
At the Symmetric Security building, Farrow gets a call from Bouchard, who informs him that the Bible being kept at the building is a case to be taken very seriously. Farrow decides to initiate a security measure that has the Bible moved to a secure floor in the central room of the building. Reese and Finch, listening in, become confident that they've hit a jackpot and found the exact location of the Bible.
That night, while a masked Kelli sneaks into the Symmetric building, Reese goes in disguise and meets with Symmetric Security CEO Aris Zappo at a bar. He questions Zappo on security, claiming to be part of a nuclear engineering company. Zappo continues talking and notices that Reese has handcuffed him to the table. Finch, meanwhile, accesses the company's systems and greatly increases the thermostat level. His fake hand is seen with its fingers severed.
Reese and Zappo enter the parking garage. Zappo demands entry and signs into the building... just as Shaw climbs out of the trunk of the car, preparing to sneak inside. Meanwhile in the company elevator, Zappo checks with Reese if he really has a nuclear detonator with him, and Reese calmly responds with "no" before knocking Zappo out with a briefcase and removing his fake mustache.
Reese walks through the building masked and checks in with Finch. He unscrews a lid off of an access pad and cuts a wire inside the power box, setting off an alarm. Farrow and his security team come in, and Reese briefly fights them off before allowing himself to be apprehended and taken off to be picked up by the NYPD. The distraction is successful, and Shaw and Kelli sneak into the hallway through a ventilation shaft. Fusco, on the other hand, drives into the parking garage as Reese is taken there to be picked up by the NYPD - Fusco, part of the NYPD, now has the full freedom to take Reese anywhere and is instructed by Reese to take him to JFK airport.
Shaw takes out the fingers severed off of Finch's fake hand and puts them on. Finch instructs a confused Shaw to lick the fingers before placing them on the scanner - saliva will simulate sweat and fake out the body heat feature. Shaw reluctantly does so and enters the room with Kelli. Inside, Finch informs Shaw that he has created a 3-minute surveillance loop on the camera feed to avoid their visual detection - the rest will be up to them. Shaw observes that the temperature has been increased to match their body heat to avoid the sensors, and the two women take off their coats. Kelli prepares to approach the Bible.
Bouchard comes into the building's surveillance room and requests entry into the Bible room, but Farrow informs him that it won't be necessary as they already caught someone trying to break in - a man. Bouchard insists that his thief is a woman, but Farrow advises him to calm down as everything has been taken care of.
Kelli gets a boost from Shaw to jump up to an overhead bar on the ceiling, and Shaw watches is awe as Kelli uses her gymnastics skills to swing past the first two bars. On the third, Kelli tells Shaw that her hands are sweating, but Shaw tells her make it stop to continue on.
A security operator informs Farrow that his fingerprints were used recently to enter the Bible room - Farrow knows he has been in the surveillance area the whole time and joins a security team in pursuit.
Kelli manages to swing past the third bar and through the fence surrounding the Bible. She drops down and picks the lock on the casing. She picks up the book, letting Shaw know that it's time to go. The guards on the outside rapidly approach. When they enter with Bouchard, the room is empty and the Bible is gone.
The following day, Bouchard is frantically on the phone with Interpol when Shaw comes up to him and presses a gun to his side. She orders him to get inside their car, where Finch informs Bouchard that they merely "borrowed" the Bible.
As the sky gets dark, Kelli goes inside the bar and meets with Cyril, placing the Bible in front of him and firmly saying that she is done with the robberies. She says her debt is paid and that she wants her daughter back. Cyril says that Kelli is only done with jobs when he says so, and points out how she brought them items worth millions, questioning why she would want to end such a thing. Bouchard, meanwhile, is in the car with Finch and listens in, shocked by the truth. Cyril says that he will have Kelli's debt paid out of either her or her daughter. Kelli warns him not to touch Kai, but Cyril simply loads a video chat, saying he will provide another "gentle reminder". In the car, Finch tells Bouchard that he should know the truth, and Bouchard calls Interpol, saying he needs to talk with his NYPD liaison.
Cyril loads up the video chat and is taken aback when he sees Reese attacking the men guarding Kai and defeating them. Reese tells Kai that he is a friend of her mother's and that he's there to take her home. Cyril demands to know who the man in the video is, and Kelli simply claims, "a friend". Cyril gets out a gun to shoot Kelli, but he is shot in the leg by Shaw, who is sitting by the side. NYPD officers come in to apprehend Cyril while Fusco takes Shaw with him. In the car, Finch and Shaw look on at Kelli being arrested, and Finch informs Shaw that while Reese is bringing back Kai safely to the U.S. for citizenship provided by a wealthy alias of Finch's, Kelli is in the hands of the law.
In an NYPD interrogation room, Bouchard greets Kelli. He boasts about how he is now a hero at Interpol for bringing in his most evasive criminal, as well as the defeat of the extortion ring in the Czech Republic, which he claims he will merely "take credit for". He says that he "always thought it was a shame". Kelli asks if he is referring to her life of crime, but Bouchard surprises her by saying he was talking about her life before that, and that she "deserved the gold" - a reference to her being only a silver medalist. He places a key for exiting the cell on her table before leaving her looking on speechlessly.
Later that day, Shaw and Kelli walk down the street and Kelli thanks Shaw, also reminding her to thank her friends for bringing Kai back to safety. Shaw says that they're both safe, and Kelli wonders if she'll make it in the world as she was only good at gymnastics and stealing. Shaw sees Finch's car pulling up and suggests that Kelli be a mom - Kelli looks behind and sees Reese bring out Kai. The two happily embrace as Shaw returns to the car.
That night at Finch's safe house, the team celebrates their victory over toast and decide what to toast to. They decide it's for the time, but Reese says that there is one teammate missing - he pours a drink into glass meant for Carter. Fusco suggests they toast over the "crown jewels", and they all smile as they finish their drinks. The episode closes as the camera focuses on Carter's glass.