|Person of Interest -- Season 1 (Flashbacks in parentheses)|
|#01 "Pilot" (Reese)||#09 "Get Carter" (Carter)||#17 "Baby Blue"|
|#02 "Ghosts" (Finch)||#10 "Number Crunch"||#18 "Identity Crisis"|
|#03 "Mission Creep" (Reese)||#11 "Super" (Finch)||#19 "Flesh and Blood" (Elias)|
|#04 "Cura Te Ipsum"||#12 "Legacy"||#20 "Matsya Nyaya" (Reese)|
|#05 "Judgment"||#13 "Root Cause"||#21 "Many Happy Returns" (Reese)|
|#06 "The Fix"||#14 "Wolf and Cub"||#22 "No Good Deed" (Finch)|
|#07 "Witness"||#15 "Blue Code" (Reese)||#23 "Firewall"|
|#08 "Foe" (Reese)||#16 "Risk"|
Finch is jogging in the park, listening in as his partner Nathan Ingram,meets with Alicia Corwin, a liaison from Washington. She wants to know what his company has been doing with the NSA feeds that he has received, warning him that he would go to jail if the public found out, and demanding more progress. Ingram gives her a piece of paper with nine digits, and tells her to figure it out. Afterward, Ingram meets with Finch and complains that he always has to be the public face of the company. Finch assures him that the numbers will pan out because the Machine provided them.
A few days later Finch runs into the office, plugs a flash drive into Ingram's laptop and tosses coffee on the computer. Alicia comes in seconds later, apologizes for the interruption and introduces her superior, Deputy Director Denton Weeks. Weeks explains that the number Ingram gave him earlier was the Social Security number of a man named Kurzweil, and it turned out that Kurzweil was a traitor. When Weeks demands an explanation, Nathan explains that they cannot access the software, and that it watches for threats at all times. Further, if no one sees the Machine's programming, no one can violate the Fourth Amendment. Weeks and Alicia are unhappy, but Ingram insists that is how the Machine works. When Weeks threatens to cut payment to the company, Alicia informs Weeks that Nathan built the Machine for $1. Meanwhile, Finch monitors the entire conversation through the Machine and it tells him that Weeks is a threat.
At night, Ingram and Finch share a bottle of champagne in their office and toast to their success in developing the Machine. When Ingram asks how the Machine came up with the number, Finch reveals that 18 gas station receipts from the same gas station came up. There was an SUV present during most of the visits, which was registered to the wife of a Turkish oil executive that paid for plane tickets used by an Iranian suspect in the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994. Ingram notes that the Machine's ability is terrifying, but Finch assures him that once he is done, the Machine's operating system will be so well encrypted that nothing can crack it. Finch is convinced that the government would abuse the Machine if they can access it, and reveals that Weeks has been trying to access the Machine through the NSA feeds. Finch vows to make sure that no one else gets hold of the Machine, and that it was the one that warned him about Weeks. As they leave for the night, Ingram comments that Finch talks about the Machine as if it is alive. Somewhere in the Machine's programming, Nathan Ingram is identified as a potential threat.
Finch takes the wounded Reese to the morgue where he confronts Farouk Madani, a former doctor from Najaf who cannot afford a medical license and works as a coroner. Finch supplies Madani with a large amount of money and instructs him to stitch Reese up, with no questions asked.
After being bound to a wheelchair, Reese gets an apartment in a building run by superintendent Ernie Trask, a seemingly nice guy to all of his tenants. Finch comes in to check on Reese and informs him that his former partner, Mark Snow, is onto Carter. Reese asks Finch to keep an eye on her in the meantime. Finch announces that Ernie's number came up and reveals that as well as serving as the super for the last 14 years Ernie visits pawnshops which sell guns.
Meanwhile, Carter has noticed a green truck parked across the street from her house. Snow reveals himself to be the owner, and accuses her of helping Reese escape. He lightly threatens her that his investigation could possibly ruin her career. At the precinct Carter accesses Fusco's computer and locates the footage of Finch from the evidence locker robbery, along with Finch's number. When calling the number, Carter discovers it is disconnected. Inside the green truck, Tyrell Evans accesses CCTVs in an attempt to locate Reese.
Finch has now hacked the apartment's wireless system and has accessed everyone's computer web cams. They find nothing worthwhile, so Reese breaks his sink in order to get Trask to come up so that Finch can break into his apartment and plant cameras. He finds no gun, but instead, bullets. As Trask goes down to get the right wrench to fix the sink, Reese quickly warns Finch that he's returning. That's when Finch finds photos of Lily Thornton, one of the tenants. Finch makes his escape a little too late as Trask shows up and realizes that he broke into his office. But Finch ducks into the elevator and gets out in time before Trask shuts it down, thanks to Reese watching the security feeds. Finch runs into Doug Stanley, a security guard, just as Trask radios him that a five foot nine man with glasses and a limp broke into his office. Luckily for Finch, Reese send him footage of Stanley stealing from the tenants. This gets him away from Stanley.
Reese gives Finch a key to get through every door in the apartment and tells him the information he found on Lily Thornton. She's a rising chef at a Manhattan bistro and is linked to Rick Morris, a powerful restaurateur. She changes her Wi-Fi password every day so that nobody can access her computer or webcam. Reese says he'll follow her around as he has gotten good with the wheelchair. Finch insists on doing it himself, even though he hates guns. Reese says that Finch will just have to poke them in the eyes and even jokes about sticking his finger up their noses until he feels their brains. Finch goes to Lily's apartment and plants a camera in the vent. However, he discovers that there is already a camera there, streaming to a hidden network. Finch figures that Trask is responsible and yanks out the camera.
Carter gets the call log from Fusco and begins down the street, ducking into a building as she realizes the CIA is following her. She grabs a man's jacket and walks out another door, quickly going into a taxi. Finch, meanwhile, has called Fusco, who warns Finch that Carter is tracking him. Fusco opens the package Finch sent to him containing a medicine bottle and jokingly asks Finch if he ran out of Adderall. Finch tells him that there are Reese's prints on the bottle and that he wants him to plant the bottle as evidence in Connecticut to lead the CIA away. Finch continues to spy on Lily as Reese is working on Trask's e-mails and trying to break into hidden wireless networks, without any success on the second part. But he has found out that Trask used to be married. His wife disappeared thirteen years ago and Trask never called the cops. Finch sees a deliveryman brings in a bouquet of roses for Lily, but she has a co-worker throw them away. Finch figures that she knows about her stalker, and Reese realizes that Trask is growing roses in the courtyard.
Carter tracks the phone where Finch had supposedly made his call. That's when it rings. She answers and Finch is on the other line where he says that he altered the numbers. He then tells her to turn around. Carter sees him sitting in a restaurant across the street. She joins him and demands for answers. That's when Finch tells her the story of how his brothers tossed him into a pool when he was nine years old to teach him how to swim. Finch then points to a man at the counter named Derek Watson who had lost his job, ran out of money, and had his house foreclosed on. His wife left him afterwards. Watson is about to be involved in a violent crime. When Finch leaves, Carter calls Fusco and asks him to do a trace on Watson. He's criminal record is clean. Watson has gone to Truprime Mortgage and follows John Dalton, the man who had foreclosed his house, and follows him down the street.
Snow's men report that they lost Carter. He sends them back out and then tells Tyrell to expand the search to all hotel rooms and apartments rented in the last few days.
Finch follows Lily home and checks with Reese. Reese figures that Trask is going after Rick, not Lily, and is now digging a man-sized hole in the courtyard. Checking the cameras, Reese sees Trask loading his gun and warns Finch. As Rick comes home, Trask confronts him and tells him to stay away from Lily, insisting that she doesn't love him. Finch is five minutes away and Reese has no choice but to deal with the situation himself. He wraps a cloth around his crutch, sets it on fire, and sets off the alarm just as Trask goes for his gun. The other residents come out and Trask has no choice but to back off.
Reese warns Finch that it isn't over and Finch suggests more aggressive tactics. He's cloned Lily's call, and sees her receiving text messages from Trask demanding that they talk. Finch insists that they get Trask out of the building. Trask comes home and finds Reese waiting for him. Reese draws a gun and tells the super that he'll be leaving and says that knows all about the roses and the texts. Trask says that Rick isn't her boyfriend and Reese doesn't understand, but Reese tells him to get out and never come back. Undeterred, the super says that he cares about Lily but not like that.
Finch arrives at the apartment and decrypts the wireless network. He realizes that Trask isn't the stalker just as Reese calls to tell him that Trask explained that he got the photos from a resident's apartment. Meanwhile, Rick enters Lily's apartment and moves threateningly toward her. Finch sees him and tells Reese that they need help. Lily tells Rick that he needs to back off, and they just happened to be at the same party. Rick insists that he can help her career and wonders if she told Trask about them. He grows angry and shoves her against the wall, and Finch comes in and pokes him in the eye. He gets Lily out while Trask arrives and tries to stop Rick. Rick stabs him with a letter opener but Reese arrives and uses his crutch to hold off Rick. Rick finally charges at him and Reese throws him out the window where he plummets to the ground.
Tyrell tells Snow that they've found a bottle with Reese's prints at a veterinarian's office in Connecticut and they head off.
The police arrive and Lily tells them what happened. Meanwhile, Finch calls in an anonymous tip about Doug and his theft of the jewelry. Finch also reveals to Reese that Trask's real name is Ernesto Machado and that he used to own six night clubs in Miami, a yacht, a house in Coral Gables and a pet tiger. He also didn't kill his wife, instead she ran away when Trask was placed in witness protection because he testified against the Cuban Mafia in 1996. Reese is suspicious when he hears Finch tell him all these details. He doubts that there even is a Machine and Finch is really behind all of it.
Carter follows Derek and Dalton to a restaurant. Derek draws a gun on Dalton but Carter steps forward and disarms him. As she handcuffs him, Finch calls and tells her that's what they do.
- This episode features the longest passage of time during events in the present. The face-off at the end of "Number Crunch" occurs on December 15, 2011, and the surveillance of Trask starts in January 2012.
- When Finch eats at the restaurant Lily is working at, Reese calls him on the phone and greets him with "Good afternoon, Mr. Finch." just like Finch usually greets Reese. This is also another allusion to the roles of Finch and Reese being reversed in this episode.
- Adderall is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. There is no reason for Fusco to suspect that Finch might be taking that drug.
- This episode provides major insight in how the Machine assesses people and possible threats.
- Ingram's name was mentioned for the first time. He was not credited in the "Ghosts" press release, nor was his name spoken in dialogue. The name Ingram was used for the second episode's casting calls, though.
Bloopers and continuity errorsEdit
- In the morgue, somebody is leaning against the wall when Finch pours out the money.
- There are several references to Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film Rear Window in this episode:
- Reese's alias name "Mr. Hayes". The screenplay for the film was written by John Michael Hayes.
- Reese's leg injury corresponds to the protagonist's (James Stewart) leg in a cast.
- A flower bed that Ernie Trask was maintaining in the episode alludes to the flower bed where Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) was suspected to have buried his wife.
- In the end, the perpetrator falls out of a window
- There are also certain similarities to an episode of This American Life. The episode, called “The Super”, talks about a Latin American super who bragged about owning a herd of animals and being a bigshot in his native home. He had to leave because it was “bad for his health.” It turns out that his tall tales weren’t just stories.
- The apartment Finch rented for Reese is located in The Apthorp, a historic apartment building and New York city landmark at 390 West End Avenue.
Fernando Rey's character Charnier in The French Connection
- The staging of the scene where Carter evades the CIA is reminiscent of the train scene in the movie The French Connection where Gene Hackman's character is following the drug smuggler Charnier: Charnier leaves the train car and he follows. He tries to hide in plain sight, but Charnier gets the best of him and slips back into the train just in time to wave goodbye. The CIA conducts surveillance exercises to this effect called the "hounds and the hares", which in turn is the name of a cross-country running club in Cambridge University. If anything at all, it demonstrates how much of the institutional memory of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services, WWII era predecessor to the CIA) was based on British tradecraft.
Alicia Corwin: If Congress knew about this machine you're building, you would go to jail.
Ingram: I don't suppose they'd let us be cell-mates.
"You were the best surgeon in your country. But you can't afford a license in the states because you send all your money to your family. Stitch him up, no questions asked, and you can be a doctor again." -Finch
Ingram: Harold, is everything okay? What the hell?
Finch: We have company.
Corwin(Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Deputy APNSA for Short): Sorry to pop up unannounced, Nate.
Ingram: I guess we're not doing this over drinks.He works here. Even I need technical support sometimes. Corwin:Nathan, you remember Deputy Director Weeks.
Ingram:The man in charge. I hope I'm not in trouble.
Weeks (Deputy Director, National Security Agency,or NSA):The nine digits you gave us are the social security number......of a man named Gordon Kurzweil.
He's one of ours.
Weeks [ON COMPUTER]: He's a DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) case officer. Top secret clearance... ...been acing FBI background checks for 20 years. We surveilled Kurzweil for two weeks. Got nothing. When we were thinking you sold us a bill of goods... ...he breaks pattern, goes for a drive. At a park in Bethesda,
a Syrian businessman drops his phone. Kurzweil picks it up... and via coded SMS, he arranges to sell 26 pounds......of weapons-grade uranium to the Iranian government.
Ingram: So, I guess the number panned out.
Weeks: What I need you to explain to me is......how did some damn computer program spot a traitor when federal agents couldn't?
Ingram:Honestly? Not a clue. The machine will deliver actionable intelligence in time to thwart......any threat to national security, but its operating system is a black box.
Weeks: And if we want to direct this machine at a specific target?
Ingram: No need. It already watches every target.
Corwin: You're asking us to take a lot on faith here, Nathan. A piece of software we can't inspect, can't control, or modify. That only feeds us intel when it feels like it? When it perceives a threat.
Ingram:Look, I'm sorry, folks......but it's the only way that we can keep it and us protected.If no human sees what
the machine sees, then technically...no one's Fourth Amendment rights have been violated.
Weeks: Why not focus on your computer and leave Constitutional concerns to us?
Ingram: Because I'm a citizen too. And I'm a lot more comfortable having this machine watch my every move... ...than someone like you.
Corwin: So it will remain a closed system. Fully autonomous. Weeks:All we get is a number?
Ingram: Did you need more than a number to pick up Kurzweil? The software told you to take a closer look, so you did.It's a black box. That's the deal. You take it or leave it.
Weeks: I'm not accustomed to having contractors dictate terms.And if you're gonna be supplying crippled software...maybe we need to revisit the question of price.
Ingram:Why don't you tell him the price negotiated, Alicia?
Corwin:Mr. Ingram felt that this project was his duty as a citizen, not a businessman. He's building the machine
for one U.S. Dollar (In Contract Law, $1 in this case is known as consideration, if this element is missing then the contract is considered null and void, assuming the elements of offer and acceptance are valid.)
Weeks: I suppose I don't have a choice.
Finch:I know, I know. (In response to the Machines assessment of Weeks as a "threat to system")
Ingram:Well done, my friend. Now, tell me. What on earth was it that made the machine...pick out Kurzweil's number?
Finch:You want me to pop the hood?
Finch: November 2002. This isn't the first item chronologically, but it's the one... ...that triggered a harder look. Ingram: A gas station receipt?
Finch: Eighteen of them. From a Shell station just outside Towson, Maryland.Kurzweil stopped there every third Thursday... ...of every even month, even if he'd filled up the day before. On three of his 18 visits, this SUV was present two hours before.
Ingram: A dead-drop.
Finch:The SUV was registered...to the wife of a Turkish oil executive..that paid for plane tickets used by an Iranian suspect..in the bombing of a Jewish community center...in Buenos Aires in 1994 (Off-screen, this event did transpire;The community center, Argentine Israelite Mutual Association or AMIA, was allegedly brought down by the Hezbollah militia with suspected ties to the Iranian government). The thinnest thread connects Kurzweil
and his contact...and the machine could see it. It knew. And it was right.
Ingram:It does this all the time, to all of us? That's terrifying.
Finch:It's a good thing you're the only other person that will see this machine work.When it's complete, I'll encrypt the OS so completely...that no computer on Earth will ever crack it.
Ingram: Does it bother you? I mean, what you've achieved is historic. But no one will ever know.
Finch:It's the way it has to be. To be sure.
Ingram: Sure of what?
Finch:That they'll use it the way I intended.
Ingram:You think the government would abuse this machine?
Finch: [SCOFFS] Denton Weeks has spent the last six months trying to tunnel...into the machine by way of the NSA feed. He's failed. But he'll keep trying. And he won't be alone.
Ingram:I don't want to think about what a man like Weeks would do with that power.
Finch:That's why we keep anyone from getting their hands on it
Ingram: You're sure it was Weeks?
Finch: The machine told me. It has an instinct for self-preservation (Certain philosphers & biologists believe this drive to survive is one of many components need to classify something as a lifeform.)
Ingram: You talk about that thing like it's alive.
Finch: Shh, it can hear you.