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Episode 106: The Fix
Reese is posing as a private driver for a woman, Zoe Morgan. She is immediately suspicious given he's not her regular driver. She confirms that he’s legitimate, thanks to Finch intercepting her phone call to the car company. Zoe tells Reese to stay quiet and drive. She pays his fee with two $100 bills torn in half, telling him he’ll get the other half when she’s satisfied at the end of the night. As they leave, Finch breaks into her apartment. Finch doesn’t find any personal belongings except some jazz records. He reports to Reese via earbud that she has no current job and but bought the apartment for $2 million in cash three years earlier. Finch wonders what she's involved in.
Reese drives Zoe to an appointment near the river where she meets with a man called Slip and his two fellow gang members. She buys a gun from Slip and then has Reese drive her to a party. As he drives, Reese sees Zoe open the package, revealing a gun inside. They arrive at the party and Finch informs Reese that he’s found a hidden gun in her apartment. Reese figures that Zoe bought the gun from Slip because it’s untraceable and that she’s planning to shoot someone at the party.
Reese follows Zoe and sees her privately approach a cop, Lieutenant Allan Gilmore. However, Zoe gives him the gun and Gilmore thanks her, saying that she’s saved a good cop’s career. Zoe is unimpressed, noting that the he owes her one, because cop she saved is also Gilmore’s nephew. She suggests he wrap up a politically motivated investigation of a councilman.
Reese drives her back to the apartment; she pays him and goes inside. Finch meets with Reese and they decide that Zoe is a government and corporate “fixer,” making shady deals for big money, and that they'll assume she’s the victim.
Carter meets Detective Raymond Terney at the scene of the murder of Vincent DeLuca, an elderly ex-mob enforcer. DeLuca was killed in his living room, stabbed in the chest repeatedly with an old kitchen knife. The officers check DeLuca’s background and confirm that he walked on a charge of murder against Marlene Elias. According to the files, DeLuca supposedly killed her with the same kitchen knife that was used to kill DeLuca. Carter confirms that the knife was the in “M. Elias” evidence box that was stolen from the police lockup. (“Mission Creep”)
The next day, Reese drives Zoe to meet with Samuel Douglas, an executive in charge of “crisis management” for Virtanen Pharmaceuticals. Douglas hires Zoe to recover a recording from Anthony Talbott, a blogger who claims to have evidence of an affair by Mark Lawson, CFO at Virtanen and Douglas’ boss. Talbott wants $40,000 for the recording, and Lawson can’t afford the scandal because he’s in line to inherit the company from his father-in-law, Robert Keller.
Zoe agrees to pay off Talbott with Douglas’ funds and get the recording. She makes contact with Talbott and meets him in the park, where she pays him the $40,000, but points out that she would have asked for twice that. Reese watches the exchange and figures that Talbott isn’t the killer. Finch, listening in, tells Reese to get Zoe talking so that they can find out more about her clients and who might want to kill her.
At the station, Carter meets with Bernie Sullivan, a retired detective who investigated Marlene Elias’ murder. He explains that he had DeLuca dead to rights for the murder. He explains that Marlene Elias was a cocktail waitress who involved with Gianni Moretti, a Mafia don. Marlene wanted Moretti to abandon his wife and marry her, but Moretti had her killed. Bernie could have gotten Moretti put away, but the mobster bribed the DA and had the case dismissed. Sullivan confirms that Marlene had a son, Carl, and that the boy was in the backyard when DeLuca murdered his mother. The mobster refused to acknowledge the bastard and Carl ended up in the foster system.
As Reese drives, he tries to make small talk with Zoe, asking about her interest in jazz. When he points out that she knows how to play people, Zoe tells him that she fixes people, she doesn’t play them, and that she hates jazz. She has Reese take her to an alleyway to meet with Douglas and give him the recording, but they’re both surprised to see that Douglas has several men with him. Reese offers to take care of it while she remains in the car, but Zoe meets with Douglas on her own.
When she gives him the recording, Douglas claims Lawson wants to thank her. When she declines, Douglas's men try to force her into his car. Reese intervenes, getting Zoe away in the car as Douglas opens fire. When Finch contacts Reese by earbud, Zoe realizes that her driver is more than he seems. Finch gives Reese Talbott’s address, and Reese says that they need to find Talbott and get the original recording. However, Zoe admits that she made a copy for herself, but who has no idea who the woman on the recording is.
When Reese and Zoe arrive at Talbott’s apartment, they see the police outside. Finch confirms that Talbott is dead, apparently of a heart attack, and Zoe slips away while Reese is distracted.
Reese returns to the Library, where Finch is trying to clean up the recording, which was made on an older cell network. He is able to confirm that it’s two years old and that the woman on the recording is Dana Miller, a worker at Virtanen who appeared in an online PR recording, giving Finch a voice to match.
When Reese congratulates him, Finch admits that Dana’s number came up six months earlier, but he hadn’t meet Reese then and had no way to save her. According to the police report, Dana died of a brain aneurysm, but Reese figures that Lawson had her killed to protect his affair. Finch insists that they stop Lawson from giving them another number to save, and tells Reese to find Zoe. When Reese asks where he’ll be, Finch says that he has a meeting concerning a recent business investment.
At Virtanen, Lawson prepares for a meeting with a major new shareholder. Douglas warns him that the newcomer now owns 8% of Virtanen stock and that they may need to bring in Keller to keep the man happy. Finch introduces himself as Mr. Partridge, the new shareholder, giving Lawson a watch as a gift in the Japanese tradition. Lawson takes Finch on a tour of the company, explaining that their planning the release of a new, highly profitable anti-migraine drug, Sylocet, now that they have FDA approval.
Keller arrives and meets privately with Finch, explaining that his son-in-law is already making all the big decisions for the company supervising the research, and that Keller will be retiring in a few months. Once Keller leaves, Finch listens in on the bug he planted in the watch he gave Lawson. He hears Douglas report to Lawson that they failed to dispose of Zoe, and that her driver is more than she seems.
Sullivan reports to Carter that young Carl Elias was moved from foster home to foster home. The only foster parent that he struck up a close relationship with was Gloria Recinto. Carl sent her Christmas cards, and Sullivan tells Carter that they were disturbing. Carter says that she’ll meet Sullivan at home to pick up his files.
At the Library, Reese and Finch go over what they have. They figure that for now, Zoe is safe because if they can’t find her, neither can Douglas. Finch cleans up some of the recording and determines that Dana was actually threatening to blow the whistle on Lawson for something at Virtanen. Suddenly, Finch stares at his bulletin board, reflecting on how the numbers made him feel. Reese sees his passion for finding this one number's killer.
Zoe explains that Dana, who worked in the clinical trial lab at Virtanen, was transferred out of there five days before she was killed. Reese wonders if Zoe plans to make a deal with Douglas and Lawson, but she says that Dana reminds her of a similar naïve girl that Zoe once knew, and that she plans to make them pay for what they did. She invites Reese to come along with her so they can break into Virtanen together.
Zoe arranges another meeting with Gilmore. She tells him to make sure that the cops don’t respond to any alarms at Virtanen. The lieutenant agrees, telling her that he wants nothing more to do with her. Reese and Zoe break into Virtanen while Finch hacks the security system and warns them of the security measures. They get to Lawson’s office and Reese picks the lock. Using Finch’s recovery software program, they access the deleted information on Lawson’s computer and learn that Dana had access to the Sylocet testing files. The data given to the FDA was falsified, and the real file has the names of six people who died of heart attacks after taking the drug.
Zoe and Reese realize that Lawson covered up the deaths to assure FDA approval and a big payoff. As they work, Finch records the sound of the air conditioning so he can use it to further clean up the recording. As they work, Douglas and Gilmore find them and takes them prisoner. Zoe warns Gilmore that she’ll destroy him for betraying them, but Gilmore points out that he did what she asked, and made sure that the cops didn’t respond to the alarms.
Finch finishes cleaning up the recording and hears the end of the message, where Dana threatened to go to Keller and tell him what Lawson was doing. He tries to call Reese without success and checks the monitors to confirm that Zoe and Reese are no longer in Lawson’s office.
Douglas holds Zoe and Reese in a basement lab. As they wait, Zoe asks Reese his real name, which he tells her, before suggesting that she should find a different line of work. When she claims that he knows nothing about her, Reese reveals that he’s checked her background and learned that her father was a politician who took the fall for a corruption scheme in his party, and what that cost her family. What he doesn't understand is why she does what she does.
Zoe tells him about he father, who went to jail in loyalty to the party, and the reporters camped out on his family’s lawn. Zoe explains that the party sent a political fixer to the house and got rid of the reporters. She vowed then and there to become a fixer as well, someone who knows what to say and always has something to trade. Reese wonders if she plans to make a trade now but Zoe doesn’t answer him.
Lawson and Douglas arrive. Zoe claims that she gave a copy of the trial files to a friend, the only person she trust. The copy that will be released if she doesn’t turn up alive and well. Lawson doesn’t believe it and tells Reese and Zoe that whichever one of them gives him the files will live.Finch tries to call Keller to warn him, but hears the rest of the recording. On it, Dana Miller calls Keller, who tells Dana that he knew all about the altered trial files. Finch hangs up before he can tell Keller what he knows.
Keller arrives to negotiate with Zoe and Reese, telling Zoe to be reasonable. Douglas prepares a syringe of potassium chloride and Zoe agrees to take them to where she has the file hidden. As they take her away, Zoe kisses Reese and tells him that she always has something to trade while she slips him a paper clip.
Once they’re gone, Douglas prepares to give Reese a fatal injection of potassium chloride, but Reese frees himself and injects Douglas with his own syringe.
The next morning, Zoe tells Lawson that she has to make a call to arrange a meeting to get the file. She actually calls Finch, telling him that they’re heading for the naval yard. Lawson takes the phone away from her and Finch tells Reese where Zoe is and that they can trust her. Once he’s sure that Reese is on his way, Finch meets Keller for a breakfast appointment.
Lawson takes Zoe to the naval yard where Slip is waiting for them. However, he figures that Zoe is bluffing and that the only person she would have trusted with the file is herself. Lawson checks her telephone and confirms that it’s stored there. As Lawson tells his driver to leave, Reese arrives, kills the driver, and tasers Lawson. He asks Zoe when she decided to do the right thing, and she admits that she only decided right before she gave him the paper clip.
At breakfast, Keller assures Finch that he’s made a solid investment and will reap big profits once Sylocet is released. When he receives a text message from Reese confirming that he has the file, Finch tells Keller that the price is going to drop because senior management will have legal problems. He shows the CEO a photo of Dana and says that since all Keller cares about is money, that’s what he’s going to take from him. Finch pays the bill for breakfast and then walks away from the stunned CEO.
Carter goes to Sullivan’s apartment to get the files and finds him dead. She hears someone running down the stairs and runs out of the apartment. The killer shoots at her and Carter returns fire, but by the time she gets down to the street, the killer has disappeared.
As Reese drives Zoe home, she listens to a news report about the Sylocet recall and the charges against Keller and Lawson. Reese comments that Gilmore is being investigated on a corruption charge and figures that he pissed off someone with influence. Zoe neither confirms nor denies, but she tells Reese that Dana’s family will be getting an anonymous donation to finance their suit against Virtanen. As Reese drops her off, he tells her to be careful, but Zoe tells him not to count on it. She departs by suggesting that he call her some time.