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Episode 206: The High Road


2004 Finch and Nathan go to the park and Nathan talks about how his wife is extending their trial separation. He wonders how anyone knows when they've found the one and Finch says that he's no authority. Nathan says that he wants to keep working as it's the only thing that takes his mind off of his situation. They take a seat on a bench and Finch boots up his laptop. He demonstrates that the Machine has spotted a man nearby and confirmed that he's a violin prodigy that played with the Philharmonic until he gave in to drinking. Finch explains that he programmed the Machine to identify outliers. When Nathan doesn't believe that Finch could do it, Finch brings up the name of the graduate student that Nathan spent the night with. He assures Nathan that the Machine is learning human nature by watching everyone.

As they talk, the Machine brings up the image of a woman, Grace Hendricks, who is painting nearby. There are no anomalies that Finch can see and he figures the Machine showed it to them due to a bug. Nathan comments that the woman is attractive and Finch turns to give Grace a second look.


Finch is trying to stop Bear from licking the doughnuts when Reese comes in. As Reese unwittingly eats one of the doughnuts, Finch tells Reese that their new number is Graham Wyler, who owns a hardware store with his wife in Far Rockaway. Reese says that he'll get eyes on the Wylers and advises Finch not to order doughnuts from the same place again.

As Reese watches the Wyler home, Finch tells him that Graham moved from Fort Wayne, IN in 1997 and has been married to his wife Connie for 14 years. Their daughter Izzy is an honor student in junior high and a soccer star. Graham's mortgage and credit are good and they only own one car. Reese figures he's watching the most boring family in New York.

At the Wylers' hardware store, Reese clones Graham's cell phone. A shady-looking biker comes in and Graham talks to him privately, reminding him that he's supposed to call ahead. Reese listens in as the biker hands Graham an envelope and leaves.

Later, Graham picks up Izzy at soccer and gives her the envelope. Reese watches as Izzy opens it and realizes that her father bought her Bruce Springsteen concert tickets. Graham also gives his daughter her necklace that he fixed for her. Reese concedes to Finch that Graham is a saint, but Finch has been checking Graham's employment history and called some people in Fort Wayne while posing as a genealogist. He found a death certificate revealing that the real Graham Wyler died in 1997. A police officer comes by, points out that Reese is parked in a no-parking zone, and tickets him.

Reese goes back to the library and admits that it's hard to follow people in the suburbs. Finch has found a home for sale near the Wylers and tells Reese that he'll move in tomorrow. However, he warns Reese that there is one part of his cover he'll have to get on his own.

Later, Reese meets with Zoe and suggests they should spend more time together. He offers her a wedding ring and asks her to be his wife.

The next day, Reese, Zoe, and Bear move into the house. As they go in, Finch calls to thank Zoe for offering her services. Reese plans to visit Graham at his store and introduce himself, and figures that he can manipulate him into inviting them over. The doorbell rings and Reese instinctively draws his gun. It's Graham and Connie, who have come by to welcome them to the neighborhood. Graham invites them over for the barbeque they're hosting and Zoe says that they'll be there. Reese is surprised at how easy it was.

At the barbeque, Graham compliments Reese on his car. Reese claims that he sells private security systems and offers Graham a deal, but Graham says that he reinforces his doors and windows and his security is fine. He talks about how his business is being edged out by the big chains and Reese comments that it's hard for an honest man to make a living. Meanwhile, Zoe chats with Connie and confirms that they've been living there for ten years. Connie asks how Zoe met Reese and the fixer makes up a story about Reese helping her when she was stranded in a bad part of town.

Izzy comes out and asks Graham if he's seen her necklace and he says not since he gave it to her earlier. She asks who they know in Philadelphia and shows him a postcard from there that came in the mail. As Izzy fawns over Bear, Graham discovers that the postcard has nothing on it but his family name and address. He asks Reese to man the grill and goes inside, and Reese takes the beer bottle Graham was drinking from.

That night, Reese checks his gun and watches with Zoe as Graham comes out of his house. He uses powder from his cartridges and a makeup brush to dust Graham's bottle for fingerprints and sends the partial prints to Carter. Once he finishes the call, Zoe wonders what they should do while they wait and they end up playing poker.

The next day, Reese follows Connie and a tired Graham as they go shopping. A man bumps into Graham and apologizes, calling him Lloyd. As he walks away, Graham tells Connie that the man must have confused him with someone else. The mystery man drives away with a friend. Later, Reese follows Wyler to the soccer field and gets a call from Carter. She says that Graham's name is actually Lloyd Pruitt and he was arrested for a misdemeanor back in 1991. However, he was wanted for a string of robberies. Lloyd worked with a crew: Chris Vaughn and Daniel Burnside. They got caught in 1997 robbing a jewelry store and did 12 years. Lloyd missed the job and disappeared, and Vaughn was convicted of shooting a guard. Carter sends Reese photos of the men and Reese confirms that the man who bumped into Graham was Vaughn.

After the soccer game ends, Vaughn comes out onto the field briefly and stares at Graham. Reese follows Vaughn but loses him in the parking lot. Someone sets the Wylers' SUV on fire and Graham receives a blocked call from Vaughn suggesting they meet in the city the next day and catch up.

Graham approaches Reese later and asks him to put in a security system. Finch poses as Reese's employee and puts in the security cameras. Over at their house, Reese and Zoe watch the camera feeds while Finch explains that Vaughn and the crew got the safes open during their jobs using lock manipulation. In the last heist where Graham wasn’t there, Vaughn shot the guard to force the manager to open the safe. They figure Graham was the safecracker and that Vaughn and Burnside are holding a grudge for him ditching them. Meanwhile, Graham tells Connie that he's running some errands and then snaps at her. She wonders what's going on and tells him to get over his attitude, but he walks out.

Reese pulls up to Graham on the street and offers him a lift. Graham hesitantly accepts and they chat on the drive. The ex-thief says that he used to only care about himself but now he looks out for Connie and Izzy.

Finch and Zoe watch on the monitors as Connie loses her temper. Zoe goes to see her and the two women chat. Connie says that Graham has never lost his temper but now she doesn't know who he is. She talks about how they met at a concert and Graham came to her aid when some creep hit on her. Zoe sympathizes, saying that it's rare to find someone you can depend on. Finch listens in on the conversation with interest.

2005 Finch goes out on the street and communicates with the Machine, having it look for hidden correlations between people. Grace walks by and the Machine flags her as an anomaly. Finch checks her records and confirms that she has nothing dark or sinister in her background, and he realizes that's what sets her apart. That, and her interest in Charles Dickens.

Reese drops Graham off at the bar and he says that he'll catch a cab back. Once Graham goes inside, Reese meets with Carter, who has been watching Vaughn and Burnside. Vaughn explains that his boss showed him a Facebook photo of Graham and Izzy, and he figures Graham has it easy. Graham reminds them that he warned them the job was too dangerous, but they figure that Graham owes them. They're going after a high-road job involving an Everhold safe and need Graham's skills. Once the job is over, they're leaving the country and plan to take Graham with them. When Graham asks why he shouldn't tell the cops, Vaughn shows him Izzy's missing necklace.

Reese draws his gun and prepares to go in, but Carter points out that it's broad daylight. She advises him to catch them in the act because all they have now is conspiracy to commit a crime, based on an illegal wiretap. Reese wants to make sure they get the message not to threaten the Wylers but Carter points out that he can't watch the family forever. Despite that, Reese gets out of the car and goes to the two thieves' truck. He plants a burner phone in the back so he can track them and then goes to his own car.

Inside the bar, Graham stares at Izzy's necklace and wonders what to do. He then goes back home and Reese secretly follows him as Graham works at the hardware store. Later, Graham puts Izzy's necklace on her dresser, and then writes a letter to Connie and leaves it next to the phone.

Zoe and Reese watch the Wyler house and Finch wonders what they're going to do. Reese suggests that they turn Graham in on his outstanding warrants but Finch says that Connie and Izzy would never forgive Graham. They listen in and here Connie call to Graham and find the letter. Finch checks the cameras and discovers that Graham left fifteen minutes ago, avoiding the cameras. Reese figures that Vaughn will kill Graham once he cracks the safe.

Finch checks the GPS locator on the burner and confirms that it's at an impound lot. As Reese and Zoe drive into town, they figure that the thieves are pulling up stakes. Finch gets a list of companies using Everhold safes and compares them to where the GPS went near. They parked for four hours at a residential high-rise belonging to a gem dealer, Enver Clerik. Zoe knows the building security and assures Reese that she can get him in because she has a former client that lives there. Finch prepares to exploit the security system and calls to have Carter meet them there.

Vaughn and his crew go in posing as caterers for a party. Graham realizes that they have guns and Vaughn explains that Clerik's nephew Atay has people in while his uncle is out of town. They have masks for everyone except Graham, who realizes that they're setting him up but has no choice except to continue.

The thieves burst into the apartment and take everyone prisoner. Atay says that he doesn't have the safe combination but Vaughn knocks him out and tells Graham to go to work. Graham tells Vaughn to keep everyone quiet and goes to work.

Carter meets Reese and Zoe as they pull up. He tells the officer to go after the thieves once he pulls Graham out. Zoe introduces herself as Reese's wife and goes in with him. She calls ahead to talk with her former client, Rupert, and he invites them up to his apartment above Clerik's. Rupert is expecting an exotic dancer and is less than thrilled when he discovers that Zoe has brought Reese instead. As Reese attaches a line to the balcony, Finch accesses the video camera in Clerik's apartment and briefs Reese on the situation. Reese rappels down the side of the building.

When Reese lands on the patio, Vaughn hears the noise and sends a man to check it out. Reese knocks him out and takes his caterer's uniform and ski mask. When he goes back, Atay hits a hidden panic button before the thieves can stop him. Finch is unable to stop the outgoing signal and Carter warns them that they only have a few minutes.

Graham tells Vaughn that they have to go but the gang's leader says that the only thing that's changed is that Graham has three minutes to open the safe. The safecracker refuses and Vaughn prepares to shoot him.

Carter hears sirens and warns Finch that she can't hold her fellow officers off for long. Reese asks for a distraction from Finch while Graham goes back to work and opens the safe. As Vaughn takes the garnets and prepares to shoot him, Finch sends a sound file to the sound system on full volume. Reese and Graham take out the thieves and Graham holds a gun to Vaughn's head. As he prepares to shoot, Reese removes his ski mask and tells Graham that he doesn't want to shoot.

When the police arrive, Carter tells them that she's been on the robbers all week and leads them the officers in.

Reese tells Graham to let Vaughn go but the safecracker says that it has to end. When Graham says that he has no choice, Reese warns him that if he kills a man then Graham will be in prison with Vaughn. He asks what Connie will do then and Graham lowers the gun. When Vaughn boasts that he knew Graham couldn't do it, Reese knocks him unconscious. Carter sends a text message directing Reese to a clear exit. As they go out, Graham tells Reese about the letter he left Connie and wonders how he can go back like nothing ever happened. Reese tells him that they know how Graham feels about them is real. Graham looks at the police cars and tells Reese that he has to do it, and then walks over to turn himself in.

Later, Graham turns state's evidence in return for a reduced sentence. Reese goes to the Wyler home and Connie answers the door. She knows that Reese helped her husband and thanks him. Graham comes out and Reese admits that he's moving on. Graham reveals that he's revealing a security bracelet and the judge gave him a reduced sentence. He's surprised that Connie is still there considering what he put her through. The two men shake and Graham goes back inside. As he walks back to the car, Zoe is waiting for him. Reese says that it was fun while it lasted and Zoe suggests they stay one more night and play some poker.

At the library, Finch takes down the photos of the Wylers from his board and looks at the pictures of Graham and Connie.

January, 2005 Finch goes to the park and buys an ice cream cone from a vendor who has seen him there many times before. Finch gets a text message with Grace's name and goes over to talk to her.

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