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Episode 107: Witness
In a small store in Brighton Beach, a man is murdered, seen on black-and-white security video, as the accented voice of a man says he wants to "kill him myself." Carter and Fusco arrive to investigate the shooting, and watch the video, which shows they have a witness. Also investigating is Organized Crime detective Bill Szymanski, who tells them that the victim was Benny D'Agostino, a former mob lieutenant with La Cosa Nostra. Szymanski explains that a mob war is currently raging, with half a dozen Russian mobsters having been recently killed by D'Agostino's crew. D'Agostino's boss is the mysterious Carl Elias, who shot at Carter previously. (“The Fix”) They review the video again, and can see D'Agostino says something to the witness, making it critical they find the witness before the Russians.
The Machine has identified an unmarried high school history teacher named Charlie Burton, as Reese and Finch's next POI. They speculate why he might be in danger when Fusco calls him, asking for help finding a witness to a mob hit. He gives Reese a brief description on Burton, which Reese realizes matches the man he is watching.
While Reese watches from across the street, an armed group of Russian mobsters pulls up outside of Burton's building. Reese sneaks inside and breaks into Burton's apartment. Reese warns Burton that he's in danger, and confirms that he is not one of the hitmen; Burton makes a quick decision to believe him when Reese points out he didn't attempt to kill Burton.
Reese and Burton escape the apartment just moments before the Russians rush in, and make it out of the building. Reese fights one of the Russians in order to escape, causing Reese's cell phone to be damaged, and Burton doesn't have a phone. Reese and Burton attempt to steal a car; as they do, the mobsters open fire on them with automatic weapons, and Burton is shot in the shoulder. They head for a large building nearby protected by Bulgarian drug dealers.
Reese and Burton enter the apartment block, which Burton believes the Russians won't enter. They take refuge in an abandoned apartment, where Reese treats Burton's wound with what he can find while he questions Burton about the shooting. Burton tells Reese about the shooting. He also explains that he didn't report the shooting because the corruption in the police force left him unable to trust cops. Reese assures him he knows a detective they can trust, but Burton doesn't want to testify.
Carter, Fusco and Szymanski interview Patti D'Agostino, Benny's widow. She insists she never met Elias but knows that he plans to reunite the Five Families under one leader, and eliminate the Russian mob for good. She also informs them that Elias' takeover of Brighton Beach is just the first step in his plan to take control of all the organized crime in New York City.
Finch sets up a remote hack using the ATM located across the street from Burton's apartment building. He leaves just as the police pull up responding to the report of a shooting. A bystander took a picture of one of the shooters and Szymanski identifies him as Peter Yogorov, son of notorious Russian mobster boss Ivan Yogorov. The witness also describes having seen Reese.
Finch returns to the Library, where he reviews the video footage from the ATM. He sees a car pursuing them and watches the Russians come and go. He observes an SUV pull up and is surprised when he sees an NYPD officer with a pronounced scar on his face get into the vehicle. Finch assumes the vehicle belongs to Elias. He calls Fusco, and asks him to run the license plate on the SUV.
The Yogorov brothers and their men surround the building where Reese and Burton are hiding, but do not enter because of their agreement with the Bulgarians. Reese continues to watch over the injured Burton and the two discuss why they do what they do. Reese recognizes Burton is slipping into shock, and goes in search of medical supplies.
Finch meets with Fusco on the street. Fusco tells him that the SUV is registered to a shell corporation and can't be traced further. Fusco wants to know why Finch is so interested in the case. Finch asks Fusco to report Elias' vehicle stolen and to email him the report number to a specific address.
As Burton's condition deteriorates, Reese takes down some drug dealers and takes some of their drugs and equipment to treat Burton's injury.
Szymanski briefs Carter on Elias' operation and the involvement of the Yogorovs. Carter explains to Szymanski that she suspects Elias is the son of an old mob boss who's trying to reclaim his father's territory by taking out the Russians.
Reese uses the drugs he took from the dealers to provide basic first aid to Burton. He provides him with a sidearm and shows him how to use it.
The Bulgarians, angered by Reese's actions, meet with the Yogorovs. They decide to team up to take out Burton. In the apartment, Reese breaks into a wall and locates a phone line, which he uses to call a relieved Finch. Finch finds a building service entrance where they can escape. Reese tells Finch to tell Fusco to meet them at The East River Ferry, Pier 11 at 7:00 am.
Reese leads Burton to the service stairs but they are unable make before the gangs close in. Burton's students, Will, lives in the building and offers to hide them in his apartment.
Meanwhile, Fusco has emailed the stolen NYPD vehicle report to Finch. Finch contacts the vehicle recovery service posing as Fusco, convincing them to activate the car's GPS locator and microphone for him. Finch finds the car in a parking garage. He snaps photos of the occupants, including the man with the scar on his face. He wonders if he may be Elias.
As Will and Burton discuss literature, the Yogorvs arrive at Will's apartment. Will puts off Peter Yogorov, who wants to search the apartment. Reese and Burton leave soon after. They hide in another abandoned apartment while Peter's younger brother Laszlo Yogorov and one of the Bulgarians search it. Reese is able to overpower Laszlo and take him hostage.
Carter and Szymanski visit Ivan Yogorov and try to convince him to help them, but he pretends he does not know anything that they need. Yogorov has one of his henchmen escort them out.
Reese takes Laszlo's cell phone and contacts Finch, telling him to tip off Carter about the mobsters in the apartment complex. Reese, Burton and Laszlo escape the building and head to the ferry. As they do, Finch overhears a conversation in the vehicle belonging to Elias, indicating they plan to intercept "him" at Pier 11. Fusco is waiting at the pier and receives a call from Finch, who's convinced that Fusco has betrayed them. As he protests his innocence, Fusco is jumped by Scarface, Elias' right hand man, and knocked out.
As the ferry approaches the pier, Reese tries to convince Burton to testify. At the same time, Carter interviews Peter about the murder at the bodega. Peter is amused that the police think that the Russians would do what they did merely for a witness, which confuses Carter. He explains that Elias was supposed to be at the bodega. On the boat, Laszlo chastises Reese for helping Burton and claims that he is in the middle of a situation he does not fully understand. Each realizes that Burton is in actuality, Elias.
Suddenly, Burton pulls a gun on Reese, revealing that he posed as a high school teacher to study his enemies through his students, their children. At gunpoint, Reese ties himself to the ferry's railing. Elias announces that it's time to "evolve" and that he's ready for "the next step". He shoots Laszlo in the leg and tells him to give his father, Ivan, a message: he has until that same night to get out of town. Elias warns Reese to stay out of his way or they'll meet again "under less pleasant circumstances."
Elias leaves with Scarface. Reese meets with Finch and and a wounded Fusco. Finch apologizes to Fusco for suspecting him, and Reese tells Fusco where to find Laszlo.
Reese tells Finch he feels responsible for Elias being free to pursue his agenda, and fears that they will receive more numbers as a result. Finch tries to tell Reese it was not his fault and that they didn't know, but Reese can't forgive himself.
Scarface breaks into Ivan Yogorov's office and shoots him. He tells his boss that the job is done, but Elias says that it's just the beginning, quoting Julius Caesar, "Veni, vidi, vici." ("I came, I saw, I conquered.") Elias and his crew turn and walk down the boardwalk.