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Episode 114: Wolf and Cub

Fourteen-year-old Darren McGrady calls 911 to report that his brother Travis McGrady has been shot.

Reese and Finch return to their headquarters and check to make sure that their mystery hacker, Root, hasn't left any assassins or booby-traps behind. (“Root Cause”) Finch tells Reese to check on their next number, Darren, while he rebuilds the hardware and electronics. Reese goes to Darren’s address and discovers police tape across the door. Posing as a detective, Reese has the superintendent confirms that Darren’s brother Travis was shot and killed by gangsters a week ago, and the cops took Darren away.
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The next morning, Reese arranges a meeting with Carter in her car. She informs him that Travis was shot by three gangsters, and the first res-ponders didn't arrive until a half-hour after Darren called 911. The two boys were orphans and Darren left the precinct house rather than wait around for Child Services. When Carter asks him how he and Finch find the people who need help, Reese just smiles, and she tells him that she’ll talk to Detective Hill, who is handling Travis’ shooting. However, Hill doesn't see the point and explains that Travis was protecting a fellow waitress, Lisa, against the gangsters at the restaurant where they worked. Travis tossed one of them out, and the detective figures that that they shot Travis afterward. No one in the neighborhood will admit to seeing anything and Hill doesn't see any point in trying to find Darren.
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Reese checks in briefly with Finch at their headquarters and figures that the gangsters will go after Darren next since he can identify them. He then tracks down Lisa and asks for her help, reminding her that Travis helped her. She refuses to say anything specific, but finally tells Reese to check out Noble Comics, a local store. Reese goes there and watches as the owner, Mr. Wilcox, hands out free comics and tells the local kids about how superheroes don’t have to wear capes and masks. One of the shooters, Brick, comes out of the shop and Reese follows him while calling Carter. Meanwhile, Darren approaches Brick and draws a gun on him, and tells Brick to hand over his brother’s stolen hat. Reese disarms Darren while Carter arrives and arrests Brick. As she takes Brick away, the gangster promises Darren that he and the other gang members will be coming after him. Reese takes Brick’s cellphone and leaves, taking Darren with him.

Reese drives to a safe spot and tells Darren that he’s not a cop. He already knows that Darren plays the trumpet, and figures that he pawned that and everything else from his apartment to buy the gun. Darren tells Reese that brother wanted him to go to music school, and Reese asks if Travis would be happy if he knew that Darren had a gun and was messing with the gangs. Reese tells the boy that he’ll take care of the gangsters who killed Travis, makes a call, and meets Fusco at a youth group home. Fusco has made arrangements for the woman in charge to take care of Darren with a minimum of paperwork. As Darren goes inside, Fusco warns Reese about Carter, but Reese assures him that he has Carter under control. Back at his car, Reese finds Darren’s discarded sketchbook and finds a drawing of Brick at a neighborhood basketball court

At the precinct, Carter tries to interrogate Brick. He knows that she can’t hold him or lift any DNA evidence off of Travis’ hat before she has to release him, but Carter assures him that he’ll be there until she arraigns him.

Reese goes to the basketball court and monitors Brick’s cell phone. One of the gangsters, Curtis, calls Brick’s number. Reese ignores it and watches as they exchange cash in envelopes, get into a SUV and drive off. Figuring they have some kind of operation going, Reese calls Finch and tells him to do a background check. Finch claims that it will take a couple of hours before he has made repairs and assures Reese that everything is fine. However, he’s at an insurance office under his cover identity of Harold Wren. Will Ingram comes in to talk to him about his dead father, Nathan Ingram. He shows Reese a champagne cork wrapped in paper that he found among Nathan’s belongings. On the paper is a message mentioning the Machine, dated February 24, 2005. Finch claims that he has no idea what it means and Will says that he’s going to talk to Alicia Corwin, the government agent that dealt with his father right after he shut down IFT for seven years. Will has discovered that the government purchase from Nathan for $1 was on the day after the date on the note. However, Alicia now lives in Green Bank, WV, the only town in America with no wireless internet or cell phones due to radio telescopes. Finch secretly force-pairs Will’s phone and suggests that they go out to lunch... unaware that Fusco is watching them. However, Fusco gets a call from the youth group home. He calls Reese, who is watching Curtis and his friend Trim, and warns that Darren has gone. Reese checks Darren’s sketch and finds one of a bar.

Darren is already at the bar and demands that two local thugs tell him where he can find Curtis and Trim so he can call them out. When they attack him, Reese arrives and easily takes them out, and then takes Darren to a diner. Darren refuses to give up his quest for revenge, instead offering to pay Reese everything he has so that he’ll take on the job. The boy thinks that Reese is a rōnin, a master-less samurai, who wanders the land doing good and helping people. Reese takes a single quarter from him and stipulates that there won’t be any killing.

Reese and an impatient Darren watch Curtis and Trim, and Reese quotes Sun Tzu, saying that observation is the key to victory. They confirm that the gangsters are collecting protection money from local store owners and forcing them to sell lottery tickets so they can collect the tax-free profits. A disgusted Darren figures that the gang is paying the cops to look the other way, and Reese assures him that now that they know where the gangsters are getting their money, they can take them on. He breaks into Trim’s SUV and drives away with it and then meets up with Darren later. He explains that he wanted to shake up the two gangsters and then calls Finch and has him track the GPS unit in Curtis’ cell phone. Finch warns that it’s not safe for Reese to have Darren with him, but backs off when Reese complains that he keeps disappearing on mysterious business.

As they follow the two gangsters, Darren asks Reese if he’s ever killed anyone. Reese admits that he has, and not all of them were bad people. Darren figures that Reese served an evil master that tricked him. They watch as Trim has Curtis get his grandmother’s car so that they can meet their boss, Andre. Reese figures that they’ve found the gang’s weak spot, and now they have to find Andre and hurt him.

Captain Womack asks Carter how long she plans to hold Brick. He finally tells her that she has to arraign him by 5:00 p.m. the next day or release him.

That night, Reese and Darren watch as Curtis and Trim go to the comic book store. Reese quickly realizes that Mr. Wilcox, first name Andre, is the head of the gang. Inside, Andre assure them that he’ll take care of Brick. When they claim that they switched cars to cover their tracks, Andre knows that they’re lying and tells them to deliver the money to Brighton Beach or he’ll kill them. As they drive away in Curtis’ grandmother’s car, Reese rams them with Trim’s SUV.

The next morning, two cops get in their squad car and discover Trim in the back, naked and buried in beer bottles, much to their amusement. When Carter finds out, she calls Reese to complain that he’s endangering Darren. He assures her that Darren wasn’t in the car when he rammed the gangsters, and Carter warns him that Captain Womack thinks that she’s released Brick but she’s still holding the teenager incommunicado. Reese tells her that he’s going to deal with Curtis and hangs up, and then turns to Curtis, who is tied up in a garage. Reese lights a blowtorch and reminds the gangster that Andre will think that Curtis stole the money if he doesn’t turn up with it. Curtis refuses to talk and Reese starts burning the money until the gangster confesses that he hid the murder weapon in a chimney at his grandmother’s tenement building.

Will sets up a meeting with Alicia, unaware that Finch is watching them. When he asks her about the note and the $1 government contract, Alicia asks if he really wants to know the truth about his father. When Will says that he does, Alicia lies and says that Nathan’s company went bankrupt and that the government did him a favor and bought it from him so he wouldn’t have to cover the debt. When Will asks her what the reference to the Machine means, Alicia dismisses it as Nathan’s depression and tells Will to let it go. He notes that Finch said the same thing and Alicia looks around nervously when she hears that Nathan’s partner is still around. She quickly walks away before Will can ask her anything else.

Andre sets up a meeting with Captain Lynch to get his help, but Lynch refuses, saying that he only provides protection. He tells Andre to fix it and Andre assures him that he’ll handle it. However, he reminds Lynch that getting his people out of jail is part of their deal, and Lynch agrees to get Brick released. Lynch then goes to the station, saying hello to Fusco as he goes by. Carter is surprised to learn that Fusco and Lynch are connected. Meanwhile, Lynch convinces Womack to order Carter to cut Brick loose.

Reese and Darren go to the tenement building and probe the chimney for the gun. When Darren says that he wants to go after Andre, Reese points out that Andre wasn't the one who pulled the trigger. He warns the boy that if he keeps going after anybody who was connected to Travis’ shooting, he’ll end up dead and Travis still won’t be alive. Once they find the gun, Reese turns away to call Carter and tell her where it is. She warns him that she had to release Brick, and Reese realizes that Brick will be able to identify Darren. When Reese turns back to warn Darren, he discovers that Darren has snuck away and taken the gun with him. He then calls Finch, and after asking to put his reprimanding for his arrangement with Darren on hold, tells him to bring him the bag labeled "Plan B".

Fusco sees Carter leaving and offers to accompany his partner, figuring it concerns Brick, and she agrees. Meanwhile, Darren sneaks into the comic book store with the gun and draws on Andre and Brick as they meet in the back room.

Reese meets Finch outside of the comic book shop and takes a rifle from him loaded with anti-riot bean-bag ammo. After explaining that he promised not to kill anyone, Reese gives Finch a pair of bolt-cutters and tells him to cut the power on his signal. He then cocks the rifle and says that was the signal.
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Andre tells Darren to shoot Brick, who caused all of the problems by killing Travis. He assures the boy that he’ll be doing him a favor, and figures that he’s got the courage and the smarts to work for him. Darren considers but then finally lowers the gun, and Andre takes it from him. He warns Darren that he reads too many comic books, and that shooting someone for revenge doesn't happen in real life. At that moment, the lights go out and Reese comes in through the door, stunning the gangsters. Andre grabs Darren as a shield and runs outside just as Carter and Fusco pull up. They exchange fire and Carter manages to graze Andre. The leader loses his grip on Darren and tries to shoot the boy, but Fusco leaps in the way and takes the shot in his buttocks. Reese arrives in time to shoot Andre unconscious and then slips away as the police arrive, and Darren thanks Fusco for saving his life.
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The next day, Will comes to see Finch and explains that he’s taken a job in the Sudan and is leaving immediately. He admits that it’s hard to believe that the man he admired all of his life turned out to be an ordinary guy, and Finch tells him that Nathan always boasted that Will was his proudest achievement.

Reese drops off Darren at the group home and tells him that they have a lead on a good foster family. He assures the boy that if they’re not good, he’ll take care of them for him, showing him the quarter he took and saying he's still on the clock. Darren gives him a sketch of himself and Reese as partners in crime, and Reese thanks him. Reese then gives Darren his trumpet back and explains that he’s made a few calls so that Darren can go to music school.

Fusco arrives to make sure Darren gets into the home. Once he’s alone with Reese, he warns his boss about Carter again and then gives his report on Finch. According to the files, Finch has used the name “Harold Wren” since attending college at MIT, where he met Nathan. The two men graduated in the same class and were together since then. However, the Wren identity is also a fake ID and Fusco has no idea what Finch’s real name is. Reese grudgingly admits that Fusco would have made a good cop if not for a few bad choices, and Fusco points out that Reese is the one who has him following Finch. As the two talk, the Machine classifies Reese as a potential threat to Finch and chooses to monitor him as a result.

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