Person of Interest: The Trash Takes Out the Trash

Person of Interest S01E19: "Flesh and Blood"

This week on Person of Interest, Reese cracked that he was late to work because he had yoga class. I'm guessing his idea of yoga is furrowing his brow to some Enya. It was the only really good line in "Flesh and Blood," an episode that abandoned tongue-in-cheek camp for SERIOUSNESS. This episode was more serious than heartburn.

With the season coming to a close in just a few more episodes (by my count, there are four left), all the shadowy organizations we've been following are starting to step out into the light. It still amazes me that a serial drama this complex is airing on CBS. CBS! But here we have Team Reese and Finch, Team Elias, Team HR, Team Snow, Team Non-Dirty Cops (population: maybe one or two), and Team Other Mob Bosses all weaving back and forth into each other, and "Flesh and Blood" did a great job of showing that.

Person of Interest has found good ways to keep the computer-number plot thing going even for strong mythology episodes, and this week NumberTron3000 spat out the socials of five of the city's biggest mob bosses. It didn't take Finch and Reese long to figure out what was going on: Elias wanted them to have a slumber party with the fishes so he could unite all the crime families and run things like they need to be run. And what made this episode work (and also what made it a teensy-tiny bit corny, which is nothing new for this show) was a series of flashbacks to Elias's past. Flashbacks of Elias! Backstory time!

There isn't much better motivation for a kid to want revenge than coming into the world as a result of a dirty mob boss banging some broad. Moretti, Elias's deadbeat mobster dad, took things a step further by killing the mom when Elias was just four years old. That inspired Elias to spend his teenage years trying to get closer to his dad by going dirty and joining his gang. But bastard sons are a bit of a downer, and Moretti had some goons take young Elias to the woods to kill him. Yikes—talk about a set-up for an awkward Father's Day. Now we know why Elias is so determined to get back at Moretti, and how his daddy issues turned him into a ruthless mobster bent on controlling the city. And you know what? I don't blame him. Elias even had a point when he told Reese that things would be better off with Elias in control. Organized crime is going to exist in New York City no matter what, so it may as well be organized organized crime.

The bulk of "Flesh and Blood" involved Carter playing good cop and protecting some slimebag mob bosses while Elias tried to take 'em out. Further complicating matters was the stink of corruption coming off all the cops who should've been helping Carter. And just to make those complicated matters even more complex-icated, Elias kidnapped Carter's son. Meanwhile, Reese and Finch were running around trying to stop Elias, help Carter, save the mob bosses, rescue Carter's son, and get the corrupt cops to turn against their temporary employer Elias. There was a lot going on.

But in the end, guns teamed up with Reese and whenever that happens, bad guys get shot and the closest thing we have to good guys win. Kneecapping a bad guy through a door to an UNKLE song? Yup. Badass. Elias even got caught and thrown in the slammer, but not before he made a phone call and blew up Moretti in a car. Elias's reach is deep, yo! Even in an orange jumpsuit he's in control and calling the shots. I'm guessing he'll be out of prison before some white supremacist con can steal his fruit cocktail.

Things are now both clearer and murkier. We understand the motivations of individual parties a lot better. And though Elias's attempt at killing didn't go exactly according to plan, it was quite successful...and control of the city and allegiances remain in doubt. The strength of "Flesh and Blood" was the story it told, even if there was room for improvement in the execution. Some of the acting and dialogue was iffy, and the amount of plot crammed into one episode led to some fairly direct—and questionable—courses of action. Maybe I just like this show better when Reese is pulling grenades out of a baby's mouth.



Notes... of Interest!

– The episode tried to tease that Fusco might turn on Carter and go back to being a dirty cop, but come on! Did anyone even think he would?

– "Tall guy in a suit. Likes shooting people in the kneecaps." I think I know who he's talking about!

– Did anyone else find it odd that Carter and Reese both had the same plan when trying to save the mob bosses at the start? And that plan was walk up to them and say, "Yo mob boss! Come with me!" Not the most subtle tactic.

– Reese is fairly confident he won't get shot in the face. Loved how he took a bullet in the vest and barely flinched. Tough guy!

– I'm gonna be honest with you: I'm okay with Elias taking over crime in the city. He makes a lot of sense and those other mob bosses are just making a mess.

– Plenty of guns and explosions this week. Not gonna complain about that.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Absolutely phenomenal episode. So multifaceted with so many things coming together - perfectly paced, with one hell of a story. The writing was excellent and there was constant suspense and action. Enrico Colantoni gave a stellar performance as Elias, with the main cast doing equally as good. This episode has extreme magnitude and resonance, and just so much happened! And Finch's meeting with Simmons... holy crap.
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This was one of the BEST episodes of the season in my opinion. Yes, the witty remarks were lacking, but the overall story progression more than made up for it:)
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I didn't think Fusco would turn on Carter. But she seemed to believe that he might. It's so easy for people to mess with her head and make her doubtful.
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Great review for excellent episode.
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to tell the truth i wasn't afraid of Fusko turning on Carter but at one moment in this episode i was really afraid Carter might believe he would, and she might want to take preemptive action and shoot him. for a couple of minutes, in that room, i feared for Fusko's life, especially since he turned out to be such a nice guy. It would be a shame for him to die because Reese didn't inform them they were on the same team.
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This has to be one of the best shows on TV right now! Loving every episode and still excited that POI was renewed for Season 2! Fully deserved renewal!!! :)
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AWESOME - Best episode so far!



Tim: "I'm gonna be honest with you: I'm okay with Elias taking over crime in the city. He makes a lot of sense and those other mob bosses are just making a mess."



I totally disagree with you on this one. He`s killing innocent people and if he takes over crime, who knows what he will do? Kill anyone who stands in his way?
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I love seeing how the character of Fusco has been developing over the season, and was really glad that his biggest step to redemption didn't involve him getting himself killed.

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I loved this episode! Another of several great ones this season.



I had no doubt that Fusco wouldn't turn on Carter (he answers to Reese after all). However, given that they are kept in the dark about each other, I did not know if Carter would take the bait and believe Fusco would turn on her. It's a subtle, but important, distinction and made it an enjoyable situation to watch play out.
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Reese was shot by a small caliber weapon, not much of a punch there, after 50 meters u can catch the falling bullets in your baseball-cap, also he was about 10-20 meters away prom the perp, so a some of kinetic energy was gone+ He is a baaaaadasss
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I nearly had a heart attack watching this episode! But absolutely loved every minute of it! Wow! And SO much action packed into it!

It only proves how badass Reese is: after being shot in the chest wearing a "bullet proof vest" you get massive bruises and sometimes even broken ribs LOL! He just flinched! Talk about campy! ROFL!
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LOL shouldn't Reese be in pain after getting shot in the chest? The vest would protect but still! The impact should have hurt! Man, he is such a badass.



Enrico Colantoni is the best baddie of this season. He's creepy and badass like Reese.



I love this show and this episode was epic.
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Loved the episode and there was more than one funny moment.

A couple of questions answered, Carter is back on the dynamic duos team and Fusco has made his choice, good over evil. Not to say there aren't still innumerous questions left to be answered.

Loved Reese's intense gaze and telling Finch he hates when people hurt children before going after Carter's son, you knew he was going to kick major a$$.

Elias does have a soft spot for Reese and I will be curious to find out what Elias' motive is. I know Elias associates his life with Reese's as he told Reese "We are both killers in our own right."

I am a glass half empty kind of person and I can just imagine all the sory lines that can open up in the last episodes with a killer season finale, since we will have to wait an excruciating amount of time for the premiere of season 2.
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I have to admit that when I first saw Enrico Colantoni as Charlie Burton I had doubts that he could be a bad guy. Every time I see him, I think of Mathesar from Galaxy Quest: 'We need your help.'" Yet in this episode (and Baby Blue) he was completely believable as a cold-blooded leader of cold-blooded men.



When Fusco shot the mob boss (the pops Elias heard through the door surely did not come from the baby Howitzer Reese loaned Carter), I lost count of how many were left. Elias's half-brother was just filling in for his kidnapped father, so killing them both in the car only counted as one boss. Is there one left or two?
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I looove Galaxy Quest. :D
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There is only one mob boss left. There were 3 mob bosses in the loft, one was shot, Moretti's son died in the explosion and there is one left standing.
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Lovely episode! Cant wait for the remaining ones.
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Honesty time: I totally would have given the mob bosses up. Those guys were slime-bags and Carter has the morality of an angel for not handing them over. Elias at least would have run the city's underground with precision and kept innocent casualties to a minimum, Team Elias!



Another really good episode from a great series, but there was definitely some pacing issues. Way too much was crammed into one episode and I think it could have been fleshed out more, possibly into a two-parter. Look to Castle for a serious mini-arc done right, especially their last one with the CIA-conspiracy story.
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now here is an Idea for the season finale Reese is getting got by the FBI and lands himself in the same prison as Elias. In other words Reese number is coming up, that is if he has one.



p.s. that either Finch or Reese number hasn't been spewed out by the machine yet is a testament to the writers restrained.
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I think the season finale will involve HR ordering Fusco to kill Carter and maybe the FBI agent in charge of the task force actually working for Mark Snow as a way to get information out of Carter.
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I thought it was an excellent episode, but only on a TV show that is trying to push the envelope on moral ambiguity and the anti-heros who deal with it that so many good people would be involved in protecting notorious mob bosses like that, while there are so many crimes happening in town, and so many innocent people in need of protection. Preventing collateral damage was a compelling argument at first, but once the baddie bad gangsters were secured in the same locked room, that problem disappeared. And I'm sure Elias is a reasonable murderer, enough with whom to negotiate cleaner ways to eliminate undesirable competition.
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Best episode of the season for me. The best way to enjoy this show is to ignore minor plot holes and Cheer on Reese very loudly when he's about to do something badass.



I thought it was good enough to be a season finale (compared to other shows efforts) but we still have 4 to go. Sweet!
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The yoga line was the only comedy you found? I thought this was probably the funniest episode yet! Mostly deliberate, but that whole Terminator thing with getting shot in the chest and just keep coming, well I just about fell out of my seat. Brilliant!

And yes, intense drama as well, and I think that is what I really like about this show, that they can combine real-world comedy with real-world drama in an unreal world. :)



I notice many of your screencaps are from CityTV. No idea if you ever actually get a chance to watch CityTV, but it's interesting that their station IDs actually resemble POI's interstitial scenes, of multiple videos on the screen. Not to mention their tagline: Everywhere! (Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qF91sY1JLg)
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This episode was brilliant. The characters are so well-crafted.... And the relationships between is what really puts this show together.

PS: Elias reminds me of a dark Batman.
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Oh just wanna add that I agree with Carter's son, Reese is BADASS!
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Tim, I don't think we were supposed to believe that Fusco would turn on Carter, (we already know he works with Reese and Finch and is trying to better himself), I think the mob boss was just trying to plant it in her head that she was all alone and had no one she could trust or help her.

Great episode! Person of Interest continues to entertain me each week, this is one of the best shows of the year. Elias has become one of the best new" bad guys" to pop up in a while. Although we are supposed to hate what he does, I understand where he is coming from and he would be the best at running organized crime in the city.

I continue to be impressed with Fusco, I like him more and more each episode, and I love the partnership between him and Carter. He has come a long way since the beginning of the season and you really feel that working with Reese and Finch has helped him turn his life around. I hope they keep him around. I do agree with others that its weird that neither him or Carter has realized that they both work for the same guy but I think that will be something that comes to light by the end of the season.

Not sure what to expect by the finale, but with the CIA, FBI, Elias, and the hacker all coming after them I know it will be in for a fun ride!
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The things I am hoping for in the rest of the episodes is:



A confrontation between Reese and Mr. Snow

The same with Elias' second in command

A conversation between Mr. Reese and Officer Simmons of HR (Mumblefest 2012!)
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I definitely in the "Elias for Mob King" camp. The man is as sharp as a katana blade and would run crimes in the city smoothly and effectively. But, hey, for all we know, it still will probably happen - at last count, there's only one Mob boss left standing, and I don't he can get as much support as Elias can.
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Even though so much happened in this episode, I still think it was an average episode. They could have done so much with the Mafia storyline. But, they got over it so quickly. No real twists that you expect with such scenarios.
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With so much done in one episode, what are the writers gonna do with the rest of the season?
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I was going to say the same thing about Reese taking the bullet and barely flinching. It's a good thing he took the bullet, though, as with the time he was shot before (leg, gut) and it took time to heal (next episode on crutches), it showed he is not, in fact, bullet proof (or that he magically gets missed every shot).



I personally didn't buy the flashbacks, until the very end when Elias says to pops what was said to him (via the thugs) in the woods. We all knew what was going to happen, but the final words, which tied up the flashbacks nicely, were all the more poignant.
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I thought this episode was very interesting. I think Elias is playing the long game and has to be a master of chess. Because he has plans Reese, whether Reese knows it or even likes it or not. Elias could have taken Reese out with the Mob Boss and he didn't and one has to wonder why. Now personally I think Elias views Reese as a very important piece. Because though he is really an unknown entity in regards to his skills and capabilities he is a known actor. Elias knows what Reese is going to do, which is the right thing no matter what. And that makes him slightly predictable. Which makes me wonder if he didn't expect to be locked up by the end of that whole situation. Or at least know that that was a Plan B kind of a thing. Maybe he realizes that in the organization he is setting up he needs a counter balance and that is Reese and Finch.



Over all that was a great episode. It solidifies Carter on the team because now she owes them. Which will play out again with the CIA and the FBI. The only loose canon so to speak left is the Hacker and maybe a new one in HR. I love how they're setting up the finale and setting up for big fun next year. I can't wait to see the finale and what they are going to do. But this has elevated to a show that I know I am going to miss when it is on hiatus.
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Just a few words for POI as so well stated " Ne me quitte pas"
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You forget about Team Lady Hacker. Don't know how they gonna bring all this in the end. I m kinda tired of kidnapping someone close to main characters plot movers. my oh my son of carter. stories were interweaving beautifully but resolution kinda felt short. Lady Hacker may be workin' for Elias. so may be next time we'll see her while her boss plottin' in jail
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So many new developments in this episode which completely shakes things up for future episodes. With almost any other show, I'd expect them to have Carter and Fusco to realize they're working with the same people, and then use this as the season finale. But there's still a lot that they can do before the end of the season. Now that Elias is out the the way (for now), I hope they use this as an oportunity to explore some of the other stories they've set up, like the CIA agents chasing John, Root, and the new FBI angle.
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Of course Reese was confident no one would shoot him in the face...have you seen that face?! Even law breaking criminals wouldn't sink that low!



This episode was amazing to me. I love my POI any way I can get it so I enjoyed the seriousness and the layered amounts of drama just as much as the sarcastic quips and occasional campiness. There was so much going on and yet they found a way to interweave and disperse it beautifully throughout the episode so I couldn't think of one time where it seemed like it was too much or too hard to follow. I thought the humor was still in there...when Finch stated that Reese must have been rubbing off on Carter (which is so true but not enough to completely destroy the purpose of having someone like her who acts as a moral compass on their side) I laughed out loud. Carter's traditional quips about the man in the suit and line to her son about figuring out what Finch's name is. Even Elias had some really great lines in there. Truly.



I was all on Reese's side initially with the not caring what happen with the mob bosses until Finch kept crying out about the collateral damage. I think he still wasn't fully invested until Carter got involved. There is something about her, where and Finch will be his weakness come time for any enemies to try to force Reese's hand. She's his soft spot. I loved the camraderie between Carter and Fusco. He genuinely seems to care about her and have her back so there was not one second where I bought into their ineffective attempts at eluding to him flipping sides. Fusco's issue for better or for worse, his flaw and his strength is his loyalty. It makes him such a compelling character. My only thing was it was more evident than ever that Carter is working with the boys and I'm shocked that Fusco hasn't called her out on it. She took phonecalls in front of him, held conversations that should have tipped him off, the bag of ammo that isn't standard issue...I'm wondeing when it will come out that they're working with the boys. It'll cause more issue with Carter than Fusco when it's out in the open. Now Reese has everyone under the sun after him, CIA, Elias, FBI, dirty cops, the mafia, root. As for Elias...the backstory was a bit cheesy in parts but I thoroughly enjoy Enrico Colantoni. Elias' reach is incredible so I have no doubts that he won't be in prison long at all. It's hard to be afraid of him, and harder to admit that you kinda respect the guy but I kind of do...I don't think it would be bad if organized crime were run by him. I mean it's obviously wrong but...morality and legality aside...it actually makes sense. Loved this episode.
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And go back and watch a rerun of Just Shoot Me and tell me you ever though Enrico Colantoni had stuff like this in him.
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I know right. But I loved him as Elliot on Just Shoot Me
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I think they were trying to set the record for most former Sopranos actors: Johnny Sack, Father Intintola, Larry Boy Barese, and Carlo Gervasi were all among the mobsters. Toss in Deborah Cicceron, the FBI agent who went undercover to befriend Adrianna and that makes 5.
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amazing episode can't wait for more POI.
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This episode was good at first but Henson needs either more rehearsals or stronger directing than she's been getting; everything seemed like Carter's first run-thorough. As I said in the blog, Elias will probably break out of jail before the case goes to trial--I would love to see the judge who handles the bail hearing be the guy whose son Reese saved from the Russians. I fantasize that these are the bare-bones, 42-minute versions of the "real" episodes that will be on the DVD. Some, like this one, feel really "short-sheeted."
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the best episode of the season.
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I fully expect Elias to eventually break/get out of jail, maybe even as soon as the season finale.



I loved this episode. The great thing about POI so far is their ability to mix the procedural case-of-the-week style with a serial drama. The action and drama were fantastic.
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Despite how much happened in this episode, it still felt shorter than it should have.

I loved that this episode seemed to focus more on Carter and Fusco, though I find it unbelievable that they didn't put two and two together yet that they're both in cahoots with the boys.

As much as I enjoyed the uncomfortable scene where Finch asked for firearm lessons, it felt a bit too rushed and out of character. I get that for Finch it's a huge step and quite a bit of character development, but it still came across as too much of a stretch. If Reese had taught him, I think I would have been more disappointed, though, so kudos for not taking it too far.

Elias is totally going to be back on the streets in no time. I personally think that he's going to get tangled up with Root by the finale, though. The writers are going to need something for a good cliff-hanger and short of leaving one or both of the boys in serious danger, I'm not sure how else they'll accomplish that. I'm sure they have something great in mind, though. Can't wait.
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I felt the same about Carter and Fusco! It's a wonder they haven't figured things out yet! I mean Carter was taking all the phonecalls in front of Fusco, was noticeably trying to shy away from discussing the infamous man in the suit, magically appeared with all these weapons she wouldn't typically have and a plan to do things against the book with no backup and an implied concerned third party.
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I was just amazed at the stuff happened in this episode! god, how on earth did all of these fit in 42 minutes?? one thing that is not exactly clear now is that how Elias did not kill that cop who provided him with a cell phone (he was the HR guy whom Finch approached right?) , all of them should have been disposed by now.. I wonder how the HR and FBI-running-after-Reese plus "what the hell happaned to Nathan Ingraham" things will be resolved in the next 4 eps..



and my oh my, do not piss reese off by hurting kids.. his fury gave me chills, and loved the way young boy was just moving his head and body as if he was the one punching the bad guys:) and Finch offering distraction? awww, he is sooooo sweet:) and Reese consoling him "you can be the getaway driver":) that bromance is awesome! the main strength of POI is while all the actions happening are extremely unbelivable, the emotions, the acting, the facial expressions and the script is almost perfect.. Carter seemed to be happy and grateful to Reese in such a realistic way, I was on the verge of thinking the boy was really her son and was really in danger.. Fusco's moment of choosing side, man, it is all so strongly in his face..



in summary, everything about this episode was epic..
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The HR cop at the diner with Finch and the cop who takes the phone from Elias at the end were two different cops.
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Most shows have a huge dramatic scene if a character is shot, even while wearing a vest, so it was refreshing to see him barely flinch. Badass.
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Reese is the toughest guy on TV - I think he has a certificate to prove it
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Reese doesn't like people who mess with kids!



I love the scene where Finch uncomfortably offers to be a distraction with gun, but Reese knowing how Finch dislikes violence, just asks him to be the getaway driver. Didn't Reese just joke about how Finch can talk people to death if he doesn't like weapon so much?



You two are just adorable together.
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Loved that scene!
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Check the episode quote page. There were plenty of great lines. My favorite: Carter: You know I can't hand these guys over to you. I might as well kill them myself. Elias: If you're up to it, that would be extremely helpful. Also young Fusco's speech o'vengeance: "You two think you're safe because there's just one of me. That I'm weak and that you're strong. That's not strength. That's weakness. Look at you... a bunch of jealous idiots. Liars, betraying each other. I don't need that. I get my strength from being alone, and that's why I'm gonna destroy all of you."
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I laughed when Elias said that to Carter.
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With 4 of the crime bosses dead (i think only Gruffoni or Groupon didnt get killed) Elias more or less "own" organized crime. And i agree he will be out of jail before sunrise.

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Fusco's the friggin' best. I can't wait until him and Carter find out about them both working for Reese. Maybe with an awkward diner scene.
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Technically they're working for Finch.
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You are correct, sir! (or ma'am)
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