Wow! The story arc is evolving to such a point that it almost feels more like a serialized drama than a procedural one. With HR and so many other story lines, there's no end to serialized elements, and it shows that it is possible to write a procedural incredibly if it is done right.
This episode did something that POI has consistently done well throughout its history, and that is unravel the story slowly and keep the viewer guessing. I honestly could not have guessed the way the episode was going, and the teleplay was brilliant.
The main storyline was about an elderly down-on-his-luck (or so it seemed) gambler who was actually throwing his games to help with a side operation involving drug trafficking at the casino. The slow reveal was done very well, and the card game between the gambler and Finch was fun. Eventually, Finch and Reese sent him to Chicago on a bus so that he would be safe, but it didn't last for long. He came back and wanted to die a winner, which is something that Finch totally respects. The team then decides to reveal the casino for what it truly is. Enter Leon Tao and you have five or so minutes of fun. But then Finch is discovered, and Leon, Reese, and the gambler are found. They are tied up, and a game of Russian Roulette ensues. Cue a typical Reese move and sly maneuver by the gambler, and the team is free. The final meeting at the diner is truly touching, and as it is revealed that the man wanted to buy the diner, he also tells Finch that he would be crazy not to try to get Grace back. Honestly, that scene was one of the most touching things I've seen on POI this season.
In terms of HR storyline, this was executed very well too. HR is now trying to associate with the Russians and hope that they'll fund HR, and we see just how far they're willing to go to get their way. This slow buildup of this episode was rather remarkable, and we now know that Beecher is, at least in some way, connected to HR. This was an excellent episode all around. I look forward to seeing how the writers manage to conclude the season.