Kara Stanton interrogates a prisoner while Reese watches silently from the next room. He gets a call from his former fiancée, Jessica, and calls her back. She says that her current fiancé Peter is fine but that she needed a friend to talk to. Jessica avoids giving any details and simply says that Reese was right four years ago and that in the end they're all alone. Reese tells her that he'll be there in 24 hours and Jessica promises to wait for him.
Carter and Reese meet at a bar and she admits that he and Finch are the only ones she can trust. She worries that even Fusco may be crooked and Reese assures her that he'll keep an eye on him. Carter wants to know more about what Reese and Finch do, and Reese tells her she can work the next case. He points out a man at a nearby table, kissing a girl. When Carter wonders if the woman is the man's girlfriend, Reese points out the angry woman entering the bar and says that she's the man's girlfriend. The newcomer draws a gun and Carter disarms her and puts her arrest. Meanwhile, Finch calls Reese to tell him that they have their new Number.
At the station, Fusco and Captain Lynch haul in a drug dealer and demand their cut. When the dealer says that he's paying the mob, Lynch tells him that he's paying off HR now and sends Fusco to go with the dealer and get the money.
At headquarters, Finch wonders if they should tell Carter and Fusco about each other. However, Reese figures their "asset" is safer if Carter doesn't know what he's really doing. Finch explains that the new Number, Tommy Clay, is an armored car delivery pickup man for Grayling Armored Services. Tommy has a wife, Joyce, and a nine-year-old son, and no criminal record. Finch has already set up Reese to work as a guard with Tommy and his driver, Murray Langston.
Once Reese meet with the other two men, Tommy shows him the ropes. He and Langston joke around and Reese tells Finch that they're not ready for any serious threat. As the armored car makes a stop, Finch confirms that one car has shown up several times on the cameras near the armored car. Langston warns Reese that there are men with guns closing in and Reese goes around the back to investigate. Tommy jumps out, wearing a clown mask, and Reese just avoids shooting him. Finch warns his partner that since the Machine doesn't make mistakes, something bad will happen.
Agent Snow and his superior, Alicia Corwin, visit the safehouse and tell Reese and Stanton that they've been reassigned to China. Reese says that he needs to take some leave but Corwin refuses and says that he's needed to recover a missing item, a computer virus named Stuxnet. It was originally designed to disable the Iranian nuclear program, but a traitor in the Pentagon has sold a version intended for the Chinese to that country's government. Reese and Stanton will be going to Ordos, an abandoned factory town in China, to recover the laptop that holds the Chinese version of Stuxnet. They're to maintain radio silence at all times because communications in the area are monitored.
As Stanton goes on ahead, Snow tells Reese that he's to kill her partner because she's working with Hezbollah. Once he's alone, Reese tries to call Jessica but gets her voice mail, and hangs up without leaving a message.
When Reese returns to their headquarters, Finch tells him that he has hacked the armored car company's record and confirmed their route. Fusco calls to tell Reese that HR is hitting street criminals for money now that Elias isn't paying them, and Reese tells Fusco to keep on HR to find out their leaders. When Fusco wonders what he should do with the money he's pocketing, Reese says that he doesn't care. Once Fusco hangs up, he tells his son Lee that he's going to buy him some new sporting equipment.
Finch sends photos of the license plate numbers to Carter, and she confirms that the car belongs to a 72-year-old man with no criminal record. However, his son Frank Lowell and buddy Mick Norton just got out of prison after serving time for armed robbery. Carter asks Reese if he needs help but he tells her that he's got it covered. He then meets Langston in a diner, and they watch as Tommy comes in after his wife and son drop him off. The waitress, Ashley, flirts briefly with Tommy and shows off the diamond tennis bracelet that she says she got from her grandmother. Tommy insists that he's a married man and Ashley gets him a sandwich for the road.
As they drive to their stops, Tommy explains that he got shot once and took two hits, and collected hazard pay as a result. He tells Reese that the job is mostly boredom. The armored car stops at several destinations, including a medical supply house. However, Finch tells Reese that they make pacemakers out of platinum and the supply house is shipping $1.25 million in precious metal. Reese keeps an eye out as they pull away but nothing happens... until a manhole cover explodes beneath them. Reese is stunned in the crash but quickly gets out and takes out the two robbers, Lowell and Norton. However, Tommy shoots first Reese from behind and then takes out Langston as well, and then drives off with the robbers.
Reese and Stanton arrive outside of Ordos and a local team take them into the city borders. The team leader takes all of their comm devices and provides chem lights so they can signal for helicopter evac once they have the laptop. The two agents make their way into the seemingly abandoned town and head for the computer center, and find the courtyard filled with several dozen corpses.
Reese wakes up in the OR as the doctors work on Langston. Carter arrives to sneak Reese out, explaining that the bullet bruised him but failed to penetrate his bulletproof vest. Reese realizes that the Machine sent them there to stop Tommy, not protect him, and they figure that Tommy will have to fence the platinum. Finch calls and, after confirming that Reese is okay, sends him a photo he took of Tommy using a second phone to signal the robbers.
Fusco is at the park with his son when Lynch comes over and tells him that HR needs him to pick something up. The captain tells Fusco to go to Brooklyn and wait for orders, and warns the detective that failure isn't an option.
Carter has Joyce Clay brought to the station and interrogates her, but the officer soon realizes that Joyce has no idea what her husband was up to. The police have found a box for a diamond tennis bracelet at the Clay house that Tommy stole from a previous shipment, but Joyce has no idea what it is. Carter realizes that Tommy is having an affair and calls to warn Finch. He's already ahead of her and is at the diner. As Ashley serves him, he notices the diamond tennis bracelet she's wearing and checks her phone's call history. There's one anonymous phone call from a burner phone and Finch sends a file of one of Ashley's sexy photos from her phone with a virus attached to set off the burner phone's GPS. When Tommy takes the call, Finch sends Reese to the hotel where the GPS signal originates. Reese breaks in and finds the two robbers, dead, and hears someone moving in the next room. He approaches the door, reaches in, and yanks in... Fusco.
Reese and Stanton confirm that someone shot down the victims, who were all software engineers. One survivor, barely conscious, tells them that the intruders took an experimental machine with them. When he begs them for something to ease his pain, Stanton shoots him and they go into the building. Inside they find the laptop and Reese wonders why the intruders left it. He figures that they have to hole up until dark so they can signal the extraction team.
Fusco tells Reese that Lynch sent him there on HR's behalf to collect the platinum from Tommy and pay him off. HR set Tommy up with the two shooters and expects their share of the cut. They confirm that the platinum is gone and Fusco warns that HR will finger him for the theft. Reese tells him to stall for time until he can find the platinum and get it back. As Fusco goes to see Lynch, Finch confirms that Tommy destroyed the burner phone transmitting the GPS signal. Finch has determined that Tommy uses the password "Ashley" for everything he handles. After checking Ashley's credit card records, Finch tells Reese that the waitress has just bought expensive suitcases. The two men figure that Tommy and Ashley are leaving town with the platinum.
When Fusco tells him what happened, Lynch figures that he stole the platinum. He tells Fusco to come with him as he tracks down fences who can handle the sale of the platinum.
Reese catches Ashley as she leaves the diner at the end of the shift and tells her that he knows the truth about the bracelet. He demands to know where Tommy is and Ashley admits that Tommy abandoned her three hours ago when he failed to meet her at the diner. Unsympathetic, Reese leaves and calls Finch, who has figured out the brand of burner phone that Tommy uses. Checking recent sales of that model using the password "Ashley," Finch finds a call to Tommy setting up a meeting at a boxing club in fifteen minutes. As Reese heads for the club, he calls Carter for backup. She starts to head out but CIA agents Snow and Evans arrive at the station and she quickly hangs up. They warn her that they know she's talking with Donnelly at the FBI and that they'll handle any national security manners. Snow tells Carter that they're closing in on Reese and she'll want to be on the right side of things when they bring him in.
Reese arrives at the boxing club as Finch informs him he'll be going in alone. He easily subdues Tommy and wonders why he threw it all away, and the man says that he's had nothing to show for ten years on the job and finally decided to take some of what he had been moving for others. When Reese warns him that it's all over, Tommy just smiles and Reese realizes that there's someone behind him: Ashley, armed with a gun.
Reese and Stanton hole up and eat rations, and they talk about how technology is rendering them obsolete. Stanton figures they'll be out of a job but Reese figures they'll always need people on the ground like them. When she wonders where their superiors get their intel, Reese reminds her that she's always said not to ask questions. As the sun sets, Stanton and Reese head out... and Reese draws his gun.
Finch calls Fusco to send him to Reese, but Fusco is in the car with Lynch. He quickly hangs up and tells him that his son was calling.
Once Tommy ties Reese up, he tells Ashley to get the platinum cases. Reese realizes that Ashley set the whole thing up and convinced Tommy to be her inside man. When Ashley aims her gun, Reese tells Tommy that he never knows if he'll be meeting a victim or a perpetrator at first, and this time Tommy is both. Ashley shoots her lover in the back and then aims her gun at Reese. When she hesitates, Reese says that he knows what it's like to kill for the first time, and that the second time is even harder. After a moment, Ashley grabs the platinum and heads for the door. However, Lynch and Fusco arrive and the captain kills her immediately. Lynch knows Reese from when they met before and beats him as payback. Fusco says that they have to leave and Lynch prepares to finish off Reese. The detective shoots him in the back using Ashley's gun and tells Reese that it'll look like they shot each other.
As Stanton sets off the chemical flares, Reese aims at her back but then hesitates. He says that there's something she needs to know, and Stanton turns and shoots him. Stanton tells him that Snow informed her that Reese was compromised, and the wounded Reese tells her that Snow told him the same thing. He realizes that their employers want the package and anyone with it eliminated, and points out that Stanton just signaled them. She turns back to the flares as Reese slips away. Overhead, a USAF stealth plane fires missiles, blowing up the city and erasing all of the evidence.
When Reese returns to the library, Finch wonders if they actually managed to accomplish anything. Reese points out that they did stop Tommy from committing murder and points out that when someone tries to be the bad guy, they always find out that there's someone worse.
Snow gets a lead on the bank account that Reese used in 2010 to escape China with the help of a dissident group. The bank account was used to purchase a hotel room, and Snow and Evans go there. When they break in, Stanton kills Evans and shoots Snow in the leg, and tells him that they have some catching up to do.