This episode maintains its intensity from start to finish. Finch isn't happy that Reese is poking around in his affairs. Reese isn't happy the machine didn't get the number to him in time to save someone. It's all hands on deck to track the other 3 that the machine spit out. Reese barely manages to stutter an answer to his POI, a beautiful hair stylist. Det. Fusco loses (actually she gave him the slip) his POI *after* she bought a gun and Finch nearly gets blown to smithereens when his POI gets blown up by a loaded baby stoller. We haven't had the second commercial break yet and I'm on the edge of my seat wringing my hands.
After the second POI is killed, Reese's feathers are clearly ruffled and Finch is in a tizzy. Reese manages to calm Finch down and get him to focus on finding a connection which he does. Reese finds Persons 3 & 4 and saves them by taking on a bad guy in hand to hand combat and ducking gunfire while they run. He saves them again later while engaging in hand to hand combat and shooting the bad guys.
Now comes the perfectly scored and painfully well-acted finale. The song, "When things explode" by UNKLE feat. Ian Astbury, was absolutely the perfect choice. The look on Reese's face when he realizes that Carter has betrayed him is so subtle yet brilliant. Carter then realizes she's been played, but she's still not sure just how much she's been deceived by the CIA. Even after they shoot Reese *twice*, she's still not sure. Finch overheard Carter's call to the CIA and is racing to get to Reese in time. Over the phone, Reese thanks Finch for giving him a second chance and Finch tells him not to give up because he's almost there. Reese tells him to stay away because it's too risky. Thank God Finch doesn't take orders. As Finch gets to Reese to help him into the car, Carter bursts through the stairwell door and yelling, "Freeze." You can see the wheels turning in her head as she recognizes Finch from an earlier meeting. She decides to let them go and helps Reese into the car, but she pauses just long enough to get a slight nod from Reese before sending them on their way and leaving me to pick my jaw up off the floor and grab Kleenexes.
This episode had it all. A sense of urgency times 4. Deadpan humor. A fantastic score. Belly-laugh humor. Fieldwork for the usually desk-bound hero. A near-haircut for our graying action hero (but the stylist disappeared after the shampooing). Car accident. Car bombing. Flirting. Hand to hand combat. Plenty of shooting. Betrayal. An unlikely rescuer. Brilliant performances by all the show regulars. What Caviezel and Emerson say with their eyes and facial expressions is incredible. Then they deliver those skillfully scribed lines and you know you are experiencing a perfect storm of entertainment.