Person of Interest

Season 3 Episode 7

The Perfect Mark

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Nov 05, 2013 on CBS

Episode Recap

Terney and Simmons talk on the phone about "The Swede" and how he is in therapy. They wonder how much the therapist knows about the Swede's work for them.

Finch books a session with hypnotherapist Hayden Price for help with his anxiety and paranoia. Hayden talks him into a trance while Reese watches from across the street. Later, Reese meets Finch back at the library and Finch explains that their new Number caters to wealthy businessmen and socialites. However, he has no legitimate certification and his office is on a short-term lease paid in cash. Finch figures that while questioning his clients, Hayden discovers their passwords and then uses them to access their bank accounts. The hacker confirms that Hayden used some of the bogus words that Finch mentioned to access a fake bank account and transfer the money to a front company. Finch figures that Hayden is a con artist and a thief, but tells Reese that when he tried to clone Hayden's phone, he discovered that someone else had already jacked it. He has Reese contact Sam for backup on surveillance and then starts going over the list of Hayden's clients to discover who might have a grudge.

Later, Finch takes food to Root, who is still prisoner in a library book cage. She complains that Finch is keeping her from The Machine, and Finch admits that he's not sure what the nature of her relationship is with his creation. He insists that Root is too dangerous to release, but Root warns him that he can't fight the figure. She accuses him of being jealous because she can talk with The Machine and he can't.

Reese and Sam continue watching Hayden while Finch sends in a basket of pastries with a bug planted inside. As Hayden questions one patient and then accesses his business account, the team listen in. The next patient is Sven Vanger, an antiques dealer, who talks about how he is finding meaning in his work again. After the session, Hayden goes to his apartment and meets his girlfriend, Natalie Boal. Finch checks her background and discovers that she works at an antique store, and that she was referred to Hayden for therapy. In the apartment, Hayden assures Natalie that one day the two of them will have enough money to take a trip and will pick a destination at random.

Later, Reese and Sam watch as Hayden leaves abruptly and goes to the park to meet with a financier, Russell. Hayden assures Russell that the exchange rates are favorable, and shows him a briefcase holding his contribution of $50,000. Russell matches the amount and they go to a building under construction. As Reese and Sam watch from the shadows, Hayden tells Russell that his contact will meet them there. Detective Decker of the NYPD bursts in and tells Hayden that he's under arrest. Hayden goes for his gun and both men fire, killing each other. Russell quickly runs off as Finch asks Reese and Sam why they're not interfering. Once Russell is gone, Decker and Hayden get back up and check their Kevlar vests. Hayden lies, telling Decker that Russell only gave him $20,000, and gives him his cut before they go their separate ways.

Alonzo meets Carter at a diner for coffee and questions her about her private investigation into his godson Cal's murder. She suggests that Cal's file is sealed because HR is involved, even though the Feds broke them up. Carter warns Alonzo that the FBI didn't get all of them and he offers to go to the mayor. She refuses, saying that she doesn't want to put him at risk, and leaves for her shift. Once she's gone, Simmons texts Alonzo and asks if Carter is going to be a problem.

Back at the library, Finch meets with Reese and Sam and suggests that Hayden is likely a victim. He goes in to see Hayden for another session while Reese and Sam check on the other patients. Once Hayden wraps up the session, Finch starts questioning him about his background. When Hayden wonders why he's so curious, Finch quickly leaves.

Simmons calls a meeting with Terney and Laskey and asks Laskey if he's ready to step up. He wants the rookie cop to dispose of a money launderer after he does one more job for HR. Terney takes Laskey to an auction house to point out his target. Carter watches as Terney points out Sven in the crowd, bidding on a rare baseball card. As she waits outside, she sees Reese and Sam approaching. While Sam goes inside, Reese talks to Carter and tells her what's going on. They figure that Hayden is after Sven's money, unaware that it belongs to HR. If he succeeds, HR will come after him.

Inside the auction house, Sven bids almost a million dollars for a rare baseball card and wins. Terney tells Laskey to kill Sven the next day, but then sees Hayden sitting in the back watching Sven. As Sven leaves, Carter follows him back to his antique shop and watches in surprise as he tosses the baseball card into a discount bin.

When he gets the report about Hayden from Terney, Simmons runs a background check and discovers that the conman has forged credentials. He tells Laskey to kill Sven and Hayden.

That night, Hayden and Natalie are walking back to their apartment when Hayden shows her two airplane tickets and asks her to leave with him. She agrees as Reese, listening in, warns Finch that Hayden is preparing to leave the country. Hayden then goes to his apartment and destroys his laptop and his files. As he works, two killers come down on a window-washing platform and open fire on him through the window. Hayden hides behind the desk but the two men storm in and prepare to kill him. Reese and Sam arrive and kneecap them, and Sam checks their IDs: they're police officers. They then take Hayden to a safehouse and meets with Finch, who warns Hayden that HR sent the killers. He also explains that he pretended to be Hayden's new assistant and convinced Natalie to lie low in a hotel room. Hayden insists that he had no idea that Sven was laundering money for HR, and that he's just been ripping him off like his other victims. The conman gets up to leave, saying that he needs to find Natalie, and explains that she is the only honest thing left about him so he wants to hold onto her.

The next morning, Finch calls Carter to see if she's got a handle on Sven's involvement with HR. She meets with Elias, who she is still keeping hidden, and he explains that Sven launders the HR money, which the organization uses to pay off the Russians to stay out of their business. A HR representative puts a high-priced item up for bid, and then Sven goes in and bidding whatever it takes to win it. He pays with HR money, which goes through the auction house and comes out "clean," and he dumps what is actually a fake item off in his antique shop. Elias points out that HR will be coming for Hayden when they discover that he's conning their money launderer.

When Carter goes back to her squad car, Laskey wonders who she's meeting with. She tells him not to worry about it and the rookie cop admits that he knows what HR is really like now. Carter warns Laskey that she's not on his side and orders him to call in sick so he can follow Simmons and see where the trail of the laundered money leads.

Touched by Hayden's plea, Reese takes the conman to the hotel where they're keeping Natalie. Reese gives the couple some time alone so that Hayden can explain and checks in with Finch. Finch says that he's checked Sven's computer and discovered that Hayden accessed the dealer's emails. The conman changed one email from HR telling Sven to bid on a particular lot, altering it to a different lot number. Reese goes in to question Hayden and discovers that the man has slipped out the window.

That night, Carter goes to Sven's shop and demands answers. When he grabs a gun, Fusco comes up behind him and takes the gun. They tie Sven up and explain that Hayden has been conning him. Sven tells them that Simmons set him up with Customs and then bailed him out, and now Sven repays his debt by laundering HR money. He has finally gotten rid of all the money that HR gave him to dump, and plans on leaving. Carter explains that Hayden set him up to buy a real 1927 autographed Yankees baseball worth $4.4 million. Sven tells them that a soda kid came in and bought the ball earlier, and realizes that without the ball or the money, he's in deep trouble. Fusco dumps Sven on the floor and pours fake blood on him, and Carter takes a photo and tells Sven that he'll be leaving town on a fake identity. She then forwards the photo to Laskey and tells him to show it to Simmons as evidence that he followed his orders. However, before Laskey can do so, Simmons calls him and tells him to hold on killing Sven because they've discovered that they didn't get the baseball back. Laskey hesitates and then tells his HR superior that they have a problem.

As they leave, Carter and Fusco call Finch and tell him that a soda kid has the $4.4 baseball, and HR will be looking for him.

Hayden meets the soda kid on the street corner where he sells pop and pays him $20 for completing the task he gave him: buying the ball from Sven's shop.

The next morning, Reese and Finch wonder whether Hayden will abandon Natalie. Finch figures that the conman will try to get to his girlfriend and taps Natalie's phone. Hayden calls her and she demands the truth, and says that she's leaving town and going back home if he doesn't come clean with her. He finally admits that a conman, and that he's made the one big score they need to travel. Hayden tells her to meet him at his old office and Natalie reluctantly agrees.

Simmons meets Alonzo at a groundbreaking ceremony and tells him what's going on. Alonzo blames Simmons for screwing up and tells him to get the ball back. His underling assures him that they've already tapped Natalie's phone and that they know Hayden will pick her up. Alonzo tells Simmons to make everything right or he'll be sorry.

When Hayden goes back to his old office to meet Natalie, he finds Reese and Fusco waiting for him. They force him to hand over the baseball and Fusco confirms that it's authentic. Hayden asks for a chance to call Natalie and Reese reluctantly gives him thirty seconds. However, when the conman makes the call, he gets Terney, who says that they have Natalie. Terney gives Hayden twenty minutes to meet him at the auction house and turn over the baseball. Once Hayden hangs up, Reese asks him what he plans to do. Hayden admits that he hoped to con himself into becoming the man that Natalie wanted, and asks Reese to help him.

Outside the auction house, Simmons has Laskey wait with Natalie in the car while Terney takes Hayden inside so their appraiser Nagel can confirm that the baseball is real. Once he does, Laskey will kill Natalie and Terney will kill Hayden. Laskey suggests that they let Natalie go since she's harmless, but Simmons tells him to mind his place. Hayden arrives and shows them the baseball, and Simmons orders him to go in with Terney and his men. Before he goes, Hayden whispers an apology to Natalie. Once they're inside, Nagel takes the baseball and checks it.

Carter and Sam approach Laskey at the car and he admits that Carter was right and HR was going to kill an innocent woman. He gives his gun to Carter and tells her to make it look good, and Carter knocks him out.

Nagel informs Terney that the Babe Ruth signature on the baseball is in felt-tip pen, showing that it's a fake. Hayden tries to stall but Terney prepares to kill him. Reese and Sam walk in and take out Terney's men, and Reese grabs a chair and knocks Terney out. He then asks Hayden for the real baseball, and the surprised conman admits that he thought it was the real baseball. Sam tells him that they rescued Natalie and Hayden calls her. She's walking down the street and tells Hayden that she's been conning him all along. She figured that she'd let him take the risks by stealing from HR and she'd pick up the pieces. Natalie visits the soda kid and pays him for the real baseball, rather than the fake that he gave to Hayden. She then tells Hayden that she's going to fly off to somewhere at ransom just like they planned… alone. Natalie hangs up, tosses the cell phone in the soda kid's cooler, and heads for the airport.

A shocked Hayden tells Reese and Sam that he's ruined. They suggest that Hayden could actually make a living as a hypnotherapist, but Reese advises him to start back up in a different city.

That night, Terney meets Simmons and tells him what happened. Laskey has disappeared and they figure that he's involved. Simmons orders Terney to find Laskey and get the baseball. When Terney objects to being treated like a lackey, Simmons tells him to find the baseball or get ready for a $4.4 million funeral.

As Finch checks in on Root, he tries to justify imprisoning her but she doesn't buy it. He insists that her relationship with The Machine can't be good, but Root says that she worries about him and warns that neither one of them can stop what's coming. However, she says that they can be in a position to understand why things are changing. As Finch turns to go, Root promises that she'll finish what he started.

Terney drives to Laskey's apartment building and calls him, but gets his voicemail. Meanwhile,  Laskey is inside and gives Carter all of the photos that he took of Simmons. He admits that he's learned what HR is really about, and it's murder and greed. Terney comes in and draws his gun, and tells Laskey that either he kills Carter or she'll destroy HR. Laskey goes for his gun and Terney shoots him, and Carter draws and shoots him. Laskey dies immediately and Terney collapses to the floor, mortally wounded. Carter goes to him and tells him that he has one last chance to be a real cop, and asks who is in charge of HR. She gives him the photos and Terney manages to smear blood on the photo of Alonzo.