If I were Detective Szymanski (assuming he's not dirty, of course--he does make an offhand comment early in this episode that makes you go hmm), I'd start to get a complex around Joss Carter. Every time he works a case with her, it gets derailed because of Carter's connection with Reese. Yes, folks, Mike McGlone's contract got renewed, which will satisfy all of his method-acting fans out there. Szymanski survived the end of "Baby Blue" from season one, and will likely have more botched cases anytime that the Bat-family--er, the Finch-Reese-Carter-Fusco co-op--gets a POI that happens to be on his radar as well. Whether he'll ever actually get his own collar, at least he's engaging to watch, and provides a nice alternate to FBI Agent Donnelly (who, unlike Szymanski, at least didn't leave season one empty-handed, courtesy of Fusco's anonymous email at the end of "Firewall").
The POI story was nicely done as well. Granted, it was similar to some prior ones in many ways, but I don't believe this is accidental or repetitive, as it teases you into the fun guess-the-ending debate, whether with others in your home, or even just with yourself. As usual in episodes like this, it also throws in a couple of new twists that add to the entertainment. Nothing earth-shaking, mind you, but faithful viewers will still get their "cookies" as always.
This episode continues the evenly-paced work of last week's "Masquerade" by taking the time to set up the season in the aftermath of the major events of the finale-premiere story arc. Nolan & company are allowing the foursome to find their footing and reestablish the rapport that makes this show so addictive, while sagely and cleverly reintroducing the recurring players a few at a time. Last week it was Stanton and Snow, this week it's Szymanski and Elias. Next up: Zoe, Donnelly, and Simmons (which will hopefully answer that nagging leftover question: "Hey, Fusco, did ya forget someone's name in that anonymous email? Seriously!"). Just like casually, deliberately putting each chess piece in place on a board.
And, like last week, they also didn't fall into the trap that so many other shows do--of acting like the ratings-boosting finale-premiere events never happened. Root's never mentioned by name, but still serves as Finch's foil in a very real sense.
Speaking of foils, the foil-crossover between Finch and Elias was to die for, both the banter and the "cookie" when Elias unknowingly or knowingly quotes someone else. And that last scene between them was awesome. (Did you notice it was all facial acting--no lines? Masterful stuff. The restraint level in POI is pure genius.)
Two episodes in a row without flashbacks--makes you wonder what's coming ... :)