Not one of the strongest episodes of the series in terms of drama or action, but a strong, plotty offering chock full of gold nuggets in terms of dialogue, reveals and chemistry.
While the overall plot seemed simple (and then got rather complicated), it was the little scenes that made this episode so great:
Finch playing chess with Elias. Those two aren't just playing a superficial game of strategy and skill, oh no. There's layers upon layers of clues and hints and real life considerations, and I love the way Elias is so good at appearing charming and "mostly harmless" while we all know he is one of the most lethal men in the PoI universe.
The mental and verbal sparring between Finch and Elias is a joy to behold, and I love the way they have this wary respect for each other despite being very much on opposite sides.
Geeking out - the tone between Finch and this episodes main number was great, "flirtatious" enough that Reese drily asked if they wanted to be left alone. I have absolutely no idea WHAT they're saying, but I like the WAY they say it - and I love the way Finch defies the modern day image of the master hacker; the sloppily dressed ageing teenager, subsisting on coffeinated drinks and cheesedoodles.
No, Finch is a different breed of hacker, a "grand old man" who has still managed to stay fresh and updated on the tech side of things, while still donning his antiquated wardrobe as if born to it.
Every time some young whipper snapper gets in his face, expecting him to be some ignorant oldtimer, he always manages to put them in their place, usually with that enigmatic little grin. :)
Shaw returned - and did so with panache. Getting the drop on Reese, locating Finch's lair and befriending Bear, and deciding to go after Root because "you think I need a hobby". Priceless. :) The realization that Finch hacked the CIA to give her ex-partner a heroic epitaph and his parents some peace of mind was handled in a nice, understated manner; I think she liked the way he managed to fix the one thing she really wanted to do, and never demanded or truly expected anything in return - he asked her to join the team, but didn't really expect or pressure her to say yes.
And boor Beecher. To get played like that, and by someone you have reason to trust? Not a cool way to go. Kudos to him for pursuing the matter, though, even so far as to go directly to Elias himself.
Too bad he didn't get to patch things up properly with Carter - I liked that she got the chance to ask him out before it was too late, though, letting him know she was willing to talk and maybe trust him again. Better than going out as "enemies".
Last, but not least?
Mr. British accent, stating that he was going to find and eliminate the one person who was behind the whole mess - and The Machine instantly tagging him as a threat.
I'm telling you, it's still keeping its hand over its Daddy. <3