The "Person of Interest" episode "2 Pi R" was a much more cerebral and interesting episode than usual for the show. It may not appeal to those who enjoy the higher level of action that Reese (Jim Caviezel) brings to the series, but it was fascinating enough to be a fantastic episode in its own right. In fact, it lost nothing in the way of intrigue and could probably survive without Reese altogether. That's not saying he shouldn't come back. It's just nice to see something new for a change.
Finch: the best substitute teacher, like ever!
The Machine's numbers don't stop coming in for anyone, even with Reese locked in jail. In Reese's absence, Finch (Michael Emerson) is forced to do some legwork, which is difficult with his disability. In order to follow his latest young POI, Caleb Phipps (Luke Kleintank), he goes undercover as the substitute teacher, Mr. Swift.
For the dull students in the classroom, Finch is a minor annoyance. For anyone who loves math, he's just about the best teacher you could ever dream of having. You would think at least one other person besides Caleb would be more interested in what Mr. Swift had to say. It may have been fun to see at least one "nerd" attempting to argue with Finch about math problems. Instead, even the computer "boy genius," Caleb, feigns stupidity in order to fit in. Makes you wonder what is really going on in the classrooms around the country. Hopefully the majority of students aren't so dim in real life.
Carter becomes blasé about breaking the rules
Carter (Taraji P. Henson) has spent enough time on the Finch and Reese wonder team to understand how to truly fight crime. Her rose-colored glasses are officially smashed to smithereens. Finch doesn't even have to tell her what she needs to do. She comes up with an entire plan of subterfuge on her own.
In step one of her plan, she immediately deletes Reese's fingerprints. That part is a piece of cake for her. The next step is a bit more difficult, but she's got that nailed down, too, with just a little help from Finch. It's not Finch's plan, mind you. It's all Carter. She even dresses up in her sexiest outfit to deliver drugs that will knock out the man who will unknowingly provide Reese with a substitute DNA sample. Once she retrieves the sample, she deftly makes the switch without incident.
Unfortunately, FBI Agent Donnelly knows something is up. Although he's great at sniffing out something fishy, he's not so great at sniffing out a mole. It's a good thing Carter has good intentions. If she was working against Donnelly for nefarious reasons, the FBI would be in big trouble. Carter really seems to enjoy sticking it to Donnelly, too.
Fusco carries Reese's torch, just not very far
Fusco (Kevin Chapman) tries his best to back up Finch while Reese is in jail. He proves to be helpful, but not enough to keep Finch from having to do most of the work. He does "crack the case," in a sense, by confronting a transit cop who had apparently lied about the death of Caleb's brother. The report said it was an accident, but Fusco learns that someone may have actually pushed him. The confrontation yields the truth: It really was an accident, but as a result of a game of chicken the boys were playing on the tracks. Caleb, therefore, blamed himself.
Caleb: future ally?
Caleb is a young man throwing away his talents over guilt. He begins dealing drugs in order to make a small fortune to keep in a trust for his mother. He writes an incredible computer program that compresses data to such a large extent that the entire Library of Congress can fit on a thumb drive, then tries to get one of his teachers to sell it for him to leave even more money in the trust after he is gone.
He won't be around to enjoy it, as he plans to off himself on the tracks where his brother died. Of course, Finch doesn't let that happen. He convinces Caleb that money can't replace Caleb in his mother's life. In the end, Finch reveals enough information to Caleb to intimate his secret identity as a hacker of the origins of the Internet, Arpanet. Basically, Finch hints at having created the Internet as we know it today! He also gives Caleb his phone number, which happens to be contained somewhere within the first 3,000 digits of Pi. Here's hoping Caleb figures out what it is and calls Finch up someday for another awesome nerd-fest episode!
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