'Person of Interest' episode ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’ recap, review: Just when you think you’re out

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The "Person of Interest" episode "Prisoner's Dilemma" was all about springing Reese (Jim Caviezel) from jail, with a small bit of hilarious comic relief thrown in courtesy of Det. Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman) and a supermodel (Karolina Kurkova, playing herself). It's been said before, but this episode may be the best so far. The abundance of intrigue and suspense was balanced by a healthy dose of hilariously cheesy '70s cop show elements that took the series to new heights. It's as if the writers removed Reese from last week's story just so fans would appreciate him all the more this week. Fantastic!

The interrogation

Donnelly (Brennan Brown) pushes Carter (Taraji P. Henson) to interrogate the four "man in the suit" suspects, starting with Reese. The FBI goes to the office where Mr. John "Warren" says he works. It all checks out, complete with an office full of pictures of him with friends, and a woman who says she's worried that he's been missing from work for three days. Impressive work, Finch (Michael Emerson) and Reese! Makes you wonder if the people in the photos with "Warren" would check out, as well.

Elias to the rescue

There are still people who want the "man in the suit" dead but don't know what he looks like. One of them is sent to the prison at Rikers in order to kill all four suspects. Elias (Enrico Colantoni) happens to be there, which was probably part of the plan to sniff out the man the FBI are looking for. They know he has had dealings with Elias in the past. Elias wants to help, since Reese saved his life before Reese knew who Elias really was. Reese warns him not to help too much, for fear that it would blow his cover.

Adventures with Kara Stanton

Throughout the episode, viewers are treated to flashbacks of Reese's dealings with Kara Stanton (Annie Parisse), back when they were both CIA operatives. The main takeaway is that Kara is the devil disguised as a pretty woman. She definitely has way too much fun killing people. Reese admits to her that he loves his job, but at least he doesn't smile wildly while shooting bullets into people. He clearly loves his job for other reasons, and one of them seems to be Kara herself. His attraction to her is revealed they share a kiss. So, it looks as if he's into bad girls!

The deal breaker

A confluence of events leads Donnelly to believe that "Warren" (Reese) is their man. Finch helps Reese just a little too much, then one of the other four men -- the only man removed as a suspect early on in the interrogations -- is murdered by the guys who want the "man in the suit" dead. Donnelly misunderstands everything going on, but it doesn't change the fact that he's chosen the correct suspect.

Donnelly gives "Warren" a final test by having him pummeled by the other prisoners. Reese keeps his cover by barely fighting back. Elias saves him in the end by calling off the beating before they kill poor Reese. Carter, exasperated, goes in and administers some tough questioning to the one other suspect they have not ruled out. When he tries to strangle her, she tells Donnelly they've got their man. Case closed.

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Fusco's supermodel adventures

Meanwhile, Fusco is on his own, saving a beautiful supermodel from certain death. His adventures begin with pepper spray and a good purse beating, before he identifies himself as a cop, and ends with Fusco risking his life in a spray of gunfire set to some funky '70s music. The cheesy line, "No Lionel, save yourself!" adds to the mood. She even gives Fusco a kiss to thank him before they part ways. Man, Fusco has really been getting the attention of pretty ladies lately -- that sly dog!


Friends with the devil

Donnelly never bought Carter's act. He knew it was Reese from the moment Carter lost her cool after witnessing Reese's beating. When Reese and Carter meet up after Reese's release, Donnelly is there to greet them. Fortunately for them, Donnelly no longer trusts anyone, now that he knows the one person he thought he could trust (Carter) is Reese's friend. Consequently, he keeps his discovery a secret as he drives the two in handcuffs to a safe house.

It would be easy for Finch to track and release his friends from a safe house, but Kara Stanton has other plans. The Machine persistently sends Finch a new number, which turns out to be Donnelly's. Finch calls Donnelly in a panicked effort to save his life, but it's too late. Kara smashes Donnelly's SUV, shoots him dead, then dispenses a syringe of drugs in Reese's neck. It looks like Reese will be a prisoner once again, but this time to a much more dangerous captor!

More from this contributor:

'Person of Interest' episode '2 Pi R' recap, review: Finch, Carter highlighted in Reese's absence

'Person of Interest' episode 'Shadow Box' recap, review: Stealing under the guise of giving

'Person of Interest' episode 'C.O.D.' recap: Cash cab

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