S1E15: As with all of the better Person of Interest episodes, this week’s splits its focus between the Reese of present day and that of the past—circa 2008, during his days working as a covert agent (well, his first string of days as a covert agent). Even back then, Reese was troubled. We come to understand a bit more via this week’s episode “Blue Code” that Reese was already damaged when employed by the CIA. He was darkened by all the things he had seen and done. He was completely overtaken by his love for his ex, the woman with whom we’re moderately familiar at this point. And apparently, Reese’s darkness might have brought him to some things of which we weren’t exactly privy…
"The more dangerous they are, the closer I want to be to them." - Reese
In the present day, Reese goes undercover to keep watch on the Number of the Week: a man involved in a smuggling ring. The catch—this man himself turns out to be an undercover cop. And a pretty dedicated one at that. The man is named Daniel Tully, but goes by Cahill while undercover. He is working to take down Vargas, a menacing manager of the smuggling ring, and a figure who may himself have a dirty cop in his pocket. But more important to Tully than Vargas is the man onn top of the whole operation: a mysterious figure called L.O.S.—who is revealed in the end to be a CIA agent involved in the drug smuggling business as a part of the agency’s effort to, according to Reese, “fund the war on terror.”
Many problems arise when you’re an undercover cop whose primary objective turns out to be an active CIA agent. For one, when you finally arrest him, he gets out pretty quickly. Agent Snow sees to it that L.O.S., otherwise known as Mark, is out of jail within hours. But the consequences continue, as we shall see. L.O.S. decides at the end of the episode that Tully, safe at home with his wife and son for the time being, and Carter, who was also present upon the arrest, must be “taken out.”
"No one followed me. I just needed to feel normal." - Tully
The show is really accumulating major bad guys. Elias (who is mentioned in passing this week, leading one to believe that he’ll be making a comeback), Root, and now L.O.S.. One might also include Will Ingram as an antagonist, though a different sort of one. The CIA man’s vendetta against Carter and Tully will inevitably fuel something deadly—perhaps not for Carter, who we can predict will escape the agency’s wrath, but almost definitely for Tully.
Speaking of wrath-escaping, this week ups the ante on our sympathies for Fusco even more. We’re really starting to come around to this guy as a relatively noble, if not misunderstood, figure. While investigating the case, Fusco is apprehended by the abovementioned crooked cop, who takes him out into the woods to kill on the spot. Naturally, Reese swings in just in time to dispose of the man, but not before Fusco gets to deliver a chilling, steady speech about death. Fusco seems to want out of the dirty game, but Reese is keeping him in cahoots with the baddies, as he is more useful in this bullpen. But Reese is definitely coming around, as we are, to Fusco’s inner good.
"In the army, they taught us the fastest way to get shot was to fail to clean your weapon." - Reese
"In the marines, they taught us the fastest way to clean your weapon was to shoot a couple of people with it." - Reese's partner
The flashback sequence is brief, but interesting. We see a cagey Reese grab a drink back in ’08 with a stranger—scratch that. A man to whom Reese is a stranger. But a man who Reese knows quite well. See, this man has married Reese’s ex…and what Reese plans to do about that, we never find out, because his partner—the woman who named him Reese in the first place—ropes him in from the game, keeping him from further interaction with the man.
We also see the pre-enmity relationship between Reese and Snow…which doesn’t seem to ever really have been free of hostility, despite Snow’s claim that they were once best friends. Although we’re meant to view the CIA as the bad guys, the show does make us wonder how much of Snow’s words are genuine—regarding specifically Reese’s madness and dangerousness. After all, he is pretty mad and dangerous. It’ll be interesting to see the show play out in a way that enlightens us to Snow being a far more sympathetic and heroic figure than he is painted to be.
What did you think of this week’s episode? How will L.O.S.’s plan to take out Carter manifest? Whose back stories do you enjoy more—Reese’s or Finch’s? Let us know in the comments section, or on Twitter (@MichaelArbeiter