CBS Broadcasting Inc.
John Reese (Jim Caviezel) was taking a trip to get away since he was still disconsolate at the death of Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson), but apparently the Machine had other plans. First it oversold his original flight to Istanbul and then opened up a seat in first class on another flight. Reese then got bumped from his seat to another due to a honeymooning couple wanting to sit together. One with someone being monitored by two marshals, one of whom was immediately knocked out in the lavatory after going to the bathroom – a situation that Reese discovered after the machine called a cell phone that he’d taken from a jerk who was talking too loudly on it and ignoring warnings to turn it off as the plane was taking off. He called to ream out Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), who said he hadn’t sent him a number.
Reese wanted no part of it and tried to warn the other marshal, who told him to vamoose. Seconds after the marshal said that, he collapsed and someone tried to stab the asset with a needle. The would-be assassin’s head then met Reese’s knee. It was ascertained the marshals had busted an online drug market and the person being transported, named Owen Matthews, was a witness. The person who tried to kill Matthews was a member of the drug cartel with its leader known for being absolutely ruthless.
To make matters worse, Matthews, who resembled a typical computer nerd, and looked about as threatening as a fruit fly, had a mouth on him. Reese had to resort to a bit of electroshock with Matthews’ stun belt to get him to get a bit more in line.
Sensing a bad situation, Finch had to send Samantha Shaw (Sarah Shahi) to see her former employers, The Activity – the people who wanted her dead before – to see why this person was of interest.
On the plane, the situation got worse for Reese. The honeymooning couple turned out to be assassins – Mossad agents. They tried to kill Matthews, but Reese intervened again while all the while everyone on the plane was distracted by an airline disaster movie. One of them stabbed Reese in the shoulder with a fork. “I guess the honeymoon is over,” Reese quipped.
After threatening to disembowel one of the members, the one who booked all the flights for the agents, Shaw found out that there was an Activity agent – the one who replaced her – on the plane. Forwarned, Reese saw him and dispatched him, but Matthews fled in the confusion. Which, considering he was on a plane and trapped inside for several more hours, NOT A GOOD IDEA.
Reese found Matthews in a lavatory, knocked him out and moved him into the cargo hold, with assistance from a pretty flight attendant he had befriended earlier. On the ground, Shaw tracked down Hersh (Boris McGiver) – who had survived that blast from Vigilance and looked worse for the wear becaise of it – at a restaurant and drugged him. He told her that I.S.A. had an interest in the situation. In a bit of a comedic situation, Hersh then passed out at the table while Shaw walked away. It turned out that Matthews was The Sphinx, a notorious underworld figure. After Reese had to dispatch of the I.S.A agent again, he discovered that there there was another cartel assassin on board, this one disguised as a flight attendant and he was going to crash the plane to kill Matthews … and everyone else on board.
The assassin shot the pilot, disabled the co-pilot and began putting the plane into a descent, intending to crash it on the tarmac in Rome. The flight attendant was unable to override the door’s locks, but Reese, taking a page from United 93, grabbed a food cart and rammed it into the door, smashing it open. Inside, he began fighting the assassin, while no one was controlling the plane. Everyone was doomed.
Ah, but on the ground, Finch was able to hack into the airline’s controls and by using the controls from a flight simulator joystick, was able to safely land the plane. Of course, all the passengers were blissfully unaware that they had come thisclose to dying. After all the passengers exited, Reese went to the baggage area and grabbed a large travel crate. Matthews was inside and Reese sent him off to a safe house where Finch would contact him to set him up with a new identity and place to live.
Later, Reese met the flight attendant for a drink in Rome. She gave him her card and told him to call her when he got back in the United States. After she left, he met Finch, who was sitting at a cafe table nearby. Finch had come personally to set up Matthews’ new life. There was a bit of awkward conversation, but Finch admitted that he missed Carter terribly too. He also said that he had purposely set up the Machine to always have a human element decide the fate of someone. He offered to have Reese join him at a museum. Reese declined, which made Finch’s look crestfallen, but he said that he had wanted to go to a tailor … so he could be fitted for a new suit. That made Finch’s day, since he knew that mean Reese was coming back to work.
Matthews: “Who are you?”
Reese: “A concerned frequent flyer.”
“You seem like an angry guy. Do you want to talk about that?” — Matthews to Reese
“I didn’t like my boss’s boss.” – Reese
“What do you need hairspray for? That salt-and-pepper hair is catnip for soccer moms. Go au naturale.” — Matthews
*death glare from Reese, who had been looking for a possible weapon*
“I thought you got rid of that walking steroid?” — Matthews to Reese as the I.S.A. agent bore down on them for the second time.