Person of Interest 4×06 Pretenders – Finch in Hong Kong
“Pretenders” – Reese, Shaw and Fusco must protect a unassuming office worker who stumbles into a dangerous conspiracy while moonlighting as fake detective. Meanwhile, Finch travels to Hong Kong as part of his academic cover identity, on PERSON OF INTEREST.
Pretenders – Professor Whistler in Hong Kong
I wanted to talk about Harold’s trip to Hong Kong in the episode Pretenders. In the video recap and review I did for the episode I had so much to say about the goings on in New York—about Reese, the number, Walter Dang, heroes, criminals, big guns, etc.—that I only briefly mentioned Harold Finch and Professor Whistler’s Hong Kong adventure.
The episode began with Finch talking to Reese through the ear-piece then Harold calls John’s phone giving him the details about their new number. Finch was using the satellite phone already only sending the details through his and Reese’s cell on their mesh network. I can’t say where Harold was exactly when he made the call but later on when Shaw is at the number’s place of work—that had to take time to set up—I think Finch handled all those details while in flight. When Shaw shows up at The Haven to find out what other task Harold has for her, Finch is already in Hong Kong checking in; Professor Whistler was called away to a conference.
After being handed an ID card and a folder at the conference, Professor Whistler is introduced to Elizabeth Bridges. She wanted to meet him because the paper Whistler wrote was totally wrong in her opinion. (The ideas he wrote annoyed her, annoyed her enough she had to seek Professor Whistler out. I wonder now if the thing was written that way intentionally.) After a break (I wonder if Whistler presented his paper) we come back to Harold calling Shaw to check in. After comforting a distraught Bear and talking to Shaw about how to retrieve calls and texts from a damaged sim card, Finch cuts the call short to confront Beth in order to continue their discussion. I assume they are where the conference was being held and Harold suggests they walk back to their hotel. I am not nerdish enough to get everything they were discussing but generally Beth is for full speed ahead in scientific advances while Harold extols caution. While on the way back the two are mugged, the thief taking both their bags.
Beth is irate that the mugger took her laptop and wants to call the HKPD. Harold convinces her not to, his ID was stolen and he begs her not to get the PD involved, Professor Whistler has visa problems. (Okay red flags should have popped up here for me—since when has Harold Finch ever had problems with his identities?) Instead he convinces Ms. Bridges they can confront the culprit; Harold thinks he knows where thief works when he’s not out mugging people. Hah! While waiting outside the restaurant for the thief to make a delivery Harold talked about TM in a way. Finch had all those problems (flashbacks we saw in Prophets) but continued on because building it would help and he later had reasons to regret it. When the delivery guy goes to leave, Harold swings a mean umbrella and knocks him off the bike. Harold and Beth grab their things from the motorbike and flee.
The conference is over, Professor Whistler and Beth Bridges say goodbye. Harold accepts her invitation to meet for coffee when Beth comes to New York in a month to talk an ‘angel’ to invest in her company. Harold is all smiles looking for all the world like he has been smitten and wants to see Beth again, very much. Until we see the smile fade as Finch watches her walk away. Harold later meets up with the supposed mugger; the theft was all a ruse to get Ms. Bridges laptop away from her. Finch pays him for installing something (what we don’t know) on her computer. Why? The angel investor Elizabeth Bridges is meeting with in New York is with Decima and Samaritan. No one, even Greer, knows why Samaritan is so interested in Beth’s algorithms.
What did Harold Finch have put into Bridge’s laptop? Was it some kind of Spy-ware—a computer virus hidden in Beth’s algorithms? Professor Whistler’s trip to Hong Kong was more than likely orchestrated by Finch and The Machine from beginning to end. The paper Professor Whistler wrote lured Beth Bridges to confront him. The more than just a friendly discussion over their different outlooks cultivated a relationship. Elizabeth Bridges suspected nothing with her laptop being stolen and retrieved because of that relationship. This was a mission. Did Finch want to trick this unsuspecting woman. No. But did he have to? Yes. This is war.
Professor Whistler is Called Away
Mugging in Hong Kong
Professor Whistler the Hero
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