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Person of Interest 4×06 Pretenders Revisited

Written by Blue Finch   // January 3, 2015

Person of Interest pretenders

Person of Interest 4×06 Pretenders Revisited Revisited



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.

Person of Interest season 4, Pretenders began with an unknown member of the NYPD investigating the scene of an apparent suicide, Abel Mindler. The Machine catches an audio feed about a dead driver and a missing truck then switches to a video feed of The Lyric Diner. Inside Detective Riley/John Reese is fighting with a large man who grabs a sawed-off and fires off a harmless round into the ceiling. Reese disarms the shooter, advises the number to not sleep with the landlord’s wife next time, and tosses the shotgun to a surprised Detective Fusco. Reese expects just a little thanks from his partner for the ‘we’ just stopped an attempted homicide. Finch calls in to see how John is doing and after hearing this irrelevant was saved sends Reese a picture text of their newest number, Walter Dang. Shaw poses as a temp at the insurance company where Walter works. Shaw clones Dang’s phone and finds out he hasn’t had a call or text in days, yet this clumsy bumbling nobody is in danger. Walter gives his condolences to a coworker, Elena Mindler, whose brother committed suicide. The sister can’t believe her brother killed himself and didn’t even leave her a note. Walter responds, “I’m working on that.” While Shaw looks on, Walter takes the sim card out of a broken cell phone and puts it into a burner. Before Shaw can examine what data was on the burner when she cloned it, Walter grabs a ‘movie detective’s hat’ and leaves the office. Shaw goes to follow him, but Finch tells her that John can follow Dang, that she is needed elsewhere.


Finch’s cover ID, Professor Whistler, has been called away to a conference in Hong Kong. Shaw takes over the com while Finch takes a sixteen hour flight to Honk Kong. John follows Walter Dang to an old hotel turned apartment building. This is the place where Elena’s brother, Abel, supposedly jumped from the fire escape. Reese and Shaw discuss why Dang is there. John notices Walter has an illegal concealed weapon. Is he somehow involved and was Abel’s death a suicide? Shaw looks over the police reports Fusco sent, everything points to suicide except a witness said she heard arguing before Abel jumped. The witness’s account of the events was deemed unreliable, nevertheless that still raised the team’s suspicions. The sim card Walter switched came from Abel’s phone. Walter may not have been involved in the death of Mindler, but he knows something. Reese asked but Shaw wasn’t successful in getting anything off Abel’s sim card as to why Walter would have it. There was nothing on it indicating the men even knew each other but there were plenty of phone calls between Abel and a man called Banks Van Hess about an important delivery. Reese has followed Walter to a port authority office of an airport whereupon John learns Walter’s alter ego is Detective Jack Forge. It just so happens the other pretend detective wants to question Mr. Van Hess who is a supervisor there. Reese ends up knocking out Detective Forge and carrying him out to safety when Walter stumbles upon two masked men murdering Van Hess. (We hear Banks telling one of the masked intruders right before the gunman shot him that he didn’t know where it was.)


Reese, as Detective Riley, pretends he and the fake detective are working on the same case, convincing Walter to accompany him back to the station. Detective Forge gives up what he knows about the case via the victim Abel’s cell phone. A somewhat confused Fusco figures out Forge is an impostor. (Evidence tags do not just fall off, Detective Forge.) While John convinces Lionel to play along because the fake detective is in over his head and is going to get himself killed, Walter walks out of the police station. Meanwhile Shaw has an aww moment with Bear and Finch because Bear won’t eat before she asks Harold how to get more out of a damaged sim card. Finch tells her to look into the cloud. When we see Walter again he’s back at work, his real job at the insurance office. He starts getting phone calls that have him fleeing his office. Shaw is fighting death by boredom surfing through Abel’s cloud when she hears an upset Abel talking to Van Hess about what he was hauling, which were big guns that fired big rounds. She calls Reese, fills him in and hurries to help. More masked men try to kidnap Walter as one of them throws a bag over his head. We can’t see either, but hear a disturbance and when we all can see again; it is Reese’s face we first view. Reese still has a shootout with some other men, one with that huge gun. Shaw has arrived, shoots big gun guy from her sniper-hide; they save Walter (a first time). Of course he has questions, like, who John Riley really is. He knows John is no cop. Shaw and Fusco meet up with Detective Riley who has Walter and said big gun. Walter thinks John is some kind of super hero and it only confirms it in his mind when the others drive up ala the super hero’s sidekicks. They discus said gun, its effectiveness against Kevlar or bullet proof limos. Shaw heads back to The Haven, Detective Fusco takes the gun and Detective Riley takes Walter. John hides Walter in a room at the station that just so happens to have police scanners. Dang relates a story about how he would listen to the scanners at night, about hearing about the Man in The Suit, a vigilante hero even though he annoyed the police by evading them. It dawns on Walter that John is his superhero, TMITS.


While Walter is supposedly safe, Reese talks with Shaw; she couldn’t trace any calls from Abel to Walter. Shaw did find another deleted text between Abel and Van Hess. The big gun was a prototype and Van Hess smuggled in 20 crates containing 100 more of them. Fusco is ambushed by two fake cops when he tries to turn the gun into evidence. Meanwhile someone from the FBI comes to get Walter but it is only Marconi (Scarface) trying to abduct Walter for Elias. Elias and John meet up. Elias is trying to find that shipment of guns, not to benefit his organization, but to keep the guns out of his city. There is someone called The Armorer who is also trying to find the missing truck that Abel had abandoned once he found out what was inside. Elias only tried to take Walter Dang because he has the sim card that came from Abel’s damaged phone. Fusco is taking Walter to a safe-house and waiting on Detective Riley when Reese calls him to tell him everyone is after Walter for the sim card. It has the GPS coordinates in it to the location of that truck. The Armorer’s people manage to take Walter this time and John is winged in the arm. Shaw is able to send Reese and Fusco the GPS coordinates from her clone of the sim card. They arrive just in time to keep Walter from being shot by The Armorer although seriously out-manned. Scarface shows up with a super gun of his own and The Armorer along with his men are dispatched but not without a bit of heroics by Walter Dang. He pushes John out of the way, gets shot on the arm himself, before Fusco shoots the gunman. Walter apologizes for letting John down by being the cause of him getting shot. John just pats Walter’s face, tells him he did good, and puts Walter’s glasses back on. Elias tries to get the name of The Armorer’s boss by promising to save the man’s life. Scarface shoots him though when the answer is a no. Elias is not concerned that happened, he knows who the boss is.


Along the river at night we see Elias meet up with Dominic. It was Dominic who was behind creating The Armorer. Elias tells the gang leader he doesn’t have Dominic’s guns, they were destroyed by the NYPD. Dominic tells Elias to keep out of his business and for the old crime boss to go back into hiding. Elias warns The Brotherhood’s leader that like the river he was merely resting, he is back now and warned Dominic to stay out of his business. John walks into Walter Dang’s office with him and thanks Walter in front of everyone for helping the NYPD. Everyone is impressed including the woman Walter has a crush on, Abel’s sister. Walter tells Detective Riley his secret is safe with him. Dang finishes his story about The Man in The Suit. He created his Jack Forge personae to do what he could because The Man in The Suit had went away. Someone one needed to step in and Dang thought “Why not me? But me kinda sucks.” …. “But I was wrong wasn’t I? He never really went away.”


Finch Honk Kong

Pretenders Finch in Honk Kong


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. When Pretenders ended the question was left unanswered what was installed on Beth’s laptop.

Pretenders – Stage One

Person of Interest season 4 resumes Tuesday January 6th 10/9c on CBS



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