At the CIA headquarters in Langley, Director Terence Beale calls Reese in and says that he was catching up with Kara. Beale is familiar with Reese's record, which led to him being selected for the agency's Special Activities Division. He's the one who selected Reese, and explains that he requested the two of them for the next assignment because they're his best. The Taliban has intercepted a shipment of Stinger missiles that were used in a Taliban offensive. Their job is to find out how the Taliban knew about the classified shipment. They suspect Brent Tomlinson, a military advisor who had advance knowledge of the shipment. If they confirm that Tomlinson is responsible, their job is to eliminate him and make sure there's no agency exposure.
Iris takes her parents Phil and Dinah to Scalywags, a pirate-themed bar. The psychiatrist explains that it was Reese's idea to meet there because he's working on a case nearby. Nervous, Iris calls Reese but gets no answer.
In the restaurant restroom, Reese is fighting a hitman, Kelso, and protecting the businessman he's after. He finally drops the killer and answers his phone, and tells Iris that he's in the restroom. Once Reese hangs up, he tells the businessman that his partner sent Kelso to kill him, He wishes the man a nice day and goes to join Iris and her parents as the businessman runs out.
Later, Reese goes to the subway station and tells Finch that his lunch date went well. Finch warns him to be careful what he tells Iris, but is happy Reese is trying to have a more normal life. He then gives Reese the newest Number: Alex Duncan, who works for an international consulting firm, Anderson Rake Consulting. Finch has set Reese up at the same company, and warns that the Machine still isn't unreliable when delivering information besides Numbers. It has sent Finch a printout of binary numbers and he has no idea what it is. Root comes in dressed as a package delivery driver and says that she has to head to training. Reese reluctantly heads to the company.
Reese arrives at the company and Finch tells him that the Department of Defense is one of Anderson Rake's clients. When Reese spots Duncan, Finch confirms that the computer programmer comes from a military family and has no criminal record. Alex goes to the break room to get some coffee, and Reese tries to clone his phone. It fails, and Alex drops a coffee cup. Reese comes over and helps him, and says that he's new there. Alex says that he's with security systems management, and Reese invites him to have a beer after work. The Number awkwardly turns him down, and Reese tells Finch that Alex is nervous and on-edge. Finch says that SSM handles security for major clients such as the government.
As everyone leaves at the end of the day, Alex stays behind at his desk. Reese watches from his cubicle and ducks out of sight. Once Alex thinks that he's alone, he goes into his supervisor's office and opens a safe. As Alex takes photos of the contents and puts them back, Reese tells Finch what is happening, Reese then follows Alex down the street, and watches as two agents escort Alex to a nearby SUV. Beale gets out and Reese warns Finch that his old boss is involved. The agents knock Alex out, and Finch warns Reese that he can't intercede because Beale would recognize him. Reese reluctantly concedes the point and goes to get a bigger gun.
Brent arrives at his office and finds Reese and Kara waiting for him. They question him about the shipment, and Kara tells him to get comfortable discussing classified information.
Finch suggests that Alex may be a spy, but Reese says Beale eliminates enemies to the state. He says that he'll be careful that Beale doesn't see him, and asks Finch to consult the Machine. Finch warns that he can't promise anything and takes a call from Root. Root is busy hauling packages, and she figures that the Machine put her there because they delivered several packages to a building in midtown. However, they were rerouted by the delivery computer, which had them pick up the same packages later and take them to the original addresses. There is no tenant at the delivery suit, and Root has confirmed that packages have been going there for weeks. All of the packages are from electronics companies, and Root figures that Samaritan is involved. Finch asks her to secure a package for him, but she warns that they're all tracked. She spots a deliveryman approaching and tells Finch that she has to go.
That night, the Machine identifies a stretch of road as the last location of Beale's car. Reese spots an isolated building and figures that Beale is using it for his operation.
In the building, Beale asks Alex what he was going to do with the classified information. The drugged Alex refuses to answer, and Beale is called away. A masked Reese knocks out Alex's guard and takes Alex out, but Beale and more agents open fire. Reese tosses out a smoke grenade and gets Alex to the car, and then returns fire with a machine gun. Beale gets a brief glimpse of Reese and recognizes his driving style. He and his agents get in the SUV and discover that Reese has sabotaged the vehicle.
As Kara searches through Brent's things for the payoff, Reese points out that Brent is one of the few people who knew about the shipment. Brent insists that he's innocent and says that he volunteered for the post because he believes in what the U.S. army is doing there. Reese asks if he's made a difference, and Brent says that he has but it's a lost cause. He does it because it's the job he signed up for. Kara orders him to open his secure case, and draws a gun on him when he refuses. Brent opens it and there's nothing inside but standard papers.
The next day, Alex wakes up in a high-end hotel room. He wonders who Reese is, and Reese says that the CIA abducted Alex earlier. Finch calls in and says that he's helping Root, and will be unavailable for a short time. Reese goes back in and demands answers from Alex. Alex insists that he's not a spy. He was looking for information about his brother, Paul... who is dead.
Root drives her truck to a dead zone and Finch meets her. Her trainer is unconscious in the back and they check the packages for Samaritan malware. The trainer starts to wake up and Root knocks him out again. Finch finds some code in the firmware that doesn't belong and makes a copy. He leaves as the trainer, Garrett, wakes up and Root feigns innocence.
Alex tells Reese that Paul was eight years older than him and raised him because their father was in the Army. Paul followed in his father's footsteps, and they fell apart. Alex's brother was killed in action, but his job was classified. Alex wanted to know what happened to him, and he rose in position at the company to access the military files. Reese says that he knows what it's like to lose someone and want to know why, and Alex has learned that Paul was under investigation for treason. When Reese checks the photos, he discovers that Paul worked for the Pentagon as an intelligence advisor. He was in Afghanistan and the CIA suspected Paul was behind a stolen weapons shipment. Reese finds a photo of Paul and realizes that he was undercover as Brent Tomlinson. He tells Alex that he has to figure out their next move and steps outside, and checks in with Finch. Finch wonders how Paul died.
Paul complains about how his country has mistreated him. Reese shoots him dead and says that they're done.
Reese tells Finch that he killed Paul, and Finch warns him that he can't tell Alex the truth. He says that he can make a fake ID for Alex in another country, but Reese warns that Beale will track Alex down regardless. Reese figures that he needs to convince Beale to back off, and tells Finch that he'll need his help.
That night, Finch goes to an outdoor café in time square and sets up his laptop. He then tries to breach a CIA database, looking for Paul. Beale gets a report on the attempt and his men trace the hack. Soon, Finch discovers that he's been locked out and checks his time.
Reese gets himself and Alex into the company using a fake key card. They go to the supervisor's office and open the safe.
Beale and his men move in on Finch's table. They surround a man at a table, but he's not Finch. Finch's laptop is nearby, and Beale realizes that he's been played.
Finch returns to the station and checks the computer where he's dissecting the malware they found on the truck. Once active, the malware accesses all of the information on infected device and sends it to Samaritan. It has other advanced functions but Finch hasn't been able to decipher them yet. Root says that she worked out the binary numbers on the printout. It's a text file of a poem by Emily Dickinson about metamorphosis. They wonder what is being changed: them or the Machine, or both.
As Reese stands guard, he tells Alex that Paul must have gotten close to something sensitive. Alex hacks the computers and finds a brief to Paul about an incoming weapon shipment. The shipment was a joint operation between the Pentagon and the CIA to provide arms to their allies. The Stingers were in the shipment but restricted from going to foreign allies. He op was conducted off the books without CIA approval, and Reese realizes that the CIA thought Alex was digging up information on the op. If the information got out then it would take down some powerful people. As they head out, CIA agents get the drop on them and Beale knocks Reese out from behind.
The CIA agents load Reese and Alex into Beale's SUV. As they drive away, Reese wakes up and Beale explains how he recognized him. He tells Alex that they used to work together, and insists that Alex is a spy. Beale realizes that Reese didn't tell Alex what really happened to Paul, and Reese admits that he questioned Paul. Alex asks what happened, and Reese claims that they left because Paul was innocent. He assures Alex that Paul stayed true to himself and his mission. A few days later, Paul was hit by an air strike while doing his job, making a difference. Beale confirms Reese's claim and says that Paul was a hero.
Reese attacks Beale and the man next to him, and grabs the driver. The SUV goes out of control and flips, and Beale crawls out. Reese is waiting with Alex, and aims a gun at Beale. He says that it ends now, and Beale nods in agreement. Satisfied, Reese and Alex walk away.
The next day, Root tells Finch that she was fired for safety violations. She's installed the malware on a computer and is letting it run. When Finch wonders why, Root explains that the computer is isolated. She figures that the Machine sent the poem to tell them to let the malware run its course. The malware is replicating itself and overriding the computer's original programming. When Finch worries that it's a risk, Root tells him that they have to take risks if they want to find Sam or a way to defeat Samaritan. If they don't then they've already lost.
Reese spots Beale following him and stops at a magazine kiosk. Beale joins him and asks where Alex is, and Reese says that he took a vacation. When the CIA director wonders why he should forget Alex, Reese promises that if anyone goes after Alex then the information on the op will go public. Beale wonders why Reese didn't tell Alex the truth, and Reese figures that Alex needed to believe that Paul was a hero so he could let it go. He tells Beale that a lot has changed, and Beale figures that the world needs more people like them. The director assures Reese that he'll leave his name out of his report. He suggests that maybe it's because Reese spared his life... and maybe it's because he likes the idea of Reese out there still doing what needs to be done.
Kara finds a false bottom in the case with the money. She wonders how Reese knew, and he says that he didn't. He figured that Paul was justifying too much and thought the country owed him. Kara tells Reese that Beale picked him because Reese had no real family. He knew that Reese would give everything to the agency because he had nothing to go back to. Kara says that they can't have normal lives, and Beale picked them because they don't… and why they're good at their jobs.
Reese takes Iris for a walk in the park and she wonders if something about his side job is bothering him. He says that his past is what the problem is, and Iris tells him that he can't control his past but he can control his future. Reese worries about the things he's done, and says that he still has to be that person… and that person can't have a normal life because of the job. Iris wonders when the job will be done, and Reese doesn't have an answer for her. She hopes that one day he'll be able to have a normal life, and realizes that it won't be with her. Iris kisses him and says goodbye, and then walks away. Finch calls and says that they have a new Number, and Reese heads out.
Written by Gadfly on May 11, 2016