Al Sapienza

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Photo Courtesy Of CBS

Photo Courtesy Of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Are we stuck with a predestined future, failing to alter our fate even if we change our ways? That question’s been posed for over a hundred years, the subject of Charles Dickens’ classic story “A Christmas Carol,” as Ebenezer Scrooge, evolved into a kind and generous man after getting visited by three spirits, on a Christmas Eve, long ago. The latest episode of the CBS series “Person Of Interest,” examined that subject, as John Reese realized with a little help, that he needs to let people into his life. However, Reese unlike Scrooge was very familiar with the spirit that visited him.

Once again, the show-runners of Person Of Interest, bend the envelope of the format, this time keeping the viewers on their toes, determining, fact from fiction. It’s a cold open, already unusual for the show, known for their opening and the ominous words “We are being watched.” The screen’s black but we hear the sound of banging, screaming and sirens, then we see Reese sitting behind the wheel of a car, while Harold Finch sits in the back and complains about Bear. Finch’s upset that the dog’s digested two rare books of his, Reese offers to buy him a new one, but Harold says John doesn’t get a large enough salary.

The passenger door opens and Detective Joss Carter enters the car, with coffee. We know it’s a flashback as Carter got killed in the middle of the previous season. They’re staking out a number a guy named Benny Belasco, whose on bad terms with HR. Reese and Finch are unsure if he’ll get knocked off by a corrupt cop, or Belasco will shoot a member of the NYPD. Harold asks if they’ve got this handled, as he needs to walk and feed Bear.

He leaves and Carter remarks she’s not used to arriving so early, Reese asks what she means. She responds she’s in homicide, usually the people she deals with are dead. She then shakes her head as she looks at Belasco, saying he’s totally unaware he’s in danger. Reese replies, he should realize it, stealing from crooked-cops, Carter says she’s seen a lot of dead bodies, not one of them looked like they knew it was coming.

Back in the present, Reese comes back to reality when Fusco calls him Wonder Boy and tells him two members of the Brotherhood are dead, one of Carl Elias’ men’s still alive. Reese wonders why “The Machine,” didn’t pick it up and Harold says it may have been a crime of opportunity, meaning all at the same place, same time by coincidence. Finch explains “The Machine” doesn’t predict those kinds of crimes.

He tells Reese that a new number’s come up, nothing to do with Elias or The Brotherhood, the number’s named Chase Patterson. He’s 25-years-old, comes from a Park Avenue Family that got murdered back in 2008, his mother, father and two sisters got killed, he claimed he was out that night. It’s a cold case as Patterson left the United States for France, shortly after the murders. This is his first time back in the States since.

Reese says he’ll take the number, so Finch, Fusco and Root have to keep Elias and the Brotherhood from starting a gang war. Root shows up, soon after wearing a wedding dress and veil, Finch confused wishes her congratulations. She tells him to save it, this was a plan to find out “The Machine’s” location, that went South. Finch asks how would she feel about stopping a gang war, she enthusiastically comes on board.

John in his guise of Detective Reilly, requests the Patterson file from the desk sergeant, he’s given a box from the evidence room, as the Detective handling the case got murdered. That detective was Joss Carter and the box contains all of her personal belongings. John looks through the box, finds an envelope with To John written on it, it’s a picture of Reese and his former fiancée Jessica, from happier times.

We head back to March 8, 2008, the day the Patterson’s got killed. Carter’s a rookie detective, her partner’s Raymond Tierney,  who was heavily involved in HR. He tells her they got a big one, a Park Avenue home invasion, leading to a quadruple homicide. Tierney’s pretty confident that Chase, a kid with drug problems killed his sisters and parents.

They head to the building, Tierney says they have to play this one by the book and let him do the talking. Joss stands and watches as her partner interviews the household staff, he’s told there was friction between Chase and his parents. He’s ready to arrest Patterson, but Carter asks if he killed them and stole their stuff for drug money, why didn’t he take a Jade figurine, he could have gotten 20 grand for. Tierney tells her to ask him herself, we find ourselves in an interrogation room with Chase and Joss.

In the present Detective Reilly’s duplicated her movements, checking out the now vacant penthouse and bringing Chase in for questioning. He asks Patterson where he was the night of the murders, he says he already gave his statement to the woman detective, Carter.

Patterson told Carter, he’d been in the family’s cabin in the Catskills relapsing. He’d been clean for six months, before he lost his fight. He then told Carter that the last time he relapsed, his mother found him in his room unresponsive, she held his hand until he regained consciousness in the hospital. He went to rehab and his mother was at every meeting. He told her she was treating him like a child, she said he was one, her child. He said he planned on begging his mother for forgiveness for his latest back slide, but when he got home she was gone, they all were. Carter believes him.

Back in the present John asks who killed his family, Patterson says either charge me or let me go, he’s released as Reese has no evidence to hold him. Back in 2008, Tierney asks Carter why she thinks Chase’s innocent, she says she looked in his eyes. She says he’s damaged but didn’t slit his mother’s throat, Tierney’s cellphone rings, when he hangs up he says the murderers DNA showed the killer was a family member. Joss says she’s heading to the Catskills to check out the cabin.

She heads to the cabin, hears somebody inside, but they escape without her seeing them. Her phone rings and it’s Tierney, she says she thinks Chase just left the cabin, Tierney tells her Patterson left the country from JFK two hours before heading to Paris. The case’s closed and they’re onto a new one.

Reese heads to the cabin, he sees two baggies of weed and some pill bottles on the coffee table, he hears something, pulls his gun then realizes it’s Chase. Patterson says somebody else put the drugs on the table, they’re not his, a shot rings out and Reese is shot in his abdomen, the wound’s bad, he falls to the floor in a heap. Turns out that the Patterson’s doorman’s Patterson’s father’s illegitimate son and he killed the family.

He tells Chase that Patterson senior, dated his mother in high school, got her pregnant and dumped her. Years later he found Patterson, and the man gave him money to stay away. He got fed up with the “new family,” and killed them out of anger, he planned to kill Chase, but he left for France too quickly.

He aims at Chase’s head and tells him to take some of the pills in the bottle, after he swallows them, the doorman says he’s got eight hours to live. Reese tries to reach for his service revolver, inches from his hand, but the doorman kicks it away. He says seven years earlier Carter scared him away, but he’s ready to kill a cop at this juncture. He drags Reese through the snow, then goes to get a shovel, when he returns John’s sitting there holding his backup weapon, aimed at the doorman.

We’re back at the stakeout, Joss tries to get John to open up about why he ended things with Jessica. He tries avoiding the question, but finally says he didn’t think he’d come home alive and she deserved better. He wanted her to be happy, although her marriage lead to her death. Joss says you can tell your friends and your police psychiatrist that, but I’m not buying it. How does Joss Carter know that John will see a police psychiatrist, when she died before he saw her. We find out that John’s dying from blood loss and hypothermia, Joss is just a hallucination.

John’s actually in the Catskills, he killed the doorman but he’s sitting in his car with a broken window and without the keys. Carter’s image pushes him to crawl to the doorman’s corpse, grab the keys and crawl back to the car. However the engine’s frozen and the motor won’t start.

He tells Carter that Finch, Root or Fusco will soon arrive, she reminds him he never told them where he was going. His keeping people out has led to this situation, with his life hanging in the balance. He tells her he misses her and she says if you miss me, then I left an impression on you which is good.

She then insists that he tell her why he left Jessica, he responds on his first tour of duty, he cleaned up after a firefight between US Rangers and the Taliban, all were killed. He noticed each of the men had pictures in their wallets of loved ones, he felt if he didn’t have a picture he could focus fully in his job. She tells him that’s what lead him to dying all alone.

He starts to fall asleep, but Carter tells him to wake up if he sleeps he dies. He thinks he sees headlights on the road, but it’s just the moon. He tells her she’s right about him not letting others in, but says that wasn’t the reason he didn’t share this with the team. It made him feel close to her again and he wanted to keep that to himself.

She tells him that there are people who want to love him, but he needs to tear down his protective wall and allow them in. He tells her she’s right and asks if she’ll stay with him. She takes his hand and says of course. John starts to fall asleep again, but we start hearing music and his eyes open, there’s a car coming to save him, he says I did it Carter, but he looks to see he’s alone.

Photo: Courtesy Of FOX.

Photo: Courtesy Of FOX.

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Although Gotham City’s the most corrupt metropolis on the planet, it’s run quite efficiently due to alliances, the key to keeping the machine running smoothly. The city’s most powerful crime boss, Carmine Falcone, owns Mayor Aubrey James, a man with the spine of a jellyfish. Almost every police officer in the GCPD, have criminal informants, a relationship that involves the officer to look the other way, when their source does something wrong, as the information they provide is too valuable to have the criminal rotting in a cell. New alliances formed, in the latest episode of the FOX series “Gotham,” with characters quite familiar to longtime fans of the Caped Crusader.

The episode picks up shortly after the previous episode’s conclusion, as Selina Kyle’s sprung from jail by Detective Jim Gordon, who plans to leave her under the care of his fiancée Barbara Kean. However Kean, who nearly left Gordon earlier in the season for not sharing his troubles at the GCPD with her, got overwhelmed by her experience as a prisoner of Falcone and left a note telling Jim she’s left. As he finishes the note his cellphone rings, and the police sketch-artist’s downstairs in the lobby, so Selina can describe the man she saw shoot Martha and Thomas Wayne.

Gordon takes Kyle and the sketch to Wayne Manor and shows the sketch to Bruce, asking if the man looks familiar and Bruce shakes his head. Jim then tells Alfred, that Selina’s the only witness to the crime and needs to be kept safe and asks if she can stay there. Pennyworth, gives him a definitive no, however Bruce vetoes his objection and says that Kyle can stay.

Since the Arkham Asylum closed down, all criminally insane convicts are held in the regular prison and take periodic trips to a mental facility. The GCPD, are on their toes as they’re transferring Ian Hargrove, to the facility, Hargrove’s imprisoned for destroying nine munitions plants, the last one with people inside the facility, that died in the bombing. As Hargrove’s brought outside, he takes a package of matches out of his mouth and palms it, while the guards slip gloves with padlocks over his hands. He’s then put into the truck with three guards, two in the cab and one with the prisoner.

As they’re driving a long, the guard notices Ian’s doing something with his left hand and takes off the glove and it appears that Hargrove made an origami swan out of the matchbook. We never find out however, as a truck on the other side of the road veers into the police vehicles path, causing the vehicle to crash. The three guards are quickly overpowered by four men with automatic weapons, when they’ve killed the last guard, a man with a thick Russian accent, calls for Hargrove. They kidnap him to make bombs for their

Detectives Allen and Montoya, take Gordon to meet their ally, ADA Harvey Dent, whose talking with a teen boy when they arrive. If you’ve read the comics or seen the movies, you’re aware of Dent’s long-term fate, however this is decades before he goes to the dark-side. Dent tells the juvenile delinquent, that he’s young and deserves a second chance, so Harvey will bet with him, by flipping a coin. If the boy loses, he goes to jail, if he wins, Dent lets him go and the kid can’t wait to spit out the word deal, but Dent tells him there’s a catch. If he goes free, he has to promise there and now to God, that he’ll go back to school and turn his life around and asks the teen if he’s willing to make the promise and he responds yes sir. The boy calls heads and he wins Dent, tells him to remember his promise and keep it.

Gordon and the two detectives approach Dent and Jim tells the ADA, he likes how he handled the situation, but what if the boy lost? Harvey says most teenage boys always pick heads, so he’s got a two-headed coin. (Shades of things to come.) They head back to Dent’s office and he looks at the picture. Dent tells the three detectives, that he’s convinced Gotham City wealthy businessman Dick Lovecraft’s behind the Wayne’s murder and he’s going to use Jim’s source to shake Lovecraft and some other suspects up. Gordon gets hinky and tells Dent that his and Kyle’s name are never mentioned and the ADA guarantees it.

Alfred’s giving Bruce his first boxing lesson and Selina stands and watches, then asks Bruce why he’s doing this and Wayne replies to protect himself. Kyle laughs and says, this is a dangerous neighborhood, Bruce responds he’s getting ready for Gotham City and the girl says they don’t wear gloves when they fight in Gotham. As she leaves, Alfred realizes that Bruce’s got at least the start of a crush on the girl and teases him about it, but says, this one could prove troublesome.

Penguin breaks into Falcone’s house and heads to Fish Mooney’s mole, Liza’s room, he takes her nightgown from her bed and a bottle of lilac scented perfume and leaves, just before Liza returns home so he scampers up the stairs. She walks into the apartment and she can see from the doorway, her nightgown’s gone, she looks out the door but just misses the snitch.

Harvey’s already working on the Hargrove case when Gordon arrives at the station. Bullock asks if it’s woman problems and Jim tells his partner, that Barbara left him. They get back to the case and interview Ian’s older brother John. The brother says that Ian’s not bad, he’s mentally ill, he accidentally killed those people and he felt so guilty he practically turned himself in. His brother tried destroying munitions factories in order to stop wars.

Meanwhile, Hargrove’s completed a bomb for the Russians and the leader puts it in a gift basket filled with straw and puts all sorts of goodies and delicacies in the basket. He takes it to another munitions factory and four security guards chow down, the Russian and Ian sit in a van a block away and watch the building explode.

Next morning while Bruce reads the paper with the headline being the munitions building explosion, when Kyle walks into the library, acting sullen. She says the house makes noises and the boy explains it’s very old, he then says she’s wearing the only clothes she brought with her, he’ll gladly get Alfred to get her more clothes and she says she’ll pass. He then says he’s heard she lives on the street and she smiles and says yeah, he asks if her parents are still living and she freaks, saying of course they are she’s not an orphan and stomps off.

Jim and Harvey talk to their Captain Sarah Essen about the bombing and they inform her, they stole a compound called HMS, after killed the guards, which Gordon says is ten times more powerful than C-4. At that point Mayor James walks into her office and starts ripping the GCPD, Gordon cuts him off and says, the fault doesn’t lie with them, inferring James’ dropped the ball. When the Mayor asks why he’s at fault, Gordon says because the prison system’s so antiquated they need to conduct these transfers. James says they better catch the guy by that night and storms out.

The two detectives are ready to hit the streets, when Alfred calls Gordon, saying things aren’t working out with Selina. Jim plays on Alfred’s sympathy and sense of right and wrong, says he’s up to his neck in alligators, but he’ll get there as soon as he can. Pennyworth, replies they’ll patiently await his arrival.

Fish Mooney and her number one aide Butch are talking about an upcoming job and Butch asks her if she’s sure about things? Mooney says she hopes Mooney’s not losing his nerve and he assures her all’s fine. Right then the Penguin enters and Fish says she thinks that Oswald enjoys getting hurt, which is the reason he keeps returning. No, he responds he just wanted to say hello in an effort to repair their friendship, he then leans towards her and sniffs and says she smells of lilacs and she smells great. She replies he doesn’t and he says he’s off, it’s a pleasure to see her. Butch says Cobblepot’s creepy and Mooney says he’s a nothing and ignore him.

Back at the station, Gordon and Bullock are digging through Hargrove’s file, trying to find  any evidence he’s worked with others in the past, but he’s always been a loner. Old friend GCPD forensic scientist Ed Nygma, sneaks up on Harvey and nearly gives the detective a coronary, as usual his opening topic’s got nothing to do with the reason he sought them out, this week its video games. However when Ed went through the shrapnel he found a plate of another abandoned munitions plant and the two detectives thank Nygma for his good work then head to the building.

When they arrive Hargrove’s the only one there and says you  found the plate, he then tells him that four Russians, broke him out of jail and kidnapped him. They threatened to kill his brother John and his family, so he did what they asked. Right then the four Russians show up, engage in a firefight and recapture Hargrove, then drive off.

Back at the Wayne mansion, Kyle tries to escape the house by going out one of the library windows, but Bruce walks in and says if she wants to leave they’ll get her a taxi. She sheepishly closes the window and walks over and picks up a picture of Martha and says that’s your mother. The boy responds that Selina watched her get shot and Kyle sadly nods her head, then he says you saw what I did or didn’t do. She asks him what he could have accomplished and he just blurts out he should have done something. She tells him he’s dreaming, a gun’s a gun.

She then makes up an obviously fantasy story about her mother, that she’s in show business, sings and dances and makes millions. However, that’s only a cover as her mother’s in reality a secret agent on a mission for the President, and as soon as she’s done her duty, they’ll be reunited. Bruce smiles, but he realizes it’s a fantasy. She then asks him if he’s ever kissed a girl and he shyly says no and she asks him if he wants to, at that point Alfred walks in and tells Bruce it’s time for his studies.

Dent brings in Dick Lovecraft and the businessman, tells the ADA he’s been trying to bust him on fraud for years and he’s wasting his time, but Harvey says he’s there for a different reason, that a witness identified him as setting up the murders of Martha and Thomas Wayne, and this time Lovecraft won’t escape justice. The businessman stares the ADA in the eyes and says he doesn’t know who or what he’s dealing with. We then see a trace of the monster he eventually becomes, as his face almost erupts and he screams he’ll rip Lovecraft apart, then regains his composure and says it’s always good to see him.

Bullock identifies the leader of the Russians as Gregory Kasyanov, who had worked for Nikolai until the Penguin killed him. Now they work for Fish Mooney and she’s got them stealing Falcone’s money as revenge for Nikolai.

Nygma runs some tests on the explosive material they recovered and he finds that it’s indeed very powerful, but can only blast through iron and everything’s been made from steel for 100-years. But Gordon realizes the old Gotham Armory’s vaults are iron and he believes Falcone owns the property. They get there just after they have burst the door of the vault open and start loading packages of sheets of money into their truck, and the Russians see they’re surrounded, as cruisers are also there. Gordon tells Ian, that his brother and the family are in protective custody and he starts walking towards Jim and Harvey. Kasyanov yells at him to stop, but suddenly they here a cellphone ring  and Gordon realizes a bombs triggered and yells for all to get down. All four Russians died, Fish’s aide Butch triggered the bomb then drove away.

When he gets back to the club, Fish tells him that’s exactly what she wanted to happen, she didn’t want the money, just to hurt Falcone. And she had the Russians killed to tie up any unfinished business. Meanwhile Penguin’s waiting for Liza when she arrives at Falcone’s and he threatens to call the Don and tell him she’s working for Fish and she dares him to do it. He dials the number, but she begs him to hang up. He said her secrets safe with him.

The next morning Selina and Bruce are in the library having breakfast, when she throws a bagel at him and strikes him in the forehead, he asks her why she did it and she says she bets he can’t hit  her. He says he could if he wanted to, she says if he hits her, she’ll let him kiss her and an all-out food fight begins. Bruce’s laughing and having fun and Alfred doesn’t even mind the sound of broken glass. Just then Jim calls and apologizes for not getting there. Alfred says, no hurry, she’s a breath of fresh air.

The last scene’s Gordon leaving a message for Barbara, telling her he loves her and needs her back, they keep cutting to her lying in bed on her side looking sad as Jim leaves the message. When, it’s over, we see an arm from the other side of the bed, it’s Renee Montoya.

The Story Continues Next Week on Monday Night at 8:00pm on FOX.