The latest number delivered by The Machine is a hypno-therapist (Aaron Staton) who uses the vulnerable state of his clients to phish for personal information he later uses to break into their personal accounts and steal by creating fake donations to a charity that doesn’t exist. While shadowing him, Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Shaw (Sarah Shahi) discover this isn’t the only con the man is playing as he and his partner (James Joseph O’Neil) rip-off an investor to the tune of $50,000 in a single afternoon.
In the episode’s B-story Carter (Taraji P. Henson) listens in to Simmons (Robert John Burke) and Terney (Al Sapienza) talking to her rookie partner (Brian Wiles) about killing an antique dealer (Carsten Norgaard) who launders money for HR and just happens to be one of the hypno-therapist’s clients. After stealing a chunk of that laundered money, the con man destroys his files and prepares to flee the country on a romantic getaway with the woman (Jennifer Ferrin) he loves. HR has different plans, but thankfully so do Shaw and Reese who stop the hit and save the con man’s life.
Nothing turns out as planned for anyone in the episode as HR is out $4 million thanks to the con man taking advantage of their arrangement with the auction house, the con man looses both the prize and his girlfriend (who was too good for him in more ways than one), and Carter’s partner pays for betraying HR with his life as does Terney but not before shattering one more illusion by giving Carter the identity of the man behind HR. Although she doesn’t play a role in the misadventures surrounding the latest number, the show does give us a pair of scenes of Finch (Michael Emerson) checking in on Root (Amy Acker) who, despite what Harold may think, actually has a far better grip on the situation than he does at the moment.
The con man set-up sets the stage for quite a few twists and turns, but the last ten-minutes has even more than expected with deaths on both sides of Carter’s investigation and the realization that Quinn (Clarke Peters) is behind HR and responsible for his godson’s murder. I was also happy to see the return of Elias (Enrico Colantoni) who I would expect to play a major role as the series moves forward with its “three-week event” which may spell the end of the line for HR as well as member of Finch’s team.