Finch (Michael Emerson) goes undercover as a 911 Operator to sniff out the threat to The Machine’s latest number, a training supervisor (Melissa Sagemiller) in charge of a 911 Call Center who is being blackmailed by a mysterious voice on the other side of the phone and members of a Mexican cartel holding a young child (Julian Shatkin) hostage in order to force the woman to compromise the Call Center. The woman’s tragic history involving the loss of a child gives the kidnapper, a ghost who could teach Finch a thing or two about anonymity, the perfect leverage to control the situation and get exactly what he wants.
In the episode’s B-story Fusco (Kevin Chapman) deals with his new celebrity as Homicide’s go-to guy by helping a rookie detective (Gavin Stenhouse) with a murder which (a little too coincidentally) connects with the team’s case and eventually leads Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Shaw (Sarah Shahi) to the gang and save the boy (by quickly defusing the bomb strapped to him before it explodes and takes them with it). However, tracking down the ghost isn’t so easy as it appears Finch has made himself a dangerous new enemy.
I’ll admit the the coincidence on which the entire episode hangs bothers me, particularly because it relies on way too many moving parts (what if Fusco chose not to help the rookie on the case, what if the call Fusco found was in Finch’s half of the list or too far down for him to find it in time, or if he simply didn’t make the leap and connect the cases together?) for a show that has various all-seeing methods to not need to rely so heavily on coincidence. That said, I like the show rewarding Fusco for doing the team’s dirty work and giving him a moment to shine (and possibly his new partner).
Despite these issues “Last Call” provides a tense situation as well as introduces a dangerous new enemy for Finch who he may need the help of not only Shaw and Reese but also the still-missing Root (Amy Acker) to defeat. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.