After last week’s episode which put in a pin in the Root storyline for now, and brought Harold Finch home it’s back to business as (almost) usual for John Reese. This time his charge is the young entitled daughter of a Brazilian diplomat with big political ambitions. Meanwhile, Fusco hands over what he obtained regarding the Alicia Corwin case to Detective Carter and she has a surprising reunion with an adversary from season one. We also got a flashy new credits sequence which now includes all four of our leads in it so let’s dive into ‘Masquerade’.
The cover charge is your life
Sophia Campos is rich, entitled, and a bit of a brat but she’s the machine’s next number so it’s up to Reese to keep her safe. This week, that means Reese goes undercover as her new bodyguard as he tries to figure out if she’s the latest POI because of her father’s political aspirations or her own social life. It’s great seeing the normally stiff John Reese become more personable with the case of the week characters as he and Sophia had a nice rapport with one another throughout the episode. First when she was trying to ditch him like her other former bodyguards and found it to be more difficult than she would have thought. As well as later on when she turned to Reese for emotional support after the death of a friend who got caught up in the same mess as her. It turns out that Sophia was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong boyfriend as she was hunted down by a man involved in a drug operation with both her boyfriend Jack and a man named Monty. Monty wound up being the identity of the man who plunged to his death from a window in the cold opening of the episode. It was fitting karma to watch John hold Jack over the edge of a building and threaten the same fate for him as what befell his ex business partner Monty if Sophia gave him the okay to do so.
Root may be gone but she’s not forgotten.
Back at their HQ, Harold is trying to adjust to life after the traumatic abduction at the hands of psychotic hacker Root. Dealing with changes ranging from having Bear around, (who is just the most charismatic animal I’ve seen on-screen in a long while) to feeling safe on his own again. It was heart-breaking to see Harold attempt to go outside to give Bear a walk after glancing at John’s case file on Root only to find that the sights and sounds of the bustling city were too much for him to handle just yet. It also put him back on the path of wanting to find out more about his so-called number one fan and hopefully stop her before she strikes again.
Fun-loving John Reese
Jim Caviezel posed a rather intimidating and sometimes grim presence throughout season one of Person of Interest. It’s brought a new layer of pure fun to the show to see him express how much John is enjoying himself now. He smiled frequently throughout the episode, but then again Reese did get to engage in some of his favorite activities. Namely, bar fights and slamming cars into cars so no wonder he was so pleased throughout. I also loved his little trick stealing the ID from all of the other bodyguard applicants.
Old mistake, comes back to haunt me now and then.
Early on in the episode, Fusco essentially hands over the Corwin case to Detective Carter and with that came the reemergence of former CIA agent Mark Snow. He claims that he’s been reassigned, but there’s something amiss with his story other than the fact that he has a pronounced limp when he walks. The last time we saw Snow in season one he’d been cornered by Reese’s ex-handler, the presumed dead Kara Stanton. Well, she’s the one pulling Mark’s strings and she wants to know why Alicia Corwin is connected to the fateful mission in China that she and Reese went on together before things fell apart for them. Kara is keeping what appears to be an explosive device strapped to his chest to keep him in line while Snow runs her errands. I really wonder how some viewers who came into this new season are reacting to the fact that it’s not a pure procedural. There’s a long-term story arc here and we’re going to keep getting new pieces to the overall puzzle involving Reese’s past and that of the Machine as well.