The Machine spits out thirty-eight numbers and they are all cops, HR cops. Wow, talk about starting the episode on a high-tension note that lets us know this is not going to a standard episode. Just like the title says, it’s time to bring the game with HR to an end.
This episode is really a showcase for Carter as she takes on not only HR, but the Russian mob as well. She is playing a highly skilled game of chess while everyone else is playing checkers. The question is why are thirty-eight members of HR on the Machine’s list? And the answer is that Carter is the puppeteer aiming the speeding trains of HR and the mob on a collision course. Right after the HR cops end up on Finch’s board, the Machine spits out all the members of the mob. It’s really crowded on that board.
Carter is playing a dangerous game where she is the only one that can see the whole board, but she is not above using the pieces available to her. Elias makes a great return and plants information Carter wants the mob to have in their possession. She needs guns, so calls up Shaw to supply her with a ridiculous assortment of them, which leads to one of the best lines of the episode. A mob drug shipment was ripped off using high grades weapons and when Reese and Finch accuse Shaw of the robbery, she reveals she gave Carter the guns. Reese is aghast and says, “That’s MY grenade launcher??!” Learn to share Reese.
Carter’s more challenging tasks are keeping Fusco from figuring out the whole thing and to keep him from helping her. This leads to the next big aspect of the episode, which is Carter’s need to finish HR alone. She basically has a break-up speech with Reese saying she no longer wants his help. Harsh. Why does Carter keep insisting throughout the whole episode that she wants to go it alone? Yes, she wants revenge for Beecher, but does that preclude her using Reese and Finch’s resources? She has become a darker character since she was introduced in the pilot to the point that she does not want to be constrained by Finch’s rules.
On top of all the action in the episode is the big advertisement campaign promising “a hero will fall.” This added another level of tension through the episode and made it a real nail biter, wondering if Carter was going to make it to the end credits. She makes it, but HR gets a slightly less blurry picture of Reese and puts a city wide hit on him. Nice. The trailers make it seem like Fusco is the one that is not going to make it, but Carter is not yet in the clear. She has gotten her life in order and sent her son off to live with her estranged husband. Storywise, that gives the writers a clear path for her heroic death. The next two episode in this three episode arc are going to be brilliant if this first one’s level of quality is maintained.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments!