Reese tries to fly to Istanbul and ends up on the plane ride from Hell courtesy of The Machine. So… resignation not accepted, Mr. Reese.
At its heart, “4C” is about Reese rediscovering why he accepted the mission to help people in the first place. Answer— he can’t help himself, it’s in his nature. Keeping that in mind, this episode is a fun hour of Reese punching out annoying people.
Having given up on his mission, Reese is off to Istanbul. Oops, his flight is cancelled, but he can have a first class seat to Rome instead. The Machine is flitting through the airline system in the background. Hang on to your hat, Mr. Reese.
The new number is in seat 4C, which gets texted to Reese’s stolen phone. A phone he stole from the annoying guy on the plane that he fake stretch/punches out. Every plane has that guy, and it’s satisfying to see Reese do what everyone wishes they could do. Realizing something is up when he sees two marshals surrounding the 4C guy, Reese starts collecting silverware as improvised weapons. Watching him wield them as it gets more dangerous is made of awesome. Can you say cork screw to the palm? Ouch! His catchphrase as he keeps knocking people out was “more blankets and whiskey.”
The guy in 4C, Owen, seems harmless, but he ends up being both an international drug dealer and a funny computer programmer. Owen keeps making up diseases he has at every turn, at least hopefully he made them up.
It should be noted that the flight attendant, Holly was also an MVP. It looked like she was pretending to be a good guy but was actually a bad guy. It was a pleasant surprise that she was actually what she appeared– a good person.
Meanwhile, Shaw infiltrates the “Activity” to find out more about the mission since it appears that not only did the Machine send Reese a number, but a Relevant one. This is the first in the history of the show, so it’s kind of a big deal. Shaw gets information using her normal hammer type methods, except when it comes to Hersh. She respects his talents enough that she just drugs him to get what she needs and leaves him alone. What is really interesting in this scene is that Hersh seems genuinely concerned for Shaw and her new job. Maybe mister Terminator has a smidge of human emotion.
The highlight of the episode was the evolving relationship of Reese and Finch throughout. At the start, Reese is angry that Finch put him on the mission. Apparently, Reese is very angry at the Machine who he feels betrayed his faith, and it’s bleeding over into anger at Finch. He has been repressing that anger during his grief, but it comes out in dribs and drabs throughout the episode. Most notably when Reese is ranting at Owen for creating a computer program that got out of his control. He yells that Owen is not taking responsibility for the consequences his program has wrought, but really he’s talking about Finch. Harold is of course listening, so the message got to the right person. Why can’t boys just talk?
The scene at the end made it all worth it. Finch breaks down his reasoning behind how he interacts with The Machine and the Numbers with the simple statement, “we have free will and with it great responsibility. And sometimes great loss.” Reese’s eyes were very expressive and open as they finally talked around their grief over Carter. After everything Reese reaffirmed about himself on the plane, this moment is what pushed him back toward his mission with Finch. So all he asked for was a new suit and Harold was so happy he just rambled about making sure it was the best. Off into the sunset or back to New York they go.
All is right in the world.
It should be noted that Carter is no longer in the opening credits, so it looks like the show is moving on with the characters.