Person of Interest: You Take "The High Road" and I'll Be in Suburbia Afore Ye
I grew up in what amounted to a suburban environment (small college town), so I can understand the disdain doled out by Hollywood writers. They can be insular, and xenophobic and almost comedically fascistic (check out certain local HOA guidelines on grass length and home color sometime). These attributes have been used as big- and small-screen fodder for decades.
More Zoe Morgan is never a bad thing.
So, sure: Sending Reese and Zoe to Far Rockaway for an episode was good for a few laughs. Not being very familiar with New York City, it seems far-fetched to call this neighborhood in Queens "the 'burbs," but they have soccer fields and actual houses, so I guess that counts in the Northeast.
Again, very little mythology this week. Beyond finally seeing Finch's "meet cute" with his ex-lady friend Grace, they dropped a bit of info on Nathan Ingram's apparent marital dalliances. And here I'd been hoping he and Finch were an item.
We kick off in 2004 -- day 859 of Finch and Ingram's little Constitution-shredding surveillance project. Finch (Michael Emerson) is updating Ingram (Brett Cullen) on the Machine, which he's programmed to detect "outliers," in order to get it better acquainted with human nature. Ingram scoffs, until Finch shows him the picture of the grad student he's cheating on ("Molly Cole"). It also pulls up a lone painter named Grace Hendricks, for as-yet unknown reasons.
Back to life (back to reality), Graham Wyler is the Number of the Week, though the highlight of this brief scene is Reese (Jim Caviezel) unwittingly chowing down on a doughnut Bear the Belgian Malinois has already gotten a few licks off of. Wyler runs a hardware store in Far Rockaway, is married (Connie) with a daughter ("Izzie," how unfortunate). Otherwise, as Reese puts it, he's "the most boring man alive."
Wyler gets a hand-off from a biker-looking dude...DRUGS! No, they're Bruce Springsteen tickets for his daughter. What a saint, except Finch discovers the real Wyler died 15 years ago. Finch wants more info, but the surveillance routine doesn't play well in the sticks, so the billionaire buys Reese a house across from the Wylers, plus an "appropriate wardrobe." Only one element of the facade is missing...
You could do worse for a next-door neighbor than an ex-Green Beret.
I said, hello Zoe (Paige Turco), well, hello Zoe. It's so nice to have you back on my TV. Reese mock proposes to his increasingly guest-starring associate in order to complete the illusion. It's like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, except not really and I'm too lazy to look up and appropriate comparison. In the midst of their scheming to get close to the Wylers, the couple pops on over and presents them with a welcome gift of ambrosia (that's the shit with the marshmallows, right? I hate the suburbs). I guess this is going to be one of those "funny-ish" episodes.
John and Zoe "Campbell" go to a backyard BBQ at the Wylers', where Izzie gives "Graham" a postcard from Philadelphia. It spooks him, and while Zoe keeps tabs on him that night, Reese lifts his fingerprints from a beer bottle and sends them to Carter (Taraji P. Henson). No dice. Bored, the newlyweds play poker with a bottle of scotch. Meaningful -- and semi-drunken -- looks are exchanged. Are they going down this road? I hope they don't go down this road. It's a classic jump-the-shark blunder!
Too early, morning comes, and with it a mysterious dude who bumps into "Wyler" on the street and calls him "Lloyd," then hops into a pickup truck and drives off. This is starting to feel like A History of Violence: The Series. According to Carter, "Lloyd" is Lloyd Pruitt, wanted for a string of safe crackings in Philly. The two guys are part of Pruitt's old crew, who did 12 years for a bust Lloyd was presumably not part of.
The bump-er is Christopher Vaughn (fun fact: It's Dominic Fumusa from Nurse Jackie), and when he shows up at Izzie's soccer game, Reese wants a word. Vaughn disappears, but not until he torches Pruitt/Wyler's family truckster. Vaughn wants to meet in the city. Probably just wants to catch up about the Phillies.