So 'Person of Interest' returns from a brief hiatus (and goes on another one for a week or so), with an episode that seems to have been lifted from season 2. There's nothing wrong with a "filler episode" that has the team just dealing with a single Number. Not every episode has to feature the world-conquering Samaritan AI.
But tonight's episode "Karma" had a lot of season 1 & 2 issues. The flashbacks bring in Alicia Corwin (Elizabeth Marvel), the government operative who died a couple of years ago and bought the Machine from Finch and Nathan. She's been off the board so long that one wonders why they bothered bringing her back. It's interesting watching Finch deal with his own quest for revenge in the dark days after his friend and partner died. But it seems to be a bit out of date.
Ditto for Reese having trouble grieving for the loss of his dead girlfriend Jessica. Again, 3+ years ago. He has lost someone since then *cough Carter cough*. So why are they dragging Jessica up now?
Fusco is funny as always. And the clockwork precision of the psychologist setting up a guy for a bank robbery is amusing in a 'Leverage' kind of way. But overall, not one of the better filler episodes.
The Machine reviews Finch's concerns about the government killing off the engineers who moved the Machine after it was sold to the government, and Nathan's death in the ferry bombing.
A wheelchair-bound Finch goes to the library and puts up a photo of Corwin. He then calls her up and, using a voice scrambler, accuses her of killing Nathan. Finch says that it hasn't gone unnoticed and hangs up, and then prepares a bomb and listens in as Corwin calls the Special Counsel. She says that someone knows and the reception says that they'll look into it. Meanwhile, the Machine sends Finch a new Number: Finch.
Finch goes to see therapist Shane Edwards, his arm in a sling, and talks about how he lost his friend. Shane notes that he's carried the grief of his friend's death for a long time. Fusco and Reese are listening in and Fusco confirms that Shane is a therapist for victims of violent crimes. He lost his wife Lucy eight years ago to a killer and founded a victim advocacy non-profit shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, Shane realizes that there was someone in Finch's life, and all Finch says is that they broke it off. He ends the session and Finch notices a photo of Lucy. He points it out and when Shane looks over, Finch plants a camera in a potted plant. As Finch goes, Shane tells him that eventually he'll move past his grief.
Later, Shane meets with another patient, Angela, who was crippled when a drunk driver named Clyde Barton hit her. Barton is promoting a new club and Angela is furious that he gets to have a good life. Shane assures her that karma eventually catches up to people. Fusco and Reese continue listening in and they figure that Shane may have dug up something he wasn't supposed to. Reese says that he has to get to his therapy session and leaves Fusco.
Later in therapy, Reese admits that something brought up bad memories. Iris asks how he handles loss and Reese tells her that she doesn't want to go there. The psychiatrist reminds him of what he said about developing new habits, and Reese says that it isn't as easy as it sounds.
Finch breaks into Shane's apartment and asks Reese how the therapy went. Reese refuses to discuss it. Meanwhile, Becca from Shane's neighboring office brings over some mail that was dropped with her by mistake. Meanwhile, Finch finds a guard dog, Hector, waiting for him. He gives the dog the treats that Reese gave him.
Becca invites Shane to have a drink with her and her friends, but Shane says that he has a prior commitment. As he goes to the gym, Finch searches the man's apartment and discovers that all of Lucy's things are still there. Meanwhile, Reese watches as Shane plants a gun in someone's locker and then leaves. Shane goes into a bank and leaves a smoke bomb in a garbage can. He then goes over to a branch manager's desk and takes a business card, and walks out and around to the side. Using a security code, Shane accesses the bank's electrical system and attaches a device to the fuse box. Outside, he calls Barton and poses as the branch manager, telling him that the government has frozen his account. Shane asks Barton to come down to the office,
Barton arrives at the bank as Finch confirms that Shane has been doing research on Barton and the bank for weeks. Meanwhile, Shane calls the branch manager, Brian Humphries, and tells him that his associate is about to rob the bank. He describes Barton just as Barton enters the bank, and tells Humphries to cooperate. Barton demands to see Humphries and the manager hands him the keys. Shane sets off the smoke grenade and shuts down the security cameras, and Humphries yells that Barton is robbing the bank. A security guard takes him down and finds the gun in his bag, and Reese tells Finch what happened. Finch has found a hidden safe and says that Shane has framed people before.
At the station, Finch and Reese confirm that Shane has put seven people in prison. Each of them had harmed one of his patients. The man who killed Lucy, Wyatt Morris, left the house just as Shane arrived home from work. Wyatt is serving 15 years for man slaughter because the only evidence was circumstantial. Reese jokingly suggests that they should hire Shane to do their job, but Finch points out that Shane's Number has come up and someone may be after him for revenge. Shane arrives home and puts tape on his tuxedo, and Finch figures that he's going to start his next frame at a gala where he's making a presentation about his non-profit. Reese says that he has an easier way to get in than making a large donation.
That night, Reese convinces Iris to take him to the gala. She explains that the department has a table every year but nobody wants to come. Reese compliments her on her dress, and Fusco comes over to join them. Shane goes to the podium and starts by talking about how he met Lucy, a photographer, and proposed to her at the conservatory where they met. Meanwhile, Finch spots Wyatt sneaking in through the service entrance, and confirms that he was released a day earlier on parole. Reese gets up and looks around, and spots Wyatt in the back. Wyatt moves forward toward Shane, and Reese excuses himself while Fusco distracts Iris.
As Shane concludes his speech, Wyatt approaches him and says that it's been a while. Furious, he grabs Shane but Finch can't make out what he's saying. As the guards take Wyatt away, he shouts "Seven years." Shane goes out to his car and tries to remote-activate it, and nothing happens. Reese realizes that it's rigged and gets Shane down just as the car explodes.
Finch follows Corwin and the Machine texts to tell him that it has no data. It ignores Finch when he tries to talk to it, and Finch continues following Corwin. As she parks her car and walks away, a pay phone rings near Finch. He finally answers it but there's no response. Finch looks up at a security camera and tells the Machine that he knows that it's trying to stop him, but it has nothing to say to him. He then checks the explosive hidden beneath his jacket and wheels over to Corwin's car.
The next day at the station, Reese and Fusco question Shane. He never imagined that Wyatt would come after him, and insists that killing Lucy is what put Wyatt away. Shane says that the last time he was in an interrogation room was the night that Lucy died, and describes that evening and how he found Lucy's body. He admits that Wyatt denied killing Lucy, and then says that he's not going to let Wyatt take any more of his life.
After Shane leaves, Fusco and Reese go over Wyatt's files. Reese wonders why Wyatt planted a bomb and then confronted Shane. Wyatt worked construction and used explosives. Finch tells Reese that he's spotted new activity on Wyatt's old email account. They realize that Wyatt is buying a handgun and has an address.
The next day, Fusco tells Finch that he heard from the bomb squad. The explosive was set improperly, suggesting that Wyatt wasn't responsible. Reese is staking out the address, while Finch checks and confirms that Shane's story about finding his wife matches verbatim with what he told the police eight years ago, and later in court. He's checked Shane's GPS records and discovers that Shane didn't come home until several hours later... meaning he lied. Shane comes over to pick up the gun, and they realize that he's framing Wyatt to put him away for good.
Shane goes back home, being careful not to touch the gun. Fusco confirms that Wyatt received a text message from his brother saying that Shane would be at the gala, and Finch figures that Shane spoofed the message to make sure Wyatt turned up there. Shane then blew up his own car to make it look like Wyatt was after him. Fusco figures that Wyatt is guilty, but Finch points out that all of the evidence was circumstantial and Wyatt may have been telling the truth. Meanwhile, Shane opens a round and sets the gunpowder on fire, and Reese figures that he's going to plant gunshot residue on Wyatt. The tape on his lapels picked up Wyatt's fingerprints, and applies them to the round. Finch figures that something bad is going to happen to Shane or his victim, but Reese doesn't believe that Shane is going to kill anyone.
Becca comes by to watch Hector and Shane says that something came up that he has to take care of that night. She asks if everything will be okay, and Shane thinks that it will. He leaves his apartment, and Fusco confirms that Wyatt's brother Sid never missed a visit. He figures that Sid knows where Wyatt is hiding, and Reese confirms that Shane is heading for Sid's apartment.
Shane breaks into the apartment and Reese goes in after him. He hides in the closet and watches as Shane puts up photos of himself and Lucy, making it look like Wyatt is still obsessed with them. Reese follows him out and tells Finch that Shane needs closure. Finch says that vengeance didn't work for Carter or Sam, and it won't bring Shane any peace. Reese believes that if they deny Shane his vengeance then it will destroy him, and Finch says that he's been down the same path. Meanwhile, Reese loses Shane on the street and Finch confirms that he left his phone at home so that they can't track him.
That night, Finch locates Wyatt's cell phone signal, but it's an older model that doesn't have GPS. He then picks up a text message that Shane is forging to Wyatt, and calls Fusco to warn him. Fusco is at the station with Sid, and tells Finch that Sid took a swing at him when they talked. The fake text message asks Wyatt to meet at the conservatory, and Finch says that he's close enough to deal with it. When Reese warns that it could be dangerous, Finch tells him that he should have stopped Shane when he had the chance.
Wyatt arrives at the conservatory and Shane steps out with a gun.
Corwin gets into her car and Finch watches, holding a remote. He locks the doors and then tells her that he knows about how she's been eliminating the Northern Lights engineers. Finch tells her that an explosive device is attached to the bottom of her car, and any sudden movement could set it off. A nearby payphone rings, but Finch ignores it. Corwin says that she didn't know her superiors were going to kill Nathan. As the payphone continues ringing, Finch says that he'll never know if she's telling the truth. Corwin insists that she is and now the entire situation has grown too big. She admits that Nathan's death may be her fault and she deserves death. Finch prepares to press the detonator... and then unlocks the car doors. The payphone stops ringing and Finch leaves.
Shane orders Wyatt to open an envelope and rub the residue inside on his hands. Finch arrives and tells Shane that he's learned that revenge will never bring closure. Wyatt insists that he's not a murderer, and explains that he dropped off the package, made sure Lucy signed for it, and never came back. Shane insists that he knows Wyatt killed him, and Finch realizes that they're in the conservatory where Shane proposed to Lucy. He asks Shane how he can desecrate her memory by committing murder, and Shane turns the gun on himself. The therapist says that when they search Wyatt's apartment, they'll find all of the evidence to tie Wyatt to Shane's death. He begs Finch to tell the police that Wyatt shot him.
Reese arrives, gun drawn, and Finch tells Shane what he went through. But he realized that life was much more complicated than that. Finch warns Shane that if he kills himself and frames Wyatt, then Lucy will die with him. Shane breaks into tears and then lowers the gun,.
The next day, Reese meets with Iris again. When he doesn't speak, Iris says that she got him into the gala and it's time for him to give her something she's not so proud of. She asks how he deals with grief, and Reese talks about how he kept the woman he loved at arm's length. He went away and learned that she died, and Iris tells him that he has to grieve if he wants to move on. Reese considers and then says that he's not sure he knows how to grieve.
Becca brings Hector back to Shane's apartment. Finch watches them on the camera as Shane says that things will be okay. As Becca goes, she suggests that they walk Hector together sometime, and Shane says that he'll consider it. Finch then takes Bear out for a walk. He meets Reese and says that Shane is moving on. As for Wyatt, he doesn't know what really happened. Finch suggests that they let it go, even though the Machine knows the truth. He figures that if Wyatt is a killer and tries to kill again, they'll be there.