Person of Interest – Season 2 Premiere – Recap – The Contingency

Person of Interest returned tonight with a thrilling Season 2 premiere episode, “The Contingency.”

Reese discovers how the machine provides social security numbers, he tries to protect this week’s “person of interest,” and he does his best to find leads on Root’s whereabouts (so he could locate Finch).

Read the recap here:


This episode kicked off with a flashback to the very first time that Finch (Michael Emerson) booted up “the machine”—on January 1, 2002. The machine recognized Finch as the ‘Admin.’

Fast forward to 2012: Reese (Jim Caviezel) picked up a phone call from a nearby telephone booth. The machine gave Reese the words, “Uncertainty, Romeo, Kilo, Family, Alpha, Mike Reflections, Juliet, and Oscar.” He wasn’t 100% on positive on what these words meant, but he did take note.

Reese receiving a call from “The Machine”

The following scene took place at a Delaware restaurant where Root/Caroline Turing (Amy Acker) was holding Finch hostage. After Finch spotted a police officer in the restaurant, Root threatened to shoot a random individual if Finch told the police officer that she was keeping him hostage. Then, Root asked Finch an intriguing question:

Root: “The only question, Harold, is why didn’t it (the machine) protect you?”

Root holding Finch hostage

Inside Detective Carter’s (Taraji P. Henson) home, Reese revealed to her that Finch has been kidnapped. Since Finch removed his social security number from the machine and the DMV records, Carter wouldn’t be able to file a Missing Person’s form either. Reese asked her for another favor: he wanted her to look into Alicia Corwin’s (Elizabeth Marvel) murder. (Root actually murdered Alicia in the Season 1 finale episode).

Reese figured out what the words meant. He found three books called, “Uncertainty,” “Family,” and “Reflections.” The authors’ initials were “R.K.”, “A.M.”, and “J.O.”, respectively. Each book had 3 digits listed on its spine. (This is how the machine gives off social security numbers, so that they can trace the persons of interest). Family-AM, Uncertainty-RK, and Reflection-JO was equal to 013-006-062.

This week’s person of interest: Leon’s social security number

This social security number led Reese to a man named Leon Pao. Reese dropped by the bar that Leon was sitting in, showed him photos of Root & Finch, and demanded to know where they were. Leon swore that he had never seen those two people in his life. But Reese realized that the machine led him to Leon for another reason. Leon was in trouble because he stole 8 million dollars in stone cold cash from a group of Aryan brothers. The Aryan brothers were in the bar, getting ready to kill Leon before Reese interrupted them. It took Leon six months to realize that he was working for the corporate arm of the Aryan Nation.


Since Reese’s first priority was to locate Root & Finch, he didn’t have time to “babysit” Leon. Reese broke a police car’s window, and handcuffed Leon to the steering wheel. Reese wanted Detective Fusco (Kevin Chapman) to look after Leon at the police station…. but, Leon faked a heart attack when he got there, so he was able to get away again.

Reese later found a copy of Root’s driver’s license at Finch’s office. It turns out her alias name, “Caroline Turing,” is real. A dirty employee at the D.M.V. issued this name to her.

Root’s driver’s license

Fusco located Leon, but a group of Aryan brothers also located them as well. They forced Leon to show them the money, but Leon only had 1 million dollars in the trunk. His excuse for not having all of the money was: he invested the other 7 million into a stock exchange. The Aryan brothers took Fusco & Leon hostage.

Aryan Nation

Flashback to September 6, 2003 in Las Vegas, NV: Finch was giving the machine another test-run…. this time: at a casino. Finch programmed the machine to let him know whether to “hit” or “stay” in a game of Black Jack. Finch was already up $250,000 because the machine sent him a text every time it was Finch’s turn to hit or stay. However, Finch felt guilty over this… so he defied the machine on his last play. Instead of staying, he hit (because he didn’t want to take money that wasn’t rightfully his).

The Machine assisting Finch in a game of Black Jack

Fast forward to present day: the following scene took place at a pharmacy. Root’s intention of being inside a pharmacy was to steal drugs from the counter… but she needed to create a distraction. She slit Finch’s hand, and stole the drugs off of the counter (while the pharmacist was patching up Finch’s hand).

Reese showed up to the place where the Aryan brothers were holding Fusco and Leon hostage. The Aryan brothers were also holding a military dog there. Reese threw one of the bad guys out the window, and the dog followed Reese. He was able to rescue both Fusco and Leon.

Another flashback to September 7, 2003: The machine texted Finch to “Stay,” but Finch wasn’t playing Black Jack anymore. Finch brushed this off as another computer bug. It wasn’t a bug after all: Right before he was about to cross the street, a car sped by in front him. (The driver fell asleep on the wheel). Even though the machine saved his life, Finch notified the machine that its job is to protect everyone else, not him.

At another restaurant in 2012, Root slipped drugs into a woman’s beverage. The woman passed out.

Leon & John left the military dog and the 1 million dollars in their car, so that they could enter a shed where Root was at earlier. As soon as they got back to the car, they noticed that the dog had chewed through all of the money. Then, Leon revealed that he lied about investing the other 7 million dollars…. and it’s hidden some place else.

While Reese was speaking with Carter on the other line, a group of Aryan brothers sped by on their motorcycles in an attempt to kill both Leon and Reese. Carter heard gunshots on the other line, and immediately fled to the scene of the crime to help her good friend, Reese. Right when one of the Aryan brothers was about to deck Reese in the face, Carter shot him in his back.

Reese begged the machine for some answers. He received another call from a telephone booth. The machine read: Ayacucho-GP, Deterministic-HS, and Camera-SK. This led Reese to a 14-year-old missing girl, who is actually Root. (She changed her identity when she was 14). The social security number is: 498-003-145. The missing report stated that this girl/Root is originally from Texas, so that’s where Reese headed to next.

Root’s previous social security number

I hope Reese finds Finch in the next episode! Episode 2 airs Thursday, 10/4, at 9pm ET on CBS.

UPDATE: Here’s a clip from tonight’s episode:


TV Person of InterestSeason 2

Got Something to Add?