Reese has gone to Colorado and his late (? – yes, I know we were told that he’d died, but this is Person of Interest) father’s bar, the better to drink himself off the grid. Fusco traces him, with an assist from Finch, but is unable to persuade him to do anything except fight.
Which means that the two of them are thousands of miles away from this week’s real action. The Machine is trying to give Finch a new Number, but he’s ignoring it, so you know things must be bad. Root, though, who is evidently attuned to The Machine on a deeper level, insists that they get involved, which they do. So the Number of the Week is Arthur Claypool (Saul Rubinek), in hospital with a terminal brain tumour. Shaw gets back into scrubs and goes undercover as a doctor, but finds it difficult to get close to Claypool, who seems to be surrounded by a protective Secret Service detail. Claypool’s illness also renders him unable to recognise his long-suffering wife Diane (Camryn Manheim).
The reason for Claypool being protected, it turns out, is that he used to work for the NSA, and in his vulnerable state he’s liable to start talking about what he did there, including a project called Samaritan. This is of interest to our old friends Vigilance, who are trying to get to him in the hospital, meaning that Shaw and Finch need to move the Claypools to one of Finch’s safe houses. And all of this is interspersed with flashbacks to the early life of the young Harold Finch, demonstrating yet again that Person of Interest has a more or less inexhaustible supply of backstory on which to draw.
‘Lethe’ looks as if it’s going to be a significant episode in terms of setting up the next long-term arcs, but to avoid spoilers I can’t really say much more. (Although I did kind of guess that there was more to REDACTED than met the eye.) What I can say, though, is that it was yet another example of the show on top form; every single episode of Person of Interest, at the moment, is just sensationally good.