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Season 1, Episode 2:
The newest number corresponds to Teresa Whitaker, a teenage girl who has supposedly been dead for two years, the victim of a massacre when her father went crazy on a houseboat and killed the entire family. Digging deeper reveals that the murders were carried out by a hitman who refused to kill a child, and now the people who hired him are determined to finish the job. Meanwhile, Detective Carter keeps tracking the appearances of the Badass in a Nice Suit, determined to arrest him.
In a flashback to 2002, Finch works on building the Machine in absolutely secret while his business partner, Nathan Ingram, acts as the public face of the company and deals with the government, who believe Nathan built the Machine and don't know that Finch exists. In 2007, after the Machine has been taught to track people and spot terrorists, Nathan discovers the existance of the "irrelevant" list and is horrified that so many people in danger have been ignored; Finch defends his decision to delete the irrelevant list because the Machine wasn't built to save "somebody", but rather to save "everybody".
Tropes present in this episode include
- Actor Allusion: Brett Cullen is once again a colleage of Michael Emerson, and again is a Posthumous Character.
- Batman Cold Open: In the teaser, Reese protects a cheating husband from a pair of hitmen hired by the man's wife.
- CEO Incognito: Finch has a low-level IT position in a company that he owns.
- Even Evil Has Standards
- Freeze-Frame Bonus / Foreshadowing: When Finch and Nathan are discussing the irrelevant list, one of the names and faces to appear is Jessica Ardnt, Reese's ex-girlfriend.
- Hitman with a Heart: The man hired to kill Teresa's family refused to murder a child.
- Posthumous Character: Nathan Ingram, as revealed in The Stinger.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Carter is established as one in this episode.
- Your Cheating Heart: The POI in the Batman Cold Open. Rather than go for the straight divorce, the man's wife hired hitmen.