This was not an episode that was easy to summarise, with twin, complex plots. Nor, again, was it one to further the show’s long story for season 4 until its literal last moment. But it was certainly one that held a rare degree of amusement in watching Sameen Shaw restraining herself constantly from jumping the bones of the Number of the Week.
He was Tomas Koroa (Adrian Bellani), tall, handsome, lean, catnip for women in general and certainly for Shaw. Tomas is a world traveller, a wine dealer and expert. He’s also the leader and planner of ‘The Hole in the Wall Gang’, a team of four highly experienced, very professional, very successful and internationally wanted thieves. Having walked out on her old bunch, after kicking asses and chucking their latest loot in the river because they didn’t stick to the timing, Shaw’s as much appreciative of Tomas’s professionalism as she is his ass.
So, clearly a perp, though where the threat is coming from is as yet unclear. To get close to Tomas (ooh, give over!), Fusco plants drugs on their existing beautiful woman, Katya (Faina Vitebsky), creating a vacancy into which Shaw moves. It’s a robbery taking place in twenty minutes, breaking into a hotel vault, dragging away the safe and opening it in a quiet, undisturbed location (i.e., Donald E Westlake’s Bank Shot without the Dortmunder Gang’s usual haplessness). Tomas opens the safe, extracts the small box within…
But I said two plots. Finch and Root, she playing a nanny in a gorgeous auburn wig in her latest identity, are pointed towards Jared Wilkins (Johnny Sparks), recipient of a $12,000,000 grant from Nicholas Dawson, Samaritan’s hand-picked choice as New York State Governor, for his mysterious charity OTPS. Root goes undercover as nanny to Wilkins’ son, Sebastian, to learn that OTPS stands for One Tablet Per Student, an ambitious and wholly philanthropic intent to supply a Tablet computer to every child in New York, pre-loaded with educational software.
Yes, our computer genius pair conclude, software selected by Samaritan, to teach entire generations what Samaritan wants them to know, to brainwash them into thinking only what it wants them to think. Wilkins’ project has to be brought down, and it is, by a fire that destroys the building and its masses of 3D printers.
But as they walk away, Finch tells Root that, whist he was setting this up, he checked the software, and found only one line of suspicious code, a line he’s not even sure was malicious. It’s like Cuba: when Castro took over, the first thing he did was build schools, which was very popular but which was an absolute good. They have destroyed a very similar initiative. What are they becoming?
Meanwhile, there’s a case being opened by an International Jewelley Thief. But it doesn’t contain jewellery. Instead, it contains a dozen vials of a pandemic: Mar-V, with a 90% mortality rate. And instead of being a Perpetrator, Tomas instantly becomes a Victim as his crew try to kill him and Shaw and abscond with the virus.
This leads to a desperate cat-and-mouse chase to recover and destroy the virus, with Tomas as an ally in the pursuit. The perpetrator behind this is Marko Jevdice (David Vadim), a former member of the gang and the obvious culprit, given that he’s supposed to have died in Police custody six years ago.
Marko’s been hired to spread a pandemic in New York. He’s going to start with Tomas and Shaw…
But there’s a complication. Samaritan was supposedly behind Jared Wilkins’ One Tablet Per Student project, but we had severe doubt cast on that. We automatically assume Samaritan’s behind the pandemic but it’s not. The moment Marko gets the virus in his hands, the Relevant side get involved, a two agent team consisting of Devon Gricce (Nick A Tarabay) and Brooks (Theodora Woolley), wth orders to kill everyone involved and destroy the virus, though that unsurprisingly becomes secure the virus.
This complication creates multiple complications. Grice was traned by Shaw. He’s uncomfortable with his and Brooks’ changed role under ‘Research 2.0’. Originally they got names, to investigate, and decide upon the appropriate course of action, just as Team Machine does. Now they just get names, many more of them, and just kill without knowing why. Brooks is very gung-ho, Ms Company Woman about this: we’re not paid to think.
Finch is seriously worried. Getting too close to the Relevant team might expose their double lives. Shaw knows her side though, anticipating the order to secure the virus: only they can be relied upon to destroy it.
Everything’s closing in. Marko’s about to inject Tomas, Grice and Brooks are almost at the door and up pop Reese and Fusco to start a running gun battle to distract both enemies. Shaw and Tomas get away with the vials, Brooks executes Marko and his men, but Grice intercepts our pair. And as soon as he recognises Shaw, tells them to go.
Just to make things plain, this is another of those give-Jim-Caviezel-a-break episodes. Reese floats around in the background in the background but this is his only action scene.
There’s an aftermath, two of them in fact, one of which is funny. Tomas wants Shaw to join him in Barcelona, on his next job. They work so well together. Shaw declines, and gives herself a bit of fun, sneaking up on Root. The two actually flirt a little. Well, Root flirts a lot but Shaw plays a little too. She needs Root to help her decontainate and destroy the virus. It’ll be a long job, 12 hours or so, overnight…
And Grice and Brooks move on, new orders, people to kill in South America. Before they leave, Grice erases the surveillance footage of his letting Shaw and Tomas go. Immediately, we see Samaritan retrieve it, reset the angle, start cleaning the pixels to identify a face. The face of Sameen Shaw, an enemy.