“Brotherhood” was an excellent example of one of PERSON OF INTEREST’s best episode. It focused on rekindling its favorite plots of good and evil: weaving in corruption, trust, and purpose by comparing the life choices and interactions between a child of 14, looking to protect his mother and sister, and an adult gang member who lost all humanity years ago. Have to say I do like stories by Denise Thé.
The episode contained drama, action, comedy all aspects of good POI episodes. I loved Reese’s offer to play hopscotch with the kids and Bear’s chewing up Professor Whistler’s students papers. Of course, that harkens back to how Bear got his name in the first place, by chewing up Leon’s bearer bonds. And the episode was capped off with a beautiful Reese smile, something we haven’t seen in a long time.
The POIs this week are a young pair of siblings who find gang money and steal it in an effort to hire an attorney to get their mother out of jail. Where kids are involved, of course, Reese pulls out all the stops to protect them and that leads to a lot of solid action by Reese, his new partner Fusco, Finch and Shaw. It also introduces us to a promising new villain, Dominic, the leader of the Brotherhood.
We also see more of Elias and his deepening commitment to the team. Elias is helping Reese more and more, and Finch is divulging more to the criminal mastermind as the scene between them on the underground subway, a location that’s reminiscent of the team’s new HQ, reveals. Another tie to past seasons, Elias, and now Dominic, both initially concealed their true identities from the team. Has Elias actually broken his cycle of criminal intentions? Fan favorite Elias could easily be playing both sides of the coin again. There is still no indication what happened to both the money and diamonds Elias’ second-in-command absconded with in “Liberty”. Maybe we’ll see Elias shift allegiances in future episodes, certainly not a twist that is new to the series. I personally think he could be a great asset to the team in the elimination of Samaritan.
So what happens in this episode? After the episode opens with an obvious gang-related shootout, we are introduced to POI’s Malcolm and Tracy Booker. Reese and Shaw go to their respective schools looking for them but they didn’t show. In an effort to get information from Tracy’s school mates, Reese offers to play hopscotch with the kids, one of the humorous parts of the episode. Unfortunately for us, the kids tell him not hurting self and just they just take money for the information depleting Reese’s petty cash. 🙂
Following the lead, he backtracks the siblings school route and comes upon the gang shooting we saw in the opening scene. Seems the Brotherhood was making a drug trade with the Armenians and things went very wrong. Among many dead bodies, there is one survivor. The writer lets us incorrectly assumed he was muscle for the Brotherhood, but it turns out he is actually Dominic, a cold and terrifying villain, and the head of the organization.
The children had come upon the shooting, thought that all parties were dead and took the money. Unfortunately the Brotherhood wants is back. Finch’s background revealed that the children’s father is dead and their mother incarcerated for illegal weapons possession. As the story unfolds we find out the gun actually belonged to Malcolm who procured it to protect his mom and sister in the rough neighborhood in which they live. An all to familiar story of a child having to grow up to fast. Mom covered for her son, went to jail and the children were put in foster homes. They hope to use the money to pay for lawyers to defend their mom, get the charges dropped so they can go back to being a family.
Finch is the one that finds the kids by tracking them through their Metro card. He notifies Reese where they are and the fun begins. Have to say here I love Finches purple coat! Seems no matter his financial state, Finch doesn’t lose the cool clothes!
Unfortunately Finch loses them, but Reese locates the two, and along with the DEA Agent Erica Lennox, hid them until help can arrive. Malcolm reveals to Reese the money’s location and the Lennox takes off to procure it. Unfortunately for Reese and the kids, she is procuring it for herself.
A showdown ensues between the Brotherhood and Reese and, in a twist of events, Fusco arrives in time to save Reese this time. But that doesn’t end the situation. The gang still wants its money and won’t stop they get it. So Malcolm slips away from Reese and Fusco, and ‘sell’ himself to the Brotherhood in exchange for his sister’s freedom. Reese rescues him in the nick of time, and tries to point the family in the right direction by uniting the siblings and providing them with legal counsel for their mother. In the process, Reese tells the Brotherhood about the DEA agent and their money. She ends up dead and the gang gets its money back.
One would thing that would be the happy ending to the story, but as in typical POI episodes, this one adds another twist. Unfortunately for Malcolm, the Brotherhood is impressed by his resolution to family and his courage to stand up to them. Dominic decides to involve him in gang business in the future, drawing him into a life of crime. Good doesn’t always win.
The series handles its villains well, and Dominic is no different. He is introduced as a disposable gangster on the low end of the totem pole, and turns out to be the head of criminal organization. His narcissistic personality, his lack of concern for even his own people, his lack of scruples and morals, and his interrogation scene with Shaw gives very empowering introduction for the villain and hints that his role will be an interesting one to watch.
It will be fascinating to see how Dominic and Elias’ interactions play out with the team, who is strengthened by its ‘purpose’ and its resolve to eliminate Samaritan. This episode illustrates what a difference it makes when a series builds super villains to challenge its superheroes.