“All In” is the perfect example of how to allow the case of the week move the larger emotional storyline forward.  On the surface, this is a straightforward case of protect the innocent and everyone goes home happy; underneath is the heart, Finch’s heart, in all its brokenness.  If that’s not enough to keep fans happy, HR rears its menacing head, and we see the full reach and dedication of Quinn, chief of staff to the mayor of NYC, as he gets his own hands dirty, very dirty (RIP Szymanski!) and then takes one in the shoulder to protect the cover.

Usually Reese connects with the person of interest, not Finch.  But All In was all about Finch’s pain over losing Grace and how it continues to haunt him.  Emotions are tricky and can get you into trouble.  In a move that surprised Reese, Finch threw caution to the wind, announced Lou couldn’t possibly be bad and tailed him; quickly getting spotted.

While John and Harold have bonded a bit over their respective ‘lost loves’ (“No Good Deed”) and they did so again, here Harold’s full connection over his pain happened with Lou.  The three scenes shared by Finch and Lou mesmerized.  Both actors played off the other wonderfully, giving and taking and upping the emotional ante each time.  While I love a good fight, shootout or kneecapping, the scenes between Finch and Lou are captivating; both actors made me ‘feel their pain.’

Reese had his connections as well in two quiet moments.  First, when Lou confessed to almost following Marilyn after her death, there was a quick cut to Reese where his pain and walk on the suicide tightrope was shown.  Then there was the moment at the end when John stated to Harold, “Some of us don’t get to grow old with the one we love.”  After Finch’s declaration that he would grow old with her from afar, Reese started to speak and then thought better of it.  It was a sad and lonely moment for both.

Oh, PoI, you do know how to tug at the emotions!

Thank goodness Leon was there to lighten up things.  He’s no Zoe (she would never blow a million dollars or get drunk on tequila shots while working) but he’s a lot of fun to have around.  Please come back.

Like last week’s Proteus, we get some great Reese and Finch moments.  I know there are some fans that don’t like how the characters talk about what we’re seeing on screen.  However, this seems utterly natural to PoI since Reese and Finch are usually discovering bits of information separately, their only connection the earpiece.  Of course they’d have to talk about what they discover.  This week’s moments include Reese and Finch playing baccarat online as well as Reese having a bit of a jab at Finch for being spotted by Lou.  It’s a credit to the actors that they understand not only their own character but the other that these scenes play out as if they were actually talking to each other.

All In continues the tradition of Reese reaching out to Finch and Finch showing his obvious discomfort at ‘human interaction’.  In “Risk” and “Masquerade” Reese made confessions that showed the depth of his appreciation for Finch’s friendship, not caring at the vulnerability he revealed.  Here, though, Finch was obviously unsettled that Reese heard his conversation with Lou. 

And then there’s the other story, the slow, backburner simmer of HR, first revealed in the Pilot, continued throughout this episode.  PoI knows how to pace itself.  The pieces are slowly and methodically being set on the chessboard awaiting the next move.  Terney is a new revelation as a member of HR, I’m not even sure Fusco knows about him.  There will be movement soon on Stills and who killed him, Terney didn’t throw that little nugget out there for nothing.  Carter is so in the dark that it gets more and more dangerous for her, which makes it better for us.

I’m eager to see the main four interact together.  I appreciate that there has been some time apart, keeps suspicions down and takes the pressure off.  However, with Carter determined to get justice for Stills and Davidson – and she didn’t even know or like them, what will she do now that Szymanski has been killed? – Fusco and Reese are going to have to come clean soon.  I’m eager for those moments!  Carter has certainly crossed lines this season, however, the HR storyline will reveal to her the extent of that line; how far will she go?

I don’t like to guess too much where PoI is going, they are skillful at evasion and misdirection, however, I am hopeful that in the four remaining episodes (sniff) HR, Root and Kara’s deliciously malevolent computer virus are all in the mix and bring us racing and breathless to the end of Season 2.

All In was a fun standalone, an emotional hit for Finch, a deepening and expansion of the HR story and a set up for things to come.

Quick hits:

Fusco:  “There’s no Santa, it was your parents.”  
Reese:  “I was an international spy; I know how to play baccarat.” 
Bear:  “I am planning to grow old with glasses man and tall man.” (well, that was a tweet!)
Finch/Reese:  “Oh, you were listening?”  “Always.”  Great echo to Reese’s call to Finch in C.O.D.:  “Finch, you there?  Always, Mr. Reese.”
Finch:  “When he deposited my keys in a tank full of crustaceans, I got the distinct impression that he didn’t appreciate being followed.”
Leon:  “That’s a big mistake.  Yeah, you better get out of here right now while you can.”  (ah, Leon, you’re figuring things out quite well!)

Share your favorite moments, lines, whatever below.

And as always, thanks for reading!  Elle2

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