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  01x13 - Root Cause
 Posted: 02/05/12 04:01
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You are being watched.

The government has a secret system--

A machine that spies on you every hour of every day.

I know, because I built it.

I designed the machine to detect acts of terror, but it sees everything...

Violent crimes involving ordinary people, people like you, crimes the government considered irrelevant.

They wouldn't act, so I decided I would.

But I needed a partner--

Someone with the skills to intervene.

Hunted by the authorities, we work in secret.

You will never find us.

But victim or perpetrator, if your number's up, we'll find you.

[Click, transmitter static]

Good morning, Mr. Reese.

Both: [Grunting]

Mr. Reese?


A bit of a bad connection.

Were you able to convince Mr. Billick to abandon his plan to kill his ex-wife?

[Over transmitter]

I'm working on it, Finch.


Both: [Grunting]

[Crash over transmitter]

Yeah, Finch. What is it?

Both: [Grunting]

[Crash, grunting over transmitter]



Pretty sure that's a parole violation, Teddy.

[Panting] Hello, Finch.

Billick and I just came to an understanding.

Good, because we have a new number.

Had a feeling you were going to say that.

I'm sending you an address.

Call me when you get there.

[Filtered male voice]

You sure he's the right guy?

[Filtered female voice]

He's perfect.

So what's this guy's story, Finch?

Seems like a family man.

His wife's name is Leslie.

Son is Owen, daughter Mia.

Oh, my goodness.

What are you working on there? A doggie?

A horse.

It's a horse. Of course it's a horse.

I knew it was a horse. I was just testing.

Did you lose your watch?

Uh, no. It's around here somewhere.

All right, guys, daddy's got to go to work.

All right. Bye.

Love you, baby.

You too. Be good.

All right.

Are you still there, Mr. Reese?

You ever crave a more conventional life, Finch?

If by "conventional" you mean a life without the numbers, it has crossed my mind.

It looks like Powell has a pretty normal one.

If there's one thing our little venture has proven, Mr. Reese, it's that people are rarely what they seem.

Finch, looks like Powell's playing hooky.

He's heading into a park.

Could be meeting somebody.

Are you up on his phone?

I'm about to be.

[Over phone] Hi, yeah.

Calling about the installer job you have listed in the-- in the paper here.

I'm sorry, sir. That position's been filled.

Oh. Um, well, do you have any other positions available at this time? Or--

[Dial tone]

Finch, Powell's not skipping work, he's out of work.

[Computer keys clicking] Yes.

I'm just discovering that the city's employee directory is grossly out of date.

A casualty of public employee cutbacks.

The same cutbacks have put Mr. Powell out of a job--

Eight months ago.

Judging by the way he was acting with his family, they have no idea.

That's a long time to go without a paycheck.

[Telephone dials]

These flutes are silver plated.

And engraved. I ain't expecting another Leslie and Scott to come in the shop.

Look, I can't use any of this stuff.

[Cell phone rings]

Now, if you have another watch like you had the last time...

I'll let you have all of it for 100 bucks.



Look, pal, take your junk and clear out, all right?

Don't call my stuff junk!

Hey, you want I should call the cops?

No, man.

Finch, this guy's about ready to hit rock bottom.

I ran Powell's credit.

He's maxed out on every one of his cards with the exception of the one he shares with his wife.

And that's almost at its limit.

You suspect he might be a threat?

Well, he just about took a pawnbroker's head off for a few bucks. See if Detective Carter can run a background check on this guy.

What about Detective Fusco?

He's handling another matter right now.

I'll keep a close eye on Powell until we know what we're dealing with.

Good. And I'm going to want to get a look at his home computer.

So I'll be joining you tonight.

Really. Ever been on a stakeout, Finch?

No. Should I bring anything?

Warm clothes, something to read, and an empty water bottle.


There are no bathrooms on a stakeout, Finch.

He's getting good at leading two lives.

Unfortunately, they're on a collision course.

[Paper rustling]

Hungry already, Finch?

No. And if I was, it wouldn't be for something with... Disodium inosinate.

Can is made of aluminum.

[Soft clattering]

Its dimensions are perfect for capturing wi-fi radio waves.

Point this at the house.

His home wi-fi network has WPA password protection.

Can you crack it?

Just did.

[Computer keys clicking]

Spends a lot of time on political websites, blogging about a congressman--

Michael Delancey.

Not a big fan of the Congressman.

This is interesting. Here's a big file--


[Cell phone rings]

I'm going to have to take this.

I'll be right back.



Mr. Powell?

This is the Work Time temp agency.

You called us several weeks ago about an event staff position.


We have two-day job placement for you, if you're still available.

Absolutely, yes.

They need you there at 12:30.

Sounds great. Thank you very much.

Thank you very much.

Looks like Powell's fortunes may be turning around.

I hope so.

But we still don't know why the machine gave us his number.

[Cell phone rings]


Looked up your guy.

Nothing but a couple of traffic tickets and an application for a firearms license for a rifle. Otherwise he's clean.

I see. Okay, thank you.

Should I be worried about this guy?

That's what we're trying to determine, Detective.

That file from Powell's computer, it was a PGP-encrypted, anonymous email account.

All these emails are addressed to congressman Delancey's office.

The same congressman that Powell had a beef with?

Delancey pushed for the budgetary cutbacks that prompted the city layoffs.

He cost Powell his job.

So why would Powell be working a fundraiser for Delancey?

Does he own any registered weapons?

Carter said he applied for a firearms license--

A rifle.

These are death threats, Mr. Reese.

Powell's not here for a job, he's going to assassinate Delancey.

Mr. Reese, did you find Powell?

We need to get to him before he gets to the congressman.

Sir, you need to come through the main line.


We've got a problem, Finch, Powell's already inside.

We should probably get in there then.

You stay close to the congressman.

Keep your eyes open and be ready to move.

Move? If somebody starts shooting, what exactly do you expect me to do?

You'll think of something, Finch.

Polls look good, Mike.

Thanks to your endorsement, Senator.

Do you remember Pete Matheson my campaign manager?

Sure. You're doing a hell of a job.

Oh, thank you, Senator. Thank you very much.

Powell must be downstairs with the staff.

Are you with Delancey?

Close by.

Listen, listen, Mike.

Uh, as long as a got you, let me ask you a favor.

Back off the rhetoric, understand?

Calling out certain large donors makes for great stumping, but it also makes people uncomfortable.

By "people," you mean you?

Just keep it in mind, Congressman.

We want you to have a long, long career.

Listen, this is odd.

Those threatening emails that Powell sent to the Congressman--

They're being flagged by my system.

Ladies and gentlemen, we'd like you to please take your seats.

Thank you.

Hello, ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you for joining us this afternoon.

I'm Pete Matheson.

You know, a few years back, my friend and business partner came to me and said, "hey, I'm thinking of running for office."

...Popular, I think we can all agree that they have always been...

The IP addresses match, but there are big discrepancies in the TTL values, and the headers are failing to authenticate.

What are you getting at, Finch?

Those anonymous emails didn't originate in Powell's laptop.

They were copied onto it from a remote location.

Finch, I'm more interested in finding the guy with the gun than I am in fixing his computer.

Congressman Michael Delancey.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for coming.

And thank you too.


I think his system's been hacked.

[Applause continues]

Mr. Reese?

Mr. Reese?



I think Powell's being set up.

[Gun fires]


There he is! There!

In the balcony!

[Distant police siren wails]

I can't tell how badly the Congressman is wounded.

Yeah, I lost the real shooter.

The emails, the job--

Powell was set up.

Listen to me! It wasn't me!

I didn't do anything!

Why won't you listen to me?

The question is, by who?

This is a shocking and a tragic day.

We're all just praying that he'll pull through.

That's-- that's all.


Whoever shot Congressman Delancey and framed Powell went to a lot of trouble.

They had to hack his computer, they spoofed his Internet search history and emails.

They knew exactly what information to manipulate so that he looked guilty to the police.

Fooled us... And your machine.

No, the machine doesn't get fooled.

If Powell isn't the threat, then he must be in danger.

Well, he's the patsy then.

Maybe he wasn't supposed to make it out of the fundraiser alive.

Did you get a look at the shooter?

Not a good one. But he was a pro.

Deadeye shot with a preplanned escape route.

Different skill set than our hacker, so...

Different people?

We're looking at a team.

First thing to determine is how the hacker got into his computer.

This may take me a little time.

[Cell phone dials]

I'll check on Powell.

[Cell phone rings]

You. I thought I could trust you.

Your partner said I shouldn't worry about Powell.

Then he goes and shoots a congressman.

And now the feds brought him in to my precinct.

He didn't do it. I was there.

Well, we got a banquet hall full of witnesses saying otherwise.

Right. Well, he was set up.

Set up? By who?

We don't know yet.

But we could use some help.

There's not much I can do.

The feds are running this show.

They're taking him into interrogation now.

I need to know what they're saying.

I told you, there's nothing I can do.

Carter, it could help save an innocent man.

I didn't shoot anyone.

It was your rifle found at the scene.

I don't own a rifle!

It's registered in your name.

It must have been the guy.

Uh, which guy exactly?

The one you say attacked you? Or the who worked there.

No, the guy who-- who-- who worked there who took me up to the balcony to rig the confetti cannon.

No one on the staff saw this guy.

And he's not in any security footage.

He was right there.

I saw him.

He must have known where the cameras were.

This whole thing is a setup.

Did you call the staffing agency?

There's no record of any company named Work Time in the tristate area.

That's impossible. They called me.

What about your gloves?

Why'd they test positive for gunshot residue?

I don't know. I got them from the guy.

Right, right. The guy.

[Cell phone rings]

[Simultaneous buzzing and beeping]

You still there?

Yeah. What happened?

Hospital just called.

Congressman Delancey didn't make it.

Powell's looking at murder one.

Les, it's me.

Oh, my God, Scott, where are you?

It's all a big mistake.

The FBI is searching the house.

The news says you shot someone.

No, listen.

These things they're saying, Leslie, they're all lies.

No. Are the kids with you?


I want you to take them next door, okay?


Now, listen.

They're probably going to ask you to go with them and answer some questions.

Now, Leslie--

Leslie, listen to me.

You do what they ask, okay?


You have another computer?

No. What computer?

What's going on, Scott?

I don't know.

I need you to trust me, okay?

Everything's going to be all right.

I love you.

I love you too.

What is it?

I think Powell could still be in danger.

How so?

In frame jobs, the decoy usually doesn't make it.

If they're not taken out at the scene, they're eliminated soon after...

Staged to look like a suicide or accident.

Are you speaking from experience, Mr. Reese?

Point is it ties up the loose ends.


Here. I think I may have found a way to our hacker.


A trojan horse...Hidden in one of Powell's emails.

Invitation to a job fair?

When Powell RSVPed, the trojan was installed.

It opened a port on his computer that allowed the hacker access.

I'm now installing that same trojan.

You purposely infected your own computer?

No, I created a virtual system.

Now the trojan can still run, and we can see where it leads.

Back to the hacker.


Wow. The coding is so complex.

It's really clever.

But not clever enough--

We're connected.

Can you get their location?

No, the IP address is masked.

But we can see what they're looking at.

Looks like a floor plan.

Finch, that's a federal courthouse downtown.

Carter said the FBI was now running the Powell investigation.

[Cell phone rings]

If you really think Powell is innocent you need to come up with some evidence fast.

Is he still in your custody?

He was.

The feds have him.

Where are they taking him?

The courthouse, for arraignment tomorrow.

Why? What are you thinking?


The FBI's got Powell.

They have no idea they're dropping him off into the hands of the assassins.

What can I do?

Send me the most direct route from the Eight Precinct to the courthouse.

I'm doing it now.

[Computer keys clicking]

[Car engine running]

[Tires squeal]

Watch out! Watch out!

[Tires screech]


[Violent coughing]

You're the guy who tackled me. Who are you?

One of the only people who know you're innocent.

What do you want?

Right now, to get you to someplace safe.


You just kidnapped me from the FBI.

Go ahead, Finch. I've got Powell.

I haven't been able to unmask the hacker's IP.

But here's a vulnerability in the firewall.

[Computer keys clicking]


Okay, now we're in.

Never doubted you.

Now let's see who's behind the curtain.

[Computer keys clicking]

Wait, something's wrong.

What is it?

We didn't hack in, we were let in.

It's a honeypot.

Program is sophisticated.

They're using a worm to infect any devices connected to our private network.

Including our phones.

They're listening to us right now.

Destroy your phone.


You know how to find me.

[Cell phone beeping]

Who are you?

[Cell phone beeping]

[Computer keys clicking]

[Click, generator hum dies]

[Computer keys stop clicking]

I'll take this one.

Keep the change.




[Metallic ratcheting]


You're welcome.

Here. Put this on.

You're the most wanted man in New York.

[Dial tone, keys beeping]


[Dial tone, dialing]

[Cell phone buzzes]


Mr. Reese.

Finch, what the hell happened?

I'm afraid I underestimated our hacker.

As a consequence, my equipment at the library is compromised.

So for the time being, I'm mobile.


Listen, I felt like we might need a little extra help looking for congressman Delancey's killer, so I've called in a specialist--

Someone with an intimate knowledge of the political arena. Oh, here she is.

I have to go. [Beep]

Wait a minute.

Specialist? She?


[Dial tone, hangs up]

[Clears throat]

Hey, I reserved the room.

Take a study break.

Nice work, dude.


Thank you for meeting me on such short notice, Ms. Morgan.

I work when I'm needed, Mr.--

Harold-- Please.

I am curious how you got my number.

Mutual friend. He assisted you on a...

Delicate negotiation with a certain pharmaceutical company.

So you're the guy on the other end of the phone.

How is John?

On the run, as usual.

He's actually helping another one of our clients even as we speak.

And, in the same way that he was able to assist you, we were hoping that you might be able to return the favor.

I don't understand.

One man took my husband away from all of you?

We believe he's part of an armed group--

Possibly terrorists.

Did your husband have any...

Radical political views, Mrs. Powell?

Terrorists? No.

Scott would never be involved in anything like that.

If you don't believe me, ask his friends, his coworkers.

You do know that your husband's been out of work for the past eight months?

No. Scott goes to work every day.

Have you taken a look at your finances recently?

It seems pretty clear that you don't know your husband as well as you think, Mrs. Powell.

Our client was at Congressman Delancey's fundraiser.

As a guest?

The shooter.

He was framed.

We're looking for the actual shooter.

Well, you boys certainly do like a challenge, don't you?

I've come up with a list of alternative suspects--

People who might have wanted the Congressman dead.

Well, all of these people have been at each other's throats at some point.

Whoever killed Delancey, it goes way beyond politics.

Prior to running for office, Delancey owned a contracting company.

DA's office has quietly been preparing an investigation into the company for several months.

How do you know that?

Never mind.

There were allegations of corner cutting and payoffs to city inspectors.

Strange way for Delancey to run his business, considering his anti-corruption platform.

It is.

But he wasn't running the business.


Delancey's campaign manager.

And business partner.

For two years, Delancey is in full-time campaign mode--

Not really running the day-to-day of his business.

So the bribes and the corner cutting--

They must have happened under Matheson's watch.

Unless he could say Delancey was really running things.

Which he could if Delancey wasn't around to defend himself.

Even if this was true, we have no proof that Matheson had Delancey killed.

Let's go get some.

Excuse me, sorry.

Why'd your husband do this?

I'm sorry. Just-- just please.

Did he really kill him?


I don't get it.

Why would anyone want to do this to me?

They needed a patsy. And you fit the role.


Who's they?

[Footfall, clatter at door]

[Click] [Electronic bleep]



Come on. Let's go!

[Click click]

We're all feeling terrible...

Just make sure that everybody can stay as long as they want.

I just got to get back to the office, okay?

Excuse me.

Mr. Matheson.

Look, I'm sorry.

I've said everything--

I'm not a reporter.

My name is Zoe Morgan.

I helped a friend of yours--

Jay Tanner-- Last year.

Little matter of a paternity suit.

Oh, yes, well, I'm sure we don't need those services right now, thank you.

Paternity suits aren't my specialty.

Crisis management is.

And right now, I think that's exactly what you need.

All right.

All right, Ms. Morgan, why don't you tell me why I need you.


Your impending investigation with the DA's office.

I have lawyers on retainer.


The killing of your business partner--

Congressman Delancey.

Excuse me?

Delancey would have testified that you were the one behind the shortcuts and payoffs.

Now that he's dead, you can lay the blame on him.

Who the hell do you think you are?

Your partner was going to burn you, so you burned him first.

I get it. But your vendor?

Your vendor dropped the ball.

The man that you set up is missing-in-action.

You know, if you're going to do something wrong, do it right.

I can find Powell.

Bring him to you or whomever you like.

For a price, of course.

I don't know what you're referring to.

And I think it's time that you leave.

Keep the card.

Might come in handy.

[Footsteps fade]

[Cell phone beeps, dials]

[Filtered voice] I thought I was clear on how this works--

I call you, not the other way around.

I hired you because I thought you could handle this.

And I am.

Then why is Powell still alive?

You assured me of your abilities.

And right now, I'm not seeing any of them.

I could have every email you've sent, contact you've called and password you've used.

I could empty your bank accounts, liquidate your stocks, and even send your ex-wife the location of your house in Bermuda.

All right, stop it, stop it. You've made your point.

Powell and his friend will be taken care of.

You just make sure to have my final payment ready.

[Cell phone rings]

[Filtered voice] Where are you?

I'm headed downtown.

The client's getting nervous.

They just dropped into the subway at 23rd and 8th.

[Slow beeping] Got it.

It's a transmitter.

That's how the guy at the hotel found us.

Could have planted it today, maybe sometime earlier.

Probably at your house.

They've been to my house?

Whoever is behind this left little to chance.

But I need you to stay focused, Scott, so I can get you back to your family.

I doubt I got a family to go back to right now.

I know about your job.

I know about the money, the lies.

Yeah, I know what it's like to live inside a lie.

I've lived there for so long, it feels like there's no way out.

But there always is.

I just needed a little more time, you know.

To get a job, to get on my feet.

I was going to tell Leslie.

But now it's too late.

No, it's not.

We're going to get you out of this.

These people...

They killed a congressman.

Are you going to promise me that they won't kill us too?

I didn't think so.

I need to talk to my wife. Now.

That's not possible. Not right now.

We need to keep our heads down.

I could die.

And-- and the person who I love most in life would think that I'm nothing more than a killer.

Do you have any idea what that feels like?

Actually, I do.

Of course, in my case, it was true.

Now, come on, let's go.

Stand away from the door.

[Steady beeping]

[Cell phone rings]


Hello, Detective.

What the hell were you thinking...

Taking down a prisoner transfer?

It worked. Listen, I need a favor.

Powell needs to talk to his wife.


Are you crazy?

You know the feds are up on her phone.

He needs this, Carter.

Mrs. Powell.

Did you leave your kids with your neighbor?

Yes. Is something wrong?

No, uh, they're just calling to check in.

Follow me.


Hi, Leslie. Hi. It's me.

Scott? Where are you?

I'm okay. Listen...

Leslie, I'm really, really sorry.

Oh, my God, Scott, did you shoot that man?

No, no, of course not.

You got to believe me, Les.

Do I?

You've been out of work for eight months, Scott.

What have you been doing every morning?

Looking for work--

Anywhere and everywhere.

And our credit cards? Our savings?

I know, babe, I know.

Why, Scott?

Because I couldn't...

I couldn't tell you that I was fired.

I thought we told each other everything.

I know. Listen, Leslie, I'm going to make this right, I promise.

You can tell her the rest in person.

We need to move now.

I gotta go. I love you.


[Steady beeping]

[Beeping speed increases]

[Rapid beeping continues]



[Toilet flushes]

[Hand dryer hums]

Excuse me. My name is Scott Powell.

Stay where you are! Do not turn around!

Raise your hands!

Transport's waiting on us.

You got it.

[Cell phone rings]

[Cell phone continues to ring]


[Filtered voice]

Is it finished?

Not quite.

But I suspect it will be soon.


[Cell phone beeps]

[Over computer speaker]

I hired you because I thought you could handle this.

And I am.

Then why is Powell still alive?

You assured me of your abilities.

And right now, I'm not seeing any of them.

There he is!


All right, folks, get back, please.


Can you make a statement?

Glad to be home, sir?

Hey, Mr. Powell, what's it like to be home, sir?

Glad to be home?

Did you get any threats?

What are you going to do in reaction to this?



I hear we have you to thank for catching Matheson.

Glad I could help.

Although there is a matter of payment.

Buy me a drink?

[Overlapping questions]

Did you miss your wife?

I did missed my wife.

You once told me a story about a guy who could say two words that would make the reporters go away.

Ever figure out what he said?

[Overlapping chatter]

[Questions continue]

[Cell phone chirps]

I see that Mr. Powell has been released.

Still has a long road ahead of him, though.


But I suspect that soon he'll be on his way back.

I control a company that's decided to build a new facility in New York.

They could use a man like Powell overseeing things.

That's noble of you, Finch.

Hardly. I just value good people, Mr. Reese.

You follow up on the hacker?

She seems to cover her tracks as efficiently as you do.

I was able to trace the signal to an address which the FBI received by way of an...Anonymous tip.

Sadly, they were too late.

It seems the hacker was using the dorm room of an unsuspecting college student who had been on winter break.

I need to determine the damage to my system.

I'll contact you when another number comes up.

Take care, Finch.

[Phone beeps]

[Computer keys clicking]

[Computer keys clicking]

[Computer keys clicking]

"Next time."

Stay tuned for scenes from our next episode.

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