"Risk" was straight-up one of my favorite episodes of Person of Interest. It had the most balls-out insane conspiracy yet, combined with some good banter between Finch and Reese ("The pants should shiver over the shoe, not break over it!"), and a genuinely moving number-of-the week story about a self-made investment banker named Adam and his working class uncle. Plus we got some Reese backstory that for once wasn't about his boring ex.
Let us now consider Person of Interest plotting at its finest. So there's this investment banker Adam, and he figures out that his company is investing a ton of its clients' money (including Adam's nice uncle's) into this weird stock called TriTak. When Adam starts looking into TriTak, and discovers that it's a run-of-the-mill oil pipeline company, people start trying to kill him. Whoa! Enter Finch and Reese.
So it turns out — get this — that a corrupt SEC guy (see clip above) is working with a corrupt banker to mess with the value of the stock so they can do a bunch of shady buys and sells right before a bill allowing fracking passes. If you have fracking, you don't need oil pipelines, and TriTak will go belly up. So already you have the SEC in bed with investment bankers, who are apparently both in bed with pro-frackers. But they're ALSO in bed with a bunch of assassins who are trying to kill Adam. And guess who is the assassin master? You guessed it! Elias, the Big Bad mob boss of yore. Seriously, any conspiracy that includes politicians, bankers, the SEC, fracking AND mob bosses is the best ever. Well, throw some aliens in there too, maybe. Failing that, how about an artificial intelligence who predicts crimes? Yes!
The other thing we learned in this episode, besides the fact that Finch likes to tailor suits, is that Reese lived in a homeless squat in an abandoned warehouse for several months. When Adam is fleeing the assassins, Reese brings him there and tells him about a woman who "looked out for him" and who will look out for Adam too. Once Adam has managed to set everything right with the conspirators, and earn back all his money, there is a heartwarming set of scenes where Adam thanks his working class uncle for looking out for him — and Reese thanks the lady from the homeless squat. That's right — behind every honest suit is working stiff. Or a homeless woman. Cheesy, but still heartfelt.
At the end of the episode, we find out that the SEC jerk somehow escaped from custody and ran home to shoot himself. Which makes no sense until we realize that he was arrested by a corrupt cop under Elias' thumb. Carter knows that means it's time to do the old "fish the cell phone out of the garbage can" trick, and hands the stinky device over to Reese. Of course, the phone is programmed to only call Elias or something. Anyway, Elias offers a cheery hello to Reese, and we all cheer to see Keith Mars back on the show.
Also, as I've noted before, the Machine's UI just keeps getting sexier and sexier. Just look at it! Love the visualization of the one stock taking a plunge just as the fracking bill passes. There was another scene in the episode where the Machine was watching Adam read a newspaper and then popped up a little window with the news story text, just like the whole TV show had turned into the Atavist app.
A special note about apps: Did you notice that Finch's "forced pairing" app didn't work this time? Uh oh. Time to bring out the "clone phone" app. Wait, that didn't work either? How about the "I'll p0ne your assonaut" app? Oh wait — I just made that up. (Or did I?) Tune in next week for what I hope will be an even bigger conspiracy involving ancient lizard people and birds.