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Fusco's time to shine on 'Person of Interest'

Season 4 | Episode 3 | “Wingman” | Aired Oct 7, 2014

It’s always nice when a regular character on a long-running television series usually relegated to the background gets his due. In the aptly named “Wingman,” that is exactly what happens to Kevin Chapman’s Detective Lionel Fusco. When the show began, Fusco was simply a foil for Detective Carter, before evolving into a corrupt cop facing a moral fork in the road.

Last season, Fusco finally became a full-fledged member of the team when he finally decided to stand up to the bad guys. Now, he and Reese (under a new identity) have become partners, and already I’m loving it. I’m hoping they take their shtick on the road soon.

The two are seen chasing a perp in Midtown at the head of the episode. Reese climbs aboard a double-decker bus to get a better view and manages to release a round on the perp’s leg. Fusco, none too happy about Reese’s theatrics, reminds him that he is in fact a “cop” and can’t afford to draw that sort of attention.

At the precinct, the partners have a sit-down with their new captain, Moreno (Monique Gabriela Curnen from The Dark Knight). She too is displeased with their reckless ways, and tells them of the precinct’s dismal statistics (“I’m ready to fire me!”). After her pep talk, Moreno dismisses the two, but not before reiterating Fusco’s feelings to Reese: Cut the cowboy act.

At Fusco’s desk, Reese gets a call from Finch with the news that they have a new number. As Shaw busies herself with Bear, Finch divulges the bad news that although they have a new HQ, they are still lacking in funds, and most of the money will have to come through their new identities. As Reese arrives, Finch gets down to brass tacks.

The new number turns out to be for one Andre Cooper (Ryan O’Nan), former longshoreman, now professional “wingman”—someone hired to help the less fortunate in the art of picking up women. Reese immediately assumes that Finch wants him to go undercover as a client and immediately rejects that notion. Shaw informs him that they two felt someone with “a little more people skills and less hair gel” would be better suited for the part.

Cut to Fusco. Shaw approaches him in a restaurant and drops off a secure phone. Cooper arrives as Shaw takes a seat across from them and listens in. He immediately thrashes Fusco’s appearance before sitting him down and explaining what needs to done to turn Fusco into a chick magnet. Fusco takes none of this lightly (“I know who’s going to kill our guy. Me.”), but soon the two are off to purchase a whole new wardrobe for our detective.

As Finch continues working inside the train car, he is paid a visit by Root, who seems less than impressed with their new surroundings. She tells Finch that the Machine needs a favor, but she doesn’t know exactly what it is. Since Samaritan’s uprising, the Machine has become more coy in her demands.

At the precinct, Reese is approached by Moreno, who brings up his current case, the murder of Winnie Montgomery, a realtor shot dead on her way home. The scene was staged as a mugging, so the husband becomes the prime suspect, but a lack of concrete leads stop the case cold. Reese informs her that the husband has in fact been emailing with a known killer, which may shed a light.

Finch and Root arrive at an auto shop while Shaw gets him up to speed on the Cooper case. It seems Cooper was sleeping with a client’s ex-wife and that the client sent him threatening emails. Hacking into his voicemail, Shaw also found out that Cooper was subpoenaed a few weeks ago about a missing gun shipment at the dock he used to work at, and the timeline fits Cooper’s decision to change jobs.

As Fusco and Cooper continue their makeover session—and get into heavy conversation about not living in the past—Finch and Root are approached by men who are definitely not mechanics. They refer to Finch as “Mr. Egret” and throw such phrases as “Blackwater” into the mix, and the meeting turn105163_d1730bcs out to be for an arms deal. As Finch and Root walk away with a missile in tow and Finch wonders what exactly is going on, they see the police pull up and arrest the dealers.

Fusco and Cooper turn up at reception filled with women. While Fusco bungles his way through several eligible bachelorettes, Cooper is approached by Mickey (Jason Pendergast), an old friend and client. The two make small talk and agree to meet soon. Fusco’s cover is blown when he punches another man who approaches Cooper for checking out his girl. He saves face by saying that he kept his profession secret so as not to get ridiculed by his coworkers.

Shaw calls and tells Fusco that Cooper might be a perp. Milo Jacobs, a dead security guard, had ties with Cooper; she speculates that the two might have stolen the missing shipment together. Reese arrives at the precinct with Winnie’s husband, full confession on a flash drive. He moves on to another homicide tied with embezzlement, inviting two of the suspects to the precinct and giving them a good grilling (with an assist by the captain). As a reward, Reese is handed yet another homicide case.

At an art gallery, Fusco and Cooper go for take two with the ladies while Finch and Root continue their “scavenger hunt.” As Shaw, shadowing the duo at the gallery, spies a threat with a longshoreman tattoo on his hand, Finch and Root are contacted by a potential buyer in midtown and are led to a sweatshop run by the Latvian mob. As Shaw disables the threat—in high heels!—Fusco and Cooper are nabbed by Mickey outside, while Finch, refusing to sell the missile, forces Root to take down the mob members.

At HQ, Reese and Shaw tap into security feeds across the city and the car that took Fusco and Cooper. Shaw and Bear head out while Reese stays behind to work on his case. Mickey interrogates Cooper about how much he told the D.A. about his “side job” before he and his men lock Fusco and Cooper in a shipping crate. Reese approaches a vendor who may have witnessed something involving the homicide, coyly bribing him for information (as well as for one of his “genuine” handbags).

Shaw and Bear are soon reunited with Reese, who tells Shaw that the case he’s been working is in fact the murder of Jacobs. The three manage to locate Fusco and Cooper. Fisticuffs ensue, and Mickey is finally brought down (with a little help from Bear). Moreno congratulates Reese and Fusco as they bring in their perps, while enjoying her handbag gift. Root drags Finch to a storage locker to reveal a cache of weapons, as well as two duffel bags filled with cash—courtesy of the Machine.

It’s easy to dismiss “Wingman” as a throwaway episode, POI‘s version of the Will Smith/Kevin James comedy Hitch. But this episode is important for two reasons: It’s the first time since the start of the new season that everyone is working as a team (okay, sort of), and for the introduction of Captain Moreno, who is a wonderful addition to the POI gallery of women (I’m including Paige Turco’s Zoe Morgan). Finch and Root, meanwhile, deviate from the main plot and go their own direction, and the scenes between them are performed to perfection by Michael Emerson (“That’s because I have only two modes … calm and furious”) and Amy Acker.

Fusco’s arc is definitely the highlight of this episode. There is a lot of growth here, and by the end, the mentor/mentee relationship between him and Cooper is flipped.

What did you guys think of this Fusco-centric episode?

Person of Interest airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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