Harold and John get six apparently unrelated numbers that are all over the (US) map. The search leads them to an island where they are stranded because of a particularly harsh storm, and they realize there is a creepy ass serial killer trapped with them. This episode is an Agatha Christie novel inside of a show, and an absolute delight for all fans of Michael Emerson in particular.
I have watched the whole show before, so SPOILERS MIGHT HAPPEN. Big spoilers will be blanked out but references and irrelevant spoilers are going to be out in the open.
As you know by now, I love the little family moments we get every once in a while, and ‘Proteus’ opens with a glimpse of what Harold and John do when they’re not working: taking Bear out for a movie night. Such cuties.
How did they have time for a movie night? Well, the Machine hasn’t given them numbers in three days. They guess it might have something to do with the virus Kara Stanton uploaded a few weeks ago. As they talk about this, two things happen: we see yet another blue screen of death, and the payphone next to them rings. Six numbers, seemingly unrelated and scattered across the country. In John’s words: did the machine blew a belt or something?
This episode is such a good thriller. Finch takes Bear to one of the 6 numbers’ apartments to snoop around, and Bear finds a bunch of half-burned teeth hidden somewhere. I love when Bear helps, he is such a good boy. At the same time, Reese heads to an island and runs into Alan Fahey, an FBI agent looking into the same missing guy, and a possible string of murders. So it’s a serial killer case! We haven’t had one of those! Brings me back to those days of watching Criminal Minds and rewatching until I knew every episode by heart.
Since the FBI told Carter that there are multiple investigations into Cal Beecher, her hot-as-fuck boyfriend, she is not talking to him. I mean, she could just *address* things like a person, but that doesn’t appeal to mainstream drama standards. Cal sticks around the whole episode, though, trying to help Carter while she is helping Finch.
This serial killer seems to be killing people and then assuming their identities, and the storm knocked down their bridge to leave the island. Which means whoever killed the last one is probably still on the island, and no one can leave. Oh, goody, a Closed Circle. Or, almost closed. Good ol’ Harry was too worried about his
husband friend John being trapped in an island with a serial killer, he flew a fucking plane in the middle of a giant storm to warn him. He pretended to be Harold Gull, a storm chaser. Love is a powerful thing.
Finch’s tone of voice and manner of speaking this entire episode is very eery, which helps a lot, and makes me love Michael Emerson even more than I already did. He should voice mystery/suspense audiobooks. He points out that the killer probably burned/erased his original (actual) persona, just as he did. I guess it takes one chameleon to know one.
There are so many red herrings throughout ‘Proteus’, and I love it. I usually don’t care all that much to find out who the killer is before characters do but I know many viewers do, and false clues make that fun. Was it the dental hygienists (y’know, cause the teeth seemed to be kept as trophies)? Nope. Was it the rich dude developer who everyone hates? Nope. Was it the military deserter whose knife was used to kill the sheriff? Not him either. Was it the fisherman?! Nope, yall caught the last of the red herrings (get it? ’cause he fishes? anyhoo) now.
Hell, is it Finch?! LOL of course it’s not Finch. He is looking into the seismograph (which they were using as a lie detector to question all the people left stranded) and realizes something.
“FBI agent Alan Fahey” *pointing a gun at Harold*: What gave me away?
Oh shit. OH SHIT. It was the FBI guy. Did you guess right?
He corners Finch at a garage or some similar type of creepy place, and asks him in the creepiest way possible if Harold is an impostor, like him.
Harold: You’re an amateur at this.
This scene right here, between the fake Alan Fahey and Harold, is beyond creepy and amazing. As Harold confronts him, the fake bro suggests he’ll assume Harold’s identity next. Sweet summer child, like he could. We do discover Harold doesn’t actually *need* glasses, he just uses them. Fashion statement, identity concealment, or both? Discuss.
Harry goes off on him about the complete waste of space this guy is, which makes the fake guy a tiny bit upset. But just as fake Fahey is about to off our fave sugar daddy, Carter – who went looking for her BFFs with Cal – shows up and shoots him. And just as he gets back up ’cause he had a bulletproof vest, Beecher shoots him again. Team work!
In the end, Cal and Carter have a drink and John and Harold hang out near the beach, and they’re all so glad to be together. Except they still don’t know what glitches or surprises the Machine is going to put them through, and we know every episode has more blue screens of death than the previous one. The countdown for Kara’s virus showdown looms over us all.