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201The Contingency” (Finch) 209C.O.D. 217Proteus
202Bad Code” (Root) 210Shadow Box 218All In
203Masquerade 2112πR 219Trojan Horse
204Triggerman 212Prisoner's Dilemma” (Reese) 220In Extremis” (Fusco)
205Bury the Lede 213Dead Reckoning” (Stanton) 221Zero Day” (Finch/Ingram)
206The High Road” (Finch) 214One Percent” (Finch/Ingram) 222God Mode” (Finch/Hersh)
207Critical 215Booked Solid
208Til Death” (Finch) 216Relevance
Dead Reckoning

POI 0213 Main.png



Air dateJanuary 31, 2013

Running time43:41

Production code2J7213

Written byErik Mountain

Directed byJohn Dahl


ID(s) from IntroID.213/1128.01

Images (41)

I knew you wouldn't follow orders, John. Just like in Ordos, you lost your nerve.

— Kara Stanton

"Dead Reckoning" is the 13th episode of season 2, and the 36th produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on January 31, 2013


Reese is abducted by an old acquaintance planning a massive act of cyber-warfare that could lead to Reese's death and an attack on The Machine.

Origin of the Title

Dead reckoning is an old navigational technique in which one's current location is calculated from a known starting point by tracking the compass direction and distance traveled after leaving that original location. It is useful when traveling for a long time between known landmarks, such as when at sea, flying, or in wilderness areas. Today, dead reckoning navigation has been mostly replaced by satellite navigation (GPS) and other high-tech methods.

In the navigational context, "reckoning" means calculation; however, reckoning also means to settle up accounts or to judge someone ("day of reckoning").

Main Plot Points

  • Kara Stanton's motivation is revealed.
  • Kara forces Reese to work for her by strapping bombs on his body.
  • Mark Snow's reason for working with Kara is revealed.
  • Kara uploads a mysterious program into the United States Department of Defense that will activate in five months.
  • Mark Snow killed himself and seemingly Kara by detonating the bomb inside her car.
  • The seller of the laptop in Ordos is revealed.
  • Mark Snow is identified as the man in the suit and the investigation finally ends.


Episode Notes

  • This episode shows us Stanton's course after Ordos, which is quite different from Reese's.
  • This episode mentioned malware software known as Stuxnet and Flame, respectively. Malware is a potentially unwanted program (PUP), whose purpose is to either control computing equipment for nefarious ends, or to destroy (or steal) data. Stuxnet and Flame, two of the best known PUPs share some similarities:
a) the infection of computer systems seems to be highly concentrated in the Middle East and North Africa, especially Iran.
b) the nature of the source code is so sophisticated and well-coordinated that it likely was created and conducted with "nation-state support".
c) the programs share some similarities to one another with respect to some of the modules of their respective source code itself, which suggests common point of origin.
  • Stanton's method of uploading the virus to the Machine by breaking into the DOD facility is similar to the tactic Finch later uses in “.exe” to upload the ICE-9 virus to Samaritan.

Production Notes

Fire enhanced in post production [1]

  • After the explosion of Stanton's car, the fire was enhanced with further smoke, dust and ember particles added later in post production.[1]

Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • When in the SCIF, Reese points out that there is no cellphone reception (thus Stanton cannot listen in on them) while close-ups of his phone show two bars of mobile network reception and full wi-fi.
  • The phone model on Reese's bomb vest changes a few times: on the bus and when Finch opens Reese's shirt to access the vest it's what looks like an Android phone; later inside the SCIF and what Finch actually unlocks on the rooftop is an iPhone.
  • The car Kara gets on after leaving the building is a sedan car. However, after the explosion, the car which blew up appears to be an SUV.


  • The three books that compose Stanton's Social Security Number appear to be fictitious. It is likely that the titles were created with the overall theme of the episode in mind. The book titles are:
    • "Debugging the Mind: A Guide to Information Ethics" by Pamela Hall
    • "Historical Views of the Future"
    • "Purple Mountain Rhapsodies - A History of American Music" by Corazon
  • Chinese TV usually doesn't have English captions. Instead, most shows are aired with Chinese captions for viewers who don't understand Mandarin Chinese very well.

White boxes on Greer and Stanton.

  • According to her death certificate, Stanton supposedly died on December 23, 2010 5:10AM.
  • Both Greer and Stanton were assigned a white box by the Machine indicating that they are not aware of its existence. Stanton's square changes to red when she informs Greer about the completion of her assignment meaning that the Machine categorizes her as a threat to itself or to Finch.
  • The sound of gunshots that alarmed Reese and Snow, during their first assignment together at the sellers apartment, came from the video game Far Cry 3 (which was being played by the sellers in the background)
  • There are at least two references to popular culture in this episode. First, in the Godfather, James Caan is told to "leave the gun, take the cannole." Stanton says something similar. Second, Finch disarms Reese's bomb vest with seven seconds remaining ("0:07"), echoing a moment in a James Bond (agent 007) movie.

Kara Stanton's service record.

Military terminology

  • Abbreviations/acronyms used in Kara Stanton's Department of Defense (DoD) Service Record:
    • CAPT = Captain
    • DOR = Date of Rank
    • PMOS = Primary Military Occupational Specialty
    • BILMOS = Billet Military Occupational Specialty
    • XO = Executive Officer
    • CI = Counter Intelligence
    • HUMINT = Human-gathered Intelligence

National Security Agency Defense Services Facility 203.F12 (or NSA DSF for short).

  • MOS is followed by a code that identifies the soldier's rank and specific occupation.
  • The date formats used in the armed services differ from civilian life, where it would be month, followed by day and year. Military dates appear year (in full form, not just the last two digits), followed by the month and day.


  • "You hacked the DOD?!" (Carter to Finch)
  • "You were right Kara, about me being dead. I'm gonna be great at it." (Snow's last words to Stanton)
  • "Looks like Snow retired after all." (Reese)



Person of Interest 2x13 Promo "Dead Reckoning" Subtitulos en Español Promo Subtitulada