Person of Interest Wiki
Person of Interest Wiki
Episode Overview   Summary   POI   Cast and Characters   Crew    
  Person of InterestSeason 1 (Flashbacks in parentheses) Season 2 →
101Pilot” (Reese) 109Get Carter” (Carter) 117Baby Blue
102Ghosts” (Finch) 110Number Crunch 118Identity Crisis
103Mission Creep” (Reese) 111Super” (Finch) 119Flesh and Blood” (Elias)
104Cura Te Ipsum 112Legacy 120Matsya Nyaya” (Reese)
105Judgment 113Root Cause 121Many Happy Returns” (Reese)
106The Fix 114Wolf and Cub 122No Good Deed” (Finch/Ingram)
107Witness 115Blue Code” (Reese) 123Firewall
108Foe” (Reese) 116Risk
Number Crunch

POI 0110 Main.png



Air dateDecember 15, 2011

Running time43:33

Production code2J6210

Written byPatrick Harbinson

Directed byJeffrey Hunt


Images (66)

It's time to come home, John. The slate's been wiped clean.

— Mark Snow

"Number Crunch" is the tenth episode in season 1, and the tenth produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on December 15, 2011.


As Detective Carter deals with the fallout from her recent encounter with Reese and Finch, The Machine ups the ante for the duo by giving them four Social Security numbers instead of one.

Origin of the Title

  • Number crunch refers to the process of doing large calculations. In addition, crunch is a colloquialism for trying to manage a big task, often under pressure and with very little time. In this context, the title refers to the larger than usual number of persons of interest the Machine has sent the team, and the challenge that comes from trying to protect all four at once before while finding the threat. There may also be an element of the physical impact of the car crash which sets events in motion.

Main Plot Points

Episode Notes

  • The quote "The pen is mightier than the sword" is printed on the pen that Finch, posing as blogger Thomas Paine, gives to Jim Hallen. The phrase was coined by British playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton in the mid-1800s. It captures an often-expressed belief about the power of words versus the power of violence, espoused by Euripedes, Shakespeare, Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon Bonaparte, among others, in their writings.
  • Reese finds a picture of the young Finch and the young Nathan in the apropos book "The Ghost in the Machine."

Production Notes

Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • While reviewing the crash footage, Carter identifies Matt Duggan's car as a Ford Escort when in fact he was driving a Honda Accord.


Featured Locations

Main article: List of real-life locations#1x10:_Number_Crunch

The opening shot, where a car crash takes place is not Roosevelt Drive. First,a point of fact about the New York City street grid; There is a Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive (or FDR Drive for short), which is a major artery which hugs the periphery at the eastern edge of and originates very near the tip of Manhattan (one of Five Boroughs which compose New York City),& there is a Roosevelt Avenue which spans out across eastern Queens (another Borough) but no Roosevelt Drive within the Five Boroughs.


That being said, the actual roadway is Joralemon Street (the Borough of Brooklyn). More specifically the part of the roadway which bends to run alongside the water's edge of New York Harbor. Furthermore, it is bounded by Atlantic Avenue to the South and Furman Street (with the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, or BQE for short, very nearby) to the East.

After Detective Carter determines that Detective Foster does not exist, she is trailed by two CIA Field Officers, Snow and Evans, as she is walking along Flatbush Avenue from Fulton Street to Livingston Street in Brooklyn.


  • According to the Machine's archival footage, the final scenes of the episode occurred on December 15, 2011, the same date as the episode's original airing. (“Super”)
  • This is also the first episode where we see multiple 'numbers'.
  • Starting with this episode, all the main characters have met each other in person, discounting the pilot episode.
  • In real life, the Ducati store and the hair salon are at the same address.
  • The assault rifle John uses outside the girls' house is a Coharie Arms CA-415 modified with a 10" barrel, polymer magazine and Leupold CQ/T scope. This weapon, made in the USA, is a popular clone of the H&K 416.
  • The Space-time continuum is a concept of Einstein's General Relativity. To breach it, you need to disconnect time from a location in space i.e. time-jump or time travel.


  • "I've breached the space-time continuum.... Not really." (Finch)
  • "I'm sorry but I'm not letting you back on the street looking like this." (Wendy, to Reese)
  • "Careful what you look for Mr. Reese or you might find it" (Finch)
  • "Allegedly... I like that" (Carter)
  • "My vest got shot. It can take some time off" (Carter)
  • "Yes, and I'm hearing rather too much of your lower intestine. Could you move your phone from your belt to your jacket pocket? " (Finch, to Fucso)
  • "Detective Fiasco?" (Aide)
  • "Thank you for saving my life." (Carter)
  • "Hello John. I'm surprised you wound up in New York City. I thought you'd get yourself a cabin in the woods. Montana, maybe... It's time to come home John. The slate's been wiped clean." (Agent Snow)