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301Liberty 309The Crossing 317Root Path (/)
302Nothing to Hide 310The Devil's Share” (Multiple) 318Allegiance
303Lady Killer 311Lethe” (Finch) 319Most Likely To...
304Reasonable Doubt 312Aletheia” (Finch) 320Death Benefit
305Razgovor” (Shaw) 3134C 321Beta” (Grace)
306Mors Praematura 314Provenance 322A House Divided” (Collier)
307The Perfect Mark 315Last Call 323Deus Ex Machina” (Collier)
308Endgame” (Carter) 316RAM

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Air dateFebrurary 4, 2014

Running time42:05

Production code2J7614

Written bySean Hennen

Directed byJeffrey Hunt


Images (13)

It appears that the storm has yet to pass, Mr. Reese.

— Finch

"Provenance" is the 14th episode of season 3, and the 59th produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on February 4, 2014.


Reese rejoins Finch in New York, but when the team receives the number of a highly skilled antiquities thief, a surprising turn of events finds them planning an elaborate heist which could land them all in jail.

Origin of the Title

Provenance is a commonly used term in the fine arts trade which refers to the artist, place of origin, history, and chain of custody or ownership of a work of artistic significance or of great value. Documented provenance is key to determining the authenticity and value of a piece. It often becomes critical to the determination of ownership of important works of art, particularly those that were stolen or were looted during events such as World War II.

Main Plot Points

  • The Machine monitors an art theft and a message from Alain Bouchard stating that the thief escaped.
  • Returning from Italy, Reese is informed that they have a new number: Kelli Lin, an event planner with impeccable references. Finch is able to get himself, Reese and Shaw into an event Kelli is running at the Metropolitan Museum of History.
  • At the party, Shaw meets Kelli who she notes is good at being evasive. Shortly thereafter, dry ice bombs go off creating a smoke screen and a thief steals a painting. Shaw catches the thief who she unmasks to reveal Kelli Lin. Kelli then escapes.
  • Shaw steals Kelli's bag and computer and overhears Bouchard talking about the thief he has been chasing for months who kills her accomplices. Reese, Shaw and Finch realize that Kelli is the perpetrator, not the victim and track her to a bar called The Purloined Letter using her computer's GPS.
  • At the bar, Finch is able to bluejack every phone inside until he finds one that allows him to listen in on Kelli meeting with a man named Cyril who she turns the painting over to. Cyril then tells Kelli he has a last job for her, one that she has everything to gain from and alternately everything to lose. Kelli agrees to the job and leaves.
  • The next morning, Reese is able to follow Kelli back to her apartment. Remembering that Cyril called her Jiao, Finch does a search on the name Jiao Lin and discovers that Kelli is a former Olympic gymnast who got a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics. Finch discovers that Kelli was cut from the Chinese National Team with no given reason while preparing for the World Championships and suggests that they search Kelli's apartment for clues to what turned her into a criminal once she's left her apartment.
  • That night, Shaw sneaks into Kelli's apartment and locates her plans for her heist behind a mirror. Shaw discovers the location of the heist and the fact that Kelli is after the Guttenberg Bible.
  • Shaw is able to foil the heist and ends up in a standoff with Kelli. As they face-off with each other, Kelli gets a call from Cyril who she promises to get the Bible to and is sent a video feed of her daughter held hostage. Finch then realizes that they've made a terrible mistake.
  • Shaw takes a captive Kelli to Finch's safe house where he questions her. Kelli reveals that her pregnancy got her cut from the Chinese team and while desperate, she robbed a pawn shop that was a front for a criminal organization run by Cyril and his partners. They forced Kelli to become a thief to "pay her debt" and kidnapped her daughter Kai to force her cooperation. Kelli is shocked to learn of the murders of her decoys, not having known what Cyril did with them. Kelli believes it to be too late to save her daughter and gives Finch the name of the company protecting the Bible, Symmetric Security Solutions. Unable to reach Kai in time to save her, Finch decides to aid Kelli, who escapes her bonds unnoticed, in stealing the Bible.
  • Joined by Fusco who gets them the architectural plans of the building, the Team discusses the complex security systems guarding the Bible and what they need to do to bypass them.
  • The Team and Kelli execute their parts of the pre-stage of the heist: Fusco tips off Bouchard to Kelli's address where he runs into her outside and steals her flash drive which has her supposed plans for the theft. Bouchard reveals he knows she is the thief and believes he has her cornered, not realizing Kelli set him up. Bouchard warns Symmetric Security Solutions who moves the Bible into their central room as an additional precaution, giving Finch and Reese, who listen in on the call, the Bible's exact location. Finch determines that Cyril is likely part of a syndicate which uses Kelli to steal priceless artifacts and then sells them back to the owner and works on locating Kai. Fusco uses his status as a police officer to pull over Supervisor Farrow from Symmetric Security Solutions and lifts his fingerprints from his registration, enabling Finch to use a 3D printer to create a fake hand with Farrow's fingerprints. With their plan in place, the Team prepares to enact it.
  • That night, as Kelli accesses the building through the rooftop, Reese meets with Aris Zappo, claiming he has nuclear device detonators he needs transported by Symmetric Security Solutions. Reese is able to convince Zappo to take him to the building where he knocks Zappo out in the elevator and Shaw emerges from hiding inside his trunk. Reese sets off the alarms breaking into the room and is caught by security who take him to be arrested by an NYPD officer that was in the area. The officer is Fusco who Reese has deliver him to JFK.
  • Shaw and Kelli sneak into the top floor through the vents and Shaw is able to use the fingers from Finch's fake hand to access the secure room. Kelli then uses her gymnastic abilities to swing over the electrified fence and steal the Bible while Finch raises the room's temperature to fool the infared motion sensors and loops the security camera footage. Bouchard and Farrow detect the security breach but arrive at the secure room too late to stop Shaw and Kelli from escaping with the Bible.
  • The next day, Finch and Shaw kidnap Bouchard at gunpoint, telling him that they borrowed the Bible for awhile, not stole it. As Kelli meets with Cyril, Finch sits outside with Bouchard listening in on their conversation. Kelli turns over the Bible and demands the release of her daughter, but Cyril refuses, planning to continue to use Kai as leverage to force Keli to continue committing robberies for him. Finch tells the shocked Bouchard he needed to know the truth and Bouchard contacts the NYPD for backup.
  • Cyril calls up a video chat of Kai to remind Kelli of what's at stake only to see Reese rescuing Kai. Cyril tries to kill Kelli but is shot down by Shaw who is undercover at the bar. The NYPD arrests Cyril and Kelli and Finch informs Shaw that Kai will be brought back to the US by Reese and Finch will help her become a citizen. However, Kelli broke the law many times so her fate is in Bouchard's hands.
  • At the 8th precinct, Bouchard tells Kelli he can't extradite her as he wants to but he has enough on her to put her in prison for life, regardless of the circumstances she was under. Bouchard admits that he always thought it was a shame she didn't win the gold as an Olympic athlete and leaves Kelli a handcuff key so that she can escape.
  • Outside of her apartment, Kelli thanks Shaw for her help and wonders what to do next with her life. Shaw suggests she be a mother as Reese and Finch arrive with Kai and reunite mother and daughter.
  • After their successful heist and saving of Kelli and Kai, the Team celebrates in Finch's safe house, joking around about what their next heist could be. During the celebration, Reese pours a drink for Carter, the missing member of the Team.

Episode Notes

  • The target of the theft is a Gutenberg Bible. The Gutenberg Bible is the first book in the western world printed with moveable type, c.1455. Although the name suggests there is only one copy, 160 to 185 copies were printed; 42 known copies survive, 21 of which are complete. Most are held in museums and libraries or at scholarly institutions worldwide, including complete copies at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York and at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.
  • At the reception, Finch admires a codex on display. A codex is an early form of book, often illuminated, with vellum or parchment pages accordion-folded and stitched, making it possible to lay the book out as one long document when the stitching is removed.
  • The theft at the event was of a painting by Cézanne. Paul Cézanne was a French post-impressionist painter, known for his paintings of ordinary French life and people. He is regarded by some as the father of contemporary art.
  • Kelli meets Cyril at a bar called "The Purloined Letter", which draws its name from a short story by Edgar Allen Poe.
  • Cyril addresses Lin as "miláčku," which means "sweetheart" in Czech.
  • Before becoming a thief, Kelli was an Olympic gymnast. During the 2000, 2004 and 2008, the Chinese gymnastics teams came under scrutiny for their use of obviously underage (under 16 years of age) girls on their team. The issue came to a head at the 2008 Beijing games. Although the International Olympic Organizing Committee and the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique investigated, and the Chinese team was exonerated, questions about the girls' ages continue to arise, largely surrounding use of falsified birth and other records used to establish the girls' ages and the admission by two members of the 2000 team that they had competed while only 14 years of age.
113px-Interpol logo.png
  • Agent Alain Bouchard, who follows Kelli throughout the episode, is an Interpol agent. Interpol is a non-governmental, politically neutral organization coordinating international policing, based in Lyon, France. Its work includes policing terrorism, human trafficking, crimes against humanity, organized crime, trafficking in illicit art and illicit drugs, and more. Its role is to assure mutual cooperation among policing agencies while operating within the laws of the individual countries they serve. Interpol agents cannot make arrests, but rather serve to coordinate policing among agencies, often in different countries.

Production Notes

  • This episode concludes the story arc that follows Carter's death. Reese has returned to the team, which has rebuilt itself without her.

Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • Shaw kicks off her shoes to chase the art thief as she flees the museum. However, when she tries to reenter the museum she is wearing her shoes.
  • The Machine spells the word "surveillance" incorrectly as "survellance" at the 21:06 mark.

Plot Holes

  • Kelli needed a boost from Shaw in order to reach the bars and swing into the cage. Shaw wasn't able to help her for the return trip, so how did she climb out of the cage?



  • The news article about the Gutenberg Bible appears in the New York Journal, the magazine where Maxine Angelis works.
  • According to Kelly's computer, the event at the museum takes place on January 7, 2014.
  • One of the security guards says, "There's a Five-O at the gate", when Fusco arrived to pick up Reese. The term "Five-O" refers to the 1968 CBS police drama Hawaii Five-O which depicted an elite police unit in Hawaii, the 50th state. A remake of the show currently runs on CBS.
  • One of the tenants in Kelli's apartment building is "L. O'Connor", a possible wink at Person of Interest writer Lucas O’Connor.
  • Possible reference to a previous episode: The man Shaw saved from choking is Warren Zimm, "a big-time investment banker". In “Risk”, Reese protected a young investment banker named Adam Saunders who worked for a big investment bank Baylor Zimm.
  • License Plates of Interest WKO-3542 makes a second appearance on Finch's Town Car.


  • "I'm a sucker for watered down booze and a mini quiche." (Shaw)
  • "I can field strip a .45 in the dark, Finch. I think I can handle a bow tie." (Reese)
  • "Hate to interrupt this mildly erotic moment, gents, but the invitation advises us not to be late." (Shaw, to Finch and Reese)
  • "Finch, there's no sign of danger in here, not counting the shrimp puffs." (Shaw)
  • "Whoa, miss, it's 1 a.m. What can I do to make you stop talking?" (Uniform, to Shaw)
  • "Ms. Lin, you're not going to believe me, but I'm someone who helps people." (Finch)
  • "Oh, don't forget to give each finger a good lick before scanning them" (Finch, to Shaw)
  • "How about Fort Knox? Think we could take Fort Knox?" (Fusco)