The secrets of Finch’s operation before he enlisted Reese are revealed, including shocking ties to present-day events.
Origin of the Title
The episode title, "RAM", is an acronym for Random-Access Memory, a temporary form of computer memory which requires electrical power to retain data. It is capable of transferring data at a much faster rate than traditional hard disks, making it very useful for storing frequently accessed information while a computer is running. Metaphorically, this title refers to a seemingly random set of flashbacks from the Machine's point of view.
Finch disagrees with Dillinger's methods which includes killing his enemies and announcing to Casey's friend Lester Strickland that they are looking for Casey. Finch also does not share any information with Dillinger about the Machine causing great frustration in Dillinger about the lack of information he is getting.
Casey meets with Ian Banks of the SSCI. Casey tells Banks that he has proof of illegal government activities but realizes that Banks is not who he claims to be. Dillinger also discovers that the man is not Ian Banks.
Casey flees but is caught by Dillinger and then Reese and Stanton. As the three confront each other, the fake Ian Banks and two men open fire on the group. Stanton and Reese kill one man and wound the other while "Banks" gets away and Dillinger slips away with Casey.
Dillinger questions Casey who explains he did work for the government on breaking into a highly-advanced computer system. Recognizing that Casey is talking about the Machine, Finch has Dillinger take him someplace safe which ends up being the Library.
Still refusing to give Dillinger answers, Finch sends him outside to check the perimeter while he speaks to Casey. Unknown to the two, Dillinger leaves behind a bug to listen in.
Casey explains that he was hired by the government to test the Machine for weaknesses and managed to get in through a backdoor and a get few bits of code before he was shut out again. Recognizing the government was trying to break into the Machine, Casey then ended his work for the government which tried to kill him. Due to a car accident, Casey escaped.
Reese and Stanton torture a shooter they captured alive for information but the man ultimately commits suicide. Reese grows confused by Casey's actions and begins to suspect that he is not a traitor as they were told.
Stanton kidnaps Lester Strickland to get at Casey. When Lambert shows up, he asks to speak to Casey before Stanton and Reese kill him but Stanton refuses. A gunfight ensues that leaves Strickland and two Decima agents dead while Lambert escapes.
Reese catches up with Casey while Finch frantically tries to help Casey by calling 911. Reese fires his gun twice and tells Stanton he killed Casey and will dump his body in the Hudson River but has in fact faked his death. Reese tells Casey he can tell Casey is not a traitor and gives him instructions on how to get into Canada. Reese then takes two of Casey's teeth to show "proof of death." Afterwards, he and Stanton are reassigned to Morocco.
As Finch watches from a distance, Dillinger meets with three Chinese buyers before being gunned down by an assassin. The assassin kills two of the buyers but one gets away with the laptop. The assassin is revealed to be Sameen Shaw who executes Dillinger. Finch then buries his former partner's body in Central Park.
Special Counsel reports on the events to Control and tells her that they tracked the buyers to a technology firm based in Ordos, China. Control orders him to send in Reese and Stanton to find the laptop and then destroy it and them to prevent any news of the laptop's existence from getting out.
Root later reaches out to Casey in Canada to assist the Machine.
Finch notes that Daniel Casey attended "Cal Poly", where he majored in computer science. Cal Poly is the nickname for California State Polytechnic University, two of the 23 campuses in the California State University system. Cal Poly's campuses are located in Pomona and San Luis Obispo, and are known for their programs in engineering, agriculture and animal science. Cal Poly is also known for its annual Tournament of Roses Parade float, constructed at the Pomona campus's Rose Float unit by students from both campuses.
Casey's laptop is the Ordos laptop, which he used to hack the Machine. Following Casey's explanation of his story, Finch almost completed installing the virus he mentioned in “God Mode” when Dillinger intervenes, taking the laptop away from Finch.
In “The Crossing”, Root mentions to Finch that John was not his first "helper monkey". In this episode we learn she is referring at least to Dillinger, an operative who Finch hired prior to recruiting Reese.
It is from this point forward that Person of Interest morphs from being a crime drama to being a Science Fiction series. According to Gizmodo, "This past Tuesday night saw the season finale of Person of Interest, a show that premiered in 2011 as basically just a high-concept vigilante show. By the time it ended, it had transformed into one of the best science fiction series ever broadcast."
The title sequence used is that ofSeason 1 since the majority of this episode is a flashback, although the line "People like you" from that sequence's opening voiceover is omitted.
The episode contradicts multiple flashbacks by changing the date Reese left the CIA from May 2010 to late 2010-early 2011. One example is that it wouldn't be possible for Reese to meet Finch's previous partner as it wasn't until after Nathan Ingram's death in September 2010 that Finch started to help people. Essentially, this episode must take place in October/November 2010 just weeks after Ingram's death, before Reese's and Stanton's missions in Morocco and Ordos, and before Jessica Arndt's death in December 2010. The Ordos mission cannot be any later than December 2010 as well. By February 2011, Reese runs into Finch at the hospital upon learning of Jessica's death.
At the end of “Matsya Nyaya”, it is stated that in May 2010 either Reese or Stanton went to a Korean doctor for injuries after the explosion in Ordos. As stated above, this should now be changed to around December 2010. Also, Reese must be in Morocco before Jessica's death on December 7, 2010 as he talks to her on the phone while there.
"I Might Be Wrong" by Radiohead - Plays when Finch buries Dillinger in Central Park.
Popular Culture References
Reese and Stanton call their bosses "the Powers That Be." The Powers That Be were the beings responsible for the vampire with a soul Angel's missions in the TV show Angel. From the third through the fifth season Angel starred Amy Acker, the actress who plays Root on Person of Interest.
Several of Dillinger's quotes in this episode are reminiscent of future events:
Dillinger asks Finch if he ever thought about getting a dog.
Dillinger refers to the numbers as 'divine intelligence', further elaborating on Root's belief, and foreshadowing divine conflict between the Machine and Samaritan.
While waiting for Daniel Casey to exit the hotel where he was hiding, Dillinger jokingly says "Short of getting me a job as a bellhop, I don't know how I'll find him." In “Booked Solid”, Finch puts Reese undercover as a bellhop in the Coronet Hotel.
Dillinger also complains that he would probably wind up dead if he kept working for Finch. Finch would say the same to Reese in “Pilot” about their situation as presumably dead individuals who are hunted by the government.
At Central Park Dillinger says, "Thanks for the job." A similar comment was made by Reese in “Aletheia” and several earlier episodes.
Finch utilizes the "DarkNet" to sell Casey's laptop to Greer. He uses this network again in “C.O.D.” to arrange to purchase another laptop containing sensitive government information.
Even though both Finch and Lester Strickland create new identities for Casey, we never see either of the aliases.
Lester Strickland keeps an account at connectroid.com, a social networking site which was mentioned by Finch in “One Percent”. The network was devalued by half when Logan Pierce's social networking site friendczar.com debuted.
The end of the episode occurs on February 25, one week prior to the episode's original air date.
It is revealed that Control was the force behind the Ordos mission.
Although it is known that Special Counsel set up the ferry bombing on Control's orders (“God Mode”), it is unclear whether Finch believes that it was a terrorist attack or realizes that Nathan was the target.
As Finch mentions, Casey is the first outsider to enter the Library.
Stanton uses a military tactical move by holding the hostage or prisoner in front of her, which is known as a human shield.
This is the first episode where Greer's name is mentioned, but the Machine labels him as "[REDACTED]".
At the end of the episode, Daniel Casey was hiding in Finland. The locations camera feed had a text in Finnish "Keha Kamera 28". It translates into "Perimeter Camera 28".
At the Nerdist Writers Panel in September 2014, Jonathan Nolan & Greg Plageman revealed that Lambert was originally scripted to die in the stand-off with Stanton at Strickland's office. It was even shot that way, but in the editing room, they re-cut it to ensure that he survived, because they enjoyed Julian Ovenden's performance.
"I hope the threats required an ambulance and not a coroner." (Finch, to Dillinger)
"It's not good for you to be in here all day by yourself, Harold. Ever think about getting a dog?" (Dillinger, to Finch)
"All you need to know about me, Mr. Dillinger, is that I pay you to stop bad things before they happen." (Finch)
"But they don't have the "Finchinator" on their side working his hacker mojo." (Dillinger)
"What I can tell you about that man, is that he is highly efficient." (Finch, referring to Reese)
"I'm not ready to see you in a Speedo." (Kara, to Reese)
"A DNA swab is a lot easier to get through airport security than a whole bag full of teeth." (Reese)
"That tall drink of water? I've got a Christmas list of ways to dispose of him." (Kara)
"Nathan Ingram outlived his usefulness and he was dealt with accordingly. You might consider him a cautionary tale." (Control, to Special Counsel)
"I know that anyone that has contact with this system that you worked on either ends up dead or they lose so much they wish they were." (Finch, to Casey)
"You knew I was a shark when you hired me. Don't be surprised when I smell blood in the water." (Dillinger)
"Didn't anyone ever tell you it's not safe to be in the park at night." (Shaw, to Dillinger)
"Uh look, you're really pretty and all, but this doesn't make any sense." (Casey, to Root)
"Like I said, we have a mutual friend, and right now she needs your help." (Root, to Casey)