[first lines of series]
John Reese: When you find that one person who connects you to the world, you become someone different. Someone better. When that person is taken from you, what do you become then?
Harold Finch: You have a decision to make.
John Reese: The machine gave you another number.
Harold Finch: The numbers never stop coming. You should know that up front.
John Reese: Why me?
Harold Finch: I've been watching you for a long time, John. We have more in common than you might think. The world thinks we're both dead, for starters.
John Reese: You programmed the machine to delete those irrelevant numbers. Now you're trying to save them. What changed your mind?
Harold Finch: Let's just say you're not the only one that's lost someone. If you wanna leave, I'll give you enough money to get as far as you need. Disappear.
John Reese: And if I stay?
Harold Finch: Sooner or later both of us will probably wind up dead. Actually dead this time. I said I'd tell you the truth. Didn't say you'd like it.
Harold Finch: About that... I don't like firearms.
John Reese: Neither do I. But if someone's going to have them, I'd rather it be me.
Harold Finch: Eight million people. You know what they all have in common? None of them knows what happens next. Someone is murdered in New York City every 18 hours. At the end of the day, one of these people will be gone...
John Reese: Bad things happen to people every day. You can't stop them.
Harold Finch: What if you could?
John Reese: You don't know anything about me.
Harold Finch: I know exactly everything about you, Mr. Reese. I know about the work you used to do for the government. I know about the doubts you came to have about that work. I know that the government, along with everybody else, thinks you're dead. I know you've spent the last couple of months trying to drink yourself to death. I know you're contemplating more efficient ways to do it. So you see, knowledge is not my problem. Doing something with that knowledge... That's where you'd come in. And you can call me Mr. Finch. I think you and I can help one another. I don't think you need a psychiatrist or a support group, or pills...
John Reese: What do I need?
Harold Finch: You need a purpose. More specifically, you need a job.
John Reese: I'm curious. Was there a point where you knew you'd become a bad guy?
Detective Lionel Fusco: Woke up one morning, realized I was paid to protect a bunch of jerks from Wall Street who were robbing everybody blind. They're stealing more than my annual salary in an afternoon. I said, "what the hell."
John Reese: I don't believe you. See, I've been watching you, Lionel. Your heart's not really into it. Stills, he does it for money, but I think you do it because you're loyal.
Detective Lionel Fusco: What's the difference?
John Reese: That's why I'm going to let you live.
Harold Finch: When the towers came down, you were in a hotel in Mexico. I was here. I was working. Didn't even know about the attacks until that evening. You see, Mr. Reese, until that day, I had spent the better part of my life making myself very rich. Suddenly all that money didn't seem to amount to much.
[pauses, then continues the story]
Harold Finch: After the attacks, the government gave itself the power to read every email, listen to every cell phone, but they needed something that could sort through it all, something that could pick the terrorists out of the general population before they could act. The public wanted to be protected. They just didn't want to know how they were being protected. So when they finally got a system that worked, they kept it secret.
John Reese: So how do you know about it?
Harold Finch: I built it.
John Reese: What is this place?
Harold Finch: The decline of Western civilization. The city closed half its libraries.
Harold Finch: Budget cuts. This building was sold to a bank that I control, which promptly declared bankruptcy. So the property's in a kind of limbo. It doesn't exist.
John Reese: Neither do you. I did a little digging.
Harold Finch: I recognize, Mr. Reese, that there's a disparity between how much I know about you and how much you know about me. I know you'll be trying to close that gap as quickly as possible. But I should tell you... I'm a really private person.
Detective James Stills: I think I'll kill you and your friend here. Make it look like you killed each other. Then, just because you pissed me off, I'm going to kill your family. And all your friends.
John Reese: I don't have any friends. I don't have any family left, either. Went around the world looking for bad guys, There were plenty of you right here all along.
John Reese: Where's the machine now?
Harold Finch: What, the drives? Who knows? Government facility somewhere. But the machine?
[Looks at a nearby camera]
Harold Finch: The machine is everywhere. Watching us with 10,000 eyes. Listening with a million ears.
John Reese: You gave yourself a way to communicate with it?
Harold Finch: I was building the government a tool of unimaginable power. I thought maybe an off switch would come in handy. So I built myself a back door into it.
John Reese: To access the irrelevant list.
Harold Finch: Just a social security number.If anyone ever found out, I'd lose access so... nine digits, that's all we get.
John Reese: And we have no idea why it picked Diane Hansen.
Harold Finch: It wouldn't be steering us toward her if it wasn't seeing *something*.
John Reese: But I don't know if I can protect Hansen. I can't see the whole picture.
Harold Finch: I offered you a job, Mr. Reese. I never said it would be easy.
Detective James Stills: You're not law enforcement. Cartel finally grow some stones? Send somebody to take care of us? Who the hell are you?
John Reese: Concerned... third party?
Detective Joss Carter: I'm Carter. You didn't give us a name.
John Reese: You know, it's funny. Seems like the only time you need a name now is when you're in trouble. So am I in trouble?
Detective Joss Carter: I don't know, you tell me.
Detective Kane: You hear about your pal Anton?
Detective Kane: Him and his father tried to buy some guns. Wind up getting shot with their own merchandise.
Detective Joss Carter: Are they dead?
Detective Kane: Nope. Embarrassed enough. They got taken out by one guy. In a suit.
John Reese: You ready to get to work, officer?
Detective Lionel Fusco: I'm no good to you. I'm dead. Just a matter of time before the gangs get me. Or I.A.
John Reese: No one knows you're involved. I took care of that. Besides, they'll be too busy looking for Stills. The police will think he's run for it. The gangs and the mob will think he's gone Witness Protection.
Detective Lionel Fusco: Is that where he is, Witness Protection?
John Reese: No, Lionel. He's in the trunk.
Harold Finch: This recording is three years old. A woman murdered in this room by her husband. For the insurance. You were too late for her. Just like you were too late for your friend Jessica. You were halfway around the world when she was killed.
John Reese: What the hell do you know about it?
Harold Finch: It's the truth. You left the government because they lied to you... I never will. I think all you ever wanted to do was protect people.
John Reese: [Looks tape recorder] NSA or FISA. Government. But you're not government.
Harold Finch: No, I'm not. I guess you could call me a concerned third party. You couldn't have saved this woman... Or your friend. But you could have if you had have known in time. And that's the other thing I'm offering you, a chance to be there in time.
John Reese: I'm considering sticking around New York for a while. If I do, I'm gonna need someone on the inside, and you might come in handy.
Detective Lionel Fusco: Ah, so I'm working for you now, huh?
John Reese: That's right. But I've got two rules. One, you so much as hurt anybody, and I'll kill you. I don't particularly like killing people, but I'm very good at it. And two... You have to be more careful. For instance, if you're gonna put someone in the backseat of your car, you have to search them properly...
[Takes out a grenade and throws it into the front seat]
Harold Finch: Knowledge is not my problem. Doing something with that knowledge is where you come in. You can call me Mr. Finch.