They wait ten days for a new number due to a system virus, suspecting Root is the problem. It's for Ernest Thornhill, who isn't who, or what, he is supposed to be. At stake is The Machine - will it remain with Finch or end up with Decima?


(as Jeffrey Hunt)


(created by), | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lionel Fusco (credit only)
IAB Detective Ed Solis
Opal Alladin ...
Claudia Sugarman
Office Drone
ESU Captain


It's been ten days since the machine has provided a number, which means Carter has had ten days of dead bodies piling up. Finch discovers that a company called Decima is responsible for the virus which is causing these problems of inconsistency. The machine finally does dispense a number, it belonging to Ernest Thornhill, whose business of late has been buying up pay phone companies. As Finch and Reese track Thornhill, who they have yet actually to see, they find out some important information about him and exactly why the machine dispensed his number. But also aware of that fact is Root, who, using her own brand of persuasion, convinces Finch that they need to work together to battle Decima and the virus. Reese becomes aware that Root is back in the picture, he who gets some help from an old acquaintance in tracking Finch and Root. Their competing goals will all come to a head at midnight Eastern time, when the virus is scheduled to do its job. Meanwhile, Carter, in conjunction with ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 May 2013 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The machine's "name" of "Ernest Thornhill" is a nod to the classic Alfred Hitchcock film "North By Northwest." Finch and Reese learn that the machine has given them the number of a "Ernest Thornhill," a person they soon realize does not exist. In "North By Northwest," Cary Grant plays Roger O. Thornhill, who is attempting to track down a man named Kaplan, a person Grant's character eventually learns does not exist. Furthermore, "North By Northwest" was written by screenwriter Ernest Lehman. See more »


Sameen Shaw: You put a bug on your friend?
John Reese: Just on his glasses. I've lost people before, so when I care about someone, I plant a tracking device on them.
Sameen Shaw: I can understand why you and Harold get along.
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References North by Northwest (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

"I am not a sociopath, Harold" (dialog)...
27 November 2014 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

"... Believe me, sometimes I wish I was ... the things I have to do would have been so much easier" (dialog)

This review is really about Amy Acker, and in my opinion this series is ALREADY so good that any episode with Acker puts it over the top.

If I am not being clear, that is a GOOD thing.

I understand that Acker had a career in daytime TV before Angel but, as any fan will tell you, it was her work on Angel as a returning Goddess (you had to be there) that really became the breakout.

And this is the odd part. She is not really a full spectrum actress. Meryl Streep does not spend sleepless nights worrying about Acker.

I have watched Amy on countless "Lifetime" specials and she is pretty one-note.

So I have developed a theory.

She can play normal and she can play full-on loony, and that is her range. Pick one.

But when you think about it, that is still a pretty impressive range.

And in this episode especially, she is more fun than a barrel of hammers.


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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