A homeless alcoholic is riding a subway when he is accosted by a gang of teenagers after refusing to relinquish his whisky bottle. Their efforts to teach him to share instead lead him to teach them a lesson. The homeless guy is ex-CIA agent John Reese, who disappeared and is now presumed dead. But he has not fallen off Harold Finch’s all-seeing radar.
After bailing Reese out of police custody, Finch tells him about the Machine and the access he has to its crime prediction service, then makes him an offer. Reese does not accept immediately, but agrees to test the water.
The social security number Reese is given to investigate belongs to Assistant District Attorney Diane Hanson, who is working on a major case involving drugs and murder. As he begins to suspect that a group of corrupt cops are standing in the way of justice, Reese forcibly persuades one of them - Detective Lionel Fusco - to provide some telling information.
But who is at the top of the chain? Will Fusco prove to be a reliable source in the future? And will Reese sign up long-term to Finch’s offer?