Reese asks the machine directly for help in this season opener. What he gets is a phone call from the local phone booth, yo its The Machine! He hears a series of words, jots them down and goes back to the home base.
A book of cryptography is useless but then John notices that the book has a code on its spine! This code is known in the super secret librarian world as a DEWEY DECIMAL NUMBER! I love this show! The key to everything is Dewey. Dang.
The code leads him not to Finch but to a new "victim" named Leon who is an accountant skimming millions from a nasty gang. Reese brings in Carter and Fusco to help, and it is nice to see them both working side by side for Reese but wary of each other.
Flashbacks to 2002 or so show Finch working with the machine to train it and set its priorities.
Finch is so proud of his creation as he puts it through its paces. He could win at a casino and clean them out but he pulls back and loses all the money on purpose. Finch doesn't want himself or the machine to be amoral, he wants to save everyone.
Finch also appears in the present time, prisoner of the ever pleasantly repulsive "Root". She has the smooth facade of a serial killer and the remorseless instincts of a torturer. I am really starting to be creeped out anytime Amy Acker plays a character because at some point the claws are going to come out. Eeeww.
John Reese doesn't disappoint in the bad guy busting. Only one giant tattooed guy gives him any trouble.
Without Finch, John depends a bit more on Carter and Fusco, and maybe picks up a dog. Despite his awesome fighting abilities, he has a fragile personality and the pain with which he begs the machine to help him find his friend shows how much he needs these people.