Person of Interest Recap: Nautilus

By Kitin Miranda | 2 years ago
Person of Interest Recap: Nautilus

“Person of Interest” Season 4 Episode 2 “Nautilus” aired on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on CBS. In this episode, the team tried to protect a college sophomore student from participating in a game that turned out to be deadly. However, things weren’t as they seem, as they discover the sinister purpose of the game. Read on to learn more about this episode.

Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) was interrupted in his welding by a text message that told him to go to a diner. Once there, he contacted his colleague John Reese (Jim Caviezel) to join him for dinner at the diner. However, John canceled on him as he still had a ton of paperwork to do in his cover job as Detective Riley. He then revealed that he had lured Finch there as their new number was currently in the diner. John then told Harold to help out this number as she was similar to him.


Claire Mahoney (Quinn Shephard) was a sophomore college student taking up math and had a 4.0 average. She also became a chess grandmaster at the age of sixteen after defeating three computers at the same time. However, she was behaving erratically in the last 48 hours. She had trespassed onto private property, bought a 9 mm gun and broke into cars. John also told Finch that his partner, Sameen Shaw (Sarah Shahi), could not help him at the moment as she was adjusting to her new cover job — a street level criminal.

As Claire had left the diner, Finch followed her out on the street, to a lamp post where she took a number from a missing dog poster. Finch got one for himself and noticed that the piece of paper had a nautilus shell stamped on it.

Finch tried to call the number, but it was to no avail. During a student’s consultation, which was part of his cover job as a professor, he realized that the numbers were meant to be multiplied, and he discovered a set of coordinates which directed him to a particular building.

When he got there, he found Claire staring at a wall covered with graffiti marked with a nautilus shell. After taking a picture of it, Claire, who had noticed that Finch was following her, confronted him. She asked him if he was also playing the game and told him that she was going to win. She then shot the windows of a passing car and blamed it on him so that she could get away. Luckily, before the car owners beat him up, John showed up and “arrested” him.

Inside John’s car, Finch reached out to one of Claire’s professors. He discovered that Claire had been acting erratically for the past year. She had stopped playing chess, constantly skipped class and even attempted to kill herself. Finch decided to learn more information about Claire. John aided Finch by using his job to request for information about her and decided to search Claire’s motel room.

Inside, he found that oddly enough, she had a hard drive which she took great pains to hide. However, while he was inside the motel room, he was confronted by Douglas Mahoney, Claire’s father, who asked John to contact him if he had found Claire.

Finch meanwhile had discovered that the graffiti on the wall which consisted of magnets with blocks in it formed a Bongard Puzzle. Thanks to this, they realized that the next clue or location would be at a three-pronged arch. They were able to narrow it down to the Glen Span Arch at Central Park.

When John got there, he found Claire in the middle of the road staring at something. As she was going to get run over, he decided to bring her to safety. He then told her that he was worried about her safety and that he had called her father, Douglas, to pick her up. However, as Douglas came out of the car, Claire told John that that was not her father. Finch then told John that based on the New York Police Department file on Claire that he had requested, Claire’s parents had died a year ago in a car crash. As soon as he realized this, John told her to run and fought off Douglas, who John realized worked for a private military corporation.

When Finch had arrived at the arch, John decided to comb the forest to look for Claire. Finch then sent him the information that he had decrypted from Claire’s hard drive. It turned out that the entire thing, the game, started out because of an image posted on a message board and in the participant’s emails.


The first image had a picture of a nautilus and a message that said: “If you seek enlightenment, be the first to walk through the chambers.” Claire realized that there was hidden data in the image, which gave her the instructions to hack an encrypted network to steal a particular file. This file most probably belonged to the private military corporation that was hunting her down. Finch also told John that each puzzle held clues and instructions for the next location.

However, this game wasn’t only being conducted in New York, as it had also appeared in Tokyo and in Paris.

Finch then decided to take a look at what Claire was looking at. While waiting at a nearby bench, he noticed another man walk up to the middle of street, who took pictures with his glasses. As Finch realized that that man was another competitor in the game, he decided to stand in the exact same spot where he had stood. There, he realized that the Motorcycle Safety posters, when put together, had an image of a nautilus. There were also several traffic lights that bordered the bottom, but Finch realized that it was Braille for another address.

When John got to the address, he entered a biker bar, as it was the only establishment that was open at that time. There, he found Claire who was busy taking a picture of a badge on the wall. As one of the bikers was trying to flirt with her, she got away by telling the biker that her fellow competitor was going to steal his wallet. Luckily, John was able to intervene and convinced the other player to quit playing the game. He then took a picture of the gang badge that Claire had been studying.

Meanwhile, Finch and Shaw were able to find out that a barista from a local coffee shop had put up the poster with the missing dog and the numbers. After interrogating him, they learned that he had been ordered to do so and that the client was anonymous and had contacted him via email.

Finch then used a new laptop in order to trace the source of the email. He discovered that oddly enough, the emails had no point of origin. Then all of a sudden, his laptop was hacked brutally, as the hacker was trying to discover his location. Finch then threw the laptop out of the car and ordered Shaw to drive away. This made him realize that the creator of the game was Samaritan.

Outside the biker bar, John decided to follow Claire to make sure that she was safe. However, she was being closely followed by several men who looked like they worked for a private military corporation. Without Claire even knowing, John succeeded in knocking out all of the men and abducted them for interrogation.

He then discovered that the men worked for a corporation called Silverpool — the same company that was responsible for an incident in Tikrit that claimed the lives of many civilians. However, the men did not know exactly what file she had taken.

Finch then decided to meet Root in order to ask her and the Machine what Samaritan was doing and why it was targeting Claire. Root told Finch that Samaritan was recruiting. The reason why she was targeted was because she was similar to Root — focused, driven and would never ask questions regarding her mission, making her the ideal asset.

At the precinct, John tried his best to solve the puzzle on the biker gang badge, which had a series of letters and nautilus eyes in the skull in the middle of the badge, etched with 30 RC. Detective Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman), one of their allies, tried his hand at breaking the code as he was fond of puzzles. He then told John that the letters were letters in a musical scale. As he hummed the notes, John realized that the next location was the Observation Deck, as the song that Fusco hummed was Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” and that 30 RC was an address.

As Claire was going to be ambushed by several men from Silverpool, Shaw and Reese entered the elevator with the men, allowing Claire to safely go up while they dealt with the men. On the deck, Claire found the next clue on the floor — the code to get the Silverpool documents. While she was hacking into Silverpool, she received the instructions to “look for the octagon in the glass.” Thanks to this clue, she realized that she had to go to the Octagon Building.

As she did this, Finch approached her and tried to convince her to stop participating in the game. He also told her that if she continued, he could not protect her anymore. However, she refused to stop as the game was the only thing that was giving her meaning in her life at that moment and refused his protection.

At the Octagon Building, she realized that the entire staircase formed an image of a nautilus. She also found another clue that told her to go to a switch. She went up to the rooftop and found the switch, only to discover that it was broken.

The Silverpool men closed in on her, and Claire made herself ready to die as without the game, she had no meaning in life. However, at that moment, snipers took the Silverpool men out. A phone vibrated behind a panel on the switch. As she took it, the blank screen, Samaritan, told her that it would protect her from now on. As the screen panned out, Samaritan’s interface changed her status to “Asset.”

The next day, John informed Finch that Claire had never showed up at any of her classes or in her dorm room. Finch told him that she had made her choice, just as he had made his. Because of this, he brought Shaw and John to the Subway Repair Station that he had been working on to make it a new base of operations. This was the same abandoned subway station that the Machine had directed him to. He had even succeeded in creating a secure way for him to go online. He did this because he could not stand idly by while Shaw and John risked themselves for the Machine. He also told them that he had decided to take up the fight against Samaritan, as they could never let Samaritan win.

What do you think of this episode? What do you think Samaritan will do next? What has Root been up to?  Let us know y posting your comments below!

And that’s it for the recap on “Person of Interest” Season 4 Episode 2 “Nautilus.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “Person of Interest” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).

Catch “Person of Interest” every Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. on CBS.

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