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In the present, Finch shows signs of significant spinal trauma. He has a severe limp and his neck and upper back are generally held very rigidly. He'll turn his whole torso, or sometimes even his entire body, rather than just rotate his head to look at something.

However, in most flashbacks we've seen him working fairly normally. In one scene, he's even jogging on a treadmill.

Has there been an explanation yet, as to what injuries Finch suffered to bring him into his present condition? I'm pretty sure I'm fully up to speed on the series, but don't recall any explanation thus far - is there something I've missed or forgotten?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

What is currently known is that between 2009 and 2010

Finch is involved in an accident and fakes his death [...] According to X-rays analyzed by Megan Tillman, Finch had a spinal fusion surgery as a result of his injury during this time period, possibly due to the accident. (Episode 1x04: Cura Te Ipsum)


As a result of [the spinal fusion surgery] and the preceding accident, Finch displays a range of physical disabilities such as the inability to turn his head, rigid posture, a limp, and severe chronic pain.

The season 2 finale (Episode 2x22: God Mode) reveals the cause for Finch's injury.

  • In 2010 Finch was meeting with Nathan Ingram at a ferry dock when a nearby car bomb went off (the bomb was meant for Ingram, because he was planning to talk to a reporter about The Machine).

    Finch was, together with many other people, injured by the blast (Nathan Ingram was killed).

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P.S.: Finch jogging on a treadmill was a flashback from 2002. – Oliver_C Feb 15 '13 at 18:46
Wow - covered in E01x04? My memory is rusty. – Iszi Feb 15 '13 at 19:08
The exact circumstances surrounding the accident have yet to be explained, though... – Mason Wheeler Mar 16 '13 at 3:09
If I may, his injuries are severe due to the fact that he chose to hide from his fiance and got to a library instead of a hospital. – Chiffa Sep 7 '15 at 21:41

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