Summary: In flashbacks, Collier is chosen for Vigilance and is pushed to do big things to make a difference by the mysterious texts. In the present, Collier begins his trial of all of the government people. Rivera is killed immediately after Collier judges him guilty. Collier threatens to kill Control next when she refuses to answer his questions. Finch intervenes and reveals that he built the Machine to the public. Reese and Hersh get to the courthouse area and start fighting Vigilance members. Hersh discovers a massive bomb. Shaw joins Root to help her in her mission. Decima men attack Collier and defeat his men, kidnapping him. Greer reveals that he orchestrated Vigilance and planned for this to happen. He has planted a bomb and will blame Vigilance for it. The bomb goes off and Hersh dies trying to stop it. Greer kills Collier. Reese frees Finch but Greer gets away. Root sets up the servers in Samaritan but she is unable to shut it down because there are 100 other facilities. She has set up 7 new identities for herself, Shaw, Finch, Reese and the 3 hackers so they can hide from Samaritan. Greer calls Garrison who agrees that Samaritan must be activated. Samaritan is finally activated at the end as Root, Reese, Shaw and Finch all part ways to stay alive.
The Good: Well, a hell of a lot of stuff happened here. This must be the craziest episodes of the show in terms of what happened, the pace at which it happened, and the effect that this one episode will have on the show as a whole. This was an actual game-changer of an episode.
From the get-go everything is intense and dramatic. The trial was pretty good and it led to a few really cool moments. The biased nature of the trial was established immediately, and Collier's murder of Rivera established a sense of danger for Finch. It became pretty tense right away and I was curious to see what information would go public. I thought there were good character moments for Control and Finch. Control showed some heart and proved to be a loyal servant of the United States as she refused to give away information and also stuck up for Finch. While Finch had an even better moment when he decides to repay Control's act by saving her life. Finch had to weigh his morals as he had to choose between the secrecy of the Machine or another human life. Finch is ultimately forced to reveal his secret to the public in a pretty good scene, once more choosing to save a life over protecting the Machine. Furthermore, the argument with Collier over the pros and cons of surveillance is a really strong scene.
The best stuff of the episode came after the trial. Once things fell apart, Greer took total control of the situation. Last episode I addressed how Vigilance being the true threat was a fantastic twist that turned a side-story into something much more engrossing and important. But that was just another misdirection as we got the shocking reveal that Decima actually orchestrated everything about Vigilance. The reveal felt important, made sense and tied up the many loose ends, even explaining how Vigilance got all of their information in previous episodes. It's a surprisingly good twist and explanation, so good that I'm surprised I didn't see it coming.
What makes the twist better is the emotional resonance it has on Collier's overall story. His life ended up being really tragic in the end, and the twist completely stripped away everything he had worked so hard to accomplish in the last 4 years. This trial was his dream and he was clearly enjoying the trial which was the culmination of all of his plans. This was his ultimate victory, even if he died, the world would understand the truth. To take this away by revealing that the broadcast never even happened is heartbreaking, and it's made even worse when Collier realizes that everything he had done for the past 4 years had been for nothing, and only served to further the agendas of his enemies. His entire campaign was meaningless. It's a heartbreaking moment and it's impossible to not feel some sympathy for Collier in this scene. Greer goes the extra mile to cement himself as a despicable villain though. Collier firmly believed he was doing the right thing, never killing innocents. Greer could have killed him while he still believed this. But instead Collier is allowed to live long enough to see Vigilance's name tarnished as just another evil terrorist group as a bomb goes off, taking tons of lives with it. After dedicating the last 4 years of his life for a cause that he believed to be just, Collier got absolutely nothing in return.
The most shocking thing about this episode wasn't even the twist. It was the fact that Greer actually won. Vigilance played right into his hands and gave him the exact leverage he needed to activate Samaritan. The threat of Decima has never been greater because Reese, Finch and co. are all living in Greer's world. Or rather, Samaritan's world since Greer lived up to what he had said to Finch in the last episode and is letting Samaritan fully control things. Honestly, I never expected to see Samaritan coming fully online like this. I always assumed it would be a temporary 1-episode story. But that's not the case. The show took a massive leap that I wasn't expecting and permanently changed the landscape of the story by allowing Samaritan to activate. How many other shows would have the guts to pull off a major move like this? Not many, I'll tell you.
The ending montage was one of the show's finest moments. The use of music was excellent (who doesn't love Radiohead), and it added to the haunting atmosphere of the entire sequence. Exit Music is a great song to accomplish this, and I recall it being used spectacularly back in an episode of "Black Mirror". Root's monologue may have been a little cheesy, but it definitely had heart to it and some of her lines definitely resonated with me, particularly the ending bit about Pandora's Box. The actual content of the montage was really heartbreaking too. After 3 seasons we have to leave the library, and it is every bit as emotional seeing the library destroyed as you might expect. The writers even throw in a picture of Carter to make it even sadder. Worse than this is seeing all of our heroes going their separate ways, forced to live a normal life. And they aren't doing this to save other lives; they're just saving themselves in a desperate act of survival. It's a painful defeat and it's rough to watch. Really powerful stuff.
There are a few other things I loved about this episode. For one, the editing was really good. I've always liked the techno-Machine stuff the show does, and it was done astoundingly well in this episode. The cinematic effects seem to get a lot more creative during these season finales, and I liked the way that the show introduced Samaritan using some slightly different effects. I liked the character interactions as usual. Root and Shaw's side story was good fun and their flirty interactions are always a joy to watch. I also liked Fusco's brief scene. It served as a good way to foreshadow that the broadcast wasn't actually live while also reminding us that Fusco isn't aware of the Machine, which explains why Root didn't need to set him up with a new identity. Lastly, I really liked that Root mentioned that Samaritan couldn't be stopped since McCourt survived. It makes Finch's decision have some very real consequences.
The Bad: It felt odd that Collier would be so emotional and aggressive during the trial rather than factual and calm. I understand that he has been waiting for this moment for a while, but surely he would want to provide a fair trial so that the general audience don't think of him as the bad guy. If he wants a revolution, surely he should provide more evidence on camera which would suggest that the government is guilty. Instead he goes for confessions at gunpoint and obviously frightened and biased jurors. It's hardly reliable and it makes me wonder why Collier didn't plan something a little more damning and fair. After all, the government are obviously guilty, so why not put more effort into proving it? Lastly, Collier totally lost that argument with Finch about surveillance. It makes him look really bad.
Hersh's death was pretty disappointing. After all the hype surrounding his character in season 2, he did absolutely nothing of note in this season and we hardly got to see anything about his character. Furthermore, his stoic and badass vibe was sacrificed so he could make some dumb jokes like Reese. Reese's jokes are fun and in-character, but Hersh's feel like they were just tacked on to make him more likable before he died. Additionally, his death is practically meaningless since he accomplished nothing by dying. What was the point of his character if this was his pay-off?
The Unknown: What are Samaritan's commands going to be? How will Decima enforce them?
What happens with Reese and co.? Will they keep getting numbers and doing their job? Will they somehow stay in touch? Will the Machine help them? How do they plan to stop Samaritan?
What lies in Control's future? Will she work with Decima then or will she have problems with listening to Samaritan?
Best Moment: The ending montage was a stellar scene. One of the biggest scenes the show has ever had.
Character of the Episode: Collier again. His tragedy is hard to overlook.
Conclusion: This was an outstanding season finale that concluded the season in a near-perfect way. It's astonishing how significantly this one episode changed the entire scope of the series and I have to commend the ambition of the people behind the scenes. And even with such a heavy plot focus, the episode still stayed grounded in emotion, focusing on the effects that these events had on its characters and the emotions they would be feeling. This episode accomplished some really impressive feats and it ends up being one of my favourite episodes of the series.
This season was undoubtedly the best of the show. The show strayed away from its usual formula in a vast majority of the episodes and that really helped the show. The serialized drama was always the best aspect of this series. The focus on Decima, Samaritan, HR and Vigilance throughout the season made it that much more gripping and interesting to watch with fewer weak episodes than both of the previous seasons. It's rare to see a show live up to its full potential, but "Person of Interest" is doing that right now. Even though there are still issues with predictability, dialogue and cheesiness at times, this show is being its best self and I'm having a blast watching it. Bring on season 4!
Summary: Flashbacks show that Collier's brother was arrested after surveillance found him guilty of terrorism. His brother killed himself and was innocent all along. In the present, Root gets 5 numbers of government officials, including Control. Control discusses bringing Samaritan online and convinces Rivera to go with it. Shaw goes in to watch over Control and protect her. Greer speaks with Finch while hidden away. Power goes out across the city and Vigilance captures Control and the government officials, as well as Greer and Finch. Shaw and Reese ally with Hersh to save Finch and Control. Root is able to discover where Samaritan has been stored away and prepares to go in. Vigilance prepares to broadcast a trial of the US government.
The Good: One of the most remarkably consistent aspects of "Person of Interest" is its villains. Across the last 3 seasons we have gone through tons of villains (Elias, Stanton, Donnelly, Greer, Root, Simmons, Quinn), and pretty much all of them have been great. Somehow the show manages to come up with a fresh balance of charisma, relatableness, motivation and threat from each of these villains to allow them all to stand out and make an impact. It's fascinating to see how many different villains this show is able to produce on a regular basis. And now in this episode, they have done it again with Collier.
Prior to this episode, Vigilance wasn't a group I was particularly invested in. All the scenes with them were good, but it always felt like the story was building up to something more, and Vigilance were simply being used as a way to maintain interest in an episode without doing anything too spectacular. As a result, I didn't find myself treating these guys as much of a current threat. I had labelled them as a future threat which would likely shine in one episode before being defeated. Plus, Collier hadn't done much to engage me in his story despite some strong acting and enjoyable lines of dialogue. Here, that all changed. We got an outstanding backstory for his character. We understood what his motives were, but we didn't know enough about him to care. With the heartbreaking tale of what happened to his brother Jesse, I found myself relating to Collier, understanding his pain and even supporting his cause. We have been told many times by people like Finch that we should sympathize with Collier but I hadn't really found myself doing so until now.
The climactic twist was quite brilliant. I wasn't expecting the episode to end with Vigilance capturing pretty much every other important villain in the show. It was a big surprise, and immediately pushed Vigilance to the top as the biggest threat to these characters. The entire season, I had been much more worried about the threat Decima posed since they had been built up so much, that I never took Vigilance as seriously as I should have. Because of this, the twist reveal that Vigilance are the biggest threat this season caught me off guard and satisfied me in the way every good plot twist should. I really look forward to seeing what will become of this trial, as it could potentially change the show in a big way.
The rest of the episode reminded me of "Zero Day". It was purely set-up for whatever is coming in the season finale and I really enjoyed it for what it was. It was interesting to see Root's plan unfold, and the involvement of the hacker group constantly kept me guessing what she was up to. It was satisfying to watch and the cliffhanger at the end with Root approaching Samaritan is exciting. There were some fun scenes in this set-up too. I liked Shaw having to swallow her hate and attempt to protect Control. The alliance between Reese, Hersh and Shaw was quite fun too. Also, I like that the show gave a reminder about why Decima men kill themselves since I forgot about the line which touched a little on this back in "Trojan Horse".
The scenes with Finch and Greer were pretty awesome. The acting and dialogue was great and both characters paralleled each other nicely. I liked their philosophical discussion about creation as it provided some nice thematic exploration (I love it when the show explores the more thematic elements of creating AI), while also giving us some nice insight into Greer and what makes him tick. His speech about the blitz was phenomenal and did a lot to help us understand his motivations and hints at what his goals are with the activation of Samaritan.
The Bad: I wouldn't call anything particularly bad here. The episode fell into the usual trappings of a set-up episode which prevents it from scoring too high.
The Unknown: What did Root's hacker crew set up? Will they have a role to play in the next episode? What is Root going to do with Samaritan? Will she be able to shut it down?
Is this trial the start of Collier's revolution? If he succeeds, how will the piblic react? What will be the consequences for Finch and co.?
What was the truth about Jesse's death? Who was it that texted Collier? The government?
Best Moment: Collier's emotional outburst at the government woman was a really strong scene, well-acted and powerful. I really felt for Collier and I found myself somewhat rooting for his success for a moment there.
Character of the Episode: Collier.
Conclusion: This was a great way to set up the season finale. While most of this was just an ordinary set-up episode, it got lifted up by the fascinating developments of Collier and Greer which added some focus and emotion to the episode.
Summary: Samaritan is active and can't locate Finch. Greer discovers the next best thing, Grace and tries to get her to find Finch. Reese and co. attempt to protect Grace by hiding her in the police station while avoiding all cameras to stay off the grid. They set a distraction and escape but Decima intercepts Grace and kidnaps her. Root leads Reese and Shaw to find Grace in areas without any surveillance and they find a ship off the shore. Root discovers the ship is filled with generators from Samaritan. The group finds out where Decima's headquarters are and Reese and Shaw head over there while Root stays with the generators. Greer speaks with Grace to learn more about Finch. Reese and Shaw are unable to get to Decima in time and Grace is taken away with Greer. Finch reappears and negotiates a trade for Grace by giving himself to Greer. The trade goes off without a hitch and Grace is given a job in Italy to keep her safe.
The Good: The drama in this episode was really strong. It was really interesting watching a battle between the Machine and Samaritan as both Reese's group and Decima end up using their camera feeds smartly to stay one step ahead of the other. It was really neat to see Root leading Reese and Shaw around corners, while staying out of sight of key cameras. It manufactured tension in a really neat way.
The ensuing scenes were all quite good at developing this tension too. I especially enjoyed the confrontation at the police station. There was a nice sense of impending doom with Decima surrounding the station and it was a nice addition. The rest of the episode did a decent job too. There was a nice sense of urgency as the group tried to get Grace back, and the discovery of the ship felt pretty significant, and also haunting as they discovered all of the dead bodies.
Grace was used really well in this episode. She is portrayed well as a complete innocent and I enjoyed the challenge that this presented Reese, Shaw and Fusco to keep Grace safe without letting her know the truth about both Finch and Decima. This dynamic felt unique and it was enjoyable to watch the interactions between Grace and Fusco/Root/Reese.
The scenes with Greer and Grace were a highlight. Greer was imposing as he interrogated her, but also curious as he didn't seem to want to actually pressure/harm Grace at all. It was interesting and I was curious about why he would do that. I liked that we got the answer at the end of the episode too. Greer simply respects Finch and didn't want to harm Grace as a sign of respect. It's a surprising characteristic for the villain to have, and it makes Greer stand out amongst the many other villains in the show. But rather than Greer, I thought Grace stole the show in this episode. Her outburst at Greer was emotional and outstanding, a scene filled with emotion.
The final trade off was a strong moment too. I thought that Finch choosing to give himself away fit with his character very well. The actual trade didn't end up being very tense, but it served as a powerful moment for Finch as he comes closer to Grace than he has in several years. Michael Emerson's acting was terrific and carried the scene to a new level.
I liked the return of FBI Root. Another fun moment.
The Bad: Can't Samaritan use means other than visual camera feeds to find what it needs? We have seen Samaritan use sound before, so why doesn't it do that now? It seems like a bit of a plot hole.
This episode didn't really hit that next level for me. There was emotion and there was drama, but I've seen much better from this show in previous episodes. That puts this one a little bit below some of the other fantastic episodes this season.
The Unknown: Why do these Decima people just kill themselves at will? Virgil's suicide at the end reminded me of a similar death back in "Trojan Horse".
What does Root plan to do with those generators she took? How much of an impact will her move have?
Will Finch be reclaimed soon? What does Greer plan to do with him? Does he need him for a specific purpose?
Will we see Grace again now that she is gone to Italy?
Best Moment: The trade-off was probably my favourite moment. Such a powerful scene for Finch.
Character of the Episode: Grace.
Conclusion: This was a fun and intense episode with a lot of powerful moments. However, I feel that it was just missing that spark that the best episodes have.
Summary: Root takes Shaw to deal with relevant numbers while Finch and Reese work on the next POI, a congressman named McCourt. Reese poses as a secret service agent to get close to him. Decima is after McCourt and leaks that Reese isn't who he says he is so Reese is forced to kidnap McCourt to keep him safe. After capturing a Decima agent with a returning Shaw's help, Finch and Reese discern that Decima made a deal with McCourt for Samaritan and are actually trying to protect him. Reese wonders if the Machine gave them McCourt's number because they have to kill him, but Finch refuses to do the deed. Eventually the group decides to leave McCourt alive and escape. Samaritan comes online for a 24 hour beta test and Greer begins to hunt down Finch.
The Good: This was a rock solid episode of drama with an outstanding final ten minutes. I'll start at the beginning first, before I get to that though. The episode felt important from the get-go with the focus being on discovering how Decima/Vigilance were involved with congressman McCourt. It was interesting to learn about McCourt, and unlike the mysteries in the usual POI cases, this one feels important due to its connections with Samaritan, which becomes a terrifying threat by the end of the episode.
I enjoyed seeing the Finch and Reese dynamics again. With Shaw a part of the team, we don't get one on one interactions between Reese and Finch as often. It felt special to see them tackle a case together and the dialogue between them is as entertaining as ever. The story of the episode was exciting too with Reese becoming a secret service agent to investigate more into McCourt, just like a classic POI episode. But what made it stand out was Decima actually exposing Reese's identity, forcing Reese to actually kidnap the POI. It was a fresh new take on the POI stories with Reese's cover actually being blown.
Everything after McCourt was taken was really fun to watch. I loved Finch's reaction to Reese's sudden move, and watching the group go on the run from Decima was very exciting, with lots of fun action and interesting interactions. This led up to a great plot twist when we learn that McCourt is actually Decima's link to activating Samaritan. It was a surprising change and it turned around everyone's comprehension of the mission they were doing.
This led into the stellar final ten minutes as Reese brings up the possibility of the Machine actually sending the group on a mission to kill someone, a fascinating idea. This sparked a stellar debate involving Reese, Finch and Shaw as they debate on what to do with McCourt. What's so fantastic about this scene is the amount of character development being showcased in this episode. We get to see Finch fighting to save a man's life like he always does, sticking to his morals. Finch's disgust and disappointment at the Machine putting him in a position like this was wonderful to see and built up a nice conflict for him. I really liked Shaw getting a moment to recognize how much she had transformed by actually siding with Finch to save lives. That left us with Reese who brilliantly brought up Carter's death as a reason to go kill McCourt to save lives. This argument was terrific because all three characters were sticking to motives that made sense and that allowed u to have an emotional connection with what was going on. Furthermore, the idea of the heroes having to cross a line and actually kill somebody in cold blood was a very dark place for the story to go and I really liked it.
The ending montage after Reese made his decision was terrific with perfect song choice and brilliant editing. It was a really atmospheric scene that suggested that Reese actually went through with the killing, which was a really dark turn to believe. Tying this in with the activation of Samaritan gave off a vibe of impending doom for the rest of the season and completely changed the stakes of the show. Next episode should be really fun.
I enjoyed the scenes with Greer. The deal he made with Garrison was very big and it suggests that Control and the government may soon be tied in with Samaritan rather than the Machine. As ever, Greer's dialogue was great and he was a joy to watch.
The Bad: I was disappointed with the cop-out reveal that McCourt survived. I feel that the dark ending would have fit much better with the tone of the episode and would have really opened the door for how far Reese could be willing to go to save the world.
I thought the Root and Shaw story was odd. I liked the bar shot revealing everyone being knocked out, but it felt like a very random scene. Furthermore, I was confused by the purpose of Root taking Shaw with her if Shaw was simply going to come back by the end of the episode.
The Unknown: Will Decima use Samaritan like Finch said? I feel that they may have a more sinister purpose than selling information to the highest bidder. I definitely want to learn Greer's motivation soon.
Will there be consequences for Finch not letting Reese kill McCourt? Will Samaritan pile up on the body count when it gets activated?
Did Shaw get shot there at the end? Let's hope she is fine.
Best Moment: Everything from the moment Reese brought up the possibility of the Machine trying to get them to kill McCourt was phenomenal.
Character of the Episode: Reese.
Conclusion: This was another terrific episode. The first half of the episode was strong, but not quite great. However, the final ten minutes were outstanding and brought the quality of this episode up by a lot. I can't wait to see what happens next.
Summary: The next POI is a government person named Leona. Vigilance kills her so Finch and Fusco go to DC to find more information. Reese and Shaw work on the next POI, an attorney named Matthew. They locate him at a high school reunion and determine that he was involved in a situation before where his senior year girlfriend Claire died in an accident. Matthew is harassed by another man named Doug and others who think he killed her. Shaw connects with him on the case. During the case, Reese and Shaw are attacked by Vigilance who got their location from Root who needed to distract them. It's revealed that Doug was involved in Claire's death and Matthew wants to kill him. Shaw and Reese calm down the situation and kill the attacking Vigilance members. Finch accesses a government file about Leon to learn why Vigilance killed her. Collier suddenly appears and takes the file. The file has information on Northern Lights and he leaks it online. Control is forced to shut down Northern Lights so the Machine routes all relevant numbers to Root.
The Good: It was refreshing to have a number actually die in this episode. It doesn't happen very often but to show the possibility adds on to the realism of the world. The episode certainly opened up on the right note. Vigilance's brutal attack set a tone and made it clear that Vigilance would be a big threat in this one. Their presence hovered over this episode nicely and added to the drama.
The side story with Finch and Fusco was really interesting. Not only was it tense and exciting due to the late arrival of Vigilance, but it also gave us some one on one character interactions that we usually don't get from Fusco and Finch. It was a fun side story and nicely set up the exciting, game-changing climax.
I thought the B-story carried this episode again, but the main story was far from bad. The actual plot was interesting and there was much more meat to it than most POI cases this season. It had an interesting twist ending which was surprising but also fit nicely into the emotional story they were trying to tell with Matthew (another Lost casting by the way). I thought Shaw was pretty good in the episode as she got to make a proper human connection and show off how much she has grown as a person since joining up with Reese and Finch.
The humour in this episode was top-notch and I think it was one of the reasons that this episode was so much fun. This show has always excelled when it doesn't take itself too seriously, and it successfully did that here. There were loads of jokes at the high school reunion and between Shaw and Reese. It was a joy to watch the jokes entangled with the main plot which created a perfect blend of levity and interesting plot development. One of the best parts of the episode which benefited from this blend was the fight between Reese and "Phil". It was a really exciting and well-choreographed action sequence that also had some nice moments of humour with Reese getting offended about being called slow and him getting the win with a can of sloppy joes.
The climax of the episode was a total success. The Collier and Finch scene was brilliant and it led to the welcome change in story coming from Northern Lights being leaked. The implications of the leak are massive and it has already drastically changed the course of the story by severing the connection between Control and the Machine. Now Root is even more important than before and I'm sure that Decima and Vigilance will be targeting her sooner or later.
The Bad: Control doesn't come off very well after this episode. She needed to regain some credibility as a villain after Root outfoxed her but that really hasn't happened. If anything, she now comes off as weaker than ever since the congressman has complete control over her and completely destroys all of her power. Furthermore, her character doesn't come off very well since she shuts down the project surprisingly quickly.
The Unknown: What is Root going to do about all of the relevant numbers? Will she do the cases herself? Will Finch, Reese and Shaw be involved too?
What is Vigilance's next move? I'm certain that they aren't finish drawing attention to this great surveillance system.
Best Moment: The Collier and Finch scene was really well done. The dialogue was great and it was easy to understand the perspectives from both characters. Plus there were high stakes with Collier getting access to the classified documents.
Character of the Episode: Collier for being so successful.
Conclusion: This was a really strong episode. It had a fun POI case which I enjoyed much more than the usual and also featured a tremendous climax which has completely changed up the plot of the show in a really big way.
Summary: The next POI is a woman named Maria who is trying to free her lover Omar from being deported as a terrorist when he is innocent. Finch, Reese and Shaw try to free Omar without success so Maria take sit into her own hands. She has a friend named Sevon who helps her out. It is revealed that Omar is falsely accused because he has some information that can't be leaked about generators. Sevon is in on the plan and turns on Maria but she is saved by Reese, Finch and Shaw. Omar is freed and reunited with Maria. It is revealed that Decima was in on the plan and they have been given generators to power Samaritan. Root follows Greer and has an encounter with him.
The Good: The Root and Greer stuff was all terrific. I loved the sequence where Root was following Greer using information from the Machine. It was neat to see all of the technology she used to track him, and the ways that Greer used Samaritan to counter her were entertaining to watch. Plus the scene had a nice pay-off as Root comes back later with Bear and is this time able to track Greer using human methods rather than an all-powerful machine. The final scene of the episode was outstanding. The scene felt electric with engaging and exciting dialogue between two big players that will be important in the battle to come. It felt like a scene straight out of "Game of Thrones" in terms of how much I got invested into such a simple dialogue scene solely because I'm so intrigued by the characters involved in the scene.
The main story was fine, but nothing special. I didn't think the action was choreographed very well, but the show has found a way to make up for this limitation. The scenes aren't designed in a way to create tension but rather they are played for laughs which makes it easy enough to enjoy the scenes without epic action. My favourite part about the main story was how each of the core four characters had moments to shine in the story. It felt like a true team effort which I really liked.
This episode had more awesome comedy moments. Fusco is funny in just about every scene he is in, and I thought the brief moments in the fire truck with Shaw were very funny. I also enjoyed Reese's ridiculous over-the-top kills which nicely incorporated his dry humour. Lastly, Root calling Finch solely to convenience the plot by giving him a password was probably the funniest moment in the episode.
The Bad: As usual, the POI story did little to fully invest me. It was important because it tied in with Decima, but it still failed to invest me emotionally in any way. Maria and Omar had relationship which left me feeling cold. I really couldn't be bothered to care about them and that hurt my investment into the central storyline. I was much for interested in the Greer/Root story and was itching to get back to that.
I thought Maria and Shaw's scene was really poorly executed. The dialogue wasn't very good and the acting was pretty ordinary at best. Furthermore, the scene was tonally strange. The mood of the scene kept fluctuating randomly as Maria told her story and I thought that the shifts between Maria being angry and sad felt unrealistic and odd. Furthermore, the scene ended with the POI once more escaping from sight to get in trouble (albeit in a slightly more creative way than usual). It would help if the characters could acknowledge how often this happened and poke fun at it, but they don't so it feels like convenience for the sake of the plot.
The Sevon twist was painfully obvious from the moment he was introduced. There is usually much more effort put into executing plot twists than this. I didn't care about the character and I predicted he was evil, so as a result I didn't care whatsoever about what happened with him.
The Unknown: Is Root going to continue following Greer? Is there a possibility that Root could turn evil again? I don't think so, but it's a possibility.
Best Moment: The final confrontation between Root and Greer was fun, cleverly written and very dramatic. I loved it.
Character of the Episode: Greer.
Conclusion: This was a fine episode. The POI story was the usual bland stuff, but the episode was helped along by fun uses of the main cast and a fantastic B-story with Root and Greer.
Summary: Root is continuing to follow orders from the Machine. She intercepts a letter using a convict who looks similar to the guy the letter is for. She is given her next target, a janitor named Cyrus. Finch also receives Cyrus as a POI and he tries to convince Root to turn protection of Cyrus over to him but Root refuses. They discover that Cyrus is the only man who can access a secret lab which contains a highly advanced chip; Decima require the chip to activate Samaritan and Root is trying to prevent it. Decima gets Cyrus from Root by jamming her communications with the Machine. Root responds by getting a doctor to embed a transmitter of the Machine into her deaf ear. Root reveals to Finch that she was responsible for killing Cyrus' best friends and changing his life and feels guilty. Finch and Reese attempt to save Cyrus but Decima get to the chip. Root ultimately chooses to save Cyrus and Decima escape with the chip. Meanwhile, Shaw is engaged in a tense confrontation with Collier and Vigilance. Collier unsuccessfully tries to convert Shaw to his side. Both Shaw and Collier escape.
The Good: This reminded me of "Mors Praematura". The episode had the same wild feeling that comes from Root using her powers in chaotic ways like she did here. It was wildly enjoyable and was a real rollercoaster ride to experience. Root is always fantastic when she takes center stage and it was no different here. She's so spontaneous and exciting, and her interactions with all of the main characters are all fun. Whether she is opening up to Finch, being indifferent to Reese, flirty with Shaw or crazy with Fusco, she is a ton of fun and I have a great time watching her scenes.
What makes this episode stand out over "Mors Praematura" was the story centering around Root. She is arrogant and fully believes that she is capable enough to take care of Cyrus on her own. Eventually she fails and we learn that Root was responsible for the deaths of Cyrus' friends. The conversation between Root and Finch discussing Cyrus was outstanding and it becomes clear that Root was more than ready to sacrifice Cyrus due to the guilt she is feeling for killing his friends. She tries to repress it and hide behind saving the Machine, refusing to face up to what she has done. The scene with Finch is so good because it finally allowed Root to face these emotions and deal with them accordingly. It forces her to take a full look at herself and she manages to emerge a better person as we see later when she chooses to save Cyrus instead of the chip. Her story is really strong and carries the episode to a higher level than it would have gotten otherwise.
The suspense in the episode is terrific. There is great excitement raised from the question of whether or not Root will cause Cyrus' death, and the involvement of Reese, Finch and Shaw into Root's story only makes things more exciting. The episode builds up its mystery similar to a classic POI episode, but unlike most classic episodes, this one sticks the landing with an intense climax. The climax of this episode is so good because the stakes are raised a lot when we learn of Decima's plans to bring Samaritan online. That, along with Root's character journey, keeps me engaged in the story.
The stuff with Vigilance ended up being pretty good. It seems like the show is paralleling Shaw with Collier to make Vigilance her story. It's similar to how HR became Carter's story earlier in the season. The interactions between Shaw and Collier were fairly enjoyable and I'm intrigued by Collier promising revenge for Shaw. I'm curious to see where this rivalry goes.
I got a laugh out of Root joining the FBI overnight and producing a warrant. While I'm sure that this won't be followed up on, it was a hilarious over-the-top joke that made me laugh.
The Bad: Cyrus as a character was very dull and he did nothing to make me invest in him. I only ever cared about Root in this episode and Cyrus bored me whenever he was on screen.
I didn't like Collier leaving Shaw alive. He had the perfect opportunity to kill here right there, just shoot one bullet! Yet nobody does anything and his men just get wiped out and Collier simply walks away. Clearly the writers wanted this confrontation to happen but they couldn't come up with a good way for both characters to walk out alive. It was a sloppy moment.
The Unknown: Is there anything stopping Decima from activating Samaritan now? Will we see Samaritan come online next episode?
Is Root technically part of the main team now? I'm all for that development.
What happened with Casey, Greenfield and the Asian boy? Are they being saved for something later?
Best Moment: Root revealing her guilt about the deaths of Cyrus' friends to Finch was a touching moment. I love how her emotions were subtly hidden underneath an angry rant about humans and the things that they do.
Character of the Episode: Root.
Conclusion: This was a really great episode. It was the usual fast-paced and exciting episode elevated by a fantastic story for Root, turning her into something of a good guy. Much like the last episode, I had a blast watching this one.
Summary: Majority of the episode is a flashback to 2010. Finch has a different partner, Dillinger, who doesn't get along with Finch at all. Dillinger is more abrasive and reckless than Reese. The next POI is Casey who is involved in something with the government. Dillinger observes that other people are following Casey: Reese and Stanton. After a shootout and involvement with a third party led by a man named Lambert, Dillinger escapes with Casey and takes him to Finch. Casey tells Finch that he was hired by the government to access the Machine and has accessed a segment of code which he is keeping on his laptop. Dillinger listens in with a bug. Dillinger drugs Finch and escapes with the laptop to sell it. Casey tries to leave the country but gets caught by Reese. Reese lets him go and pretends to kill him, as Finch watches. Dillinger is killed by Shaw but the laptop is sold and taken to Ordos. In the present, Root finds Casey hidden away and seeks his help.
The Good: Whenever "Person of Interest" changes up its formula, it always delivers the goods. Once again, I knew that I was watching something special the moment that the opening credits were tweaked. Because of this, I was immediately invested in what I was watching and I had a blast watching the episode go on. I like the idea of the show spending almost the entire duration of the episode in the past. It made the episode feel even more unique.
The content of the episode was very strong. I've always wondered if Finch had others before Reese, and now we get to see him working with one of his earlier guys, Dillinger. The dynamic between Finch and Dillinger was nicely developed throughout the episode. Dillinger's recklessness and irritable behaviour is wildly different from Reese's calm and friendly demeanor, and it provides a fresh new dynamic for Finch to see him work with a guy who so obviously detests him.
The relationship between Finch and Dillinger pays off nicely by the episode's end. Unlike Reese, Dillinger doesn't trust Finch at all and turns on him during the climax. Unlike Reese, Dillinger doesn't care about the lives of the POIs and is doing this job for selfish reasons. He isn't a good fit and Finch pays the price for trusting him and Casey nearly dies as a result. Yet Finch still has a heart and he attempts to save Dillinger's life, consistent with the peaceful Finch who we have gotten to know. He tries to save Dillinger, who stubbornly refuses in an attempt to get money. Dillinger's mistake leads to his own death which was well deserved by this point. But instead of celebrating his death, the show treats it in suitably somber fashion as Finch shows his humanity once again by burying his former partner (see: Best Moment).
The funnest parts of this episode came from the many cameos from characters we are familiar with. First up is Stanton and Reese who provide some contest for Dillinger on the hunt for Casey. I liked seeing the parallels between Stanton and Reese as always, and their interactions were a load of fun. I particularly liked Reese letting Casey go alive after realizing he isn't a traitor. It was consistent with what we have seen with Reese and it made sense as a moment where Finch realized that Reese may be the right guy for the job opposed to Dillinger.
I also really liked the connection with Decima Technologies even if it doesn't go anywhere. It's great to see how many attempts Decima has made to get something regarding the Machine, ensuring that we know that these guys have a significant backstory that dates back to a long while earlier. Also, we got a name for the head of Decima, Mr. Greer.
I really liked Special Counsel, Control and Shaw's brief cameos. Their involvement nicely tied into the Ordos mission, providing more backstory to the laptop. Also, we got more background on Ingram's death, showing that the government did value him as a potential asset, but when he went rogue they could no longer trust him. Plus, we got some nice lines that hinted at Control ordering Special Counsel's death in the future.
The ending is really exciting. The show is making it a regular cliffhanger to have Root show up, and I'm not complaining. It works as a promise of big things to come in the next episode.
The Bad: It is a bit annoying that it took so long to get a name for Greer. The show pulled the same thing with Hersh and Special Counsel (though I accidentally stumbled upon their names online - whoops). It's a needless way to make my job a little harder by not giving a name.
While I had few technical problems with the episode, I can't consider it one of the show's very best episodes because it didn't really have the same emotion as episodes like "Relevance" or "Prisoner's Dilemma". It was a total blast to watch, but outside of Finch burying Dillinger and watching Reese spare Casey, there was a notable lack of emotion.
The episode raised one big plot hole. How did Finch upload a virus to the laptop if it was already taken from him by Dillinger who then sold it. The laptop was immediately taken to Ordos, so how did Finch upload the virus?
The Unknown: How did Finch know about Reese before he saw him? Is there still more to their story?
Who is Greenfield and why does the Machine want them? Why is Casey required for the job? Does he have a role to play? Will Finch's group get involved with this storyline somehow?
Best Moment: Finch showing some heart and burying Dillinger after he died was a nice moment.
Character of the Episode: Finch.
Conclusion: This was another awesome episode. "Person of Interest" is almost always excellent whenever it engages in its long-term story and this was no exception. I look forward to the final episodes of the season.
Summary: The next POI is a 911 emergency operator named Sandra. Finch becomes an operator to keep tabs on her. She gets a call from a boy named Aaron who gets kidnapped and held hostage. A man contacts Sandra with a request to delete all 911 calls from the past two days. Fusco works on a separate case about the murder of a girl named Tara and after looking into the 911 calls, he realizes that he and Finch are working the same case. Fusco gets a confession from the guilty party, so the man tells Sandra not to delete the calls. He sends a hitman to kill Sandra but Finch saves her. Reese and Shaw try to hunt down the location of the man on the phone without success. Eventually they save Aaron but fail to locate the man. Afterwards, Finch is contacted by the man who threatens to find and kill him and his crew.
The Good: This episode reminded me of the movie "The Call". Well, at least the first half of "The Call", but the episode was structured similarly. A 911 operator is given orders from a mysterious villain who has a hostage. The premise is the same and the way that the suspense is generated is similar too. The episode doesn't feel original as a result, but thankfully it is fairly exciting to watch because the premise is ideal for a TV show like this one.
I thought that Sandra had a decent backstory and she was given a nice amount of depth for a POI. It's certainly better than what we usually get for the POIs and I found myself being more invested in her story than several of the ones from seasons 1 and 2.
The main characters were pretty good too. Shaw has blended in nicely with the group and it's nice to see her joking around more. I also liked to see her showing some emotion towards Reese's life, ensuring that he doesn't get himself killed. This was also a good episode for Finch. We got to see his colder side as he creatively traps the hitman with threat of death before seeing his softer side as he provides some closure to Sandra.
Fusco was a highlight in this episode. His increased popularity after avenging Carter makes a ton of sense and it's nice seeing the character adjust to a new situation and adapt to something of a mentor role when doing the case with Jake. Kevin Chapman gives a good performance as ever, and I liked the story even before it tied in with the main storyline. About that tie-in, the show has hit gold with the idea of tying storylines together later in episodes because it feels so satisfying. The writers just need to be careful not to use this trope too often.
The ending of the episode was really strong. My favourite thing about premises like these is how the villain is constantly drenched in mystery, allowing our imagination to build up an image of who this man is. This episode sets up for an exciting villain reveal later on and that excited me. It's similar to the Root episode from season 1.
The Bad: Once more, this episode didn't have much to stand out from your average episode. IT had a unique premise, but the structure of the episode was pretty much the same as ever. It was interesting when the mystery is building up in the first half of the episode, but in the final few minutes the episode loses my interest when I realize that the characters simply have to rescue Sandra and Aaron without any other interesting twists to the story.
I had a few other nitpicks with the episode. I never really cared much for rescuing Aaron since he was such a tacked on hostage with absolutely no backstory. He's just a kid and apparently the writers thought that was enough to make us care about the story. Sadly, it wasn't enough.
The Unknown: Who is the man on the voice? How does he plan to get back at Finch for handing him his first defeat? Are we going to get a twist similar to the Root twist from "Firewall"? Whatever happens, I'm intrigued.
Best Moment: Finch providing Sandra with some closure at the end was a sweet moment, and it was the scene that gave me the biggest emotional reaction.
Character of the Episode: Finch. Shaw and Fusco were pretty good too though.
Conclusion: This was a solid episode that provided a decent story and set up a new villain as well. While this is far from the best we have gotten this season, it was good.
Summary: The next POI is a woman named Kelli. Shaw and Reese investigate into her and discover she is a criminal being chased by an agent named Bouchard. Shaw stops her next crime but realizes that she is being used by another man, Cyril, who is threatening her by keeping her daughter. After this, the group has a change of heart and helps Kelli steal a valuable item. However, they don't give it to Cyril and instead get him arrested. Kelli is arrested to but Finch informs Bouchard of her situation. Bouchard lets her go.
The Good: The episode had its moments. The heist was fun to watch and there were some really neat moments of planning, like the distractions made to Bouchard and the 3D printing of the required fingerprints. It was decently fun TV.
The ending scene was a great moment of humanity for the crew (see: Best Moment). I would love to see more moments like this based on emotion since they are much easier to connect to than the random drama scenes that preceded this.
The Bad: Once again, the return to the POI formula results in an episode that's almost impossible to care about. The episode was a chore to get through more times than not with a generic story. Kelli wasn't at all interesting and was the same tired case of a seeming bad guy actually being a good guy controlled by a bigger bad. This show has had so many cases of villains kidnapping kids. It's honestly hard to remember any hostages that weren't kids, or to remember any kids that were introduced and not used as cheap ways to build emotion. The show relies too heavily on this.
There was literally nothing new here. Where the last episode had some creative moments to make things feel fresh, this was as simple and unoriginal as possible. It was a bland thriller with very few moments that made me feel anything. Neither Kelli, nor anyone from the main crew did anything character-related to draw me in. This was the most lethargic episode of the season, with almost nothing for me to talk about.
The ending was too cute for me. Kelli got off too easily and of course we needed to have the feel-good reunion scene. It was all too easy and the fact that the writers chose to play it safe with the ending somehow made this episode even duller.
The Unknown: Nothing really.
Best Moment: The final scene was the only scene that got me to care. Everyone was together in one scene (a rarity this season), and they got to share a drink in a surprisingly human moment. The little tribute to Carter was another lovely moment, showing the heart that these guys (and girl) have. A lovely scene.
Character of the Episode: Fusco probably. Nobody really stood out.
Conclusion: This was a very bland episode with nothing particularly good until the final scene. I'm sure this is just a fluke as the show builds to the season's conclusion, but I would have preferred something more original.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.