Summary: Finch, Reese, Carter, Fusco and Shaw are regularly working together saving POIs. The next POI is a man named Jack who is a sailor and gets involved with some Devils Dogs when his friend, RJ, steals some diamonds from them. Reese and Shaw get tasked to get them both out of trouble. The Devils Dogs already captured RJ and are threatening to blow him up with IED. Fusco has to disarm it while the other two save Jack. Jack is saved after a gunfight ensues with the Devils Dogs and the Russians who were buying the diamonds. Carter has hidden Elias away to keep him safe and is plotting against HR. Meanwhile, Root is stuck in a psych ward but is in frequent contact with the Machine.
The Good: This was a tame but effective season premiere. The most enjoyable aspect about this was the comedy. The entire episode kept to a lighter tone, more focused on fun than intense story movement.
The fun was very well done too. Shaw has now joined the crew and she is a very fun character to have around. Whether it is her penchant for violence, or the fact that she eats steak off of a fork, she remains fun throughout the episode, getting some good laughs. Reese does well too. His one-liners are intentionally stupid, and manage to be funny as a result. It's good to see Reese taking this case so lightly as it emphasizes the focus on fun over tension.
Carter's story is pretty good too. She seems to have a colder personality than before after HR has damaged her reputation. She is thirsty for revenge and has also allied with Elias to get more assistance taking down HR. Her desire for vengeance has come off really well so far and is the shot in the arm that the HR storyline needed.
The strongest parts of the episode were with Root. We learn that Reese and co. sent her to a psychiatric ward after they bested her and that's where she is locked up. Her connection to the Machine is demonstrated well and it's also nicely shown how insane she must appear to a normal person. Carmichael's reactions felt natural and they carried the story along nicely. The final scene where Root totally goes off on Carmichael was wonderful and amps up her story in a great way.
I liked the brief cameo from Steven Ogg before he got famous. Nice.
The Bad: The POI story is very generic and doesn't offer anything special. Reese's connection to Jack doesn't add anything new (we saw a similar story with Finch back in "All In"), and the drama is nothing more than average.
While it is funny, it is beyond stupid that Reese would task Fusco with defusing a bomb without giving him any information. They also probably should have told him when Reese was going to enter the store to inform Fusco that his chance of death just got much higher. The complete failure to care for Fusco's life is pretty ridiculous and takes away much more from the episode than it adds.
The end of the episode was pretty odd. We understand why Root believes that things are going to change, but what about Finch? What happened in this episode that made Finch think that something big is coming? It's not clear and it is a needlessly cryptic line. The show has used dialogue like this in previous episodes but it's usually earned. This was not.
The Unknown: I noticed a black and yellow box on Root. What does that mean?
Why did Elias need the money and the diamonds? Does he have a plan to buy something or someone?
Did Root have a special Machine interface there at the end? It's different from anything we have seen of the Machine before.
Best Moment: The final scene with Root coldly telling the truth to Carmichael was a lot of fun.
Character of the Episode: Root.
Conclusion: This was a fun episode, but pretty safe as well. It was easy to watch with nothing that really stood out.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.