Summary: Shaw escapes from Martine with Root's help but she is forced to lay low and out of sight of camera. Reese contacts Elias and saves him, accompanying him from then. Elias' men have been turned by the Brotherhood so they have to hide in a safe house. The Brotherhood arrive and capture Scarface. Reese escapes with Elias but Elias chooses to go back to trade himself for Scarface. The Brotherhood isolate Elias and want his money, locked in a safe next to Scarface. Elias eventually gives a code to Dominic but the code detonates the safe, killing Scarface and crippling Link. Elias is saved by Reese. Elias looks for vengeance for Scarface.
The Good: Elias is probably my favourite recurring character on the show, so it's no surprise that an episode focused around him would be really great. He was the absolute star of this episode, and Enrico Colantoni gave a terrific performance. What was most surprising was how well this episode humanized Elias. He has been a shady character for a while now, along with his mysterious henchman Scarface. But here he comes off as just another man. He's vulnerable, he shows emotions, mourns his friends and shows an actual respect for human life. It's a surprising turn for the show to explore these aspects of his character, and I'm pleased to say that it was a resounding success.
Elias' relationship with Scarface (he is called Anthony in this episode, but I'll stick with Scarface for old times' sake) is pretty heavily explored in this episode. Even though we don't see any flashbacks, we take a bit of a dive into Elias' past through some subtle and brief lines of dialogue, and it really helps paint a picture of what his relationship with Scarface (and even Moran) was like. Couple that with some excellent acting, and Scarface's death becomes more emotional than I expected. Elias showed so much compassion throughout the episode, so when it came time for him to make that fateful decision, I was invested in his conflict. And Enrico Colantoni was so, so good when Elias chose to give Dominic the code. It brought some real emotion into the scene.
The Brotherhood really improved as villains in this episode. Not because they became more interesting, but because they made things personal with a character we care about. Elias has a drive to get revenge on the Brotherhood, and I will absolutely be rooting him on. While the Brotherhood don't interest me as characters, the show has successfully made me despise them, which turns them into fairly good old-school villains. Furthermore, we had some really good dialogue between Dominic and Elias. I'm craving for more of it.
Elias' interactions with Reese were as fun as ever. Over time, the two of them (and Finch too) have developed a believable bond, and I bought into Reese's desperate attempts to save Elias. Finch also brings up a great point about how valuable Elias is, so there is never a point where I think that sacrificing Elias would be the smart thing to do. As a result, I was really immersed in the episode since Elias was not only somebody that Reese and Finch wanted to survive, but he was also a character that I wanted to survive.
The episode also did a lovely job of building tension. Reese and Elias were quickly stripped of all of their resources throughout the episode, until we were left with them with only each other inside of the building. It gave a sense of impending doom and made me genuinely concerned about how both of them could possibly make it out alive.
The scenes with Shaw and Root were pretty good. The opening shootout was exciting, and I thought it was shot really well (pun not intended). I also loved the clever nature of Root's escape with the moving truck. Satisfyingly, even that escape wasn't enough to fool Samaritan since the truck was tracked down in the end, and that had severe consequences for the characters when Fusco was compromised. The scenes after this were strong too. The show is spending time building up Root and Shaw's relationship, which I like.
The Bad: Root and Shaw's relationship isn't developed in the best way. While Root was very subtle in the past about her feelings for Shaw, she is much more open now and I'm not entirely sure why. I think that there needs to be much more subtlety in Root's dialogue than what we are actually getting.
The money that the Brotherhood required was a very convenient MacGuffin. It really had no value to the show whatsoever, and I didn't really care if Dominic would have obtained it or not.
The Unknown: What does Elias plan to do for revenge? Will he be able to reform alliances? What will the Brotherhood do about him?
What can Shaw do now? Will she just help Finch? If she so much as leaves, she will be tracked down, so I can't imagine this situation persisting for much longer. Perhaps her story will develop as soon as next episode, seeing how it's the mid-season finale.
Best Moment: Elias and Scarface speaking over the phone was surprisingly powerful and it humanized Elias to show a new side of him we have only gotten tiny hints as before.
Character of the Episode: Elias.
Conclusion: This was an awesome episode with a devoted focus. The story was a lot of fun and there was also a surprising amount of emotion by the episode's end.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.