Person of Interest 2.22: God Mode
Oh boy, when the episodes starts out with a written warning to sensitive viewers, you know it’s going to be intense (and probably will involve a bombing)! As set up in last week’s episode, we got to watch Root and Finch race Reese and Shaw to the location of the Machine, with lots of answers and some surprises along the way.
We first see the Machine recovering itself and see the scene in the library with the ringing phones from last episode.
The Machine tells Root where to look for approaching Decima agents and then does the same for Reese. The Machine directs Root and Finch out of the building with Reese and Shaw close behind. They find Finch’s broken glasses on the curb – so much for Reese’s tracker. Reese tells Shaw the basics of the Machine – it’s the source of the numbers that she’s been chasing. The Machine conveniently identifies a car ripe for the stealing but also gives them a number that they need to save, which they do in quick order – no hours of surveillance or bluejacking required.
As the cops show up, the Machine identifies another car for them – this one’s a winner – a $100,000 sports car locked in a storage unit. Shaw proves her manhood by insisting on driving it.
Carter is being interrogated by IAB and they don’t believe her that the suspect that she shot had a weapon. Terney stops by to visit and she tells him she knows who took the weapon – she recognized an HR stooge and she’s going to have Fusco look into him. Terney cuts the charade and admits to killing Beecher and threatens to kill her, Fusco, and Fusco’s son as well if she doesn’t accept the charges. Carter manages to bluejack his phone as he leaves the room.
2010 – Hersh is interrogating a suspect, asking him about a ferry
Hersh finds his boss tied up in his office where Root left him. He informs him that he thinks that Northern Lights (AKA the Machine) might be compromised and that Root may have full access.
Reese asks the Machine where it’s located (which is also what Root asked it) and he and Shaw are directed to the library. The Machine texts Reese the call number of a book that contains a picture of Finch and Ingram. Behind the book is a safe filled with pictures, including one of Reese’s ex, Jessica. There’s also a map of the US with possible locations of the Machine – several secure nuclear fuel sites. The map is not in Finch’s handwriting.
Root walks with Finch in the park and the Machine helps her steal him a new pair of glasses in his prescription. Meanwhile, Root has found Lawrence Szilard, the man who hired Shaw to work on Northern Lights. He denies knowing what she’s talking about, but Root threatens his daughter. He tells them that all his colleagues on the project died under suspicious circumstances.
2010 – Finch approaches Nathan in the library and tells him to stop looking for the Machine. He won’t be able to access it because Finch locked him out. Nathan suggests that he’s going to spill the beans to a journalist. Finch tells him that he thinks that the government is killing everyone who knows anything about the Machine and Nathan would be next if he talks to a reporter. Nathan tells Finch that he’ll keep quiet only if he regains access to the irrelevant list and Finch helps him save people. Finch doesn’t immediately agree, so Nathan asks him to meet him at the ferry terminal the next morning.
Szilard tells Root that he was told to build a nuclear reprocessing facility but instead the Machine started to arrive. He was curious, so he looked at some of the data and it blew his mind. He recognizes that the Machine is speaking to Root. Root asks him where it is, but before he can tell her he’s shot by Justice’s goon, who is sniping from a distance. The Machine helps them avoid several other shooters
Reese and Shaw get slowed down by another number – they do a literal drive-by shooting of a man threatening a bride and groom with a gun during their wedding – but make it to the park right as Szilard is killed. Shaw grabs his briefcase, which is in on the sidewalk next to his body and then runs to catch up with Reese. Reese tries to get Finch to stop, but he ignores him and jumps in a truck with Root and finally agrees to tell her where the Machine is.
2010 – Hersh is questioning the suspect – he was going to detonate a suicide bomb on the Liberty Island Ferry. Hersh shoots the translator and then injects the suspect in the neck with a syringe.
Root manages to hijack a corporate jet (you’d think Finch would have one or could just hire one). Meanwhile, Reese and Shaw evade police pursuit (miraculously managing not to get injured in the process of driving a car over an overpass and landing upside down) and manage to hijack a helicopter.
Carter overhears Terney talking about killing Elias and she tells Reese. He is surprised that she cares after Elias tried to have her killed. He’s a bit busy and Elias isn’t his priority, though. Under the guise of transferring him to another location, Terney and another HR officer take Elias out into the woods to execute him. A masked person shows up and shots them both (not killing Terney) and rescues Elias. He’s shocked to see Carter when she takes off her mask.
There’s a containment breech at a “nuclear” facility and all employees are evacuted – Finch and Root have arrived at the location of the Machine in Washington State, but Root’s admin access has expired. Conveniently, an employee comes by at just that moment and she forces him to let them into the facility – which happens to be an empty warehouse. Finch tells her that he already set the Machine free, just like she wanted. Root turns on Finch but Shaw and Reese arrive right in time and Shaw shoots Root in the shoulder, wounding but not killing her.
Reese asks Finch if the place was what he expected and is told that it’s what Finch hoped.
2010 – We hear some audio from the Machine – someone knows that Nathan is going to talk to the press. Hersh parks a van on the pier next to the Liberty Island ferry with the terrorist tied in the front seat and a load of explosives in the back – he’ll kill Nathan, the terrorist will take the blame, and no one will ever suspect that it was a hit. Finch and Nathan are waiting to board the ferry when the bomb explodes.
Finch had locked himself out of the Machine but suspected that someone would try to take it over. He hid a virus in a virus so that anyone trying to take over the Machine would have to use his code. He taught the Machine to protect itself. He hoped that if he hadn’t returned that Reese would continue what they started. They get ready to leave but don’t get far as Hersh and Special Council arrive with guns drawn. Special Council is happy to finally meet the real man behind the Machine. He asks Finch where he moved it but Finch tells him that it moved itself and it controls itself. It will be the Machine’s choice if the numbers keep coming.
2010 – Finch wakes up on a cot in a triage hospital with neck and back injuries just in time to see Nathan pronounced dead with two government agents confirming it to their superiors. Finch gets up with much effort and tries to leave (judging by the x-rays that we’ve seen, I find it hard to believe that he could move at all!), but Grace enters looking for him . He stays out of sight and she is told that if she can’t see him then he didn’t survive. She takes a book of his from a pile of personal effects and leaves. Finch manages to make his way to the library and asks the Machine if it knew. He accesses the non-relevant numbers and finds Nathan’s social security number among them.
2013 – Special Council asks an employee how the Machine got moved. He said that he did it under his orders, piece by piece, so it looked like something else. Special Council’s phone rings and he assures the woman on the other end that he will find it. He passes the phone to Hersh who nods and then executes everyone else in the room, including Special Council.
Reese and Finch walk Bear and Reese wonders if they’ll ever get a number again and Finch admits that he doesn’t know. He explains to Reese that when he put the code out to free the Machine, he had no idea what would happen but worried that someone would get hurt. He apologizes that he set things in motion that changed Reese’s life. Reese tells him that his life changed when he left Jessica in the airport. Reese suggests that she shouldn’t be paid as well if the numbers aren’t coming anymore, but Finch thinks he should continue as Reese gives away most of it anyway. Just then a local payphone rings.
A woman is sitting in a Town Car looking at at file when there’s a knock at the door. Hersh is there and he tells the woman that Research made contact and it’s a new number.
We see Root walking down the hallway in a hospital when a payphone rings. She picks it up and it’s the Machine.
It’s going to take me more than one viewing to wrap my mind around this one, so don’t be surprised if this gets edited sometimes next week! We got a ton of answers tonight to nagging questions and were left with a few big ones, the most important of which is why the heck would the Machine be talking to Root?! I can only hope that it means to bring her down in a way that is appropriate for her sociopathy and obsession with the Machine.
After two years, we finally learn how Finch got hurt and Nathan died and it was even worse than I imagined. I always assumed Nathan died while trying to protect a number, but now we find out that some shadowy female figure in the government ordered Hersh to bomb a pier full of innocent citizens just to try to take out Nathan without suspicions being raised. Who is the woman who is behind everything?
I really wonder what Carter is going to do with Elias and how she’s going to get out of trouble with IAB. Although having Elias owes her his life could definitely play in her favor, although I doubt she’d accept his help knowingly, even now.
So, Finch had this all planned, kind of, and everyone pretty much just wandered into his web somewhat inadvertently? At least Reese doesn’t seem to be planning on holding it against him. I need more time to work all this out in my head!
It’s nice to see Reese and Shaw working together instead of her trying to kill him. She actually seemed pretty human in this episode, especially compared to what we’ve seen previously. I’m really bummed that she didn’t get to permanently take down Root, though. Maybe next season she’ll accomplish her mission. I’m also very curious as to what’s up with Solard’s briefcase. I entertained for a few moments that Shaw could be the shadowy woman behind it all but I’m not sure how she could have made the phone call to Hersh when she was with Reese, Finch, and Root and if she is the one in charge, she’s done a great job of covering her tracks with attempted assassinations, etc. It seems like at least half the women on this show are diabolical geniuses!
Although we always had an underlying mythology, Person of Interest has still basically stayed an intriguing twist on the procedural. Now we have a self actualized, self controlling Machine on the loose that knows *everyone’s* secrets. Which may or may not want to still save people, although it probably does or it would’ve have given Reese two numbers while he and Shaw were racing Finch and Root. Let’s hope it plans to use its power for good, and not evil…. “HAL: I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen…”
In summary, great episode, very interesting plot development, can’t wait until next season (but at the same time, not a stressful cliffhanger, either!)
You want to fill me in on who you’re talking to? Your fairy godmother? – Shaw
We’re going to need to make a pit stop… – Reese
And the whole “Prevent the AI apocalypse thing?” – Shaw
You like a challenge, Shaw. We’re the good guys, which means we have to do both! – Reese
What’s this for? <Shaw hands Reese a large gun>
To help you feel less inadequate when I drive this thing
Looks like our carriage has turned back into a pumpkin, Harold – Root
C’mon Harold, time to meet God – Root
Please don’t set your expectations too high – Finch
You should have killed me better, Hersh – Shaw
Since you give away 90% of what I pay you, I don’t know why I shouldn’t continue. – Finch to Reese