When the writers of a show decide to have scenes take place that didn’t really happen in the reality of the show it often feels cheap. It feels like an easy way to have dramatic things happen without consequences. Take dream sequences where major characters die. From the moment that major character kicks the bucket you know that what you have seen cannot be real. Maybe, if well executed (pun intended) you might have a little doubt but when the truth is revealed you feel a little bit cheated and the episode or the time spent in the dream/hallucination feels like a waste of time. The masterful and sheer genius of If-Then-Else showed us how you can do simulations, where nothing you see is actually happening, can work extremely well without it feeling cheap or a waste of time. That particular episode is among the best I have ever seen in my life. But, now that Person of Interest is in its final season all bets are off. When someone dies onscreen it might very well be the end for that character. What also doesn’t help are Jonathan Nolan’s words. He said that in his mind no one of Team Machine would make it out alive. Gulp! I know that he said that when the ratings were still very strong and our beloved show might still get to 10 seasons, it’s still very telling. Put Root’s terrifying monologue to start the season and you get a situation where two major characters die and you believe it actually happened. At least for a short while. And even after the reveal at the end the episode definitely was not a waste of time. Yes, it was a simulation but it still had consequences. And it also had awesomeness for days. I love this show!
Shaw is being tortured and manipulated by Greer and his team. They plant a chip in her brain to make her compliant and do Samaritan’s bidding. Shaw escapes however and makes sure she is found by Team Machine. Root takes Shaw to her place where they finally sleep together. But Shaw is clearly still suffering from the psychological torture Greer put her through despite that she has removed the chip. Shaw plants a tracker on Root and when Root meets with Reese Shaw appears and confronts them with the fact that they don’t trust her. Shaw wants to take immediate action against Samaritan so she leads them to her and Team Machine. They track down Greer and find a kill switch for Samaritan in Greers arm. Finch takes it and tries to run to data on it at a different location. But it’s a trap. It’s not a kill switch it’s supposed to lead Samaritan to the Machine. Under influence of what Greer did to her Shaw takes out Reese. When she later is about to kill Root as well she kills herself instead to safe Root. In the end we see that it was all a simulation, the 6741th to be exact. It was all to make sure that Shaw will lead Samaritan to the Machine.
What I liked
Everything! Shaw is back! Yay. And how? This was such an awesome episode. Lord Jesus! Sarah Shahi is an amazing actress and the way she portrays Shaw is insanely good. Her moments with Root were touching and funny and those moments where she shot Reese and later herself. I was teary-eyed for sure. The episode was expertly directed by Lead Director Chris Fisher and expertly penned by one of the Lead Writers, Denise The. This was not only the best episode of the season but also one of the best ever for Person of Interest. Oh and, Ramin Djawadi, you are the very best!
What I didn’t like
Are you kidding me??? But if I had to name one thing, that love scene maybe was a little bit over the top.
What I’m looking forward to
After this episode? Shaw finally being released/breaking free. Will she be a true Samaritan soldier? Will she be Team Machine’s downfall? Will she kill Reese or Root?
Messages from Edward Snowden
Just because I thought the love scene between Root and Shaw was a little weird and campy doesn’t mean that it wasn’t hot. I mean, Sarah Shahi AND Amy Acker? Wow!
We’re getting a lot of Bear this season and I love it! Finch’s Dutch though…
Doing all those thousands of simulations might seem a bit much but if they get Shaw to actually help them with destroying the Machine it will be more than worth it for them.
Those excruciating seconds that I thought that Reese and Shaw were actually dead were terrible.