I know I’m more fond of Root than some, but I found this episode nearly flawless. It combined action, comedy, and some deep philosophizing in the way only Person of Interest seems to be able to.
Fundamentally, isn’t the belief in God simply the belief in a benevolent, omniscient force? Isn’t the Machine a benevolent, omniscient force? Who are we to say it isn’t God or at least an imitation of one? I’ve been thinking of Root as delusional for her Machine as deity belief system, but maybe she’s not so far off. Root believes the Machine is God because she wants the Machine to be God. As much as Cyrus, Root wants or needs there to be a larger purpose in life; she’s just more picky about where she finds that larger purpose.
Root initially views Cyrus with little more than contempt for his spiritual beliefs. She is one religious zealot looking pityingly down on someone of a different faith. It is easy for her to mock Cyrus’s vague “everything happens for a reason” worldview because she literally has her god in her ear.
Root mentioned a plan. Does this mean that the Machine has a plan or just that Root believes the Machine has a plan? What is said plan? What is its endgame? Is the Machine’s main goal preventing Decima from realizing Samaritan or is there something more complex going on?
I find Root’s belief that caring about people is a flaw very interesting. Root has spent most of her life not caring about anyone. The sensation seems to be very new to her. The only person we know of who was important to her was her friend who was murdered when they were both children. Now she finds herself protecting...not friends, exactly. What are they? Associates? Comrades in arms? Although I feel like she is still acting primarily because the Machine wants her to (a secondary reason is self preservation, she will get hurt if/when Samaritan comes online), I refuse to believe she feels nothing for Finch, Shaw, and even Reese.
One of Person of Interest’s flaws is the way it often fails to remind its audience of what exactly is going on. Weeks will pass without any development in a particular plot arc and we are expected to remember exactly what happened. It’s not a huge issue if you’re marathoning, but watching in the one episode a week format can make this a problem. Fortunately, PoI did not succumb to this particular failing this week. Not only did they have their version of a ‘Previously On’ segment at the top of the hour, Root succinctly summarized the situation to Finch under the guise of sarcasm. Thank you, Person of Interest. More of this, please.
This time, our gang finds itself on the same side as Vigilance. Well, sort of. Both wan to prevent Decima from realizing Samaritan, but Vigilance is willing to kill poor Cyrus in order to achieve that goal. I wonder if we’ll see Vigilance and Team Machine team up in a meaningful way by season’s end? That would be an interesting, if highly unlikely, turn of events.
Bits and Pieces
‘/’ means ‘Root Path’ on UNIX-like systems.
As is usual for these slightly offbeat episodes, they messed with the saga sell.
The Machine’s guidance gives Root directions that make her seem positive psychic. While this might be scary, here it was used more as comic relief than anything else.
Shaw broke her phone (again). Team Machine goes through those things like Tic-Tacs.
Reese knocked one of the Vigilance thugs out with a frying pan à la Rapunzel from Tangled.
Did Root ACTUALLY join the FBI? She really commits to her covers.
Prisoner: “C’mon sugar, why don’t you take me with...”
Root: (tases him)
Root: “The pants’ll be a little long.”
One of my favorite Root moments ever.
Finch: “How much do you know about this janitor, Ms. Groves?”
Root: “Well, he’s got some interesting ideas about metaphysical determinism and I think he’s a Doris Day fan.”
Finch: “In the meantime, I’ll try to determine what message this is meant to convey.”
Shaw: “Seems pretty clear to me, Finch.”
Reese: “I think she likes you, Harold.”
Shaw: “Don’t make me look bad.”
Root: “I couldn’t make you look bad if I tried.”
Fusco: “Nice try, Cocoa Puffs.”
Fusco: “What was I supposed to say? Sorry boss, Agent King is actually a superpowered nutball. Just ask my buddy, the urban legend.”
Collier: “See, America is dying and everybody knows it. It’s not just about privacy, it’s about principle. Our nation is assassinating people with drones, holding them without due process, and yes, spying on its own people without cause or limits and in direct violation of our Constitution.”
That awkward moment when you realize the villain is sort of right.
Shaw: “How you do matters as much as what you do. And by that metric, you’re all just terrorists. And I kill terrorists.”
Root: “Well, if anyone would know about hubris, it would be the man who built God.”
Root: “That’s the problem with humans.”
four out of four God communicators
sunbunny, Person of Interest and Bear the Dog fangirl
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