Can we talk about how much this show has matured? Person of Interest is almost unrecognizable and that is a very good thing. What began as a procedural show with a bit of a sci-fi twist has matured into a political thriller with a sci-fi twist. “Deus Ex Machina” is a real watershed for Person of Interest’s evolution. Things will certainly never be the same again.
The trial bit was enjoyable enough once you gave in to the conceit that everyone would just play along with Vigilance’s courtroom drama. I was annoyed by Collier’s smug assertions of “fairness.” Dude, when you have to kidnap jurors and hold them at gunpoint, it’s a good indicator that the trial might be a little biased.
One part of the trial I really enjoyed was that Collier kept inadvertently using the correct words to refer to things. “Never was a guy that was in control was it? Care to join us, ma’am?” he asks the woman we know only as Control or Ma’am. Once on the stand, he asks her “Who built the machine?” It was a cute way of pulling everything together.
To my mind, it was really the last part of the episode that shone. The scene between Greer, Finch, and Collier on the rooftop was electric. For the first time, I was really sold on Greer as a villain. His creating Vigilance was damn Machiavellian. As evil plots go, this one’s right up there with one of Alias’s: destroy major cities in order to make money off the reconstruction.
Before the big Greer is behind Vigilance reveal, I made a catch I should’ve picked up on last week. Vigilance is supposed to be an idealistic organization that is steadfastly against government surveillance and those who use that surveillance to hurt other people. And yet how did they contact Collier? How did they know to contact Collier?
I went through some past episodes including “Allegiance,” “Beta,” and “A House Divided” and viewed some of Greer’s past villainous monologues looking for hints that he was the man behind the Vigilance curtain. The only thing I found was him talking with Finch about “the power of creation,” saying “I’ve felt it myself.” At the time, I assumed he was talking about Samaritan, but now I realize that he didn’t create Samaritan.
Samaritan is officially everyone’s biggest fear. From your face, they know your entire life story, everything about you. And “they” is not a government authority with even a tiny responsibility to the American people. “They” is a faceless corporation whose raison d’être is to make the most money possible. Be afraid, people. Be very, very afraid.
I was quite sad to see Hersh go, but he at least got to sacrifice himself trying to help others. The part of Root’s voice over where she says “A lot of people are gonna die, people who might’ve been able to help” synced with Command getting Hersh’s autopsy, hitting the perfect note of melancholy.
I’m left wondering what sort of role (if, indeed, any) Fusco will be playing next season. He’s been drastically underused recently and it might be better if they let the character go altogether instead of just giving us two minutes with him every three episodes. It’s suggestive that the show reminded us very clearly that Fusco does not know about the Machine and Fusco is not on Samaritan’s list of targets. I’m not going to predict 100% for certain that he’s out of the picture, but I just can’t see Finch or Reese dragging him into the sort of danger they’re facing right now. He doesn’t have the luxury of being able to disappear like the rest of the team; he has a son.
Root points out that this all could’ve been avoided if the team was only willing to kill the Congressman. Because of Reese and Shaw’s unwillingness to act in that case, dozens of innocent people died. Did they make the right choice or should they have committed murder? Person of Interest isn’t the kind of show to provide us with easy answers, leaving its audience to consider the tough questions for themselves.
Speaking of Root, I really liked the twist that her super secret mission wasn’t intended to destroy Samaritan. After so much build up, the idea that the system could be brought down by wiring something into a couple of servers felt like cheating.
Root’s voice over shown over quiet shots of the team dissipating and disappearing was beautiful. It reminded me somewhat of the sequence that began “The Devil’s Share.” I wonder if that was an intentional choice. I’m also left thinking about the show’s future. What will next season bring? They’re all separated now, although the Machine could bring them back together. It’s easy to forget with the new threat of Samaritan, but she’s still out there, watching over them, trying to keep them safe. Perhaps Root and Greer have it right. Maybe the Machine is a kind of god.
Bits and Pieces
How long have they been waiting to use this episode title?
Nice to see Bear back and in action.
Fusco called Root “cuckoo clock.”
We see how Vigilance first started using storage units as message centers.
Even after all the damage Collier had wrought, Finch still protested against Greer killing him.
Living up to his difficult to kill reputation, Hersh took three bullets trying to disarm the bomb.
I hope the crew hasn’t abandoned the library forever. I really loved that set.
Samaritan Employee: “This shipment’s two days late. Where the hell have you been?”
Root: “Honestly? Planning this.”
Shaw: “Oh, it’s gonna be that kind of party, huh?”
Shaw: “Computers can bite me.”
Control: “Where were you when Flight 77 hit the Pentagon? Because I was inside it. I carried out the wounded, I covered up bodies, and I have spent every day since putting bullets in the people responsible and in anyone else who even thinks they can do that to our country again. You wanna shoot me because I had to tap a few phone calls, read a few emails? Then you go right ahead. But you better turn that gun on yourself next, Mr. Collier, because you have broken just as many laws and the only difference is I didn’t wrap myself up in the American flag and try to convince people I was a hero”
You didn’t wrap yourself up in the American flag and try to convince people you were a hero? Then what was the beginning of that speech about?
Finch: “If you’re asking me if I feel at ease with what I’ve created or whether it was the right or the wrong thing to do, I honestly don’t know.”
That’s quite the change for Finch, who used to insist that he was completely certain he was in the right in building the Machine.
Hersh: “Next time I see you, I’ll probably have to kill you.”
Reese: “Well, you can try.”
Greer: “What a piece of work is your Machine, Harold. In action, how like an angel. In apprehension, how like a god.”
Finch: “Why would you ever choose a career where [getting shot] was an occupational hazard?”
Reese: “I tried to quit, but some jackass told me I needed a purpose.”
Root: “The Machine asked me to tell you something before we part. You once told John the whole point of Pandora’s box was that once you’ve opened it, you can’t close it again. She wanted me to remind you of how the story ends. When everything is over, when the worst has happened, there’s still one thing left in Pandora’s box: hope.”
four out of four brand new identities
sunbunny, Person of Interest and Bear the Dog fangirl
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