Person of Interest: M.I.A.

“You got a new partner, Columbo.”

On their continuing quest to find Shaw, Reese and Root visit Samaritan’s Sims town and Fusco gets a number of his very own.

Two weeks ago (insert complaint about Person of Interest scheduling here), the team discovered a refrigerated truck had left the stock exchange where Shaw was last seen and decided that she must have been in the truck because, really, where else could she be?

The truck is found in a small town upstate where, it is quickly discovered, Samaritan runs everything. It started out by doling out jobs to those who were best suited to those particular jobs and making everything in Maple, U.S.A. run like clockwork. A sweet little supercomputer-run utopia. With cider. But that got boring so Samaritan decided to shake things up and see what would happen. The idea of Samaritan performing psychological experiments on a populace is a neat one, but it wasn’t fully explored here. There was too much else to do.

Root and Reese are still convinced that Shaw is alive and that they can save her. Finch is not as optimistic. I really got the impression that he was indulging Root and Reese by letting them go upstate. Finch has seen more Machine-related loss than anyone. The team lost Carter, but before the series even began Finch had lost Ingram and Grace as well. Those scars may not be touched on in every episode, but they still exist.

The scene where Root and Reese interrogated Ms. Thompson was very well done. It was your standard good cop/bad cop act, only it really wasn’t an act. We all know what Root is capable of when motivated and the loss of Shaw has certainly motivated her. The tension as Finch tried to get Reese to rein her in was palpable. Both men knew that Root could and would kill that woman if she thought it would get her one step closer to Shaw. True, Thompson was one of Samaritan’s agents, but it’s not like she knowingly signed on with an evil empire.

R&R eventually tracked down the woman transported in the bloody back of the truck but - gasp - it wasn’t Shaw. Of course it wasn’t going to be that easy. Instead they got Delia Jones, innocent bystander turned Samaritan science project. I wonder what will happen to her now that she has Samaritan tech in her head. Surely Samaritan can track her down with ease. Will she somehow inadvertently lead Martine and friends to Team Machine or is this the last we’ll see of her?

Shaw’s trail has well and truly gone cold. The Machine has told the team to stop looking for her, knowing that, left to their own devices, Root, Reese, and Finch would turn the entire world upside down looking for her. The call was also a signal to the audience that we’d be moving on now and not dealing with Shaw’s disappearance any further at this time. Which is good. I don’t think I could take more Root looking for Shaw. It’s too stressful and sad.

As for Shaw, she’s…somewhere with Greer. Will we be leaving her fate at that for the time being or are we going to be checking in with her from time to time? Sarah Shahi left because she was pregnant and they were eventually going to have trouble hiding it. But now Shaw’s in a hospital bed, wrapped up in hospital blankets. I have to imagine that makes it easier to hide a baby bump. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, Fusco got his first number. With Shaw’s absence, it is perhaps appropriate that Fusco is being given a more substantial role in Team Machine. For the first time I can think of, he is given a number, not a specific mission (arrest this person, protect that person, pick up Finch’s dry cleaning). He’s done work on his own, but always with some direction from Finch or Reese. Now he’s given only a name. Hopefully this means Fusco will be a bigger part of the rest of the season. He’s helped the team so much he deserves to be let in. Still, if he is told the big secret, that might put him (and his son) in serious danger. It’s a balancing act.

In order to save and/or destroy Albert Weiss (who turns out to be an assassin), Fusco teams up with Dani Silva, previously seen in “Point of Origin,” to bring down Weiss. I can feel the show searching for a replacement (temporary or not) for Shaw. Not Silva, please. In her first appearance, she was bland and forgettable. She hasn’t changed.

Bits and Pieces

Finch called Root “Samantha,” which I’m sure is a first.


Root: “Hold on Shaw, we’re close.”

Reese: “You elevate abduction to an art.”

Doctor: “Please don’t shoot.”
Reese: *shoots him*

two and a half out of four bloody trucks

sunbunny, person of interest and Bear the Dog fangirl


migmit said...

Refusing Fusco's help? Not a great idea. This guy can be terrific. Or terrifying. Or terrifically terrifying. Whatever.

I liked that they averted the very common trope "cop gets home, lets his/her guard down, becomes a victim". Sarah Shahi did something like that in Life. Did I mention I never liked Life, or Shahi in it?

tripper said...

More of Fusco isn't ever a bad thing, although I remain ambivalent about Dani's character. Certainly not the warm, immediate liking Shaw garnered around her first appearances.

I agree, sunbunny. As much as I love Shaw and Root's havoc-raising on her behalf, it is much too painful to watch Root's threadbare connection to humanity wear down, especially given her well-developped arc over two seasons where she's become pretty much (well, mostly) reformed. It's good drama, and Amy Acker is killing it, but it's emotionally draining, this rollercoaster ride of slim hope and crushing despair that Team Machine is on. I even feared she was going to kill Delia the secretary in a blind rage for a few seconds there, and that would have taken the show to a point of no return--or at least for her character.

That said, I'm absolutely loving the dynamics and intricacies of the newly reshuffled team and the dark turn they've been hedging on. (The antfarm plot was pretty backseat for me.) Root and Reese don't mesh well as partners; they might as well have been on separate planets during the Schrodinger's cat car ride, and you really get to appreciate the brilliance of those Root/Finch conversations. Plus, she is clearly not a good influence on Reese, whose uncharacteristic comment to Thompson chilled me to the bone. And Finch, so desperate to reign them in from the edge, that he grapples onto "Samantha" of all things. It was unnerving and alien to hear it.

P.S. First time commenting. Thank you for the best POI reviews I've read anywhere. I love reading them!

sunbunny said...

tripper - Thank you so much! What a nice comment. :)

Billie Doux said...

Other than feeling bad for Root and the welcome confirmation that Shaw is alive, this episode was sort of frustrating. I even fell asleep, although that probably wasn't the show's fault.

Sunbunny, you do indeed write the best PoI reviews anywhere. :)

M said...

I liked Silva and Fusco's interactions, actually. And think he's far too down to earth to care about the Machine and whatnot. Heck, he's heard about the Machine and Samaritan multiple times and it's been a running gag that he just doesn't care.

And please, it's reining in, like a horse. Reigning is what you do over a kingdom.