Person of Interest’s done better. And it’s done worse.
Anna, the most recent in a line of possible Shaw replacements that we’ll probably never see again, is under threat of death from her employer, a search engine totally unrelated to Google. She’s spotted what no one else has: instead of giving people the most appropriate search results, their new app - brace yourself - tries to manipulate people into buying things. I’ll give you a moment to compose yourself. It was meant to be a shocking invasion of privacy and an abominable manipulation. But really it’s not so far from what companies already do, is it? I found that question incredibly distracting which really took away from my enjoyment of that story line.
And how many tough brunettes are they going to introduce before either picking one or abandoning the idea of replacing Shaw? Are they going to assemble an army of them à la Buffy season 7? Anna was a programmer and an MMA fighter. She seemed too well suited for the team to even be real. Plus we already know her tragic back story. What more can Team Machine ask for?
In the end, Lauren is preparing to sell her company (which is definitely not Google) to Samaritan. Greer wants it because they have figured out how to manipulate people by manipulating search results. Greer has to buy that? Can’t Samaritan do things like that already? It seems well within its abilities. Lauren turning up means that either she knew about the app’s special features from the get go or that she just saw an opportunity and took it. Which one is it? Does it really matter?
Much more enjoyable to me was Finch and Claire’s plot. The second Claire showed up I knew she was going to be a Samaritan plant. But then she started talking. I’ll admit it, I believed her at one point. Finch did too. Claire has been downing the Samaritan Kool Aid by the gallon. It was almost comical, her showing Finch around the school and telling him all the good things Samaritan does, and to just ignore the scary armed security force. We’ve seen a lot of Samaritan’s operatives this season. From the little boy that spoke for Samaritan to the deadly Martine and the councilwoman from Maple. Did Claire go into the world of Samaritan with her eyes wide open like Martine or was she an innocent victim like Leslie? The truth lies somewhere in the middle…or does it? Finch tried to warn her when they first met in “Nautilus.” Can she be blamed for not believing some completely random person? Now that she’s in, there’s no getting out; she’s smart enough to know that. So maybe her deluded fervor that Samaritan is a force for good is her trying to make the best of a bad situation?
Claire’s playful manner with Finch as well as her intellect makes her seem very Root-ish (she even called him Harold). She has put her total faith in Samaritan just like Root has put her total faith in the Machine. Because the show sets us on the side of the Machine, we’re inclined to look on Root’s allegiance as more understandable than Claire’s. But is it really? Aren’t they both a little crazy for trusting in an AI as much as they do? I suppose experience is on Root’s side. The Machine hasn’t let her down yet, with once notable exception. Claire now knows that Greer was perfectly willing to kill her provided it gave their team the slightest advantage. That may serve to change Claire’s mind, but it’s not exactly like she can hand in her notice. As much as I liked Claire and her role in this episode, I don’t want her to stick around. One Root is enough for me. And a non-Amy Acker Root…let’s just say it’s best if Claire gets used sparingly.
Bits and Pieces
Fetch and Retrieve is not Google. Ignore the similar white and rainbow color scheme in the office. Ignore the voice activated app. This is not the tech company you’re looking for.
I loved Finch adjusting the urn so the dent was in the back.
Root was definitely not aiming for kneecaps.
Reese: “We gotta go.”
Anna: “Why? I thought you were a cop?”
Reese: “Yeah, but this is more paperwork than I want to deal with.”
Anna: “Nice body shot. Cross could use some work.”
Fusco: “Stand him up. I’ll go again.”
Finch: “Samaritan was willing to shoot you to get me to believe what it wanted. How far will it go to get these children to believe?”
two out of four dented urns
sunbunny, person of interest and Bear the Dog fangirl
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