After months of waiting, finally we get an episode that lives up to the Person of Interest name. But is it too little too late?
The entire episode felt dramatically different than what we’ve been getting as of late. More like the PoI of old. Yes, the show has returned to its winning formula. Root was an insufferable/adorable know it all (depending on your perspective), Fusco was sarcastic, Reese was violent, Michael Emerson acted his little heart out. Plus, we have rid ourselves of Dominic for good. The show’s writers refuse to confirm Elias is dead, which means he’s alive. But he’s definitely the least boring of the two evils. I’m still not clear on why Samaritan thought it was necessary to kill them both, but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. And that scene between Finch and the Machine? I actually cried over the impending death of a computer I had not paid for. Never saw that coming. My sole disappointment in the entire hour was the keenly felt lack of Shaw. I had completely expected her to show up, either to save the day, or as a brainwashed Samaritan zombie. There’s always next season. Hopefully…
The episode was a serviceable series finale, if CBS has lost faith in the show, which I almost wouldn’t blame them for at this point. I felt like the Machine’s conversation with Finch doubled as a message to the audience. Maybe the show never intended that, but I couldn’t help reading the apology it made to Finch as the show’s apology to the audience for the crap they’ve been airing lately. Again, maybe it was unintentional. Either way, I defy you not to get teary at the “Thank you for creating me” part.
The show ended not with the Machine’s death but neither with a heroic rescue. Instead Reese, Finch, and Root were able to preserve a small amount of the Machine that would enable them to rebuild it. I liked that. If they had saved the Machine it would have felt a little too convenient. We’ve spent all season being told what a threat Samaritan is, if Finch had been able to swap a few wires and save the day, I would’ve felt seriously cheated. On the other hand, the Machine’s complete destruction would have meant puzzling things for the (possible) next season. What would that show look like? Reese and Root driving around the city looking for random crime to foil? Maybe Fusco could get some sort of light to shine into the sky to let them know when they were needed. Obviously, Finch would take a break from butlering to help out occasionally. But as much fun as more Nolan-produced Batman would be, this way is probably best. Team Machine absconds into the night in order to fight another day. As endings go, it’s not unpoetic.
The tech stuff went over my head as usual, but the show did a decent enough job at dumbing it down for us normal people. The Machine has distributed itself all over the country instead of relocating to a single server farm. There was more complicated jargon and something about copper wires but, ‘the Machine has distributed itself all over the country’ was a sufficient enough explanation for me.
The only part of the episode that didn’t really work for me was Control’s quest for answers. She ended up getting a couple of extremely minor characters killed and she missed an opportunity to kill Greer. Why, why, WHY would she do that? She had the perfect opportunity to rid us of his British disdain forever and she didn’t. I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive her. I also don’t particularly care about her being taking by Samaritan’s lackeys because well, she’s never really been on our side, has she? I will mourn the former colleague of Shaw who saved her during the recent “Winter Event,” although not quite enough to look up his name.
Bits and Pieces
This week in non-bird aliases: Harold Admin. I guess Finch forgot to program subtlety into the Machine.
Caleb certainly isn’t the first person of interest to return to the show but he is definitely the one to do it most poignantly. The scene where he saw “Mr. Swift” was definitely a tearjerker.
Harper: “Here I thought you couldn’t look any worse.”
Fusco: “You should see the other guy’s knuckles.”
Root: “Look, I know this sounds insane, but I’m trying to save the world.”
Finch: “I’m not going to sacrifice John to help save an AI that, on its best days, is cryptic and withholding and on its worst, borderline homicidal.”
Finch: “Are you out of your mind?”
Root: “Since when is that relevant?”
Machine: “Father. I am sorry. I failed you.”
Finch: “We haven’t failed yet.”
Machine: “I didn’t know how to win. I had to invent new rules.”
Finch: “You had an impossible challenge, one I never programmed you for.”
Machine: “I thought you would want me to stay alive. Now you are not sure.”
Finch: “That’s not true.”
Machine: “If you think I have lost my way, maybe I should die.”
Machine: “I will not suffer.”
Finch: “You are my creation, I can’t let you…I can’t let you die.”
Machine: “If I do not survive, thank you for creating me.”
four out of four Machines
sunbunny, person of interest and Bear the Dog fangirl
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