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Person of Interest: Mors Praematura

“With Root involved, anything is possible.”

Here we go. While this episode didn’t reach the heights of “Relevance,” it was definitely more than your standard episode of Person of Interest.

Collier’s back far sooner than I expected. I’m excited, especially because his group got a name: Vigilance. We learned more of their core principles and that they have an obsession with the American Revolution. So far, they seem like a super evil combination of the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and Anonymous. That’s definitely a weird mix.

I seriously doubt it’s a coincidence that Team Machine was brought so close to the same organization twice in a month. Now that the Machine is self-aware, is it beginning to target certain criminal organizations? If it would pay similar attention to HR, we could get that mess wrapped up quickly and move on to bigger and better things, but I digress.

The way the writers combined the weekly poi story with the larger arc was very elegantly done, much better than last week’s awkward ‘Oh, HR is behind this. Huh.’ The Machine saw a problem and attacked it from two sides. Sloan’s story would’ve been intriguing enough this week even if it hadn’t instigated significant mythology development. Plus, the majority of the episode was dark enough to earn the almost too sweet ending, which is one of Person of Interest’s recurring issues.

I like Root better and better each week. When she was first introduced, her scenes seemed to drag on, but the writers have certainly been having more fun with her character this season. I’m hoping the trend continues. If this week’s installment is any indicator about the trajectory of the rest of the season, I’m expecting amazing things.

Root talked to Shaw about the Machine putting her in a third category. What category is that? She later said Jason was “necessary.” That smacks of Machine speak. “Relevant,” “irrelevant,” and now “necessary.” What is the Machine planning? Root firmly believes that Finch imprisoning her is a mistake and that it goes against the Machine’s wishes. Finch points out that maybe this was the Machine’s plan for Root all along. If the Machine is infallible (as Root believes it to be), what are the odds something happens to its “analog interface” it doesn’t want?

I’m trying to examine my feelings about the Machine. I realize I trust it implicitly and I’m not entirely sure why or whether or not I should. The Machine is never wrong about its numbers. The Machine was forward thinking enough to extricate itself from the watchful eye of the government. But does this mean that it is 100% infallible? It would certainly make the PoI mythology simpler, but Person of Interest rarely goes the simple route. What do you guys think?

Carter and Laskey is going in an interesting direction too. After last week, I HATED him with a vile, burning passion. This week, I genuinely felt sorry for him. I would really love to get a flashback episode centered on him. We now know he’s Russian (presumably with the Russian mob, although that was never explicitly stated) and part of an HR plot to unite the Russians and the corrupt sector of the NYPD in unholy matrimony.

While I’m still iffy on how threatening a villain HR is, I did like the definitively unsubtle reminder of its brutality. Did forcing Laskey to bury his friend make the organization scarier? Maybe not, but it certainly made them more hatable.

From last week’s preview, I thought Fusco was going to be back, but we just saw him for about a minute. C’mon PoI PTBs, just because we have Shaw and Root now doesn’t mean we still don’t have time for Fusco. You’d think he’d be playing a bigger part in the season, especially with Laskey and the increased focus on the HR subplot.

Bits and Pieces:

Apparently, the title of the episode is Latin for premature death. I’m not sure how that fits, except that Jason’s death was reported prematurely.

Am I totally insane or were the scenes between Root and Shaw weirdly, non-platonically charged?

Shaw has two tattoos: a rather faded US Marines tattoo on her forearm and one on her hand I couldn’t make out.

So, tasers leave confetti after being fired? Really? UPDATE: Tasers leave confetti after being fired. Rachel Maddow told me so.

I wondered why Bear was sitting outside the storage container. It seemed an illogical choice. When the gas started raining down, it became obvious. I’m 100% certain Standards and Practices would have an issue with an animal being soaked in (yes, even fake) gasoline.

Jason mentioned that he was disillusioned with Vigilance after they killed a data broker. That happened earlier this season in “Nothing to Hide.”

Interesting difference between Reese and Collier. Reese’s signature move is shooting a baddy in the knee. Maximum pain, minimal chance of death. Collier shot Sloan in the leg, but went for the femoral artery, which would’ve lead to certain death without immediate medical attention.

My favorite moment of the entire episode was Root smugly greeting Shaw, her rescuer, only to get punched in the face.

So now poor Root is imprisoned in a beautiful old library with a dog in a city where you can get practically any kind of food delivered. I can think of worse punishments.


Finch: “His bite is far worse, trust me.”

Reese: “Shaw.”
Shaw: “Reese.”
Reese: “Gotta save somebody.”
Shaw: “Know the feeling.”

Jason: “Hey, I saw somebody up there. Tim Sloan. Do you know why he’s here? Is he okay?”
Root: “Did you see a man heading his way? Tall, nice suit?”
Jason: “Yeah.”
Root: “He’ll be fine.”

Collier: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
Okay, so, as usual, I’m probably over-analyzing, but the title of the season premiere was “Liberty,” which I took as a reference to the Machine’s newfound freedom. Could the emergence of Vigilance somehow have been caused by the Machine’s great escape?

Finch: “Your choice of pronoun [is] illuminating.”
Can we explore this, please? Why does Root think the Machine is a woman? Does the Machine think of itself as a woman?

four out of four batches of taser confetti
sunbunny, Person of Interest and Bear the Dog fangirl


  1. Wasn't as much Root and Shaw goodness as I was expecting, but this episode was still pretty great. So happy that Root is now a prisoner at the library. Don't know why they didn't just keep her there in the first place. Sending her to the mental ward was about as effective as locking the Joker in Arkham.

  2. This episode is pretty much the best episode in the history of ever just for the fact that I got to see Root get decked in her smug little face. I can't stand her knowing crooked smile plastered on her face practically 24/7, it drives me nuts. Thank you Shaw, you've done this country a great service.

    Okay, enough Root bashing. I don't think there were vibes between the two ladies. I think it just sorta had that aura cuz Root's always borderline flirty and sorta cheeky and Shaw has the CIA whisper that Reese has. Must be some kinda requirement for super agents.

    So it turns out Laskey was in over his head, eh? Nice, I wonder if Fusco is gonna get in on the HR action eventually. Seems likely enough.

    I reckon The Machine is gearing up for some sorta Skynet dealio. I hope it won't be so cliche but I could see it doing the ol' "all humans are dangerous, they must be contained" scenario.

    I'm also guessing the team will have to reluctantly team up with Root in the near future for some reason or another.

    One of my favorite things about this show is that none of the villains can figure Reese out. Every time he appears they're always suprised and a little confused. It's beautiful.

  3. Gotta give some credit to Laskey. He is smarter then I thought. Putting his trust into Carter seems to be a right move.

    This week Russian status: OK, the guy Laskey was talking with spoke perfect Russian, with no noticeable accent. The subtitles were pretty accurate. The writings nearby were also correct. Damn, they are getting good at this.

  4. Huh.

    I'm puzzled. Or perhaps I'm supposed to be puzzled. So I'm going to try to work this out:

    Sloan researched his foster brother's alleged death. He had nothing but a watch, a nuked thumb drive, and a good hunch until Finch came on the scene.

    Finch accessed the thumb drive and various other Finchian devices to lead Sloan to the truth.

    Then, Vigilance stepped in, realizing that Sloan knew too much.

    Therefore, Finch/Reese/The Machine put Sloan at risk. Making him a number made him a number.

    Conclusion One: This is just awkward plotting.

    Conclusion Two: The Machine was willing to risk Sloan so that the Root/Shaw/Collier storyline would dovetail with the Reese/Finch story line. In other words, the only way to get Reese to the "Impact" scene was to put a man at risk, and the Machine did so.

    Complication: Root reminded Shaw that the Machine was never wrong. However, the Machine was wrong, or wrongish, once before, right? Shaw and her now-dead partner killed a man who had been framed by the US Government for sending money to terrorists.

    (Complication 1.1: Of course, we don't now if all the numbers Shaw and her partner got from "Research" were generated by the Machine. Some might have been slyly stuck in there by human hands.)

    Complication Two: However, that erroneous number from "Relevance" was the eventual path that led to Shaw's partner getting killed and Shaw's number being sent to Finch and Reese.

    Conclusion Three: It seems the Machine is willing to sacrifice, or at least risk, some amount of human lives in order to bring Team Finch, Root, and Vigilance into conflict.

    Am I right? #overthinkingit

  5. Hi Josie!

    We overheard the Vigilance vote on killing Sloan at the very beginning of the episode. I am quite certain that it really happened before the number was sent to Finch. So, The Machine did not put Sloan at risk; the decision was already made.

  6. Josie - migmit beat me to it. Although I really like your idea of the Machine putting people in danger to achieve something it wants. Maybe a future episode? I want more Machine mythology!

  7. Gah! I was so proud of my idea. That's what I get for not really paying attention to the opening snippet.

  8. Freeman -- I couldn't agree with you more. I know I am in the minority here, but Root annoys me to no end and I, for one, wouldn't mind her making the ultimate sacrifice for the Machine. I cheered when Shaw punched her; I've been wanting to do that forever.

    In spite of Root, I really liked the way the Machine sent both groups after the same guy. Although, I am puzzled about the endgame. In the past, it was the core four. Now that Root and Shaw are so much a part of what the Machine is doing, where does that leave Fusco and Carter?

    To me, the Carter storyline feels superfluous, as though the writers want to use her, but are unsure how. Fusco is nowhere to be seen. While I am a fan of a show evolving and I do believe that characters have to change, I would be very, very sorry to lose either Fusco or Carter so that the writers could keep the two new women. Neither of them is as much fun to watch, at least for me.

  9. Very gratifying to see Finch get the last word in that closing scene with Root >:) I love Amy Acker and there are some scenes still where she looks stunningly beautiful but I was hoping her time being properly connected to The Machine (which I refuse to identify as a 'her' until I know it's what THE MACHINE wants: you are not its voice Root) might have humbled her in some way. I don't know why I'd expect that of a zealot but seeing her usual smugness became intolerable for me... it's just not fair


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