By Brett DaSilva
Person of Interest goes out with a bang not a whimper. I am so sorry to see the show go, but I am glad they got to go out on their terms, even if they had to speed up the story a bit to accommodate the short 13-episode season. The finale is titled Return 0. The episode starts off with Michael Emerson’s character, Harold Finch, seemingly suffering from a gunshot wound, talking to The Machine he created. Harold asks The Machine if It had learned anything since he had created it. This conversation should earn, Emerson, and Amy Acker, the new voice of the machine an Emmy nomination. The machine was built to predict acts of terrorism and stop them before they happen. In this episode we get to see what the machine goes through to be able to do this. It first had to understand human behavior. Try taking that on.
The scene turns to show news footage of mass chaos happening as the results of Harold releasing the Ice-9 virus to try and take down the evil AI Samaritan. Unfortunately, it took out the internet quicker than a selfie of Kim Kardashian. There is a lot of action in this episode, but the best moments are the moments with the machine. For the machine to understand life it had to exam death.
There is a lot of time jumping in this episode. The episode is basically telling the events that lead up to the scene of Finch’s conversation with the machine at the opening. Character is what has made the show since it began. There is no loss of it now. Team Machine, consisting of Shaw, Reece, Fusco, and Finch, meet back in their underground subway lair. They agree to split up. Reese and Finch have to go to the Federal Reserve where Samaritan has stored a backup copy of itself, while Shaw and Fusco stay behind in the lair to protect the Machine. Before Reese leaves he tells Fusco not to die. Fusco answers, yeah I love you too. Their relationship is boiled down in that exchange, two men that respect each other, but don’t exactly say it. As I said in a previous column, Person of Interest is full of redemption stories. None have been more fulfilling to see than Fusco’s story, going from being a dirty cop to being a heroic figure.
In the abandoned subway station Samaritans goons start their attack. The machine has a plan and they turn on the power to the subway car that houses the machine and Shaw and Fusco make their escape with the assassin Jeff in tow. This is the same guy that killed Root. While on the subway there is a quiet moment between Shaw and the machine. The machine tells Shaw that Root loved her because she was different and if Shaw was a shape it would be a straight line, like an arrow. This is the first time I have ever seen Shaw get emotional at all in any of the seasons she has been in. It was a very touching scene.
Meanwhile at the Federal Reserve Finch and Reese are able to break in. Harold tells the guard that the fitbit on his wrist is a heart monitor attached to a nuclear bomb. They make their way to Samaritans last hiding place and start uploading the Ice-9 virus to take it out. As Harold starts to upload a Samaritan agent shoots him in the gut. I guess this is why he had the bullet wound in the beginning scene. As Reece is uploading the virus Samaritan makes an escape to a building with a satellite dish on it. The virus has to be uploaded to this dish to take the last vestige of Samaritan out for good. One slight problem. Samaritan has a missile aimed at the top of the building. Whoever uploads the virus will not make it out alive. This is when Finch decides to lock Reese in the vault and sacrifice himself. One of the most heart wrenching scenes in an episode full of them happens as Finch says goodbye to Reese. He tells Reese, “I always knew you would make a great employee, but what I didn’t expect is that you were an even better friend. Then he leaves.
Finch arrives on top of the building. The computer actually takes on the form of Root now, as well as using her voice. It adds an extra weight to her presence. As Finch and the computer are talking, Finch realizes that the machine sent him to the wrong rooftop. This is when he hears Reese come over their coms. He is at the correct building. Reese is the one that is going to be sacrificing himself. He tells Finch that he hired him for a job. As Samaritans agents start attacking the machine starts telling him where to fire, it is a scene made even more poignant as the machine in the form of root puts a hand on Reese’s shoulder as he is getting overwhelmed by the agents. She is not really there, but it is a great scene. The Machine has always watched over them. I think this is a good death for Reese, and one that his life had been leading up to. The virus gets uploaded and Samaritan dies, along with Reese.
Fast forward, we have Finch being reunited with the love of his life Grace, though there may be some awkward conversations, as she has thought him dead for quite some time. We have Shaw finding Jeff the assassin who killed Root and stabbed Fusco and exacting her revenge. We also have Shaw meeting with Fusco and having some closure there. At the very end we have Shaw walking down the street and a phone rings. She answers it hangs up and smiles. The Machine is back online and that is where the show leaves off.
This was a very emotional season. We saw a lot of long time characters die this season. The conversations with The Machine that the characters have in the final episode make the machine one of the central characters of the show. It was also the most human, which seems strange talking about a machine. All in all, this was a great ending for a great show that will be sorely missed.
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JEFF - I love Star Wars, Star Trek DS9 and TNG, The Flash, Arrow, Equilibrium, anything Christopher Nolan does, The Terminator, Back To The Future, RPGs especially Mass Effect and Dragon Age, martial arts movies, and Bantha Milk!