By Brett DaSilva
The show Person of Interest is in their final season, and a shortened one at that. They were renewed for a 13 episode half season to be able to wrap their story up. Last week they celebrated their 100th episode and frankly, it left me gutted. With a short amount of time to get the show wrapped up, things are happening very quickly. This is doubly true for episode 100-“The Day the World Went Away.”
What had initially started out as a crime procedural, has morphed into an awesome sci-fil show about two rivalling AI’s fighting each other using human agent’s. The two AI’s are separated into the good AI simply called The Machine, and the bad one trying to take over the world is called Samaritan.
One of the main themes I see running through this show is about redemption. Whether it is about John Reese trying to make up for the things that he did while he was in the CIA, or former dirty Detective Lionel Fusco making up for his sins. We also have former villain Root, who actually tried to kill Harold at one time, as well as former organized crime Kingpin, Carl Elias. They all find redemption saving the lives that the machine tells them to, believing in something larger than themselves, as well as saving lives.
Ok, here is where I will put in the spoiler warning, for those who have not seen last week’s episode.
This episode the stakes are raised when Finch’s number is given by the computer. A big distinction to make, especially for this episode, is that the team does not know whether the person is going to be the victim of a crime or the perpetrator when they receive the number. Team machine sees Finch’s number come up and immediately goes into action. Let me state that Finch does indeed have, as the kids say, “Squad Goals” Reese, Root, Shaw, Lionel, and Elias, all move into action to protect him and the machine without a second thought.
The team splits up. Finch is sent into hiding with Elias, while the rest of the team try to go after Samaritan’s operatives. This is a culmination of a lot of seasons work. Elias takes Finch back to where they first met in a dilapidated apartment building. Root and Shaw stay at the safe house to fend off Samaritan operatives and have a really great moment where Root tells Shaw that with being with Team Machine is the only time she ever felt like she has ever fit in. She has come a long way from when she believed that humans were just bad code.
Meanwhile the Machine tracks down Finch and Elias at the apartments due to the gangs located there not fighting. Go figure. They almost make it out when Samaritan operatives appear and shoot Elias in the head. This is the first major death of the episode, but I like to think that this would be the way that he would have wanted to go out. I also think this is the point where Finch starts to lose all hope. Finch is captured and taken to an underground parking garage where he meets the man behind Samaritan Greer. Finch is informed that Samaritan no longer wants to kill Harold, but wants to have him work for it.
As they are moving Finch into the car to take him to his lockup Shaw and Root track them down with some information provided by a person loyal to Elias that saw him killed. They come out guns blazing and rescue Finch. What follows is one of the best action sequences that I have seen on a TV show. To run down all of it would not do it justice.
There are however some takeaways from it, as well as some possible foreshadowing. Root and Shaw have a great moment together where Root saw that real world is essentially a simulation anyway. That people don’t really die. They live on in The Machine. They two get separated where Root takes off with Finch and Shaw holds off the Samaritan Operatives. As the Finch and Root take off, Root tells Finch that she hard coded the machine to remove all of the restrictions that they had put on it, but could only be activated by Finch.
Unfortunately the car with Root and Finch in it gets followed by an SUV with a machine gun turret on it. As they are making their escape Samaritan is directing a sniper to intercept the car. As they turn a corner the sniper fires and kills Root. Harold is captured by police and taken to a prison where he is questioned by a fed. It is there where he learns Root’s fate. He is not even paying attention to the Fed when he looks at the surveillance camera and says “I’m going to kill you, but I need to decide how far I’m willing to go, how many of my own rules I am willing to break. “ this is a message for Samaritan, and it gives you chills. It made me think back to a previous episode where Elias and Finch are talking and Elias tells Finch that he is the scariest person on the whole team. It is always the quiet ones you have to look out for.
It is at this moment when the fed gets called out of the room and the phone rings. Finch answers it. Through the line comes Roots voice. The machine has decided to take her voice to communicate with them instead of the usual text. Finch asks the machine if it can get him out of there. The Machine’s answer. “Of course I can. You created me.” Then the lights go out.
The episode ends with Reese and Fusco showing up at the prison surrounded by cops. The cop in charge tells them that they have hundreds of escaped prisoners due to the power outage. This leaves Reese to question whether Finch’s number came up because he was a victim or because of what he did at the prison.
This was a heart breaking episode. The body count was really high, and some of my favorite characters got killed off. But it was also the end of Root’s redemption story. She gave her life for Harrold and The Machine that was her God for all intents and purposes. We saw the death of Elias, who had lost most of his friends in the last few episodes and died protecting the one that he had left. The characters in this show are so deep and layered, I am not sure what is going to take its place,
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!