If it wasn’t clear what a grand threat Vigilance is, we get to see even more of them when some of their actions relate to people gathering in a 20-year High School reunion. This is the last “light episode” of the season before entering the nail-biting final four episodes of the season. Action’s good as always but Person Of Interest is also a show with some comedy moments here and there, these are intertwined with all of the action scenes. There’s always at least one small scene in every episode that will at least make you smirk, some others will actually make you laugh out loud. In these comedic moments, most of the time Shaw steals the joke with her sarcastic comments in the middle of a thrilling action-filled sequence. However in Most Likely To… Reese steals the funny moments of the episode when he gets slapped three times by women who apparently were past lovers of his cover persona.
Samaritan is ready and Decima seeks congress approval to get this second machine online. U.S. congressman, Roger McCourt has an advantageous position in deciding which proposals to approve or not, to speed things up in congress. With The original Machine disconnected from the U.S. government and the leaks about Northern Lights on TV, Root has been re-assigned the relevant numbers. The U.S. government wouldn’t approve another machine-related project after the Nothern Lights fiasco but Decima (Greer) knows how to apply pressure on McCourt to get Samaritan online. He is this episode’s POI and Finch’s team arrives to the conclusion that his number was given to them by The Machine because he was the victim… by the team’s own hand. For the first time ever, The Machine gave out a number so the team could kill the threat, “spare the life of one to save the lives of many”. To come to this, the threat presented by McCourt’s approval of Decima’s Samaritan must have been very real, indeed.
The team makes the hard choice of sparing Roger McCourt his life in a scene that isn’t purposely clear if he has shot to death or not by Reese until a couple of minutes later. The dramatic scene is another high-point in music for the fantastic TV series, with the scene featuring the less-known track by Daughter, “Medicine”, in an apocalyptic-feeling scene with eye-watering takes of a wounded Shaw being carried by Reese, “escaping from it all because it’s all just irrelevant” (like the lyrics for the song say). I actually felt pity for them in this outstandingly crafted scene, one of the best of the entire season. “You could still be, what you want to be, what you said you were, when you met me”, the lyrics of the song continue, in a clear metaphor for Finch’s team original purpose of saving lives and The Machine.
“Our purpose has always been constant: to save lives. If that’s changed somehow, if we’re in a place now where the Machine is asking us to commit murder… that’s a place I can’t go.”
In Beta, Samaritan goes online for a beta approved by the U.S. government to test its ability of preventing a terrorist attack before it happens. The episode’s POI is Finch’s ex-fiance Grace Hendricks in what could have been a typical hostage situation episode, but with the great writing in Person Of Interest, it goes well beyond just that. Again. The “main interface” for the episode is not The Machine’s but Samaritan’s more modern look. The beta test of Samaritan is successful by episode’s end. But in this all-about-Grace episode we see some flashbacks of her life and Finch’s funeral when he left her after faking his death for her own safety. Greer asks for a trade, Grace for Finch, with so much more at stake Finch agrees to save his loved one’s life and turn himself in. The scene of the exchange is truly and deeply heartbreaking, when Finch and a blindfolded Grace cross paths, she stumbles and is helped up by Finch, Grace thanks him and Finch contains himself of saying a word. Grace never got to know that Finch was alive when there were so close and far away at the same time. The Finch-less team sends Grace to safety, in a flight out of the country to Italy, to a new job she had applied. Samaritan goes back offline but Decima gained the senator’s confidence with the beta test and have Finch. Root reveals she has seven of Samaritan’s servers.
What is Carrie Preston’s (Grace) real-life relation to Michael Emerson (Finch)?
˙ǝɟᴉʍ s,uosɹǝɯƎ lǝɐɥɔᴉW sᴉ uoʇsǝɹԀ ǝᴉɹɹɐƆ
A House Divided is the first part of the two episodes of the season finale. The POIs for this episode are all the later-kidnapped persons by Vigilance: Control, Ross Garrison (U.S. Senator), Kyle Holocombe (NSA director), Manuel Rivera (senior advisor to the President), John Greer (Decima) and Harold Finch. We see flashbacks of the origins of Collier’s character after his brother is suspiciously framed as a terrorist. We also briefly get to see Root’s three hackers working on something, presumably the seven servers she recovered; they also find out that the virus Reese and Root recovered from a Vigilance member at a coffee shop is targeted to the power company as the power goes out to the entire city. Finch is now in a lengthy dialogue with Greer. Shaw meets up with Control to protect her from Vigilance but they manage to capture Control and the others. Shaw, Reese and Hersh (who has been previously considered an enemy and trained Shaw for Northern Lights) team up in search of all the others.
What is Collier’s real last name?
˙(uoᴉʇnloʌǝɹ uɐɔᴉɹǝɯ∀ ǝɥʇ uᴉ sǝɹnƃᴉɟ ʇuǝuᴉɯoɹd oʍʇ) ʇuɐɹq ɥdǝsoſ puɐ ʎlloW oʇ ǝɔuǝɹǝɟǝɹ ǝlqᴉssod ∀ ˙,,ʇpuɐɹq,, sᴉ ǝɯɐu ʇsɐl lɐǝɹ s,ɹǝᴉlloƆ ɹǝʇǝԀ
“The court is now in session”, Collier states as as all the hoods covering the faces of the abducted people are taken off their heads. Vigilance had prepare a fake court house located in an abandoned post office building to sentence all the persons previously mentioned. Rivera takes the stand and he gets shot by Collier, then goes Ross Garrison who reveals the person in charge of Nothern Lights is Control. As Collier prepares to shoot Control, Finch intervenes revealing he built The Machine in front of everyone and the camaras that were presumably broadcasting live to millions wordwide. Flashbacks continue to reveal Collier’s past and how he was recruited via anonymous text messages to eventually become the leader of Vigilance. Shaw gets to Root who is getting ready to install the servers on Decima.
The “court session” is interrupted by Reese and Hersh, and in the middle of all the movement Decima’s men move in too. Greer reveals to a gun-pointed Collier that he was the one that recruited him in the first place; Decima created Vigilance as a way to demonstrate how the U.S. government needed protection, beyond Harold’s own Machine, from terrorism on their own soil. With a massive explosion killing all remaining innocent people still within the building, Greer calls Garrison and finally gets a definitive approval to bring Samaritan online for good. The episode contained three shockingly revealed doppelgängers: Finch presumably revealing he built The Machine to the supposed dozens of millions of people around the world when he didn’t because it was all planned out by Greer; how Greer had created Vigilance and Collier was only his puppet; and finally how the servers installed in Samaritan by Root and Shaw were supposed to destroy it but they really were not.
“The Machine and I couldn’t save the world. We had to settle for protecting the seven people who might be able to take it back, so we gave Samaritan a blind spot: seven key servers, that hard-codes it to ignore seven carefully crafted new identities. When the whole world is watched, filed, indexed, numbered, the only way to disappear is to appear, hiding our true identities inside a seemingly ordinary life. You’re not a free man anymore, Harold. You’re just a number. We have to become these people now, and if we don’t, they’ll find us, and they’ll kill us. I’m sorry, Harold. I know it’s not enough. A lot of people are gonna die, people who might’ve been able to help. Everything is changing. I don’t know if it’ll get better, but it’s going to get worse. But the Machine asked me to tell you something before we part. You once told John the whole point of Pandora’s Box is that once you’ve opened it, you can’t close it again. She wanted me to remind you of how this story ends. When everything is over, when the worst has happened, there’s still one thing left in Pandora’s Box: hope.”
It all ends in a very depressing way, Finch’s team has never been worst; disassembled, they now have to escape. As they flee, the majestically coordinated sound of “Exit Music (For a Film)” by Radiohead plays on the background. Greer greets Samaritan as it goes online. It says “What are your commands?” to which Greer responds: “The question is: What, my dear Samaritan, are your commands for us?”.
Every season of Person Of Interest is really a unique ride and a magisterial great job on how action TV should be. Not the same can be said of shows like 24, where besides seeing Jack more beaten up every time, it is always about the same season after season. Person Of Interest never feels repetitive and progresses its story at a fast pace that will always have you asking for more and more. I would best describe a fan of this show like a child on a swing, asking their parents (in this case, the writers) to push them harder and higher, and the incredible writing of the show delivers. The TV series rarely relies on any common gimmick to ordinarily satisfy. Probably the only repetitive gimmick on the show is the most basic but unavoidable one: the-last-second-pull-the-trigger trick in thrilling gun-point scenes.
Person Of Interest is an outstanding TV show that truly is one of the best series on TV, period. Every season of the show brings it to a completely new level of depth with a more complex and thrilling storyline. What seemingly started like a regular case-solving TV series evolved into a true masterpiece of storytelling and an elaborated show of cult. The over-the-top action scenes, the clever dialogues and one-liners, and the great tidbits of comedy scattered in the script, makes this a truly remarkable show. Person Of Interest frequently gives us an in-depth look at the backstories of its characters, however they never abuse the use of flashbacks (most episodes actually have no flashbacks at all); a narrative element now frequently used in most TV shows that was first masterfully standardized by LOST. Finally, Person Of Interest easily compares to any standard-setting show out the there and it’s the new “golden bar” of how an excellent action TV series should be done.
The season ended with one of the best season finales on TV and it’s hard to imagine where the storyline of the show will take us next. Some may dispute that the series could have just ended with its season 3 finale. But if you think that, you’re missing it completely. Person Of Interest could easily continue, maybe even in a much smoother way than how LOST did after Season 4 by taking them all back to the island when the story felt like it could have ended there too. The heart-stopping season finale sets the stage for an even higher ground where season 4 will be sedimented. If Person Of Interest’s season 2 finale was a clue of how in season 3 we got to see the true power of The Machine, the show’s season 3 finale is a also a clue of things to come. In the last few seconds we realize Greer is not going to be really in-charge of all evil anymore, it’s actually going to be Samaritan, a machine. Season 4 poses to be truly another level in tech-related narrative on TV, in which we’ll probably get to see an apocalyptic artificial intelligence warfare. It will all begin from scratch with Finch’s team having to lay low and it all will most likely take place in completely new surroundings. With this premise, season 4 should be the best season yet in the most groundbreaking series on TV, Person Of Interest.
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★● (9.5/10)
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