PoI doesn’t do things small; no mere midseason finale for them. Nope. It has to be the first installment of a trilogy. It did not disappoint. No matter whether you like certain characters or arcs or not, Person of Interest never stays put; it’s always evolving.
It’s fun to look back (which is what I do over any hiatus, pull out my DVDs and watch various eps) and see how this show has evolved. At first, it was, “You are being watched.” Now, it’s “We are being watched.” First it was Reese and Finch saving people, one life at a time, only to have the mysterious Root come along and stalk them, kidnapping Finch and declaring Reese “bad code.” Now Root is as heavily invested in the irrelevant numbers as everyone else. Now Reese is backing her up, and she trusts him to do it. Now Reese and Finch maintain their integrity with regards to the individual numbers, but they are also protecting the Machine, who in turn is protecting them, and has firmly declared its stance in the world: “My human agents share my belief – that this world belongs to them.” There was a time at the end of Season 2 when that wasn’t as clear as the Machine struggled for its independence and awareness, but now it has ‘decided’.
Listening to Root speak for the Machine was intriguing. She has always worshipped the Machine, but she is also clearly in tune with its compass, moral or otherwise. It was strange, although fitting, to hear the ten-year-old prodigy speak for Samaritan. It made sense in that Samaritan does act in ways that seem adolescent. On the other hand, child prodigy notwithstanding, how and where does a ten year old become so world-weary as to spout the words with such inflexion? Visually the choice made perfect sense; however, as seen through the flashbacks, as well as his actions, Greer is very much in tune with Samaritan and similarly suited to be its avatar, except he has wisdom and experience to guide him; the child does not.
I love that PoI is not merely content to give us villains who chill us in the present, no, they must also tell us how they got to be who and how they are. In Season 1 we were given Elias’s backstory in Flesh and Blood. In Season 2 we learned all about Root’s childhood which shaped who she is today. This season we’ve learned quite a bit about Dominic and now Greer as well. These backstories tell us how these antagonists became who they are, and, if given time, we even get to watch them evolve. Elias has changed, although he is still loyal to his own interests. Root has gone from direct enemy to trusted ally. She was genuinely upset to inform Finch and Shaw that they had lost a seventh number that day. Time was she didn’t care.
Shaw, among all the characters, has also changed, even as her feral ways remain close at hand. She wants back in the mix, no doubt because like John she has to keep moving, has to keep working. She, like John and Martine are all cut from the same cloth. They all clean their guns when bored, or when impatient, and all of their hobbies have to do with weapons. If not for Finch and the Machine, would Reese and Shaw be working with Martine? As Shaw told Finch, once not that long ago she did just what Samaritan is having other do: kill based on orders, only. It’s not that far from killer to rescuer…just sayin’.
The differences between how Finch programmed the Machine and what Samaritan is programmed to do are telling. Finch truly wanted to help, and, despite his secretive ways and lack of experience with human contact, he built the Machine so that it would always need humans to interpret the information and make the final decisions. It’s interesting that he never named it. It’s simply, The Machine. Enter Arthur Claypool, who may have started out with good intentions but his commitment was not as unwavering as Finch’s for he designed a system to work completely without human intervention. All it needs is human agents to do its bidding, but analysis is all taken care of by the unlikely named Samaritan. Be careful of pretty packages that are shiny and neat and tell you that they’ll handle everything; there is usually a catch. Since Greer is in tune with Samaritan, he could care less about the catch. But, should Greer ever waver from Samaritan’s intent, I do not think Greer will be wooed back as Finch was, nor do I believe Samaritan has any desire to protect Greer as the Machine is intent to protect its human agents.
Fusco is getting closer and closer to asking just the right questions. He trusts Reese and the others, but the deaths are too much. I’m glad John joined up with Lionel at the end and the two of them split the current list of endangered people. Unlike Wu on Grimm, who I want to be let in on the secret – and promos for the next episode tell me I’m about to get my wish, I do not want Fusco in on the secret. I don’t think he will be either, but I love that he is asking and then backing off after he is able to vent his frustrations.
Points of Interest:
Bear was on fire. I have two GSDs and Bear, while a Belgian Malinois, is similar in temperament as my two. His expressions fit perfectly with each scene; and his running into the subway car when Shaw was getting upset fits perfectly. My two do that if something is disturbing me, they come running to see what’s going on – and if they need to intervene.
Samaritan has figured out that it has blind spots. Here’s hoping it can’t find them.
Love that Finch uses pi as his code into the vending machine ‘back door.’ Nolan said they would have fun with various points of entry into their new hideout. Looks like the fun has begun.
Only three short weeks until If-Then-Else, I think we can make it!
Thanks for reading, Elle2