Person of Interest is never going to let us become comfortable. Just when we think we can predict what’s next, such as some grieving over the loss of Shaw, some intense, in-your-face carnage, a la Devil’s Share, from Reese and, this go round, Root, we get an episode that, in the wake of If-Then-Else’s tragedy, focuses on Control – who clearly has not as much control as she believes.
The Control-Alt-Delete function on a computer is used generally to interrupt an ongoing function (at least as this non-computer expert surmises – and with a wee bit of Wikipedia assist). I remember it bringing up the Task Manager box on my computer allowing me to shut down a program that might cause damage to my hard drive. The show uses this idea literally by giving us an episode out of the norm, thus interrupting, as it is, our ongoing storyline and setting it in the background. It also uses it to show us that perhaps – like most things in the technological landscape – Control is rapidly becoming obsolete — perhaps Irrelevant? Will Control be Deleted?
Samaritan is in control, while Control is nothing more than a figurehead.
Once again, PoI is bold in its choices. If we wanted time to grieve over Shaw, such as we grieved over Carter last season, we were out of luck. But that too was a choice that honors the differences of the characters. Carter was more heart; Shaw more hammer. “The Devil’s Share” gave us many heart moments; “Control-Alt-Delete” more hammer. Sometimes the hammer was in the background as news footage played out their movements and various characters commented on the activity, however, once Control and Harold and Co. joined up, it was force at the forefront, with finesse playing quietly in the background – as finesse should do.
I enjoyed the choice. I enjoy seeing Control a bit more fleshed out, and I think Camryn Manheim simply owns the role, much as Nolan owns Greer, Colantoni owns Elias, Burke owned Simmons – you get the point. PoI casts well and then uses that cast, and those characters, to their fullest. Take note other shows (far too many to count, but Arrow and SPN have been especially flagrant in their misuse of excellent character actors), this is how you use stellar actors.
Control is never going to be a warm and cuddly person, but we did see a bit of a softer side in regards to her daughter, and it is nice to see that she does have a vulnerable side. Frankly, I don’t want Control to be soft and cuddly. If she was, she wouldn’t be able to make the hard decisions necessary to protect the country. And, while this is television, in the real world (where you and I live even if we don’t acknowledge the facts) someone needs to make hard decisions to protect others from the very real threats that abound. People like that are rarely warm and cuddly. How can they be? If you are responsible for 854 deaths (as Control stated), and you’ve caused them to protect the nation, it should weigh heavy on you. If it doesn’t, then I become concerned about your ability – your control.
PoI does a masterful job of tying many little pieces together often when we don’t see it coming. For those of us paying attention, we smile as we see pieces come into play: the rocket launcher from Wingman, evidence of more games of Nautilus. We also get moments reflective of Season 3 when Control captured Root…ah, memories, and amongst all the mayhem, sorrow, and danger, there are little moments to smile about, especially as we realize that they are in Detroit – a far distance from New York City – and Fusco is right there beside them: Red Wings suck. You do realize he’s not from Detroit. It still needed to be said. (From Alice – Them’s fighting words Fusco! Signed a true blue born and raised Detroiter and Red Wings fan).
Since we had “Relevance” in Season 2, we already know a good bit about how Grice and Brooks do their job, because we saw Shaw with Cole do hers, but it was nice to see them come back into play, as well as Reese’s and Grice’s moment as they ‘bonded’ (?) over Shaw. I see perhaps a possibly ally, of sorts. Now we see how Control does her work, and just how closely intertwined Samaritan is, while at the same time how much of a rogue it is right under her very nose. Were her eyes completely opened as she toured the subbasement of the Stock Market at the end? I doubt it, but the seeds of doubt are firmly planted and no doubt taking hold. Samaritan may be far reaching, but it will never have the human aspect of the Machine – and in the end, despite heavy losses, I do believe the Machine will win, because it has heart. Heart always wins over head.
Root, Reese, and Harold make a formidable team, with Fusco loyally backing their play. Fusco no doubt knows there is more to meet the eye here, but he is also no fool. He told Carter back in early Season 2, “Masquerade” I think, that Finch and Reese are playing at a level he’s not at. He’s savvy enough to know when to ask questions, and when to simply provide cover and keep his mouth, and his ears, shut. It was great seeing Root and Reese working together so well, with her backing down as John started the questioning, clearly trusting that he would give her her time when it was due. Harold, as true leaders are, maintains the utmost control over his team with his quiet stance and calculating plays. I loved it when he told Control that her ‘rescue team’ was exactly what he was waiting for. Beautifully played, Harold. He doesn’t play chess just to play chess; he makes it a part of his very fabric.
Person of Interest continues to spool out its game plan in new, interesting and, at times, breathtakingly exciting ways. “Control-Alt-Delete” was not of the same level as “The Devil’s Share,” but it was still excellent, and we’re not done yet. Nolan and Plageman state that MIA continues what has already begun. We made a “hard left turn” with this episode, and now we’re foot on the accelerator going forward yet again.
As always, thanks for reading, Elle2
Also, apologies that this was so late. I’ve been buried with work, blessedly, and unable to get to this creative side of my life, so for those of you who waited, thank you. I’ll try not to be so tardy in the future.