What do “The Fix,” “Matsya Nyaya,” “Blue Code,” “Proteus,” and “4C” have in common?  Lots.  Threads from each of those episodes are woven anew in this episode, plus we get Reese as his ever-resourceful self, Finch shows off some mad piloting skills, Shaw and Hersh show a little ‘love’ for each other, and the words “Reese on a plane” just seem to naturally flow.  Person of Interest gives us a calmer, less dense episode that still manages to alter our paradigm regarding the Machine and is complete with laughs, hurrahs, and a few sniffles – all packed into about 42 minutes of goodness. 

With the opening sequence, we know things are getting back to normal.  There are some subtle changes, such as Fusco being third in line and Root being shown as the Analog Interface.  I’m sure there are other changes that sharper eyes than mine will note.  I love the attention to detail from the creative team!

The premise of this episode is pretty straightforward:  get Reese back to work.  [Don’t complain; “The Devil’s Share” was straightforward:  kill Simmons.]  To get Reese back, the Machine takes things into its own, anthropomorphically speaking, “hands,” manipulating airline seats and placing Reese on a plane headed to Istanbul via Rome.  Wait a minute.  The Machine manipulated things?  I thought the Machine just gave out numbers, relevant to Control; irrelevant to Finch and Co.  Now the Machine is deciding that Reese, the irrelevant list asset whose resignation apparently the Machine is ignoring – can a Machine do that? – is best able to protect a relevant number and stop a relevant event.  That’s not so straightforward.  In fact, that’s pretty darn cool.

4C003I wrote earlier that it’s been Reese, in the past, who has manipulated the Machine.  In “Firewall” and “The Contingency,” he gave it an ultimatum:  Help me find Finch or no one is going to be answering you.  He did it again in “God Mode,” demanding the location that Root and Finch were traveling to.  Each time he’s challenged the Machine it has acquiesced.  I guess this is a little payback, in other words, the Machine is challenging Reese – come back to work.  That Machine is pretty smart because, in the end, Reese does just that.

Along the way we get some great action sequences, some laugh-out-loud moments, Reese finally tells Finch off a bit, and Finch ponies up some explanations.  In the past, it has been Reese offering up an emotional connection to Finch which Finch accepts obliquely and then makes it clear such things are not to be spoken of:  “Judgment,” the diner scene; “Dead Reckoning,” the end back at the library; just to name two.  Rarely, does Finch ever explain anything to Reese, “allow a peek under the hood,” so to speak.  This time, Finch realizes that a little explanation is needed, and he provides one that is so very real, so very understandable, and one that clearly gives Reese the answer he is seeking to the age-old question:  “Why?”  The human element is needed.  And there is our thread to “Matsya Nyaya” when Stanton opined that one day they would be replaced because machines, drones, satellites and the like would replace them.  Reese, in that same conversation, opined that they would still be necessary.

As for what drove the Machine to put Reese on the plane in the first place, Owen and his black market bazaar for purchasing drugs – all to cut down on violence, well, that’s where we link up with threads from “Blue Code.”  There, we learned that the CIA was using the war on drugs, which is lost, to fund the war on terror.  Sure, why not.  Here, we learn that ISA is using the black market drug bazaar to fund its secretive operations.  Budgeting issues, you know, darn that sequester.  So, for a healthy little 30% cut, Hersh and Co. can fund their operations.  It’s like HR; only different.

Imagine the calculations the Machine had to do to figure that it couldn’t send the number to Hersh and Co. because they already had an operative on board to kill Owen, thus it predicted failure to save him; although the plane would possibly be saved if Hersh’s team stopped the Lanceros…but would they have stopped the Mossad agents…aieee!  The Machine knew who it needed:  John Reese. 

And what’s a journey of self-discovery if there isn’t someone to identify with who is having a similar crisis of faith?  Incomplete.  Enter Holly, the brave, smart, funny, and a bit disillusioned cabin attendant.  She reminds me of Zoe – thus “The Fix” thread.  She is flirty.  She is aware of her role – and good at it, and is willing to go along with Reese and help him out without worrying too much about the particulars – such as simply informing the pilots of an issue herself rather than asking Reese if she should.  She’s quick with the application of some first aid – albeit in the wrong spot.  Reese got stuck with a fork in the back of his shoulder, not the front, but, hey, po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe.  She tells Reese pointblank that people are awful, he kindly pours her another drink, and in the end they save the day and make a date for a drink in Rome – one that apparently they shared a lot quicker than Zoe and Reese did.  Don’t worry, I’m sure Zoe is still John’s first choice, but Holly was a delight.  In her disillusionment, he found a place to unload some of his own, and he made a new friend. 


Notes of Interest:

Will you ever look at silverware, a corkscrew and/or first aid scissors the same way again?

Harold and his ‘process’ lands a commercial jumbo jet on a Rome runway – “Proteus” thread!

“Salt and pepper is catnip for soccer moms.”

“Didn’t like my boss’s boss.”

“Sometimes it’s just faster.”

“Hit this button.  It will summon me.”  Poor Owen!  (Who joins the ranks of Leon for most annoying but most hilarious number.  Those two teamed up to exasperate Finch and Reese would be fun.)

From “concerned frequent flier” to “I help people” Reese has re-found his purpose

Hersh to Shaw:  “Your new employers, are they treating you okay?”  Ah, I think he cares.

Shaw shows her fairly simple expectations:  “They haven’t tried to kill me yet.”  Well, not directly, Shaw.

Reese is back, Finch is happy, and the beautiful partnership continues forward – with a new suit.  I wonder; will it be “new” new or just new?    We’ll see on February 4th.

As always, thanks for reading, Elle2


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