Razgovor is to Shaw what Wolf and Cub is to Reese: a chance to see inside the psyche of the wounded hero through the lens of a child. It’s an interesting journey as we see Shaw speak about herself quite objectively: no emotions save anger – which she recognizes she does quite well. She’s always been that way. She does not know why. While the death of her father certainly had an impact upon her, it isn’t the catalyst to making her this somewhat robotic person that she is. No, that came first.
Sarah Shahi does a very good job of keeping Shaw detached and robotic all the while slowly infusing the character with determination to keep the girl safe that somehow goes beyond the call of duty. This girl means something to Shaw, even as she fights against that – dare I say it – emotion. Her hug and awkward gesturing at the end shows that Shaw knows she has developed an affection for Gen – the name she emphatically declares to Finch is what Genrika prefers to be known by, which he graciously complies with – and will not quickly forget this encounter.
Unlike last week’s episode, which was content with being a one-off, Razgovor deftly combines case of the week with one of their overarching storylines: enter HR. This was brilliantly done, in classic PoI style. David Slack, writer of Super, No Good Deed, Bury the Lede, Prisoner’s Dilemma, and Zero Day, knows how to frame exceptional episodes. (My favorite of his is Prisoner’s Dilemma; however, Super, Zero Day, and No Good Deed all rank rather high overall, and now, Razgovor.) His script moves briskly along as we see Reese showing his cards to Carter: he and Finch are up to speed on her HR investigation. David Slack also shows that Carter knows how to play her cards extremely close to the vest as she reveals to Laskey that she knew from the jump that he was a plant. Our Joss Carter is nobody’s fool. We all guessed Laskey was a mole, when PoI turned that on its head and made him a mole for Carter into HR. Well done!
As a personal aside, I really like how this season is developing Carter. She is moving full steam ahead in trying to take down the dirty cops. She is also no longer fretting how she does it. She has bought into – to a point – the idea that the ends justify the means. She’s no vigilante. Yes, she does kill a fellow officer, there is no escaping that. However, he was going to kill her. She learned much from Terney’s betrayal of last season. She knew just what she needed to protect herself: Laskey’s unregistered firearm that he bought at a gun show in New Jersey. She’s got you, Laskey!
HR teamed up with Peter Yogorov to capture Gen because she was seeking to uncover and close down their drug deals. This tasked Team Machine not only with protecting the girl, but also with taking on HR, a long-term goal of Finch and Reese, and Carter and Fusco. The wild card in all this? Shaw. She archly tells Finch that she signed on to save the girl, not take down some corrupt cops. Shaw still wants to operate within her own confines.
However, in the end, she concedes and the team pulls off quite a coup: They have Laskey turned as Carter’s mole, the girl is saved, and Reese and Simmons have a pretty cool – albeit superfluous – bare-fisted fight all while saving their leverage over HR: the damning tapes. See, Alonzo Quinn was nowhere to be seen this week, and to end HR once and for all the team must get the head of HR. He’s still slithering about in the background. So the battle rages on. All the better because having Carter and Reese on the frontlines against HR, and now in sync in the operation, makes for good TV on my screen.
No Fusco always makes me sad, however, the story needed to focus where it did. Thus, Fusco was absent. I was aware of his absence, but not distracted by it. Still, I need my weekly dose of Fusco. Guess I’ll have to stalk him on Twitter! (Which Kevin Chapman kindly tweeted the following: “No Fusco tonight, but he will be back in a BIG WAY.”)
At the end, when we are all breathing a sigh of relief and settling down for some well-earned rest, along with Shaw, we get the final stunning moment: Root!!!!
I’m used to seeing Amy Acker in the opening credits and having an episode without her presence, so I really wasn’t looking for her. Then, with the final 15 seconds of the episode, she appears, looming over Shaw with her taser. Fellow Irrelevants, it’s a long wait until next week’s episode when Root and Shaw are off on an adventure with Reese, Carter, Fusco and Finch hot on their trail. I’d say the Machine’s storyline with Root is taking center stage next week and we’ll all be in for a thrill ride.
Reese strides up to the bad guy and slugs him.
Reese ‘interrogates’ the bad guy using corn syrup (which really is quite hazardous for your health).
Reese smirking as Shaw gets ‘made’ by Gen.
Shaw admitting, once again, she’s only in it for the dog and having Gen act like, well, a ten-year-old girl as she asks: You guys have a dog?
Finch grinning as he tells Shaw he knows ‘enough’ about chemistry, followed by an epic explosion.
Until next week, and as always, thanks for reading. Elle2