While Finch has finally learned to rely on the loyalty of former government assassin Samantha Shaw, he has a much harder time believing that Root can be trusted after she pulls off the ultimate hack - kidnapping Shaw and leading a wild mission to save a Person of Interest using Finch's own machine.
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I am so excited to see Root and Shaw teaming together. Their partnership was a good balance to Finch and Shaw. Still, today's episode of Person of Interest raises a lot of questions:
Does the Machine Want Root on the Case?
We know Root loves to show off her intelligence, and what better way than to submit to a Higher Power, a greater intelligence that allows her to do the will of the Higher Power and work for good? After all, the Machine is designed to protect, and by following orders Root protects. But Finch is not happy Root is working the case at all.
Will Root Join the Team?
Root is delighted for her hacking spirit to be used for the greater good and for her path to intersect with Finch's team. But Finch, like Frankenstein, wants to dictate the limits of his monster once it's free.
Who are the Good Guys and the Bad Guys?
A number of groups are running rampant, and they are all spying on one another. But they can't all be bad, can they? Oddly enough, outside of Person of Interest in today's cable news stories, political experts are debating whether in this day and age it should be normal for world leaders to spy on one another (even tapping presidential phones) if they have the technology.
So the good-guys/bad-guys paradigm of Person of Interest gets a little three-dimensional in a whirlwind of an episode...
Searching Empty Apartments
The episode begins where we left off
: Root tasers Shaw and is excited for all the fun they will have together.
Of course, this makes Shaw late for work, and Finch is concerned. Reese hunts through Shaw's apartment looking for clues of her absence. He finds taser confetti - Root's modus operandi. So they assume Root has Shaw, and they are not sure why.
Finch is at the apartment of this week's Person of Interest, Timothy Sloan, a state investigator with the coronor's office. Sloan is looking through books and the refrigerator to find clues of next of kin for the victim of his own case.
Root Opens up to Shaw
Shaw wakes up at the wheel of a car, sluggish from the taser and tied to the steering wheel. She turns and sees Root. Shaw does not look happy. Root says that the Machine (Root calls her "she") needs our help. Root's ability to talk with the Machine is news to Shaw: she asks Root why the Machine is talking to her. The Machine gives information about two categories, says Shaw (i.e. people who have "relevant numbers" which Shaw dealt with for the government, and "irrelevant numbers" which Finch's team helps now). "Now there's a third category," says Root.
Shaw says she has "trust issues," and Root is happy to take the first step by cutting Shaw's wrist ties with a knife and offering her a gun. Shaw takes the knife and holds it against Root's neck, asking for one reason she should not kill her. Root retells Shaw's backstory to her: on October 2, 1988, Root was driving with her dad to watch the Oilers play the Eagles when she was in her accident. Root goes on to say that Shaw spent years working for the Machine and she was never wrong, and if Shaw doesn't help, innocent people will die. Shaw says she will forget how she feels about Root, but Root had better hope she does not remember.
So more questions come to mind: what is Shaw maddest about? Is it Root kidnapping her now and bossing her around? How she kidnapped Shaw in the past? Or just her craziness?
And why does Root even want this relationship with the Machine? Is it just because the Machine is ultimate intelligence, and she thinks it's the perfect relationship with her intelligence? Does the machine know who the good guys and the bad guys are? Does it know how to decide? Does it make choices, and based on what?
Timothy Sloan and Jason Greenfield
Reese wonders why his person of interest, Timothy Sloan, is heading to a dead man's apartment in the middle of the night. Sloan tells Reese that Jason Greenfield was his foster brother, and he's trying to solve his murder. The government said Greenfield overdosed, but Sloan said that he would never do that. Greenfield had been a hacker but not a killer. Sloan finds a flash drive in the microwave and Finch plugs it in a laptop. It's been wiped except for one email: "You don't understand, if I try to leave, they'll kill me." Sloan also shows Reese an address that was in Jason's jacket, for a storage unit.
Carter, Laskey, HR, and the Russian Mob
Carter's rookie partner Laskey is talking to a Russian store-owner, who hands Laskey an egg carton filled with cash. It's HR protection money. Carter is trying to teach Laskey that HR is not his friend. "Let me tell you something, Laskey. One day you're going to find out exactly what HR expects from you with that loyalty."
Later HR orders Laskey to send the Russian man six feet under. The morning after, Carter questions Laskey about it. Turns out Laskey is really Russian, and HR is using the Russian mob as enforcers. Also, Carter's slowly winning Laskey's trust.
Root and Shaw
Fusco lets Reese know that he saw Root and Shaw head by in a medical supply van: they are working as a team. Reese is really mad: he tells Finch it looks more like abduction than a partnership. In the van, Shaw questions Root about where they are going; Root basically says that she is taking turn-by-turn directions from the Machine as a GPS. The Machine directs them underground. Shaw is annoyed but follows Root's directions and blow torches them through a grate. Root giddily admits doesn't know why she's doing any of this.
They seem like they have a good balance of love and hate (perhaps curiosity and despise are better terms) and could be a team similar to Finch and Reese, if that's possible.
Root and Shaw break into a CIA apartment. Root has Shaw put a hood over Root's head and tie Root's hands; Root will be picked up by the CIA. With the Machine's dictation, Root tells Shaw all the codes she needs to get past CIA.
Finch and Sloan
Finch and Sloan open an empty storage unit, but by shining a black-light on it they reveal a code. They take a picture and get out in time before the unit blows up. Last time Finch saw this code, it was Peter Collier, trying to send a message about government privacy. Turns out Sloan's cousin Greenfield got involved with Collier and his anti-government spying group who kill if necessary. Greenfield tried to get out by telling the government, but now the CIA plans to execute him.
Root and Reese's Roads Lead to Jason Greenfield
Root and Jason Greenfield are locked in side-by-side CIA compartments; Root explains she's there for him. They are moved to a CIA van, hooded and tied up, and Shaw acts as a guard. Then Collier's anti-government group crashes the van because they also want to execute Greenfield. Reese and Sloan are there for Greenfield, Root and Shaw are there for Greenfield, Root helps Greenfield escape to a Central American Paradise and Reese gets Sloan to the hospital after he's shot by Collier.
All's Well that Ends Well, Except...
Except that Finch locks Root in his library with no escape and no access to his Machine. Root says he's going against her (the Machine's) wishes. Finch says, "Your choice of a pronoun is illuminating." Finch counters: "How can you be so sure that the machine does not wish you to be precisely where you are?"
Really? Does Finch know best, or is he jealous? We'll have to wait to find out!
Person of Interest
airs Tuesdays at 10pm on CBS.Want to add Person of Interest to your very own watch-list? Download BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone. (Image courtesy of CBS)