Person of Interest "Control-Alt-Delete" Review: How the Other Half Lives

Person of Interest S04E12: "Control-Alt-Delete"

I'm not sure I agree with Person of Interest labeling "The Cold War," "If-Then-Else," and "Control-Alt-Delete" as a trilogy. Yes, the three episodes were strung together with a somewhat-continuous story, but unlike previous Person of Interest trilogies, this three-parter felt a bit less cohesive. Case in point: Did you honestly expect "Control-Alt-Delete" to focus on Control, given the immense loss that Team Machine suffered just last week? I certainly didn't.

Of course, the semantics of what constitutes a trilogy don't take away from the power of the individual components. After a "The Cold War" set us up and then left us hanging at the end of 2014, Person of Interest concocted one of its most ambitious and creative episodes to date when the Machine played "What if?" in "If-Then-Else." And the final chapter, "Control-Alt-Delete," was nearly as creative in the way it showed us what went on behind the curtains of the A.I.-assisted government and planted the seeds of tumult for a former enemy to become an uneasy ally.

The was no number of the week in "Control-Alt-Delete"—heck, there was barely any Reese and Finch. But the look inside Control's operation and tentative alliance with Samaritan was so cool, I barely missed Mr. Dweebus and Mr. Coolly Delivered Sadistic Threat. I'm always fascinated by the government side of things, and the episode showed us how Operation Vaporize Threats to America was progressing with Samaritan providing the intelligence. As it turned out, things weren't as rosy as they should have been.

For years, Finch has been warning us about the power of an all-knowing machine that's left to operate without restriction, and now we're seeing his greatest fear come to fruition with Samaritan. If Phase 1 of Samaritan's plan was to become the government's all-seeing eye under the guise of national security, then Phase 2 is to bring the world to its knees. The stock market crash that set the country on edge was just Samaritan's way of introducing itself before it sent its kid avatar into the White House to try to meet the president, presumably to explain to Obama that the Sony hack was nothing compared to what Samaritan can do with a few keystrokes.

Meanwhile, Control was after a quartet of tech-savvy "terrorists" (according to Samaritan), and it seemed like any other job: Let the computer identify the bad guy, let the computer find the bad guy, and then make a phone call to the troops on the ground to kill said bad guy. But during the mission, Samaritan wouldn't disclose the information contained on a coveted laptop, and guy in possession of it, Yasim Sayid (did I spell that correctly?) escaped by jumping through a window. After a few detours, Control gun-terrogated him in Canada, demanding that he reveal what was on the laptop's hard drive, and if he was a terrorist, he certainly didn't know it. Sayid said he won a Nautilus competition (remember the hacker game Samaritan came up with in "Nautilus"?) and was writing code for a secret corporation that he believed would be the next Google. Believing the information she received couldn't possibly be wrong, Control shot the dude dead.

But what was really going on was that Samaritan had reached out to some talented coders through the Nautilus competition, asked them to produce some kick-ass code for it, and then exterminated them once they were no longer useful to the operation. Sayid said he thought he was working for a company that made climate change models, which could mean that Samaritan is not only trying to mess with our 401k accounts, but that it's also going to turn the planet into a sauna or an ice chest. Samaritan even racially profiled the hackers (they were all Middle Eastern, DANG!) to make it more believable that they were actually terrorists, and lied to Control and "research" about the threat posed to national security so that Control would unknowingly do Samaritan's dirty work. This machine is MEAN.

Before Sayid was shot, he suggested that Control should at least entertain the notion that she'd been lied to, an idea that she swished around in her brain for at least a nanosecond before pulling the trigger. And at the end of the episode, she investigated the scene of the crime that Reese described when he told her the truth: Samaritan caused the stock market crash and Team Machine battled Samaritan's operatives below ground. With the lives of 850 854 people on her hands, perhaps it's forgivable that Control at least believing that all those folks died for the right reason (to protect America *bald eagle scream* *guitar lick*). Yet there she was, in the same spot where Shaw was killed and/or abducted, investigating the scene. The details of Reese's story—the elevator, the override button, etc.—checked out. But the rest of the room looked awfully clean. That is, until she rubbed her finger along the wall and picked up some not-so-dry paint, as if a clean-up crew had recently come through to cover up the evidence.

All of a sudden, Control perked up. And this is how Control will become a valuable ally for Team Machine (I think). Person of Interest has set another miracle in motion. This show is so skilled at changing its characters' allegiances in a plausible way. Root, Shaw, and even Fusco were all on the other team at one point, but now it's impossible to imagine them working for anyone else.

"Control-Alt-Delete" wasn't the finish to the trilogy that I was expecting, especially with Shaw's mysterious fate up in the air. But sorry, Shooters, Person of Interest knows that the show must go on, and it's not going to forego the big picture.


NOTES OF INTEREST

– There were some great fights, particularly Reese vs. Grice. I loved the understanding that they were cool with each other because of their shared affection for Shaw.

– Samaritan's Young Republican avatar just isn't doing it for me. Sorry!

– I loved that whole sequence with the Google Glass view of Grice's anti-terrorism unit doing its thing.

– How creepy was Samaritan texting "STOP IT. NOW." to Control?

– Is Greer even doing anything at this point other than Samaritan's bidding?

– Who do you think is the mole on Grice's team? It has to be Brooks, right?

– Fusco: "Another thing, the Red Wings suck." Finch: "You realize he's not from Detroit?" Fusco: "It still had to be said." AMEN, FUSCO! Go Sharks!

– In other news, Shaw's fate is still a mystery, which is a perfect way to leave the door open for Sarah Shahi to return to Person of Interest once a pair of tiny creatures are done gestating inside of her.


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Jul 14, 2015
The "terrorists" were Arab, specifically Saudi. Aaaaaand I'm an Arab, also Saudi, and related to someone who carries one of the last names of the suspected dudes in the episode "Al Juhani" :/
So, the whole episode I was like "Heeell naaa man! please make him look innocent, pleeease don't make him a terrorist!"

And I was happy that my "Heeell naaa man! please make him look innocent, pleeease don't make him a terrorist!" were answered :)

Terrorists are the worst of creation.. and not all of us muzzies are like them.
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Nov 25, 2015
akhi, do you know the name of the song, while the stupid americans hunted and shooted these "terrorists" in the house?
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Dec 01, 2015
Hello sister! :D
Sorry I wish I knew the name of the song but I don't.. and the term "stupid americans" is so not cool. Like it wouldn't be cool to say "stupid arabs" There are cool peeps and bad peeps everywhere.. generalisation sucks.
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Feb 02, 2015
Finally, a new episode is only a day away, it felt like forever.
Lokking ahead, it seems like we might be gettinf a couple of episodes that are more "case of the week" centered, similar to the way we did last year at this time.
Oh well, any new episode is better than nothing!
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Jan 21, 2015
What if instead of Samaritan offing him, Greer suddenly dropped dead on his own?
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Jan 19, 2015
I was pretty disappointed with this episode - it wasn't a patch on the one they did after carter died - OMG! I get goosebumps just thinking about that one!
Where are Elias and Dominic? What happened to that crazy billionaire who tried planting a bug on Reese? Where is that guy who tried to use a 911 operator to obliterate a crime? Why has this show become so uni-dimensional? I miss the multiple storylines all intertwined :'(
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Jan 18, 2015
Using the kid as an avatar for Samaritan the 1st time was good as it was symbolic ,shocking ,and let's face it, Root was a very skilled professional killer but even her won't hurt a little kid no matter how obnoxious he is ,so it had the desired effect ,but in the 2nd time it's laughable and absurd ,and it would have a greater intensity if Samaritan's representative was Grier or even Martine .
And by the way, Where the hell are this kid's parents? or is he a robot (lol) ?
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Jan 18, 2015
I think some how Control's daughter will become a major reason for control switching sides....
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Jan 17, 2015
Ok major plot hole here:

SPOILERS:

So the Muslim guy and his buds were just the winners of the game and thought they were working on some bull shit global warming thing. What about the backpacks, the ball bearings and the assorted other evidence of bomb making that was found?
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Nov 25, 2015
he wears a gold ring, so he was not a muslim at all ;) not every arab is muslim. Amina koyim
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Jan 18, 2015
Samaritan planted those.
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Jan 17, 2015
Did Control really need to kill The Programmer? Talking to him just confirmed here suspicions about Samaritan. So did she fake the killing to blind Samaritan and create an asset?

My fun part...

Fosco, "you almost done checking email?"

Finch"... I'm uploading a worm to that phone. The worm will scouter the phone for any information related to Samine and then 18 seconds later move on to the next Samaritan phone and it won't give up until we find what we are looking for."

Fosco, "Sorry are you talking to me?"
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Jan 21, 2015
I don't think Control believed "the information she received couldn't possibly be wrong" but she killed Said anyway because she knows Samaritan is watching and she didn't have any choice. She's cold enough to murder him knowing that he's innocent.....I'm sure she knows
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Jan 17, 2015
My favourite was when Grice and reece both stopped fighting when they found mutual friendship with Shaw..Not sure where Grice went after that because Reece showed up with Root after that...Show off until FEB?? shheesh
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Jan 17, 2015
This is the only show on tv which can pull off an episode like this! I mean the main cast don't even make an appearance until half way through the episode but yet it still didn't miss a beat with so many adversaries and plot points being explored, amazing ! I was really hoping Control would have let that last "terrorist" live , but I guess that would have been too sudden a change in her character, glad she at least explored what Finch told her about the gun fight at the Stock exchange .
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Jan 16, 2015
I should be suprised at Harold's somewhat rude words to Control. However it's understanble that his temper afffects his words rather than his actions.

I saw some negative feedback on the front page for the show on TV.com. Why are people reacting over Shaw/Root relationship ? It's been hinted like forever.
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Jan 16, 2015
I nominate Cote de Pablo as Shaw's replacement - do I hear a second?
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Jan 16, 2015
That's a perfect nominee.
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Jan 16, 2015
My favourite part is when Reese and Root came on to the scene on a jeep launching rockets and stuff. Classic Reese.
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Jan 16, 2015
How cool is it that the very first thing identifying team Machine on screen after they lost track of Shaw is the rocket launcher they'd been hoarding since the beginning of the season ?
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Jan 15, 2015
Nice episode. I really hope Samwise is alive cause I need to see Root plant one on her. I need this Mitch!

Brother Mouzone!

After this trilogy, Reece and Co. really need to save an ER physician. They need medical favors in the future, big time.
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Jan 16, 2015
They helped quite a few doctors in the past. That heart surgeon from Season 2 and doctor (Linda Cardellini) from earlier times comes to mind. But i think Finch has a few doctors in mind to visit in case of an emergency. Remember he takes John to some Iraqi doctor after "Number Crunch".
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Jan 18, 2015
And he sends Shaw to the same doctor from "Number Crunch" in Razgovor.
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Jan 15, 2015
Well, that was not what I was expecting - yet I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm guessing that Control will have a much larger role in the series now that Shaw is out of the picture. And to me that's a good thing - I loved Camryn Manheim in The Practice and would love to see her with a larger role in POI. Not the best ep - but very good and a cool look at Control's side of things. 8/10.
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Jan 15, 2015
I'm not a fan of Samaritans avatar - that kid is just annoying
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Jan 16, 2015
He really needs to have a British accent to maximize the Creepiness Factor. We've all seen horror movies.
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Jan 16, 2015
And a pipe
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Jan 17, 2015
Hey! Bah, it's a fair cop, as they say.
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Jan 15, 2015
will Samaritan stop all the swirlies he gets at school?
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Jan 16, 2015
No...it builds character
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Jan 15, 2015
I'm stuck a bit with this episode.

Good that it was not about all about finding Shaw (because we know the real-life situation). And great to see a different perspective (that worked amazingly well with Shaw's introduction).

Not so good was spending a lot of time telling us what we already knew, that Samaritan is not the governments friend. And why were Finch and Root going after Control? They know (as do we) that Samariton conned the goverment with the Vigilance events.

The idea was great with the focus completely away from the Shaw event. But Control distrusting the maching took a long time. To make it a trilogy ending, it could have got to the point of a wiser Control returning to Harold.

I fear that kid is going to become POI's Jar-Jar Binks.

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Jan 17, 2015
not sure he was surprised as much as making the point to control that she is out of the loop on what is really going on with samaritan/research these days - wanted her to start to question which she did by going to the stock exchange which looked fine until she found the new paint....
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Jan 18, 2015
There was a moment Harold was very surprised, but I don't remember the point in the dialogue.

My point was that Team Machine should not have needed to interigate her. They should have know she would not know anything about Samariton or Shaw (because Harold was with Greer when he exposed vigalance as a way to con the government).
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Jan 18, 2015
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Jan 16, 2015
You are mixing up Decima with Samaritan. Decima are the ones who founded Vigilance (John Greer in particular) before Samaritan was turned on. The founding of Vigilance was a ploy to justify the need for Samaritan.

Speaking of Decima, I wonder what their end-game is. We've heard very little about the organisation since Samaritan was activated. What else have they been up to in the meantime or are they merely there to support Samaritan?
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Jan 17, 2015
Greer eliminated the entire Decima group at the end of last season once their purpose was served.
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Jan 16, 2015
@LeonFaustini, I'm confused. Mix up? Then you said:
The founding of Vigilance was a ploy to justify the need for Samaritan.
which is the same idea as the point I was making.

To clarify, Harold and Reese knew Decima used Vigilance to get Samaritan in the US government. It didn't make sense for Reese to assume Control would know where Shaw was. He and Harold are aware the government is being conned.

We have seen Decima almost every episode........... Greer and that Samritan control room. They are one and the same now.

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Jan 16, 2015
did harold not say they took control because they knew there would be a samaritan mole in the team sent to rescue her - that is why he was there to upload the worm from their comms van.....not sure they expected information re shaw from her but made it look like that is why she was taken so samaritan did not realise about the worm.....
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Jan 16, 2015
Good point. That's makes a lot of sense.

There wasl the questioning of her about Shaw (which may have been for Samaritan's benefit, although the story didn't make this clear to us).

The bit then that makes less sense to me now is Harold being surprised Control was in the dark. He knew the government was after the trials. Greer made that pretty clear to Harold.
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Jan 15, 2015
Jar-Jar Binks, classic.
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Jan 15, 2015
Good to see Camryn Manheim back! The Samaritan kid was creepy and funny at the same time and Fusco always cracks me up.
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Jan 15, 2015
If the paint was still wet wouldn't she (Control) smell it as soon as she entered the room?

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Jan 15, 2015
wouldn't the Head of Security have paint all over the back of his head from sleeping against the wall all morning?
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Jan 15, 2015
there are paints odour free
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Jan 15, 2015
Maybe she's got a cold.
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Jan 15, 2015
Better than last week. I felt the first part of the episode was best. Than all the regulars came back in....!
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Jan 15, 2015
I feel like I'm a bit repetitive when I say this, but: This was yet another great episode in a very strong season. I loved the focus on Control, emphasizing her loss of control (lol) over Samaritan and Greer, while simultaneously having her hold on to her convictions (at least for now), and not making her look like a fool who's in denial. I'm really excited to see where they take her story, now that she's starting to see the truth about Samaritan. I also liked seeing more of her agents, particularly Ashur Grice.

But for me, the cherry on top was the fact that they fixed my main issue with last week's episode: Shaw's death. Don't get me wrong, while I like the character, I wouldn't have minded seeing her die, if it felt right. But having another character die in a mid-season trilogy? It just felt a bit too repetitive after Carter's death, and therefore took away from the impact, IMO. So I'm glad they've left the door open for her to return at a later date.
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Jan 15, 2015
At first I wasn't thrilled that our heroes weren't showing up in the show, though they were being talked about (who couldn't guess who the ski-masked thugs creating problems were Root and John), but then I really got into the Samaritan vs. Control side of things. Very interesting and a nice change of pace from the usual. Anyway, who wants to watch the regulars moaning about Shaw when we can have a better plot like this one. I have to agree with the reviewer that the little kid as the spokesperson for Samaritan isn't doing it for me. It was OK and a little creepy when he met with Root, but going to the White House?? Give me a break.
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Jan 14, 2015
I loved when the smug look on Controls face turned to befuddlement when Harold told her she was just bait for him to get on the private network of Samaritan. This felt more like the POI I love! The promos for next week show what might be Reese carrying a body that might be Shaw...I wonder if they get her back what price they have to pay.
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Jan 15, 2015
Not next week... February 3rd.
Because CBS apparently loves to stop airing its shows for two weeks for no adequate reason.
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Jan 15, 2015
POI will not air next week just like Agent Carter will not and many Tuesday shows will not because The State of the Union speech will air on all networks that night.
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Jan 15, 2015
Oh, okay. State of the Union is an adequate reason. But airing a random rerun from season three just to stretch the show out for a few more weeks like they regularly do is moronic.

I seldom watch POI on TV because I never know whether there's a new one or a rerun. I watch it online after I've seen there's a review here or people discuss it on Twitter. And I'm willing to bet money that should the show air uninerrupted for 11-12 weeks in the fall and 11-12 weeks in the winter instead of taking random breaks every two or three episodes, ratings would come back up. POI lost a third of its viewers since season one.
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Jan 15, 2015
Yea, they try and stretch the shows out as long as the can, and it's really annoying. I can see doing it over the holidays, but these constant gaps during January and February (when a lot of us stay inside more) is pure bullshit!
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Jan 15, 2015
All networks do that. Doesn't make this any more justifiable of course. An episode, 2 weeks break and then couple of episodes and another 3 weeks!? break. Sigh..
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Jan 15, 2015
Most shows I watch are either on cable or "limited run" things like Hannibal or Gracepoint, and those almost never skip a week. Local shows here in Quebec, even 24-episode ones, also never skip a week unless there's special programming like election coverage or special newscasts.
Person of Interest is pretty much the only American full-season network show I watch, so CBS' scheduling shenanigans probably piss me off more than those who are used to this kind of bullshit.
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Jan 17, 2015
Believe me, you never get used to it, you just realize there's notning you can do about it...except vent the frusrtation on a message board, which I always do.
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Jan 14, 2015
I know I'm probably gonna be unpopular, but I've love this episode way more than the previous, even though 4x11 had some great moments as well.

But yesterday's episode, 4x12, was a perfect jigsaw puzzle, where all the pieces fit together perfectly and in harmony. Each character was IN character and Finch, oh Finch was SO powerful and sometimes we (or the writers?) forget that he's a badass genius and nobody should underestimate him.

The atmosphere was intense but not over-emotional and Root and Reese together were hell on earth and I've ADORED that.

I also love this new Samaritan pawn inside Control HQ and what about Dominique first "soldier" being a mole there with Control? So looking forward to know more.

And how are they gonna deal with this hunt? We know Shaw is not coming back for a while (if she's coming back at all), so I'm really curious to know how they're gonna handle that!

Really excited *_*
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Jan 14, 2015
Loved the ep and the looks on Root & Reese at the end made me feel their loss more than any dialogue!
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Jan 15, 2015
Agreed. The look on Root's face during the driving scene at the end was heart-breaking.
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Jan 14, 2015
Well, i kinda thought i was watching Homeland or NCIS (not that i've seen any ep. of it, just assume it'd be like that) in the first 20 minutes, until "ski-masked assailants" showed up. I feel like saying here, in episodes like this i sorta miss the old times. Not that it's not a total kick-ass now, just a brief thought going through my mind while watching.

They surely left the door of Shaw's fate all the way open. Control surely is to wind up dead with that astoundingly unquestioning manner of hers-You foolish woman- And enough with that kid. I know it's supposed to be annoying but i don't know if he was necessary.-It was cute the first time (it wasn't), and even then..- Good twist that those guys were recruited through Nautilus. Greer has only the worst intentions with Samaritan, that's been proved once again.

-Reese immediately backs off of Grice, after his "Sameen!?"
-Bear seemed so sad, almost made my eyes wet.
-Fusco and Finch cracked me up again:

Another thing, the Red Wings suck.
Finch: You realize he's not from Detroit.

Finch tells how the worm is gonna work,
Fusco: Sorry, were you talking to me?

And it was about time we get a great ending track.
The Violent Bear It Away by Moby. With Reese sleeping in the passenger seat and Root's driving, which was sweet.
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Jan 14, 2015
Platonically, I love that kid. I don't like children, and...no, but I like how he just goes with it, and it's actually a little believable. None of the usual "I don't have to do this or that ever because my parents abolished consequences" I have to sit through on most other shows. Actually, I think this is the one show where the few kids have been pretty cool. A good litmus test, this show.

I didn't expect them to focus on Control this week, but as soon as I heard her voice, I did say, "I should've seen this coming." I may've added an expletive or two. Shows do this all the time right after they drop something huge in the previous episode.

It really just served to make me disappointed in Control. Even if she's figuring it out now, and even if she sacrificed Sayid to give her a little more breathing room to spy on Samaritan, Control is essentially the master spy (aside from the other cell possibly hidden away from them). She should've at least seen something coming. She spends years wetting her bed at night thinking about The Machine, but has 100% faith in the second one. And she's the master spy. Ridiculous. And seriously, she could get away with smashing a chair over Travers.

And Shaw might be alive. I really didn't need much more from the episode. Not even the fact that Sayid wasn't a number and absolutely no one cared about him in the slightest. I'm just gonna...let it...
...
...
...go.
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Jan 14, 2015
Samaritan's plan to kill off the hackers it used is a rip-off of Live Free and Die Hard.
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Jan 15, 2015
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Jan 15, 2015
Who ripped it off from the Egyptian Pharaohs who had their pyramid designers buried alive in their finished creations. Nothing new under the sun!
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Jan 14, 2015
Person of Interest - one of my favorite shows - is going downhill since the advent of Samaritan. Plots are shallow and the action is all shoot em up, blow em up. With this development in the plot, I am close to cancelling as a regular viewer. Too bad - it was a great show.
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Jan 15, 2015
You do have a good point there. Since the show has started focusing on the machine//Samaritan side of things, I feel as though it has lost a lot of the emotion that Seasons 1 to 3(up to Alethia) had
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Jan 14, 2015
but where did samaritan even find the kid? aren't his parents looking for him? does the kid have any idea what is going on or is he just listening to voices?

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Jan 14, 2015
The kid is supposedly like Root in that he is already a hacker at such a young age. So likely he ism intelligent nough to know what Samaritan is. But like Greer, doesn't fully understand theramifications of it all.
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Jan 14, 2015
I have to say, whomever's idea it was to have the kid as Samaritan's avatar was freaking genius. Because it is completely a fantastic metaphor for Samaritan. Samaritan is kind of acting like a spoiled child. The whole of shutting down of research was a child's move. I am taking my ball and I am going home. This is mine, you are here for me. Etc. It is like giving a child the keys to a kingdom and then having to deal with their whims. It is so good. For how lethal Samaritan is the contrast with that kid is just fantastic.

Now I think pulling attention towards Control was a good move. It does kind of fit in with the trilogy. She jumped into the water head first. She thought she was getting the Machine again but she was wrong and she is regretting her decision to back this and to back Greer. She knows that this is wrong, that this is no longer just about protecting the homeland. This is about power and she feels it. Now Finch enlightened her a bit and I think she was right about there in figuring it out but needed that final push. But she has to play it smart, it would be like playing Chess with someone that has a window into your mind. Because as she learned, you simply can't get away from Samaritan. I think the inclusion of her daughter is what is going to push her over. No one, no parent is going to want their daughter to grow up in the world that Samaritan is attempting to create. The contrast between the innocence of her daughter and the boy avatar for Samaritan was also pretty good.

And now she knows that there is a shadow agency within Samaritan doing things that are not relevant. That is going to compete with her agency and what they are going to do. So what is next. Now I have always said that Team Machine needs an Army. This might be the army that they get because Control is slowly going to come over to Team Machine. There is going to be another fork in the road that Samaritan is going to throw at her and she is inevitably going to have to go with Team Machine.

Reese and Company didn't really have a lot to do. Though they did get to Detroit rather fast. But the travel of the characters in this show has always been kind of hinky. But now that I know that Sarah Shahi is pregnant and she isn't going come back soon, even though I still believe she is alive. I wonder how long they are going to be allow to stay on that plot.

Another great episode.
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Jan 14, 2015
There has been much debate about Samaritan's choice of avatar, but I have to agree, it works perfectly as a metaphor.

What did Tim write a few weeks back, all Id and no super-ego?

Harold went through iteration after iteration, lesson after lesson, test after test, until he deemed The Machine to be as safe as something with that amount of power could possibly be. And even then, he had safeguards in place.

But most importantly, Harold tried to instil in The Machine a sense of morality.

Samaritan is a child. A child that hasn't been taught any better. A spoiled, petulant, self-aggrandizing and conceited child. Interesting how something which deems itself a God has so many nasty human traits.

Greer is the one who is truly to blame for this unrepentant madness. Greer is either a fool, an anarchist, or both.

Sidenote: I really hope Control joins Team Machine, but she almost seems willfully ignorant at this point. It's going to take something big she can't rationalize away to sway her allegiance, but I do think that's in the cards, as well.
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Jan 14, 2015
Good insights.

But Greer is not an anarchist. He is probably more close to a fascist than anything. At the heart of it all he wants order within the chaos that is our world. He is the antithesis of an anarchist. Maybe fascist is a poor adjective for him. Perhaps theocrat would be more appropriate. And just replace being ruled by those "divinely" set to rule with Samaritan guiding everything. But he is after order.
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Jan 14, 2015
I only meant he's an anarchist as "a person who advocates the abolition of government and a social system based on voluntary cooperation."

But you're right, poor choice of words. Theocrat is definitely more appropriate.
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Jan 14, 2015
This was an interesting episode. I like how we got to see the antagonist's perspective and how you can't really call them "the villains" of the series because their motives aren't intentionally malicious. (Samaritan and its God Complex excluded.) Control's motivation is to make sure her daughter doesn't have the crappy childhood she had. That's admirable, but that desire has caused her to place her trust in a maniacal God program. I think the ending shows that her loyalty to Samaritan might be ever so slightly wavering, but it'll take a strong malicious action to get her firmly on Team Machine. Samariton's actions, while clearly evil and destructive, are not physically violent. It needs humans to carry out the executions, but I'm betting it's only a matter of time before it goes full Eagle Eye and can carry out its physical actions on its own.
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Jan 14, 2015
As for my thoughts on Samaritan using the little boy as its avatar... I liked the concept of it during his conversation with Root, since it played heavily on the "Creepy Child" trope, but having the kid go to the White House and demand to speak with the President was incredibly stupid. Of course no one is going to let a kid in, especially if he makes vague threats like this one did about the stock market. The boy's conversation with Root worked because children represent potential, and Samaritan is filled to the brim with dangerous potential. But if the Evil Machine wanted to release its plan into the world, its got to evolve into someone more threatening. Have Samariton work through that female assassin. Agent Martine, since she's a stone-cold killer. The President would most definitely listen to her over a little kid.
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Jan 15, 2015
The President is less likely to kill and/or torture an...eight year old? Probably.

The Kid is Samaritan in the flesh. I don't think Samaritan picked the kid because children are petulant. I think he picked the kid because it intends to mold him into its actual physical presence among its fleshy underlings. It'll get decades of use out of him too, unless somebody says eff it and puts a bullet between his eyes.

What I want to know is, is this kid an idiot savant or what? He is a genius, yes. And a hell of an artist to boot. But is he amoral? Does he have his parents buried in the basement and thus his White House shenanigans? Or is the kid a puzzle solving, blank slate?

If the kid is Baby Hitler, then Team Machine needs to defeat Samaritan AND kill Baby Hitler. I'm sure Control would kill Baby Hitler!
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Jan 14, 2015
a lot of talk in here about the Kid Avatar - can we call him Sam? - being so creepy. Isn't that the point? Did anybody read or see The Manchurian Candidate? That was written in 1959, and I'm sure a sentient computer could find a viable candidate to do it's very specific bidding. The cringeworthiness of Sam is the point of his existence, and it makes his prescience and threats even creepier; he should have his own theme music, like Chucky - though it must have taken a few tricks to get him into the Oval Office waiting room.
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Jan 14, 2015
The kid's name is Gabriel
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Jan 14, 2015
According to Islamic tradition Gabriel was the angel who dictated the Qur'an to Muhammad.
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Jan 14, 2015
Okay seriously POI needs to be on Netflix so that I could binge watch it. Its almost impossible to wait. Well I liked the episode but some how with so less of Finch and Reese and Root it felt incomplete. And problem is I don't think before end of season there is any remote chance to get any closure or so.
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Jan 14, 2015
I disagree. It's because we have to wait a week between episodes and all watch them at about the same time, that we can have these discussions.
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Jan 15, 2015
@chrelle65 Yes yes yes. For this reason I'm not a fan of the Netflix approach to some series. I also think the wait is part of the game (altough I disagree with skipping weeks),

I also think binge watching loses part of the impact of the story.

My big TV regret is not having seen Fringe from day 1. I binged watched series 2 then 1, then followed 3 as normal. I got so much more from series 3 and 4, especially with Tim's reviews and discussion here.
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Jan 14, 2015
FInch was great in his conversation with Control. It was like the version we me earlier in the season when he went all Ben Linus on those arms dealers. He also had a, "I know something you don't know" feel.
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Jan 14, 2015
I'm running a little behind ep-wise. But what if the kid is Martine's son, and that's why she's obeying Greer and/or Samaritan?
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Jan 15, 2015
I don't think Mama Bear is the motivation behind Martine. I think Martine is just a murderous psycho that likes the impunity of whatever agency she can join up with to protect her from the reprecussians of being a sadistic mass murderer.
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Jan 14, 2015
Amy Acker. That is all.
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Jan 14, 2015


LEVELS OF DEVIANCY

The Pentagon:



Occupants: 18,301
Deviants: 698
Assets: 137

Deviancy Rate: 3.81%

Thoughts: Uh, not bad, I guess.

The White House:


Occupants: 87
Deviants: 3
Assets: 4

Deviancy Rate: 3.44%

Thoughts: My money's on Biden.

U.S. Congress:



Occupants: 16,476
Deviants: 484
Assets: 114

Deviancy Rate: 2.93%

Thoughts: I think we all expected MUCH worse.

Stock Exchange:



Occupants: 4,673
Deviants: 2,889
Assets: 39

Deviancy Rate: 61.82% !!!

Thoughts: That's like Sodom and Gomorrah numbers right there. You're the worst, Wall Street!

Final Thoughts:

This show is so awesome.
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Jan 14, 2015
The high numbers at the pentagon are probably the ISA and the congress ones may be people they got elected. The deviant numbers are people who act differently from predicted patterns. Remember when Root destroyed the printers of the tablets for students program by stealing an identity, Samaritan called the identity a deviant. Still, a lot of deviation on Wall Street.
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Jan 14, 2015
Thought it was just a fun thing to highlight.
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Jan 14, 2015
It made me laugh! :)
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Jan 14, 2015
Overall very odd episode. I wouldn't call it best one, or even among the best, but it wasn't bad.

Liked how we see aftermath of Team Machine action. Usually it's just Reese shooting people in the leg, crashing cars etc. Here we see reporter talking about break in, guy who got shot interviewed in hospital, aftermath of car crash etc. Nice angle.

I'd agree with complaints about this "trilogy". It wasn't really one. And what worries me is that in last season after Carter died show sort went on a bender for a few eps and gave us some really bad ones (not immediate one where Simmons is captured but ones that follwoed it). With Root and Reese out of town I fear this might happen again and we'll see some bad stuff where Finch, Fusco and Bear are left to deal with matters on their own.

I think Control is starting to see that Samaritan is not everything it's supposed to be. She'll not react right away but will start snooping around on her own, trying to figure out whats what. She'll not be Team Machine ally but their goals may somewhat allign at some point.

That kid is creepy as f**k. I'm not saying he should be killed but if his number comes up Team Machine doesn't have to go all out to save him.

Maybe it's because I recently saw it but I see some paralells with Babylon 5. In PoI Finch says Shaw risked everything for people that won't even know her name. When Delenn is being questioned about her readiness for Shadow War this same thing comes up, Would she be willing to sacrifice everything for people she doesn't know and who in turn will never know what happened or who saved them.
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Jan 14, 2015
I'm just wondering when Samaritan decides it no longer needs Greer, what happens to him then...
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Jan 14, 2015
That would be rather sweet but a swift bullet is not enough for these people and I include control there, they should suffer and suffer until they beg to die.
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Jan 14, 2015
The episode was totally unbelievable! No one would target the Belle Isle fountain for a terrorist attack.
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Jan 14, 2015
Shaw might come back. That's good enough for me. :)
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Jan 14, 2015
It would be good news because it would mean the show is still on in 2017. I have a hard time seeing it.
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Jan 14, 2015
The wall of text really feels right, because.. well, I'm high, and that after finishing watching the episode just 10 minutes ago, the first thing I wanted to do was say something about it. If you haven't turned away yet, you're the lucky? one who gets to hear it.

So...

I really hate when, by falling victim to its time constraints, a story makes the good guys, who have taken setback after setback, turn it all around within the span of a few minutes by conveniently coming across just the right thing in their immediate environment, wrapping the story up neatly, almost sanitary.
Person of Interest is saying, "No. Recovery from being beaten time and time again by overwhelming odds is not easy, is not quick and requires a lot more pain."

This is why, when the team uploads that worm (LOL @ the simple "Uploading Worm" status window) and places the tiniest seed of doubt in a former enemy, even though no one is yet sure what advantage this will give them, if any, it still feels like a cathartic victory.

They have selflessly thrown themselves at this dangerous enemy with great personal sacrifice and are just beginning to inch their way back.
this is how the good guys start to win. They grind, slowly, grasping at any option because they know the cost of failure, and when something finally hooks, we know they'll find a way, slowly, and we'll want to be there with every step.

What Person of Interest is to me is a true adventure story. A perfect way to use the 20+ episode format. Really, just amazing work.

It's a shame that it's still underrated, as it should be setting the bar for this kind of long format storytelling on network TV, maybe even inspiring the better cable networks to try it with their gifted writing talent.
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Jan 14, 2015
did you see the comments on the facebook page of POI? it is just sad that so many people want to go back to the procedural format. that's how underrated this show is.
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Jan 14, 2015
I don't understand this unwillingness to let yourself be engaged (POI) instead of distracted (Law and Order). I'm not saying either is necessarily more valuable than the other to the individual viewer, but damn, there's room for both and will do nothing but grow your brain.
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Jan 14, 2015
I actually enjoy a good procedural (I was a big fan of the original Law & Order). I read a Nolan interview (on ign.com I think) where he said he didn't understand why procedural is treated like a four-letter word. I thoroughly enjoyed POI when it was a procedural, and I thoroughly enjoy it now.
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Jan 14, 2015
It is really hard to get creative with procedurals nowadays. I will let Abed from Community do the talking: http://community101.tumblr.com/post/72920785392/using-a-social-disorder-as-a-procedural-device
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Jan 14, 2015
I am confused have to watch it again who is Brooks if the review above think that is who the mole is on Control team , Overall a good episode.
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Jan 14, 2015
Isn't Brooks, Ashur's Grice's hot blonde partner?
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Jan 14, 2015
yeah thats it although she was'nt as close to shaw as Grice
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Jan 14, 2015
I enjoyed the episode, it's always interesting to see another view of things. I was just a bit disappointed that a bit more thought hadn't been put into the 'terrorist' plot, the whole thing with the laptop didn't make much sense.
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Jan 14, 2015
I read an interview during which Jonathan Nolan said that it was CBS' decision to label those three episodes as a trilogy but that he didn't feel the same way. It was once again a brilliant and creative episode. Samaritan is incredibly dangerous and frightening. And that is why you don't leave the power to private companies.
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Jan 14, 2015
That would make sense, given that Jonah's trilogies, while leaving you eager for more, tend to have an ending that leaves you feeling satisfied that you've had a full meal. Cases in point:

The game-changing end of S2's Reese-Donnelly-Stanton-Snow trilogy.

The ultra-cathartic end of S3's Endgame trilogy.

And of course the perfectly-wrapped end of the Dark Knight film trilogy.

Even the finale of S1 and first two eps of S2 formed a cohesive trilogy.

I agree with Tim, though--regardless of semantics, this story arc still continues to fire on all cylinders. (It wouldn't be POI if it didn't.)

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Jan 14, 2015
Anyone else wondering what Samaritan could be doing in other countries? Last season Greer was looking at a map of what I believe was Samaritan's coverage area and/or facilities to house it's hardware. What if Samaritan is giving Russia or China information on threats to their national security? A more oppressive government would likely be easier to manipulate into eliminating threats to Samaritan and do more to further Samaritan's goals.
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Jan 14, 2015
Samaritan was built for the sole purpose of protecting AMERICA. It spends 99% of time looking at the American people unless it's asked to specifically look at a target in another country. I think if Samariton were allowed to scan the entire planet, it probably would nuke the entire Middle East, North Korea, Russia, China, and most likely Mexico as a first resort rather than waste its time trying to manipulate the leaders into doing its bidding.
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Jan 15, 2015
Samaritan was built for one thing, but as we've been shown, Samaritan doesn't give a fuck! It's killed or orchestrated the deaths of plenty of (innocent) Americans. Samaritan crashed the stock market. Local effect (people jumping out windows and strapping on bomb vests). World wide effect ("Is this an attack? This feels like and attack". Samaritan is getting ready to cow the President of the United States. Samaritan is venturing wherever their is a digital signal. Samaritan is making plans utilizing climate control factors. Samaritan is trying to solve a little problem called humanity.

If it can subjugate humanity faster using the Chinese government or its people, I'm sure Samaritan will do just that, after all it doesn't have an allegiance to any man made tribalism.
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Jan 14, 2015
true dat - especially since Samaritan doesn't care about collateral damage
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Jan 14, 2015
Well, threat to China and Russia's national security would be US intelligence operations on their soil. So Samaritan could tell these governments about them and risk problems with US services or not tell them and risk them seeing it as useless.

Buit i don't think that's what's happening. I think Samaritan is extending to other places but not directly, more liek buying companies, buying politicians, manipulating events etc.
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Jan 14, 2015
Person of Interest doesn't like to repeat itself or be predictable so instead of an episode focused on grieving / avenging Shaw (who seems missing rather than definitely gone), we get to watch Control now 'powered by Samaritan' struggling with the new modus operandi and she is in effect this week's 'number' as the team tries to find out what she knows about Shaw. I did like that Control stayed pretty true to her beliefs even if increasingly bothered by all the things she doesn't get to see (like that hard drive).
I have to agree Samaritan as a creepy kid spouting stock exchange predictions & wanting to see POTUS is not very effective and borders on silly...
At any rate this show is better than ever! I am a bit sad that Shaw is unlikely to come back soon but knowing about Shahi's double joy, it is hard to resent...
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Jan 14, 2015
It's Yasin Said not Yasim. Also it's good that the show is becoming better without Shaw nonsense.
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