Person of Interest "Relevance" Review: Lady Killer

Person of Interest S02E16: "Relevance"

For your listening pleasure, The Kills' "Future Starts Slow" (Click the black bar to play.)


Holy. Crap. You. Guys. Person of Interest shattered the Jell-O mold last night with an episode that was nothing like Person of Interest yet so goshdarned Person of Interest that I'm still jumping up and down. "Relevance" might have left fans of the show's leading men a bit uneasy, but for fans of the POI universe it was superdopeawesome, even if it wasn't perfect.

We've always seen The Machine engaging in its hobby of saving innocent lives with its daddy and his strange friend in the nice suit, but we've never actually visited The Machine at its office job where the government uses it to catch terrorists before they terrorize. "Relevance" switched things up on us big time by showing us The Machine's 9-to-5 from the perspective of one of who-knows-how-many Bizarro Reese-and-Finch teams out there doing the government's dirty work. For the first time in the series neither Reese nor Finch nor Fusco nor Carter was the focus; that honor went to Samantha Shaw, played by Sarah Shahi (Life, Fairly Legal, and my heart, if these doodles of the words "Mr. Tim Shahi" are any indication).

It was admittedly a bit jarring at first (even the credit sequence was interrupted), seeing this former beauty queen and Dallas Cowboy cheerleader where Jim Caviezel should be, doing Reese-like things and being a total badass. And was a daring choice, especially for this typically meat-and-potatoes show, which has only recently started giving the CBS brass heart attacks by messing with its regular comfort-food format (one episode earlier this season didn't even feature a number!). But this new experience wasn't like watching our dear series from one couch cushion over, this was like watching Person of Interest while standing on our heads and juggling. And reading some early user reviews on our site, it seems some of you were a little more than upset that your routine got hijacked while some hottie took up all the screen time.

Hey, that's your druthers, but from my perspective, "Relevance" was indeed very relevant. Count me in the camp that watched this episode with absolute awe. Seeing how the other side worked was nothing short of amazing if you're into the show as a whole, and nothing about it felt like it was added late in the game. Don't forget, this episode was written and directed by series creator Jonathan Nolan. This is the direction Nolan always wanted Person of Interest to go in.

Unlike Reese and Finch, Cole and Shaw were merely triggermen taking orders from some jerks in the U.S. Government. They don't do their homework on subjects, they just show up and make sure the targets die because there's no question of "Victim or perpetrator?"—all of them are bad dudes (or so they're told). Shaw ended up being Reese's number-of-the-week after her partner Cole futzed around with the idea that the numbers they received from an unknown entity known as "Research" might not all be correct. Though homework isn't typically required, Cole did some extra-credit work and dug up some factoids about a past mark named Aquino that Shaw took down; Aquino was actually working for the U.S. This kind of "Hey wait a second!" thinking didn't fly with Cole and Shaw's employers (known as Control), and the two were led into a death trap while chasing a supposed terrorist.

But they got some help from Reese, who was sneaking around the scenes just far enough out of sight, like a gun-toting Peeping Tom, that it was slightly easier for Shaw to make her escape. I loved that scene when Shaw was escaping the building and walked past a few bad guys clutching their legs, Reese's version of "Kilroy was here." Funny AND badass! Cole wasn't as lucky as Shaw, and died saving Shaw's life. As far as my mind will allow, I think this was the first time Reese and Finch failed to save a number they were supposed to protect. Perfect record, tarnished! From '72 Dolphins to '07 Patriots in the blink of an eye.

From there, it was Shaw on the run as she tried to figure out what the flying eff was going on. It was Person of Interest from the viewpoint of a number of the week, and it just so happened that this number was a sexy assassin who is more than capable of holding the attention of a camera on her own. The whole vibe of "Relevance" felt like that of a backdoor pilot, as though CBS was prepping a Person of Interest spinoff, when in reality it's just the series' most elaborate character introduction EVER. The episode also played out like a self-contained mini action-movie-of-the-week, with some of the best sequences the series has produced. Sarah Shahi crashing out of a window onto the street below? Sweaty Sarah Shahi in a tanktop shooting thugs? Sarah Shahi being a badass in a gas mask? Sarah Shahi ducking a flashbang grenade and killing a bunch of dudes while deafened by shooting through a door? Sarah Shahi taped to a chair while Amy Acker is about to torture her with an iron? It's like this episode distilled all my wet dreams into one concentrated hour. What!? No, YOUR dreams are weird!

In addition to catering to my kinky female-spy fantasies, "Relevance" also dropped a few teraflops of information on us, the details of which helped flesh out some of the stories Season 2 has been teasing for so long. We now have confirmation that the man behind the desk in the spinning chair—who I formerly referred to as Pennsylvania 2 and who sent Terminator Hersh after Reese—works for the clandestine Intelligence Support Activity (ISA), was Control (or at least "as close to Control as [we're] going to get"), and was using The Machine for its other intended purpose. We know Aquino was building a home for The Machine, and Root thinks she can find it through this lead. But most importantly, we know that The Machine is being used by both the good and bad guys and the bad guys aren't keen on sharing. I don't know if it can be said enough, this was a fantastic way to relay this information.

In the end, Shaw "died" after being stuck with death juice by Hersh, but then she was brought back to life with the help of Leon, Fusco, and Carter. Reese and Finch (and Bear) planned a proper meet-and-greet with her in a cemetery, where Shaw, stubborn rogue agent that she is, decided to refuse their help and abandon them. It was a rapid three-minute segment all set to the tune of The Kills' "Future Starts Slow," but it was a brilliant example of how well this operation that Finch has created works, and it showed that the business is still growing. As we zoomed out and took everything in in those final moments, we realized that this series is expanding at an incredible rate and with every interesting character it adds, every daring creative decision it implements, Person of Interest is getting better and better. "Relevance" was right up there with the show's best episodes and I can't wait to watch it again.



NOTES OF INTEREST

– I really like Shaw as an action heroine; she did some great stuff (listed below). But she was awfully serious for a TV show that's no stranger to being campy. Maybe it's best that she isn't cracking jokes, maybe she'll lighten up in subsequent episodes. Maybe it isn't appropriate to crack jokes when people are trying to kill you. Anyway, I think the character will grow into herself the more we see her, but for now, Nolan wanted to make one thing clear: She's a no-nonsense killer. Message heard, loud and clear!

– Shaw got her bullets back BY CUTTING A DUDE OPEN after shooting him, in order to cover her tracks. Be still my beating heart!

– Shaw shoved a flashbang grenade INSIDE OF A BAD GUY'S GASMASK. Hoo man, I need a cold shower.

– What does Shaw do after pulling bullets out of her own gut and killing a bunch of thugs immediately after waking up from unconsciousness? She CRACKS OPEN A BEER! I am yours, Shaw. I AM YOURS.

– Shaw, about to get tortured by Root: "One of the things they left out of my file... I kind of enjoy this sort of thing." Root: "I am so glad you said that. I do too!" Annnnnnnnnd I need a cigarette and a nap.

– First Bear gets to hang out with Reese and Finch and eat noodles with Leon and NOW he gets to lick Shaw? I'm so jealous of this dog.

– Reese: "Can you do me a favor and not shoot me this time?"

– The computer now has blue squares, to indicate "relevant" numbers.

– Anyone else get a "redverse" (ala Fringe) vibe from this episode? Super cool. Also a dash of Lost's "Ab Aeterno."

– Couldn't Control have used The Machine to help locate Shaw when she was on the run? Or does it have a crush on her too? It'll be interesting to see how much access Control really has to the computer.

– I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised that some longtime Person of Interest fans didn't like the episode, since it shoved you out of your comfort zone by focusing so little on Reese and Finch. But c'mon guys! Embrace something different for a change! Have ice cream for breakfast!




Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (292)
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I wouldn't be surprised if "Relevance" results in a spin-off series. In fact, I'm hoping it does.
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Me too! There's some speculation out there, based on recent developments and comments made by Nolan, that Root and Shaw will be spun-off to create their own brand of mayhem. Can you imagine those two psychos working together? Holy crap, talk about must see TV!
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"berlin, germany" is actually Roosevelt Island... I know because I got to school late because they were filming it on the only street of the island haha
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We want Shaw back! She's just the boost this show needs (not that it's not great already). But if she partners up with Reese......oh my! I'll just stop watching tv at all to only focus on POI.
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I loved the pace, tone, world building, and general overall fact that this episode exists. Unfortunately Shaw just did not work for me as a character, it felt so much that she was trying to be another John Reese that it ended up as a distraction. Also all of the stuff about Axis 2 personality disorders and masochism was super cliche...

Sorry I'm late to the party but I only just now saw it
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Because Reese has cornered the badass market?

If anything, Shaw is a middle ground between Reese and Stanton, willing to kill with impunity but only because it needs to be done, not because she enjoys it (like Stanton). She's like a field operator version of Special Counsel, in that she is ready and willing to do distasteful things to protect her country.

Mind you, anything said in the process of bluffing the enemy probably should be taken with a grain of salt. "Axis II Personality Disorder" encompasses a wide variety of disorders from OCD to mental retardation. Likewise with the masochism: we actually see Shaw's face flinch when Root brings out the iron, and then she collects herself.
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I like that as an explanation of her character. Still everything she did as a character felt very very forced. It was painful watching it.

While I will easily agree that Reese has cornered the bad ass market, the reason for it is how organically bad ass he is. He doesn't use fancy sounding words or cool gadgets to do his dirty work. He just goes in, does what he needs to do, and moves on... In my mind that is what is truly bad ass
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I'd be interested to hear the justification for taking a break when there are only three episodes left in the season.
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No? It's a full season.
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There's also this interesting theory that these blue screens could have something to do with Stanton's software upload at the DOD and this whole thing maybe ties into the countdown, which was discovered by Finch.
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I'm eager to know more about how Finch was involved in sending Stanton and Reese to the industrial city in China and on their instructions to kill one another and to have the city razed.

We can guess that Finch was involved, because Kara died after receiving his name from her cyberboss as the person who had been responsible for it all.

I suspect that ep wasn't the last time that we'll see that creepy English dude. My guess is that Finch may have been protecting the Machine in sending Kara and John to China and treating them as loose ends. That whole story is probably one of the reasons that Harold chose John as his helper (and helped rehabilitate him) - hence Harold's decision to stay with John and dialogue when he is trying to defuse John's bomb vest (he says soemthing like, "This was all my fault").
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I discovered a cool new layer to Person of Interest. Since the episode "One Percent" I noticed these short flashes of a blue screen whenever the "machine view" was shown.

First I thought it was just a visual thing but I noticed it in the following episodes too so I went online and googled "person of interest bluescreens" and was surprised when I discovered that there are actually different ones in every episode and they really mean something!

First Fringe and now POI...what is it with J.J. s shows and hidden messages ^^

On this website some geeky dudes already deciphered the ASCII code and there are some interesting messages hidden in those bluescreens:

http://seriable.com/person-of-interest-blue-screen-meanings/

Hope to hear what Tim thinks of those in his next review
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Wow.
I noticed the screens but I didn't bother to look at them in any detail. Wich wouldn't have mattered anyway. I would have never figured out all the ASCII-stuff.

Some people really do have to much time on their hands :) I just love how some people really get into stuff and figure these things out. Just like on Fringe :)

So - thanks for the info!!
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The thing that gets me is that it's someone in the production crew's job to create this ASCII stuff for fans to find. So, time spent on both ends.
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Yes, this was really cool.
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No one has control over machine...Control just takes output from machine(the number) and acts on it...Why will machine give Shaw's number in relevant list? POI 101 needs to be read Timothy
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The big boss told Shaw that he wasn't Control, but that he was as close to Control as she was going to get. He said that because Control is actually the Machine. It is the one who gives them their numbers/marching orders. Research, such as it exists, would just do what Finch does -- match the ID number to information on a person(s).
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True...Tim here says that Shaw should have figured in Relevant list...but she is not a terrorist...Why will relevant list give her out...
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POI keeps topping itself week after week with fantastic episode this season. For a long time we kept wondering how the Relevant list is been pursued and its a treat to finally watch it unfold. Samantha Shaw was amazing throughout the episode and a replica of Reese without the sense of humor. The only hiccup was Reese and Finch's minimal involvement in the episode which was new and unwelcome to most fans.
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Tim, your comment about their untarnished record got me thinking and I finally found some time comment. The Finch/Reese save record was not untarnished. They lost 2 of 4 in Number Crunch, a bunch of the Dons in Flesh and Blood, the armored car guard (both victim and perp) in Matsya Nyaya, and the Triggerman in Triggerman (both victim and perp), Agent Donnelly in Prisoner's Dilemma and Kara Stanton in Dead Reckoning (mostly perp). In witness, they saved Charlie Burton but failed to stop Elias. I think there might be others, but that's all I could come up with from just looking at the episode titles. Now I'm going to have to go back and watch all the episodes again just to confirm. Oh, darn! :-0
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"I've written papers on "Little did he know." I've taught classes on "Little did he know." I once gave an entire seminar based upon "Little did he know." " - Prof Jules Hilbert, Stranger Than Fiction.

I loved the scene with Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker. Knowing she was unknowingly walking into a trap was great. That device, when over-applied to a single character, can make the character look stupid, but in the right dosage can be very effective, as it was here.

The bit in the apartment when Reese showed up and delivered his "I'm here to help line" only to be shot by Shaw was pretty damn funny. His first line upon their next meeting was predictable yet appropriate.

Finally, I've gotta say the choice of songs in this show is usually excellent, which I have to admit isn't just because the songs serve their accompanying scenes effectively, but also because a surprising number of them happen to be songs I know and like. I listen to a lot of music, but the chances of the show's choices aligning with my taste so often are still pretty slim. This episode, however, was the first one that actually put me onto an artist. I was only vaguely aware of The Kills, but I googled one of the lines of The Future Starts Slow as soon as the episode was over.
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So I'm the only one thinking this is one of the worst executed episodes of POI? Not to speak of the Dick Cheneyian script? Is Jonathan the retarded brother of Christopher Nolan?
Allright, here we go:
-no German police uniform, not even close;
-they gased the appartment so that Shaw had to use a gasmask, but the third guy stopped breathing for 10 min or what???
-the soccer game in the background was all but a Bundesligaspiel - there were even vuvuzelas from SouthAfrika playing! WTF?
-Multiple teams all the time wherever they want? Very resourceful, but is it quiet and convincing considering they still need to play it quiet? So a lot of BLAMBLAM for nothing and in the end they get her with a syringe in the public - completely inconsistent.
I could go on and on, it went so forth til the end, but what really pisses me off is this fairy tale bullcrap of islamistic terrorism, nuclear centerfuges for the Hisbollah! LOL
"We didn't have a major attack since the machine watches..." Again and again they piss on the memorial of everyone who died on 911. Is that funny for you Americans? 11 years later do you get stiffies with this ridiculous fantasy of terrorists coming out of nothing and there was nothing to do? Why are you so oblivious about this stuff? Why are you so ignorant? So it's alright to trivialize 911 to a background for a mediocre TV show, but every serious attempt to find out what really happened is choked with the argument to protect the families of the victims? Seriously speechless...
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Okay - the reality is that there are inconsistencies/issues like the kind you mentioned in every episode of Person of Interest. It's a matter of suspending disbelief.

Re the gas: The idea was that it is a fast dissipating gas. The "third guy" was near an OPEN WINDOW (a detail they hadn't counted on), so the idea was that he didn't get a full dose of what everyone else breathed in.

It would have been stupid for Shaw to remove her gas mask - exposing herself to a gas that from the conversation she has with her colleague she uses all the time (so repeated exposure) and take the chance that the gas had dissipated enough for her (she's 5'3" and maybe 120 lbs) to breathe easily. The guy she was hunting (a much bigger individual) didn't have a choice about whether to wear a mask or not and was fighting for his life.

At the apartment (the first time they try to kill Shaw): That scenario was meant to make it look like she and her colleague were taken out by the terrorist cell attached to the guy whose apartment they'd entered.

When only the male colleague was killed and Shaw was still on scene, of course her boss took a shot at her -- at that point she would have known that her attackers were her own people and not some terror cell, anyway. And there'd already been lots of shooting.

At the hotel, after Root had left, the team that was sent weren't there to shoot her. If you recall, they put a syringe in her back (this being the set-up for the final sequence of events). Had they been successful, they probably would have either staged the room so that her death there looked plausible or transported her body somewhere to dispose of it.

The big Boss (the person some call Penns. Avenue), didn't intend on firing on Shaw at the evening event either. It's Shaw who dropped shots. He had another, quiet needle waiting for her. Remember that up until that point when she revealed herself at that soiree that they didn't know where she was and so wouldn't have had a way to dispatch her. After her conversation with the big Boss, his minion had only to follow her (remember that he trained her) to get a chance to kill her.

So, I don't get how you think that their reaction was overkill.

The machine was created AFTER September 11th, in response to it.

The primary market for this show is in the US (maybe add Canada to that) - for most of those viewers the police uniform and settings (and the exchanges in German) in the first sequence were different enough to believe that Shaw was in Germany.

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wow well done
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I live in Germany, always have. Let me point out: the police uniform was not that bad - quite similar to the new uniforms that have been around for about 2 years now. Currently the old brown-and-green uniforms are trashed and international-style blue uniforms and jackets are coming.
The city of Berlin was nicely pretended. E.g. the number plates on the cars were perfect - very seldom on US shows!
Vuvuzelas in BUNDESLIGA have been around since World Cup 2010 and are very typical for the fandom.
The German language was as in most US shows really bad. Only FRINGE managed to use real German language in one episode at the beginning.
All the best from South West of Germany - I love POI and enjoyd this eposide very much, as it was atypical and nicely done!
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Yes, you're the only one. I just can't tell if you're picking apart the episode because you don't like the series, or just trying to troll the fans...
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You can't nitpick too much on any american show portraying a foreign country, ometimes they do it better, sometimes they completely screw it up, but in the end it's not relevant for the story. As far as i can tell that was Germany, sorta. And it's enough, considering it probably was Canada...
And about 911, what can i say? the attack had consequences that ultimately benefited the american goverment, so it is at least suspicious the way they handle their investigation and the memory of those who died that day, but there's no way to prove one thing or the other so we can believe whatever we want...
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Yes, you're right but 911 isn't a finished chapter of world history.
There is no way that without it we would have such an increasing use of drones to kill people everywhere of any nation in the world and there is seemingly no difference who's in the oval office at all. Lately they killed a 16 year old son of a "suspected terrorist" in Jemen AFTER they killed the father. Both with "drone strikes". Super. So if Harold is supersmart and that brunette bitch even smarter - why do they believe in this simple world in which a machine solves everything?
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The thing is that the Machine doesn't solve anything. It provides surveillance (but never reveals it's data) and then spits out a number. It's the government agency that decides what they'll DO with those numbers.

In the show, the agency could simply surveil its suspects, it could round them up for questioning, it could arrest them or it decide to have them killed.

So, the blame isn't rightfully the Machines. Though the show has hinted fairly strongly that the Machine is sentient (an AI) and cares about Harold, for example, there is nothing to suggest that it is consciously directing the killing of anyone (though we do see it register things like "Threat eliminated" when a bad guy goes down).

I'm assuming from what you've written that you live in Europe.

Re your mention of drones: 911 opened the door to all kinds of things. Right now in N. America we're also looking at the large scale deployment of drones in the near future for use by police departments and agencies like the DEA (I think ICE in the US already uses them for border patrol). They may well be used on protestors, like the Occupy folks in future.

So, we don't just see their use in Yemen and Pakistan.

In terms of the show, I'm not sure I see the correlation to real life drone strikes in the sense that one of the reasons the real life drone strikes are such a disaster (and I'm not in favor of them anyway) is that they are fairly sweeping and done without much good intelligence.

They eliminate whole families, neighborhoods and villages and by virtue of where the targets are (remote and rural areas of Pakistan and Yemen, etc.) there would be little to corroborate intelligence.

The world of the show is one in which the Machine is tapping into an abundance of data to arrive at its targets and is then very specific about who they are. It may be that in real life even with such a scenario you could never have the certainty about targets that the Machine has in its fictional world. But then again Person of Interest is just a show, isn't it?


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First of all The show has addressed time and again how important 9/11 was to the 2 main characters. John joined the CIA and Harold began work on the machine.Has for how they tried to kill her the first several attempts were by her ex handler once he failed his boss sent Hersh to take care of it and he got her with a syringe. I believe the group you are refering to is Hezbollah and you would sound less like an ignorant bigot if you didnt generalize "You AMERICANS". And by the way you and the rest of the world are welcome we've saved youre asses at one point or another. JS
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JulioRodriguez0, you have saved no one's asses and no one actually asked you to save their asses anyway.. the only ass you save is yours and trying to make it look like heroism, is nauseating to say the least..
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I don't know which "ass" you're referring to - but if it makes you happy I personally thank you Sir for me having an ass at all.
Hesbollah or Hezbollah - really??? You're right about "you Americans"- I meant 2/3 of the U.S.Americans continuing to believe "facts" told by liars.
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Klotensen, a lot of Americans agree with you about bad/imperialistic foreign policy, so other than venting your anger and showing your contempt for Americans (who you should probably distinguish from our foreign policy, security apparatuses, etc.) I'm not sure what point these kinds of comments have.
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I agree with your comment, but i'm from Argentina i can assure you that you have never saved our asses. Quite the opposite, in the seventies the American government supported the rise of a military dictatorship that killed 30.000 people and in the nineties your economic advise (not to say, orders) led to the worst social crisis we've had, coincidentaly in 2001.
I love American culture (hell, i'm commenting on an American site about an American show) but the acts commited by the people in charge of the USA are far from being good
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Che puede ser que me equivoque pero US gives 9 figures to Argentina in foreign aid a year. Yes they ran amok through all of Latin America(Im Mexican we lost 2/3 of our territory to US) but this country has done more good than bad.
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and they do it juuust because they like Argentina, eh? for no reason, for no agenda, just because they want to help.. get a life and get real!
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That i didn't know, our current President lady acts as if the US was enemy number one of the world, so that kind of information doesn't get published. Also I thought you meant military "ass saving"
Good one with the use of "che", jaja
Un abrazo
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Do you actually watch this show, or are you just too stupid to remember that it was the 2001 attacks that prompted the creation of the Machine? That it only went active in 2005? I mean, granted, you could accuse Special Counsel of being provincial because he ignored the 2005 London bombings, but even Madrid subway was 2004. America HASN'T had a major attack since 2005, he's right about that.
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Maybe you're just too ... ignorant to get my point.
And if I hadn't watched all eps so long I wouldn't be sick of it.
Again, just for you: 911 didn't happen because NO ONE KNEW, or wasn't prepared. But that's exactly what they're repeating over and over - and to cover the real culprits with a fictional TV show by solidifying the lie in the memory of the audience is just terrible and still makes me speechless even 11-12 years later. The same with Madrid and especially London 7/7. And Jonathan Nolan is the only person still believing the NEO-CON crap about "dirty bombs".
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Dial it down a notch or two. You are becoming a troll.
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Because prior to 9/11 we knew exactly who the attackers were, and when, and where the attacks were going to take place, amirite?

Don't be an idiot. Your faux-offense is just utterly ridiculous.
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He's suggesting that 911 was a false flag operation - which is one of the popular theories of the attack.

That Pres. Bush let it happen or facilitated it happening with the help of Saudi intelligence in order to justify the war in Iraq.

There's also that documentary on YouTube that suggests that the towers could not have crumbled the way they did from plane impact and that instead they were demolished by explosives.

I assume that stuff is what klotensen is referring to.

I'm not sure what he means about dirty bombs...
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on a side-note: Even though they were succesful in making it look like Berlin, thats NOT what german police looks like.
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You would be astonished - actually the Police her looks quite that, since a few years. Just google "Polizeiuniform Berlin blau" and find out.
Greetings from SW Germany
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Well... consider me corrected :)
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Yes, I got interested in the German police service recently (apart from this show) and I remember one article I read saying that the German police (which are governed by each German state) have all been standardizing -- to match the look of other police forces across the EU, for which blue uniforms and blue and white/silver vehicles are the norm.

But as you live in Germany and have your whole life, as you've stated elsewhere here, I'll defer to you as the ultimate authority : )
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Uhhh.... LOVED IT.

Badass Sarah Shahi - what more do you need? She is totally awesome in that role.

Also, to me it sounded like Control doesn't have much control over anything. It is more like the just get a number as well. Like Finch gave to "Control" in the very beginning to show the machine worked (don't remember the exact episode). Thats why Cole digging into a number himself, was a problem. Because, in my mind, it shows he suspected that there was no "Research". Because always right all the time is just inhuman and therefore it must not be a human doing the researching. I think Cole suspected that there is something like The Machine doing the researching. And THATS why he had to die.

I think Control just mixed in some of their own numbers if they wanted somebody eliminated...
By the way, The Machine beeing in nobodys control is also a reason why it needs to be an AI. What I don't get yet, is why Aquino was building a home for it. I'm not sure, but I think it was suggested at one point or the other that there is "one place" where it's located?
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"Mr. Tim Shahi" ROFL I laughed sooo hard. Youŕe so sweet Tim...
Yeah, anyway... isn't she absolutely HOT!!! And her and Root together... I thought there were fireworks in the room...
What I love about Amy Acker is that she can be so deliciously creepy...

"Can you do me a favor and not shoot me this time?" Would you believe I guessed that line?

Absolutely loved the ep...
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The first half of this show had me on the edge of my 'wtf, this is awesome' seat. The second half, well, I guess you can't eat cotton candy all night and not get sick... so I suppose it went where it needed to go. I was disappointed to see this other duo lose their version of Finch and not stick around for the long haul. I'd like to see more use of side characters like Leon.
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Agree with the backdoor pilot notion.
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I would be SOOO on board with a show with Sarah Shahi as a bad-ass killer spy :)
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I'm glad the universe of POI is expanding and to be honest it was desperately needed (no more 15 min fusco and carter fetch quests please!).

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I never watch this show, but when flipping channels I saw Sarah Shahi & stopped. Cold. Wow.

Good episode.
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love your writing!:)
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The best episode since this show started!!!
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"Couldn't Control have used The Machine to help locate Shaw when she was on the run? ... It'll be interesting to see how much access Control really has to the computer."

It appears that Control, like Reese and Finch, only gets social security numbers from The Machine, and nothing else. The Machine was purposely designed this way to make sure it cannot be used, by the government or by anyone else, for anything other than its intended use. As far as we know, it's basically a magic box with the surveillance feeds as its only input and the numbers as its only output. Since The Machine also performs maintenance on itself, there probably isn't even a single keyboard or computer screen attached to it to allow for any kind of user interaction. (Well, if you're a yellow square you can speak in front of a security camera like Reese did on a few occasions in order to interact with The Machine, but that still won't get you more than a number, as we have seen). The screen we see, where the surveillance feeds are being analyzed, is most likely what The Machine itself "sees", and is not accessible to any human.

About the episode itself - it was amazing, probably one of the best in the series so far! I hope to see more like it, and I really want Shaw to become a regular character.
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I see this show as taking a leaf out of DR. Who as some of the best modern Who ep's are Doctor light, Love and Monsters and Blink being very good examples. I see it as a way of showing more of the universe they inhabit and at the same time providing an interesting new perspective of our favorite characters, This was a great episode of POI and should be applauded. Personally so long as this does not become too regular i will look forward to more episodes like this one.
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Brilliant, we needed to see how he computer funtioned as it was designed. I think they shouldn't have the whole government as the bad guys. More so just the odd element that miss uses it. I dunno. Either way at first i was like wtf we haven't even seen reese but then I really didn't mind haha. It would be nice if our mischieveous assassin came into the fold a little more permanently along with Zoe.
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Perfect episode!!! I didn' t care that Reese and Finch weren't in it so much. I like Sarah Shahi sooo very much but I could never imagine her in such a role, but guess what she was unbelievable. This small thing was perfect female Reese. She was kicking ass as if she was 6 feet tall. It was great! I hope we'll see her again very soon, infact I won't mind if they make it like fringe (Alternative Universe) one episode with her and one with Reese. Or better yet she joins the team.
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This was a really solid and fulfilling episode, and I really enjoyed this glimpse into the Machine's day job. I'd enjoy some further insight into this at some point in the future too, that is how much I liked it all.
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One of the best episodes so far, but with a tiny flaw: the german was'nt correct translated! Sarah Shahi said: "Wie gesagt,ich habe es eilig" means "As i said, i'm in a hurry!" not "I'm sorry." ;o)
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Totally agree with you about the writing--Nolan knows what he's doing, people. Chill and enjoy the ride. This is all just like those 6-minute previews of TDK and TDKR. Neither of those involved the leads, either. :)
(If you need some reassurance until the Season Finale, just keep looping the Bear kisses sequence on your DVR.)
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Nice to see widespread acclaim for such a remarkable episode. *sheds tear*
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What happened to the lady in the tub that Root was impersonating? She was still alive when Shaw was captured and then later when the badguys burst in but they didn't show her again after that. Did I miss something?
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The bad guys were eliminated by Shaw, so I'm guessing she either escaped or was found by the hotel employees at some point
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Thanks. I thought I missed something.
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Well said. Bring Sarah back next week! She was amazing as Det Danni Reese on Life. Glad she is back.
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Reese and Reese- yeah
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Now that's what I call a BADASS episode! Everything I love about PoI rolled into one neat, super-dark, ultra-cool package! The dark atmosphere, quick editing, intelligent plot, characters with motives yet to be determined, converging in the plot, events moving too fast for us to predict, great action scenes, no-nonsense vibe. I admit I was skeptical about Sarah Shahi joining the show, afraid that she wasn't PoI material, or that it was a move on the part of CBS to introduce a love interest for Reese. She put all my fears to bed from the first sequence, and not only did she manage to impress me but to make a huge fan out of me! I absolutely love Shaw's character and hope we get to see a lot more of her in the future! A female character kicking ass like that, and being even more cool, detached and tactical than Reese, what's not to love? I have to disagree with Tim about her "cracking jokes" or being less serious in the future, the heaviness and seriousness of her character suits her just fine. There's nothing wrong about that girl so please don't fix it :p

Reese and Finch weren't as present in this episode of course, but I didn't have time to notice! And it was nice to have a female character in the spotlight like this, not to mention that Shahi maintained the interest intact from beginning to end. The Shaw vs Root scene was simply epic! It was a clever move and as is mentioned in the poll above, it's all about the story not just the characters. This episode offered some major advancements in plot and character development, and this was served by this dynamic introduction of Shaw. Nothing amiss there.

Loved the wink towards the direction of John le Carre and his Smiley books, naming the head of the government operation "Control" - had me a little nostalgic about cold war espionage novels and films. I think we are going to meet Control, but of course P2 wouldn't reveal his/her identity so soon. It may be a person inside the official government, a Secretary of State or even someone from the President's direct environment, so he wouldn't appear like that in a public event. We didn't learn anything new about Root's motives, we already knew she wants to gain access to the Machine's physical location. But we know that people inside P2's environment aren't too happy about what's going on in there, for instance the real Veronica who tipped off Cole. And we know how the government operates with regard to the Relevants, they send compact teams of agents to complete missions without one team being in contact with the others, or knowing the true objective of the mission. They have obviously gotten out of hand and using the Machine to fulfill their personal goals or push their agendas. We are being set up for a grand finale this season, with the participation of Shaw, Root, Hersh, P2 and perhaps even Elias and Stanton's mysterious employers - should I hope for Julian Sands making another appearance? Fingers crossed!
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Same as you, Tim, I kept thinking I was watching the pilot for a spin-off. Loved how Finch & Company worked all their magic OFF CAMERA, just mystically appearing at the fruition of their plans: the ambulance, Fusco, Carter, Leon. Brilliant! (BTW, I honestly thought Shaw had been bested by PA2 and Mad Cat when Cat got her in the neck.)

Regarding the Machine being used by the bad guys to find Shaw... You keep making this mistake. The Machine is NOT controlled by "Control," or anybody else. All the government dudes ever get is a number, just like Reese and Finch get. The government baddies cannot tell the machine to find anyone. In fact, I think all of PA2's badness is aimed at trying to find someone who can get him actual control over the Machine, so he can become Ruler of the World/Dictator for Life.
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Ohjeans thanks for repeating what I've often commented on here regarding the machine. No one controls or uses the machine, a misunderstanding I keep seeing in comments here. Finch created it to be completely autonomous. The guys running the program can manipulate the information regarding a number, or even give out the number of someone they want eliminated for their own purpose, but no one controls or can use the machine.
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Love POI so much.
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I love how this show manage to biuld whole world, not just some two people realations. I haven't seen this kind of complicated world since Lost.
I can't believe how this show is able to keep getting better, becaus I don't see how it could.
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Control doesn't have access to the Machine, they only get the numbers just like Reese and Finch. They already tried getting access to the Machine somewhere in the beginning of the season, if I recall correctly. Don't take my word too literally, I don't remember everything.
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Did anyone write down the phone number they showed at the end? If you call it you will get Finch's voice mail/recording. Just kind of cool for die hard fans.
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My only problem with this episode, and the PoI universe as a whole, I guess, is that Control is so damn cavalier at offing there own operatives. I would think that the ISA could put some other charade in front of the masses, or just deny anything, if anyone asks questions about there operation. I don't think Control has access to the Machine coding. It may be plausible Control is going to turn into a Percy (Nikita ref) type character considering his total lack of regard for his operatives safety.
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Also, I love that they brought Leon back! And Root's scenes were all amazing.
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One of the best episodes ever.
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Since Nolan appears to be creating a world of superheroes, supervillians, and one very smart machine, I hope this show plays out comic -book style with few deaths and lots of recurring characters.
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Two things you got wrong: first of all, Cole wasn't the first number Finch and Reese didn't save. Second: Shaw didn't refuse their help at the cemetary. She did before when she told Finch she didn't want his phone number. But at the cemetary she took it, so I hope she will return before the season is over. :)
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Honestly, this season has been very difficult to get into / watch. I'm not sure but if / when my DVR gets full, this is one of the series I let expire automatically. I wish I knew what bothered me, but . . .
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Say Hello to woman's version of Reese, she'll eventually end up being second operative in Finch's employment, substituting Reese when he's not available due to recovery from shooting with the bad guys or being with Zoey doing we all know what.
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One of the things that make me so in love with PoI is the way it makes us care for all the characters. Cole?? He dies and you feel devastated! I also loved the way the graphics looked so similar but-not-the-same when the machine was working for the Relevants.

Fantastic point of view for this episode.
Thanks guys for the Very Cool Song at the End of the Episode (I was missing more of them). And thanks also for the magic of not taking yourselves too seriously (Reese saying "I'm a really nice person" LOL! and Finch's "Do you think she'll call us a taxi?"), while at the same time respecting the audience's IQ. I happily bow before you, PoI! ;-)
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Awesome episode. Awesome song.
Loved seeing Leon, Fusco, and Carter working together to get her "body".
Was a bit worried we weren't going to see the boys and Bear, but we did and got a fun line from Reese "dying makes you thirsty" and Finch "do you think she'll call us a taxi?"
Person Of Interest FTW
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awesome episode! They took a risk but Sarah Shahi delivered in a big way; she did an amazing performance, and the directing and writing was great. Loved the scene with her and Amy Acker. I can get used to seeing Sarah Shahi every week. I hope she becomes a regular
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Tim's review pretty much echoes my thoughts. Brave departure from the regular scheme, and it started in the beginning, and payed off in humongous dividends!!! I was pessimistic of Sarah Shahi pulling a role like this off given I had just saw her in Fairly Legal, but DAMN was I wrong!!! Shaw was like Kara Stanton, only scarier lol!!! I hope she becomes an asset to Finch and Reese, but given the lone wolf that she is, I doubt will happen. Her skills, which are sick (grenade in the gas mask, her EFFICIENT killling and cleaning), would come in hand easily. Root: what can I say; the woman is fit for a straight jacket lol!! Her intent for working for the Senator is now known, and she's treading down a very dangerous road, but I want to see where it leads to. The bitch deserves to get every square inch of her ass kicked, but we need her to explore this rabbit hole.

I absolutely loved this episode from beginning to end, love the show, and can't wait for the next episode.
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So few greats shows on tv, I mean really good shows! The mediocre section of tv is so large these days!!!!
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Wicked Review! I so agree!
- I loved this episode. I mean, I know a lot of people didn't, but as much as I love drooling over Jim...I like the show for more than just him! Shaw was a freaking BADASS!!!!! There is nothing I love more than a kickass woman on television, because we can hang with the big boys dammit! And she did! I loved the parallels between her and Reese, and yet she came off as her own character. I mean they shared the military background, the inability to play well with others, the kickass skills, hell it came right down to the lower register of their voices. WIN. But she's her own different character too. LOVED that.
-Here's the thing, it speaks volumes of how great the writing is when they can get you invested in a character in under 60 minutes (Shaw) but it really speaks volumes when you get attached enough to a character where you're kinda devastated when they get killed off ten minutes in (Cole). I loved Cole as the younger,hotter Finch. When he was shot in the back I cringed, and when he died in her arms I was ready for girl to get her Emily Thorne on.
-I thought Shaw was plenty funny. That line about having an Axis II personality disorder had me in stitches! Her exchange with Root was equally as chuckle worthy. Plus, even in the rare moments that we seen our gang there was humor to make up for it all. I mean they brought back Leon. I can just look at that guy and crack up! Love him, as an unofficial member of the A-team.
-I'm loving the tie ins to how Shaw and Cole were the Reese and Finch for Research, except they didn't really know what was going on. It's all tying in and interconnecting and it was really interesting to see it unfold a bit more. I mean they gave us a great deal of info in this episode all the while introducing this new kickass character. But I wasn't surprised in how good this was, because this show has a great way of building up its characters, be them the main ones or recurring ones, or even a guest star or two.
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Sorry, but it's impossible for there to be a hotter Finch than our own adorable Finch.
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LOVED this episode of a show that's usually so pedestrian that I only use it for background noise while on the treadmill. I had to watch, rewind, and watch some stuff again. MORE ACKER & SHAH please.
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The flashbang inside a guy's facemask was pure genius.
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Also incredibly cruel. The guy is probably blind and doesn't have a face. She could at least have put a bullet in his head afterwards.
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She did. Three rounds after throwing him out the window as a cushion for her fall.
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Alrighty then. That brings it back to awesome.
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