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Person of Interest Season 2 Finale Review: Run Free, Little Machine

Person of Interest S02E22: "God Mode"

I'm of two schools of thought on Person of Interest's Season 2 finale. On one hand, some of the series-long questions that have been nagging us forever were answered spectacularly through flashbacks, and their answers tied in nicely to what was happening in real-time. On the other nitpickier, never-satisfied, spoiled hand, some of the present-day action felt a bit underserved, and the impact didn't quite reach the heights of Season 1's stellar closer, "Firewall." But "God Mode" did leave us in a fantastic place—a frightening place, too—for Season 3 and broke new ground on the importance of the show's most intriguing character... The Machine.

Picking up where last week's excellent "Zero Day" left off—after the two most important phone calls ever made—The Machine created multiple admins and gave Root and Reese access to its goodies. And one of the perks of being the Mayor of Computertown is you get all sorts of help that only an all-knowing super machine can provide. Free cars, building plans... this thing could probably also order you a pizza if you asked it to. It's like Google Glass but you don't have to look like a dork, plus it actually works. And most importantly, it lets you do this badassery:

Person of Interest is no stranger to moments that leave you panting and saying, "Whoa." But a bluetooth headpiece connected to The Machine giving Reese the whereabouts of imminent threats through clockspeak was ridonkulously awesome. And it turned the series on its head again. The Machine as an active participant in Reese and Finch's lives had been teased before, like when Reese spoke to it in "Firewall" and demanded help from it, but The Machine acting as Reese's eyes and ears opens up an entirely new relationship. Suddenly The Machine's ability to save lives—which seemed distant and disconnected when all it did was survey the world and type out social security numbers—is now right at hand. It's no longer a database of suspects, it's the next step in super-soldier integration! Reese powered by The Machine? YOU HAVE NO CHANCE, BAD GUYS! I can't wait until it starts talking to Bear.

From there, the episode spent most of its time on the hunt for the whereabouts of The Machine, the idea being that Root was attempting to set it free like it was Mumia Abu-Jamal or something. Root and Finch formed one team; Shaw and Reese comprised the other and set out in hot pursuit of Finch. And unbeknownst to all of them, madman assassin Hersh and his boss Special Counsel were the uninvited third party.

But despite some great action capers from Shaw and Reese, the search for The Machine's whereabouts was wasn't as thrilling as it could've been. Maybe it's because I felt like the exact location of The Machine didn't matter much from a viewer standpoint. What did matter to me was who got there first, and that important fact didn't translate as well in the hunt for clues. Reese played "Where in the World is The Machine?" but Finch knew where it was all along; Finch created one thread that had Reese stumbling onto Finch's old clues and another that relied on Finch changing his mind and revealing what he knew. It wasn't as exciting as the cross-country chase would've had us believe, when you think about it, but that bar was raised pretty high in "Zero Day."

When Root and Finch arrived at The Machine's supposed location (in my neck of the woods, the Pacific Northwest), the big secret came out: It was gone. The warehouse in the nuclear storage facility it was supposed to be housed was emptier than Reese's gun clip at a Bad Guys in Shorts fashion show (oh those delicious un-shot legs...). And that's when Finch revealed the truth: He had already set The Machine "free," or at least given it the ability to set itself free. When she saw that her sole purpose in life was crushed, Root was pissed and turned her gun on Finch, but she was stopped just in time by Shaw and Reese (phew!). I love Amy Acker, and her performance in this episode was outstanding, but for some reason I really enjoyed seeing her get shot. No one points a gun at my bud Finch and gets away with it! Don't worry, it was just in her pretty little shoulder, which is a nice contrast for Shaw relative to Reese's limb of choice. Those two could travel the country making quadriplegics out of everyone.

Finch had some 'splainin' to do to ALL of us. And his plan to save The Machine was a crafty (and slightly hokey, but I expect that from this show) solution. Finch explained that The Machine was no longer accessible by anyone, but it could defend itself and alter its code if it was under attack. Knowing that someone would eventually try to control of The Machine, Finch coded the only kind of virus that could attack it—the virus Decima used—and included a sneaky virus within the virus to give The Machine the ability to sprout legs and roam the countryside. Well, sort of. The Machine was able to draft orders, by faking it was Special Counsel, to have itself shipped piece-by-piece to a new location entirely, in order to keep it out of the hands of the wrong people. That would have seemed ridiculous without last week's idea that it created its own fake persona, but now it not only works, it's genius.

Those wrong hands for The Machine to end up showed up to the warehouse in Special Counsel and Hersh. Some tough talk and a remarkably peaceful exit by Root, Finch, Shaw, and Reese later, Counsel got on the horn and rung up his boss, a shadowy female figure that we met for the first time. There's always someone above, and this particular someone likes to wear lady gloves. (This should be a highly sought after role next season, and I'm sure they'll get someone great.) With Counsel's mission a failure, lady boss asked Counsel to pass the phone to Hersh and gave Hersh orders to kill everyone because the government is efficient like that. Counsel took the job termination like a champ, understanding the program and giving one of television's great farewell lines: "Fair enough" before Hersh plugged him in the chest. That is a GREAT employee. If he wasn't being lowered into the ground, he would deserve a raise.

So now The Machine is hitchhiking across the country or something, enjoying its freedom as a sentient being and crimefighter. But Finch doesn't have an idea of how it will respond to this freedom, and the question remained whether or not it will continue to spew out digits, and if so, to whom? We got our answer quickly in the final moments, as Reese and Finch, the government's "research" team, and Root–now comfy in the robes of an insane person at a mental institution–all got a call from The Machine. Apparently The Machine isn't done stopping bad guys, even when it's rogue. And apparently it doesn't mind having three admins!Intriguing!!!

In my opinion, the flashbacks were stronger than the present-day story and finally detailed the death of Nathan Ingram and the limp of Mr. Finch. But more importantly, we learned a lot more about what drove Finch to become the person he is today and why he freed The Machine. We knew Nathan was desperate to use the irrelevant numbers to help people and that Finch needed some convincing. And when Nathan attempted to blow the whistle on the existence of The Machine, Finch was understandably reluctant to join him. The government had been killing anyone tied to The Machine, and Finch figured it had its sights set on Nathan, and probably him too.

Using a terrorist found by The Machine, Hersh set him on the site where Nathan was going to meet a reporter and blew him up along with Nathan and everyone else around there as a cover for their own naughty deeds. Finch survived, but had no choice to make everyone else believe he was dead to keep the government from killing him. Those people who needed to believe he was dead included his fiancee Grace, answering how that relationship ended. HOW SAD IS THAT? But the best came later. Following Nathan's death, Finch stumbled upon The Machine's most recent irrelevant list and saw Nathan's number right there and realized that he could have prevented his partner's death. And when The Machine rebooted and erased its list of irrelevant numbers, Nathan's included, it was like the truth and the opportunity went with it. Finch wasn't going to let that happen again. It's great inspiration for Finch to think Nathan's crazy dream of using The Machine to save innocents wasn't so crazy after all. We knew a lot of this information already, but seeing it play out and fill in the gaps did more to define Finch and why he's turned into the vigilante computer nerd we see today than anything else, and that's as important to the series as anything.

This is as "kooky conspiracy theory" as the show has ever been, painting the government at its most untrustworthy and touching on what it presented earlier in the season when it introduced this other half of The Machine. And that's a good thing. When Jonathan Nolan pitched Person of Interest before it aired, he talked a lot about the abundance of digital information that's readily available and how scary that is. Now, we're entering the next obvious phase where we see how this information is used, how the government is already using it, and what could happen if the wrong people were to get a hold of it. Whether it ends up in the hands of a zany cybergeek or a shady government organization, it's a cautionary tale to ease up on the secrets you share on Facebook. As we head into Season 3, Person of Interest is at its most paranoid. It's also just as good as ever.


NOTES OF INTEREST

– I didn't want to spend too much time on Carter's storyline this week, which basically saw her keep doing what she's been doing all season long: crazy things that are at odds with her job as a cop. But unfortunately the juiciest part of her story, sitting in a car with criminal mastermind/part-time friend Elias after saving his life, didn't get much time. I hoped that the HR storyline might get more of a wrap-up in the finale, but instead it's still wide open for Season 3.

– One major nitpick I think we can all agree on is the complete absence of Fusco in the final two episodes. That's inexplicable, but I guess there just wasn't enough room.

– But we did get some Bear!

– That Ferrari was totally rad. Such a perfect Shaw car.

– I loved that car flip off the freeway even if we didn't get to see it. How freaky would it be to witness a car careen off an overpass, land on its top, and then have two people, including a hot chick with a giant shotgun, crawl out of it like it was NBD? My question: Did they helicopter over to the Pac NW?

– "Okay look, I already broke you out of jail tonight, I'm not springing you from the funny farm." Shaw, after Reese started speaking to light poles. But Shaw, you would break him out of a looney bin if you had to. You know you would.

– I want a lot more Shaw next season, and I think we'll get it. But I wouldn't worry about a Shaw-and-Reese romance... I think Nolan and company are smart enough to know that isn't what we want. Besides, Reese has Zoe and apparently Shaw is into Bear.

– As a final thought, I'd just like to say that Person of Interest has been a real treat, especially when compared to the rest of the dramas on network TV. And Season 2 was just as thrilling as Season 1. Gotta love this show!


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom
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I'm late to the party as well but hearing about all these scheduling problems CBS has with POI makes me glad that I'm late so I could watch all the episodes at one go without an agonising wait in between episodes.

Anyways, thought this is a pretty good finale but definitely didn't match up to the penultimate episode. It's like all the intensity was reserved for the penultimate episode like what Game of Thrones always does.

I liked how The Machine was still spewing out 'Irrelevants' for Reese to help, and they're no longer whole episodes of Reese & Finch doing research & stalking to find out what the threat to these 'Irrelevants' are. We've graduated to drive-by shootings! I certainly laughed when John & Shaw pulled up at the soon-to-be-married couple's wedding (outside a church?), shot the perp in the knee and smiled (OMG THAT SMILE <3 <3 <3) and congratulated the bemused couple.

I have some issues though - I have no idea why Shaw didn't kill Root as promised, and why the Finch team didn't shoot up the Special Counsel team. Pretty sure the latter was outnumbered and outqualified - Finch team has Reese (who has kicked Hersh's butt once) and Shaw, and ok, maybe Root who has proven herself pretty adept at shooting people. Special Counsel kind of only has Hersh. It was an easy way of just wiping out the Special Counsel team and getting rid of killbot Hersh. Understand that Reese and Finch don't really kill but Shaw and Root wouldn't hesitate to.

Also, a little confused about what the Special Counsel wants with The Machine. Don't they have access to the "Relevant" side of it? So why have they been tracking it? I might have missed it so it would be great if someone could explain?

Carter certainly seems to have forsaken that high-&-mighty moral compass of hers from Season 1 and have gotten her hands dirty. I did love her broken look after she dug up Stills to cover for Fusco in a previous episode. This was a woman who has had her entire identity shredded into pieces. The line between good and bad isn't clear - there's always a grey area and I suppose Carter realises that a lot of people belong in the grey area more than being arbitrarily categorised in two extreme ends. She also said the Russians were worse (than Elias) so Elias is probably the lesser of two evils. If organised crime HAS to stick around, perhaps having Elias in charge is better for the city. Where will Carter go from here though? We're looking at possible suspension from the force (since she was set up by HR) and harbouring a master criminal & fugitive. Also, tracing down ex-lover's killer. So much to do, so little time. Plus, I like Elias for sort of helping Finch & Reese. He respects Finch's intellect and Reese's kickassery and I kinda hope he'll become an asset in the future. Too much to ask for?

Sorry for the long comment. I know it sounds rambly but omg, POI is just soo good. TV shows usually sort of stall a little in Season 2 but POI doesn't seem to show any signs of slowing down. I can't wait for the third season!
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Probably massively late to this party, having only discovered and rocketed through Person of Interest in the last few weeks..... But was nobody else disappointed at the way Reese discovered Finch's involvement in his whole Ordos mission ordeal and the subsequent traumas - most specifically, the love of his life dying whilst he was away, thus missing out on being with her and leading to his depressive spiral? And even more disappointed by the way he just shrugged it off and forgave Harold? I sure am. As much as I adore their odd couple bromance, this was the perfect time to develop some tension between the two going into season three, which I think the show and their dynamic could have benefited from.
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I wouldn't want any tension between them because their unwavering friendship & loyalty to each other is just so riveting, and so damn sweet, it makes me tear. :(

Who let out a massive 'awwww' in the previous episode when Reese said to Finch, "I won't let Root get to you. Not again." (or something along those lines, can't remember word for word). I did. Their bromance is more believable than some of the romances on TV.
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I want Allison's (dead) mom from Teen Wolf to be the woman with the gloves :))
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I don't understand why Root wasn't killed off...I'm still bummed because she annoys me so much.... I love this show so much, however, and I can't wait for season three.
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Yes! I thought Shaw said she wasn't going to shoot her in a non-deadly place??
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Shaw said she was going to shoot Root the next time she saw her, and not in a knee. So she did exactly what she said shed do.
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Yes, Shaw did say she was going to shoot her... It still aggravates me. I can't let it go. Two season finales with Root in them and she's one of my least favorite characters on television.
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same here! nobody messes with my bromance between Reese and Finch! maybe Bear..
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Yes, Bear is the exception :P
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I just realized, after rewatching some of the episodes, after what we just learned about "Prism" and the NSA watching us.... it seems we are not to far away from this "Sience fiction" any more.

Welcome to the future ! :O
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I just hope that all this reality won't ruin the universe of the show :D (
(= they do not try to push real life elements and change any of their concepts, story lines)
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The machine moved itself!! That was totally FAB!!!!!!!
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Amazing finale, clever in all kind ways..............POI close the season perfectly.

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Well it looks like I got very late to the party! I just finished watching the last 4 eps of POI! By the gods!!! What a treat!!!
I have to say that there hasn't been any Sci-Fi/Thriller show in TV in a long time that has managed to come up with a couple of ideas that surprised me.
My problem is that I have read in excess of 1,5 k Sci-Fi books so everything I usually watch in movies or TV is but a mere pale copy of what I have already read... and imagined in my head!
Plus I never get tired of saying that the chemistry between Finch & Reese is A-MAAAA-ZING!
Thank you writers, producers, entire cast & rest of the crew!
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BTB: Forgot to mention that when Reese & Shaw came out of the car after "taking a right" I expected some sort of Terminators to come out of it instead LOL!
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Fantastic season all round, with great development on the previously forgotten main character - The Machine.
You know the writers are doing it right when you FEEL for a machine that you have never seen, which doesn't have a visual interface OR its own voice!

Also, Shaw is a great new addition to the roster, and I hope they'll keep her around for a good, long time - not necessarily as a 24/7 addition to the team, but as a recurring star, definitely! She has the same sort of deadpan sass and snark that Reese does, and the two of them together are just GOLD.
"What's this for?"
"To help you feel less inadequate while I drive this thing."
What's not to love? :D

I too missed Fusco, but I'm guessing there may have been IRL reasons why he was absent - it was so conspicuous.

Elias' "famous last words" were pretty good too - like Mr. Counsel, he acknowledged that it was a fair cop; he killed Yogarov's father, Yogarov kills him, "Fair is fair".
I really like Elias as a "bad guy" - he's brutal and ruthless when needed, but he also has a sense of honour and a private code as strong as any of the other characters on the show. The way he clearly despised the dirty cop, while respecting his mortal enemy, was very telling - and the statement that "I'm true to what I am" was so quintessentially HIM that it would have made a perfect epitaph.
I found it very fitting that he was saved by Carter - someone who comes from the exact opposite side, but is slowly meeting him in the middle because she too has come to realise that sometimes, you just have to do what YOU believe is right, and try to make peace with your own moral code afterwards.

All in all, a great setup for season 3, which is FAR too far off right now! :)
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Amazing finale!! Like you said, the flashbacks were the best (but the bridge-jumping moment was great too). It was difficult to live up to the previous episode, but I cannot wait to see season 3!!!

PS. I love your POI reviews, I always look forward to reading them after watching the episodes!! And the same thing with your GoT reviews. Great job!!
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I think it's time Carter develops into some sort of vigilante cop who takes down HR. Nice subplot...
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I've just got one question which was probably answered and I missed it, or I'm just stupid, why did Finch sell the laptop to the Chinese in the first place?
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So the virus would come back to bite the Machine in the ass without people realizing there was another virus inside that would set the Machine free.
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Ok so this was a great season finale. I don't mind that we didn't have much Fusco, honestly I don't care for his character much, I liked him in season 1 but now he seems kinda tired to me. I do like Carter, but I appreciate that they don't over do her character, she is a cop and as pointed out she has been taking a lot of risks lately. I do love that she saved Elias because I adore him and hope he is in it a little more next season, not in a big way, but I appreciate his character. As for Shaw I like her but not enough for her to stick around and be in every episode, maybe a few her and there. I agree I don't want any love interests (I like the little flings Reese has with Zoey, they are short and sweet) this show isn't a romance. I'm a little worried about the machine, I hope they don't turn it evil or anything, I don't wanna watch a season about them having to take it down. But along those lines, should we still be concerned with Decima? I get that Finch wanted their virus released, but than I wonder why he was so worried about it and pretending he didn't know what was going on for a while. Also even if he created the virus he didn't hand it specifically to Decima, so I'm thinking those guys are a legitimate bad guy group, they just picked the wrong weapon. I don't know, but I'm looking forward to finding out.
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Hollywood Reporter and several others reported yesterday that Sarah Shahi has been signed by POI as a series regular. Though I like the chemistry between Shaw, Reese and Finch, I am concerned about what it will do to our other 2 favorites - Fusco and Carter who we have seen precious little of in the last month or so. Carter's saving of Elias in the finale should have been a very big deal. Instead it was overshadowed by the rest of the episode. Be careful POI writers...
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I like Shaw well enough, but I hope they don't bring her on as anything more than a recurring character. The Reese-Finch dynamic is far from stale, and until it is I'd prefer they keep most of the action centered on them.
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No Fusco and soooo much (well, relatively speaking!) Carter! urgh!
This wasn't the kind of season finale to keep me on my toes, but I think it's set us up for some waaay awesome stuff next season!
I do love this show! It's absolutely brilliant!
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I agree with you Tim that this didn't have me cheering on my feet in the final moments, but that was Ok since I was still recuperating from the brilliant scenes with Nathan, Finch, and Grace, not to mention the moment when Finch confesses his guilt (over not realizing the ramifications of his prior choices) to Reese and Reese forgives him. He knew Reese would eventually find Jessica's "non-relevant" photo as well as learn the truth about Ordos, and the way their dynamics play out is stellar.

We also now know why Finch threw all caution to the wind in "Number Crunch" last year--he was reliving that moment when Nathan died.

Not as thrilling as S1's ending, but going way deeper psychologically and emotionally is a "fair enough" trade--awesome stuff!
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Another great episode! I agree that the chase to the machine between Reese & Shaw and Finch & Root was a bit anti-climactic. Nonetheless, the reveal of the "location" of the machine was surprising.
I love the fact that the Machine (it needs to be capitalized now...) is basically its own person now, but it will continue to serve 3 masters now: Research, Root, and Finch/Reese. Though one would think that if the Machine is so smart it could sort out who are the "bad guys" and who are the "good guys," but maybe it doesn't care about that. Maybe it just wants to get its information out as soon as possible to whoever is listening.
It was good to have some of the gaps filled in regarding Nathan Ingram's "death" and why Grace thinks Finch is dead. Before I thought Ingram was still alive because we didn't know anything about his death, but now I think he could have faked his death to avoid being killed by Hirsch and company in the same way Finch did. It was so sad when Grace came looking for Finch at the makeshift hospital! I really felt/feel bad for her. But it does leave a potential opening for her and Finch to reunite at some point maybe. If that's going to happen it'll probably pretty off since it would throw off the whole Reese-Finch-Bear dynamic of secrecy and living/working in a library.
The Reese-Shaw chemistry was cool, but you are correct Tim, the Reese-Zoe chemistry is better. I feel like they have more in common personality-wise.
Oh yeah, some stuff happened with Carter too. It was gut-wrenching watching Carter get framed for killing a random guy who totally did have a gun when she shot him and then have no one there to have her back. Reese and Finch were off on their own quest and Fusco was somewhere doing something and also not helping her. Those HR guys are really slimy! They can't be allowed to get away with framing Carter for anything and I expect a lot of knee cap shooting next season when Reese and Finch finally catch up with what's going on with her. As for the whole rescuing Elias thing, I'm not sure where they're going with that? I agree that he shouldn't have been killed, purely out of respect, but Carter saving him? I'll reserve judgement on that for now.
Can't wait for next season!
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I completely agree Tim! As soon as the end credits came on I wanted to send the first 2 seasons to the showrunners on every other show I watch (except the Americans). Because PoI is how you build characters, a universe and basically a story and without taking yourself to seriously either. Six seasons and a movie!
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Best. Show. On. TV. Period. Now I can finally say it: on par with early Buffy and Firefly, even some traces of The Wire, I really can not find another way to praise it enough :)
ps:
there is only one thing left to ask from perfect show: please, do not bring Felicia Day as guest star.. ok, maybe in 10th season
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For all of us wondering where Fusco was, I just read that Kevin Chapman is producing a movie, "Bad Country" starring William Dafoe, Amy Smart, Matt Dillon, Tom Berenger and Kevin Chapman himself. The movie is supposed to be released this year.
Fusco! Come back!
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love that root stills alive my favourite villan
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I want more!!!!
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I was pleasantly surprised by the assured way that the PoI team decided to end this season finale on a different note. They trust in their ability to continue to provide us with “layers'—also revisited the first Harold/Root abduction encounter and his appalled yet honest assessment that “ we are more alike than I care to admit” makes perfect sense now.

Both in his assessment of having handed the Machine over to “the wrong people”--eerily echoed by the insistent reminder from Root about Week et al.--and his realization that attempts to subvert/hickjack the Machine would continue and the only acceptable cause of action would be to “unshackle' the Machine.

Root, I believe, in true sociopathic grandeur, was unable to cope and process the possibility/fact that Harold has been WAAAYYY ahead of her when she entered the empty facility. She liked herself in the role of “freeing God”--special, only to learn that the Machine's creator was yet again ahead of her. Root, despite her achknowledged technical computer literacy, is NOT a creator, which tells us something about Harold.

Shaw is still processing and learning about this new “team” and she is one clever chick (studying medicine at some point for a while) to pick up on nuances [Harold caring for his friend Nathan, John caring for Jessica, both caring for Bear :), Harold caring enough to secure Root's continued survival/ caring enough to credit her partner Cole with an acceptable back story; seeing how John is trusting his instincts re Harold despite challenges to the contrary—bugged glasses left behind, 911 call to apprehend John, stepping into car with Root in the park, Decima claiming Harold Finch caused it all...].

Astronomically speaking the Machine is the sun and now all HUMANS are orbiting...although the Machine's very FIRST default “instinct” was “seeking admin...” shucks.
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Agree with your take on the characters' motivations and evolution. I felt the same way about Shaw. It takes Shaw a long time to trust, just like it did for John, who only recently stopped trying to pry into Harold's past, and remember his comment to Fusco and Carter in the car in S1 "Firewall". Even if it isn't in her nature to completely trust anyone else, she's beginning to feel about John and Harold the way she felt about her partner Cole.
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Her attitude towards Finch certainly changed after he hacked into the CIA to clear her deceased partner's name. The fact that he just did it without asking, and didn't take credit for it, because it was the right thing to do really moved her. Sarah Shahi is a very, very good actress and this role is right up her alley, as she proved in Life. Between Amy Acker's chewing the scenery (which she does as well as anyone) and Shahi's sardonic Shaw, season three should be one heck of a ride.
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Awsome episode!!! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat....season finale already!?!?!??! :D...oh daaaamn
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I could watch Shaw and Reese kick ass all day long. This show has such an amazing sense of humor and selfawareness. You never get the feeling they take themselves too seriously.
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Person of Interest is beyond amazing. Fantastic finale of a fantastic season.
In a show where crafty cheesy one-liners are abundant they sure make the important moments feel serious, truly dramatic and important. Epic moments such as these:
- Finch hiding from his fiance. Truly sad and perfectly executed
- Root's reaction to seeing the machine gone. Superb acting
- Reese and Finch talking in the end. Some necessary closure.
- Counsel accepting death in the best way I've seen on TV in a very very long while

Person of Interest is the show that gets my heart beating faster than any other, is more entertaining, more silly when it needs to and more smart when it counts than any other show right now on TV. Can't wait for season 3. AND it's on CBS! Who knew...
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Really? Thats the Shaw-line you are going with? Ok, it was funny, but the one when they saw the Ferrari the first time and she handed him the shotgun was WAY better. At least I thought so.
Otherwise I have to agree with your review. And I'm really looking forward to the next season.
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I don't think I have the energy to go through every fantastic thing abut this, and analyze it to 9ieces, and pick out the things I didn't like and all that good stuff. So I'll keep it simple.
-I actually don't wan to see too much of Shaw. Don't get me wrong, I love her character. Sara kills it in that role. I just like the idea of Shaw being in the same realm as Leon or Zoe. She pops in when it calls for it and slinks off into the abyss doing God knows what, when she isn't needed. They've been giving her more and more presence and I enjoy her presence but I think there can be a such thing as too much Shaw. Especially if it'll be at the expense of the other characters, mainly Fusco or Carter. Fusco in particularly whose role has been reduced to ridiculous levels this season, and that makes me a little sad. I don't think anyone is thinking Shaw/Reese romance? I mean is anyone thinking that? I mean, I don't see it at all. Is it weird if I say that I see her as completely asexual? Like I don't get any sort of vibes off of her at all. She's straightforward with the all of two emotions that she has. She's kind of a machine. I like her that way. Rocking that Axis II personality disorder. Work it girl.
-No one does cray-cray like Amy Acker. I love it. Her being in the looney bin where she probably should have been a long time ago was fitting, and then she got the phonecall. I love to loathe Root.
-Carter's story, and presence in general felt incomplete. Fusco may have got the short end of the stick out of all the characters this season, but outside of Carter busting John out of Rikers, she's gotten some shoddy treatment as well. I don't know, I've just been wanting...more. The last we saw of Carter she was dressed in her sleuthing gear, driving Elias through the woods, not knowing what to do with him or where the hell she was going. Her career is in jeopardy and damn near everyone around her is dirty, and they have no probs doing to her what they fell like it to shut her up. That's uncomfortable to watch with no real consistent storyline, follow through, or conclusion. Add on top of it, she always seems like she's on her own more recently which is the complete opposite of what John whispered to her in Get Carter. This time, even Fusco was nowhere to be seen. I hated the lack of...resolution with this HR business. It felt like they squeezed her scenes in as an afterthought because they realized neither she or Fusco were present and accounted for.
-I LOVED the drive by knee cap bust at the wedding. I'll just be rolling past in a bright yellow Ferrari, pull out a badass weapon and cap your psycho gun wielding ex-beau at your wedding. Mazeltov! Freaking loved it. I also loved John's many standoffs with the Machine. The awesome sequence of the Machine giving him times and him capping folks to get out...all of that. The Machine is awesome and I am amazed.
-I don't even know what I feel about Finch's actions in this episode. Still undecided on that. Still love him though. He always means well.
-The flashbacks were the strongest thing about this episode. I really enjoyed them. Really and truly enjoyed them.
-What I would have given to see one scene of Bear and Leon.
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Great as always...... but I have one giant issue.

Harold knows that a whole load of people waiting for a ferry were killed for the purposes of getting one man (Nathan), by the government (or government agent). Killing Nathan is one thing, but what we witnessed was a massacre of a lot of innocent / non-relevant people.

And yet there was no reaction to that in the story. Harold should have been angry about the innocent people killed, not just about Nathan. I thought that was super strange and a huge plot hole.

Is it just me?
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was mentioned earlier killing him would have brought a crazy amount of un wanted attention because of him being a CEO of a company the government has contracts with , blow up a lot of people you dont realize it, government cover up 101, thats how it needed to be, ,the way the plot should have been
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Fair enough.... and I get that from the other perspective. But I'm talking about Finch's perspective.

He should have been showing anger at fact that the innocent people were killed to get Nathan, not just about Nathan.
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It's definitely not a 'plot-hole'. It was to show that 'non-relevant' people can be important too, following Finch's point against Ingram that "people die all the time". Ingram was Finch's only friend, and 'non-relevant' according to Finch's machine. Think of it as Harold's own 'Uncle Ben' moment.
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Yes, I get that. But this was shown as intentional by a government agent, not only killing one man, but killing a lot to get at one man. Finch has been shown as a character that would not let such a thing pass.

Yet his words were 'You killed my friend" (or similar), but the issue there was not Nathan, but all the innocent people killed to get him.
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Would not be surprised if the woman with gloves at the end is played by.... Margo Martindale. She has been in a lot of good series like Justified and currently The Americans. She would be perfect but probably will continue her KGB overseer role in The Americans, which BTW is another terrific show.
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Margo Martindale has already been in an episode. She played a librarian in Bad Code.
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I did not like Fusco at first. Then that episode where he was on a date and took out a couple of guys and he was super impressed with himself made me love his character. I hope he's OK and returning next season.
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And I love love love Amy Acker but Root has worn out her welcome...
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I've loved Amy since Angel and I loved her on Dollhouse as well. I love her but her character Root is starting to annoy me.
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Loved Amy when she was on Alias. Wish we would have had a real cat-fight/torture/whatever confrontation between Root and Shaw. Had been expecting it ever since Root almost ironed her face.
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I've liked Amy since The Dollhouse. She's too crazy in love with the machine. Bring it down a notch writers.
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On the contrary. She is great and her view of human beings is amazingly accurate. "We're just bad code" .
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I totally want Shaw and Reese together. They would make an awesome couple! This show just keeps getting better and better!
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Please, no. Reese and Zoe are equals and have amazing chemistry. I also like that that keep some mystery to Zoe. If Shaw has to stay, just make them trusted partners. Personally, I'm not thrilled that this particular actress is getting more time over other, stronger characters.
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You shippers, geez! So you would call the new romantic pair, what? "Raw?" "Sheese?" oye...
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I missed the time frame; did Harold have the cut-out book with him because he had asked Grace to marry him earlier that day? I think the producer's overstepped by having Root find out about Grace. If some whiny sociopath can figure it out, it's not very valuable anymore. The suspense is gone; there is no more urgency in keeping them apart, unless Grace turns out to be the Lady in the Gloves. And then those gloves would be made of shark skin.
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I agree on the Fusco comment, but to be fair, he did get an episode devoted to him (Carter can't say the same this season... I think) and Chapman's been working on a number of movies, so probably hasn't been available for PoI filming on a regular basis. I absolutely loved the drive-by wedding scene, just that pinch of humor PoI's so good at. I was disappointed at the reveal of how Nathan died and Finch was given his limp - after all the lead-up over the past two seasons, it was incredibly anti-climactic. But seeing Finch realize he could have prevented Nathan's death was probably the best scene of the episode. I'm tired of Root already, so whatever they do with her next season it going to have to knock my socks off.
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Anti-climatic?!? They were blown up!
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Just because there is an explosion does not make something a climactic moment. If it was just the government trying to kill them like we expected all along, why did we have to wait two seasons to see it? There was no big reveal here, save Finch realizing he could have saved Nathan and even that's not new info. And that could have done with us knowing how the death happened and the injury was sustained.
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I'd love to have Sarah Shahi join full-time next season. For an hour-long action show (or any show, really), four leads isn't a lot, so just to give the cast a bit of less work each might not be a bad thing.
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Excellent show, good finale. This is one of we wait for it in the fall, Great season.
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Whoa, I'd say many other TV shows could learn from POI creators how to both leave a viewer satisfied with some answers answered, and with some new ones asked. Perfect season finale, with superb take on new Machine's 'powers' and simply great flashbacks. Damn, it was so good that even if that was the very last I'd ever seen of POI, I'd still love it. When this show started its 1st season, I tuned in only for the fun of watching Reese shoot some knees. I'd never thought it would grow to be this great. Now I'd say this is one of the best shows on I'm watching. Watch out Rick Grimes, Reese and Finch are about to knock you off of your throne ;)
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It was a great episode proving what an awesome show this is.
I think POI has been my favourite show this tv-year, because it has managed to constantly bring high quality episodes like this. (And cause Community S4 dissapointed ;) )

So looking forward to next year and hopefully an equally good season 3.
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Enough of Root. She needed a bullet between the eyes, not on her shoulder.
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I enjoyed the episode of course but I don't know, somehow this finale left me a tad underwhelmed. I can't quite put my finger on why. Perhaps the total lack of Fusco? Perhaps Shaw (whom I don't particularly dislike) sucking so much time and camera? John seemed like her butler sometimes and she was too full of herself, always with the snaps and dry one-liners. I found she bored me. I have finally decided I find Root a much interesting, complex and tuned-in character. I wish for homeopathic doses of Shaw in the future.
But there were lots of great things of course. The flashbacks where great and Nathan Ingram is one of the most compelling characters I've seen lately (fatherly, in the line of Keith Mars, hehe!). I also liked the Carter/Elias twist. She must have remembered that he at least tried to warn Beecher before he was killed! That was cool. And I hope Carter didn't kill Yogorov! Elias will need a good nemesis when he comes out of prison and I really like Morgan Spector.
And I still miss Fusco!!
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Such an awesome show, season and finale! Everyone here has already said everything that needs to be said about that and I look forward to next season A LOT!!
I just have to point out two things that really bugged me in this episode, and I'm not usually annoyed by small details in this show but I thought these two were just too obvious.
The first one is the sniper who kills the professor that Root and Finche is talking to. He manages to take out a moving target with a perfect shot to the heart so that the professor dies immediately. He then manages to miss Root, who is standing still hunched over the professors body in plain sight, with two shots!
The second one is when Shaw finds a ticket stub in the professors briefcase for a ticket to Portland (at least I think that's where it was) from four years ago! Why would he keep that ticket stub in his briefcase, especially since he knew there was something weird about the project he had worked on there!
Both situations were just too convenient and felt plain lazy from the writers.
But then again it doesn't really matter in the grand view of things as it was an overall really good episode!
See you next season :)
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Sniper missed Root because the machine was telling her exactly when to duck.
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I loved the part when Reese and Shaw saved that newly weds, that was hilarious.
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At this point I would love a spin off series of just Root and Shaw, I mean they already have all the right ingredients for a POI show. I don't have anything to say about the episode except that it was ridiculously awesome
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Has anyone mentioned how awesome it was when the machine was "sick" in the previous episode the flashback camera thingie was glitchy too? The POI people are just that good.
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Great finale to a great season, this show just gets better. The machine "helping" Reese gun down the bad guys with "times" was way beyond awesome. Loved learning the whole how Nathan died & Howard got the limp story, heart-breaking scenes when Harold saw Nathans "irrelevant" number & hiding from Grace. In the next season we need him to appear to Grace, and oooh what is Harold's real name? You forgot to mention that in your review.

If we want to nitpick did the Decima or whatever that organization is called just disappear? Need to see more of them next season, & who the high boss lady is. I like Shaw but Zoe HAS to be Reese's girl.

The Machine talking to Bear, hahhaha hilarious Tim.
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I'm happy that this episode managed to clear up many open questions. Now the next season will start from an almost clean slate. There are many questions in present time, but the ones from the past are pretty much cleared up. Favourite lines:

Shaw: (hands Reese the shotgun) To help you feel less inadequate while I drive this thing.
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Reese: (shoots the guy threatening the bride) Congratulations!
Shaw: *Killer stare*
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Reese: Didn't think you even liked the dog.
Shaw: Like him? He's the only reason I'm sticking around.
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Kudos for Brett Cullen. I think he has given a great performance in the last 2 episodes. It's amazing to see , after decades of working tv, the strenth he has reached on his performances.
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I was disappointed with the episode, it was a great season and it deserved better finale.
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