Person of Interest: The Way of the Samu-Reese

Person of Interest S01E14: "Wolf and Cub"

(Attention, my POI peeps! This is going to be abbreviated as I'm on vacation today! I'll be back in full force next week!)

Person of Interest channeled The Professional last night with "Wolf and Cub," a mentor-student story featuring Reese as the wise old man who shoots people with beanbags, and a young boy seeking revenge for the murder of his brother. There was also a bit more unveiled about Finch's past, especially a really funny photo of young Michael Emerson, lady killer.

This week's number belonged to a 14-year-old kid named Darren, played by some tot named after the dog from The Jetsons and who was apparently on some reality competition show. And you know what? He wasn't that bad! But instead of giving us a drawn-out quandary of "Is he the victim or the perp?" the episode quickly revealed that he was both. Darren wanted to kill the thug who shot his older bro and pulled a gun on him, but the thug wasn't too keen on being threatened and wanted the kid dead. So Reese stepped in to stop the violence, and in a different take on the show's premise, Reese took Darren under his wing to teach him a few things about catching bad guys.

I'm a bit unsure of how I feel about the idea of Reese letting a teen tag along with him to learn the ins and outs of Reese's handiwork. Personally, I like my Reese as a lone wolf or paired with Finch, not baby-sitting some punk who thinks the code of the streets is based on who pulls the trigger first. But there were some good moments between the two, particularly when Darren repeatedly referred to Reese as a Ronin (a samurai without a boss), and things never got as annoying as they could have. It brought out a softer side of Reese, showing that he truly does care for the welfare of others and is willing to put himself out to ensure they can move on with their lives. This story felt less like a job for him and more of a favor.

Ultimately, though, if I had my way I'd like to never see Reese do something like this again. Don't go soft on us yet, Reese! Stay mysterious! Only talk to people when you have a zing-y one-liner in the chamber, and please, do not start handing out tips on Reese-style ass-kicking.

We also got some more deets on Finch. First, he's a fan of birds. Prior to his life as Harold Finch, he went by the name of Harold Wren back at MIT, which is where he met Nathan Ingram. New nickname for Harold: The Birdman. Will Ingram, Nathan's son, is getting closer to learning the truth about his father, and so are we... sort of. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty confused about what really happened between Nathan and the government. The fact that Will is inching close to the truth doesn't appear to sit well with Harold, whose name terrified the government agent who was trying to buy the Machine from Nathan. Something very fishy is going on with this Harold guy.

But now let's talk about what really mattered in the episode: Reese's AWESOME gun. Wow! That was probably my favorite gun Reese has used all season. Night-vision pump-action beanbag-busting super-assault shotgun? I'm going on Amazon.com to buy one of those right now.

Overall, not my favorite episode of Person of Interest, mostly because I don't like to see Reese get all parental and caring on us. What did you think?

Notes:

– That was Malik Yoba from Syfy's Alphas playing Andre and channeling his inner Stringer Bell. Nice to see him working in the off-season. (Side note, if you like Person of Interest, you should give Alphas a shot. It's shockingly good.)

– Will I ever get tired of Reese dumping booze all over a guy and handing him over to the cops? Answer: No.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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I was so excited to see Malik Yoba in this episode, I kept wanting the camera cut to his blood traveling and watch him use his Alpha ability against Reese! That would have been an awesome scene.



I actually liked Reese giving us a softer side, we haven't really seen his softer side since we learned a little about his background in the first couple of episodes. It helps remind me as a viewer that even though he is super badass, he still has a slice of tenderness in him.



As for Finch and how his partner Ingram died.... boy o boy! This episode had me guessing! I like that they are unraveling the background story slowly, every time we learn a little more about what happened (or rather, thrown a confusing piece of the puzzle) my blood starts to pump harder. Michael Emerson is so good at playing deadpan, I cannot wait to actually discover what happened with him in the past.
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This episode sent me for a bit of a spin; at the beginning of the series, I thought Harold hired Ingram as a front/face for his company, because he didn't like the limelight and Ingram was more charismatic (or so some might think - I like Harold just fine!), and their friendship either pre- or postdated that arrangment.

Then we learned that Ingram really did appear to be a "real" businessman, and I figured Harold just really liked his anonymity, asking Ingram to be his frontman in the dealings with the government, and that he started hiding his identity as his fortune grew, and just kept it up to protect his privacy and to distance himself from the machine.



But NOW I'm really wondering who the h*ck he is, and what he's been involved with - if he started using fake identities when he went to COLLEGE, it has to be some pretty serious business!

For me, the plot suddenly thickened like a nice creamy soup brought to a boil. ;)
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I thought Nathan was the front man for Finch. Because whenever the government people show up he lets Nathan be the front man. At the end of the show They dedicated it to Edward Stewart do you know who it is
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As you can see, this was written about three seasons ago. :)
At the time, we didn't have very much of Finch's backstory, and so the reveal that he wasn't just a reclusive genius, but a reclusive genius who had been hiding and using secret identities since he went to college was a pretty big shock.
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I liked seeing a softer side to Reese, I doubt it'll come out a lot but it's nice to see once in a while.



Finch was, and will always be, a nerd. He's definitely my favourite.



I will never get tired of it either, best moment of the show.
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"I'm going on Amazon.com to buy one of those right now"

"You'll shoot your eye out."



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gotta love jim caviezel, he's great in action roles
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Nothing special, but still a solid episode.
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Tim this episode was Meh.
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They can't all be the best episodes, else there would be nothing to boost up the better ones. Still, it was nothing to complain about, and the kick-ass scenes and sound track still make this an amazing show. LOVE it!
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This wasn't my favorite episode of POI either, simply because I hate Astro. I was one of the few people who actually tuned into that 'reality competition' that you mentioned and I couldn't stand the kid from his first audition. To see him pop up on one of my favorite shows really disappointed me. Other than the annoying kid, who's acting was horrible, in my opinion, the episode was okay. I prefer that Reese work alone, or just with Finch. I didn't like to see him with this kid at all.
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The machine works for Harold to somehow cover his past ( a dark one i think, the man has at least 2 codenomes that we know and there is nothing on him before 1976 ) and when everyone gets closer to figure him out the machine sends an alert. Ingram must have figure it out and poof dead. Reese is getting closer and in the end scene bum! "corse of action: monitor"! Come on..there is definitely something here! Just saying.....

But well... this might be me getting paranoid.
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Myself I just luvvved Plan B bag, it reminded me of RoadRunner and Wile E. Coyote... I expected a close up to the lower part of the bag that would let us know that it was an ACME bag ROFL!



I did like Mr Reese in parental mode... a different layer from time to time... but not every time I agree with you.
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I liked him getting parental. It's nice to see his layers once in a while. True, most of the time I need him to be the badass Reese we all know and love, but then we also need to see that there is more to him that meets the eye.
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For starters it would be wrong of me to say that I detest the arrogant little brat that plagued X factor and was in dire need of an attitude adjustment or a good old fashion ass whooping, because there is something wrong about saying you loathe a child. So I won't say it. : ) I will say that to my chagrin little Astro did a fantastic job in this episode. See, I actually like Reese going all parental and caring on us. It's such a chick thing to go for and I hate hitting cliches but...what can I say? It did it for me.I liked seeing the other aspect of Reese, he does surprisingly well with kids (as was also shown in Ghost? was it? with the teen girl) because he doesn't actually coddle them like most adults typically do. He treats them like equals and gains their respect so it's never daunting watching him interact with a younger person because it's pretty much the same way he interacts with any other person he comes into contact with. I didn't even mind the kid constantly referring to Reese as a rogue Samurai...and that could have gotten old quick. And watching him pull out that gun was all kinds of awesome and badass. It's one of the biggest reasons I tune into this show...the action, it's like an action movie every single week!



Now the interactions were again amusing. Because Finch and Reese are one of the most unorthodox bromances on tv. Just when we thought that they were on decent terms we're reminded that they are two virtual strangers with their own secrets and pasts, and ridiculous trust issues, working together almost reluctantly. Put things back into perspective...they aren't exactly friends these two. I loved that. I also love that Fusco is becoming more and more loyal but he can still be a liability down the road. And Carter took on to their little arrangment quickly but she's still a wild card because she's in the dark about most things and there is still that hanging over their head that she could still turn on them. But I love the somewhat flirting and banter between her and John, he's always seemd kind of smitten with her. They are all people working together but it could fall apart at any moment, and Finch. He's becoming more enigmatic by the episode. Now I'm not so sure if he's as "good" as it was easy to believe in the beginning and I love it! I love the secrets and mysteries and distrust among them. Reese has Fusco investigating Finch. Finch is seemingly aware but not letting on or giving Reese an inch to work with, Fusco is also keeping an eye on Carter, who is secretly working with John and oblivious that Fusco is in on it too, and I'm willing to bet carter is trying to look into John as much as she can herself. Plus they have various "big bads" still looming over them in the process. Elias, this dirty cop ring leader whose connected to Fusco, Root, the C.I.A and who knows what other goverment agencies, and whatever else going on with Ingram.
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ChancesR

On Oct. 25 CBS ordered a full 22-episode season of POI. According to a recent interview by Jonathan Nolan, the last four episodes of the first season will be like a four-part continuation. According to Kevin Chapman, he had lunch with the producers (never a good sign for an actor) and Fusco's past will come back to bite him in the--well, the same place he got shot Thursday night.
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Thanks for the info. there are only 16 episodes listed on this site. I thought I had read it had been picked up for a full 22 episodes so at least I have that as a condolence. I don't know why CBS isn't renewing for season 2!!!
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Night-vision pump-action beanbag-busting super-assault shotgun, lol awesome name
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Only 2 more episodes of POI to go. :( Anyone know if CBS has got off their a$$ and renewed the People Choice for best new drama for season 2?
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I didn't know that Michael Emerson was Dr EGON SPENGLER on Ghostbusters !!!
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lol I thought the same thing when I saw that
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You say you are confused about what happened between Nathan and the government. Well, I'm also confused about what happened between Nathan and Harold. In one of the episode endings (I honestly don't remember which, as I've been watching this show as a marathon), the machine identified Nathan as a possible threat. Did Harold and Nathan have a serious disagreement? Did Harold have anything to do with Nathan's death? Still too many questions. Another one is how did Harold get that injury on the spine? Does it relate to the incident of Nathan's death?



As for the episode itself, I think Reese like being defined as a Ronin, as it gave him purpose. And he was impressed with the fact the kid knew about Sun Tzu.



Can't wait for next week's episode!
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You missed the biggest thing!!! THE MACHINE IS MONITORING REESE and FUSCO NOW!! It has some semblance of protectiveness towards Finch!! That was so awesome!!!



PS: I wish I could have Reese for a teacher! The lone wolf, Ronin! Damn, he's awesome! And I agree, Alphas is a really good show.

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Just like Alcatraz there are lots of uninteresting episodes but then they try to make people watch again by tacking on some ending that could be intriguing if they ever bothered to follow them up. Nothing about "Root" this week. "Sigh"
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.. unless the woman Nathan's son was talking to was Root herself. To me, that seems quite a possibility - someone who knows what a machine does had left civilization to live in a secluded place with no internet and cellular network, hence no Machine being able to spy on her. And after all, we only assumed that Root is someone young and hot, but what if she isn't?
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Well, she's practically in the wind. Gone for now! Why even bother trying to track someone that is virtually a ghost?!
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The Machine is MONITORING Reese!! AAAHH!! The excitement! :D
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Wow, what an ending!!!

Reese being monitored as a potential threat to the machine.

Reese made a good point at the start of the episode when Finch gave him the number that even with the computers in library offline Finch had access to the irrelevant numbers. Finch quickly changed the subject and never answered Reese's question as to how he got the number. I guess Root didn't gain access to the machine.

Darren seemed to understand Reese more than most because he described him as a ronin who was tricked by his master and would find the truth in the end. Reese's character in a nutshell.

Well as Finch put it "only the paranoid survive" both he and Reese should live forever. I findas much camaraderie as they showed in past episodes they were pushed apart in this one.

I do prefer when Reese is kicking a$$ and taking names but it was nice to see the softer side. Each episode makes me want to see more. Keep up the good work POI.



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Just in case you didn't know "wolf and Cub" was inspired by movies and comic books from Japan. The series called Lone Wolf and Cub in which a ronin travels around exactly like the kid said.



7 movies. Really great films.
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Thanks for the info. this clarifies the title of the episode.
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Have to ask, who is/was Edward Stewart (the "in memory of" at the end).



I really don't like kids or ghetto stereotypes, but I confess, I really liked this episode. Yet another couple of sides to Reese: Reese as Yoda to the kid and Reese closing in on Harold's (or what ever his name is) past and identity. I get the impression that for as much as they respect each other, Reese doesn't like something about Finch. I mean REALLY DOESN'T LIKE.



Fusco was great but again, as much as I don't like kids, I liked this kid better than the chick detective.



There was always a darkness hinted at in the Finch character. I am getting more and more curious but will be heartbroken if he turns out to be as bad as the bad people they try to stop.



And lawd did Reese have some over the top hot moments in this ep. Maybe it was the big gun...
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Fairly good episode, was likeable throughout
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Have fun on your vacation.



I liked seeing Reese be the kid's ronin, but, like you, I wouldn't want to see it every week. Though, Reese could be my ronin anytime. I loved getting to learn more about Finch and his past. I can't wait to see what happens next!
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Astro from X Factor...I can't stand that obnoxious kid!
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Also PS. Going along with the whole Ronin thing. IF you want to see a good Spy movie and one of the best Robert Dinero movie's ever. Ronin. All kinds of good.
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I actually saw Ronin for Jean Reno and not DeNiro. But I agree, it's a fantastic film.
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Definitely. Amazing car chase scenes as well!
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Though like the rest of you this wasn't my favorite episode thus far, that would probably be with the Doctor and her sisters rapist. But it was a decent episode. I like how it can of made fun of itself and let the viewer kind of know where Reese is coming from. The Ronin analogy is pretty good for him. Ronin's being not only masterless Samurai which he clearly isn't because the US government still exists in their world. But Samurai that suddenly realize their Master's weren't honorable. It lends a potential reason why Reese is currently doing what he is doing. Clearly he couldn't kill himself which is the usual ending for a Samurai that has lost his honor. But then you have becoming a mercenary, which I doubt is his thing. Become a drunk, which kind of happened. Or taking on assignments and trying to help those downtrodden in order to somehow reestablish his honor which is the current reason I think Reese is doing these things. And him teaching a kid the way things are was kind of fun. I mean really what guy as a kid wouldn't want to roll around NYC with Reese watching him manhandle supposed bad guys. And also a potential origin story of Reese. When he was talking to the kid (is his name really Astro? Someone was high when they named him) about first killing the thug that killed his brother and then killing his boss and then killing that guys boss etc etc. It sounded like he knew where it was heading. Which makes me curious to see if that is what happened when his CIA partner was killed.



As for Finch/Wren his side of the episode was awesome. The computer getting his back was interesting, it was either programmed that way or it knows who its daddy is. But the most interesting to me was the reaction of the woman who was questioned by Will. She clearly knew him and clearly didn't want to say anything about him. and her moving to the one place in the US where their is no potential surveillance is interesting also, clearly she knows about the machine and clearly she is avoiding it. but is she avoiding it because of the government or is she avoiding it because of Harold. I vote Harold because clearly the man has some kind of past that he doesn't want known. Which makes me more annoyed about his consternation of this hacker. Because clearly he should have had multi layers and buildings of protection.



I also liked the Plan B bag. What is better than an Ithaca 37 spitting bean bag rounds? One with a night vision cqb sight. Awesome.



Personally I think POI and Justified should have a competition of who can lay out the most people with a vehicle strike.



I agree about Alphas it is everything that Heroes wanted to be but seriously lacked in.
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another way for a Ronin is to lie low for a year pretending to be a drunk/ homeless guy while planning to assault the compound of the killer of your master and kill him. (47 ronin)
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One of my fav top 10 shows week in and out!!!!!
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Person of Interest is much better than Alphas
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I didn't mind seeing a slightly softer side of Reese. I'm not sure why but it's always fun to see Reese smile... and he smiled quite a bit during this episode. Still, it's probably better if he doesn't do it often.



The black bag labeled Plan B was hilarious, made even funnier when Reese opened it and took out a huge bean-bag riot gun.
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well the kid was as annoying as any-14-year-old-that-thinks-he-knows-the-best-of-everything is, and it felt like he needed a good spank or two; especially when he run away with the gun.. yet, considering the character is designed as a kid with a tough life, I can understand.. and maybe because I am female, I loved seeing some emotion, paternal attitude in Reese which made him more human, real and lovable while every detail revealed about Ingraham-Machine-etc combined with Finch's mimics and gestures, makes Finch more creepy and scary and less human, really.. I empathized with Alicia's panic, she is probably hiding off of "Harold".. this could have been due to what she has been informed about the "harold" persona by ingraham or due to what she actually know/ what has happened, but wasn't it very cia-fbi type that she made up a pretty good lie about what the cork and the napkin was all about? and did the son belive ? I don't think so.. and I'm afraid he might end up dead..



It also was great to see a familiar face from Alphas, which is really, really good.. so far, this one goes among one of my favorites, not that I want to see reese going into a conventional life with finch and seperate this great duo, but the softyness beneath that steel tough persona is what makes a hero, a hero..
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Agreed, this wasn't the strongest episode of the bunch, but it still had its moments. Reese's one-liners are always hilarious, I laughed out several times during the episode. And every time Reese steps out of a car and they film his shoes touching the ground first (and you know he is about to kick ass), it reminds me of similar camera angles in Terminator.
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"On my signal cut the cable", (sound of cocking shotgun) that's the signal."
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Favourite shoes touching the ground scene: he was swaggering SWAGGERING after he crashed the SUV into the hoopty. That was so freaking cool.
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Finch has used bird names before. He used "Burdette" in "Cura Te Ipsum", and "Partridge" in "The Fix."
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anyone kept count on how many times Reese has smashed in to other cars
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totally agree on Alphas
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-"Alphas" is fantastic, I'll agree with you there, and he did a fine job with it here, even though he had a smaller than large role.

-No. Always good to see Reese pour on the booze.



Was not my favourite episode, but I did enjoy it. Provided a little light-heartedness to the season before we shove off for the final push to the end.



Still just loving the computer's evolution, and it gave us a great shot there at the end where it directly identified Reese and had to think for a second before choosing just to monitor for the time being. Great character movement for something that's a machine. Now, MORE FINCH!!
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The machine went a touch Hal and/or Skynet there, didn't it?



Opens doors for the writers...
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Yea. That really got me pumped for future episodes. The "subvert" option made me grin.



Real quick though, did it "red-box" just Reese or was it "targeting" Fusco as well?
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It "red-boxed" them both :-)

I'm not sure whether their red-box status is permanent though.
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I'am a fan of keeping things a bit different from episode to episode and thought bringing the kid along was a interesting move. I see your point though. Anyhow, as crazylegs99 mentioned the most interesting part of this episode which wasn't mentioned in the recap was the fact that the machine at the end tagged reese and fusco as threats. Not a good idea to plot about Finch in public ;)
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I really didn't like seeing Reese as a father figure in this episode! It's not that the emotions and the ability don't suit him or that he might potentially be going soft. It's that it's too easy to see what he used to be and how open he is to returning to it. He asked at the beginning of the previous episode if Finch ever craved a more conventional life and then we get this. Paired with his investigation of Finch, it really feels like Reese is coming closer to wanting out and without their wonderful dynamic duo, I'm not sure the show could survive.
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- Definitely not one of the stronger episodes, but that doesn't mean it was weak. I didn't think there was anything wrong with Reese letting the kid tag along. Leaving him with Fusco clearly didn't work & the kid planned to pursue the bad guys anyway so why not? At least Reese could keep an eye on him. Yeah the kid ran off again, but the episode needed a final showdown so I guess it worked. Something the writers could have done is left the kid with Finch (or Wren). Could have been fun!

- This show is seriously killing me with its endings!



SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR

SECURITY BREACHED



COURSE OF ACTION -



EVALUATING OPTIONS...



MITIGATE

SUBVERT

MONITOR



How cool was that?? Reese's box just transformed from yellow to red (and so did Fusco's). Are they considered threats now?? The system administrator is clearly Finch. Why do I get the feeling that Finch & The Machine have more of a connection than we're made to believe? The Machine is protecting Finch like the dickens! Wow!
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I think you are right on. I also think that as we go further down the rabbit hole, we'll find out how the Machine goes about "mitigating" and "subverting" as courses of protective action. I can see this as what happened to Nathan Ingram (too nosy for his own good or worse) and why the White House contact lady went off the grid in the only place without cell reception and wi-fi internet (the only place in the US the Machine couldn't reach her). Looking forward to seeing how this all unfolds!
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Extremely cool. Got my geek up.



Yes, I do believe they have both been upgraded to real threats and the machine will be monitoring both more closely (threat assessment level X).



The system admin can not be Finch (at least that is what he said. He sold the machine lock stock and barrel and only left himself a back door to receive the numbers). I think the sysadmin is a sub routine. Finch eluded to the machine learning and adapting in one of the flashbacks.



I think we what we don't know about the Finch/Machine connection is huge. So yes, possibly protecting Finch, yes, definitely protecting itself.
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I'm not a computer guy, so correct me if I'm wrong. When The Machine referred to the system administrator I'm guessing it meant Finch (the original creator). Until now, Finch & Reese were "assets" for The Machine, signified by the yellow boxes. What we're watching on screen is The Machine & not a third party. So my opinion is The Machine still considers Finch to be the system administrator & that it is set to monitor any potential threats to itself & Finch (like you said).

I love the way this show makes me think!
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I agree. I think that the Machine is protecting Finch.
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Indeed. I'm hoping that the machine starts doing stuff like forging order papers for FBI agents to start investigating Reese or something awesome like that.
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