Person of Interest S03E13: "4C"

It makes a lot of sense that the episode that tied up one of this season's more ridiculous storylines (Reese leaving the group because yeah right he ain't going nowhere) would also be the season's most ridiculous episode. I mean, come on! Does all first-class passengers get noise-canceling headphones now, or was North by Northwest just so riveting that passengers wouldn't notice the pile of bodies accumulating in the back row? No one had to use the bathroom on an international flight, making it easy for Reese to repurpose the lavatories as unconscious-body lockers? Finch just had a remote flight stick handy and landed a commercial jetliner from his library? Yes, all of that happened and it was absurd. It also happened to be some of the most fun I've had watching this show.

Person of Interest will, at times, play speed-bag with our emotions as it did with Carter's farewell arc. It also occasionally spends some time in the mood of Christopher (and Jonah) Nolan's gloomy and gritty Batman films. But Person of Interest can also call cheesy '80s action films "daddy," and "4C" was crusted in curds, like a straight-to-DVD Steven Seagal movie. And since getting goofy is well within the show's tone, "4C" will be one of the series' landmarks in that arena, right alongside the daycare antics of "Baby Blue."

Reese's leave of absence from the team overstayed its welcome unwanted surprise visit two episodes ago (though the show proved it can still work with Reese out of the picture, I think we'd all prefer if he'd stick around), so "4C" was all about bringing him back. And the best part–and the main reason "4C" wasn't just a course-correcting throwaway episode–was how it brought him back and the questions it raised. The meddling Machine pulled a switcheroo on Reese's flight plan, diverting his escape itenerary to Istanbul (not Constantinople) to another flight to Rome. Sure, whatever, Reese was just trying to get the F out of Dodge, so he took it. ("No baggage," he said, though his Scotch-soaked eyes and scruff said otherwise.) 

The number-of-the-week belonged to a little nerd-squirt (played by Freaks and Geeks' Samm Levine) involved in the Internet's Black Market, a safe zone for the trade of illegal drugs, contraband, and everything else you wish Amazon had. "4C" played around with the mystery of his identity (Is he a perp or a vic? Why do people want him dead? Who is he really?) for as long as it could, but it was pretty obvious quickly that he was the enigmatic the Sphinx, the mastermind behind the Black Market, and not just a programmer as he claimed. It wasn't just Reese who got the Sphinx's digits, The Machine's other half also sent a government op to kill him, some Colombian hitmen wanted him dead, and some Middle Eastern faction also wanted X's over his eyes. Yes, all these people were on the same plane (and were willing to blow up the plane to make sure the Sphinx was taken care of), and yes, Reese dispatched of them all. Without anyone else on the plane noticing. Even though a lot of the combat took place in plain view. I have got to get me some noise-canceling headphones. Like I said, "4C" didn't spent much time in the realm of plausibility.

It worked because all the silliness was played up with a large side of ham. In the first minutes of airline-clichés alone, Reese punched out a rich dick and squished his precious luggage, the old lady sitting next to him talked his ear off, and a hyperactive kid going wild in the aisles drove him to drink. And Reese was full of awesome one-liners that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger blush. "I bet he could use a blanket," he told a sexy flight attendant after sending a mouthy businessman to premature sleep. I will always forgive the unbelievable as long as it's acknowledged by the writers, and Person of Interest is always great at letting the audience know, "I am what I am! And that's a show that likes to have a goof every once in a while."

But this is also a show that knows more than a thing or two about making us scratch our chin and say, "Hmmmmmmm..." Because for all the Van-Dammity of "4C," there were also a few incredible ideas posited. The idea that The Machine can pull Reese back into the job without him knowing is downright SCARY. The idea that The Machine would break protocol and put Reese in contact with a new number by bypassing Finch and the social-security/Dewey-decimal-system code is alarming. The idea that The Machine would also send Reese on a collision course with a "relevant" number (remember, "relevant" numbers are threats to national security and go to the government, "irrelevant" numbers belong to commonfolk and go to Finch) is ground-breaking for the show. This has never happened before on Person of Interest, and it means that The Machine's AI is advancing even more. It's weighing situations and going through new channels to solve problems. And sometimes, those problems are personal. Yes, a Machine can have personal problems!

What were The Machine's motives for sending Reese on that flight, especially since The Machine already sent a government operative to kill him? Do the partitions in The Machine (its government side versus the side that works with Finch) have conflicting interests? Did The Machine recognize a worst possible outcome (plane explodes, everyone dies) and then send Reese in to fix it? Towards the end of the episode (Spoiler: Reese saved the day with the help of Finch, who remote-control landed the plane) Reese declared that the actual numbers to be saved were the 130-plus innocent passengers on board that plane. That may seem like the logical reasoning behind The Machine's intervention, but dammit, this box of bolts has become a lot more to me than just quick-processing algorithms and I choose to think that The Machine sent Reese on that plane because The Machine wanted Reese back on the team. The Machine has shown the capacity for genuine emotion in Finch's flashbacks to its pre-release days, and I think it knows it needs Reese. Maybe The Machine even thinks of Reese as a friend. Maybe The Machine has a crush on Reese, I don't know. But something tells me that The Machine saw more than just another job to be assigned, and found a win-win scenario for everyone involved... unless you were a Colombian hitman. 

"4C" switched back to serious mode in the final moments when Reese and Finch met for some biscotti at an Italian cafe. Their future as a team cloudy (to them not to us, duh), Reese broke the tense uncertainty with a line that sent chills up my spine: "While I'm Italy, I thought I'd get fitted for a new suit." With that, Reese was back. And of course, a shocked and pleased Finch had a recommendation for a great tailor. Are these two an amazing team, or what?



NOTES OF INTEREST

– Three cheers for Holly the flight attendant! And she knew exactly what she wanted when she asked Reese to help her grab a drink. You go, girl. Reese got hoes in different area codes now!

– My favorite part of this episode by far was watching Reese push booze on everyone. On the Sphinx, on Holly, on himself, and even on a kid who needed to forget what he saw.

– Reese saved the Sphinx by putting him in a suitcase. Perfect! I would not mind seeing the Sphinx come back as a recurring character. 

– Just a little Shaw on the side as she explored the relevancy of the Sphinx's number by visiting her old employers. Not sure what we gleaned from this, but her sitdown with a drugged-up Hersh was fantastic.

– Reese, after punching the Sphinx while he was blabbing too much: "Sorry, sometimes it's just faster." Gotta appreciate a man who prioritizes efficiency.


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/21/2016

Season 5 : Episode 13

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I think you might be misunderstanding something here (or I am). What I got out of it, was it wasn't a relevant number and the machine didn't actually give that number to the government, Hersh (or his boss) just played it off as one to use official assets to cover up their own illegal doings. It was as far as I could tell an irrelevant number and went to the right people, even if it did bypass Finch.
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What a fantastic episode. It was the perfect blend all the things that make POI great TV. It was especially well received after the cringe-worthy scenes of Reese's self-pity. It is a nice addition to see Reese's re-affirmation of what him and Finch do together and the episode has opened up a lot of questions about the machine, it's motives and its capabilities.
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This is precisely the type of episode I have been waiting for to lighten the mood since Carter's passing. A overly silly episode was just what was needed!

"Do the partitions in The Machine (its government side versus the side that works with Finch) have conflicting interests?" - This is something I hope they explore.

I'm happy The Machine succeeded in bringing John Reese back into the fold in such a funny way:-)
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I'm a few days late to this (just watched the episode), but I couldn't hold my tongue.

1. I'm sorry, but your article needs some cleaning up. There are a bunch of typos and missing words - "When I'm Italy"?
2. Calling Holly a hoe after giving her cheers? Not cool, dude. First, I doubt he's making long-term commitments to any of the women, so who cares if he has multiple partners? And second, why should she be a "hoe" for knowing what she wants and not being afraid to be upfront about it?
3. Not point putting "spoiler" before the part in the final paragraph where you say Finch landed the plane -- you already spoiled that in the first paragraph.
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Well written Eiram99. This is yet another example of how this author writes some of the most biased and selfish articles. I am not sure why he is still with tv.com as I normally refuse to read anything he writes after reading his completely biased views. I only read this on because I didn't notice the author until I was about 4 sentences in and recognised the lack of integrity in writing.
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I liked the way the final conversation was a metaphor for the "free will" response to the problem of evil. Why do bad things happen to good people like Carter? Why does the Machine leave so much for the people who use it to figure out on their own? Finch's answer: the human element of free will is worth preserving. And the process is soul-building. Classic theological debate encoded in a few lines of dialogue. Even I, not a fan of the Machine as God thing, have to admit that's excellent.
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Enjoyable episode to get the team back together.
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LOL this was like a parody episode. Since when aisles on planes are this wide!?
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The passengers were so into the Hitchcock movie North BY Northwest that nobody pay attention to all the fighting, and flirting moves. By the way, North By Northwest is a great Hitchcock movie, with another man with a suit, the amazing Cary Grant ;)
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I must say welcome back Reese we missed the action without you, the coming episodes will be amazing I hope.....
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This was a nice change of pace from all the angst of the first half of the season. I wouldn't want to replicate it on a regular basis; but it was fun to laugh at what was going on with Reese and company. And I have to admit that he certainly earned the drink at the end.
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This episode taught me one thing: Jim Caviezel would do a good job in comedy. Reese traveling around the world and the machine putting things together for him to have to help people. The "numbers" would be in absurd circumstances and situations. It could really be a good idea for a spinoff show, maybe just 30 minutes. And Shaw could have guest appearances. Suggestions for a name?
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You lost me at "Shaw could have guest appearances."
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Amazing and hilarious review Tim. Person of Interest knows how to take a 'break' of serious think for a few moments, hilarious and fun episode.
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That review was perfection, Tim. Eye-rolling silliness - but the show seems self-aware of it. Finch hooking up his extremely convenient flight sim equipment made my eyes roll right out of my head. But the show reminds of Fringe and Sleepy Hollow in that at the end of the day - it is so much damn fun I forget about the silly.
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This episode was a lot of fun - sure, unbelievable at times, but still, who cares! Reese fights, Reese wins (with the help of the nerd and the stewardess)! I especially like Shaw and how she is a strong character on the show (as was Carter). There are way too many programs right now with the woman protecting the "unique" man. Boring!
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A great episode after the dark points in the last one a bit like die hard on the plane glad to see Reese back , a bit far fetched at times (Finch uses the air line control stick) . Also liked the fact shaw got one over the Terminator guy , the series is certainly more etertaining then most now.
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Just caught up, two eps behind, and they both made me tear up. The characters on this show are so well done, so fleshed out, that hijinks on a plane works because at the end I tear up with Finch and Reese. I effing love this show!
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Great to see Reese back, I was like the machine: fine you go off and grieve for a bit, I got ya back. But Reese thinking he could skip out was too far. Thankfully the machine reeled him back in.

It was a funny episode, I think it was the right kind of crazy tone to get the team back together.
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For those griping about Reese moping so much over Carter's death, and leaving the team for so long, just remember how he was when Finch found him. This is a guy who'd become very disillusioned with his profession. He'd done too many questionable things, and was well on his way to eating a bullet out of regret over his own actions. Finch, and later Carter, helped him feel like he was doing something worthwhile again. Toward the end, he said things that indicated he was more than a little fond of her, almost like he was starting to fall for her. Considering this history, losing Carter might certainly have been a strong enough trigger to send him spiraling back out of control, at least for a while. Give him a break for being human under the tough guy shell.

As for the way they brought him back, I loved every second of it, and never once worried about the plausibility of what went on. It was too much fun enjoying the ride.
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I could never have said it better! Thanks.
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I think this episode and the previous one were meant to show us a certain vulnerability in Reese (well hidden at other times) to kind of distinguish him from a purely emotionless efficient machine.
Also interesting to see The Machine identifying Root as "Analog Interface" in the opening sequence...

As I wrote somewhere else, this show, if managed correctly, could very well be an excellent prequel to Cameron's "Terminator" though I'm sure it is not the intention.
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Good review. I love the fact you bring up the fact the show doesn't take itself seriously. My brother laughs every time Reece talks.

Great show to have on tv. I think the last episode updating us on how the machine works and evolves lead to the machine going rogue. Reaching out to Root was another step in that direction, is there another machine or could the second version be influencing the first?

On another note it's a crazy show for intrigue. Until Reece got off the plane i wasn't sure whether Holly was a friend or foe and still am not. Since Alias i have been waiting on Reece saving another perp which will turn out to be a bigger regret (but as a 'villian' of the show he's a really likeable character), could even be the Sphinx. Who knows, anything can happen in this show.
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Highlights:
- Reeese: 'John Wilkins, Department of... International Homeland Security." har har... International homeland????
- Owen was basically "I'm just a programmer... Actually I designed the whole site... OK, I know where the accounts are... All right! I'm the Sphinx!"
- Reese stuffing Owen in a suitcase was a typical and hilarious Reeselike solution. Smart thinking casting a small actor.
- Finch landing the airliner using a flight simulator gamepad from his computer was totally far-fetched and completely epic!
- One thing I like about person of Interest (considering all the youth fever that takes over the CBS groups other network, the CW) is that the male characters, good or bad, are no inexperienced kids. Even the thugs (enemy operatives) are played by older fellows. I'd say that gives them substance and gives the show a distinguished trait. As Owen said (to Reese), "There's nothing wrong with your hair. Salt and pepper feels like catnip to soccer moms. Au naturel."
- i gotta watch North by Northwest again if it's THAT riveting.
- New and improved John Reese now will be wearing an Italian suit.
- I thought Reese was going to pull a Frank Underwood and say "I hate kids. There, I said it."
- I wonder why the Machine still depends on people to prevent the deaths of irrelevants and relevants. If it can manipulate people and things to get Reese on a plane, at some point it'll realize it can manipulate things well enough to prevent the murders itself. And from that, what? World domination?
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Reese doesn't hate kids. Remember "Baby Blue"? He guarded that baby like it was his own. Behind everything he does and every choice he makes is the one that caused Jessica's death and the loss of the one person who tied him to the world that most of us live in without realizing how lucky we are. What he does is make up for not being able to save her and for all the junk the CIA had him do.
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Like Finch said, people still have free will. And the machine properbly does not want to take it from them.
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And Reese didn't want to go to Rome.
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For now...
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It still was his decision to interfere. At first he said, it was not his business. Than he acted. Free will. He could have just let it happen.
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After doubting this show with a quite bleh season opener, only to be blindsided by the awesomeness of the HR storyline and the Samaritan revelation, I was more then happy to see how Reese leaving would play out. Much like Finch's kidnapping of season 2 wasn't resolved in one episode, I'm glad the writer's took time in bringing Reese back. These guys have their issues and a midst the heaping helping of cheese (loved it when he slammed the suitcase. I recently was on a plane and when someone unceremoniously put their stuff over mine I shoved it out of the way) Reese revealed his issues about finch to the sphinx nerd. Reese wasn't upset with Finch but with the machine that seemed out of control. That moment with Finch in the library listening in, you could see his heart breaking at Reese's sadness. And I do love the fact that Finch explained why he created the machine to do what it did and how it did it because it explained the difference between what they do and what the ISA does. ISA got the number and just went for the kill assuming that they would be embarassed. The Machine and ultimately Reese and Finch got the bigger picture. One of my favorite shaw bits had to be the "go ahead, say my name. I'll wait" scene. So excited for next week.
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"Not the face!!!" LOL,LOL,LOL
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Half expected Samuel L. Jackson popping up screaming "I've had it with these mother f*** assassins on this mother f*** plane!"
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Glad to see Reese back on the team. Whole moping about Carter was getting annoying. I guess he forgot that Finch said in first ep he expects both of them to end up dead eventually. Now, if he would just hook up with Zoe again.....
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thank you for flying Air Chaos - please pay no attention to the bodies stacked up in the bathrooms - Buh Bye
and I loved the Old Reese comeback:
Matthews: "Who are you?"
Reese: "A concerned frequent flyer."
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of course the Machine wants Reese back: do you know how hard it is to get good help these days? *glee* this ep was perfect! :D
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I have a question. Exactly why is Reese blaming the machine for Carter's death? What's his grouse with it? The phone rang, it was just not in time. And assuming Carter's death was somehow the machine's failure, what does that have to do with it being out of control, as he complains to the Sphinx, or with the opacity of its process as Finch tries to justify? I normally don't nitpick but I am at a loss as to what Reese is supposed to be angry about. And how did Harold realise Owen was a relevant number?
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Remember for a while that Reese had the same kind of access that Root has now, and has used that access when he had it (think last ep season 2). The question has to be spinning in his mind as to why Harold severely restricts his use of the machine, and especially since Carter died, why the machine couldn't be more proactive. This is why all the Finch/Root interactions while she was in the cage and the struggle from there to track down Reese towards the end of the HR/Carter arc.

I have to wonder that too, especially from the beginning. They had a sufficient back story, but with the machine being this independent, why it hasn't been pointing out people from the beginning instead of them having to track them down and do detective work on where the threats are coming from. But I guess then the show wouldn't be that interesting if they could just send Fusco and have people arrested for attempted murder without having to actually do anything.

But in the end, this is Finch's question to address probably more than Reese's, though I wouldn't be surprised that a future arc involves the Machine reaching out to Reese in a way it already does with Root. Maybe trying to keep it from Finch in order to not ruffle his feathers (har!).
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I think he is having problems dealing with the mythology surrounding the Machine. The Machine didn't warn him and Carter. The Machine however can find Reese on a Plane at 30,000 ft on another guy's mobile that he punched out. The Machine warned both he and Shaw about threats in real time as it does with Root. If the Machine can do all of that rather easily, it should have been able to warn them they were about to be shot. He is right to question and perhaps to blame a little. But the larger question is, is it the fault of the Machine or is it the fault of Finch limiting how the Machine communicates with the team.
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Good question, and I think the machine is beginning to grapple with this question also, especially after Carter's death (though it never classified Carter and Fusco as assets), but then Admin's behavior almost led to the loss of Admin, Asset Shaw, Analog Interface and Arthur Claypool, not to mention the Samaritan drives. I think the machine is questioning all of this and will probably take a more direct approach with "its" agents, as it did with Reese in 4C, and as it does with Root. I notice It did not instruct Root to return to the library to try to work with admin, but sent Root off in search of the drives.
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I agree, this is all going to be interesting in regards to Finch. After Finch's realization as to what the Machine is now and can do, he is either going to have to adapt and step more into Root's world or the Machine is going to go around him.
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People grieving need someone - or something - to blame. In Reese's case, I'm willing to bet he's more or less projecting his anger at himself for his inability to protect Carter at the Machine/Finch.
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Of course this was an extremely hokey episode but I really enjoyed it. Love having Reese back in the picture prominently. Shaw, Root and Fusco are good support characters but Reese and Finch still make this show.
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No Root! I just realized.
She is probably in the hospital getting her hearing restored. ;-)

One of the good things about a full length season, as opposed to the more intense 12 ep seasons, is that there is room for bottle(?) episodes like this. It was kind of a relief, compared to the intensity of the previous episodes.
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Great episode, for me much better than last weeks.

A whole load of implausibility could have been removed by simply having some terrified passengers or fighting out of sight.......
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Funny how Almost Human and POI were both talking about bitcoins in their lastest episodes.

Also : "Don't tase me bro!"

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Holy shit! That was really disturbing. I thought you had freedom speech in USA?
He was arrested for asking a question? In an open forum.
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Welcome back John. The final moments when John decided to return with Finch was very touching. It's what true friendship is about and a tinge reminiscence of the heart wrenching emo of Carter's departure. Welcome back POI! Thank U!
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Realism? That ship's sailed a long time ago.

How's anything happening in this episode any worse than some female computer nerd, of which there are very few of in this world, probably none as hot as the actress portraying her?

What about the fact that she's been able to take on very dangerous government elements, even before she was blessed with real-time intel from the machine?

Maybe the government should breed computer nerds since they're the most dangerous of people, apparently....
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Please, folks... don't feed the troll.
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Root isn't dangerous solely because she is a 'computer nerd'. Granted, her ability to electronically erase you contributes to the danger. What makes Root dangerous is that she is a crazy person who is utterly devoted to the machine. And to be honest, I don't think Root sees herself as particularly 'female'. Root will do whatever it takes to serve the machine. The writers could have used a male actor to the same effect.

And in the immortal words of Marcus Brody, of Indiana Jones fame 'The pen IS mightier than the sword!'.

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I personally know plenty of female computer nerds, and more then a few of them are quite attractive. Please kindly get yourself a flux capacitor so you can remove yourself from....whatever bygone era you are posting from.
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Yet, female computer nerds are a small percentage of total computer nerds.
Besides, your standards for attractiveness are probably low considering you know several computer nerds, female ones at that. Hey, I get it, you take what you can get.
Either way, my point is more to do with how nerds DON'T go fighting government agents. They DON'T become super agents because they have some intel feed. Hell, she was already infiltrating the government before the machine started talking to her.
Anyone who defends this part of the story is either washed over by so much crappy/cheesy television that any BS story will satisfy them or maybe they're feminists and will defend "strong female characters" regardless of how implausible their roles are.
I think I'm going to leave this conversation here. You can continue posting replies if you wish but I don't have time to argue with those who enable writers to continue writing these kinds of stories.
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You're leaving?? Say it isn't so!!
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You clearly don't know what you're talking about do you? I don't know if you noticed but Root was not only getting real-time Intel, but the machine was also DIRECTING her what to do from step to step. So yes, this is realism. Maybe you need to look back on the episodes, reassert yourself and then figure out the difference between realism and not.
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Oh, I do know what I'm talking about. Even direction from the machine can only do so much help for inexperienced non-combatants like a computer nerd.

Let's not forget that even before she started talking to the machine and receiving instructions, she had infiltrated the U.S. government -- The Office of Special Counsel, remember?

If you think that's still realistic you're living in TV-land and you need to wake up.

Root isn't even the only unrealistic thing about this show. Sure the whole concept of AI written by a single man in such short space of time is complete BS on its own but some things you can and pretty much have to get away with in order to allow the show to exist.

A good looking female computer nerd turned assassin just sounds like you pulled it out of your a** and for what? To make the show more appealing to the dumb dumbs who like femme fatales?

Anyway, I think I'm going to leave this conversation here. I don't have the time or inclination to argue with you.
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You already promised to leave once, yet here you are. . .
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Redemption from the previous episode! I loved the suspense, the action, the set-up. Reese was at his very best and the show, in my view, is solidly back on track. Can't wait for the next episode. Suspension of disbelief aside, it was one of the most entertaining episodes I have seen, and I've seen them all.
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I believe the machine sees John's skills and knows him well enough to realize that he'd do what needed to be done no matter how pissed off he was. I also think that the machine is smart enough to realize that the government can't be trusted. It has hijacked terrorist plots in the past (i.e. when Harold and Nathan were blown up) for their own ends. They wanted this guy dead to avoid embarrassment. I think John was sent because the machine didn't trust that Control or whoever is in charge would choose to save the 130 passengers when they could instead kill them and kill any chance of backlash for their involvement with Owen.
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A big part of why I love this show is that it's basically become one big homage to action shows and movies, and that's a big part of the reason why some of the more ridiculous episodes fit so well among the rest of the series.

The show has been on a role ever since the 3 part conclusion to the HR story arc, and this episode did a hell of a job keeping that momentum going. Such a great mixture of action and comedy, and I love how they can take what would be a good stand-alone case and connect it so well to the show's mythology. Not to mention that, while I was starting to get tired of Reese's emotional story arc in the previous episode (no, I didn't mind it in "Lethe"), this was a very rewarding conclusion to that arc.

If the writers can maintain this momentum for the rest of the season, this may actually end up being my favorite season so far, despite the reservations I had with the integration of Shaw's character in the first few episodes.
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– My favorite part of this episode by far was watching Reese push booze on everyone. <---This! I loved the whiskey in the sippy cup part. Of course, this shouldn't be funny, it should be SOP on all international flights.

–Not sure what we gleaned from this, but her sitdown with a drugged-up Hersh was fantastic. Agreed. I don't know about anyone else but I am fascinated to learn more about Shaw's backstory.

– Reese, after punching the Sphinx while he was blabbing too much: "Sorry, sometimes it's just faster." Gotta appreciate a man who prioritizes efficiency. These little 'Reese-isms', precisely, are why I love Reese's character.

I'm glad the whole sad-sulking-Reese thing is over. (Not that it looks like he has a choice.)
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thank you for flying Air Chaos - please pay no attention to the bodies stacked up in the bathrooms Buh Bye

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I guess the hours spent on "Flight Simulator" had paid off.
Entertaining indeed.
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Tim, one of your best lines ever--("No baggage," he said, though his Scotch-soaked eyes and scruff said otherwise.)
This was an episode of self-discovery for Reese. He started out in a well-justified depression/anger funk. And the more times he had to snap himself out of it to take action the more he seemed to cheer up. And finally the light bulb went on. He realized that he needed to be working, and that his role on Team Machine was--dare we say it--tailor-made for the man he had become.
He wasn't manipulated by The Machine into getting back into harness. He was maneuvered into a situation in which he had opportunities to choose. With each choice he made to help, he seemed to grow visibly more at peace with himself.
Primo writing and primo acting! Bravo!
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when this exchange happened, I knew Reese was back.
Matthews: "Who are you?"
Reese: "A concerned frequent flyer."
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Very good review of the episode and well done by the cast. More Reese please…and some more Fusco would be appreciated as well.
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REESE is bacckkkkkkkk - "and we the 3 best friends that anybody can have" :D

REESE got laid :D

BEAR showed up :D
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I think the Machine originally sent the relevant number to the people in the government it usually sends them to because it saw a high probability for a plane crash (The machine puts national tragedies on the relevant list not national embarrassments). When they realized the number had the power to embarrass them they set out to kill him instead of stop the plane crash, forcing the Machine to send Reese.
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I loved the humor and action of this episode, along with the revelation that the Machine wants to play the team from both sides of the table. And I didn't think there was anything in it that was more ridiculous than Root, armed with a knife and locked in a cage, taking out four men with guns while keeping a woman twice her weight subdued with that same knife, last week.
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Root is John McClane's little sister - the total two-gun badass
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You're making a big mistake by saying The Machine sent one of the assassins. Yes it was a relevant number, because of the cartel guy's hitmen had orders to do whatever nescessary, which could include crashing the plane.

The government chose to send an assassin to cover up the embarassment, and thus ignored the relevant number. The Machine then sent it to John to make sure that mass casualty was avoided, since the government wouldn't do their job.
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Best line this episode "That salt and pepper thing is like catnip to soccer moms." Also I missed Root and Fusco.
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OK, but why were the Marshalls taking the did to ROME? That's the main thing I just never understood.

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The Department of International Homeland Security recently approved Italy's accreditation status as a participant in the International Witness Protection Program. *shrug*
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I very much enjoyed 4C. I, too, was confused as to why The Machine would send both the gov and Reese. Interesting speculation in the article.

One problem I've always had w/ POI is the concept of the Numbers. In the pilot, Finch said the reason it only sent numbers was to avoid drawing attention of the government. That was all they could do. That never fit, because they later showed it was an entire SSN being sent. Worse, it was done through even longer codes of the Dewey Decimal System. It would have been nothing to add one more 0 or 1 to indicate Perpetrator or Victim.

So, it was great to hear Finch say he did that on purpose. The computer indicates a person of interest, but human has to figure out whether to save or kill that person. Nice explanation.

As the article states, we had to overlook a LOT of unrealism in this ep, but the one I just couldn't swallow was ramming the cabin door with the food cart. Sheesh.

Still, a very, very enjoyable and satisfying episode.
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The Machine only sent Reese. The Sphinx wasn't a Relevant number or any kind of threat to national security - he was already known to Hersh and co and they were skimming off his operation. When he got arrested, they decided to take him out rather than risk their nice little earner being exposed.

I agree about the food cart... everyone knows that's what fire extinguishers are for!
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Thank you for putting that out there. I was going to but saw you had. He was no more a relevant number than Shaw and her partner were. Like all good government security programs, the security of the security program comes first before the security of the ones that are supposed to be protected.
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He was a relevant number because the cartels were willing to take down a plane full of people to kill him. 130 deaths makes him a relevant number. The government chose to deal with this by killing him. That was their solution. It solved both their problem with the embarrassment and would keep the cartels from destroying the plane. Reese's plan was to stop all of it from happening.
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Yeah, I don't buy it. I can't reconcile the Machine giving both Reese and ISI The Sphinx. It makes no sense, without huge contortions.

It's a much more reasonable explanation that ISI went after Sphinx because they were monitoring him and new he could expose them, while The Machine sent Reese to protect him.
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I enjoyed this episode a lot but my favorite part was Shaw kicking that agent's face with unbridled ferocity.
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Funnily enough, if Reese had not been on the plane (or had just remained in his seat), the first Colombian would have killed the Number, and it would no longer be a Relevant number, since the second Colombian would no longer need to crash the plane.

So, one can extrapolate that the machine knew that so many killers would result in 1 casualty, not 0 and not 130, and decided to risk the 130 by sending in Reese to try for the 0 casualties. And because maybe this guy will be needed in the future for the war against Samaritan.

Otherwise, the writers didn't really think this through, because with so many assassins on the plane, there was never really the risk of a plane crash until Reese started taking them out one by one and forcing the last assassin's hand.
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Except the machine is not a sentient being. It assesses and detects potentially violent crimes, then reports findings. Nothing more, nothing less. It's up to humans to decide what to do with that information.
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Nope, I disagree. Enough clues and information have been laid out that tell us that the machine is now a full AI. It is sentient.
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When the Machine beeped Sorry to Root, the Machine was proving that it had moved beyond 1's and 0's and into the realm of thought and reaction. IMHO
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That was Finch's original intention for the Machine. However, the Machine has seemed to evolve. Consider Root and Hirsch. Especially Hirsch, the Machine stopped Root from killing him despite him having just tried to kill her. The Machine has plans.
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I don't know that The Machine has a crush on Reese - although I think it favours him as one of its main assets - but it DOES have an enormous amount of affection and care for Finch.
And Finch needs his Reese.
While he may be able to work with Shaw, I believe he needs Reese on a much more personal level - they've become friends, and neither one has a whole lot of those.

The final scene at the outdoor café nearly made me choke up - these guys can say as much with an eyebrow or the corner of their mouth as any Shakespeare monologue
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It just occurs to me that both Reese and Root are now both admins to the Machine (I suppose Harold is too still? but not sure) as of the end of Season 2.
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Root was admin for 24 hours. If Root had of known that the Machine was moving itself, she could have asked where she was going. But her 24 hours ran out just before she found out the Machine had jumped up and run off. She no longer had admin privileges else she would go to the Machine. Reese never had admin. The Machine just helped him shoot all the guys from the payphone by giving him a half second heads up where they were coming from.
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Reese actually did have admin powers during those 24 hours. He told the machine to find them vehicles to use, escape routes ( like when they were getting away from the cops and the machine told them to drive through the barrier, where there was a helicopter for them to use
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Actually, no, he was an admin in that final episode of season 2. He just wanted one thing from the machine: to save Harold.
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