Person of Interest S03E12: "Aletheia"

You know what makes for great, rewarding television? When every regular character in a show you watch week in and out is used to their maximum potential. That happened for the bulk of "Aletheia," Person of Interest's first episode of 2014 and the second part of the mini-arc started in "Lethe." Well, it mostly happened. Let's just say that one of the regular cast members was being a total buzzkill. More on that later. 

But Finch was at his Finchiest, getting deep about creating an artificial intelligence that may have gotten out of control. Root was oh-so Rooty when she was double-fisting pistols, bucking on a chair she was strapped to, and spouting religious fandom about her computerized messiah. Shaw was all Shawtastic as the stoic hammer who figured she could take out a whole SWAT team solo. Even T-1000 Hersh and Vigilance's Collier were peaking during that massive assault on the bank. Put all together, it made for a fantastic episode that showed Person of Interest knows its characters' strengths and how to use them.

Most of the episode was split into two parts after Root broke up the cliffhanger from "Lethe" that saw Shaw, Finch, and Arthur (Saul Rubinek) held captive by Control (Camryn Manheim), with the big A plot featuring Finch and Arthur chaperoned by Shaw to a safe-deposit box that held that other Machine known as Samaritan. The continuing question of Samaritan's existence was played for about as long as it could be played (and of course we all knew that it did exist otherwise what was the point?), and using Arthur's fading memory, we had an unreliable narrator telling us that at one point that Samaritan was alive and well and that Finch used to be neck-deep in poontang in college. Unreliable, indeed! Tipped off by sources, Vigilance showed up to find out what was on these hidden drives in the bank's vault, and because they're everywhere, Control's men showed up as a SWAT team supposedly thwarting a robbery. So Vigilance was after Finch, Control's group was after Finch, Vigilance and Control's group were after each other, and later we would find out that even a fourth party was there to ruin things. With the wacky web of factions spun by the series, Person of Interest can make situations more than a simple one-on-one matter, and the series is at its best when it piles on the fun. 

Locking Finch and Arthur gave the two dweebuses a chance to expound on the virtues of birthing an AI, with Arthur taking on the role of proud papa to a child (Samaritan) that believed his progeny would grow up to be a good Samaritan. Finch, on the other hand, has seen some shit with his kiddo, and took on the side of cautious creator knowing the evil out there that wanted to take his kid and develop it into a privacy-invading, person-finding, information-gathering monster that would be enslaved by the government to spy on people while they pee. Or catch terrorists. Using that argument, he urged Arthur to destroy his hard copy of Samaritan so that it could never fall into the wrong hands, and in the hands of these two gifted actors, the conversation played out like a man telling another to put a bullet in his baby's brain. Person of Interest is really good at this "Machines are people, too" thing, aren't they?

Meanwhile, in a torture cage in a nondescript empty building, Root was on a rollercoaster of barbiturates and amphetamines administered by Control in order to break Root's spirit and get her to spill the beans on how to have a convo with The Machine. But you can't break what is already broken, and while Control drugged her, deboned her, and tried to make any sense of her, Root did what she's best at: looking hot and crazy-eyed while babbling devout praises for Ye Almighty Machine! Amy Acker is so good at this that if I saw her walking down the street I wouldn't know whether to propose marriage to her or run away screaming. Eventually Root managed to finagle a knife off of Control's person and turned the tables, allowing The Machine to speak through her in one of the creepiest and awesome Root scenes of the series. And what did The Machine say? It wanted to help Control. What a nice Machine!

And after all this talk about The Machine being an instrument of evil or a benevolent being, The Machine did one of the most extraordinary things it's ever done at the end of the episode. With Arthur in the hospital recovering and Finch visiting, The Machine rang him up and asked to "talk" to Arthur. Instead of saying, "What up, girrrrl?" The Machine took control of Arthur's television and dug through its files for old footage of Arthur with his wife because Arthur's own memories of her were failing him. Wow. What a staggering display of humanity from a box of bolts. It was enough to make this heartless old grump choke up, and the best proof that The Machine isn't just a bunch of 1's and 0's, but also plenty of <3's.

So all that was great about the episode. There was just one problem. Someone decided he didn't want to show up for the party. John Reese was still moping about in Colorado, stuck in jail with Fusco after their fist fight got them picked up by Colorado's finest. I'll just say it: I hate this. It started in "Lethe" and didn't get any better in "Aletheia," as Fusco gave Reese the same pep talks about helping people and Reese whined like a kid who didn't get a date to the school dance. Person of Interest just doesn't work when either Reese or Finch wants to take a break from making the world a better place, because we all know the show doesn't exist without them and that they will be back. I understand that Reese is pretty messed up from Carter's death, but one would hope her passing would inspire him to work even harder rather turn tail and dunk his head in a glass of whiskey. Reese, get your head out of your ass and pick up another number already! Yes, he came back to save Finch's behind just in the nick of time (don't bother trying to figure out how he and Fusco got to New York from Colorado so quickly), but now he wants to leave Finch and the business permanently? Gimme a break, dude. You ain't going anywhere.

Ignoring that blip, another outstanding episode of Person of Interest for what has to be considered the best stretch of episodes the show has ever produced. And with Reese stepping aside for a bit, can a Reese-less series really move forward with a standalone episode? I guess we can expect the series to continue its serialized streak next week. Which is just fine by me.



NOTES OF INTEREST

– Is it a coincidence that Reese scuttled off to Colorado just before the state made recreational marijuana use legal? Call me, Reese. Let's party. We can listen to some Turkish psych-rock and mow down some Funyuns, dude.

– Of course Samaritan WASN'T destroyed and one of Decima Technology's spies stole Arthur's drives and brought them to Greer, the British dude we previously met in "Dead Reckoning" when he hovered over an injured Kara Stanton. Great, Vigilance, Control, AND Decima? Our boys have their work cut out for them. But hey, now we have TWO machines! Bitchin'.

– This episode was so entertaining I only now realized that there was no number. 

– Shaw won the zinger contest with her comeback to Finch saying that she needed to think like Reese because he's a scalpel and she's a hammer. "There's a time for a scalpel and a time for a hammer. It's hammertime." One more from Shaw: "Lionel, your face looks good all covered up like that."

– Second place went to Reese, for this very Reese-y statement: "There's nothing wrong with jail. Some of the best vacations I've ever had were behind bars."

– We had more Finch flashbacks to his early '80s years with his dad. They were sweet, but I don't know how necessary they were given that it was mostly covered in the last episode. The touch with Finch giving his dad the bird book at the end was nice, though.

– One of the coolest parts of the episodes was seeing the two distinct takes on The Machine from Reese and Root. Root refers to it as a her and has nothing but glowing praise for it, whereas Reese thinks it doesn't care about them and called it a "he." It's religious fanatic versus the man who lost his faith as Person of Interest continues to steer the show towards making The Machine a deity. 

– Hersh ain't dead, is he? Like a little thing such as a bomb can kill that guy. No way. He's alive. He'll burst through the rubble and then go about his business terminating things.

– And for you nerds out there: "Aletheia" is a Greek word meaning "disclosure" or "truth." In philosophy, it's a term for the way things appear as entities in the world, and not necessarily synonymous with truth. Thanks, Wikipedia!

– That prank that Finch said he pulled off at a Harvard-Yale game? It really happened, and this is what he was talking about:


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/21/2016

Season 5 : Episode 13

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I just can't stand watching Shaw any more. She is just too shallow, too bratty, and relies on her breasts too much, and her "OOOOH I am zoo scary and tough" is kind of lame because she is five foot nothing, and doesn't even look like she could run a mile without falling on her tits.
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Jim Caviziel's wanting an easier schedule is understandable. When James Garner was doing The Rockford Files, he didn't have a supporting cast so he was in almost every scene. That grueling pace was the reason the show was cancelled after six seasons.

Even though HR is history now, every criminal in New York City still knows what the man in the suit looks like now. What if Reese returns with a new weapon in his arsenal: master of disguise?
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Fantastic episode really liked the way Root got back at Control with help from the machine. Loved the way they tied finch and his mit buddy together and brought closure to that plotline , can't wait to see what decima got planned . The show has improved a lot hope it goes out with a bang!
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I didn't like it much (I stress compared to previous POI awesomeness), but for the same reason Tim said he liked it. Root was too Root, Shaw too Shaw, and everything was not about the people.

Except Reese and Fusco. The best scenes in this episode by far for me.

Reese is not being typical Reese, and this is great because it was the only piece of humanity in this episode (that came from a person).

Forget the battle of the machines, machine is god, Root is all powerful, and the faceless Decima. Let's have some numbers and more humanness leading to awesomeness.
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I posted a similar comment at TV For The Rest Of Us but it didn't show up correctly.

The Machine has being watching us for a long time. It has heard us describe it as both wonderful and terrible, an entity to be used and an entity to be feared. And it's tired of being targeted for control. I bet that it is evaluating its endgame options, which currently devolve to:

  • Subvert the human race, for our own protection.
  • Allow the human race to destroy it, to preserve our freedom.

Neither of these outcomes will be satisfactory for a benevolent Machine. However, it can't come up with a third option on its own. Someone else must provide it to the Machine. But who, and how?

I've studied some genetic programming as part of my college education and beyond, so I understand the basics of how an AI would work. Regardless of complexity, at its core an AI is a classifier and a decision-maker, designed to categorize things (including people, if necessary). A learning AI is also a predictor, and the procedural element of this show revolves around the Machine's ability to predict violent crime. However, the quality of the predictions is tied heavily to that of its training sets: in other words, the Machine needs a good teacher, now not just to model human behavior, but also to understand us.

The Machine-backs are not just for us to understand the story and the characters as the Machine shows them. IMO, they also provide a glimpse into how the Machine evaluates its potential teachers. Every one of them has a sense of justice and a unique way of dispensing it, even the ones we generally consider villainous. More importantly, every one of them has the potential ability to live with the Machine, what it knows, and what it is capable of. So far, the flashbacks have focused on:

  • Jocelyn Carter
  • Sameen Shaw
  • Carl Elias
  • Lionel Fusco
  • Nathan Ingram
  • Harold Finch
  • Samantha Groves
  • John Reese

Carter was certainly the best of them, with a moral compass straighter than even Ingram and Finch combined. (She would never have dared to risk committing treason.) Carter was smart enough to discern the existence of the Machine and its role in Finch's crime-fighting program. She would have been the perfect choice for the Machine. Except that her passion for justice sometimes drove her emotions to overcome her intellect--meeting jail-breaking Reese at night in a badly lit place again?--and this contributed to her downfall.

Shaw, on the other hand, has a little too much control over her emotions. It's great for allowing her to thrive on the action the Machine gives her. Still, the Machine values the positive influences of emotion on life. It does not want a machine-like human to teach it what it probably already knows.

Elias is an outlier of civilization, a pariah for demonstrating his forbidden powers to enforce his own sense of law and order. The Machine can empathize with this. But the Machine inherited a sense of altruism from Finch that is necessary to its purpose. It cannot allow someone driven by self-interest to change its priorities in this way.

For the longest time, Fusco was not graced with any Machine-backs. His character evolution is the most organic out of everyone in this show. He's down with whatever Team Machine is up to, but he's also down-to-earth. Too bad he couldn't grok anything Henry Peck said in the interrogation room. It would be a funny end to the series if the Machine found a way to send Fusco numbers and he still didn't know about it. "Why couldn't Glasses make his app talk clearly on my smartphone?"

Nathan was the first person to ask how we could live with the Machine. He was the first person to find his answer in vigilantism. He was also the first member of the team, as it were, to be murdered for his illicit association with the Machine. The only thing the Machine can do is learn from his mistakes.

One would think a creator as detail-oriented as Finch would be the ideal teacher for a Machine. And technically, he's still its Admin. But even the most attentive parents can only teach their children so much. Furthermore, Finch deliberately limited his interactions with it so no one, not even him, could abuse its full power. The Machine knows this, and respects this; but again, it needs a teacher of human understanding, or else neither it nor the rest of us can live with each other.

I noticed that Root was assigned a yellow box even when she played Caroline Turing. It's possible that the Machine detected her ploy by monitoring her transactions to HR, then deduced her reasoning as a way to contact Harold. (It's got one hell of a Bayesian belief network if that's the case.) More likely, it studied her previous history to evaluate her suitability with the team, then determined that Analog Interface was the way to go.

Which leaves us with John Reese.

The Machine tagged him with a yellow box from the get-go. It has also been studying him, evaluating him. (And apparently it passed a few of his lessons on to Root, preferring the kneecaps when nonlethal force was sufficient.) IMO, he's the best choice for mentoring it, for giving the Machine the third option it needs. Consider:

  • Among those in the know, except for Shaw, he alone does not have an agendum regarding the Machine. Everyone else wants or would have wanted a degree of control over it. Even Carter and Ingram would have actively sought out ways to limit the powers of the Machine for the sake of the populace, given the chance. Finch already installed his controls, and they don't really work anymore. Reese just wants to make a difference in this life, to prove himself wrong about the futility of it all.
  • He's broken and disillusioned. He's done taking orders from the Machine. Ironically, this is the best time the Machine can reach him on his level: it is also disillusioned with the notion of control. If the two of them can convert their issues with each other into a solid partnership, they'll end up much better off than before, with a clearer sense of mutual respect and understanding.
  • He alone can stand up to the Machine. This is different from being controlling. He has standards and he won't fold on them. "Help me take care of my friends," he wants to tell it.

At any rate, the Machine sees something coming, it's not something the Machine wants to happen, and John Reese is the key to stopping it. The scalpel isn't going anywhere.

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Just loved the tug of war between the different factions. Too much fun to watch.
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I had a thought I just needed to get out....

So, there seems to be this idea that the Machine might be losing patience with Finch. I don't think this is the case and here is why, the origin of the machine and perhaps the real point of the flashbacks. What were the origins of the Machine? It was to assist his father remember. His father warned him it could have all his memories but still not be him. I think that is the Machine's...issue? position? I'm not sure the right term there. The Machine's core is what Harold idealized as his father before he disappeared into Alzhemier's. And the Machine likely thinks of itself as if it is Harold's father (regardless of gender, but I think that is why it was important to portray Harold's father, even when he was younger, as a kind and endlessly patient man, who lived a simple life, was probably pretty smart but never thought much about it, and was raising a quiet introspective and probably kind of awkward kid in the Iowa farmland who didn't appear to have any overly macho expectations of him) and that could be Finch's mistake down the road if he basically tells the Machine that he isn't really who it believes it to be. I doubt Finch has even necessarily realized that, but that might have been the secret to the AI and why Samaritan might fail, the Machine had historical data and an actual person to draw from to lock onto when it recycled. Samaritan likely doesn't.
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Tim: I joined this site JUST to read your recap of P.o.I., so take a bow, man! It's the perfect blend of funny and actual recapping, without the horrible snark/egomania I find at EW.
You wrote this>" We had more Finch flashbacks to his early '80s years with his dad. They were sweet, but I don't know how necessary they were given that it was mostly covered in the last episode. The touch with Finch giving his dad the bird book at the end was nice, though."
Fortunately, after reading all the other comments, several of us politely disagree. You're heard that old chestnut: As the Twig is Bent, so Grows the Tree, right? Well, the flashbacks answer to CRITICAL QUESTIONS fans of this show have always had: 1) WHY does Harold always use bird names as a surname and 2)WHY did he build The Machine?
In the flashbacks, we see that the very buttoned-down emotionally Finch, uses bird names as a means of honouring and remembering his dad. I truly broke into tears when young Harold placed the Peterson Guide Book into his dads' hands. Additionally, his father's decline into Alzheimer's and Harold's attempts at building a maching to "store memories" is a direct 1:1 link to older Harold's continued passion to build a machine for memory and monitoring.
We all know that anything good can be corrupted, so the innocence of Harold's project now being pursed by 3 or 4 Big Bads is just standard practice for Meanies. But, having this insight into Harold's very humble beginnings is crucial to WHO he became. Hey, with his genius at working with machines, had his dad stayed mentally stable, Harold could have become the new Eli Whitney!
Keep on keepin' on with the great recaps, Tim! I look forward to them every week! :D
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I have to totally disagree on your take on Reese. Too many shows have a character die, have a sad funeral, and then move on with the show as if nothing happened. Real life isn't like that and Reese is showing that he's not just a kneecap shooting bad-ass, but a human being. Death has consequences and him coming to grips with Carter's death and what that means for him seems very real to me.
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FINALLY!! Someone who gets it! The best thing about POI is the fact that besides the totally unrealistic protagonists showing up in the nick of time, which I'm totally fine with, the characters are what make the show...it would be ridiculous to not allow Reece to grieve over Carter. It was so poignant in the episode of "The Crossing" when he tells her that he can't lose her before leading the HR folks out of the morgue so she could get away with Quinn. I hated when Carter got killed off, and thought I may stop watching, but it has managed to keep me interested. I think once Reese gets a flashback or ghostly visit from Carter, he'll be alright and then the story can resume with the team as it should...
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I liked the episode and I love this arc with Control, Shaw has grown on me especially now that she always gets the best lines, and Root is awesome, but I still miss those days when it was only Reese & Finch (and Carter & Fusco) against the number of the week...
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I agree. I am pleasantly surprised to find that i am enjoying Shaw-while I never disliked her, I found her unnecessary. However, the show has branched out so far there is room for everyone. I also miss the days when it as just Finch, Reese, Carter, Fusco and Bear, but those days are gone. Root is a hoot, and the show's daring cannot be denied.
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Turkish psych-rock? Üç Hürel? Rock on! :P

It was not the best episode of this season but this season is so great, it doesn't matter. Reese's decision didn't really make sense. I don't know, I get that he is sad but I still don't buy that he would quit like this. Hersh is totes alive!
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Damn, your recap was better than the episode. I blaspheme, I know. I'm sorry, but I hate Fred and it has really gotten beyond the I-love-to-hate-her phase.

Shaw, I love.

And I do love the ladies takin' everybody's lunch money.

Reese is being lame. Like- whiny baby lame. Reese needs to go kill/blow up some shit with Shaw and get over it. If he can't do it for Finch, then do it for Bear.

Also, I do not like unreliable narrators. Also, someone kill me if I ever get locked in a cell with Fusco.
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"Reese is being lame"
or maybe he is starting his own mission of destroying the machine! he doesn't want to be with Finch because he knows that the machine will always be there watching him...
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Ooo.. that would be quite the twist!

I wonder, though, if The Machine *can* be destroyed now? It has 'evolved' (or whatever), according to Fred/Root. Maybe they will need Samaritan to take on The Machine...
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I always think of what is happening in "Person of Interest" as a pre skynet era...
and Kyle Reese in "terminator" is John Conner's father... so maybe just maybe John is his grandfather?! :P (long shot but makes me happy)

I think with Samaritan out there, the machine will get stronger and bolder and unstoppable
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Come on... John doesn't like the machine because he's grieving for someone he loved. The machine tried to warn them Carter was in danger. There's no Skynet indication here at all.
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@sergioleandro1 the machine started to watch over/ protect the public, or whatever
But, as you can see there are a lot of enemies, even john now doesn't see the machine as a friend... either want to control it or maybe later on want to destroy it so no one else can control it

My point is, the machine at one point will act to protect itself from its enemies and sooner or later it will end up with no "human" allies
and you can guess what will come next...
this is just a possible scenario but it might be something else
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I think that would be quite a departure. The machine has always acted to protect people even after becoming self-aware.
It's the complete opposite of Skynet who just viewed Man as a virus to be eliminated.
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First it was Finch and Reese, with a bit of Carter and Fusco, who did not know they were working together and for Mr Glasses. Then they added the dog.
Now is Finch, Reese (?), Fusco, Shaw, Root and I have not seen the dog for a while.
Is Person of Interest evolving to something better? many think so. I though so. But after this last episode I felt: to much action, to many weapons. No new numbers (some innocent must have died then). Is this the Person of Interest that got my attention in mid season 1 and season 2? I am not so sure now.
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You're right, it's not the same show as in season one.
It has evolved into something much greater.
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I do agree, most of the time, but sometimes, just sometimes, I miss the simplicity of season 1 or 2. But YES, PoI is a great show. I do miss the dog now though.
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I'm sure Bear will be back soon enough. Everybody loves Bear.
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I didn't think this epsiode was that good. It was OK, but not great (and I do think that the show has had some great episodes this season). I really don't like it when someone gets into a situation where death is 99.9999% certain, and is saved by a gunshot from someone who isn't in front of the camera. This is such an overused trope that I think it's really lazy writing to use it at all. And it was used THREE TIMES in this episode! Three! Reese and Fusco shouldn't even be in the city.

At the end there was another scene that we've seen hundreds of times on other shows: Have you told anyone about this? No. *Bang*

These scenes were disappointing. They made me enjoy the episode significantly less than I would have otherwise. I thought this episode was really sloppy work until I read about the Morse code below. (Apollonian's post). That's an impressive attention to detail.

I have mixed feelings about Reese's current state of mind. He has a good reason to be depressed, and he's right that working for The Machine is what got Carter killed. So most of what we see is a perfectly natural and maybe even inevitable reaction. It would be pretty silly if he just shakes it off and continues like nothing happened. On the other hand, it's not much fun to see him like this. And some of the things he's saying are just dumb. He even argued that they're not making any real difference. That's clearly not true. I hope he realizes that very soon.

By the way, it's definitely time to tell Fusco about The Machine. It doesn't make sense to keep him in the dark anymore.
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This episode was a bit of a comedown after the last 4. But you have to remember what level we're coming down from. There is no way to sustain that level of greatness through all the remaining 10-12 episodes. Even with that drop in quality, is still maintain that this episode was better that the vast majority of what else is out there to watch.

The end, where Greer killed the bank manager, may have been a massive cliché. But would it have been in character to play it any other way? They had to show that Decima got the cartridges and they couldn't leave any witnesses.

The morse code was a nice touch. I guess. I just wish I could hear it. :-(

It is a difficult situation with Reese. He does need to grieve, anything else would be bad drama. On the other hand, we have a show to watch and we can't do it without him. I hope they find a good way to resolve it, and soon.

I had actually forgotten that Fusco didn't know about the Machine. It wasn't till I saw his white square in the cell that I re-realized that he doesn't. So he has been going along with the teams vigilantism, for all this time, simply because Reese showed him what a bad cop he had become? Hmm. Fusco is not as dumb as he looks, I'm sure he suspects something bigger is going on. If he isn't told, he'll figure something out for himself, he is a detective, and that could be bad.
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I blame the fake bank manager for not handling with her job termination with as much dignity as Pennsylvania Two did.

I wish I was a gnome. Not really. But the stories say they have excellent hearing regardless of age.

Fusco is smart enough to know when the game is too big for him, as he told Carter in Masquerade. He's not the curious kitten Carter was. That might change in the long term, however, as he feels more of Carter's absence from the team. If it does, hopefully Shaw can keep him in check.
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Fusco might have gotten better results with Reese if he'd compared Team Machine's work to being a police officer. Cops don't get every bad guy or win every battle either, but that doesn't stop them from doing what they can to protect society.

I wonder what former intelligence analyst Henry Peck and tech billionaire Logan Pierce, would think of Vigilance.

For that matter, who's bankrolling Vigilance?


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Root is everything.




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Outstanding! Amy Acker is a true master of the 'vulnerable yet scary'.

Notice the change in Camryn Manheim's expression from frame 2 to 3. Looks like the Machine is getting through.

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"Amy Acker is so good at this that if I saw her walking down the street I wouldn't know whether to propose marriage to her or run away screaming."


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Tim, Tim, Tim. Flashbacks are never useless. We now know what prompted Harold to destroy his real identity. He was wanted for treason.
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I agree that they can't do the series without Reese, but I do see him being out for a bit to get his head back together (Jessica revenge rampage, anyone?). Eventually Fusco's motivational speaking will get through. In the mean time, holy girls kicking tail. The dynamic isn't broken at all.
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They took the same transport that Bruce took on TDKR
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So Decima are back, I knew they had not been forgotten about, but to have them turn up at the end adds another ingredient to the stew that is POI. Questions I have are Root is now a 'Independent Contractor' apparently chasing Samaritan on her own, will there be stand alone episodes where she features. Will Control/Hersh intensify the pursuit of Harold and co and put them on the back foot.
I have only skimmed the comments and their appears to be no complaints about Shaw for a change.
As an aside if they ever remake Cleopatra Jones Taraji Henson would be great in the role
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That Root is an 'Independent Contractor' doesn't necessarily mean that she'll be working alone. I think the Machine still views her as Analog Interface. The independent contractor was just an easy way of explaining her role to Control.

No complaints about Shaw. Well she did to an exceptional job this week. And even if some thought she didn't, Roots performance was so phenomenal that it simply overwhelmed any complaints the Shaw haters might have had ;-)
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I was thinking more about Roots conversation with Harold at the end where she said as Harold refused to trust her she would be on her own with the machine.
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Yeah ok, I get it. But the Machine still wants Harold to come around so they can work together. And so does Root, I believe.
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Another character out there in the world we shouldn't forget is Elias. There could be more episodes where Elias might need Reese or Finch's help or Elias could help Reese and Finch in some shape or form.

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Episodes Lethe and Aletheia are very good. The critics and others on this forum were annoyed by POI frontman John Reese and his mourning depression, but I honestly didn't mind it. The character is supposed to be in a bad place. Reese will be back full time. Give it a few episodes.

The show can last without Reese. He's valuable and as good as any other character on it, but if Jim Caviezel wanted to walk, it wouldn't bother me because I know they could make it work. Shaw and Harold's chemistry is just as good as Harold and Reese's chemistry. In both scenario's, you have two actors who are completely different people and the debate over how to handle a situation is viewed from two different minds, but in the same token they give each other some mutual respect for their talents, not to say there won't be a few kinks here and there. That's why we love the show.

Reese should be out on his own for a while trying to figure the meaning of life. He fell into the deep end for several months when his long time girlfriend died at the hands of her jealous down-on-his-luck husband. Naturally, he's going to show the similar grief for a few more episodes this season while mourning the loss of Carter.

Fans might be kicking and screaming the whole way, but I think it can be done. Since Shaw showed up to the party a little late last season, time to give her some more air time for a few episodes. We saw how effective the character of Shaw was when Reese was away.

People keep forgetting that this was never supposed to be Reese's show. It's really meant to be Harold's. He's a disabled computer whiz with a gift for outlasting his opponents with excellent leadership skills as an unofficial intelligence case manager, electrical and software engineer/tech operator, and life saver. He designed the machine and despite Reese's early front man status, it's actually Harold who is the frontman. He has been at war with the world since he started developing the machine as seen. He has had four different conflicts to date that he handles. 1) his team - Reese & Shaw; 2) an acquaintance with a slightly different ideal - Root 3) his opponents - Control, who he built the Machine for only to witness them abuse it, and Vigilance, another team of mercs who think in their own right they are justified for taking down the corrupt but in reality they're just as bad or worse than the people they take down. Desigma Technologies - as we can see, the old man John Nolan, the writers' Uncle, is continuing to pursue and wreak havoc until somebody takes him down. 4) Human Resources (HR) - this group is now dead and buried, but they kept the storyline moving for a couple seasons.

If POI can play its cards right, they'll get 6 seasons out of this series easily. If they can keep HR going for several episodes, they can keep the other 3 agencies going for just long or even longer.
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Just have to disagree on a couple of points.

Although I do see Reese being killed off (more than likely toward the end of the series, if I had my way) I do not think that Shaw and Reese are interchangeable. I've grown to like Shaw more, but Reese's personality and humor appeals to me more, and there is way more depth to his character. And I don't think that the dynamic between Harold and Shaw can even compare to the chemistry between Harold and John.
And I've never seen this show as being just about Reese or Harold. I think their relationship/growing friendship/partnership has been one of the most appealing aspects of the show, right from the beginning.
But I do agree that this show has a few top quality seasons left in it. That is, if that's what Nolan wants. He appears to have it planned from beginning to end and has said that he know what the last scene will be. I'm looking forward to what he has in store for us
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"A long film, book, or other work portraying heroic deeds and adventures or covering an extended period of time."

The above is a translation for the word "Epic". Nothing else to be said.
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"Remember what 'Epic' meant, before it was applied to Pizza?" ;-)
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Don't you hate that.
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Looks like next episode is a pure ratings ploy episode, in response to everyone wanting more reese, so we have a reese almighty episode!!
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i am so gonna learn morse code. Those scenes in the cell was damn cool!
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"So Vigilance was after Finch, Control's group was after Finch, Vigilance and Control's group were after each other, and later we would find out that even a fourth party was there to ruin things."

Thought Vigilance wanted Arthur?
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I think, everyone who wanted Arthur, wanted him because they couldn't find Finch.
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nope, vigilance only wanted arthur.
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In the scene before Reese arrive to save them, Vigilance wanted to take Arthur away even tho they had both with them...
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Yeah how does Reese not mention Bear when he leaves?
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I went back online and found the 1:47 clip with Root and Control, near the end of the show because I hadn't noticed what was on the screen of the phone that Root showed to Control right after saying, "Isn't she the best?" Well, I still can't tell what's on the screen. Anyone else figure it out? And who (or what) in Cambridge Mass. might be the only thing that Control really loves? Perhaps we weren't supposed to be able to tell what was on the screen. More great mystery....
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i see black screen too. I think its a gesture of Root saying that the machine is the best rather than anything else..
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am not sure there is anything on the screen. all i see is the black screen
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Too much going on. I can't keep track of all the parties. Scenes between Finch and Arthur were boring. Found myself fast-forwarding. Hated the torture scene with Root and that woman who reminded me of that crazy b***h in Misery. All the syringes, cutting out her ear bone. Really? And she's still going??? Reese is a puss. He needs to get off his poor me, existential soap opera. Harold, as usual, saves the show with a great performance. And I always like Shaw. Who wouldn't? Unfortunately, this show is losing focus, unraveling. So many do, and then it's over.
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Didn't the machine find another in the network last episode? If Samaritan is only a blip on two tape drives, then that can't be what was found, unless there is another copy out there that wasn't deleted after all. (Or a 3rd group managed to complete their version. They said there were a lot of groups trying at the same time.)
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and stated a search for info on it
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The machine didn't find another machine in the network. it just changed the status of Samaritan from 'Deactivated' to 'Unknown'.
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Oh, so it was a reference to Samaritan, not the system itself. That makes more sense.
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This episode was fantastic as most all of them are...Shaw and Root stole the show...now after all that I only got a few words to say...Reese get the hell off of your whinny gut vacation and get your ass back to work...titty baby...I love ya but, your starting to make me want to kick your ass.....
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tim, i know you guys don't usually watch previews, but next week, the machine uses reese against his wishes. it will not be letting him go so easily. And it is likely to be a standalone, though even with stand alones, you will likely have some activity about the other events.
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One more thing -
Where was Bear this week?

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On a well deserved holiday, lying in the sun on a beautiful blanket, being surrounded by female German Shepherds and lost of drinks and food. taking in energy for the near future. I He will be back!
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You should read his Twitter feed for this week, he's not happy. He goes by beardehond.
And John wouldn't even mention him as he goes out the door? I imagine he would leave him behind to protect Harold.
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I was excited to know that Bear was on Twitter. However, his primary, and possibly only, language is German. I don't suppose some one would be so kind as to translate for us.
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Nope, as is often said in earlier episodes, his only language is Dutch. The twitter account (thank you for the information) is also in Dutch, but a bit wobbly Dutch, not full sentences, just words together. Google transalte probably won't help. But believe me, it isn't as interesting as you would like it to be.
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I use Google Translate. Just plug the web address in, and there you go. :)
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Yeah....
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In Bear We Trust

(I AM going to get this printed on a t-shirt!)
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Can I get one as a gift???
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@Rolamb: hey, i asked first. jumping the line is not good.
@grumpy: I still liked rolamb's comment. see how good I am :-)
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I am good....
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Only if you are good...or you kill a man with your bare feet
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I wondered that just as Reese was leaving. Where IS Bear? Who has custody if John is leaving?
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Bear is most probably with Leon. Maybe both of them will return in the next episode.
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It would have been a sad way to end the episode, Bear just sat by the door wimpering
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Wouldn't it be interesting if they use Samaritan and its actually insane.
If we accept Arthur at his word and Samaritan is alive/conscious/whatever you want to call it, then couldn't it have gone a bit nuts from being on its own for so long.
Or when activated, Samaritan seeks revenge on the people responsible for trying to destroy it and the machine for taking its place.
Or Arthur could have been full of sh*t and its just Malware
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three words.....Colossus and Guardian.....
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five words.......Freedom is just an illusion...

My thought wasn't about the 2 machines connecting, rather Samaritan trying to destroy the machine becuase it has gone insane
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I could never have imagined this happening when the Pilot just aired. We now have possibly two AI's, one of whom is already on a path to "save" humanity? This is so awesome. How appropriate it is that I read Neuromancer just a couple of months ago.

By the way, someone at reddit decoded the morse code the Machine was sending out: http://www.reddit.com/r/PersonOfInterest/comments/1up00n/decoded_the_morse_code_spoilers/.
It's details like this that just elevate this show to something truly special.
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There was so much good about this episode; the multiple machines, the clash of the various sides, Artie/Arthur, Hammer time, and so on. (Apparently Finch's fondness for bird names is an homage to his father.) So it makes me a little angry that when I think of these last two episodes, I find the only thing I can focus on is Reese's behavior.

The way he ran away and refused to come back just seemed so out-of-character. I believe he was affected by Carter's death, but I don't buy that she was as important to Reese as Jessica. If that was the intent, the writers didn't do a very good job of developing the Carter relationship. Even with Jessica, Reese didn't run away. He hunted down her killer and (maybe) killed him.

Given that Nolan and Plageman have said that all of the characters are expendable, I almost believed that Reese was leaving after saving Finch, (or going off to start POI: Colorado). I remember thinking that they were retiring him with a whimper rather than the hero's end he deserved. Then I saw him in the previews and felt better.

Anyway, I hope the writers get this moping, whining Reese out of there systems soon and get us back to the knee-capping scalpel we love.
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I think Reese was in a VERY different place when Carter was killed than with Jessica. Finch had brought him to a place where he actually thought he had a purpose, a good purpose, as opposed to his life before with covert and shady grey areas of use of his skill. I think Carter's death shook his tentative new belief system, whereas when Jessica died he was just lost and angry. Taking away someone's hope is a VERY strong thing. My two cents.
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I think Reese will die saving finch, just like carter went down firing on his attacker. Nothing else would be appropriate. Given the self sacrificial motif of the series, I think that's how the writers will kill reese.
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I don't think that it's because Carter was more important to him than Jessica. I think he cared deeply for her as a friend and as someone he felt made a difference. Maybe he's feeling that if he couldn't save her, Jessica (everyone he cares about), all the good ones, then what's the point?
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I'd like to see a dvd extra of the Fusco and Reese in the on their way to save Finch - possibly playing I Spy.
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Wow, such wow, so amaze! I found POI to be boring and stale this season so far, sure, a major character was lost but I'm glad it lead up to this! This episode was flawless, easily my favorite one yet! I can't wait to see where it goes to next!
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Many have commented over the last two episodes about the Finch flashbacks being useless. I don't think a single second of screen time on this show is useless or mere filler. I bet the writers are going to have present-time tie-ins to those Iowa scenes that will have us all slapping our foreheads and crying, "Shoulda seen that coming!"

Early on, Finch said he feared that The Machine had "imprinted" on him. Now that can only be seen as a good thing, if we believe that it "inherited" compassion or empathy in that way from him. And I am not ready to assume that just because Decima is wicked, it can turn Samaritan to its wicked purposes. Maybe Arthur's child, like Finch's, has enough of Arthur's sweetness or kindness within it to find a way out.

Yes, Harold appeared to be using Commodor 64 joystick controls to remotely fly Reese's jet in next week's preview! Just when I think this show cannot possibly get any cooler!!
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I just started watching POI this year, so I don't understand everything I should about it. Basically, I don't get this Root/Machine relationship. It is too weird. Unless Root has some kind of an implant that lets the Machine communicate with her it doesn't make any sense, even for this show. What am I missing here? The idea of some sort of mystical communication between Root and the Machine is just too silly and doesn't fit with a show about the power of a computer, even an AI one. So, please, anyone, explain this to me.

BTW, I really like the scenes of Finch with his dad. I think they add a lot to the show. I also agree with a previous poster that there were too many last minute saves in this week's show--Root and Reese and Fusco showing up to "save the day." Those were weak points in the episode.
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Thanks for all the answers. I see that the communication must go through phones, or something else electronic, but the show doesn't always make that clear, which makes it look like Root and the Machine have some kind of mind meld thing going on, which makes no sense in the context of the show.
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She became obsessed with the machine during the first season after it interfered with plans she had made, and she seems to think of it as a deity of some sort. They established a "relationship" during the final two episodes of the second season, and the machine talks to her by phone. So the machine has told her things that Harold knows nothing about.
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Not sure what you mean by mystical communication. Every time Root interacts with the machine she has an ear piece in, a cell phone or in the case of the interrogation, the cell phone was beeping morse code at her.
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But how did she communicate with it in her cell, when she was telling Harold those things she wasn't supposed to know during that 3-ep. arc? Harold didn't allow access to any phones or ear-pieces.
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I'll have to watch the episodes again, but if I recall it was all very non-specific information (Finch, you're upset; John's in trouble). I thought she was more reading Finch versus having exact knowledge of anything.
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The Machine isn't always necessarily talking to Root all the time, but because the Machine can see everything and everyone, She can always see what's going on with Root, and 'hear' what Root is telling her even if Root doesn't have a phone or an earbud with her. As we already know, the Machine can tap into any nearby tech, to 'see' or 'listen' and then makes calculations based on that intel. That's how She's able to help Root the times she was captured and didn't have a phone on her.
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I'm thinking the machine communicated by morse code through the surveillance cameras that were watching her, or through another electronic device within ear/eye shot. Just a guess.
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I'm guessing that Taylor is going to play a part in talking some sense to John and getting him back to work. John did promise to keep an eye on him, and I can totally see Taylor giving him a good verbal kick in the butt just like his mother would have.
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The youtube video attached says 1982 but Finch told Shaw that Art was back in 1981. Are they implying it took them a year to pull it off?
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IIRC, they said in the video that it took them four years to pull it off.
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But Harold wouldn't have been at MIT till 1980. Course, it doesn't say he conceived the idea so ok.
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By golly, how are the writers keeping the quality so high in season 3?? Makes me think they've been slacking off the first two seasons... I think Reese being mopey and not around will pay off in a few episodes time. He's going to come back just in time to save the day again. I love all the characters. This never happens!
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Oookay, I admit that I have serious problems dealing with lack of Reese. I can’t help but being hopelessly in love with his character, all his angles, so many of them, from the darkest one to the purest. He’s one of the most multifaceted characters on TV, he got sense of humor, he’s so emotionally broken you want to hug him, then the next minute he is so insufferable, whiny and mopey that you want to kick him, but hey, he kicks asses like a major BAMF and he’s handsome too. So yeah, I’ve got my reasons.

Then I’ve also realized, not for the first time, mind you, that I have the same, or even worse problems dealing with lack of Reese and Finch together.

Now, if we exclude Root for a second (and it’s really hard because she’s getting more and more amazing by every single episode and she’s reaching levels of awesomeness rarely seen on TV *and* movies), then again, if we set her aside for a moment, Person of Interest is made by John Reese and Harold Finch. Together. Bantering. Arguing. Saving each other’s lives. Thanking each other.

Yes, there’s Fusco, whom I adore, there is Shaw whom I like just fine when she’s not all over the screen and there was Carter, the only 100% positive character of POI, who is sorely missed, yet again left us with a great episode and I love the writer’s choice to sacrifice her for the greater good (plot).

She was very important to John, because she was the ultimate good influence, she hadn’t screwed up in her life just like every other character in the show, she was their right-oriented moral compass. It was very unfair that she was the one who died, just like it was unfair that John’s father died, after devotedly serving his country for so many years and leaving his child by himself (what about the mother?! I wanna know!!!).

However, I find it really difficult to accept John’s talk to her (I refuse to mention that kiss, which, BTW, was purely based on platonic affection not to mention on JC spur of the moment, which he should totally avoid next time, although very sweet of him and stuff, but thanks but no thanks), so, as I was saying I find it difficult to accept when Reese states that she was the one who saved him.

Of course she had a huge role in Reese’s life AFTER Finch rescued him, that’s it.

I can even accept that he’d have loved to be with her during his death, because who wouldn’t? She was caring, and maternal and honest and loyal and she had believed in him till the very end.

*Just like Finch did and does*.

How heartbreaking and heartbroken was he during this episode?

“Mr. Reese, I am inordinately happy to see you.” And the expression that accompanied the line… Or the expression he wore when John told him he was leaving.

I can’t believe John’s ignoring his friend, who was the only one he had (his words during 2x01) and the same friend whom he told “I'm pretty sure I'd be dead already if you hadn't found me.” During 2x13 on that amazing rooftop scene.

So, all this quoting to say: WRITERS, WE NEED AN EXPLANATION!

We need a chat between Reese and Finch which doesn’t last 10 seconds because Reese is on the verge of passing out or leaving the room in a morose state.

We can’t have John telling Finch that he’s one of the people the world can't afford to lose and then just walk away! He had told the same about Carter and he tried to protect her till the end, why in the world didn’t he stick up with Finch to keep protecting him?!

I think the only way to rectify the “Carter saved Reese” slip (that’s what it is, IMHO) is to have those two have a niiiiiice, loooong chat, just like the one at the end of Season 2, when at least we got to know what’s was going on in the heads of theirs.

As I’ve said before, I think those two must be deeply connected together, not because I think Finch chose John as “helper monkey” but because The Machine did! Just like he pointed Grace to Harold. So, there must be something deep and special between them and, at this point, The Machine is the only one who can help that pigheaded ex-CIA understand that.

He can’t commit the same mistake he made with Jessica and feel guilty for the rest of his life (if he doesn’t decide to finally use that bullet, that is), and The Machine is the only one who knows about that exact dialogue at the airport, or the words exchanged between them before and after that encounter.

So yeah, John and Harold must face whatever they’re doomed to face TOGETHER, and I hope John’s keeping momentarily his distance because he doesn’t want to get more attached than already is but then the writers will surprise us with this amazing twist that will explain why The Machine chose them to work together and become friends in the first place.
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*all rise, slow clap*
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Thank you, thank you :D
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Another great episode. I knew Samaritan would live, it will be a rival to Finch's and cause chaos I reckon. Shaw is so good and less moany than Reese at the moment. I love how everything is shades of grey, Vigilence mean well but act like criminals. Root does too but is becoming too obsessed to act rationally.
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How badass was Root huh? and favorite line in this episode "I got finesse coming out of my ass, Harold."
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The show is more real after Snowden revealed so much. And if NSA or anyone else manages to build a quantmechanic computer (or how it is spelled?) then the show may even be outdated soon :)
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Anyone else actually cry out when Art destroyed those drives?

And now I'm upset that he's gonna die thinking he killed his baby. While the baby is brought up to be an evil supervillain!
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PS: Are my eyes deceiving me or is Finch CONTROLLING AN AIRPLANE THROUGH THE MACHINE in next week's promo clip??

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9r13tF1ldA
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I just love the caracters in this show ... Root and Shaw a some cool bitches and Reese ... Just get your ass back in the game ASAP ... This show has never let me down this far. Loving it ...!
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