Person of Interest S03E05: "Razgovor"

The debate-turned-brawl over Samantha Shaw's compatibility with Reese and Finch isn't likely to entirely subside after "Ragovor," but I'm hoping that just for an hour, Shaw-haters stopped throwing punches and started dishing out very squeezy hugs. The episode focused on our pretty killer robot, yet it still served every one of the show's character (except for a vacationing Fusco). And it was FANTASTIC. "Ragovor" was by far the best episode of this young third season, and another one of those ideal "blueprint episodes" whose formula Person of Interest should continue to follow as it evolves. 

It's as if the Person of Interest writers' room heard the caterwauling from the vocal anti-Shaw alliance, but instead of succumbing to their complaints, decided to introduce Shaw all over again. Taking up the pen was David Slack, who has written some of the series best episodes, including a personal favorite of mine, "Prisoner's Dilemma," and the fan-favorite "Zero Day," and he wrung out some eyeballs by adding an effective glimmer of humanity to the femme assassin previously known for cracking wise without cracking a smile. "Ragovor" was "Relevance 2: Shaw's Boogaloo," and I loved every minute of it.

This week's number belonged to a wee lass named Gen, who lived in a ghetto full of drug dealers and other two-bit criminals. An import from Russia, the 10-year-old girl had mostly raised herself, and she ditched princess tea parties to dabble in a hobby passed down to her by her late KGB grandpa: spying! Gen had her whole building wired to some Fisher-Price-type cassette tape recorders, and she made a habit of snooping on her neighbors, collecting all sorts of naughty incriminating conversations on good ol' fashioned analog media. Such a hipster move, Gen. Naturally, bad guys don't like their dealings preserved for the record books, and they wanted the tapes. Naturally, it was time for Reese, Finch, and Shaw to f*ck up some bad guys. 

Shaw was sent in to check out Gen (I don't know why Shaw was picked, probably because it worked better for the script that way), and there's no better way to thaw out an ice queen than to hold a mirror to her face and make her feel like she's 10 again. Despite her protest of "Fine with me, I hate kids," Shaw reluctantly took an instant liking to Gen because the kid was such a badass herself. Not only did Gen boast some above-average counterintelligence moves, she had an impressive knowledge of espionage agencies and looked up to Shaw. And when Shaw and Gen were hiding in the bowels of Gen's building while on the run from scary Eastern Europeans, Shaw's job became a full Ripley-and-Newt-from-Aliens relationship and it was CUTE. Gen's inquisitiveness and admiration for Shaw slowly broke off chunks of frigidness from the stone-cold woman; it was like watching the human version of those glaciers that are falling apart and splashing into the Arctic. 

Eventually Shaw did lose Gen to the Russkies, and her entire demeanor went from "irritated babysitter" to "big sister out for blood." Despite a broken wing and Finch's insistence that she stand down and heal, Shaw was like, "F THAT! I'm getting this kid back because this is how I work out my deep-rooted personal issues!" except she didn't say it with her mouth, she said it with her eyes and her guns. The details of how Shaw got to Gen aren't that important because "Ragorov" was working on an emotional level, and that emotion ran on the same juice that allows 100-pound mothers to flip over an SUV when their baby is stuck beneath it. In fact, instead of details, let's just enjoy a gallery of pictures and .GIFs that show off how fearsome Shaw was in this episode once Gen was taken from her. 




Heightening this display of badassery were flashbacks to 1993 when Shaw was just a kid, let's say about Gen years old. They were not good times. Shaw had just gotten into a car accident with her dad, her dad didn't survive, and Shaw was unfazed and asked the friendly firefighter for a sandwich. One could argue that it was slightly cheap to show just this one moment, but it was so direct and well-written, without any sappiness to it, that it captured the essence of Shaw and what she was trying to overcome in the present day—her lack of emotion and attachment. Had she always been so level that not even her dad's death affected her? Or was that THE moment when her emotions were ripped away and she set out on a path to become the perfect killer? This was exactly what the character of Shaw needed.

In the near-final moments of the episode, Shaw walked Gen to her first day of hard-to-get-into prep school for their sweet goodbye, and then it was Kleenex time. "I'm just not wired for this kind of stuff, kid," Shaw said when Gen handed her a keepsake. "I know," Gen said. "I figured you out. It's not that you don't have feelings, it's just like, the volume is turned way down, like the sound on an old tape. The voices are there, you just have to listen. Bye Shaw." Then Shaw grabbed Gen and gave her what Shaw must think is a hug, which looked like what it would feel like to be embraced by Robocop. "You're hurting me," Gen said with a smirk, and then Shaw did some weird and perfect pat-down thing on Gen and sent her on a way. All without a word. Here, look at some pictures while I take a minute to collect myself.



As all this was going on, Reese and Finch were figuring out the answers to exactly WHY bad guys wanted Gen, tying their story to Shaw's nicely and taking care of the mythology aspect of the series. Gen had audio-snooped on some of Detective Terney's HR business and had proof that HR was in the business of manufacturing drugs, and not just any drug, some form of super eat-someone's-face bath salts! It led to a great industrial-area gravel parking-lot brawl between Reese and Terney, with Reese disappearing just as Terney's backup arrived.

In the long run, it meant Finch had evidence (the tapes) against HR should they choose to use it. But in the episode's third great storyline, Carter made it known that they shouldn't take steps against HR until they find the ringleader (Alonzo Quinn) to cut the proverbial head off the dirty pig. With Carter getting closer and closer to finding out the truth, Dirty Laskey pulled her aside for a drink to figure out what she knew, and Carter was like WHAT and let Laskey know that she knew he was corrupt the entire time. And then Laskey had the nerve to call her an arrogant bitch who didn't know her place. OH NO LASKEY DIDN'T! But Carter is harder than week-old dog poop and she told him off like an angry mom, shot the shady HR cop/bartender that had the shotgun behind the bar, and used Laskey's gun to do it. By the balls, kid! You're screwed! Now Laskey is going to be working for Carter as her inside man in HR. OH SNAP. This was the most awesome thing Carter has done. 

But that wasn't all. In the final FINAL moments, Shaw was all tuckered out from her day of shooting guys and rescuing a little girl when she was woken from her dreams of shooting guys and eating raw meat by... ROOT. And a stun gun. And these words: "Did you miss me? We're going to have so much fun together." AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Hell and yes. 

"Ragovor" ruled, plain and simple. Every person on the team had their moments, but the hour belonged to Shaw. There are some people who will never be comfortable with someone else sharing the spotlight with Reese and Finch, but Shaw just needs some time to grow. By breaking the ice on her emotions, she's giving something a chance she never thought she would. Shouldn't you give her the same chance?




LINES OF CODE

– The .GIF above is one of my favorite Reese punches of the series. Gotta love that smile!

– Big fist-bump to Sara Shahi for putting in a great performance this week. She showed just enough increasing cracks and vulnerability as the episode went on, but still stayed well within the character. High-fives to the rest of the cast as well, especially Taraji P. Henson in her final scene. Wow! You could tell everyone had a lot of fun in this episode. 

– The episode's title, "Ragovor," means "conversation," perhaps an ode to the fantastic Gene Hackman film "The Conversation." 

– This kind of episode is exactly what Person of Interest should be. Character exploration and plenty of action in the vein of an old '80s action series.

– That was some outstanding interplay between Reese, Finch, and Shaw over their private channel, especially when Reese and Finch switched to their own line and Shaw interjected because she bugged Finch's office and heard the whole conversation. But where is this bug? I'm thinking Shaw but it up Bear's butt. Or on his collar. 

– Shaw: "We're not any agency, we're just a... I don't even know what we are. To be honest, I'm only in it for the dog." Gen: "YOU GUYS HAVE A DOG!?!?" Haha, adorable.

– Shaw: "Hey Finch, how much do you know about chemistry?" Finch: "Enough." And then... KABOOM. 

– Why did Reese put his gun away when he was with Terney? Does he respect the code of a "fighting chance" when dealing with villains? Because that's badass.


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/21/2016

Season 5 : Episode 13

375 Comments
Comments (375)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
I absolutely loved this episode. Shaw may be a bad ass efficient killer but let's not forget she used to work for the DOD specificaly research and what have you thinking she was doing the right thing. So in my eyes she's a good person. I remember the conversation she had with her partner before he died. And Noe she's working for Finch doing the same thing sort of and she loves a good old dog.
1
Reply
Flag
I disliked this episode with a passion. I am tired of shows where women, even the hardest ones, can't resist the charm of a kid. I think Gen was adorable and I would love to have her as my child or little sister, but I didn't want Shaw to crack and melt. I want her to keep being the efficient killer with very few emotions (loyalty for a friend, for instance), A REALLY cold woman set her character apart. A woman puting the face of a cold one is nothing special.
Reply
Flag
I am so behind on POI but this episode was EPIC. There was ecstatic shouting and attempts to high-five a TV during that Carter scene. Yes, I liked the Shaw development but for me, sorry, Carter stole the ENTIRE show at the end.
Reply
Flag
I loved this episode - superb performance from Sarah Shahi with some great character development for Shaw, plus some ass-kicking stylings from Carter. Oh, and Amy Acker's on the case too! Move over boys, the ladies had this episode down!
Reply
Flag
It's called "Razgovor" not "Ragovor", and Reese fought SIMMONS, not Terney.
9
Reply
Flag
Excellent episode as usual. Loved it - and loving Shaw (who at first seemed an odd fit for "the team") more and more. 9.5/10.
4
Reply
Flag
BTW, Razgovor = Conversation
Perhaps something Shaw needed, Carter needed and Finch needs to find where he is NSA:d..(the Dogs super bone?)

And for the record...not Robo Cop, but Terminator, that is more correct since Shaw is learning being a human...and she is better than Arnold in this role hahah

1
Reply
Flag
GREAT!!!!
Just the question...i just wanted to see if you were a robot! So great, Shaw vs Arnold. Good guys get bad (Carter) and bad guys get good (Shaw). Then we get the middle with Root. This will be a great season if it continues like this!

1
Reply
Flag
i saw the 3 season this week for this episode, Shaw and the DOG :)

Shaw: "We're not any agency, we're just a... I don't even know what we are. To be honest, I'm only in it for the dog."
1
Reply
Flag
Loved this episode and that Carter has become a serious badass in her mission to destroy HR. Sneaky one throwing in the leg -shot at the beginning to make us think it was Reese.
4
Reply
Flag
I loved the episode. Still, too much Shaw for me anyway, sorry, especially when it's at the expense of the irreplaceable F.U.S.C.O!! I think Carter's plot showed what the core characters are capable of offering, and I'd rather they stick to them. I don't dislike Shaw, but I'd like her better as a recurrent character, like Zoe, Leo, et al, because i don't see she brings more to the show than they do.
And I am still in love with Peter Yogorov. I hope he comes back, hehe.
1
Reply
Flag
Nice review, Tim. Just a couple typos you need to fix: It's "Razgovor" not "Ragovor", and Reese fought Simmons, not Terney. In your notes, Sarah Shahi is spelled with an H.
2
Reply
Flag
Superb, love this show!
2
Reply
Flag
Finally - the Shaw haters came around! Told you guys: her character would get more depth and I loved the way POI handled it with one of its best episodes ever!!
I hereby declare my profound admiration for this show, its great actors, elaborate plot lines and fantastic writers... Impeccable work! "Razgovor" went smoothly like a Swiss watch, neat and clean in the minutest details.

And how bad-ass was Carter! - I caught myself holding my breath... I almost felt pity for young Laskey. Cannot wait for the next episode to see how the Shaw/Root conflict will turn out....
9
Reply
Flag
I also loved that moment when Reese smiled! hahahah!!

The episode was AWESOME. And what Carter did, I stood up and clapped!
8
Reply
Flag
YAY! The robot's got feelings!
Reply
Flag
Seriously how can you not like Shaw, she is awesome. The ladies really made this episode and Carter using her partner's gun to frame him like they did with her was brilliant.
7
Reply
Flag
And this is why I love this show. Pitch-perfect episode, from start to finish.
5
Reply
Flag
Great episode. It should have been episode 2, with the first all about Root and Carter (HR), with a number as a minor sub-plot.

I really hope this is the blueprint for the series, without anymore case-of-the-week filler episodes that don't deal with either Root, HR, or the government.
1
Reply
Flag
"This kind of episode is exactly what Person of Interest should be. "
With this much shooting? (it it was not about shooting in the knee..)
No way.

"Razgovor", plz.
2
Reply
Flag
Oh, and Simmons, not Terney..
You are not really good with the names these days :/
Reply
Flag
It's not "ragovor", it's "razgovor"...
3
Reply
Flag
Shaw's on the money with the dog comment. Dogs are better than people. So are cats.
3
Reply
Flag
Loved this episode from beginning to end. I've never been a Shaw hater in the least sense of the word. She's simply misunderstood by many people to me. She reminds me of Michonne from the Walking Dead: not much emotion, blunt honesty, and a warrior to the bone. Oh, by the way, Michonne is one of my favorite characters on the Walking Dead, so that easily put Shaw on my good side. I don't get why characters that get straight to the point with a little lack of humor can be so easily hated-on by fans. She definitely has her humorous moments; they just don't come that often: BIG FREAKING DEAL!!! She is a valuable, but sometimes stone cold asset. For crying out loud, just give her a break!!
6
Reply
Flag
Mr shaky hands actually believed John was carrying around a bottle of nitro eh? I guess bath salt fumes make you pretty stupid. Shoulda stuck with cooking meth, bitch!
2
Reply
Flag
Best episode of the season so far, in far best episode on TV this week

Things -
I was surprised Tim didnt mention how easy Jen got information out of Shaw - this is not a complaint, I found it funny

Root is working for the machine and she kidnaps Shaw - this means the machine gave Root her location and obviously wants them to team up. But does this mean the machine will be willing to compromise Finch's location as well, so that an assignment given to Root can be successful?
7
Reply
Flag
Terney is the Detective. Simmons is the beat cop. Simmons fought Reese, not Terney.
8
Reply
Flag
OMG, OMG, OMG. Okay, I wasn't sure about this season at first, but this was so good! For once the case of the week was melded with the mythos, and it was TIGHT and SWEET. That moment when Carter and Reese literally met each other around the corner---perfectly captured what made this episode so great.

I should have trusted the writers that they were finally going to start exploring Shaw's backstory. She's still a very mysterious character, but at least as Tim said, she's thawing. However, Detective Carter will always be my favorite female character. How does she stay so FEMININE while being so bad-ass?

By the way Tim, you screwed up big time on the name of the officer Reese is fighting. That's Simmons not Terney! I see others have already mentioned this. Might want to fix that, that's kind of embarrassing. Speaking of, anyone a little surprised Simmons lasted as long as he did against Reese? I mean Reese is the guy who can dispatch five badguys in five seconds. I'm just saying it took a little longer than it probably should have.

I'm glad to see Finch and Reese getting a little bit more screen time. I'm starting to see the old Reese again. It's good to have him back, and that punch was awesome. He and Finch each got their "adorable evil smile before doing something bad-ass" moment in this one.

And.... Root's back. Not sure how I feel about that, with all the lesbian subtext garbage between her and Shaw. I sure hope Shaw blows her head off eventually.
More+
4
Reply
Flag
First off, I think Reese was holding back just so he could keep beating on Simmons for a longer amount of time. :)
Also, both from his appearance and demeanor (and his actions and comments in eps such as "Firewall"), I'd say that Simmons was a spec ops squad leader in the military. (His ability to portray such a character is why Robert Burke was cast as the replacement for Peter Weller in the sadly embarrassing Robocop 3, and also such projects Army Wives.) Quinn would certainly have picked a highly-trained, chain-of-command focused, and viciously lethal individual to be his second-in-command. (Let's face it--in HR, Simmons outranks Terney by a mile, especially given his continued defiance at Reese after Reese showed him that CIA assassin trumps spec ops squad leader, whereas Terney was crying and begging for his life from masked-but-still-short Carter in "God Mode".)

1
Reply
Flag
Just watched it and came straight here. Have to agree with the cooments so far, and the review. Not just the best of this run but one of the top episodes of this top show ever. It had absolutely everything. I was never a Shaw hater, but I shared some people's doubts about the changing dynamic of the team, but this episode just blew them away. Awesome performance from Sara Shahi, just pitch perfect, as was every beat of the story. Superb!
6
Reply
Flag
And i actually paused in between to check if this is the final or penultimate episode. THAT GOOD!
2
Reply
Flag
So i just watched it and its around 2am here. With saying OMG and WTH between different scenes (read awesome-ly), i yelled WHAT THE FUCK when root appeared and brother came in my room asking if everything's all right.

Brilliant episode. One of the best in POI.
5
Reply
Flag
I take back all my doubts about Shaw. I loved her in this episode!
9
Reply
Flag
Wonderful review Tim! Love the episode as well. ONe of the very best. The showdown between Reese and Terney is excellent and so is the scene with Carter and Laskey. SO Badass!!! Love the back story of Shaw too. On the whole 10/10!!! Perfect 10!!
4
Reply
Flag
Finally got around to watching it last night. This episode was great??? Not with so much Shaw it wasn't. She blows goats. Tired of her wooden personality and her taking up so much story time. The tie in with the wannabe kid spy and HR was good as well as Carter smoking out her partner. Hopefully Root abducting Shaw will shortly lead to Shaw disappearing from the show! Addition by subtraction in her case!
3
Reply
Flag
lol, you spelled the name of the epizode properly in the headline and in the poll, but throughout the review it was "Ragovor" :) Shame on you Tim :p
2
Reply
Flag
Alright, I'm completely a Shaw fanboy now. Fantastic episode all around.
9
Reply
Flag
Great episode; hands down the best Carter moment in the series.
11
Reply
Flag
When the episode had like 30 seconds left I was like "Wait, no Root again this episode?" and then out of nowhere she appeared! It's like they can hear me! I actually like Shaw and I'm sososososo glad she left Chicago Fire (no hate to the show, I watch and enjoy it) to do this full time!
2
Reply
Flag
Easily one of the top 5 episodes of the series. The Carter moment had me out of my seat going "#$@!# YEAHHHH!". I'll leave the best quote of the season so far, for the rest of you:

"You don't work for HR anymore son. Your work for me now"

10
Reply
Flag
On any other show it would sound so cliche. But on POI it rocks!
8
Reply
Flag
That was great. Especially Shaw and Carter. Root at the end was the cherry on top of an already fantastic episode.
7
Reply
Flag
Absolutely fab eppy, loved Shaw, Reese and Carter, and the great fight with Simmons. Creepy Root even showed up. Finch "Enough." Great, just great.
4
Reply
Flag
Liked Shaw, but thought the little girl acting was somewhat bad which brought down Shaw's story a bit.
Reply
Flag
So Laskey is now Carter's lackey. Foreshadowing?
2
Reply
Flag
Best episode of the series. I have to acknowledge Taraji P. Henson deserves an Emmy for her performance this year on POI and also for this episode alone. Best Actress on TV.
13
Reply
Flag
The bug is in the bone.
5
Reply
Flag
I think so too.
Reply
Flag
There have been some discussions about young Shaw and her behaviour at the accident scene, so I did some research on the internet. There is a condition called Alexithymia that is not conditional but congenital. An individual with this condition does not possess the ability to feel common human emotions. In addition, the person cannot respond in an emotional fashion to others. Ergo, young Shaw asking for the sandwich when hearing about her the passing of her father and the awkward show of emotion by current day Shaw with Gen at the school.
9
Reply
Flag
Also i thought the young actress playing young Shaw had the empty killer stare down pat. Appropriatly creepy for a will-be government killer :D
2
Reply
Flag
They say we are all born with a purpose. Shaw certainly has found hers.
Reply
Flag
My first thought concerning her "inappropriate" response to her father's death was that the poor kid was in shock. She had just been through a horrific accident and then found out her father hadn't survive it. She couldn't deal with her father's death so she just shut down. I was actually surprised that the first responders thought this behavior was so strange. Of course, the point was to set her up as unfeeling, so my theory doesn't wash, but it just felt really oddly handled.
4
Reply
Flag
Please, please, please, just ONCE write the name of the episode correctly. It's "Razgovor", not "Razgorov". You have it correctly in the title of the review and then it's mistaken like 10 times in the article...
5
Reply
Flag
Staff
Doh! I will fix!
4
Reply
Flag
I hate to be the grammar nazi after you've went through the whole article once already, but now the article says "Ragovor", without a "z", and it's no less annoying.
4
Reply
Flag
for some reasons i was 27th minutes into the episode before i realized that lil girl was Shaw!..i dont know why. Slow mind?!
1
Reply
Flag
Most of us were caught up in the moment. I'm sure I missed stuff too. Gotta watch it again...
Reply
Flag
I thought Laskey was going to steal the gun back from Carter, shoot someone, put it back and then there would be some sort of record of Carter having had possession of the gun and Laskey would do to Carter what she ended doing to him.
2
Reply
Flag
I don't think Carter is ever going to let herself get played again! I thought maybe when she saw that he had a nice new gun that she started to suspect him, but obviously she knew all along and he got his!
1
Reply
Flag
Root. Notice- you saw no one else in a blacked out area. Was it a dream or whom did she really snag? The implication of the editing is Shaw but I don't buy that it was.
Reply
Flag
Medal from Gen was hanging up beside her.
1
Reply
Flag
Yes it was Shaw!!!...
1
Reply
Flag
Great episode! The little girl they got to play young Shaw had her facial expresion down perfectly.
5
Reply
Flag
Load More Comments
Follow this Show
Members
13,293