Person of Interest S03E23: "Deus Ex Machina"

Because you'll wanna, here's Radiohead's "Exit Music (For a Film)" to listen to in the background.

Though it doesn't engage in the same types of psychological horror as, say Hannibal or American Horror Story, Person of Interest can be one of television's darkest shows when it wants to be. So it shouldn't be too surprising that "Deus Ex Machina," the riveting wrap-up of the series' strongest season yet, ended on a total downer and turned us all into nervous wrecks. Making us completely paranoid and scared for our future well-being is what Person of Interest does best, because unlike any other show on television, it's grounded in a very possible realistic near future. 

When Root, ever the optimist behind those cuckoo eyes, said, "This was never about winning, it's just about surviving," we knew we were in trouble. Season 3 concluded with our team dispersed and separated from each other and assuming new regular-Joe identities to avoid the all-seeing eye of Samaritan, which is now juiced up with NSA feeds and running nationwide to hunt down deviants. I'd like to think that Greer's relationship with Samaritan as a new take on the film Her, with Greer playing the part of Joaquin Phoenix and Samaritan in the Scarlett Johanssen role as they forge a fun new friendship, but if anything, it's much more like Terminator 2 and the birth of Skynet. Person of Interest has already gone way further down this path than I ever expected (but secretly hoped) it would, and it deserves every bit of praise it receives for unraveling such a bleak future in a real-world way as it transitions away from science-fiction and more toward science-maybe

The meat of "Deus Ex Machina" focused on the continuation of the trial staged by Peter Collier to expose the crimes of the government and those involved with the expanding surveillance of the American people, and furthered Jonah Nolan and Greg Plageman's ongoing debate over the role of technology and privacy as they pertain to terrorist-huntin'. Things got pretty tense! I mean, how often do you see a prosecutor make an objection with a shotgun blast to a witness's chest? (The objection was sustained, if the blood and the lifeless body were any indication.) That display of legal know-how started the unveiling of all the secrets behind Northern Lights (a.k.a. the Machine) as the cross-examinations heated up. Garrison cowardly gave up Control as knowing more about the program than he did, and for her part, Control was prepared to die before spilling the beans, defiantly falling back on the government's go-to dodge of, "I can neither confirm nor deny blah blah blah." Looking to put an end to the madness, Finch began singing like a canary in the shower, explaining that he was the father of the Machine and broadcasting his biggest secrets to the world. Oh geez. 

But "Deus Ex Machina" had one hell of a surprise up its sleeve once the truths and hidden agendas began raining down on us. It turned out that Finch wasn't blurting out all of his backstory to the world, because Greer had orchestrated everything. And Collier wasn't broadcasting his kangaroo court to millions; he just thought he was, because Greer made it appear that way via some sneaky computer trickery. So that's why we never saw the classic shot of random people watching the trial on television screens in a storefront window! 

Also, it was Greer who created Vigilance and set Collier on his path of supervillainy through anonymous text messages. Why? Because Greer needed a terrorist group to do bad things, because that would help convince Senator Garrison to give Samaritan access to the NSA feeds so that Samaritan could stop bad guys. Decima faithful assaulted the courtroom, Greer shot Collier, and then Greer staged a terrorist attack in the heart of New York City that killed innocents in the name of Vigilance. One phone call to Garrison later, and Greer had his feeds, Samaritan was online, and we were all fucked. 

Then it was musical montage time (YES!), with Radiohead's slow-yet-alarming "Exit Music (For a Film)" providing the tunes, and we got our first glimpse of the world under the robo-police state of Samaritan. "Deviants"—as the opposition was called—were hunted down and shot in the streets (and in police stations) with the justification that they were potential terrorists. The feeds from Samaritan were polluted with data interpretation as every citizen was secretly violated and watched under the guise that it was for the greater good. Greer practically bowed before his Samaritan shrine, and Samaritan asked, "What are your commands?" Greer replied, "I assure you it's quite the other way around. The question is what, my dear Samaritan, are your commands for us?" HOLYSHSIHSIOAHIAHSHAISHTITS! 


If last week's "A House Divided" was designed to serve as the opening argument for the privacy debate, "Deus Ex Machina" was the follow-up, where the two extremes began to sound like the preachings of a man in a tinfoil headdress and a fanatic founding techno-religion. Collier's explanation that he never killed an innocent person was true in his eyes, but flawed in the fact that he was the only one deciding who was guilty. Greer was ready to do Samaritan's bidding no matter what it asked him to do, which is unequivocally insane. I can't even keep up with my iPhone's reminders to clean out the litter box, let alone go on a rampage as instructed by a supercomputer. 

It's clear now that in this debate, Nolan and Plageman stand firmly in the middle with Finch, believing that limited use of technology to assist with human intervention in terrorist acts—while still respecting people's privacy—is the way to go. Sure, this may have been obvious from the moment Person of Interest premiered, seeing as how Finch is our hero and all, but Nolan and Plageman did one heck of a job of illustrating all sides of the debate. Now, like Finch, we need to sort through the mess and ask ourselves how to properly find a balance between invasion and protection, determine whether the government is trustworthy enough to take on such a task, and consider the possibility that it's all moot because we're already too late. The Pandora's Box has been opened, and there's no going back. Person of Interest is a show that gets you thinking, and sometimes the resulting thoughts aren't all good, but this is the kind of stuff that takes the discussion out of the television and into the real world. What a fantastic season. 



NOTES OF INTEREST

– Guys! Just because Samaritan is online doesn't mean we're all doomed. It's important to remember that Greer is the bad guy here, not Samaritan. After Greer asked it what it's commands were, Samaritan's screen filled up with "Calculating response." Well, what will that response be? Person of Interest now has a cool opportunity to examine artificial intelligence in the same way that we wonder about the natural state of man. Are we inherently good people or bad people? Isn't a sophisticated form of artificial intelligence subject to the same question? Presumably, Samaritan will be governed by logic, and on its own it would make calculated decisions. That takes the human element out of everything, which means a lot more sacrificing of one for the lives of two or more, but how different is that from what the Machine did when it asked Reese and Finch to kill Garrison? The idea that Person of Interest could apply the nature-nurture debate to artificial intelligence blows my mind. 

– We spent so long wondering what Root was up to on her side quest, and now we have the answer. Unable to stop Samaritan from going online, Root planted Samaritan with seven blind spots—seven identities that would not register on Samaritan's list of people to kill, seven identities that were assigned to Root, Finch, Reese, Shaw, and the three super hackers of Root's army. Shaw wanted to just blow up Samaritan, which seemed like a good idea to me, but it was shot down with Root saying that Samaritan's facility was just one of hundreds all over the world. Well, that's news to me! Believable? Sure, I guess. 

– A couple nitpicks about the episode. The reveal that Greer essentially created Collier is kind of a letdown, as Collier was a fantastic addition to the series as a freedom fighter who commanded attention and compassion. But he was just a puppet? That's a bummer. "Deus Ex Machina" also suffered from Convoluted Bad Guy Plot Syndrome, as Greer's multi-year plan to create a terrorist organization that would serve as his opposition just so he could have a valid reason to get Samaritan online stretched the boundaries of plausibility. C'mon bad guys, keep it simple. 

– Something I forgot to add last week, and that counts doubly for this week: Leslie Collins, Jr. has been amazing as Collier all season long. I'll be keeping an eye out for more of his work, which he deserves much more of. 

– It's crazy to think about how far Reese slid backward as the season's main storyline heated up. I'm sure we'll return to him being a centerpiece moving forward, but right now, he's just a guy who shows up in the nick of time to save people. 

– Also crazy: As much as I like the mythology build-up, I'm actually looking forward to a few caper-of-the-week episodes.

– ARGH! R.I.P. Hersh, you big lug. I loved seeing him blast dudes in the face while Reese and Shaw gave him "that's not how we do things" looks. 

– Finch: "Why would you ever choose a career where this is an occupational hazard?" Reese: "Well, I tried to quit. But some jackass told me I needed a purpose."


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/21/2016

Season 5 : Episode 13

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My gawwd, I cannot believe I've never heard of this show!! I don't watch 'police shows', too many of them...so I turned to cable..all the shows started out brilliantly too, even if they lost some steam at the end (not Sons or B.B)
! I watched Dexter, True Blood, Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy praising cable for changing everything...I WAS WRONG, THIS IS THE BEST SHOW ON TELEVISION, period...wow, and good for 'regular' tv for taking some risks and going to places it normally doesn't...that's why I always went to cable..now if the other TPTB would pay attention, it could be some banner years of breakthrough tv, finally catching up with cable and maybe pleeeeze even passing cable, now that is progress..congrats to everyone involved in this amazing show, now I have to watch first 3 seasons...YAY....
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I`m busy about which kind of job they will take for survive....
No bitcoins?
No secret bank accounts?
How they will get in touch?

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What the hell are you doing? Some nutjob just jacked a kid on a bike. I thought you were looters.
- Nice ride, Lionel.

Haha.
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Amazing, if depressing as hell season finale.
And Hirsch being unputdownable before his end.
I must disconnect all devices and pull cover the windows...
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"Now that our heroes have assumed fake identities and gone into hiding, they'll have to get real jobs! "Now you've got to be Clark Kent — you've got to be the regular guy," executive producer Jonathan Nolan says. "Shaw's going to have a day job and co-workers, and so are Reese and Finch. That can be great fun and [is] also a grounded aspect of the show versus this titanic battle taking place around them." Fortunately, Root won't let Finch & Co. stay on the sidelines forever. "Our Machine's in a lot of trouble," Nolan says. "Samaritan's the bigger, tougher kid on the block. Root is going to be key to keeping our team alive and [focusing] on the question of how they put the genie back in the bottle."" Why oh why is Root the center of the show? What is the writer's obsession with Root? Finch is the genius, he should be the one to defeat Samaritan. I love this show but the focus on smug, superior annoying Root is really bugging. If only they would just treat her like a supporting character instead of queen of the show's universe! I'm fine if she is on the show, but I hate how she overshadows Reese and Finch.
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Ahem, you should see it coming from a mile away. She is "root" get it? (google /root for operating systems)
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Well, Finch has some thinking to do, at least...
All
of this would have been avoided had he let Reese and Shaw do what had to be done. He's the only one to blame for this.

Reese and Shaw, with the help of Control, will put an "Expandable" team together and go after Decima/Samaritan.

Root and her 3 hackers friends will try do hurt Samaritan from the inside.

Well, that should keep me mentally busy enough through the summer...

Ho! and, Tim, what was that: "HOLYSHSIHSIOAHIAHSHAISHTITS!"?
Sweet dreams! :D
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Half of me didn't want them to have new identities tho. Will their names be different? And if so, Reese will always be Reese for me and so are the others. :(
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Best episode ever.. lots of questions answered, can't wait for Season 4 which is going to be somewhat challenging im sure for the writers
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A question! here it is:

Did Greer say:

1) "Let there be light!"

or...

2) "Let there be life."

As I heard it, it's #2. What do you think?
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let their be life.

which if u think about it makes more sense no?
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Disturbing experience that only those here will enjoy. So, I have two sort of robotic based machines in my apartment. My roomba and my trash can (I can waive my hand in front of the trashcan and it opens on its own and then I walk away and it will close). I was having this odd conversation with a silly person a few months ago where I said, honestly, in observing them, I think if Skynet happened, I wouldn't have anything to worry about from my roomba. It is a very stupid machine. But my trash can...then on Saturday evening, the thing would open and stay open. I would press the close button, it wouldn't do anything. I would push it closed and turn the button off and then back on, and it would open. Finally, i got it just to close (mind you a lot of yelling at it and weirdly my cat found this enjoyable, she hates it). Then about two in morning something woke me up, i thought it was my cat. But no, it was the trashcan fixing itself. I am worried....:)
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Why didn't anyone try to track down where the Machine is by following the NSA feeds to the destination? The Machine would be swallowing TBs of data per sec. How hard can that be?
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The Machine obviously has ways to hide and disguise such information from anybody. With all the stuff it can do, this would probably be a piece of cake.
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I watched a doc once that informed there are satellites that can identify you by your stride.

I would say Decima is more like Homeland Security

Did Harrold or anyone have Bear in the last scenes? I was in too much shock.

I didn't like the, "I won't see you again" looks at the end. I wouldn't mind if this was the last episode.



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Harold had Bear
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Checkup Gait analysis and Gorgon Stare
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Hopefully Fusco has Bear, and he had him before. Fusco also is not being hunted by Decima.

Is Root still connected to the machine after all? Have to watch it again.
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Great episode I agree with the review I liked Reese line as well to finch "Well, I tried to quit. But some jackass told me I needed a purpose." LOL
Where do they go from here when they start saving people is samartrian going to be aware? Or are they going to Chicago, LA, Pheonix other cities? I think what was missing was greer going all out on shaw, reese and finch for good? But it was a good finale in all looking forward to next season.
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I liked Fusco's line "The dog showed up with a note from Cuckoo Clock telling me to meet you here." I love the sprinkles of humor!
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20 years from now we will live like Ancient Greeks.
Gods watching on us!!!
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Greer is not only sane, he's the only one thinking with a clear head and not operating under the delusion that the human element doesn't suck.

(FYI, I'm only being half-sarcastic.)
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I don't object to a machine analyzing the data. That's probably more error-proof than letting humans do it. The objection is the way the data are acquired.

And Greer is a lunatic.
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He is also a pretty good showcase for HD television. MAN, that guy has some serious wrinkles!
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Spying is the art of violating privacy laws and exploring/exploiting failures in human governance. It often entails watching real people suffer and die knowing that it happened because someone (maybe even you) did the "right" thing and played by the rules. Quite frankly, after doing that for most of your adult life, as Greer did, insanity would be failing to sympathize with him.

Besides, if one starts with Greer's not-unreasonable (but certainly debatable) assumption that Samaritan will be benevolent, there really is no rational, pragmatic argument against offering it dictatorial powers. Fact of the matter is that Samaritan would be more capable of deciding whether it should have those powers than you are, and arguing with it would be like a small child thinking he knows better than his parents.

Yeah, the idea of an AI as Supreme Leader feels wrong, but that's just because you're human, and therefore afflicted with an irrational dislike of anything that diminishes your control or is "Other."
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In your analogy, is Samaritan the child or the parent?
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You're assuming that the, second functioning, AI ever created, is wise and infallible.
There are a couple of very big IF's in your argument.
"Smaritan would possess them in greater abundance than any human", is a very big, and potentially fatal, assumption.
I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'd prefer to take my chances with the human element.
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Samaritan would be the parent. Intelligence, discipline, and forethought are the key characteristics separating maturity from childishness, and Samaritan would possess them in greater abundance than any human, just as parents are supposed to possess those characteristics in greater abundance than their children.

So if humans are childish compared to Samaritan, and Samaritan is as benevolent as a parent is supposed to be, what's so insane about giving it the authority to invade privacy and issue punishment? Don't we give parents the same authority over their children?
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It was good to see Bear again!! Digital shit's about to go down!! can't wait for next season!!
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Have followed this show from day one but first time posting to this forum, but after this amazing season and finale just felt the need to sing my praised.

They really took the show to another this year and the addition of Shaw and Root really resonated with me. Loved the first part of the season where Root is in the mental facility and still in contact with the machine. Loved how she was still in control and put the doctor in his place.

Shaw is just a bad ass and I love her and while it meant that Reese has to step back a bit I was okay with that. A show cannot be hurt by having several strong characters.

The finale was amazing and I loved the ending. It really makes it interesting for season four as we have no idea what is going to happen, how much time will pass and how our team will get back together.
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brilliant series still very entertaining nice ending to season 3 with nobody really winning which is a refreshing change..i do miss carter thoe she was a valuble character to the team..still love the show but without her it not the same..looking forward to season 4 in the fall thoe
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i just want to know why Fusco wasnt given a new identity, after all he's been there since the start? :)
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I thought another reason would be that he is after all NYPD. They can't possibly change his identity unless he gives up his badge or sth.
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I agree, he is a known helper to The Machine.
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I think it's because Fusco's the only one to not know about the machine.
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Correct... and in the program he actually says "what machine" and Reese deflects and carries the conversation elsewhere...
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and the fact that he isnt directly involved. Finch etc made sure of that.. cause they know it will threaten the others life...
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Good point. A creative mistake maybe ? Or a hidden story line?
Fusco really has had some key moments through all the seasons.
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... and despite my comment above... Fusco as the only "core" team member who wasn't brought in on the secret... could actually very useful in S4....
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It seems a little weak that since he (Fusco) doesn't know, he isn't known.
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Let me be just afraid! because SKYNET without the terminators. because the TET! because AI.
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I can't believe that Samaritan planed all that from the beginning, I thought the Vilanes did all that.... That Bretish dude is a disaster from the first season and everything bad happened to everyone because of him, kicky them Root saved them for the main time, I can't wait to see how Finch will get his machine back...... Amazing season end for a great show...
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I love this show... I mean I understand what is going on but it is not too simple either. Sometimes shows get too over the top with subplots (Lost) and loose what it is about but not this show... Cannot wait until next year.. I agree with whoever said Why can't they all stay together.. and isn't Fusco a known helper of Harold et al? I know they will all get back together next year but for now ya it is fun to think about what they will be doing. ONE question.. Is that ALL of the money Harold has ?? Who gets the billions he has somewhere??
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Hah. Pretty sure he stashed it on overseas accounts and various shell companies.
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Let's have some fun and predict their new identities:

Reeses - Taxi Cab Driver
Shaw- Daycare worker
Root - Yoga Instructor
Finch -Hotel Concierege
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AHHAHAHAHAHHA
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It was... gorgeous. I can't wait to the next season!! Its sad the dead of Hersh, but the dead of Carter doesn't really bothers me, I never liked her :/ GO THE MACHINE! KILL GREER AND USE SAMARITAN CORRECTLY!
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And the 4 season will be "Welcome to the Sibyl System" (If you Don't know what I mean check PSYCHO PASS anime).
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I never really liked Hersh but I truly loved him this episode!!!! and now what will the machine's job be now that Samaritan is online ??? There must be a way to fight back against decima .
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Why do Finch and the team have to go their separate ways if Samaritan will be unable to identify them as a Deviant? Maybe a buddy system - Root with her gf Shaw and then Finch and Reese together. I can't come up with any answers. It is extra sad to be alone right now in a Samaritan controlled world.
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I believe that they have also been tagged as a group and could be flagged as such if they stay together.
I'm eager for the next season to see how the show-runners will get out of that...
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Thanks! I haven't thought of that!
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Don't be so sure Hersh is gone, knowing the indestructible he might just have had time to get to cover. We have seen him shot before and he might have realised he couldn't disarm the bomb and got out as we don't know the time he had left, and how hard is it to make a fake autopsy rapport. You never know, but I wont hold my breath. Would love to see him in next season though :)
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Didn't he say "I'll be back" somewhere? ;)
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Not sure but I wouldn't be surprised :)
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I was already in tears when Exit Music for a Film started, which can make me cry on a perfectly good day...Figured Collier was being played after last and this week's flashbacks to his becoming Vigilance, and kinda figured it was one of the big boys, which at this point would be Decima, which makes what's his name's (Greer, right?) comments to Harold at the trial all the more disingenuous. It's going to be a long summer, thank the TV gods they've renewed this wonderful ride for another season!
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Knew Collier was being played when he got the first few SMS.
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Yeah. It became quite obvious then, since we found out that it was not him who created Vigilante as we were led to believe from the beguinning.
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WOW great episode, Hersch went out like a boss talk about going down swinging how many bullets does it take to bring that beast down and in the end it took a BOMB! Control was also awesome she protected Finch and put her beliefs and love for her country before own life, what a badass character! hope we see more of her next season. In the end though I felt kind of sorry for Collier and the whole vigilance movement, they were mere pawns who were quickly disposed of when Decima no longer had any use for them. Next season should be interesting will the show no longer be a number of the week procedural and just focus entirely on being a serialized show, can't wait for next season to find out how the magnificent 7 deal with their new lives !
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"it's grounded in a very possible realistic near future" - No. It is happening now.

Read how a webmaster's private identity and history was dug up by Decima aka Google;

http://agentblackhat.com/this-is-what-happens-when-you-bait-matt-cutts/
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I can't believe they made me sad over Hersh dying.
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I still am pretty much stunned after the last episode. I have no word to describe the awesomeness of this episode or I guess it would be better to say the awesomeness of whole season. This had been a real treat to view this show. One of the very best television has to offer.
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It's

Leslie Odom Jr.

not Leslie Collins Jr.
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Looking back at the season as a whole, I believe that the first half of it was noticeably more powerful. More consistent even, excluding a few random fillers.
Which is of course not surprising, considering that HR and Carter had figured on the show prominently well before the beginning of season 3. There was more than enough build-up, and there was more than enough time to fall in love with Taraji P. Henson's character. Plus the resolution was just as satisfying as it was tragic. But that's not all, since the first half also featured a lot more Reese, did a great job of fleshing out Shaw's character, found an amazing turn for Root to take, had more Lionel, as well as did not forget to include some dear secondary characters (Elias, Zoe Morgan).

That is not to say that I didn't appreciate the second half of the season, which introduced a number of strong points of its own (from Reese's departure and attempts to bring him back into the fold, through the introduction of Samaritan and Root's further growth, to a seemingly an-all-out war between Decima and Vigilance). I suppose that I just might've appreciated it a little bit less. While it brought a slew of different interesting characters to the forefront (Collier, Control, Greer), in a way it's also left some of the trademark aspects behind. Reese in the background, Fusco on the sidelines, a different turn towards a brand new chapter. It was well handled for the most part, even if I felt a little tired by all the back-and-forth betweeen Decima and Vigilance in the end. One could say that the second half of season 3 was a build-up of its own, towards whatever awaits us in the season(-s) ahead.

There are no doubts about one thing: it has definitely been the strongest season of POI to date. This is a show that just keeps growing and transforming, sometimes in the most unpredictable ways. I may not always like every single development, but the showrunners continue to sustain my faith in them as their story unfolds.

The finale itself delivered an emotional, sad end to a certain chapter. POI enters new waters. Nothing spelled it out so clearly to me as the secret base of operations, The Library, being invaded by government forces and destroyed in the process (did you notice the photo of Carter lying on the ground there? I thought it was a nice touch), with our team scattered to the four winds. I hope that's just their way of covering their tracks before it's time to regroup elsewhere and figure out the next course of action.

I hoped that Root would be able to cripple or take out Samaritan with those adjusted servers, or at least allow The Machine to take over. But I suppose that would've been too easy, eh? All they could bargain for was a chance to become invisible and live to fight another day.
Collier being no more than just a pawn in the end... I found it fitting. He was too blind, and too far gone to look past his narrow vision. I just didn't expect Greer to be able to go to such lenghts, with such a tangled web that he has woven. And it didn't really seem that he needed Vigilance all that much, what with Senator Garrison being more than willing before the whole trial ordeal. In fact, wouldn't the trial and supposed live broadcasting scare him off enough to withdraw his support?

I wonder what is in store for Control. She was on Finch's side there, even if for her own reasons. How would she react if she learned the full extent of Greer's plans, of his ultimate agenda? I could picture her throwing her lot in with The Team.
Hersh went out fighting. A shame to lose him, but it was a good way to go. And not too happy or heroic, since he didn't get to stop the bomb from going off in the end.
Bear getting some action in the episode has certainly made my day. And at least a little bit of Fusco.

Aside from GoT, POI is the show I'm going to miss the most. Would that one could execute a "fast-forward through the summer" command.
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My only real complaint, and it's not too big, is that once again Reese shows up guns a' blazin' literally just as a bad guy's gun is in mid-fire, aimed at a good guy.

It's this show's version of stopping the bomb at :01 seconds, an unconvincing, falsely inflated sense of stakes which falls flat. We might let it pass once a season, but it feels beyond contrived when it happens once every other episode.
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Personally, i think they did a decent job at making many of those moments nail biters, after POI showed us that a main character CAN be killed, as Carter was even though she was walking down the street with Reese. But yeah, i totally see what you mean. It's not like they were going to kill Finch.
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I cringe at that as well. Why does it always have to be the very last moment? With showrunners like this, one would hope that the certain familiar trappings could be avoided.

But it also looks like we are both willing to forgive POI for that particular weakness. I'll be happy if a time comes when we no longer have to.
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Amen to that. From bits I've seen on line, JC wanted to do a bit less in Season 3, and JN and GP must have agreed, hence the increased screen time for Root and Shaw. Pretty well done (after they got over their itty-bitty-woman-with-a-great-big-gun fetish with Shaw, episode after episode), but Reese became an also-ran in too many episodes for me. Gotta work on that spacing of Reese-centric episodes, guys and gals. Unless that's what their "arrangement" called for. Oh well, it's just TV, and we can't have everything. My preferences: Season 1, Season 2, First half of season 3, and "4C", in that order.

Wonder how big a hit POI ratings will take this fall, following NCIS:NOLA? Sigh.
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Leslie Odom Jr played Collier.
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Greer is just like magneto, with the background story of WW2 (and resembling the actor from the movies), our crippled Harold is like prof X, always thinking about helping people.
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I bet that the Fat lady is going to change her loyalties in the 4th season.
Is clear that she wants to be in complete control and she will not want a 3rd party sniffing on her business.
Was interesting to see how she protected Herald and she also told him that she needs him alive so he can help her.
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Game of Thrones? Move aside! Gods are battling!
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Why doesn't Fusco need a new identity. Won't it be easy for Samaritan to find out his connection with the rest of them.
I'm very sad Collier died (maybe he wore a bullet proof west? lets hope) I felt he was getting more sympathetic and would make a great addition to the team just like Root.
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Fusco up to this point still doesn't know about the machine.

Remember when they mentioned machine in this last episode and he was like what machine ? so he's in the clear
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If the 7 new identities can't be found a threat by Samaritan, then why the hell did they all go their own way, all puppy-eyed? It sure made for a fantastic final sequence with Radiohead as backdrop, but really, why??? Makes no sense whatsoever...then again, this whole season made no sense....especially not Greer, who is beyond ridiculous and insults my intelligence.
Still great to watch, but to me POI lost me when HR and Carter went...too bad.
I'll tune in with season 4 to see what happens next, but this was the weakest season thanks to the second half and introduction of way too much BS.
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If they stayed together, and one got compromised (which is sure to happen), they'd all be targeted.
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Ok, but why would one get compromised? Their new identities aren't a flag...
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if all seven worked together Samaritan may be able to analyze that suspicious activity hence in operations like the episode before the Vigilance guy told Reese Root that he only knows of his part so that separation is meant to keep people safe
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Well last few episodes have filled my mind with a big confusion.

-Why dont NSA cut off feeds to The Machine
Samaritan needs NSA surveillance feeds to work . So Machine must also need those feeds. Since machine has gone rogue since start of this season . No One knows where it is located . Govt has shut down project northern lights, it now has Samaritan so why NSA is still providing feeds to machine .

Or the machine has hacked into nsa to get feeds ?
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I wondered. I decided there is a huge difference between keeping something out and then getting it out once it's in. Maybe the Machine was smart enough to build itself a back door before it went rogue.
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That question bugged me too I just summed it up as when the machine moved itself in Season 2 the physical connections via NSA feeds went with it....remember when Harold had the feeds for NYC and N.I asked him what it was...There were wires feeding into the servers at the time
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NSA did cut the feeds to the Machine when Vigilance outed Northern Lights. The Machine then proceeded to find other options (I don't know if that included hacking NSA feeds.) and started sending relevant numbers to Root. As far as NSA knows, only Samaritan is receiving their data.
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I don't think the government is providing the Machine with feeds -- it's just finding conduits to information where ever it can. We saw this when Root was pursuing Greer and again when Root, Shaw and Reese were trying to hide from Samaritan during Beta.

I assume the Machine hacks stuff like NYC's traffic cams (some of these feeds are public anyway) and we see it using private surveillance to gather info, as well.
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we have seen it accessing archieved data. for that it needs those feeds. so i think it has become enough intelligent that it can easily hack into nsa or any other department
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Being handed the feeds just makes it easier -- plus, maybe (re)securing the feeds was what Root's dream team was doing.
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no machine sees everything and listen every phone and know every keytap on computer. without it machine is at great disadvantage.
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Something slipped past the script editor: Root referred to when they "didn't kill the Congressman". Garrison is a Senator.
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The Machine wanted them to kill Congressman Roger McCort in Death Benefits. Garrison is the Senator. It was McCort who was 'their guy' who gets things done....helped smooth the way for Samaritan to get a trial run. By NOT killing Congressman McCort, he was able to call Garrison & advise he'd handle the House if Garrison handled the Senate.
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Isn't Congress made up of the senate and the house of representatives?
So both senators and representatives are congressmen.
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No, a Congressman (or woman, understood) is a Representative, or Congressman; a Senator is a Senator. The House (of Representatives) and the Senate together comprise Congress. No civics classes?
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Not American.
You should have a look at 377221's link below.
Senators are congressmen, they just don't like being called that.
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It's moot anyway because I was conflating one character with another, but here's a thing about that: http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/dictionary/election-day-special-are-senators-congressmen/
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For what it's worth, I'm not American either.
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Thanks for the link.
So, it is basically about snobbery.
Both senators and representatives are actually congressmen, but, the high ranking, senators resent being called congressman because they find it degrading while representatives prefer it because they find it elevates them.
Sounds like politicians.
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Oh yeah, it was John Heard. I don't know how I forgot that high pitched voice.
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Frickin' awesome episode and a completely downer one at that... A part of me hoped Collier would survive and would somehow end up being tagged with the good guys with the big reveals this episode, but that would have been forcing it a bit too much. Besides, we already have a ton of characters to move on with now.

I won't type anything more here... 'coz i'm about to plan a marathon for this weekend to re-watch the entire season again! ;)

Already can't wait for the next season...
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Quick correction regarding the actor's name played Peter Collier. The actor's name is actually Leslie Odom Jr.

(I, too, thought he was fantastic in this role and can't believe the writers actually made me feel bad for him as it was revealed that he'd been manipulated into this life.)
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Sort of manipulated. As someone else mentioned on here, he had already gone to the "dark side" online, he just hadn't done anything about his views yet. So, he was already radicalized, just not an active threat when Greer started grooming him for leadership of Vigilance.
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Good point, and true dat. Thanks.
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I don't get decima!
- like where do they get the money to fund this stuff? I'd love to be at an annual general meeting - "this year, our staff mortality increased by 145%, and insurance premiums have risen by 354%..."
- What damned insurance company would agree to give policies to people whose jobs would put them in danger? Do they WANT to go out of business? - heck, have you tried getting insurance WITH a pre-existing condition?????
- Moreover - where did they get their earlier intelligence from? They certainly didn't have the government feeds at that time.
- Also, what happened to their alliance with the Chinese Government? Arent' they (the Chinese Government) worried about their vendor sleeping with the enemy?
Frankly, this is the most un-realistic part of the whole POI universe. I get that they needed to get Samaritan up - but there could have been some less hackneyed way to do it.
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I assumed that the Chinese are bankrolling Decima. The Senator and Control haven't asked who's backing Decima -- not even in the Senator's conversation with Greer where he confirms the fact that the US government won't own the Machine.

At that point, I was thinking to myself, "Who else will you give access to the information from Samaritan/the feeds?" Another question Garrison didn't ask.

This aspect of things is plausible and one of the real-life dangers with government outsourcing services to third parties -- they don't have direct control over them. Heck, the US government's debt is owned by China, something that a lot of talking heads think is a major point of insecurity.

The show's writers also keep tossing around different philosophies about government and sovereignty. Greer thinks the day of the nation state is over, so I doubt it would matter to him who he was serving or who was invested in his company. The Congressman thinks government is synonymous with business and that votes and political support are for sale to the highest bidder (and to what he considers the most likely winning side -- why he wouldn't sell to Harold). Control thinks that privacy, person freedoms and the law should be traded for national security...

The earlier intelligence: The traditional way -- espionage, paying people off, hacking, etc. Samaritan is more efficient and faster at gathering intel but it would in many cases it would never have been the only way to get the information. This is especially true if you are researching a specific target. The Machine and Samaritan offer the government and Decima the opportunity to go broad and profile the entire population and/or predict catastrophes and deaths before they happen (through analysis of the intel).

"Insurance" - I didn't take the use of this word to mean that the Decima employees' families are beneficiaries of an actual insurance policy.

I just assumed that as one might have a severance package built into a contract with a company that Decima builds a pay-out (death benefit) into each of its employee's contracts. It's unlikely to be the same amount for every employee and may not even have to be very large.

We haven't seen that many Decima employees die for the company and the risk of death for most of its employees, like the tech staff at the Samaritan facility Root and Shaw breached, would likely be very low.
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But in the shadow world of Person of Interest, Decima's backers could just as easily be well-placed individuals in the Chinese government (who like the Congressman believe in business) versus the entire government.
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- Decima is in the private intelligence business, which is very lucrative (think the erstwhile series Hunted, only much scaled back).
- The insurance plan is probably internal
- Their existing sources
- What are the Chinese going to do about it?
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One of the greatest, if not the greatest episode of the season. My only beef is as Tim stated that Reese has slid backward. I want Reese back!
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the best episode and season
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