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WHOA! So glad to have POI back!

(Weirdly placed side-note: Anyone who uses a lower case "o" in the acronym is wrong! This isn't GoT, people. It just looks like you misspelled "Poll".)

Moving on!

If you had the patience to read one of my POI comments last season, you're probably aware I'm a little obsessive about certain aspects of this show. So you should know what I'm going to write about first...

THE MACHINE!

Or more specifically, predictions and squares (I used to call them boxes, but I've realized the Freudian error of my ways... It's a vagina thing).

Let's start with the beautiful final shot of The Machine's colour-coded decision tree that calculated the (constantly changing!) probabilities of all sorts of juicy predictions. The one interesting observation I'll make before I get all percentages crazy is that the entire decision tree seemed to be specific to Root as an asset of The Machine. Okay, here we go!

MONITORING ASSET...
PROBABILITY OF SUCCESS: UNKNOWN

GENERATING PREDICTIONS:

BLUE:

OPERATIONAL RELEVANCE - 1.94, 2.06, 1.91, 1.99, 1.91%

YELLOW:

ASSET ACTIVATION - 28.44, 28.56, 28.41%
ASSET CAPTURED - 62.79, 62.91, 62.76%
CRISIS AVERTED - 17.71, 17.56, 17.64%
MARRIAGE/PROCREATION - 0.0% / RECLASSIFICATION: NON-RELEVANT - 0.04%

RED:

DEATH: ASSET - 12.54, 12.66, 12.51%
VIOLENCE - 30.19, 30.31, 31.27, 34.98, 40.06%
DEATH: CARMICHAEL, RONALD W. - 78.09, 78.21, 78.06, 78.14, 78.06%
MASS CASUALTY EVENT - 9.84%
GLOBAL THERMONUCLEAR WAR - 2.84%

*Wipes single tear away from awed eye*

I love this show!

So, what do we take away from all that Machine gobbledygook? Let's colour-code this bitch!

BLUE:

Since Blue is the colour The Machine has designated to the RELEVANT part of its operations (i.e. killing terrorists), I'm going to assume this means The Machine doesn't foresee Root (I refuse to call her Robin) being much help on the Al Qaeda skull crushing side of things (metaphorical skull crushing, of course). This whole section of my comment is one big assumption, basically. Feel free to point out my stupidity, and/or why I'm totally wrong.

YELLOW (more of a light gold, really):

Asset Activation and Asset Captured is pretty self-explanatory. I AM a bit surprised how high the probability for capture is (ending at 62.76%). Root's pretty badass, and sexy, and crazy, she's a crazy sexy badass (yum!), so this must be a difficult mission The Machine is sending her on.

Which leads to the CRSIS AVERTED percentage (ending at 17.64%). Is The Machine sending Root on a mission to avert a potential crisis? If so, what kind of crisis? And why so low a percentage? Not much faith in ol' crazy-sexy, Machine?

(If you haven't figured it out yet, this is all silly speculation on my part.)

Not sure what the AUX_ADMIN is about. Is The Machine just designating Root as an auxiliary administrator? Any ideas, fellow commenters?

Oh, Machine! You cad you! Not giving Root much of a chance at wedded bliss I see. But then you change the calculation to NON-RELEVANT, and adjust the percentage from 0.0% to 0.04%. So you're saying there's a *chance* love will prevail? Albeit a 0.04% chance. You big softie!

RED:

This is where things get interesting.

1. There's a small chance Root will die on the mission (12.51%).
2. Shit is probably going to get violent. (This is the one percentage that changes the most, and by changes I mean escalates. It starts off at 30.19% and ends at 40.06%).
3. That spells trouble with a capital "R" for the perverted doctor, Ronald CarMichael. (Sorry, bro. Bitches be crazy. But you are a creep.)
4. The Machine has even calculated a possible global thermonuclear war at a steady 2.84%, and I'm wondering is that just the standard percentage for humanity acting a fool thermonuclear style, or is that percentage related to whatever The Machine has got going on?

SO MANY USELESSLY SPECULATIVE QUESTIONS, PEOPLE!

Now that I've trivially broken down The Machine's decision tree, let's talk about the episode at hand. I liked it!

I know it was a fairly standard POI this week (squids and jar-heads), mostly because of the new time slot and the NCIS lead-in audience, but I never seem to mind when Finch, Reese and co. get back to basics. Mostly because their basics are awesome.

I usually hate all things procedural-y. I ALWAYS abhor anything that has a CSI in it, and I tend to stay away from most cop shows. I'm a characters first kind of guy, so those shows don't really do it for me. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I'd even get impatient with Fringe at times (don't hate me!). I'd be like, "Enough with the freaks of the week! Gimme some overarching mythology, show!" But with Person of Interest all that stuff just doesn't apply. I could watch Reese busting kneecaps all day long! Seriously, his dry/cheesy humour makes his badass action scenes so much fun. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the mythology of this show (did you see my colour-coded Machine prediction breakdown?), but the procedural-y stuff is great, too. POI is a rare gem that defies convention.

I'm also digging the changing landscape of the POI family. We started off with only Finch and Reese (plus The Machine) against the world. Then Carter and Fusco were added on, but kept at arms length, until they eventually became full-fledged members of the team. Next came Bear, the greatest TV dog out there (we better see Bear next week, show!). And now Samantha Shaw is a full-time wisecracker and sharpshooter (who apparently can eat an ice cream bar in three minutes, take down a perp, and NOT get brain freeze; that's a superpower in my book!). I understand Tim's concerns that Shaw's presence may take away from the Finch/Reese bro-banter we've come to love, but I think these amazing writers will quickly work out the kinks of this new arrangement. Personally, the more I see the incredibly beautiful and talented Sarah Shahi on my TV screen, the better.

Finally, let's talk about that final scene with Root.

"The truth? The truth is a vast thing, I see that now. Just how much truth there is. Where would we even begin? The truth is... you are not very smart. In fact you're only the 43rd smartest person in this building... The truth is you smoke an average of nine cigarettes a week in the parking lot when you think no one is looking. The truth is that you visit a massage parlour once or twice a month, that you pay for it with crisp hundred dollar bills that you get out of the cash machine at the 7-11 across the street. The truth is that you fantasize on online forums about having sex with some of your patients, but not me, yet. I guess I'm not your type. The truth is God is eleven-years-old, that she was born on New Years day 2002 in Manhattan. The truth is that she's chosen me, and I don't know why yet. And for the first time in my life I'm a little scared about what's gonna happen. The truth is I'm stuck here for now, and the only dialogue you need to be worried about is between me and her, which is why you might want to give me my phone back, because I'm having an argument. Would you like to know the truth, doctor, about what we're arguing over?

Whether or not I'm gonna kill you."

DAAAAAAAAAAAMN! THAT'S SOME COLD SHIT! AWESOME! ...

*Cough*

Firstly, I found it interesting that Root has all of a sudden assigned a sex to The Machine. She? Really, Root? The Machine is a "she" now? That's rather feminist. I know most inanimate machines like cars or ships are referred to with she and her, but The Machine isn't a car. It's a sentient, self-aware and vast intelligence. Assigning any sex to The Machine seems rather redundant.

Secondly, it's kind of scary knowing The Machine categorizes entire inhabitants of buildings in order of intelligence. I wonder what my number is right now... It's probably better not knowing.

Thirdly, just what exactly does The Machine have in store for Root? Colour me intrigued!

This was a solid premiere that gave a nerd like me enough stats and percentages to orgy over, but also was a back to basics episode that had broad appeal for new viewers and diehard fans alike. Super pumped for the rest of the season!

NOTES² :

Now, I wrote in the beginning of this comment that I was going to talk about predictions and squares (a.k.a. Freudian boxes), and I've neglected the latter. So here it is:

Did anyone pay special attention to the various yellow squares in this episode? Well, I did (of course I did), and one of these squares was not like the others. Namely, Root's. Her square only had yellow indentations in the corners and in the middle of each line, the rest of her square-dashes were black. As opposed to Reese's and Finch's squares, which were pure yellow.

THE MEANING?

Probably nothing. Root had a normal yellow square at the end last season (I think), so this may just be me being me. But I'll be sure to keep an eye on it!
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Jul 31, 2014
nicely done.
Jan 07, 2014
What can i say ... Just love love love this show ...xxxxxxxxxx
Oct 11, 2013
You never mentioned anything about how badass carter has become. Elias in a basement!!!
Sep 27, 2013
"THE MEANING?

Probably nothing. Root had a normal yellow square at the end last season (I think), so this may just be me being me. But I'll be sure to keep an eye on it!"

Actually, the show answered that one. Look at the "machine flashback" scene involving root. The box changed when it showed her picking up the phone in the mental institution, when it flashed up "Analog Interface" (8:58 on the CBS.COM Stream). There's your answer.
Sep 26, 2013
Could Reese possibly be the AuxAdmin or could the Machine be referencing "her" favorite Finch who is no longer an Admin, but could potentially be an AuxAdmin?

Sep 26, 2013
Is it possible that the Red letters were just in reference to the current scenario in which Root and the Machine find themselves? In other words their current disagreement. There is a 78% chance that Root will kill Ronald Carmichael - In the event that she tries to kill him there is a 12% chance that she will die, a 10% chance that she will have to kill multiple people during her (presumed) escape attempt after killing Carmichael, a 30-40% chance that Carmichael's death would be violent (as opposed to nonviolent - poison, etc.)
Sep 26, 2013
I was SO counting on somebody to take note and break down all those predictions, since I saw them, but didn't have the time to figure them all out bevore they dissapeared.

I had the following thoughts on those predictions after reading the exact numbers:

Blue: Probability of the whole prediction-tree becoming relevant - meaning threatening the security of the US and making it a matter for the goverment. That means the bad stuff that the other numbers predict, will be bad, but not "lets-get-the-big-guys-involved - bad"

Yellow: seemed to be the tree that dealt with the probabilities of events concerning the looked at subject, namely Root. (civilian assets squares seemed to be yellow)
though why Roots square was different I don't know. Maybe because she is the subject currently beeing predicted or because she has assumed some sort of special role in the mythology. (I personally am going with the latter assumtion)

Red: seemed to be the s**t that is going to go down. In other words, the crimes that will be commited (criminal-squares usually are red)

I am down with a mass-casualty event (at least on fictional tv) but a thermonuclear war?? thats a bit on the heavy side of things....even for POI.

ANYWAYS..... those were my thoughts on the whole color-prediction thingie :)

I appreciate you getting your nerd on and sharing those details and thoughts with us :D
Sep 26, 2013
I'm color blind, so this is a very cruel thing to do to me.
The color of a characters vagina / boxes /squares are all grey to me. And i didnt even consider that they would be color coded.
When will society's persecution of the color blind end?
WHY MUST WE BE TAUNTED BY SOCIETY'S NEED TO COLOR CODE THINGS
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