Person of Interest: The Cold War
December 17, 2014 9:06 PM - Season 4, Episode 10 - Subscribe

"Here, Samaritan deploys a variety of non-violent intimidation and manipulation tactics that amount to a well-crafted argument as to why it deserves to win—and “win” means reign supreme over humankind in this case. As the scale of Samaritan’s efforts escalates from the intimate to the epic, its terrifying plot and capacity for destruction are slowly revealed until the tension climaxes with a stunning reveal." - The AV Club
posted by the man of twists and turns (10 comments total)
Skipping to the preview: Uh-oh, we know what happened last season when they told us about the significance of the next three episodes ...
posted by pmurray63 at 9:12 PM on December 17, 2014

The kid's drawing was great, a throwback to the Samaritan's cyborgising human and AI intelligence when it was reconstructing Shaw's image digitally to the kid drawing what looked like a smiling family photo as a series of dots on a piece of paper, neatly put up next to all those crayon family portraits - so creepy, and indicating that this child, like baby-Root years ago, was already thinking/acting more like an AI and able to bridge with Samaritan as Root does with the Machine.

Was Greer from 1973 wearing a really bad wig? I kept expecting his hairpiece to fall off or something, it was so distracting.
posted by viggorlijah at 10:35 PM on December 17, 2014

The writers are clearly having fun. "Hey, let's start with Root in a teddy bear costume and Shaw in handcuffs."

The only thing that didn't work for me was the conversation. "I am a God and I will destroy you!" But I'm still looking forward to this story.
posted by homunculus at 11:03 PM on December 17, 2014

The only thing that didn't work for me was the conversation. "I am a God and I will destroy you!" But I'm still looking forward to this story.

I concur. I was thinking, a pitch like "look at how terrible they are to each other, we can make their world better, together we can fix them" would have been more convincing, and scarier. Let the threat remain unsaid. But Samaritan is much younger, maybe not sophisticated enough to think that way.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:57 PM on December 17, 2014

Samaritan never had a relationship with a mentor like the Machine had with Finch. Samaritan's creator, Arthur Claypool, is in a hospital being ravaged by Alzheimer's. Things might have been different if Arthur had finished before Greer kidnapped his creation.

I'd like to see an episode in which Arthur, in a moment of clarity, meets Samaritan.
posted by homunculus at 12:22 AM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Enjoyed it, was hoping for a little more the in Root/Samaritan avatar moment. Quiet menace - or maybe not menace, just quiet confidence. Samaritan holds all the power, and all it is offering to the Machine is that it's handful of people can live. A brief philosophical discussion so we can understand the difference between the two - it's really the first time these two characters have "spoken" to the audience, at least so directly - and that's it. Two gods of cyberspace in meatspace, having a quiet conversation about the future of humanity. Cold, objective, emotionless. There isn't a need for threats and posturing.
posted by nubs at 10:34 AM on December 19, 2014

I think it showed Samaritan's literal and figurative youth and lack of care for the humans it employs/uses. That little boy was exploited in a way that Root hasn't been. Samaritan has not had anyone to speak to as a peer, only a slowly drifting creator who didn't try to raise it as Finch did The Machine, and it's been obsessed with The Machine as the only other creature of its own kind. It doesn't know how to speak to people except through manipulation, so when it comes to an equal, it's in new uncertain ground.
posted by viggorlijah at 3:16 AM on December 20, 2014

I don't know how the actors playing the Machine and Samaritan kept straight faces during that scene. It didn't work for me dramatically as it was just too silly.
posted by orange swan at 10:08 PM on September 30, 2015

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