Person of Interest: YHWH
May 6, 2015 1:20 PM - Season 4, Episode 22 - Subscribe

Finch and Root race to save The Machine, which has been located by the rival AI, Samaritan, while Reese is caught in the middle of the final showdown between rival crime bosses Elias and Dominic. Meanwhile, Control is on the hunt for Samaritan's true motives.

Previous PoIs play roles that are helpful, mostly.
posted by the man of twists and turns (31 comments total)
Wow, I thought that was pretty great. A little gilding the lily there at the end, but still pretty affecting.

I was thrilled when at the beginning of John's escape, him hearing the machine ... I was so excited I squeed a little bit and rewound it. But then everything after that was sort of dumb -- as if John right there looking at the people needed to be told who to shoot next.

Of course I hated, hated to see Elias die. I'm not too surprised -- I sort of expected this to have happened before now. But Colantoni is just so great and especially as Elias. I'm very sad.

And Dominic ... well, that was pretty anticlimactic. But I think they've never really known exactly what to do with him since shortly after they set him up as a chief antagonist. The actor was pretty good, and the writing for the character was pretty good. Just they didn't really plot out anything that worked with him, long-term. HIs end, along with Elias's, was meant to be a tension-filled moment and a floor-dropping-out-from-under-us-thing with both of them being taken out by Samaritan, who we totally didn't expect. But, for me, it just didn't have the impact it was intended to have.

I don't have words for how much I loved and was moved by the Machine's last words to FInch. I actually cried. But I've always been totally behind the whole idea of the Machine being everything that Harold was afraid to believe that it was -- humane and caring, and trying really hard to do the right thing. I think a lot of the emotional weight of that scene comes from Harold's paternal relationship with the Machine and how he has loved it, but was afraid that he'd built a monster and so couldn't let himself ever fully believe that it was truly benevolent. That was sad, because it mirrors a lot of relationships, not just parent-child, where there's a fear of being hurt and disappointed that just gets in the way, it doesn't help.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:39 PM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]

Ivan: It's not clear that Elias is dead, given that he was shot in the shoulder, or so it appeared. Co-showrunner Greg Plageman, meanwhile, told TV Line the following:

TVLINE: Turning to the finale’s many deaths and possible deaths: Dominic?
PLAGEMAN: Yeah, he’s gone.
TVLINE: Elias, though, seemed to be hanging on by a thread….
PLAGEMAN: We can neither confirm nor deny...

TVLINE: And Martine was obviously quite dead.
PLAGEMAN: Martine is sadly extra-dead. When Root kills someone, it’s not a sort of “Eh,” ambiguous situation. You’re just dead.

posted by raysmj at 5:28 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

Yeah, Ivan - and I think they nailed it choosing Pink Floyd's 'Welcome to the Machine' for that sequence.

I have high hopes for the psychiatrist/John's love interest for next season. Maybe Shaw's replacement was sitting there right under our noses?
posted by porpoise at 5:31 PM on May 6, 2015

Oh, the way he was so still, head drooping -- I assumed we saw him dying. I really don't want him to die and I'm happy at the possibility that he won't.

"I have high hopes for the psychiatrist/John's love interest for next season."

I'm hopeful just because it would mean some real change for John. As well as the team, really. I like the actor a lot even though I weirdly keep forgetting what else I've liked her so much in. It's weird, I've looked her up and slapped my head like three different times, now. (Oh, right: The Americans. Very different character so that's why I keep forgetting.)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:37 PM on May 6, 2015

I liked the God-mode for the machine with John was about trust and disabling their attackers not killing them - the smoke bombs and John shooting on her instructions with the same loyalty he'd give the rest of his team and the final scene with all the bodies slowly stirring showing that they are still mostly alive, that the Machine values all lives, not just her favoured few.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:13 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh, my.

I was overall enjoying the episode: particularly the fact that Samaritan's correction was not a bomb strike or something else silly, but a more surgical plan to get things stabilized, that the Machine started talking to John (even though it was a little hokey at the outset - John doesn't need "Can you hear me" while getting free in a room full of hostile people who, by rights, should've had the drop on him), the T2 homage with John, that Fusco had two good hero moments.

And then...FATHER.

I was not prepared for that. At all. what? With the Machine compressed and stored, Sabine in Samaritan's pocket and all the anomalous behaviour, I assume our heros no longer have viable cover identities and are alone and exposed and next season is going to be very rocky.
posted by nubs at 8:21 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

The part where the Machine miraculously saves them by turning all of the lights green annoyed me. How else were our heroes going to get their cop car thru the city fast enough? Well, gee, they could have turned on the fucking siren.

It also seemed a pretty mundane achievement for an intelligence that can access all digital information on the planet and can predict much of the future.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:31 AM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

The elevator door hole moving in both inner and outer doors bugged me, but overall, I really enjoyed it. They've dug a pretty big hole for our intrepid heroes - how will they survive?!?

I feel bad for Control. She should've shot Greer while she had the chance.
posted by DowBits at 10:59 AM on May 7, 2015 [5 favorites]

The very last scene was confusing, but other than that it was a hell of an episode. At least Harold finally realized that his child really is a person worthy of genuine affection and respect.

When they got the compression algorithm I speculated that they were going to turn the machine into a virus and upload it to Samaritan's systems, thus creating a new AI which was a combination of the two. We'll see next season.
posted by homunculus at 11:15 AM on May 7, 2015

What I liked about the Harold/Machine chat was not just Harold realizing that his child might be more than what he thought (stepping beyond being cryptic and obscure and directly intervening in their situations), it was that the Machine said: "I thought you would want me to stay alive. Now you are not sure" and then essentially put its continued existence in his hands - Finch could allow it to be destroyed or could destroy it any moment, while it lives in the suitcase. Which is an awesome thing for the show to do - put the life of the Machine back in the hands of the ambivalent creator. And in keeping with the people over protocol theme that the show has developed - ultimately, the Machine gives people the decision making power including over itself.

Root is now without Shaw and without the Machine. How will she do?

The Machine's comments about "inventing new rules" makes me think that the final step in this war will be to assimilate Samaritan somehow; that the Machine's evolutionary strength in terms of iterations and creative methods of working around its limits will be the deciding factor. But how does it get there from a battery powered briefcase?
posted by nubs at 12:10 PM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

You'd still be at high risk of an accident, and be facing stopping and going repeatedly, if you tried to move along quickly in a cop car with its lights and siren on, then other cops might wonder what you're up to. But I was never clear on why no one was searching for the stolen cop car in the first place. Disbelief, suspended, except for maybe all the bullets flying and not hitting anyone, a la FX's "Archer," at the end. Or spray and pray rarely works, I guess.
posted by raysmj at 1:44 PM on May 7, 2015

It's not clear that Elias is dead

Agree, the camera went back to him and held the shot for a long beat and my first thought was: not dead, even though it looked to me that he was shot in the head, not the shoulder so, defying the laws of physics as well. I also read somewhere this past winter that the actor is up for a new series which means: dead (or up for grabs until the pilot is sold). Which is a shame because he was an interesting character. He was introduced the same way as Dominic was, hiding his identity by pretending to be a victim, but the Dominic character just seemed like your run-of-the-mill crime boss; Elias was more strategic.

I'm just relieved that Fusco didn't get taken out during all the gunplay.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:10 AM on May 8, 2015

Elias and Dominic were presented as two sides of the crime world, each working towards similar goals but through different methods - Elias works via relationships and trust (and note that the last act of Elias is to warn Fusco to seek cover); Dominic through control and fear. Parallels of Team Machine and Team Samaritan.

The fact that both get wiped out, swatted down like flies after a good deal of investment in their characters and philosophies and approaches was (for me) a great way of showing just what happens when the ideals of Dominic are given the power (as well as showing just how powerful Samaritan is, with the surveillance and the legion of unquestioning agents - two established characters taken out in an eyeblink); tables get cleared and obstacles removed with no regard, no consideration of future consequences. Elias started as an enemy of Team Machine and turned into an uneasy ally because both realized that by maintaining a relationship and working together at times enhanced stability and predictability - that the relationship provided mutual benefits, despite the fact that at times goals would be in opposition.

I think one of the things we will see next season is that Samaritan has caused more problems with the Correction than it has solved; there are vacuums now, and those vacuums will be filled. And likely there will be competition to fill those vacuums.

Interestingly, the show has not yet been renewed for next season...
posted by nubs at 9:42 AM on May 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

Elias and Dominic were presented as two sides of the crime world, each working towards similar goals but through different methods - Elias works via relationships and trust (and note that the last act of Elias is to warn Fusco to seek cover); Dominic through control and fear. Parallels of Team Machine and Team Samaritan.

That is brilliant and I'll be thinking about it for hours.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:07 PM on May 8, 2015

Also they both killed their best friends - Elias killed his best friend to spare him a worse death, as part of a long-ago pledge they made at other during a difficult childhood, and his best friend asked with full awareness that Elias make that decision. Dominic shot someone he'd worked closely with for years (I'd hesitate to say a friend, given Dominic's ideas of friendship as transactions) without any discussion or thought for the welfare of his people, only in terms of goals. Same events, completely different motives and outcomes.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:13 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Argh, I wanted Control to kick more ass...
posted by Pronoiac at 10:47 PM on May 9, 2015

Person of Interest gets a 13 episode order. My guess is that means it's the last season. I wonder if there will be a jump in time forward or something similar if they know they are wrapping it all up.
posted by Gary at 8:52 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm of two minds; it would be good to see the series wrap up with the conclusion of the Samaritan/Machine conflict (because where do you go after that? How do you top two gods fighting?) and on the other hand, I'll be sad to see the series end because - for all the "procedural" baggage it carries - this has been the best discussion of AI in popular media I've seen.
posted by nubs at 9:55 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

God, I hope that Sarah Shahi comes back from maternity leave to finish the show out.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:15 PM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]

My hope is that just as all looks lost, the soundtrack kicks the drums from The Kills' "Future Starts Slow" and Shaw emerges and kicks ass.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:21 AM on May 16, 2015

Happy it's coming back, but so disappointed in the half order.
posted by pmurray63 at 10:02 AM on May 16, 2015

I think they nailed it choosing Pink Floyd's 'Welcome to the Machine' for that sequence.

I have a feeling that whoever's in charge of the music was either begging to use that song for the last four years or fighting against using that song for the last four years.

Apologies for making this pop up in everyone's Recent Activity after so long -- this show is Sit There And Watch This for me, and I've been going through a lot of On In The Background stuff.
posted by Etrigan at 4:20 AM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Apologies for making this pop up in everyone's Recent Activity after so long

No apology necessary, that's what RA is for!

posted by homunculus at 12:29 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

Etrigan, the show runners mentioned in an interview that they first thought of using it long ago, but decided to save it for a special moment (paraphrasing because I'm on mobile).
posted by pmurray63 at 10:32 AM on June 19, 2015

Very good ending that provided a great new direction for the show. But the "spray of bullets not hitting anyone" was just irritatingly implausible.
posted by orange swan at 9:42 PM on October 5, 2015

How the Machine Gang will Get Numbers in Season 5 and some other information about the upcoming season
posted by nubs at 3:02 PM on October 14, 2015

Person of Interest to end after season 5. Episodes begin airing May 3 and will go two nights a week.

Part of me is sad, part of me kind of glad that they aren't going to try to keep mining this premise into the future.
posted by nubs at 10:04 AM on March 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I totally felt like an expert on television after predicting this in the previous thread even before the shortened season order was announced. Really, though, it was kind of obvious. Ratings had been falling and the show's renewal order was late.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:15 AM on March 17, 2016

I'm ticked they're burning off on Mondays and Tuesdays because I'm occupied on half those nights. I hope they put them online ASAP.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:40 PM on March 17, 2016

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