Recaps

Two Takes: Person of Interest “SNAFU”

Photo Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS

Photo Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS

The Machine on CBS’ Person of Interest is back up and running…sort of. Once again, it’s doling out the numbers. At first, those numbers come with a twist. Or a “SNAFU,” if you will. For example, instead of a lead on an actual bomb threat, it was actually some kid who called in a fake bomb threat to miss an exam.

On the surface, Fusco and a lonely John tackled the numbers regardless of whether they proved real or not. Underground in the subway lair, Finch and Root teamed up to work out the kinks. In the end, it really became a matter of whether or not the Machine could trust Finch again. It was hurt. It needed to be reminded that this team could be counted on to fight the good fight.

Tina: It was another excellent POI, in my opinion. Kara, I have to start at the very beginning of the episode when the Machine experienced glitches with the facial recognition side of things. It was like I was watching a supernatural body swap episode! James Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Amy Acker and Kevin Chapman got to play all four characters! It was so much fun. I don’t even know what my favorite incarnation was. Fusco as Root in those pajamas was pretty hilarious. But I have to say I liked them all pretty equally. I rewound that part and watched it again right away. It felt like a great nod to the fans in this final season. Anytime I can see Reese and Finch through a not-so-serious lens is a good day for me.

Kara: I agree and I have two favorite moments. I LOVED hearing John’s words come out of Harold’s mouth and when Root’s words came out of Harold’s mouth. The best part was the hair toss Michael Emerson gave us as he was portraying Root. I hope they all had fun with that because it was a pleasure to watch.

Whereas last week I was emotional about whether or not the Machine would survive, this week I was wondering if it should. Things seemed to start innocently enough with the Machine misidentifying the team. When the Machine gave them 30 numbers that were mostly false leads, that was definitely a glitch. But after Finch runs that context program and the Machine (correctly) identifies them as threats? I knew this would be a very interesting episode.

Tina: And kind of scary. The Machine is unpredictable. She labels you as a threat, there’s no telling what she might do. Like say, hire a hitman to take out Reese. What. The. Hell. I thought it was Samaritan pulling that particular puppet string. The number for a beautiful woman comes up. And next thing you know she shows up at the precinct. Reese has already called dibs on her and “lucky” him, he doesn’t even have to track her down. This all seems like just another number. I should have known it wasn’t related to Samaritan. This had the Machine written all over it. Kara, it was out of control. I know Reese was the one getting shot at but I felt even worse for what Finch and Root were going through.

Kara: It was strange to know something before they did, right? The moment they were deemed threats, the Machine locked them in the subway car. Of course, Root is good at getting out of any situation so they’re “free” soon enough. But when Finch wants to reboot the system — since it seems like the Machine’s glitching again — it attacks Root. Of course she’s happy the Machine is talking to her, even if it’s not in a way she’s used to. So Root decides to take herself out of the equation. It’s dangerous (of course), but it does the job.

Tina: At one point, I thought Root was going to rip her cochlear implant out. That’s how badass I think she is. However, I’m thankful that’s not what she did. It was much more painless to just knock herself out. I don’t know what I was thinking. haha

Kara: That’s not hard to imagine. I feel like there isn’t much Root won’t do, especially in service of the Machine or the rest of the team.

Speaking of which, one thing that this episode reinforced for me is how serious Reese, Finch and Root are about each other. I mean, we saw it at the end of Season 4 and again in last week’s Season 5 premiere. It’s very much “leave no man behind” and I’m here for it. They’ve formed their own little family and the Machine is part of it.

Tina: It’s so true. When Root took herself out of the equation, she trusted Finch could do the job. She showed she had faith in him. When Finch was on his own with the Machine, he realized it turned on them because it was hurt. He had hurt it over and over again. He also realized that the Machine sees them as monsters. So he had to prove it wrong. My favorite part is when Finch tried to plead John’s case. He said even though Reese has the heaviest heart of all of them, he’s not a bad man. Only family can hurt each other like this. And defend each other like this. You’re right, Kara. The Machine is part of the family they’ve created. Fusco’s becoming a part of this family, too.

Kara: I am feeling all kinds of warm and fuzzy! Although the Machine was also right about Blackwell, who was one of the 30 numbers Fusco and Reese had been chasing down. Turns out Samaritan recruited him, so we’ll be seeing him again in the near future. I wonder if he’ll be the new Martine. And I wonder how long Finch will keep the Machine an “open” system. Is it only a matter of time before access to all that information corrupts one of them?

Tina: I’m scared about that, not going to lie. But, I also agree with Root. They shouldn’t shackle the Machine just yet. Samaritan is big and bad. And because of its presence, the murder rate has gone down or some sort of statistic like that. While that’s a huge positive, its methods are no good. I shudder to think what else it has in store. Not all of it is going to come up roses.

Just a few more notes. Once again, Shaw is mentioned. Finch has an alert out for her. If she pops up, they’ll find her. Hopefully that’ll be soon. And I would love to get your thoughts on Lonely!Reese. I’m trying to figure out where they’re going with this. Was he really jealous that Fusco’s tight with the other guys in the precinct? Does he really want to join the bowling league? Loved to see him sport that bowling shirt but it also seemed so out of character for him. And I’m not going to even mention the fact that he’s gone on a few dates with that former shrink of his. I’m sorry, Kara. I’m not on board with this “relationship.” Anyway, where is this leading? Really every time I see how lonely Reese is, all I can think about is I wish Carter were around for him. He wouldn’t be lonely then. Oh and one more thing. Can we please have Reese and Finch team up to pull off another heist? The one in this episode was awesome.

Kara: I did enjoy that as well.

Finch: I’m getting felony nerves.
Reese: We’re pulling a heist. Loosen up.

I like that John is so much better at breaking and entering and that Finch sees it as Reece showing off. But Reese should be good at it; he’s been the muscle for the entirety of the time they’ve known each other. Partly because of that and also because of his past, I do think Reese has held himself apart. So, I do think he’s lonely. I’m with you on Dr. Campbell, though. I just don’t believe it. If he’s going to be with anyone, it needs to be Paige Turco’s Zoe Morgan. And I thought about Carter, too. I still miss her so much and I know John does, too.

A new Person of Interest airs tomorrow night at 10/9c on CBS. Yes, TOMORROW NIGHT.

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