By using our website, you agree to the use of our cookies.

Person of Interest “Relevance” 

Photo Credit:CBS
Photo Credit:CBS

If you read my review last week, you will recall that I said that Person of Interest is one of those series that puts an extraordinary amount of effort into detail.  As the series has progressed, if there is any question that has crossed your mind, store it away, as it is certain to be answered soon enough.  One such question is what in the hell happens to the “relevant” numbers The Machine produces and who acts on them.  After all, we only know that Finch (Michael Emerson) and Reese (Jim Caviezel) helps save only the “irrelevant” ones.  That question is answered tonight, in addition to raising several more.

In come Samantha Shaw (Sarah Shahi, Fairly Legal and Chicago Fire) and her partner, Michael Cole (Ebon Moss –Bachrach).  They are at least one of the teams whose mission is to neutralize any threats associated with these relevant numbers produced by The Machine.  Shaw is the bad-ass of the team, the real fighter who reminds us a lot of Reese, while Cole is the brains and has Shaw’s back while she takes out the target.  From what we can tell, both of them have been doing this for at least two to three years – well, until Cole begins asking questions.

All that Shaw and Cole know is that the numbers come from a group on the project call “Research” and that “Research” is never wrong.  Or, can they?  Cole begins to raise some serious questions, especially about one particular person named Daniel Aquino.  Aquino’s number came up nearly two years ago, after large amounts of money were wired into his account from a foreign government.  Cole did some digging of his own and discovered that the money didn’t come from a foreign account, but from the U.S. Government itself.  Aquino apparently was working on something covert, and our own government wanted him dead.  Cole began having serious doubts that “Research” even existed and perhaps was something else.  But, what was that “something else”?

The mistake Cole made was that he reported his findings to their boss, Wilson (Paul Sparks), who in turn puts targets on both of their backs in tonight’s episode.  Cole was certainly right in that “Research” really did not exist – instead, it was The Machine, and as we know, everyone who finds out about The Machine except the people at the top of the food chain must die.

By this time, both Shaw and Cole’s numbers have come up on Finch’s irrelevant list, and as quick and efficient as Reese is, Cole cannot be saved.  The next few scenes are absolutely fantastic and highlights just how much of a bad-ass and agent Shaw really is.  She takes out two of Wilson’s teams (well, with a little bit of Reese’s help, including his shooting several of Wilson’s men in the kneecaps.  Very funny stuff!), and then, kills an entire group of drug dealers after removing a bullet from her own gut.  Now, that is one tough girl.

Shaw honestly doesn’t have a clue what she is up against, and naively believes that she can take care of it herself.  And, of course, Wilson and the Special Counsel (Jay O. Sanders) will continue trying until the threat is neutralized.  This culminates with the ending where Mr. Hersh (Boris McGiver) does finally find her and inject her with a poison.  This is probably the absolute best part of the episode, with nearly everyone showing up to help and save her.  Fusco (Kevin Chapman) and Carter (Taraji P. Henson) show up first at the crime scene and insist on taking charge of the case.  And, guess who is the EMT first responder?  Yes, our old pal, Leon Tao (Ken Leung)!  We’ve already seen him in two episodes, is absolutely hilarious, and so, it was nice to see this familiar character again.  God, I love his character!

This episode was spectacular not just because it introduced a hell of a new character, Shaw, that could potentially become an ally to Finch and Reese in the future.  It also pulled back the curtain just a little more and provided us with just a peek of the big picture.  First, Daniel Aquino had been set up, and the accounts that wired him the money had been spoofed.  The Machine would have been smart enough to recognize that and thus, not flag him as a terrorist.  But, his life was still in danger regardless, and so, would this mean that his number would have shown up on Finch’s “irrelevant” list?  And, who is this entity that is the Special Counsel’s boss, the person everyone calls “Control”?  We know that “Research” is The Machine, of course, but who or what is “Control”?  I had always imagined that there was some kind of Oz-like figure who was in charge of this entire organization, and my guess is that this “Control” is that person.  It could be that “Control” is someone we have already met, and at the end of the season, he’s going to come out and yell, “Boo!” Only time will tell if that’s the case.

All in all, this was a fantastic episode.  It introduced a great new character, had some fantastic action scenes, and tied up yet some more loose ends.  Jonathan Nolan wrote this episode, did a marvelous job, and I hope we’ll get the pleasure of seeing more of his work in the near future.

Now, for some questions for our loyal Person of Interest fans out there.  Who do you think “Control” is?  Do you think it is someone we’ve never met, or instead, is someone we’ve seen before but didn’t realize his/her role in the organization?  I have my own suspicions, but we would love to hear what you think.  Chime in the Comments section below and let us know your theories!

Most memorable quotes 

  • Joined the Marines.  Figured I’d be better at killing people – Shaw
  • No life is above the safety of millions of Americans —  Special Counsel
  • Set out to correct the world’s wrongs and you’ll only end up adding to them – Finch
  • Their wiring was a bit rough.  I fixed it for them – Shaw
  • Your employer wanted you dead, and now, you are dead – Finch

 And, my top quote from this episode goes to Leon Tao.  Funny as hell!

  •  She may be hot, but that’s one broad I never want to see again! Ever.  You guys never told me she was dangerous AND crazy.  Bad combo.

 Person of Interest airs on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.

Related posts


  1. Carol

    This episode was clumsy, overbearing, loud, obvious and overstuffed. It was extremely disappointing. The (mis-)use of the main four characters was dismal and disheartening. The discarding of subtlety in pursuit of anvil-like thrill was tiresome. There was no ambiguity, no moral shading about the evildoer terrorists, the bad government agents, the stupid drug dealers, or the over-the-top lunatic, Root. This episode did not feel like POI at all. I am sorry that Shaw has been added to the mix like a giant foot squashing down the delicate character development and exposition we had seen handled so brilliantly over the past season and a half. We now know more about Shaw after 50 minutes of mayhem than we have learned about Finch, Reese, Carter or Fusco in almost two years. I am disappointed.

    1. Battlejuice

      You say all that like it’s a bad thing.

      AWESOME episode!

    2. Al

      Lousy episode. It seems as if the POI writers have become tired of being successful. Change for it’s own sake is not what is called for. Shaw’s character was so utterly RIDICULOUS that I wasn’t sure that whether some hacker had somehow implanted a spoof episode. Additionally, as a former Marine, I was offended by the writer’s suggestion that the only thing Marines are good for is to kill. Finally, my EXPERIENCE in the Corps taught me that whatever else women earn in the Corps, it’s NOT the title Marine. Ask ANY Marine, he’ll tell you. I can’t imagine what kind of man would enjoy seeing some waif emasculate men. I loved Fringe until they got on the tiny woman bashes huge man trip. I hope this show does not go the way of Fringe. This episode was disappointing and pathetic on many different levels.

  2. Steve

    I disagree. I enjoyed this episode. I had always wondered who looked after the relevant list. Do I want to see Shaw every episode? No…but she’ll certainly be an asset down the road to Team Machine just like Carter, Fusco and Leon are. Loved Leon as an EMT driver btw…saw his name in the opening credits but didn’t expect that. As for Root, I’m still not sure what to make of her…there’s a part of me that really wants to believe she’s good.

    If you haven’t already called the number that Harold gives Shaw at the end of the episode call it. A nice surprise from Nolan….my only gripe in continuity is that the number he gives her isn’t in the first 3000 digits of pi.

    1. Susan

      I would guess that Finch has more than one telephone number! Amazing episode of an amazing show.

  3. Robert Sprott

    I can see a lot of plot lines that could include Sarah Shahih and hope the producers give her a shot at establishing her character with a fuller and more rounded psyche. She should stay on board as a recurring character. Hey, the dog loved her. So do I. By expressing her feeling for her dead partner she opened the door to being a “real” person in the future. Despite the cold-blooded deadly killer that she showed us in this episode, she brought a little warmth to the show; something the show has been lacking lately. I hope to see her again.

  4. Oliver Hamilton

    The partial Social Security Number (XXX-XX-4592) for Finch is in the first 3000 digits of pi. If this is what he meant in 2r then Finch’s full SSN is 974-94-4592. Also maybe Nathan Ingram is ‘Control’ He’s meant to be dead but so are Finch and Reese…

  5. Garth

    One of the best episode from POI so far and to think it was John and Harold lite. Written and directed by Nolan himself it was a roller coaster ride. I felt so sad that Mr. Hersh got to Shaw in the end (made me think “i thought she was suppose to be a recurring character???”) only to be rewarded with the rescue from Fusco, Carter, Leon, Bear (it was the lick that saved her).

    I’m going to make a call on the season end story…Root will get to the Machine.

    Try dialing the phone number that Finch tried to give SS twice…917-285-7362.

  6. Alex

    I loved this episode I thought it was a cool perspective and thought the shaw character was great. I fear root will use shaw to gain access to finch. I don’t get how root got the drop on shaw in the hotel though. She killed Alicia Corbin no problem why not shoot the CIA agent in the bathroom too?

  7. carol anderson

    My goodness, I am not as educated or articulate as the posts on this page, but this was a fabulous episode! My favorite actors were not in most of the scenes but that Sarah was totally awesome. And I’ve watched every episode of “Fairly Legal” Ha! The writer was spot on, It was a really fun ride, very exciting. Very enjoyable. Want to see more of her working with John and Harold. Oh and Bear, love that dog. I honestly thought it was the best James Bond in female form I have ever seen.

  8. Eva

    Hey does the phone number from Person of Interest really contact Michael Emerson and does it do texting and will he answer?

    1. TV Goodness

      No idea. If you end up trying it, let us know.

  9. Susan

    Amazing episode! I love POI, and miss it every day

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.