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Is Shaw Really Dead? Person of Interest “If-Then-Else” 

Photo Credit:  JoJo Whilden/Warner Bros. Ent.
Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden/Warner Bros. Ent.

If she is, what a way to go: to die for someone you love. But what I’m sure a lot of people have noticed and commented upon, is that we don’t see Shaw die. We hear what may be the fatal bullet, but we don’t see the life leave her body. Even in the simulations the computer ran and then discarded, we don’t see everyone die. Finch and Reese definitely bite it – and I love that Reese takes quite a few Samaritan operatives out with him. But in one of the simulations, we see Martine and the Samaritan agents fire a lot of bullets at Root. I think we can assume she died since The Machine abandoned that scenario. And maybe because we’re seeing Shaw’s fate roll out in “real time,” there’s no way to know for sure. Although, is that true? The Machine has eyes inside that building. Even though Team Machine is inside the elevator, The Machine can see what happens to Shaw. The Machine – and Samaritan and its agents – know Shaw’s fate. But we don’t (yet) and it seems like we won’t for the foreseeable future. It all depends on Sarah Shahi. I like that the producers chose this way to write her off the show. We’ll see if it’s a “for now” or a “forever” scenario after she has the babies. Until then, it will be interesting to see how Root and the rest of Team Machine react to losing one of their own — because even if she survives Martine’s bullets, she is lost to them.

Photo Credit:  JoJo Whilden/Warner Bros. Ent.
Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden/Warner Bros. Ent.

I love that we got to see things from the perspective of The Machine in this episode. At first, I didn’t realize that was what was happening so when Finch died in the first scenario I was really, really upset. After that scenario was discarded, we got a simulation where Reese bit the dust. Even though I knew The Machine was running another simulation, I still got pretty choked up. But I love that he went out in a blaze of glory. In the other discarded scenario, we see Root go down in a hail of bullets. Again, upsetting. I can remember a time when I was probably actively rooting for Root’s demise. When she was first introduced, she was such a different person. I love that she’s reformed herself. I mean, every single person on the team was someone else before they started hunting down the irrelevant numbers, so it only makes sense that The Machine changed Root’s life too.

As the newest member of the team, I wasn’t sure I’d every really have an emotional connection to Shaw. Her personality doesn’t really allow for that. But I think through her interactions with all the team – and specifically with Root – I came to care for her very much. Who knows if Shaw’s dead or alive, but the fact that she’s willing to sacrifice herself is huge. I’m not sure this show will ever devastate me as much as it did after Carter’s death (I hope not; I still feel that loss), but this (potential) death affected me a lot more than I thought it would. I went in knowing that Shaw was a goner and it still got me.

Photo Credit:  JoJo Whilden/Warner Bros. Ent.
Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden/Warner Bros. Ent.

So what does this mean for the team? Will Samaritan step up its game (again), in order to take out Team Machine? We know how badly Samaritan wants to eliminate The Machine and its human agents. We know it thinks it’s vastly superior to The Machine. And yet, Team Machine keeps living to fight another day. “Control-Atl-Delete” is the last episode in the current “trilogy.” I’m expecting big things. But how to you top this? Is it even possible? Knowing this show, I’d say yes.

Favorite exchange:

Reese: “Coldly delivered sadistic warning.”
Fusco: “Self-deprecating inquiry into the time necessary to infiltrate system.”
Root: “Funny yet insightful retort.”
Finch: “Mildly agitated declaration of mission completion. Gentle exhortation to further action.”
Root: “Overly affectionate greeting.”
Shaw: “Greeting.”
Root: “Transparent rationale for conversation.”
Shaw: “Annoyed attempt to deflect subtext.”
Root: “Overt come on.”
Shaw: “Mildly embarrassed defensiveness bordering on hostility.”
Root: “Playfully witty sign-off.”

The cast and EP talk Sarah Shahi’s departure (and possible return):

Person of Interest airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on CBS.

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