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Two Takes: Person of Interest “6,741” 

Two Takes: Person of Interest “6,741”
Photo Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS
Photo Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS
Photo Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS

One of the most badass characters on TV is back. It’s been over a year since we last got a glimpse of Shaw. In “6,741,” Shaw starts off in the midst of a surgery. A microchip is implanted. Greer is there. Samaritan is putting her through some serious psychological torture.

But then Shaw escapes. She makes her way back to her people — to Root, Finch and Reese. But she’s clearly affected by what she went through. She’s paranoid. Every time she presses where that chip had been implanted, things go wonky.

Person of Interest treated us to an intense, riveting, messed up experience. It was tough to know what was real or made up. But by the end of the episode, we knew exactly what was what. All we can say right now is: Poor Shaw. Somebody, please save her now.

Tina: Kara, you emailed me earlier today and gave me a heads up that this episode f–ked you up. I have to concur. There were parts of it I thought was real but most of it I thought couldn’t be real. It took me a while to figure out what was going on, you know? I wanted to believe she had escaped so much. I should have known. This episode was fantastic and exhausting and emotional and surprising and scary. When the credits rolled, I couldn’t help but tear up. I couldn’t even stop myself. The only thing good about this being the show’s final season is that Shaw has returned. Welcome back. Sarah Shahi. We missed you.

Kara: I was bawling. After Shaw sacrificed herself — and in front of Root — I lost my s–t. LOST IT.

Shaw: You were my safe place. But not anymore and I can’t control myself. So the only thing I can control is this.

Watching the episode, it definitely seemed like something was off. I had no idea what was going on until the reveal, but there were definitely moments during the episode where I wondered if this was really happening. But I thought it was the chip that was altering Shaw’s reality and, therefore, our perception of it. Then after the chip was revealed as a placebo, I thought whatever torture Samaritan’s agents put her through had worked and was forcing Shaw to do things against her will. I think the worst part of this for me, though, is to know that they’ve run this simulation 6,741 times on her. Poor Shaw. How much more can she take? Also, I’m still upset even though I watched the episode hours ago.

Tina: While it’s been over a year since Shahi’s last appearance, I think Shaw’s been in Samaritan captivity for nine months. To think that she’s been undergoing this simulation that many times is incredibly heartbreaking. But it’s also interesting to me to know what the human brain is capable of. Samaritan has been trying to break her. They’ve been using her to find out the Machine’s location. But it’s not working. They aren’t finding anything from her. This process is happening over and over again. And they have tried different chips, right? This episode made me believe Shaw’s even more badass than I ever thought. I’m thinking that her “pressing” on the wound is helping her keep everyone from finding out where the Machine is. That’s my theory anyway. There are little triggers or mechanisms that enable her to protect the info. Like that safe place she talked about. Kara, Root is her safe place!!! I love that.

Kara: That was nice.

Photo Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS
Photo Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS

Tina: So nice. I know it was all in her mind but Shaw and Root hooking up was pretty epic. I don’t know about you but I couldn’t believe I was watching CBS. The show went there with Root and Shaw and even though it wasn’t real, it was a pretty great moment.

Kara: I…didn’t love it. I mean, I like that they had sex but it seemed very aggressive to me. Which makes sense considering we’re in Shaw’s mind. But, yeah. Didn’t love the way they executed that. Sorry.

Tina: Understood. But I did feel that was very in character for both of them.

Kara: I did like how the show explored their emotional connection, though. Through all the psychological torture, Shaw turned to Root for comfort. The thought of Root got her through it, kept her alive. We also learn some information about Samaritan through the simulation. Shaw, at least in the simulation, thinks Finch stopped looking for her and Finch even apologizes for giving up on her. We also learn that Samaritan doesn’t know the current state of the Machine. Samaritan and its agents think the Machine is still in it’s compressed state. They still think it’s hobbled, which hopefully gives Team Machine an advantage.

Photo Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS
Photo Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS

Tina: Again, the way someone’s brain works is a fascinating thing. When Harold wants to hook up that USB, he goes away. It doesn’t happen in front of Greer. Shaw constantly protects the Machine’s location. I really wanted Shaw to torture Greer so much. Is that bad of me? When she killed him, I really wanted it to be true.

Kara: Nope. Not bad. I want him dead, too.

Tina: But, I have to say, the second I knew none of this was real 100% was when she shot Reese. I’m sure that’s what the show had planned. It took me that long to figure it out. I’m kind of embarrassed. I wonder what the symbolism of going to the Church was. Any thoughts on that? How about Greer saying in her simulation that he’s not the head of the beast. There is no head. Do you think that could be true? I know I’m all over the place right now but that’s the effect this show had on me.

Kara: I’m right there with you.

When Shaw shot Reese, in the back no less, I assumed her “programming” had taken over. As I mentioned before, I didn’t figure anything out before the reveal.

Photo Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS
Photo Credit: John Paul Filo/CBS

It’s ironic that Team Machine had to hide from a “God” in a place of worship. Finch picked the hiding place because of the natural Faraday’s Cage in the basement. I had to look that up because I don’t really speak geek. The “cage” would block electric fields, rendering them invisible to Samaritan.

As far as whether or not Greer’s the head, everything we see in the simulation is what Shaw believes and/or knows. But I feel like we’ve heard Greer say he’s irrelevant in the real world. Does a “God” like Samaritan really need anyone or anything? I feel like Greer could easily be replaced. Samaritan does need human agents to do its biding, but as we’ve seen before it’s not hard to recruit them.

Tina: Very true. We know that Shaw’s still strapped to a bed. They are going through the simulation again. By the way, the entire episode I was waiting for an explanation of 6,741 and once we got it I wish I could have un-heard it. Well, let’s hope they don’t get any closer to the information they need. Finch, Reese and Root better find Shaw soon. I wonder how long it will take until she’s out of the clutches of Samaritan?

Person of Interest tries to top itself with another new episode tomorrow night. It’s going to be tough but we know it’ll happen. POI airs tomorrow night at 10/9c on CBS.

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