Friday, January 10, 2014

Person of Interest 3.12: "Aletheia"

“No offense Lionel, I know being a good guy is new to you but you’re not fooling anyone. And neither we were. We weren’t helping people. We were delaying the inevitable.”
- Reese

We pick up pretty much where we ended at the mid-season finale. Shaw, Finch and Arthur are in the custody of Control (Shaw’s former bosses). They demand the backup drives to project Samaritan but Arthur can’t remember where they are. Control orders her goons to shoot Shaw but then bullets start flying as Root comes to the rescue. Unfortunately for her, Shaw shoots her in the arm so that the boys can get away. They manage to escape and Arthur remembers where the backups are hidden. They head to a bank where Arthur has a safe deposit box in the name of a fake identity Finch set up in college as a dare. Both Control and Vigilance end up at the bank before our gang can get the drives and get out. While Shaw is trying to find an escape route out of the bank, Vigilance and Control stand off and Arthur realizes that he actually made Samaritan work right before it got shut down. And there’s a difference between that and the Machine, the NSA wanted Samaritan to be accessible so they could control it. Interesting.

We also continue our journey through Finch’s history. We see him as he puts his dad in an assisted living facility shorty before heading to college. He promises to continue working on his project to help his dad retain memories and thinks it may one day look after and protect his dad. How prescient of him. We see him next in 1980 as he hacks into the government to get more power so he can continue writing code. You little hacker, you. Shortly, he goes to see his dad an warns that some government suits will be coming to ask questions and say that Harold committed treason but his dad’s mental state is so deteriorated that it shouldn’t be a problem. So sad though to see how Finch lost his father to a similar illness that he’s losing an old friend now.

Control nabs an injured Root and takes her to a warehouse where she demands that Root give her admin control of the Machine. Root pretty much laughs in her face and revels in how bad an idea that would be. Control gets extra nuts by drugging Root as a way of getting her to talk (one drug in one arm to knock her out, a second in the other to wake her up). Her body can only tolerate so much before she dies. Root being who she is, she thinks it is kind of fun and gets mouthy with Control, saying it’s adorable how wrong she and the government are in thinking they have control of things. As things progress, she’s worse for wear and I had to cringe at the length Control went to inn order to obtain access to the Machine. She’s going to basically remove a key bone in Root’s head to stop sound from getting from her ear to her brain to cut off auditory access to the Machine. What’s next they throw acid in her face to blind her? That really made me uncomfortable. I know the government is not above torture of its own citizens but really? Root comes round and ends up besting Control. Even with hearing only in one ear, she can hear frequencies that Control can’t due to being over 40. And she managed to get a knife out of Control’s pocket and breaks free of her restraints. If Control dies I might just cheer. Root gets rather creepy and channels the Machine, telling Control that the Machine is trying to protect her and what she loves. Root is so creepy. And she heads off out into the world again free.

Out in Colorado, Fusco and Reese are sitting in county lockup and Reese is still down in the dumps about Carter. He says that everything he and Finch did was just fighting the inevitable decay of society and that it’s not worth doing what they were doing. Fusco lets him go free (he was playing Reese about them not getting out) and says that the team back in New York could probably use their help but obviously in Reese’s mind it doesn’t matter. Oh and Fusco calls Reese out on his attitude, saying that Carter was better than both of them but her death doesn’t mean they just give up. I’m not really sure what it will take to get Reese back on Team Machine.

Things at the bank are getting dire. Vigilance is going to blow the vault door and try and take Arthur and the drives but Shaw’s got a plan. They can escape through the sewer system beneath the bank. And we get some interesting exposition from both Machine architects. Arthur made Samaritan work and then he deleted things to keep it safe. Finch admits that he and Nathan took a lot of Arthur’s ideas to create the Machine and that he somewhat regrets doing it, given the fact that they’ve lost good people. Arthur keeps referring to Samaritan (and the Machine) as children and while Finch doesn’t see it this way, it helps convince Arthur to destroy the drives so no one else can use it for nefarious purposes.

Shaw comes to the rescue but it’s Reese and Fusco that really seal the deal on their escape. It seems everyone was happy for the rest of the team to rejoin them. Finch goes to see Arthur in the hospital afterwards and Root calls to warn him that the drives weren’t destroyed like the thought. We see the British man who recruited Reese’s former partner take the real drives from the woman who pretended to be a teller. She gets shot for her trouble. But Root does something nice for Arthur. Through the Machine he gets to see footage and hear his wife’ voice again. Back at the library, Reese shows up to tell Finch that he’s not staying and he only came back to protect his bespectacled buddy because he’s someone the world can’t afford to lose. It will definitely take time for Reese to return to the fold. And I’m a little worried that there are still more people out there (though a decent portion of both Vigilance and Control died at the bank so there’s that).

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