Thursday, May 1, 2014

Person of Interest 3.21: "Beta"

“There’s one other thing. I’d like you to avoid violence if at all possible. But, if they harm Grace in any way, kill them all.”
- Finch

As we saw at the end of last episode, Samaritan is getting a beta test and Decima is hunting for Finch. But he’s now here to be found and it’s been a week since the Senator helped pass the bill to buy Samaritan. Reese and Shaw however are busy helping the helpless. Shaw takes out a guy who was going to rob a convenience store (it was an inside job). They get a few blocks away when Root magically appears and ushers them off the street. Decima has teams waiting to take them out. Obviously Samaritan was able to find them. I have to say seeing Samaritan work is interesting. It’s much more movie frame set up than the Machine. Speaking of the Senator, he’s crabby that Samaritan has been up for four hours and nothing’s been found intelligence wise. The head of Decima assures him it will produce viable intel soon. But he’s focused on finding Finch. Samaritan isn’t having any luck but the tech suggests they compile all the info they have n Finch and try to find his closest living connection. Oh boy. Just as Root leads our heroes out into traffic (to avoid video cameras), a payphone rings. Reese stops to take the call and tells Root that if he’s going to keep risking his life, he wants a name, not numbers. She gets the name but it isn’t good. Samaritan has found Grace, Finch’s fiancée.

We briefly jump back to 2010 where Grace and a priest are giving Harold a very small funeral after she believes he is dead. It’s kind of sad that no one else showed up. Yes, I know he’s not really dead and the only person who probably would have showed up really was but still, Grace was pretty upset. We jump back to 2014 and Reese and Shaw save Grace from narrowly being abducted by one of Decima’s goons. They are caught on camera (nowhere really to hide) and are tracked to the precinct. Fusco is kind of annoyed that they showed up since the precinct is now crawling with cameras. Decima decides to use a little tact in trying to get Grace out of the precinct by sending in a fake FBI agent. Reese takes care of him in an interrogation room and then Root joins the party. SO at least they have someone on their side with access to the feeds. This prompts Decima to try and attack from camera blind spots. But that doesn’t really help because Root MacGyver’s some stuff together and knocks out the cameras. Grace is kind of freaking out (not because strange men are after her but because she’s been lied to). She sees a missing poster for the real Detective Stills. Root basically tells her that if she leaves, she’s dead or worse. Root then sets off an explosion and they use an unmarked car as all units are responding to get away from the precinct. I shouldn’t be surprised that Decima had someone waiting. And it’s a bit of bad luck that the bad guys get their hands on Grace. So I guess now Team Machine is going to need to find Finch to help get Grace back.

Well my prediction wasn’t quite right. Finch hasn’t actually showed up yet. The gang is holed up in a diner in New Jersey, outside the reach of Samaritan. Root however has a map of all the dead zones in new York City, including one by a marina. So they head there and find four container ships filled with computer servers. I guess Decima has a way to supercharge its pet project. Which seems really freaking scary if you think about it. Shaw takes out a lurking goon and they trace the origin of some self-deleting texts back to Brooklyn. Reese and Shaw make tracks for Grace’s probable location while Root stays behind. My guess is she’s going to destroy all the servers.

The head of Decima, meanwhile, is trying to find out what is so special about Grace. He believes that she’s an artist and that the rest of her background is true, but he wants to know about her relationships. Ultimately, she confesses to being engaged to Harold and she explains that he died in the ferry bombing. Something tells me she is going to find out that Finch is still alive. Which is not going to be good at all for any potential rekindling of a romance between the two. I have to say, I honestly hope they wrap up the Decima and Vigilance storylines this season and go back to basics next year. It’s not that I dislike overarching mysteries and mythology, because I do. But this just seems a bit overwhelming and over the top. Grace basically tells the head of Decima that she’s done answering his questions after he suggests that Harold lied to her about his identity. She trusted him despite her instincts to never trust anyone (due to a rocky upbringing).

Reese and Shaw make it to the Brooklyn address after leading a bunch of Decima goons on a wild goose chase on the other side of the city. Unfortunately, the head of Decima has already left with Grace and the IT guy our heroes find kills himself. But the head of Decima gives our team a message. Bring Finch to a bridge the next day and they get Grace back. Reese and Shaw are trying to decide on a new plan when Root calls and sends them to find Finch at Grace’s apartment building. He’s ready to turn himself over. The following day, Finch explains that he always knew this day was coming. Grace makes it to safety (she’s blindfolded so I guess that particular secret is still intact) and Finch gets whisked away by Decima. While Samaritan shuts down from its beta test and the Senator is pleased with the results of one terrorist captured, Root has secured a bunch of the servers. So she didn’t destroy them. I am intrigued to find out what she’s going to do. Grace is heading off to Italy to be safe so that’s a plus I suppose. Now all Team machine needs to do is find a way to rescue Finch and keep Samaritan from coming online permanently. Oh and they probably need to deal with Vigilance at some point, too. Overall, it as a decent episode and it is really setting things up for the final two hours of the season.

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