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Person of Interest Season Finale Review: Fight for the Machine

by at . Comments

If Person of Interest Season 2 wanted to go out with a major cliffhanger, "Zero Day" would have been a great candidate.

And yet after speaking with series creator and one of the writers of the finale, Jonathan Nolan, he implied that "God Mode" would serve as the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another, which is exactly what transpired, bringing about a level of closure for some of the mystery surrounding Finch and the Machine and opening the door for something even more.

Saving the Machine

I had thought that Root had been receiving a fake call from the Machine and only Reese was picking up the real deal, but it turned out both were given access to the super powered computer.

Essentially the chase continued, except Root with her objective to find the Machine and set it free; and Reese to stop Root and rescue Finch.

I loved the Machine calling out the location of bad guys for him to shoot, as well as it being the ultimate GPS without the horrible rerouting. Similarly, even with the grand scale event taking place, the Machine and essentially the show refused to forget about a person of interest to save.

Reese nailed it on the head about being heroes and simply having to take up more task than one.

Certainly, he and Shaw got to have all the fun in their action endeavors. There was something rather gleeful about the two picking up the souped up yellow sports car (and Shaw tossing Reese the gun to help him feel adequate when she drove), quickly shooting the perp at the wedding with a "congratulations," and crashing another car off the roof followed by a cooly determined walk towards the helicopter. There was something rather fun about watching the guys stare in awe.

Now we got a very small chase scene and didn't really get to see the car drive off the road, but this being TV, it's easy to forgive, especially when the core feeling of what was taking place still exuded from the screen during their hunt.

And yet, the episode (and come to think of it the majority of this season) was centered on Finch and his relationship to the Machine.

We finally were able to see the ultimate tragedy for the spectacled hero. Not only had he discovered that the Machine had been sold to the "wrong people" (the government), but he witnessed his friend and colleague Nathan Ingram killed for wanting to tell the world about the computer that could essentially stop crime.

On top of that, Finch was hurt in the blast and I'm assuming that's where he got his limp. But it was watching him hide from Grace with that anguished look on his face as she frantically tried to find him, but instead only the book that had held the engagement ring. Finch had lost so much, so fast.

And to add insult to injury, was his discovery that the Machine had known about Nathan's danger all along.

So it was interesting to learn that instead of finding the Machine liked Root has desperately wanted, there was simply a vast empty room. What's more, it seems as if the Machine has suddenly taken a life of its own - and I'm not sure what that actually means or the repercussions of that, except once again, it was Finch's own doing.

Turns out he had set up another virus to allow the Machine to save itself in case it came under attack.

And while the 24-hour access to the Machine wasn't as chaotic or damaging as I guess it could have been, the finished effect left it to its own control, only handing out numbers if it really wanted to.

It was rather exciting hearing that phone call for Reese and Finch, and apparently some new mysterious boss lady (for the government?), but also Root herself. Just what are the Machine's intentions with each of these diverse groups? The possibilities seem endless.

But I was also glad that amongst all the Machine mythology being divulged, was Finch owning up to Reese about the mistakes he had made and the situation that had arisen from his actions. What made that moment even better was that solidified friendship between the two heroes, as Reese admitted that it wasn't Finch that caused every problem. If only he had decided to speak to his love when he had the chance. Maybe that might spur Finch to do it while he still can now?

I was so caught up in the core story that it was hard to be as invested in the time the episode took to Carter. It was enjoyable to see Elias again and I'm curious how his and Carter's interaction will change things for the following season. But those moments just weren't as riveting as the main focus.

At the same time, I was bummed that there was no Fusco. I understand there were a ton of moving pieces and cramming him in might have been just too much. Still, I was hoping he would have at least made some appearance.

Overall, even with some of my gripes, this was a satisfying way to end the season by answering a little more, giving us the character drama and action and proposing a major turning point with the Machine. Sure, it wasn't a wild cliffhanger of wondering whether someone lived or died, but the end result and idea that we're onto something fresh and new has me excited and interested to see where Person of Interest takes us when it returns. The stakes, mystery, and adrenaline-fueled enjoyment keep getting better and better.

What did you think? Did you enjoy the finale? What is the Machine going to do now that it's free? Who was that mysterious woman? What's next for the show?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (307 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Man, Root is annoying. The fact that they've made her into permanent character is insane. She hates people and worships the machine like a crazed priestess. I hope that she'll go the way of the dodo sometime, even if it's in season 4. Carter got it, there's no reason for her not to get it either.

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We missed the season finale (ugh!!!). When will it be available through either YouTube, Netflix, CBS? Do we really have to wait until just before the start of season 3? Help!!!

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I agree that if the separate nodes of the Machine (Ernest) are strategically placed around the globe it would make destruction near impossible, but what about the Cloud? Does the Machine even need a physical presence, or can it inhabit all the computers thereby expanding its conscience even further?
What's the deal with Fusco?

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And BTW I know that in a conventional computer, nodes/processors/memory/ports DO need proximity for rapid communication and data exchange. I do not think we are dealing with a conventional computer. THIS machine could have solved these issues as part of saving/protecting itself. Its self-awareness is like unto (N=number of nodes) a series of N-dimensional standing / harmonic waves - unimaginably complex, self-sustaining and resilient, AND "motivated" with a sense of identity and purpose. Maybe... :-)

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Nodes. Nodes do NOT need geographic proximity. I think the machine is relocating itself across the planet, and thus can never be found again. One node means nothing. A single node can be replaced, like a cell regenerating. If this is the case, the machine is now everywhere and therefore nowhere. God Mode, indeed. IMHO. :-)

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Loved it...with one small gripe .... who in the heck keeps a plane ticket stub for four years in their bag ala Lawrence Zrivland (sp?)? I mean I don't clean out my bag as often as I should but 4 YEARS!! Especially a ticket to a top secret nuclear facility...
Can't wait for next season!

Beverly brooks

The finale was great. Love idea machine was moved and the look on Root's face. She went into total shock. I glad the writers showed exactly how Harold got lame, but I hate the thought that he witnessed his friend being blown up.

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So getting past the fact that the machine could move itself, how could it do it without anyone noticing, or better yet how does it expect to be kept hidden? Considering its freaking huge from what we saw underneath that place, so really how many places could it move itself to that are that big? Seems like it would be only a matter of time until they could find it.

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Enjoyable episode. Glad we didn't have another cliffhanger with Reese/Finch captured. Loved learning how Finch became interested in the not relevants, and now we finally know that the machine had given Finch Jessica's number by the time Finch saw Reese in the hospital in season 1. Fusco should have been part of the finale, and even though Carter was included, she seemed like she wasn't part of the team anymore. Seems like the Machine is the star of the show now. Season three looks promising. Nice way to wrap up a season.

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@braaf_hond, I hope Root can team up just from time to time if Decima strike back,;even Root and Shaw working together(Interestingly, their first name is the same: Sam, so, team Sam!) Two dominatrix work together, their conversation is going to be freaking awesome!