Person of Interest Season Finale Review: Fight for the Machine

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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?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (308 Votes)

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


I really enjoyed the season and the finale. It was awesome. Loved the "congrats" quote, and when Shaw gave Reese the gun and he asked what is that for, she said to make you feel adequate while I drive this thing (the yellow car). lol. I was disappointed that Shaw didn't kill Root, but I understand what others say, that she is a nemesis who should stick around. I hate the limited time Carter had and the no-show of Fusco. They shouldn't do him that. He is part of the cast, not a recurring character. He should be in EVERY episode! That's my only peeve. That and Root's survival. lol. Great show.


I was cringing a little that POI's season finale might be a cliffhanger that is typically offered up by TV these days - an ebola outbreak, a plane crash, thermonuclear war. Instead, POI writers took the high road and worked hard at giving us a succulent ending to a great season. Thanks, guys! Enjoy the summer break - you sure earned it!


@ mr finch - maybe the machine will use root when it needs a human against the "red squares" … it can give orders to be moved around, one node at the time but it cannot act against human threats ...


@BobR,I know Root was yellow framed in her first appearance in season 1 finale "Firewall", but note this the first 2 episodes of season 2,either "The Contingency" or "Bad Code",she was red-framed, maybe partly because her violence conduct,but the red frame is not the same as normal criminals, you can see for yourself. As to the rest, totally agree, Root is far better than those government people so she has earned her right to get in contact with machine. (Admin? I am not sure about that word, I think the machine controls itself from now on, not sure AI still need a admin, Root is just one of the people it decides to talk to)


Good finale.


Some of Season's 2 quotes are memorable. One of my favorites was Reese to Shaw, earlier in the season, "You get thirsty when you die!" I missed the precise wording on two from the finale: what did Shaw say about Bear and what did Elias say to Carter about life? Please add any of your favorites. Thanks in advance.


I sure hope saw is part of the full time cast.


@Mr.Finch - You note that Root is Yellow. She has been Yellow since her first appearance (when she was still her shrink persona). Also note that Shaw started out as Blue (Relevant Side Operative) and was shifted to Yellow by the Machine as soon as Reese clued her in that the Machine was Research/Northern Lights. I think Finch was shocked at being the cause of his partner's death since as we saw his warning display had come up just before Finch shut that service down in Zero Hour and thus he took on the non-relevant monitor role as a memorial to him. As to the possibility of Root being the new Admin, she has been from the start protective of it. Thus she has, in the Machine's view, earned this right. As to her methods, she is no worse than the Northern Lights people (who have been her targets). At least she is going after them not the innocents who were killed by NL to hide the existence of the Machine.


★★★★★TV Johnny FIVE This season's structure was flawless. I enjoyed the ride and I can't wait for what's to come. Still mostly without words as that was a season finale. ...


It will be interesting to see what Fusco was up to while all this was going down!

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