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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?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (306 Votes)

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

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I totally enjoyed this episode and it took twists and turns that I would not have predicted--and as others have commented, it's wonderful to have a show that is not predictable, and always intriguing. Loved the "congratulations" line too! That was a total hoot! As far as the machine moving itself--that machine is so ingenious, I wouldn't have been surprised to see it roll itself out the door! ;o) While Root drives me crazy, and I don't trust her as far as I could throw her, she does add a crazily unpredictable turn to the show, and she is one of those pesky nemeses that just keeps coming back like a bad penny! So I don't mind having her stick around for season 3. I also agonized for Finch, losing his best friend and co-creator of the Machine, and then Grace too, to top it off at the same time. And Carter's "rescue" of Elias was just the frosting on the cake! I will love to see how that plays out next season, since I have a great affection both for Elias and for Carter. It will be interesting to find out what was going on with Fusco while all this was going down, next season. Love, love, love this show! It is one of my all-time favorites now!

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Please please get rid of Shaw she is taking all the spot light from Carter and Fusco,i will stop watching if they continue to her in the spot light.

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I'm a little upset that the Decima Tech guy was not in the episode.

Josie-leeds

Aside from the major headache this show gives me trying to untangle plot lines and characters each week, I still love the interplay between Finch & Reese and the action between the two of them and everyone else. Carter/Fusco and their clandestine activities make me question whether the writers have done ANY research on REAL cop shops..... I will probably tune in to the first 1 or 2 episodes next season, but if it's still an exercise in obfuscation, I'll go back to my Kindle.

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@SavhCaro, how fun is that, Richard Lewis has a mental breakdown directing the show? lol

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@Lily---- "where are you"and "talk to me",like a little girl lost her toy or a mother lost her child.I don't think she will ever harm the machine rather than protect it, she needs fun, needs to be kept in the loop as to all the machine news, also if Decima ever try to touch the machine next season, I am sure she will be the most qualified and loyal ally to Finch.Tech thing is not Reese and Shaw's strong suit,isn't?(Most important, I think Machine know all that too, that's why it calls her at the end).Grey zone is the flag of POI, no one is necessarily bad all the time, even Carter just pass a moral test. Besides,Amy Acker's performance is so stunning, right! I am glad that Root get rebooted at the last moment, looking forwards to season 3, waiting is going to be as hell.

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@Lily,I totally agree with your on Root. Clearly I don't know why so many people say Root bug them,I mean, yes she has a creepy way of entertaining us, but otherwise the show won't be so thrilling without her as a surprise element. Besides,all this two episodes Root is yellow-framed, meaning no danger to the machine.If we look back, right from the start of season 2, she said the world is so boring and she want to send the machine free, it's so laughable to handle such a living organism to such corrupted government, even Finch agree on those two points.Finch also admitted before that Root and him are alike, even though he don't particularly want to admit that. Or we can look at the details, when Root pick up the phone call in Zero day then saying"absolutely", look at her facial expression just like a bride saying "I will" at the wedding; then when she only see the huge empty warehouse instead of machine, she was asking and begging "where are you"and "talk to me",like a little girl lost her toy or a mother lost her child.I don't think she will ever harm the machine rather than protect it, she needs fun, needs to be kept in the loop as to all the machine news, also if Decima ever try to touch the machine next season, I am sure she will be the most qualified and loyal ally to Finch.Tech thing is not Reese and Shaw's strong suit,isn't?(Most important, I think Machine know all that too, that's why it calls her at the end).Grey zone is the flag of POI, no one is necessarily bad all the time, even Carter just pass a moral test. Besides,Amy Acker's performance is so stunning, right! I am glad that Root get rebooted at the last moment, looking forwards to season 3, waiting is going to be as hell.

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@Sean McKenna,look at the timeline, it seems machine don't own the memory as to Nathan's death and Harold's cripple any more, otherwise I do hope it can start a sort of revenge mode(what about just 1 day),just to take out Hersh on Season 3 episode 1, which will be a relief. :-)!

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As I watch POI, it's difficult not see parallels with Batman universe. You can pretty easily connect the dots between the various characters, even The Machine. It's essentially a more elaborate version of the surveillance system developed by Lucius Fox in "The Dark Knight." That said, in comic books the villains are rarely killed outright. Defeated and incarcerated? Yes. Possibly killed? Sure. Outright killed? No. If you look at the POI stable of baddies, you'll note most of them are still alive and kicking. So, when I see comments like, "I hate Root, I want her dead," I can't help but think these people are missing the point. She's the Joker. You don't kill the Joker. Hate her all you want, but the function of the character is pop up from time to time and put our heroes to the test. To answer the question, "Why didn't Show or Reese kill Root?" Because they're the good guys.

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@Virg,during the interview of Zero Day recap, Nolan and Plageman already said one thing as the essence of the show are those great characters,which they will never give up.So don't worry a bit.Now if we think about the show a bit more: first, maybe this episode is not the typical cliffhanger since nobody's life is at stake, yet it provide much more possibilities for the future as the machine actually being AI, so called "God mode";second, I use to read the report that CBS ensured that at the end of season 2, Carter will learn the existence of the machine, which hasn't happen yet, but clearly with Elias at large again(his Canadian TV show"Flashpoint"has ended this year, with more time for him to focus on POI on season 1),HR and Russian Mob get in bed with each other, I am afraid Carter will be very,very busy next season along with Fusco,since his affair with HR is also far from over,saying that Carter definitely will get more attention in the future;Last,with Machine in total control of itself, the potential "pit-stop"(if I may)of our peace-makers probably will be more. Hey, I mean during the virus attack, we lost two detectives and a good doctor, besides HR also get rebuilt and stronger during the same period despite the fact that Alonzo Quinn has long been identified as HR boss by the Machine this mid-season, so we will need extra operatives like Shaw so much,I am totally thrilled to see her performance,outstanding as always,Life and fairly legal all get unfairly cancelled after 2 seasons, I really hope it's her better luck with POI.

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