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.


A small but interesting point. There was a mention of a L. Szilard in conjunction with the Nuclear facility involved in the show. Students of Physics will know that Leo Szilard was one of the most famous physicists involved during the beginning of the Atomic age. I don't thing the use of an L. Szilard icw this show was a coincidence. Yes, dear writers, many of us caught that reference. :)


Wrong, wrong, wrong? Come on now! There also is no such thing as "The Machine", is there? What I have noticed about characters being absent from episodes, is that the producers and writers and directors are using them as major players in upcoming episodes therefore they are too occupied to be in earlier episodes. Two best lines of the night, "Congratulations" and "it's to make you feel less inadequate as I drive this car".
Nice closing episode. We are now ready to open a fresh story line.......
Great season, wonderful characters with changing focuses, hold your breath tension and plenty of humor and then there is a new hero....Bear.


Great writing. A little confussing though. Why did Carter have no help, and where is Fusco? Why did they liet root go? Shaw and Reece worked well together, What will Carter do with Elise? I like all the cast. Looking forward to the next season.


Where was Fusco? Where did Carter take Elias? I love Elias! Love the power battle between him and HR. Carter is a good guy but going after her son will change her. Why is Reese calling Carter Jos now? Love kick butt Shaw! She has got to be one of my favorite female character on tv now...take notes other shows! The damsel in distress female is out! Why did Shaw not kill Root? Root would have killed her in a heartbeat. I was a little surprised that Root went Cra Cra at the end and shut down but it looks like the computer rebooted her! Who is the women behind everything? Could it be Harold's love or a new character? I say it may be Grace because why did the computer direct Harold to her in the first place? What is Harold Finch real name? Who is he really? Once again very good writing. Networks need to stick to good dramas and get away from so called reality shows and talent shows.


@klimville: The Machine itself ordered its own removal from the nuclear storage facility. It even confirmed the order in Special Counsel's voice, no doubt acquired using its voice capture software. It's anyone's guess where the servers are now. As for what Carter does with Elias, she has a few options. She could stuff him in a safehouse, she could let him go, she could complete the prisoner transfer thus putting him back in jail. And I missed Fusco, too!


Great series finale! So glad the nuke hiding place did not have the machine. Who directed its piece by piece dismantling (I missed that)....was it Finch? I'm so glad the CIA puppet-masters were shot at the end (those in the Nuke facility)...they bothered me for both seasons, but who is the female in charge that she has so many operatives that can be eliminated in shoot-outs and no repercussions? And Root is still alive and still receiving phone calls! I like the theory the call was in her messed up mind! Love Elias, but what does straight-forward Carter do with him know HR still has her in their sights! Missed Fusco...his story is not over with HR, either! Then there is John Reese and Shaw....great together and bad-ass as always! Great show, episode, and review!

Sp mckenna

@SavhCaro - Didn't know that one but great catch! @Virg - I agree about not losing the show about people, and although it did focus on the Machine, I think there has been overall (and hopefully for S3) a continuation of the balance between machine mythology and characters involved.

Sp mckenna

@boonies and Mr. Finch - Glad to see he did the cameo. I just checked again and saw Greg Plageman like you said. Very cool getting those 2 on screen is only for the split second.


For a moment there I thought the reviewer had began to see this show as I did. Wrong They have taken a great idea with perfect actors and turned it into a show about a machine. What happened to the protection of people and heart, let alone the great action. Please wake up producers. Let's not loose another great peoples series to science.


The 'patient' between Jonah Nolan & Greg Plagemen in the hospital hallway was Richard Lewis, the director of the episode............

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