Person of Interest Season Finale: Rise of the Machine

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After an hour like Person of Interest Season 3 Episode 23, with a title such as Deus Ex Machina, nothing will ever be the same for the POI team... nor for the series itself.

Certainly, the start of Person of Interest Season 3 was a slow build, a new chapter in the saga, but one that pulled the major pieces into play and ultimately brought them altogether for the finale.

The whole concept of privacy and technology is extremely relevant today with the likes of Edward Snowden, Wikileaks and even questions surrounding the NSA and the government’s use of spying.

And both sides of the coin were played during the hour for viewers to see. Vigilance, in its attempts to put the powers of the government in check, and the government, using the Machine to take out terrorists even if that means reading a few emails and tapping a few phones.

Even Finch and Control bringing it back to the 9/11 attacks, which sort of spurred their changed perceptions of the world. Control was willing to do what it took to stop terrorists, and Finch wanted to stop violent acts from happening.

The world we live in really has changed.

But I liked that Collier at least had a chance to gain the upper hand, if only for the moment. Yes, it was all a little over the top in his trial, and it seemed more of an attempt to sort of recap something of a timeline for the Machine and its involvements.

It certainly allowed Control, Finch and Collier to express their opinions about surveillance in an impassioned way.

And I loved that Finch tried multiple times to save others (even Collier) by putting his own life on the line. He was willing to accept his own death to stay true to his own cause.

Yet, as Reese and Hersh got closer to finding the location of the courthouse (with some great help from Bear and Fusco), the clues that something else was happening began to take shape.

Because, really, Decima was too many chess moves ahead. Guess, Greer’s super calm attitude, should have been a giveaway.

His reveal that he had orchestrated Vigilance and used Collier in an elaborate scheme to prove to the government that it was necessary to give him control and allow Samaritan to go online to stop more terrorist threats was a brilliant one.

It made perfect sense, and a character such as Greer, who plays it so cool and menacing, was the obvious one to be the victor at the end of the day.

It was also good that the whole live stream with 12 million viewers was cleared up (because I didn't really buy that so quickly) and the random group of people brought to the courthouse served a greater purpose for Decima.

I have to admit I was a bit worried Finch might end up getting killed, but when the Decima agent paused after killing Collier (sorry, man, you were just a pawn) I had a feeling Reese would show up.

And he didn’t disappoint, even if it was too late to stop the bomb that “Vigilance” had set. Let’s not forget to mention Hersh, who went down trying to stop the bomb from going off. It’s something like that which really makes you appreciate how this show isn’t quite as black and white as it could easily be. An enemy of the POI team ended up helping and dying trying to do right.

Ultimately, with the trial one big ruse (and I’m glad it was, as I wasn’t sure if that would prove to be anticlimactic), the true transition of the show was about to begin.

Samaritan finally came online with the government’s approval, with Decima in control.

Root couldn’t stop it from happening, which was a nice twist, and instead managed to allow those seven servers to in effect, hide Reese, Finch, Shaw, Root and the three hackers from Samaritan’s view. They would be safe and able to bide some time.

That doomsday hour finally came, the library dismantled, the team scattered with new identities and the manipulating, seemingly all-powerful Decima ready to take its command from Samaritan.

This wasn’t a happy ending, but it was one that comes with some exciting possibilities for the future.

Did it all kind of easily fit into place by the end? Sure, but keeping the POI team from winning was a nice change of pace and one that hopefully keeps things fresh.

It’s clear that Person of Interest isn’t keen on the usual; its expanding of the mythos, elaborating on the characters and maintaining its charm and fun on top of an entertaining story, is still holding strong in the third season. It’s not necessarily the most complex, but its a compelling tale with a knack for sucking you in and having you back for more.

And I can only imagine what more we will get when Person of Interest comes back online next fall.

Were you surprised Decima was behind Vigilance?


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


It's a very interesting series, at some point have everything, a little bit of everything and this series remind me our times. in some places, some country, somewhere.


Does anybody know who the guy was that Collier caught recording with his phone and had a file on him on the table in the finale during the trial?


Did anyone not notice how they affixed a Vigelance mask on the dog?

@ Michael

Darn! I missed that.


What a terrible season finale. I really haven't enjoyed this show since they killed off Carter for no good reason. It has really gone downhill since then. It has been renewed for next year, but that will be the last. It's just gone off the wall in all different directions. I still love John, Finch, Hersh, Fusco and Bear, and even Root to some extent but all the other characters could just go and the show would be better.

@ cspro180

The actress doing Carter wanted a short term contract. So, Nolan used her request to formulate a once in a lifetime moment; killing of a main character. Sorry you miss her!

@ cspro180

If there's one thing I'm sure of about this show, it's that it's gonna get more than four seasons. Ultimately renewals and cancellations are all about the ratings, and I'm given to understand PoI's a pretty solid performer. Plus, it's something of a critical favorite, which doesn't always help as much as we might like but it certainly doesn't hurt. It'd have to seriously tank next year to get pulled.


I enjoyed the finale - exciting, dramatic, unpredictable, but the wife didn't - too depressing for her because she gets all wrapped around the axle over REAL NSA spying and our overreaching, outsized, Godzilla gubmint. One thought: just how many times can Greer escape? It's getting to be almost as big a joke as Hetty's (NCIS-LA) supposed athleticism/lethality. My idea for next season: Root designs advanced cochlear implants for the team connected directly to the machine like she is and with each other. They'll continue their mission of saving innocents like Collier's brother from being abused by Samaritan. Sure miss Taraji P. Hensen, though. She was so-ooo good!. Hated Root for a long time, but now she's become indispensable, even if she's crazy as a loon. Would like to see more of Zoe (Paige Turco) because she's hot, and Control (Camryn Manheim) because she's so evil and doesn't even have to act.


was i surprised that decima was behind vigilance ? not completely... collier still received text messages when he was with the other vigilance members, so we were not seeing the whole of vigilance and at the begining of the season, when neither were well defined, they seemed to have (kind of) similar agendas…
for the first time, i was starting to like hersch… to the point of thinking he would be a better addtion to the team than collier … pity their both dead but that shows the size of the threat…
few weeks back, i thought letting the senator go was the good choice… now… well, there would not be a season 4 otherwise, so … i guess it was the good choice…
i worry about lionel … he is not in the "blind spot", the second he (or anyone on earth who is not one of the "seven") figures something about samaritan, he will be seen as a threat and possibly eliminated … at least the killer will be human, so that will leave him a fighting chance :( / :)
summer's gonna be long … sigh


I was very disappointed in this finale! It was depressing and I felt like Finch just wimped out Greer just won everything. I just have a feeling the show will slide downhill from here on. Where did the Person of Interest I knew and loved go? Guess it's gone! Since Carter was killed off it's just descended into chaos, with everything spinning out of control and too many groups involved. I didn't need another depressing show, too many of those around already.

@ Lee

Wow. That's kinda fascinating, because - and I'm not saying you're wrong here; these are entirely subjective opinions after all - you seem to hate the very things that I think make this show so brilliant. I mean, you're right; Greer solidly won that round. Even Root's little spanner in the works with the servers doesn't really have any direct negative consequences for him; all it means is he'll have to track down our heroes the old-fashioned way, without Samaritan's aid. (As viewers we know that this is what will eventually allow them to win, but in-universe it really seems like little more than an inconvenience.) I love this show for having the guts to go in these sorts of directions. I mean, I'm given to understand that this is a very popular show, which for most TV writers would mean sitting back on their laurels and trying not to rock the boat. Not this crew though. They keep changing it up, keeping us on the edge of our seats because we genuinely don't know what will happen next. I only wish more writers would take a page out of their book. :)

@ JK

I totally agree with you, JK. I don't want another procedural show where nothing changes except romantic relationships. That gets boring really quickly. These writers have the guts to kill off main characters (this way, we actually feel any of the other characters could legitimately be in danger at any point). And allowing the good guys to lose. If they win every time, it's too predictable and unrealistic.


got a question has anyone got a request for fb friend from johnreese technochronicles kinda weird!!!!!!!


In future POI Shows, I am hoping that Harold, a very beloved character, would have planted a trigger mechanism in his machine as a counter to the eventually that his machine was being abused and misused.
This show could use better lighting-I couldn't tell who was left standing towards the end of the episode.
Love the show and most of the characters except for Greer-and felt for Collier, because he lost his brother, his TV feed, & discovered his cause was a Greer-founded cause,


Good episode, not perfect but good. I look forward to upcoming twists and turns. Fusco was superfulous and a little bit dumb. Nowadays he is unnecessary character. Maybe it's time to get rid of him.

@ Henry

I disagree. He's been useful (someone inside law enforcement). And competent (he holds his own in fights and is good at his job, being a detective).

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