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.

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