Person of Interest Recap - S05E08-10 - "Reassortment" + "Sotto Voce" + "The Day the World Went Away"

Okay, as it turns out, last week there were three Person of Interest episodes – which I missed. So in order to be more up to date, I’m covering three episodes – last week’s "Reassortment”, this week’s "Sotto Voce”, and "The Day the World Went Away”.

By the way, the next three episodes will be released one per week. Because why be reasonable and keep to an already announced pattern, when you can suddenly change it so close to the end.

Oh - and get ready for a lot of crying. We're nearing the show's conclusion. Here be feels.

S05E08 – Reassortment

The most important event of last week’s final episode: Shaw finally escaped from the Samaritan facility –which, as we finally learned, was in Johannesburg, South Africa, all this time. Unfortunately, she didn’t leave without a stretch. After undergoing those thousands of simulations, she’s no longer sure what’s real and what’s fake. In the end, Shaw is resigned to the fact that she still might be in a simulation.

The main plot of the episode puts Reese, Finch and Bear in a quarantined hospital, where Samaritan engineered a viral outbreak – by sending there a man infected with the avian flu and then tampering with the hospital’s database to inject him with a live human flu virus instead of an antiviral treatment. This way, a new strain of H5N1 is created, deadly and even more contagious than usual. Samaritan’s goal was to cover up its tampering of the hospital’s database (by having two members of the personnel killed in the chaos) and creating a panic at the same time. The latter turn will lead to increase in vaccinations, during which Samaritan will get access to everyone’s DNA. Which of course it will use for the betterment of mankind.

Meanwhile Fusco, with Elias’s help (after he informs him about Bruce Moran’s demise), finds himself on the trail of Jeffrey Blackwell. Jeffrey was among the flurry of numbers the Machine spat out during its period of time displacement in "SNAFU”. The team dismissed him as one of AI’s many mistakes that day – but at the end of the episode he was hired as one of Samaritan’s assets. He later reappeared looking for Krupa Naik’s hard drive, and now returns for a test of loyalty. He’s the one sent to kill the above-mentioned hospital personnel members. He ends up killing only one of them, stopped by Reese and Fusco’s timely arrival.

In the end, tired with John and Harold, Fusco asks to be reassigned to another precinct and another partner. As a final bitter farewell, he gets rid of the silly cop figurine with a webcam that Reese got him to keep in touch.

Meanwhile Finch chews Elias over helping Fusco. The mobster reminds him that as a leader, Harold should be using all the resources available to him. He also warns him of the darkness boiling under Harold’s calm intellect – and of the day he finally gives into it.

S05E09 – Sotto Voce

One of the problems final seasons have to deal with is tying up loose ends. This episode takes care of one that’s been dangling since season three – a villain known only as The Voice.

The Voice was introduced in the episode "Last Call”, and this is his first (and, obviously, last) reappearance since then. He is basically an evil Finch – a mercenary operating anonymously and using others to do his own dirty work by threatening innocent lives. This time around, he’s coercing a locksmith into blowing up an investment firm, threatening to kill his wife. That’s what it seems, anyway.

Finch, in a team-up with Elias, ends up uncovering his real goal – getting rid of a former employee who knows too much. Said hitman has been picked up by the NYPD, and Fusco connected him to a number of deaths all over the country. The Voice engineered events that would lead to his goal – including putting himself inside the precinct. The locksmith? He is The Voice.

Not that Reese and Fusco have time to put things together – The Voice has engineered a bomb scare, and they’re the only remaining cops in a precinct overrun by gang members hired to kill the hitman. And it works. The Voice shoots his ex-employee and attempts a getaway, only to be confronted by Finch and Elias and blown up by the latter. Which, as Elias suggests, was something Harold wanted all along.

The shootout, and Fusco’s readiness to sacrifice his life for Reese, end up convincing John to finally trust Lionel with the truth of what is going on. Now he’s finally a full-time member of the team, signified by a yellow bracket used by the Machine to mark its assets.

Meanwhile, Root has been given a number of her own – a Samaritan operative, who ends up gunned down by an unknown assailant. That person is Shaw, who’s been back in town for a week now. She’s been unwilling to show signs of life, because she’s still afraid she might be in yet another simulation. As she tells Root all that, she starts going through the motions of each simulation’s final moments – her committing suicide to avoid hurting Root.

Except this is real Root, who will have none of it. She pulls out a gun and informs Shaw she herself will commit suicide if Sameen goes through with her own – because she has no intention of living without her. Shaw doesn’t want to risk Root actually dying – and rejoins the team.

The gang is together again, ready to finally fight back.

S05E10 – The Day the World Went Away

Finch decides to return the Machine to the closed system it’s been in for most of its existence, making its code inaccessible. Root disagrees, and before he manages to implement the changes, she adds a variable to the code – a way to fight back, something that she’s been arguing in favor of the entire season. She respects Harold’s position, though, and leaves the decision to use it in Harold’s hands.

And that’s when everything goes to hell.

The Machine gives Reese and Fusco a new number – Finch. Samaritan has finally deduced (from an ill-advised visit to a café Harold and Grace use to go to) that Finch and his cover identity of Professor Whistler are one and the same person. The team divides in twos – Reese and Fusco, Root and Shaw – and takes the fight to the ASI. Meanwhile Elias takes Finch to the Brighton Beach high-rises (the place of his first interaction with the team), where he brokered a peace between two gangs to keep Harold safe.

Unfortunately, it’s that sudden peace that draws Samaritan’s attention, letting it deduce this must be where Finch is hiding. Elias and his people put up a valiant fight, but in the end they all fall – and Harold is captured by the enemy ASI’s operatives. After so many years on the show, Carl Elias is officially dead.

The team manages to learn which car has taken Harold, and Root and Shaw manage to save him. Shaw covers the escape (and is later picked up by Reese and Finch) while Root takes Finch on an action movie car chase with Samaritan’s heavy armored car with a machine gun. And that’s when Jeffrey Blackwell reenters the picture. He’s sent by Samaritan to take up a sniping position on the path taken by Root and Harold – and when they’re near him, he takes a shot. Root takes the bullet meant for Finch, and both of them later end up picked up by the NYPD. Finch is taken into custody, while Root – in critical condition – is sent to St. Mary’s Hospital. The rest of the team learn of it and split up – Reese and Shaw follow Harold, while Fusco goes to the hospital.

Meanwhile Finch’s terrible day is inexplicably getting worse. The police take his fingerprints and connects them to many of the homicides the team investigated – and a treason charge from 1974. Having lost so many of his friends over the years (Ingram. Carter. Elias), with his still living friends in a grave danger that he’s blaming himself for, and now threatened by the FBI – Harold has had enough. Over the years he’s rejected the rules set up by the people in power, since those change when it’s convenient for them – and followed his own code that he believed in for so long. And now his friends are dead, or will be dead soon enough – unknown, gone without a trace because he was so focused on his rules. He’s finally ready to kill Samaritan – the only thing he hasn’t decided yet is how many of his own rules he is going to break to get it done.

The darkness Elias warned him of in “Reassortment”? It’s taking him over.

And then, when Finch is waiting to be processed, a nearby payphone calls. Root’s voice speaks – but it’s not her. It’s the Machine, who finally decided on a voice of its own. Lionel arrives to the St. Mary’s Hospital too late.

Root… Samantha Groves – is dead.

The monologue we heard in the season premiere? It was the Machine all along.

And as the Nine Inch Nails song that the episode’s title is taken from plays, Finch and the Machine start their war on Samaritan.

Reese and Shaw arrive too late, with the prison under a mass riot, and Finch long gone. He never was the victim – Samaritan was more interested in turning him into an asset than killing him. The Machine warned them what Harold Finch was going to do to Samaritan.

We’ll return next week. For now, I think we need something to feel better about. The Bear Moment of the Week is Comforting Bear from "Reassortment" - which is last week's episode, but I think we need it.

Dominik Zine is a nerdy lad from northeastern Poland and is generally found in a comfy chair with a book in hand.