Oh my word. This hour went from mostly normal to crazy town in the final act, and I’m pretty sure I held my breath for the majority of those last 10 minutes (more on that in a few). “Death Benefit” turned out to be a chillingly appropriate name tonight when the Machine Crew found out that the Congressman they had been protecting wasn’t being targeted at all. Normally, that would mean that the politician was a perpetrator, but that wasn’t the case either, for the first time in Person of Interest‘s history. No, it turns out that this time, the perpetrators were Reese, Finch, and Shaw, at the request of The Machine. That’s right, The Machine just gave them a hit list in a dramatic departure from its normal duty of saving people. This could only mean that killing the Congressman would save hundreds, even thousands of lives by keeping Decima Technologies from using Samaritan. The POI couldn’t be reasoned out of supporting Decima (it’s inevitable, he said) and he also (surprisingly) couldn’t be bought off by Finch. With the SWAT approaching, the only way to stop him would be to murder him, and they had me half believing that one of them would pull the trigger.
I liked when they argued over the ethics in the house, and then remembered how neither Reese nor Shaw (especially Shaw) had been out of the assassination business for too long a period. This raised the possibility of someone preventing greater loss by taking one life. The problem was they would be shooting an unarmed Congressman, who even though he was an enabler of a huge threat, was unaware of it being a threat. I don’t see how the writers could have Reese or Shaw go to that level and still come away as the hero. Perhaps they would have the SWAT come into the house and find him dead (as it looked like at first), with the actual shooter a mystery. This way we wouldn’t know if it was Reese or Shaw, and they could play that up for a while with each not proven guilty. From watching Finch, Reese, and Shaw trying to escape through the woods while wondering if one of them had killed the Congressman, to seeing Samaritan booting up and immediately searching for Harold, this was an insane finale for a “regular” episode. Also, gotta give kudos to the music choice “Medicine” by Daughter during that entire action sequence- it gave just the right amount of emotional punch to the moment and really made it seem that there would be a death coming. Luckily, everyone got out mostly OK (besides a wounded Shaw), but next episode it’s obvious POI will have a new number: Harold Finch. Speaking of that song “Medicine,” how appropriate were these lyrics? They always pick the perfect ending songs…
Pick it up, pick it all up.
And start again.
You’ve got a second chance,
you could go home.
Escape it all.
It’s just irrelevant.
It’s just medicine.
Points of Interest:
1. Let’s not forget Root and her epic motorcycle scene.
2. Let’s also not forget Root’s and Shaw’s hilarious bonding scene in the bar, sharing drinks in the aftermath of an apparently epic fight scene with around 10-15 guys (now incapacitated).
3. There was so much action I barely noticed Fusco was absent this hour, but he better be in the last few, right?
4. Another great moment: Reese having to endure Finch’s music choice during a stakeout. “Maybe I’ll just sing for you next time.”
5. Is anyone else wondering what Vigilance’s next move will be, and if Team Machine may actually collaborate with them out of necessity? Who knows?