Dang. This is how you make a perfect episode, writers. A crazy, terrifying chase that tore away any false security we had for our characters. Not one, but two, main characters took the bullet for Finch in Person of Interest’s 100th episode. The Machine becomes a person, or does a person become The Machine? Finch gives a speech that made me want to curl into a ball and rethink my life. Did I mention two awesome, staple characters got taken out?!
Elias went out like a champ- on his own turf (coincidentally, on the same place he was introduced), and “on the mat,” defending his friend, even as his empire finally crumbled apart. I loved the references to his story, as even Finch brought up his “Charlie” persona from Season 1. Ultimately, Elias chose to help because he’s always been a man of action and loyalty to those he cares about. I’m really going to miss Enrico Colantoni‘s performances.
Root- ah, the feels. I was afraid for her as soon as started talking about death, and when she got so much screen time with Finch and Shaw. I would have liked her to have some final words with Reese, to highlight how differently she views him now- no longer as Finch’s “helper monkey.” When she finally was shot by that dang Jeffery Blackwell, I thought we were being faked out. We’ve already had one huge death, surely she would linger in the hospital and appear later. But no, we’re suddenly and cruelly shown her corpse with Fusco looking helplessly on. Shaw couldn’t even show remorse, although we now know how she must be feeling inside. Root was always one of the more fun, dynamic characters throughout POI, and it’s hard to see her cheerful psychotic self no longer around. Hopefully we can still get some great Amy Acker moments through her new role as The Machine’s voice.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that both of these characters started out as the main villains, villains who we would have cheered their demise in the first couple of seasons. But both Root and Elias followed a story arc that slowly, believably brought them (as Root said) “into the light.” The fact that they both died saving Finch (and hopefully the world) was the final movement towards their redemption. These were brutal, unexpected deaths- Elias shot in the head, Root dying OFFSCREEN OH WHY. But, Elias died avenging his two childhood friends and saving his closest remaining friend. Root went from kidnapping Finch to sacrificing herself for him, and ended up “living on” as the first voice of The Machine, an honor she would have loved. If they had to go out, I can’t imagine a more fitting or better way to go for their characters.
And then Michael Emerson stole the hour with a perfectly delivered emotional, heart-breaking, chilling speech to what seemed to be the interrogator, but turned out to be a direct threat against Samaritan. About how he thought a higher code of rules would win in the end. How he couldn’t save everyone by being better than his adversaries. And now, he was going to press the nuke button, to decimate Samaritan. It was a fantastic moment for Finch, one that was earned and developed from five seasons of this crazy show. Although, you could argue that every bit of this 100th episode was earned, a harsh but delicious payoff for Finch, Elias and Root’s characters. They’ll be missed, just like this freakin’ show. And now we have an unleashed Machine and Finch to look forward to.
Points of Interest:
- How crazy is it that this whole thing happened from Samaritan searching through Finch’s past with Grace, and watching for him at a sentimental cafe? One little misstep, and we end up with a bucket full of tears.
- “Veni, vidi, vici” – yes you did, Elias.
- Root’s name has been predicting this twist for years. Mind blown.
- Writers, please be gentle with our remaining team, please?
- Tight pace, high stakes, brutal resolution.