Leave it to Person of Interest to pull a “what-if” alternate universe” glimpse on its second to last episode, as if killing off the series’ top bad guy and shutting down the entire Internet wasn’t enough already. No, this show is going out big, and next week’s final chapter is quite possibly going to blow our minds.
But not to get ahead- RIP Greer, you incorrigible antagonist. Excellently portrayed by John Nolan until the very end, he went out like I thought he might, killed by his own Samaritan, although I never guessed it would be this way, trying to destroy the only two people who could take out the super AI’s- Finch and himself. Unlike Elias and Root, he never redeemed himself in the slightest, and thus earned a cheer instead of a tear (granted, after we knew Finch was safe).
The whole story with infiltrating the NSA building played out well and really helped set the high stakes with both Finch and Reese/Shaw’s journeys. Darker Finch continues to deliver gut punches since we’re seeing him give up his own set of moral codes, yet he’s still clearly the same character we’ve known. Remember how Finch was never the guy out in the field in Season 1? Look at him now, breaking into NSA and unleashing world-changing mega viruses. However, the whole time he’s conflicted, asking The Machine Root about other options, and what could have been.
That brings me to my personal highlight of “.exe”- the alternate universe of a world without The Machine. There was so much more they could have done with this idea, it could have been an entire hour of story. Unfortunately, part of me suspects the original idea was to go that route (in the style of “If-Then-Else,”) before the dark forces at CBS cut POI’s season short.
That said, we still got a great glimpse of where each character would have probably been, but unlike “It’s A Wonderful Life,” not everyone is worse off. Nathan is alive (!) and working with Finch still, on less important projects. However, Shaw is still a cold-blooded government assassin, killing a previous number (what!), and unknowingly working for Samaritan. Root, knowingly working for Samaritan, is basically Greer’s alternate Martine from last season. I liked that she was still using her “bad code” line from Season 2. Fusco as a washed-up ex-cop, hating Lt. Joss Carter was sad, but far worse was Reese’s suicide after saving Jessica, but still losing her. Great stuff, and I wish we had more time to explore this darker timeline.
Reese and Shaw working together again kicked butt. I may be in the minority here, but I always enjoyed seeing those two work together more then Root and Shaw, mostly because they’re like two peas in a pod. No stopping to flirt and talk, just two ex-government hitmen decimating the competition with fighting skills and tactic. They’re also dryly/darkly funny together, since Shaw’s the only sociopath between them.
Did Fusco become an executioner? This was the most interesting part of his story, which seemed isolated from the rest of the action, although it was cool to see his board coming back into play with the tunnel full of bodies. Get rid of that stuff, Fusco! Remember your dirty cop cover up tactics!
The show runners have one more hour to wrap everything up, and it’s hard to tell what’s in store. Greer’s deceased, and Finch supposedly has begun the destruction of both Samaritan and The Root Machine, so what’s left? Remnants of Samaritan goons gunning for our heroes? Will we lose more favorites? Will anyone make it out alive? I’m almost afraid to find out, but here’s hoping POI sticks the landing to an incredible run.
Points of Interest:
- I got my hopes up that we would actually see Carter in person in the alternate reality, but alas she’s still being naughty on Empire. It was still very cool to see her trophy picture of all of the old HR villains from seasons 1-3. This show is awesome.
- With all this Grace name-dropping this final season, we better get our happy ending with her and Finch. SOMEBODY deserves to find love in this depressing show, right? Maybe throw in Reese and Iris? Fusco and Zoe?