Person of Interest 4×10 The Cold War Video Recap & Review
“The Cold War” – Samaritan shows its power by erasing crime from the city for a day in an attempt to force The Machine out of hiding, on PERSON OF INTEREST.
The Person of Interest finale for the year, The Cold War, began on a somewhat humorous note with Harold Finch going toe to toe with a food service worker who obviously has never heard of the phrase—have it your way—needing to repeat the ingredients for the sandwich once again. With his order finally to his specifications, we see Harold returning to The Haven through what I imagine is one of several ingenious and well hidden entry ways into their subway headquarters. The sandwich it seems is a peace offering to Shaw and I’ll leave it to the Shoot shippers to interpret what a shocked and somewhat discombobulated Finch thought he had walked into. A bit more of something to smile at when Harold starts to talk about their latest number and realizes a previously handcuffed Shaw is now standing next to him and Root is fiddling with the handcuffs puzzling how Sameen got out of them.
Alas, that is where any lightness in this episode ends and grim reality begins. John is working on the new number alone, when he spots Jeremy Lambert, a Samaritan operative. Lambert sits down with Rachel Farrow, a woman with intentions of killing her abusive husband. In much the same way one of The Team would, Jeremy alerts the woman that he knows what her husband has done to her and offers to help. But, unlike Team Machine, Samaritan makes itself judge, jury, and executioner and solves the wife’s problems—permanently—by killing the husband. Shaw wonders why Samaritan is working the numbers when Finch adds it doesn’t care about the irrelevant ones it wasn’t programmed that way. Yet, it did. Finch concludes it is trying to draw attention to itself, but why? We then see Lambert looking up into a camera talking to The Machine. The footage from the camera is at first through Samaritan’s view the quickly glitches to The Machine’s. (Two gods playing with the same deck of cards?)
Samaritan has been working irrelevant numbers for several days The Machine has informed Root, something Finch has found out also as well as the AI seems to be running the city also, smoothly. They can only conclude Samaritan is trying to open up communications with The Machine. This frightens Finch that if the two AI’s try, it cannot end well. (I think because he remembers back to the test AI’s he first designed tried to destroy each other before he successfully created The Machine) Root still has faith that TM will protect them, while Finch reminds them all, that even a benevolent AI might not have humanity’s best interests at heart even if it does something like ending world hunger by thinning the population. Artificial intelligences can never have a human’s moral code because they are not human. (I really miss Harold’s confidence in his own creation, that he gave it a moral code, taught it to care. Root: How badly did you have to break it to get it to care? Finch: That was the one thing that made it work. Before he thought The Machine wanted them to kill that congressman, Finch believed in it, trusted it, was even proud if it. Now, Harold is afraid of The Machine, even knowing it is the only thing keeping all of them safe from Samaritan.)
Reese is out on a new number when Fusco calls to find out where John is. The police have been busy; info leaked to the press by Samaritan led to the arrest of so many criminals the holding cells were overflowing. Yet some identity thieves never made it to jail by meeting their untimely demise. The number John was investigating was a bomber, but before Reese could act, a swat time swooped in to arrest the man. Seems he was caught because the police somehow found out that the guy looked up how to make bombs on the Internet. Hmmm.
Shaw still thinks it’s a good thing that the Samaritan is handling things now, jokes they could use a vacation, but Harold warns her this is only the calm before the storm. Root is out at the behest of The Machine looking for someone. It’s Lambert she finds and turns down the invite to the chat Samaritan issues by way of its lackey. I don’t know that accepting it would have changed anything, even as Lambert warns her what a not so charitable Samaritan can do. Greer had told Lambert and Martine both Samaritan planned to show its true power even before Lambert gave The Machine the invite via its analog interface. As Root leaves a pay phone rings. We hear the voices of The Machine giving her a number. The storm has begun.
Samaritan interferes with a number now by leading Reese on a wild goose chase so the number, a perpetrator, can get away with their intended crime. Finch has to go in the field to save another. Even Root is out in the chaos. Samaritan released information never meant to be seen turning people against one another. A secure list of persons in the Witness Protection Program was leaked. Fusco was too late to save a husband and wife. Root couldn’t save the number she was sent to protect. Finch saved his but could have been killed when the number’s building blew up. Shaw thinks it’s time The Machine meets with Samaritan but Finch is still frightened of what the outcome could be. Root tells them both it is not their choice; The Machine says it is time.
Samaritan messages Greer to activate its assets and he calls Lambert. Root, Lambert, Martine, and Reese meet up in a church guns pointed. Lambert tells everyone to back down, he is only there to set up the meeting. Back in The Haven, Shaw is grabbing every weapon in her arsenal believing Root is walking into certain death. Finch convinces her somehow to stay because The Machine is watching out for her, (This scene gave me some hope Finch still some faith that The Machine.) Root goes to a school in New Rochelle and meets with Samaritan’s own analog interface, a young boy named Gabriel. Samaritan acknowledged that The Machine had done something to hide TM’s assets from it, would not let humans be in control their own lives anymore, would destroy The Machine, and asked would it allow its human agents to die with it.
The battle lines were drawn between the two AIs. Samaritan usurping its domination over humanity and The Machine fighting for the right of free will for them. Samaritan didn’t want to make the same mistakes The Machine had, allowing human’s a free reign on handling their own affairs. Some think The Machine signed The Team’s death warrant by not giving in to Samaritan’s demands. Giving in would only seal their fate.
The numbers keep coming and John Reese gives a list of names to Detective Fusco. (How much longer can Lionel be kept in the dark?) They have a better chance of saving them if they all split up. While Harold is away doing some unknown task, Shaw packs her things and leaves to help her friends, promising an upset Bear, she will return.
Greer tells Lambert Samaritan is preparing something to show the world its power. Root is sent to Wall Street with no address. The Cold War ends with Samaritan breaking through the firewall then installing a virus into the stock market computer programs.
In between crisis in the present day, we saw glimpses of the events that culminated into the man we know as John Greer. English MI-6 agent in the late 60’s and early 70’s would normally stir up images of James Bond. However, the reality of a spy during the post World War II poverty and suspicion was vastly different. The lies and deceit to one’s enemy is a given. Unfortunately for John Greer, the murky waters of double agents means no friends and no allies. England expects every man will do his duty, but in Person of Interest’s The Cold War John Greer’s only duty is to himself and the highest bidder.
It is interesting that when presented with government betrayal and the death of a partner; John Greer goes freelance, John Reese goes home, Kara Stanton attempts to get justice, and Sameen Shaw goes for the kill shot. The writers of POI love their parallels.
The Cold War
Calm Before The Storm
The Storm Arrives
Samaritan’s Offer To The Machine
Person of Interest returns Tuesday January 6th, 1015 10/9c on CBS
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