Person of Interest 4×12 Control Alt Delete Video Recap & Review
“Control Alt Delete” – Control (Camryn Manheim), who oversees the handling of relevant numbers for the government, begins to question the methods and intentions of the Samaritan program. Also, alarming news reports of a pair of vigilantes rampaging through the Northeast begin to surface on, ON “PERSON OF INTEREST.”
The previous episode of Person of Interest, If-Then-Else, was a step out of the usual in that most of the episode we got to see the inner workings of The Machine’s mind as it ran scenarios and remembered lessons taught to it by Finch. Control Alt Delete stepped away from the team for the first half hour completely while the entire episode revolved around Control and her dealings on the relevant side of things.
Control Alt Delete
This Person of Interest season 4 episode started differently from the opening monologue usually done by Harold Finch (Michael Emerson). It was the voice of Control (Camryn Manheim) letting us know that we are all being watched by the government’s secret system, a machine that spies on us every hour of every day, all shown from Samaritan’s view as it has since the beginning of the season. That’s where the monologue ends; Samaritan doesn’t give irrelevant numbers to the government. Instead the opening sequence switches to The Machine’s archival footage—Control torturing Root; Root’s surprise at Samaritan choosing a boy, Gabriel, as its avatar and Gabriel (Samaritan) promising to destroy The Machine; the confrontation between Samaritan’s agents and the team at the Stock Exchange; the elevator malfunction and Shaw being shot after pressing the override button; Martine standing over Shaw, Jeremy (I believe) standing alongside Martine as the elevator door closes, The Machine finding no valid options to save Shaw and we hear the single gunshot; then The Machine’s audio intercept of its primary asset (John Reese) and its analog interface (Root) “Are you ready for this? Let’s go get Shaw back!” and then some gunfire—before switching to news footage reporting a break-in at the security firm that housed surveillance footage by two heavily armed individuals in ski masks. One of them shot a security guard in the knee and then stole numerous sensitive surveillance hard drives. “In other news Wall Street continues to recover from the flash crash…” Then for the first half of the episode we get a glimpse into the Samaritan program and Control’s involvement since the government took up Decima’s offer of their AI’s services.
Control drops her daughter off at school before heading to the White House. (The only thing Control cares about, who The Machine watches over—when Control tortured Root to find the AI’s analog interface?) She scolds her daughter not to play a violent video game—which is what Control does, only it’s not a game and the violence is real. When Control enters the White House she is immediately met by an anxious Chief of Staff. She reassures him the stock market crisis was indeed a glitch in the computer programming not a terrorist attack. Research (Samaritan) would have warned her and she would have put a stop to it. Control gets a phone text to meet someone in the OPS room ASAP. They part and the Chief of Staff meets Gabriel (Samaritan) who tells the Chief he was responsible for the flash crash. Gabriel tells him the closing market numbers and wishes to speak to the president about this and other pressing matters. The Chief sends the boy on his way but not before Gabriel tells him how much the chief’s portfolio will drop at the end of the day.
We next see Control at the Pentagon where the OPS room is located. (Something to note: Samaritan’s surveillance of the building listed 18,339 occupants, 757 deviants and 153 assets. I am assuming deviants could be people such as Finch, Reese, Shaw, and Root—threats to the AI—to where 153 others are under Samaritan’s control.) The emergency—a supposed sleeper cell in Detroit is planning on using back-pack bombs to blow up historical monuments in the city. They are supposedly four radical Muslims, masters’ level software engineers planning to crash the power grid and cripple police surveillance to plant the bombs. Everything about the men, how they met, enrolled in college together, rented a house together points to them being recruited and funded by the Corazon terrorist group. There are relevant agents there in Detroit ready to take the men out. Control asks for the ‘source material’ on the back pack bombs to which a man replies that Samaritan is never wrong. She asks again and her aide answers. Control gives the green light to the operation.
Crimson six (Grice and Brooks from Honor Among Thieves) posing as a couple walking their baby and another agent disguised as a delivery driver break into the house and kill three of the men. (The men killed sure looked to be students only intent in their studies, not terrorists.) The fourth man, Yassin Said escaped. Control wants to look at the contents of Said’s laptop and the access is denied. Control threatens to have the Samaritan representative arrested if she is denied access again. He pulls out his phone and when Control orders him to stop what he is doing, the terminals and everything go dark. “There it’s stopped.” The representative smiles cordially.
We see Samaritan’s view of the Pentagon. (190 people including 49 deviants and 12 assets have left the building.) We see another news report of two people in ski masks involved in a shootout with four private security contractors after a fiery high speed car collision. Control, Senator Garrison, and the Samaritan representative Travers are in a meeting. Control tells Garrison there is a terrorist on the loose but Danvers shut down Samaritan, thereby shutting down Research because she demanded to see what was on Said’s laptop hard drive. Travers gives some song and dance about there being a virus on the laptop hard drive and Samaritan quarantined it to protect itself. Greer calls Garrison letting him know more or less the government wasn’t running the Samaritan program, they were. Samaritan has found the terrorist but if they want its help they have to back off with Control’s demands. Garrison caves and Control calls Shiftman; Research will be up and running again soon; send in Crimson Six Team to monitor the target.
We see Samaritan’s view of the Pentagon again. (177 people are back including 9 deviants and 7 assets.) Grice is listening to another news report four security contractors are in critical condition after being shot (not fatally) by the two masked gunman who stole a GPS transponder then got away in a stolen vehicle. Brooks asks Grice if he knows them, which he doesn’t but remarks “They are definitely on the warpath.”
We next see Control walking into an area that Samaritan loses surveillance. She calls Grice telling him she knows about how he let Shaw go in New York, but gives him a reprieve if he follows Said and acquires the laptop. The laptop is the priority not killing Said. They follow Said and attempt to apprehend him in an area off Samaritan’s grid. Grice made a comment about it’s like the old days, investigating someone before putting a bullet in their heads. (Back when The Machine gave Research numbers only.) Brooks fires some shots at Said from her sniper position not hitting him but forcing him to take cover in a warehouse. Grice confronts Said who throws the laptop at Grice and jumps out a window. While Said lays motionless in a box of packing material, Grice calls Control and tries to access the laptop. The laptop begins shorting out and bursts into flames rendering it useless. When Said begins to move Grice tells Brooks not to kill him they need to reacquire the target. Samaritan finds Control and sends her a text, Stop it. Now.
The contents of the laptop are melted but they find out Said is planning on hopping a train to Canada. Control wants them to watch the rail-yards but they have been reassigned without her knowledge. Control has another run in with Travers but has to back off when Travers threatens to turn off Research again. While Control is sitting in her office, the Chief of Staff barges in, angry because he wasn’t told about the terrorist on the loose. Control says she will handle it like she has handled (killed) the other 853 threats to national security and no one will hear of it. When he leaves, Control calls some men into her office but they are not Control’s regular personal security detail. Their car was t-boned on the expressway by a Mack truck driven by the man and woman in ski masks. The men weren’t injured severely but their phones were stolen. The two new men warn that their mission might be compromised but on Control’s orders they head to Detroit anyways.
Control and her two security detail are in the rail-yards; it’s night and they are watching for Said to try and capture him. They finally spot him jumping a rail car. As they chase the train with their SUV, another vehicle with an open roof begins to pursue them. A person wearing a ski mask in that vehicle fires a rocket at Control’s SUV flipping it over. As Control pulls herself from the over-turned vehicle two people walk up. They pull off their masks in unison. John Reese demands, “Where’s Shaw?” ( I wonder how Reese and Root made it to Detroit so fast with a rocket launcher? Did Finch fly them there? )
Control comes to in a cage, somewhere still in Detroit. Root is watching while John sits down to question her. Control denies knowing anything about Shaw, but evidence suggests that she does. The ISA works with Samaritan and Samaritan has Shaw. Still Control denies having anything to do with it. Root and Reese tracked down four Samaritan operatives that were at the Stock Exchange that night and their vehicle’s GPS showed the vehicles frequently parked outside Control’s residence in Georgetown. Reese gets up and walks away when Control offers them nothing, letting Root have her chance to question Control. We get a brief view of Samaritan searching for Control.
Root doesn’t have a scalpel to return the favor of their last meeting, but Root has a Taser and uses it over and over on Control. Shaw worked for the ISA, before Control tried to have her killed. Control knew of Shaw’s Access 2 personality disorder meaning Shaw was a sociopath incapable of caring. But Shaw did care, enough to save Root’s life. Now Root was going to save Shaw’s. I don’t know if Root was planning to do it when Control told her to go to hell the last time Root asked where Shaw was. I do think if Finch hadn’t stepped in when he did, Root could have killed the woman. Samaritan locates Control in Detroit and alerts the ISA agents to her location.
Finch apologizes for their aggression but they are trying to save the life of a dear friend. Harold tells Control, Sameen was shot trying to save them, trying to bring the world back from the brink of disaster. They are feeling the loss of someone they know. Control accuses of Harold of believing Shaw is dead and not telling them. Reese tells Harold they don’t know that for sure and brings up the unreadable surveillance footage of the Stock Exchange. Control wants to know why they keep bringing up the Stock Exchange. Harold tries to tell Control what is going on, that Samaritan caused the crash, that Shaw was shot and wonders how long before it tries to kill Control. She doesn’t believe him, calling it some ploy to get her to turn against the program. It is then Finch realizes that the woman doesn’t know anything. Samaritan is keeping her in the dark. Finch calls her a foolish woman, that Samaritan is just using her and calling her the cleanup crew, the janitor. She pops off when the ISA agents arrive, “Speaking of janitors. Here are a few now.” Finch in Mr. Egret mode, “You say that like we weren’t expecting them.” Grice is one of the janitors (rescue team) and confronts John Reese who grabs his gun, punches Grice in the face—“Surprise!”
Pulling the World Back
Root walks up behind John, both planning on having a ‘talk’ with Grice, but leaves John and Grice alone to engage in a firefight with Brooks and another female ISA operative. John shoots two other ISA operatives that come up from behind but is distracted enough that Grice knocks the gun away and the two fight hand to hand. While Root and Reese engage with Control’s rescuers, Finch walks around Control enlightening her about Samaritan’s private army. The AI communicates with them through an encrypted phone network. Some agents of Samaritan’s army also are employed as spies within the ISA. One of those spies possibly is in the team sent to rescue Control and that’s exactly why he is there. Finch leaves Control alone in the cage as she looks on.
As Root keeps shooting at the female ISA agents and Reese fights with Grice, Fusco clobbers the agent manning the rescue team’s communications van. Finch takes the downed agent’s seat at the monitors and begins tracking the phones of the field agents. There are six operatives on site, but there are seven phone signals; six are normal, one is anomalous. That one must be the Samaritan agent’s encrypted phone. Harold uploads a worm into the phone that will scour that phone for information on Sameen, eighteen seconds later move on to the next Samaritan phone until the worm finds what they need. The entire process Finch explains to Fusco who seemingly in ignorance asks, “You talking to me?” (I believe one day we will find out that Fusco isn’t so oblivious to what is going on as he pretends to be.)
Root can’t hold the two agents off much longer; Reese has Grice pinned to the floor and tells Root he will be there soon. As John pulls his arm back to knock Grice out, he says “This is for Shaw.” When Grice chokes out, “Sameen?” Reese realizes who the agent he has been fighting with is. After some words of acknowledgement between the two, Reese lets Grice go and walks away. The worm has been uploaded Finch lets them know. They meet at a car; Finch tells them he got something, it’s just he doesn’t know what. The four get in the car to leave Detroit and let Control to be rescued.
Getting Control Back
Sometime later, Control finds Said in Canada. He made the mistake of calling burner cell phones in Detroit and Samaritan tracked him down by the location of the cell tower close to Said’s hide-out. With a gun pointed at him Yassin defends himself against Control’s accusation that he is a terrorist. Turns out Said won the Nautilus contest also. Only instead of offering its protection like it did Claire, the AI set him and his friends up with jobs in a startup company writing code. He didn’t know what was on the destroyed laptop; it wasn’t unusual for coders to be kept in the dark, that’s how it works. Control accuses him once again of being a terrorist because that’s how terror cells work. Said tries to tell her they wrote bits of code for a climate control module for a biometric firm. Two days ago they sent the last bit of code, ten hours later they were all dead, except Yassin. The others killed weren’t extremist they were his friends. Maybe they were chosen because of their ethnicity, that’s what everyone would expect, that were indeed terrorists. Said asks her if she is sure she isn’t being lied to. Control contemplates this briefly before she shoots him. “No.” Control is a hard woman and as she always has done eliminates a terrorist threat without remorse. Sure the seeds of doubt have been planted in her mind about Samaritan, but Control can’t take the chance that Said was anything other than what the AI’s research said he was, a terrorist.
Again sometime later at the White House, the Chief of Staff finds Gabriel in his office. Samaritan’s interface points out that everything he predicated with the stock closing and the Chief’s portfolio were right. Gabriel (Samaritan) wishes to speak with the president, says he will be in touch and leaves. The Chief follows the kid out into a hallway; Control walks up, “Eight hundred fifty four and counting. Sleep tight.”
The episode closes with Samaritan’s view of the capitol building (16,476 occupants, 484 deviants, 114 assets). Control the mom drops her daughter off at school and then Control is in the OPS room watching a missile attack in Syria. She and Travers exchange looks, before she turns away a look of satisfied determination on her face. Reese is asleep in the car Root is driving out of New York City; Finch back in The Haven (HQ) sends them updated GPS coordinates to a town in upstate New York. A Samaritan phone was in a refrigerated truck that left the Stock Exchange fifteen minutes after Sameen was shot and the truck is now there. “It may be something, it may be nothing.” Root has faith Shaw is still alive. We see Samaritan’s surveillance of The Stock Exchange; Control is there, inspecting the server room level. Everything seems normal, although she does ask if the area has been cleaned recently. The guard doesn’t know; he’s security, not maintenance. Control looks around then runs her finger along the wall to find fresh paint.
Blood on the Walls
Person of Interest returns Tuesday Feb 3rd 10/9c on CBS
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