That’s definitely one way to celebrate 100 episodes! The landmark and adrenaline pumping hour, which was also a showcase episode for Michael Emerson, featured the death of two major characters. “The Day the World Went Away” is a culmination of several seasons worth of work and is definitely a game-changer for the show in more ways than one.
We open with Finch sitting at a cafe talking to The Machine. Sitting there, Finch, who admits he imagines his death so much it seems like a memory, asks his creation if his friends would possibly make it out alive. A waitress interrupts the one-sided conversation when she returns with his order and says it’s nice to see him again. Uh-oh, she recognizes him! Finch denies ever being there and scurries off.
Finch returns to the subway to find Root waiting to confront him about his decision to close The Machine. It’s not entirely clear how Finch arrived at this decision between “Sotto Voce” and now, but let’s go along with it. Root argues that closing The Machine will make them “the most principled corpses in Potter’s field” and accuses him of never giving The Machine a voice or a name because he expected one day he might kill it again.
“I imagined one day that it might wish to choose one for itself,” replies Finch. Then, he sits down at the computer and locks the system.
Unfortunately, it’s right at that moment that The Machine receives a new number: Finch’s. His cover is blown and now it’s time for the team to keep their fearless leader safe. So, the team rendezvous at the safe house and makes a plan: Elias will help keep Finch off the grid while Reese and Fusco follow a Samaritan lead and Shaw and Root hang back at the safe house to fend off Samaritan’s operatives. Before they separate, Root informs Finch that she gave The Machine the ability to defend itself before Finch closed the system, however it will only work if Finch activates it. Good to know.
Elias decides to hide Finch where we first met Elias way back in the first season: the high-rises. While they’re together, Finch realizes that Samaritan was able to find him because he returned to the same cafe he took Grace to many years ago, which means Samaritan has started looking back at what they’ve done in the past in order to find them. This also means that Shaw can stop worrying that she’s the reason Finch’s number came up.
Back at the safe house, Root and Shaw share a very tender moment where Root opens up to Shaw about how working with Team Machine is the first time she’s ever felt like she has belonged. It’s a nice moment that reminds us of just how far all of these characters have come in the past 100 episodes. Do you remember what Root was like when we first met her? I’m pretty sure she just doesn’t think we’re all bad code anymore. I really like how this episode is structured around two-person scenes like this. They allow for intimate character and relationship developing moments like this.
NEXT: A heroic end