Tonight we received a double dose of Person of Interest. The first episode, “QSO,” was a Root-centric episode that finds her taking on a number that will lead her to Shaw, and it’s definitely the better of the two. In the second hour, “Reassortment,” Team Machine deals with a deadly viral outbreak at a hospital that ultimately leads to the fracturing of the team. These episodes went pretty well together, and I was rather satisfied with where we left things at the end of “Reassortment.”
Both of tonight’s episodes continued to reveal more of Samaritan’s plans. As we’ve seen before, what it has planned for the world is both crazy and scary, but makes sense in an abstract, cold-hearted, and removed from humanity sort of way. In “Qso,” Root is tasked with protecting Max, the host of a conspiracy-theory themed radio show who stumbles onto some coded static on the radio. Unable to crack it, he decides to go public with it, which puts him right in Samaritan’s crosshairs because Samaritan is using the coded static to communicate and activate its operatives.
It’s an interesting development because Samaritan is following some of Team Machine’s steps by creating it’s own way of communicating with its operatives that cannot be tracked by another ASI. Moreover, it’s now harder for The Machine to track Samaritan’s moves.
In the end, Root and Reese manage to save Max from Samaritan and make him promise to keep his mouth shut about the static and Samaritan — which he finds out about while being saved — because it’s the only way Samaritan won’t come after him. Later, Reese and Root listen to his broadcast and hear him break his word. As he tells the world about the signals, Samaritan uses the coded static to send a message to his assistant instructing her to kill on air and she does.
This news horrifies Finch because the Machine didn’t warn them about Max’s impending murder. When Finch confronts The Machine about this, she says, “Max Greene exercised his free will. Primary mission was successful.” (The primary mission was finding Shaw, but more on that later). Naturally, Finch is horrified because “a lie of omission is still a lie” and using the idea of free will to excuse moral attrition is wrong. This kind of cold-hearted approach to people is worrisome, but, to be fair, it’s not new for The Machine. We mustn’t forget the time she suggested Team Machine kill a U.S. Senator to prevent Samaritan from coming online.
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What’s even scarier is how many assets Samaritan has in the world. It managed to convince many people to drink its pessimistic view of the world, which is kind of disheartening. For example, there’s Jeff Blackwell in the second episode, who is trying to be a good person, but ultimately bends to Samaritan’s will when his recruiter threatens to frame him for an armed robbery unless he breaks into the quarantined hospital and kills a doctor and nurse who accidentally discovered that Samaritan was tampering with the national healthcare database.
NEXT: Free at last!