It’s the episode we’ve all been waiting for: the return of Sameen Shaw (Sarah Shahi).
But don’t break out the Champagne too quickly because Shahi’s homecoming isn’t as a joyous of an occasion as one would hope. “6,741” reveals what’s been happening to Shaw over the past nine months, and it’s not pretty. In fact, it’s downright frightening — but that’s what makes it such a powerful hour. The episode’s tone combined with Shahi’s visceral and moving performance (her best on the show to date) and a heartbreaking twist ending make this the best episode of the season so far.
“6,741” opens with Shaw on an operating table as Samaritan doctors implant one of those mind control chips we first saw in season 4’s “M.I.A.” (which was coincidentally the last time we saw Shaw). Greer and his main man Jeremy Lambert hope the chip will make Shaw even more accommodating; however, the chip doesn’t take, and Shaw manages to make her escape before they have a chance to implant another one. I love that the opening moments of the episode quickly make it clear that Shaw’s personality hasn’t changed. We find out that she’s already killed several of Greer’s men in the past few months and that her tongue is just as sharp as ever.
She makes it back to the city and pretends to plan the killing a poor drugstore clerk in order to get the Machine’s attention and draw her teammates to her location because she can’t go directly to them with that chip in her head. The plan works, and the look on Root’s face when she finds Shaw in the middle of the store speaks volume about their relationship, which provides the episode with its emotional backbone.
After Reese and Root remove the chip from the base of her skull, they take her to a safe house where she’s reunited with Bear and Finch. Her reunion with Finch, who is wary of her since Martine told them she broke months ago, hits a sour note when she accuses him of not coming to look for her. That’s only one hint at some of the emotional baggage she’s carrying from her time with Samaritan.
Once the boys leave, Root tries to put the moves on Shaw, but Shaw shuts her down. But then she changes her mind a few minutes later, and the two of them jump each other’s bones to the sounds of Nina Simone’s “Do I Move You,” sending millions of shippers into a tizzy. Afterward, Shaw opens up about the psychological torture she endured while she was with Samaritan. Eventually, she goes to the bathroom and has a seizure as she touches the scar on her neck. When she finally comes to, she has a gun and ammo in her hands, which frightens her because she doesn’t remember getting them. However, she decides not to tell Root about any of it.
By the time morning comes, Shaw has grown even more restless and reckless. She forces Reese and Root into going after Greer earlier than planned. They lure some Samaritan operatives to a location, steal their phones, and use the phones to find Greer’s location. So Reese, Root, and Shaw storm Greer’s hideout and capture him. If it seems like the episode is moving way too quickly to some big moments, there’s a reason for that.
NEXT: A heartbreaking twist