What's that Person of Interest? You killed off one of your main characters and eliminated one of your main storylines in your most recent story arc, and you want to follow that up by revealing the identity of an overarching villain? Suit yourself.
Considering the relative normal feel this 'case' had when it began, what with Shaw going undercover in her field of expertise (no, not shooting people. Her actual field of expertise), this episode quickly became something far bigger than normal. I don't know if at any point the show is going to slow things down, because if this is their way of slowing things down, what the hell are things like when they are sped up?
Obviously, the biggest moment of the episode came at the end, when it was discovered that Claypool's presumed wife was dead, and that the woman claiming to be her was in fact the mysterious Ma'am; the woman who is known to Shaw as Control. Having learned about Arthur's "greatest achievement" Samaritan, her web of lies was unravelled, as she threatened to kill Finch or Claypool, depending on which of them showed her the way to the drives of their respective Machines.
Her identity has been a mystery to us since 'Relevance', when the Northern Lights story was introduced. Since then, we've seen her order Hersh to kill Special Counsel, presumably order Hersh to kill Root and now threaten to kill Finch or Arthur; all of this while receiving numbers from the Machine. She has been busy. As of now, her future intentions are unclear. What does she want with the Machine/Samaritan? It seems likely that she will try to take fully control of one, if not both Machines, in order to create total chaos - presumably the same chaos hinted at by Root. Either way, I'm looking forward to more on this next year.
The other major revelation was that Arthur, Finch's friend from MIT, had been employed by the government to do the exact same as him - build a machine capable of detecting threats before they happen. From what Arthur told us, it seems that there were multiple groups that tried to build what the government wanted, not just IFT and Arthur. This shouldn't come as a huge surprise; considering the magnitude of the request it wasn't going to be entrusted in company to build this. What does come as a surprise is that Arthur managed to build it too.
What has happened to Samaritan since February 22nd 2005 remains a mystery - especially considering the conflicting stories from Arthur and Control. However, due to circumstances I'm inclined to believe Control's idea that Samaritan is out there somewhere. Assuming it is active, and the government have control of it, why does Control want to find the drives? Surely if it is providing her with the information, why would she need to get at it? The only possible reason could be that she wants to destroy it, or use it for less than positive purposes. The idea that there is a second machine, although highly strange, is a brilliant story for the show.
There was also the issue of Vigilance, who seemed to be the threat to Arthur that the Machine had perceived. The Rudy that Arthur spoke of while being interrogated by one of its members could be where the Samaritan drives are, thus suggesting that Vigilance is aware of Samaritan, if not the Machine. However, this is just a theory. What I am sure of is that there is something bigger going on with Vigilance; they aren't just people randomly waging a war on technology. They are connected to a bigger picture, one we just aren't seeing yet,
Similarly to last week, Reese was seldom seen. In fact, he had left New York and returned to his home of Colorado. Still affected by Carter's death, he is attempting to drink himself to death; returning to the way he was before he met Carter two years ago. Obviously, no one wants that to happen. Fusco's appearance at the bar, along with his reasoning behind not drinking continues the theme that all of these characters are connected. We had Carter's impacts on the team, now we have Reese's on Fusco.
The fight scene between the two was very good. The actual fight wasn't anything spectacular, but the fact that the two were fighting was. I really enjoyed Fusco standing up against Reese's irritating mentality. Clearly Reese has this deeper connection with Carter, but his abandonment of his friends clearly shows his lack of appreciation of the fact that they are grieving over Carter's death too. Fusco's fight, although putting them both in a spot of legal bother, was a necessary moment for the show to point out just how much he is needed and cared for.
Some odds and ends:
- Good on Finch for ignoring the Machine. I would have too. Why has the Machine become so slow in notifying Finch with intel on potential danger? Surely it must have known that Simmons was going to kill Carter (which would be the call just before she died) more than 10 seconds before?
- Hersh was back. With his usual evil stare.
- So, who was the overall threat to Arthur? The team assumed that it was Vigilance but if Finch was right and they wanted information out of him instead of killing him, then Control would be the threat.
- Both Shaw and Hersh's names was shown to be redacted, with their current name listed as being an alias.
- Finch had to use the opportunity to sing while Reese wasn't there.
- Finch prevented Shaw from lighting something flammable. That was harsh of him.