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Person of Interest - Nautilus - Review: "Let the games begin"

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‘Nautilus’ was certainly an interesting episode. What began as a simple number-of-the-week quickly became yet another serialised outing of the show. While I’m not opposed to serialised episodes – in fact, I quite enjoy them – I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed that this became a serialised episode once again.

However, my disappointment was erased completely when it was revealed that this was how Samaritan is recruiting new ‘employees’. I suspected long before we were told that Samaritan was behind the ‘game’. Regardless, it was fantastic. Episodes that feature one of the AIs making their own moves without the help of a human user – yes, I know Samaritan needed Claire to get those files, but the ‘game’ was all from Samaritan – are ones that speak to the origins of the show. Nolan and Plageman love the idea of AIs becoming independent, and these episodes are perfect examples of that progression.

‘Nautilus’ also tackled another interesting subject – what is the meaning of things? After all, it was Claire’s search for meaning that led her to the game in the first place. There’s definitely something to be said for how we tend to blindly follow things we are told. In that respect, we’re like sheep. Certainly since the internet has become more prominent in everyday life, we as people generally believe whatever we read, and this really opens us up to manipulation. Person of Interest discussed the issue brilliantly in this episode.

Anyway, back to Samaritan. It’s recruiting people every 27 days, and Claire was the third person to take the puzzle. That means it’s already recruited a total of three people that are effectively Root’s antithesis, just less double-gun firing. However, it’s interesting to look at the way this episode played out. Claire, on multiple occasions, was in danger of death and Team Machine saved her.

Take her ‘road walk’, for example. Reese jumped into the road and saved her. If he had not done that, Samaritan is not going to save her. Samaritan only saved her when she reached the end of the puzzle, because it knew that she was worthy of working for it. Before that, Samaritan was willing to let her die because she wouldn’t have been a useful ‘employee’. In essence, because the Machine gave Reese Claire’s number, Samaritan now has another person working for it.

That opens up a whole plethora of questions. Most importantly, however, is this: Why did the Machine give Claire’s number if it knew that by doing so, she would end up working for Samaritan? We’ve already seen that the Machine is willing to ask Team Machine to kill someone to prevent Samaritan from coming online, so now that it is, why is the Machine not willing to let someone die in order to hinder Samaritan? We know that it can’t be giving the team the number of everyone involved in a violent crime, because otherwise they would have gotten numbers between ‘Deus Ex Machina’ and ‘Panopticon’ – which given Reese and Shaw’s reaction last week, I’m guessing didn’t happen.

So again I ask, why did the Machine give Claire’s number? There has to be some motive that I’m not seeing here. The only other explanation is that the Machine has been taken over by Samaritan (since ‘Panopticon’, that is), and as Finch stated at the end of the episode, “no one will even notice it until it's far too late.” There are so many different routes that the show could take this, and I’m eager to find out what the heck is going on.

Odds and ends:

  • Some hilarious scenes in this episode. Some of my favourites: Fusco’s chuckle after giving Reese all the paperwork; Reese arresting Finch; Root with the pilot in the trunk and Reese asking “does this (the payphone) work?” before hitting the guy in the face. Person of Interest delivers so many of these great scenes.
  • I’ll admit that from the pieces of the puzzle that were shown, I couldn’t solve it. I liked that Fusco solved the ‘New York. New York’ bit though.
  • I was wrong about the subway station being where the Machine is located, but that new base looks really cool.
  • That new intro was awesome. I loved how Finch changed it to “We are being watched” as opposed to the previous “You are being watched”. If you didn’t catch it, I put it on my YouTube channel here.
  • “If we lose and Samaritan wins, the world as we know it will vanish, and no one will even notice it until it’s far too late.” Chilling.

What did you think of the episode? Why did the Machine spit out Claire’s number? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and check out the promo for next week’s seemingly Fusco-centric ‘Wingman’ below.

Bradley Adams
16 year old in England. I'm a big TV fan, with my range of shows almost exclusively dramas. Some of my all-time favourite shows include 24, LOST, Breaking Bad and Friends. Some of my current favourites include Person of Interest, Arrow and The Walking Dead. I review Person of Interest, Stalker and Scorpion for Spoiler TV. I also run an Arrow blog, ArrowFansUK, as well as my own tv blog. Aside from TV, I'm a keen cricketer. Get in touch with me via the links below or via email
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