Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Person of Interest - ShotSeeker - Review: “Pushing back”

    Enable Dark Mode!

  • What's HOT
  • Premiere Calendar
  • Ratings News
  • Movies
  • YouTube Channel
  • Submit Scoop
  • Contact Us
  • Search
  • Privacy Policy

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers


Person of Interest - ShotSeeker - Review: “Pushing back”

From the go, there seemed like there would be more to ShotSeeker than a simple number of the week, particularly once you incorporate suggestions that the program was being manipulated. What’s interesting about how Person of Interest handled it here was its lack of handling: While the episode made clear that Samaritan was responsible for framing Harvesta CEO JD Garrick, it never specified why the malevolent ASI was doing these things. “Why does Samaritan want to bury that research so bady?” Finch wonders. “We can’t pretend to understand Samaritan’s motivations,” Root replies, in similar vein to her counterpart’s line from the season-ago episode - “We cannot understand these intelligences. The best we can hope for is to survive them.”

At this point, the rival ASI’s motivations are irrelevant to some degree. Yes, it would be good to know exactly why it does what it does, but for Root, certainly, that doesn’t matter. If Samaritan wants to do something, the exact opposite must happen. Samaritan wants to keep research that could potentially end world hunger from escaping into the world? Put it all online for anyone and everyone to see! They’re running headfirst into the darkness without a flashlight, hoping that the tattered old map they possess will prevent them encountering any dangers within. For the moment, it’s working. However, what happens when the actions they enact - or are going to enact - cause a bad situation? It’s a concept explored back in season three’s Death Benefit, when killing the Congressman would have prevented Samaritan coming online, but that doesn’t mean it would be any less fascinating here. In fact, given that Finch’s choice back then led to unimaginable chaos, making the opposite decision now isn’t untenable; should the show choose to take this route, the impact will be enthralling.

I’m glad, however, that ShotSeeker was more than a simple number of the week. With only eight episodes now remaining, that aspect of the story needs to be kept chugging along with each passing hour. While Truth Be Told wasn’t a bad episode by any stretch, its slightly lacking involvement of Samaritan did leave a desire for more. Here, we explored that story both with its plans for humanity and Finch and Root’s attempts to win the war, all while dealing with the latest number. That’s a lot to juggle, but ShotSeeker handled things effectively. My only minor complaint would be that of the show’s insistence on presenting the reveal Samaritan’s involvement in the number as a shock. Granted, this has become less of a problem over the past 20 or so episodes, given its frequent inclusion, but by this point, it’s sort of a given that the ASI plays some role in proceedings; it may be, in fact, more prudent to treat any unrelated cases as a shock.

As Reese and Fusco attempted to get to the bottom of the ShotSeeker problem, Finch attempted to find a way to beat Samaritan using the miniature clones of both it and the Machine that he built. “Like rival ASIs playing online chess,” as Root describes it. But it was a very one-sided chess match, with “baby Samaritan” winning over ten billion consecutive simulations by the episode’s end. With each passing glimpse of that screen, a feeling of intrigue turned to dread and quickly to fear; the Machine is absolutely no match for Samaritan, even on a small scale. “I’m afraid we’re fighting a war we can’t win,” Finch says. At present, all hope seems to have been lost. There’s still time for a turnaround, one that appears likely given how dire the situation is right now, but realistically, this war is heading for only one outcome. But that won’t deter the team from trying their best until their last breaths as Fusco’s words from just after Carter’s death ring true: “No one ever said we were gonna win, but it doesn't mean you stop fighting.”

Part of that attempt could be Elias, who was revealed to be alive having been shot and supposedly killed in the season four finale. Most fans, I think, assumed that the kingpin wouldn’t go down quite so easily, regardless of what the premiere had to say about his fate. Indeed, that sniper shot wasn’t enough to take him out and the team managed to save his life. The logistics of how they managed it weren’t exactly made clear, a particularly frustrating note given that the way the events of the premiere were structured - Elias must have been on the cusp of death for several hours, given that the premiere picked up a few hours after the preceding hour’s end and then played out in real time - and that’s something I feared. Elias is a great character and Enrico Colantoni is a treat to have, but keeping him alive through questionable means after pretending he was dead is problematic at best, especially considering the number of times this has happened across television in the last year or so. This isn’t Glenn and the dumpster on The Walking Dead, but it isn’t exactly ideal.

Still, now that he has returned from the grave, Elias appears to know exactly everything that’s going on. Nothing was explicitly referenced, but the way he spoke to Bruce indicated a knowledge that there was a higher power - or, rather, two higher powers - in the world, attempting to control civilisation like puppets. How much of a role will he play in the larger war? Given that he’s dead to the world, it’s difficult to envisage him being able to provide too much influence, not unless he reveals himself to his men (who may be a useful army in the physical battle), putting himself back at risk in the process. For now, however, I’m just happy to have him back, despite the issues surrounding his ‘resurrection’.

Not quite the spectacular follow-up to 6,741, but a great episode nonetheless.


  • With the Machine struggling so much, Root suggests that Finch alter its code, to which he responds "If anyone here needs to recode the Machine... it should be the Machine.” A huge shift in belief from when he built the Machine - he killed an early iteration because it changed some code and lied about doing so; now, he is happy to let it do its own thing. That could go catastrophically wrong.
  • Fusco is getting highly agitated at his lack of knowledge and intends to investigate “with or without the nerd herd,” leading him to receive a “Potential Obstructionist” status from Samaritan. He could be in trouble very soon.
  • Bear sat on the floor at the end of Elias’ bed. I imagine the pair have become acquainted, which leads me to suggest a new spinoff idea: Elias and Bear reconquer the criminal world after Samaritan is eliminated. The Sopranos, but with Carl Elias and Bear. I’d watch it.
  • That opening scene with Finch at the safehouse makes a lot more sense now.
  • "I guess we can take helper monkey off the endangered species list."

What did everyone think of ShotSeeker? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

About the Author - Bradley Adams
17 year old based in England, currently Senior Staff at SpoilerTV. Most of his posts are news/spoiler based, though he is currently the reviewer of Person of Interest, co-host on the SpoilerTV Podcast. Created and is in charge of the yearly Favourite Episode Competition and currently runs the Favourite Series Competition. A big TV fan, his range of shows are almost exclusively dramas, while some of his all-time favourite shows include 24, LOST, Breaking Bad and Friends. Some of his current favourites include Person of Interest, Banshee, Arrow, The Flash, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul and many more. He also runs an Arrow fans site, ArrowFansUK, and aside from TV, is a keen cricketer. Get in touch with him via the links below or via email
Recent Reviews (All Reviews)