In the twenty-second and final episode of the second season of Person of Interest, Finch orchestrates the next chapter. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest.
THIS WAS PLANNED SO LONG AGO, WASN’T IT. There is so much built into this story, and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it all and what it means. IT IS A LOT.
I hate that I have to repeat myself, but while I understand the need to have so much of this finale devoted to Finch’s endgame, it’s pretty shitty that Joss Carter gets so little time in the episode. And for once, Fusco just outright doesn’t appear at all? Why didn’t Carter rope him in on this? ESPECIALLY SINCE HER STORY IS SO HUGE! If “In Extremis” was the hint of the future, here’s the newest chapter: Joss has to finally compromise herself in order to do what’s right. When she discovers that she’s been set-up by HR and that Terney was responsible for it, it’s clear that she knows she’s been brutally betrayed. Seriously, that scene where Terney threatens her is so terrifying and enraging at the same time.
So yes, it’s strange that Fusco isn’t around, and as soon as Carter does the unthinkable and SAVES ELIAS’S LIFE, we’re just given nothing else. Where does she take him? What do they say to one another? Will Elias consider her one of his? THIS IS NOT A VERY GOOD PLACE TO CLIFFHANGER ME BECAUSE. Just… because. In all seriousness, though, it felt like a very premature place to end the story, you know? There’s no closure at all. What is Terney going to do now that he’s been fooled? Is he going to suspect Carter???
I continue to be amazed at the way that this show just barrels into the future, at how escalation is a form of momentum for the writers, and how we get such complex stories that consistently evolve. The previous episode just barely revealed that the Machine had grown in ways no one but Finch could have predicted, and here, we see what it is like once the Machine has been freed from its normal confines. With Finch having split the phone call so that both Root and Reese are admins for twenty-four hours, the writers shove everyone into a new reality: the Machine can openly communicate with admins. And it does so in increasingly creative ways. It protects Reese by using time to tell him which direction threats are coming from, while Root orders it to give her descending or ascending tones for the same purpose.
It is a spectacle to watch, and it helps that the show’s design contributes to the visual joy. I love that all the interstitial moments provide us with the point-of-view of the Machine, and it helps make the Machine a character in its own right. That’s important, too, given where “God Mode” takes the overall story. See, I went into this expecting that we’d finally see the Machine itself, that this episode would take us into a new realm with Root learning the true nature of the Machine and maybe taking control of it?
But the flashback we get that explains how Nathan died and Finch came to finally accept that the non-relevant list was a clue. LIKE A MILLION OTHER THINGS. Finch was long meticulous, secretive, paranoid, and inventive. Look what he built! Yet the tragedy of Finch’s life is that once he met Grace, he was ready to start changing. He had proposed to her; he wanted to tell the truth; and then, Finch decided that day to tell a reporter what it was he and Nathan had built. HE WAS READY.
And then Hersh murdered Nathan Ingram. He forced a man whose terrorist plot had been thwarted to DO IT ANYWAY, which is just… jesus christ, these people are so relentlessly awful that I can barely understand it. Except that it’s real!!! Nathan was murdered because he was going to tell the truth. In that moment, Finch knew exactly what the government was capable of. He watched his best friend die, he watched government agents search for him, and then he watched his fiancée “discover” his death. WHY IS THIS SHOW SO CRUEL.
And I say that this was all a clue because it feels so obvious to me now: Harold Finch – I guess he’s not Finch, so I should refer to him as Harold – planned from that moment to protect himself and everyone else, and that included the Machine. He constructed a virus to put inside the virus he sold to Decima, and within it was the means to set the Machine free so that it could protect itself. The big climax in “God Mode” showed us the result of that: the Machine imitated Special Counsel and shipped itself to a private location. It did so in a way that kept it hiding in the shadows and off the grid. And now, a crucial new element has been introduced: it can choose to send the numbers. Now, the end of this episode is very ambiguous about what the Machine chose to do. John and Harold get a call, and so does Root. I assume that this implies that it still views them both as admins due to the events in this episode.
But how does Control know about the number? Is the Machine still giving them the Relevant list, or are they spying on John and Harold? WHERE IS ROOT? Did she get put into a mental health facility somewhere? Was that willingly or part of her agreement with Reese and Harold?
IS SHAW JOINING THE TEAM? Will Carter and Fusco ever learn the truth of the Machine? I NEED SEASON THREE RIGHT NOW.
The video for “God Mode” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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