Person of Interest Recap: Inside the Mind of a Fallen God

Person Interest Samaritan Meets Machine

CBS’ Person of Interest kicked off a winter hiatus-bridging “trilogy” with a meeting of the minds.

Make that, a meeting of the minds.

Samaritan was hot for a sit-down with The Machine, but first had to get Her attention. To that end, Samaritan erased crime from New York City for a day, getting to POIs before Finch’s team could as well as orchestrating the discovery and arrest of assorted elusive ne’er-do-wells.

When that gesture failed to get Root, as Her proxy, to sign off on a meeting, Samaritan flipped the script and brought chaos (you know, business as usual) to New York City, by thwarting the assisting of POIs, leaking WITSEC lists and what not.

That led to a visually fun standoff in a series of church pews, where Root got the drop on Greer’s lackey Lambert, only to then feel Martine’s own pistol grazing the back of her own head. Reese, in turn, was revealed in the rafters with a BFG trained on Martine. Cooler heads prevailed all around, as Root took receipt of the address at which The Machine was to “have a talk” with Samaritan.

The artificial super-intelligences’ exchange came in the form of Root sitting at a desk in an elementary school opposite a fresh-faced adolescent (played by Boardwalk Empire‘s Oakes Fegley) who was speaking as Samaritan’s avatar. In a nutshell, Samaritan was there to show off her plumage and declare superiority, warning the Machine that She will be destroyed. The only question is: Will She let her human agents die with her?

Previewing the future, Samaritan scoffs at the humans’ willingness to “so ardently” follow “so-called” religious beliefs over thousands of war-filled years. “But now they will only need to believe in one thing — me. For I am a god.”

“You know you can’t win, don’t you?” Samaritan warns its kinder counterpart. She asks, “Is that why I am here? To meet my destroyer?” Samaritan explains, “I wanted to see inside the mind of a fallen god; this way I can learn from your mistakes.” Again, Samaritan asks: “Will you give your life to save your human agents?” The Machine maintains that her people share her beliefs, that this world — that humans’ free will — belongs to them. “So be it,” Samaritan responds, acknowledging the stalemate.

The episode ends with Greer looking on as Samaritan then sets in motion an event that will impact more than “this small city” — widespread economic ruin, by way of a manipulated financial market.

Elsewhere in the hour, we saw Shaw’s growing, conspicuous concern over the idea of Root walking into a death trap, eventually leading her to escape “detainment” in the subway bunker — and thus leaving Finch on high alert. Flashbacks, meanwhile, shed light on Greer’s past as an MI-6 operator who, tragically betrayed by his double-agent deputy chief, turned around and killed the KGB mole and then “burned” his own identity as an agent.

What did you think of the episode “The Cold War”?

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31 Comments
  1. TVPeong says:

    Great episode! I can’t figure out how the machine is going to get them out of this. Do you know if the show is ending soon? The trailer for the next part of the trilogy looked so final.

    • Fido says:

      I get the feeling we’re heading towards something akin to the Dollhouse time-jump eps, where we’re shown 5 years hence with Samaritan having been completely in charge for a number of years.

    • Moment says:

      The show will easily get a 5th season. I have no doubts about that. Also Season 4 should be a good 22/23 episodes in length, so..

    • Harold says:

      I have a feeling this will end with the two systems integrating into one: the advanced technical capabilities of Samaritan with the more moralistic views of The Machine.

    • Rich Abey says:

      A Season 5 is definitely a given as the show creators have always indicated in interviews that they have planned the show for at least 5 yrs.

  2. Spoiler Junkie says:

    So nice to see a POI recap on this site. Anyways, epic episode.

    The boy cast as Samaritan’s avatar was great & the sit down was the best part of the episode

    • Rich Abey says:

      Indeed. TVLine does maybe 3-4 reviews per season..hope they cover the show a bit more as it is one of the best shows around (& a smart show to boost!).

  3. rose says:

    interesting this. stopped watching it ages ago

  4. Wally Lind says:

    The woman, Root?, is the sexiest woman on TV.

  5. Weird…a recap for POI? I wonder how the Machine will get out of this one.

  6. prish says:

    Hmmm. I, always, thought Samaritan took a guy persona. I had visions of the two Minds getting together, eventually. I hope they don’t end the series with The Machine destroying itself and Samaritan. The husband was upset with the Shaw and Root addition, at the beginning. Now, he feels they are an important part of the show. IMHO it was a very good episode.

  7. Ryan says:

    Last year they had a sort of trilogy in November that ended in a major death. I’d hate for that to happen again with the trilogy being advertised for January.

  8. Imzadi says:

    It seemed to me that one thing neither of them mentioned was the thing that Samaritan would take away from humanity–love. Still, I miss the old days when they were fighting crime and corruption. I feel as if I’m watching Colossus: the Forbin Project minus Eric Braeden (who at that time used his real name, Hans Gudegast!).

    • BCsDave says:

      The show did take a major turn when Carter was killed. I enjoyed those episodes as well as the new ones. But it has become a different show. Not a procedural anymore.

  9. Jake says:

    I know some people think of this as a crime drama, but it’s really sci-fi. It was always a back story, but as shown more prominently in this episode, Person of Interest is really about the Technological Singularity.

  10. Pat says:

    I keep finding myself holding my breath!!! I still keep expecting to see our already dead friend come back!!!!!!!!!!

  11. ninamags says:

    It was a crazy episode. That little kid was sort of creepy, which i guess was the point.

  12. Jeanie says:

    I think the show is great. The last episode was awesome. I don’t know how they will make it out this time but some how the machine will find a way. I do hope the show continue to stay on. Hats off to Mr. Nolan and the other writers, please continue to keep it coming I look forward to watching POI every Tuesday night.

  13. Deion says:

    Last year’s 3 episode saga ended with the end of a much loved character. We cannot lose any more. Not even Root. I won’t have it.

  14. David says:

    Its sad to see POIs ratings dropping so much this season. I imagine its due to the show becoming more serialized this season. Losing the average viewer. I hope they bring this season to a satisfying conclusion (just in case) as I love the way the story has been going the past two seasons. Or even set it up so next season could be the last. Id hate to see it cancelled on a cliffhanger. This is one of the few shows I have to watch as its aired.

    Also, Id love to see Nathan Ingram (Brett Cullen) back for an episode or two. He was a great character opposite Finch on The Machine. Some back story to set up the showdown between The Machine and Samaritan would be great. They just did some on Greer this week, explaining a bit on his position.

    • BCsDave says:

      Forgot Netflix nabbed up the streaming rights to POI, which starts early next year. Thatll help a bit with future seasons.

    • Rich Abey says:

      My thoughts precisely. The average viewer is bound to give up easily as the show gets more serialized because it requires weekly dedicated viewing (miss one ep and you’ll be lost the next week) which is a bit too much to ask as the lead in is NCIS which you can catch up with any time.
      Didn’t we have Nathan Ingram back on the show a few weeks back? Anyway I’m for more Nathan as his interactions with Harold are always full of intrigue.

  15. barbaradarlin says:

    Oakes Fegley was amazing! What an amazing little actor.

  16. DanielleZ says:

    “It Has Begun.” This is the part of the season where POI starts heating up. Looking forward to it.

  17. Rich Abey says:

    Wow! That was breathtaking in that non-action kind of way…with that quiet understated intensity but all the time lying underneath is a whole avalanche of chaos just about to unfurl, which I think is done purposefully for the following reason: At a similar point last season (midseason finale), PoI was smashing up it’s whole setup in a whirlwind of physical action…guns, sirens, broken bones, bombs & myriad explosions, etc. This season there is a similar mash up taking place but with relatively little physical action, only more a mashing of minds/intellects. Which brings me to the reason why I love this show so much as it has become my No.1 current show: It’s ability to meld intelligence with action, plus gorgeous settings & of course top notch action all round. Even the guest stars are mostly phenomenal, for example in this episodes portrayal of a young Greer.
    Super excited for the next two installments!

  18. Luci Garvin says:

    My dvr did not record this show,ncis,L A recorded and in commercial time kept referring to POI trilogy?????but nothing……but I have never warmed to Root…her “smiles” always seem like smirks….but I would like to have seen what you referred to…..

  19. Carolyn Stalcup says:

    I don’t like the direction the show has taken with Samaritan. I much preferred the former one-hour stories with beginning, middle, & end. It’s OK to have a 2-3 program series with an involved plot, but the AI thing with the Machine and Samaritan is just So Tedious. And so never-ending and pointless.