Person of Interest Recap: A Kiss Before Dying

Person of Interest Shaw Dies

This week on CBS’ Person of Interest, Part 2 of the midseason “trilogy” adopted a very cool narrative device, as Team Machine faced the Kobayashi Maru scenario.

With Greer having sicced Samaritan on the world financial markets to instant, devastating effect, the salvation of the global economy rested inside one briefcase in Root’s grasp, via an override device that needs to be deployed on site, in the bowels of the stock market.

With Shaw busy on a subway car trying to talk down a random bomber and get an access code from a security guard, it was up to Finch, Reese, Fusco and Root to get the job done. But almost as soon as they broached the basement, they were cornered in a trap. The Machine then computed the myriad options and outcomes available to the team. The one she picks — No. 336,742 — gets Finch shot dead in the server room, finds Reese and Fusco surrounded by Martine’s men, and gets Shaw arrested after popping the antsy bomber.

But it was only a simulation that we were watching.

The Machine then resets to real time and recalculates, this time going with option No. 506,738, which sends Fusco and Reese to the server room, with Fusco commandeering a dead goon’s comm to throw Greer off their scent. Reese shoots their way into the server room, but when Samaritan’s troops show up and the firefight gets too hot, he sends Fusco away, only to die in a hail of bullets. (That said, Reese has the last laugh, blowing everyone up with a grenade.) Meanwhile, while overriding the elevator controls with Finch, Root hails Shaw on her comm to point out how “perfect” they are for each other, which she will figure out “some day.” Maybe some day, Shaw allows (though in a very precise, end-of-world scenario) — and then we realize that Root was making a farewell speech, about to be gunned down by Martine’s men.

Option 833,333 shows the most promise — was it Fusco’s lucky kiss? — in that Shaw deters the bomber and gets the code, while Root & Co. all go to the server room. (In this “simplified simulation,” everyone speaks in shorthand a la “Overt Come-On” versus specific dialogue, and it’s very funny.) Alas, even after saving the stock market and overriding the elevator, there’s only a 2.07% average survival rate.

In the final, actual approach, Fusco doesn’t plant his kiss, Root saves the Degas that Finch is fond of, Shaw gets the code and the elevator cable is cut,If-Then-Else but Reese gets shot in back while protecting Finch. Root, too, is shot, prompting her to launch into her previous “We’re perfect together” conversation with Shaw… only Shaw has arrived on the scene. With the added firepower, everyone is able to make it to the elevator, except it won’t move. An override button across the gunfire-filled hall needs to be pressed, so Shaw — after silencing Root’s protests with a passionate kiss — makes a dash for it and activates the elevator.

And as the doors close with her friends inside, Shaw is perforated by a hail of bullets. In the final seconds, Martine hovers above her, ready to take a head shot.

And then: Bang.

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  1. ScrubsGuy says:

    And with that, the new year has started its downhill plunge. Sigh.

    Martine is going down for sure now. I’m hoping it’ll be Bear that pulls the trigger.

    Shaw – you saved a train of people, the US economy and Team Machine. RIP.

    • Keith says:

      Next weeks previews mentioned saving Shaw so we don’t know for sure that she is dead

      • ScrubsGuy says:

        I just saw that. I think it’s some wishful thinking scenario in Root’s mind as she’s having a psychotic breakdown.

      • Kate says:

        But the actress is pregnant with twins and doesn’t see a legitimate return to acting for two years. While I am all for that they think Samaritan is hiding her (and there is some history there, the Decima Corporation saved Kara from being blown up and had the world pretend she was dead) unless the team thinks she is actually dead they (specifically Root and John) won’t stop looking for her.

  2. Pateicia Dechon says:

    I want shaw and root to get together so she cannot dye! I love their characters.

  3. Well, here’s hoping that Shaw makes it. The Bang that ends the episode -could- be the doors closing. We can’t really tell. With the promo for the next episode involves a hunt for Shaw plus the fact that Sarah stated in the Kevin & Bean podcast released today that’s she’s currently working on episodes, I have hopes. YES! I know there could be any number of reasons for this, all involving Shaw being dead! But I have faith damn it! *Starts rocking in a corner* I have faith…

    • tim lovejoy says:

      Im DLing the podcast right now but I can see that she is a guest on todays show.

      Thanks for the info, without it I would have been miserable all week.

  4. TV Gord says:

    I loved the whole episode overall, but I really enjoyed the hilarity of the shorthand scene! With Amy Acker there, it was even Whedonesque! Well done all around!

  5. Mike says:

    Hopefully next week’s tease wasn’t a tease and ash aw is still alive. Arggghhhh

  6. Liz says:

    This episode was brilliant and I loved that Shoot kiss. Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker did an incredible job with that final scene.

    However, I will be very disappointed if Shaw’s death sticks, especially given how repetitive it would be to the Reese-Carter situation last season. An unexpected kiss, then one of them dies? No thank you. I’d rather see Shaw survive so they actually have to deal with what that kiss meant. Plus, it would be too hard to lose two team members in such a short amount of time.

    • johnhelvete says:

      How was this kiss unexpected though? The Reese/Carter one was totally unexpected, but Root has been flirting with Shaw since day 1, and Shaw has gone from Root is a crazy lunatic that cant be trusted to tolerating her to whatever Shaw has felt about her this season….I think the Russian girl was correct that Shaw has feelings they are just less than everyone else.

  7. ninamags says:

    What an episode! I think I got more emotional when Root was shot than when Finch got shot!

    That was surprising, considering I used to hate Root with a passion early on.

    So hopefully Shaw is still around. They pretty much gave it away that she was still alive since they’re looking for her😕

    • Gail says:

      Per interview on EW, the actress is off the show at least for now. Whetherr they keep the character alive off screen is to be determined. Based on preview of next week, it seems so. The actress is thinking of taking 2 years off due to having twins. Hopefully they will just keep Shaw alive off screen for a long time. I am assuming they won’t recast the character.

  8. Sad Panda says:

    What a great episode. I hope the last bang was Shaw shooting Martine. I think I might be in shock… much like I was after Carter went down. I remember trying to rationalize all the ways that Carter could have survived… and then the actress went on Letterman and confirmed the death. So, I have hope that Shaw somehow survives… (Also, sidenote: did everyone on team machine forget their damn bulletproof vests?!)

  9. Lj says:

    I didn’t like this episode at all. I was expecting so much more and was just plain bored.

    • Liz says:

      Bored? Are you kidding me? This was an EXCELLENT episode. Just the way I like it sans the whole Shaw/Root nonsense. Here’s hoping the writers got it out of their system. PLEEZE!

      • Me. says:

        Thank you – the Shaw/Root thing doesn’t make sense. I like the focus on Harold and Reese.

        • Marie says:

          Within the context of this show, the Shaw/Root thing made perfect sense. Perfect.

          • MachineParts says:

            Re: Shaw/Root hate — Homophobes gonna homophobe. I’m not a Shoot acolyte, but I felt they made sense in the course of the show. I’m looking forward to Root now going full MMA on Samaritan over Shaw’s “death.”

          • says:

            I like Root and I hope she goes after Martinez and the awful man causing all of this. This is such a great show. Love all the characters.

  10. Coal. says:

    We really can’t be killing off people for the sake of effect can we ? That being said, my favourite exchanges on the show have to be between Fusco and Root. The barbs Fusco throws at Root are hilarious. BEST SHOW on network tv.

    • shawn31c says:

      The actress is pregnant in real life and wanted out to deal with that. I think they left enough room for her to come back down the line, but for now she’ll be off the show not for effect, but because she wants to deal with her pregnancy while not having to work on the show.

      • DougMac says:

        It killed LIFE on NBC when she left on maternity leave, but this show is set up to handle her taking a break a little better. I still want her on the show but will be kind of mad that they had her survive an impossible yet heroic final decision to sacrifice for the team.

    • CC says:

      Hey Nutella! Best quote ever !

  11. jc says:

    I don’t think Shaw is dead and I think that last bang was the elevator doors closing.
    The Shoot scenes were amazing.

    • Bill says:

      Excellent episode. I thought they were going to kill off Root, so I was surprised when Shaw made the sacrifice. (You knew that ONE of the girls was going down, after all that chess talk about the Queen and how sometimes she had to be sacrificed for the greater good.). I really hope they are just writing her out for her pregnancy and not permanently..
      Also, CBS better get a clear head about possibly cancelling POI. I know they don’t own the show, but sometimes you may not realize it when you’re pulling out the straw that makes the whole stack tumble.

  12. NotaVistor says:

    Why is there always an azhole like you that puts the spoiler in the title. I didn’t read it. This comment, then the site gets blocked.

  13. JPMD says:

    Probably the best written episode in over a year. It’s too bad the story lines have been so uninspired : show has become a ratings disappointment and its renewal is doubtful.

    • Ike says:

      Not true — it may look bad compared to 9 p.m. (ET/PT) shows, but 10 p.m. network shows are all down across the board, especially on CBS. There is only one exception, ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder. NBC’s Blacklist was also an exception, but it is now being promoted to 9 p.m. on a different night. Person of Interest is doing OK for a 10 p.m. show. It is in contention for the highest-rated 10 p.m. show on CBS, on average. Plus, later this year, its first 3 seasons will be on Netflix, providing another revenue stream to the makers of the show and possibly bringing in new viewers.

  14. sarratiger says:

    If Shaw is dead, there will be no more subtlety in this war because Root will lose her mind. There will be blood. Lots and lots of blood.

    • Angela Whitead says:

      I’m with u. If Shaw is dead there will b no controlling Root not to mention she will blame the machine for Shaws death and even it want b able to control Root. The new name of the show will b “root on the loose with a vengeance”. Ought to b good and bloody.

  15. cerreno says:

    And that is how you piss of me, a loyal and devout person of interest fan. It was not enough killing Carter and now Shaw the best character since Root. This blows. Not interested anymore. Will only read tvline recaps now.

    • Leslie says:

      I just read an “Exit Interview” article on with Sarah Shahi -apparently, she’s being writin out for the time being because she is pregnant with twins. This story arc allows her to disappear, but come back one day if she wants. Here’s hoping …

    • KCC says:

      I know, don’t you hate it when an actor’s real life ruins your TV shows. Actors are so selfish. Seriously, I hope Sarah Shahi has an uncomplicated pregnancy and health twins!

  16. THANKS A LOT says:


  17. njartist says:

    I started watching POI during the second season and with each episode the show gets getting
    stronger. I am sorry that I did not watch from the first episode.The most recent was one of the best with the Machine thinking out each possible solution.. Finch certainly taught the Machine well and in the end that will be the winning edge over Samaritan. I think that that Shaw makes it and shot Martine. One should never count Shaw out.
    The look on her face when Martine is pointing her gun at Shaw’s head makes me think that
    Shaw was down but not out. That definitely was a gun shot at the end. Root & Shaw are
    an integral part of the team & certainly are not one dimensional characters. The writers continue
    to add more layers to the characters through the seasons POI is one of the better procedurals on TV hopefully it will on for many more years.

  18. bucky says:


    KILL ROOT! I hate that bitch.

    • Marie says:

      Can’t even imagine the series without Root at this point. She is integral to the storyline. She communicates with HER. Even Henry lost communication with HER, but Root was in tune with the machine right from the start. I enjoy her wisecracks. I enjoy her relationship with HER. The series would lose an interesting part of the storyline if Root was ever written out.

      • a ray says:

        Cannot stand root! If shaw comes back and I hope she will and if she comes back to b a lesbion with root then I am done with this show – root is a horrible actress plus I am tired of gay and lesbians in your series like good wife – this last episode was totally ridiculous – some of my friends have already said enough especially with the two gals kissing- give us back shaw a cool Woman not a lesbian and kill off the Boring root

  19. Wang Chung says:

    If Shaw dies, then I give up on the show. There’s no sense into watching the show since the writers got lost and now trying to dig themselves out by pulling a Carter move. The numbers and dealing with Elias was great, but now Samaritan and Mini is too much and it felt like they were just thrown in there. Mini, was probably the worst. The acting skills were that of a street criminal who didn’t need to act and just played himself. Reminded me of DMX in Belly. As soon as they introduce Root, I knew they show was heading down hill, all this Samaritan and off course story that stopped what the show was mainly about was when Root was introduce. Shaw, Reese, Fusco, and Harold was good enough. It usually goes Shaw trails one guy and Reese trails the other and Fusco is called for back up, it made for exciting episodes. Now it’s Root who is like the Terminator, she probably sees the same screen as the Terminator also or maybe the Matrix, who knows, but she appears to not be human and it’s way too much.

    • Eric says:

      The producers aren’t saying if Shaw is dead or not since they do want to bring her back because real-life circumstances (Shahi leaving due to being pregnant) have forced them ditch her for the time being. It’s unknown to even them when or if Shahi will come back so they have come up with several storylines as a way of keeping her “death” reversible.

    • BringShawBack says:

      BINGO. Same here. I was ready to quit when they killed off Carter, but this definitely does it for me if Shaw’s actually dead. I’m tired of Samaritan, that old a-hole who runs it, and his blonde Nazi bitch. I HOPE if Shaw’s dead, she at least took her out at the end.

    • a ray says:

      Boy o boy, your comment was exactly how I feel!!! Roots character has taken over the show and she does seem superhuman and very BORiNG , the show has lost the way it got started – it’s almost Sci fi

  20. Danielle says:

    I think I started crying after the kiss between Sameen and Root. Wow! For people who don’t like this… Why? The subtle flirting, badass characters, and action sequences. She better not die or I will die shipping them! The bang HAD to be Martn (Martine) getting shot (she has no emotion and acts like a man). Loved it!

  21. Babygate says:

    This episode was beyond! I loved the tension, how the flashbacks took us through the machine’s calculations, the ominous music, the funny placeholders the machine used with everybody narrating their parts, the confrontations, the slow motion scenes that heightened the emotion of the moment. .. It was a pretty great episode. I’m trusting Shaw is alive… Although the kiss was kind of lame because it looked more like Shaw was kissing Root’s coat, they really do make a fantastic couple and team.

  22. If Shaw is truly dead I will stop watching the show.Also I had hopes that Shaw would have a relationship with Fusco.Root would be a more meaningful friend for Harold.POI is truly a great show !

  23. skrable2 says:

    I don’t think that last noise was “Bang!” I think it was the elevator moving. She could well be dead, or will die next week, but I don’t think that was a gunshot as described in the recap

  24. Sam says:



    Remember the earlier scene in this season when one of the agents from the government commissioned to take out targets identified by Samaritan. “Grice / Devon Grice” questions where these numbers are coming from. He later finds out that Shaw is still alive and not dead. He later tells Shaw and her friends to leave when he runs into them and pretends she was not seen and lies to Decima. He made the mistake of deleting the footage recorded of the encounter and alerting Samaritan, that Shaw was still alive. This made her the number one target for Decima and her cover was blown when human agents were deployed.

    My opinion is that Shaw is still alive. She was saved by “Grice / Devon Grice”. He probably shot to distract the other agent and telling her that Shaw is still important for Decima and needed to be kept alive for leverage since the financial plan been canned or “Grice / Devon Grice” saved her and betrayed the government and Decima and goes on the run with Shaw and is in hiding making Root,Fich, Reese and Fosco believe that she has been hold as a hostage.

    But we wont know till we watched next week episode. My two cent though.

  25. aplwrites says:

    As soon as the doors closed and she wasn’t dead I said out loud “she isnt dead”. They capture her. She is way more useful alive, especially given the escape of Admin, Interface, Primary, and Secondary. She has tons of info to try and get, she can be used as leverage against team machine, and serve as a distraction for them.

  26. skrable2 says:

    She’s pregnant with twins (the actress, not Shaw), so unless there’s a definitive determination next week, she’ll likely be MIA for a long while

  27. cassy says:

    Please don’t kill shaw off, let her be able to take Martine. Let one of her old operative buddies help her. Have her treat her wounds and get herself some help. Just don’t kill her off.

  28. lame says:

    First those bastards killed Carter and now possibly Shaw, in this whirl wind of an episode. These writers unlike many other series, aren’t afraid to change the paradigm. If nothing else they’ve got balls.The only series to kill of more major characters is NCIS, lol

  29. shawn31c says:

    Sorry to burst some bubbles, but Shaw will not be coming back anytime soon if ever. Sarah is pregnant is taking time off.

  30. says:

    Shaw better not be this show.

  31. John E H says:

    I will be ticked off if she’s dead . It might be the “jump the shark” point for me

    • therealguyfaux says:

      “Sam-and-Sameen” as a love interest is the jump-the-shark for me. I suppose it is to make Root’s actions re: how to rescue Shaw (a damsel rescuing a damsel being some new twist on an old trope) a bit more motivated, i.e., “Now I know she loves me too!”, but there is no need for such a complication. It’s just the “naughtiness” factor, for my money. Neither of the two women have a love life in their back stories that a connection between them could be explained by (See: Reese and Carter). Matter of fact, neither of the two women really have much of a backstory at all, let alone a love life in one.

      I was real fine with the two women being heartless just-about-true-sociopaths without real feelings of love, and now the writers gotta spoil it with a not-all-fun-an’-games-anymore-’cause-I-love-someone-now plotline.

  32. Jake says:

    Don’t hate on the writers or producers – Sarah Shahi wanted out (for a while at least if not forever) because she’s having twins. At least they tried to accommodate her, not like on Bones where they killed off Sweets when they didn’t have to…

  33. Debbie says:

    I am very upset that they killed of Shaw. She was fantastic on this show. Why oh why did they kill her off.

  34. Chris says:

    Everyone needs to chill with the “I’m never watching again”. This isn’t like Carter, where some people speculated that she wanted out to do more movies, but it never seemed from exit interviews and Taraji that it was true.

    The actress is having twins. Google it – she did an exit interview on another entertainment site. She needed this to happen. They thought about trying to write the pregnany into the show, but even the acctress said that it wouldn’t fit the character at all.

    I loved the episode – very interesting with the simulations. Not something I would want to see often, but as a one time effect, awesome!

  35. B. Brady says:

    They better not have killed off Shaw. I’m still not happy that they killed off Carter. The promo suggests that Shaw may be alive. She better be if I’m going to continue watching this show.

  36. Campvol says:

    they need to kill Root off. the show would never miss her. bring Shaw back. get rid of root.

  37. Bob says:

    Cannot lose Shaw, she is one of the keys to the success of this show. She has to be alive !!!!

  38. Gonzo Oliver says:

    Can’t believe you guys allow shaw to be shot.
    She was the most deadly of all.
    How is it that this second machine is more powerful that the original.
    Don’t understand.

  39. TheDus2009 says:

    my heart breaks knowing how underrated this show is.
    this episode was amazing and i still mantain that Root is one of the best characters created in the last 10 years.

  40. Tran says:

    First Carter now Shaw? Guess POI once again “jump the shark”.

  41. Paul says:

    Shaw is such a big part of the show, I have been watching from the beginning and I was crushed when Det. Carter was killed don’t know if I could go through that again lol.

  42. Andrea says:

    I’m glad I now know that Sarah is pregnant. That changes things for me because it’s a decision that she chose to make for the benefit of herself and her family. Congrats to her, but she will be missed on POI. I hope we’ll see Shaw again one day.

  43. ABC says:

    Nice “Star Trek” reference, Matt. Live long and prosper, sir!

  44. Linda says:

    This episode kept me on the edge of my seat. I love all the characters. When I watch episodes in the future I want to find that Shaw is still alive and Martine is the one that is dead. With all the crap happening in the world today, I think people still need to see good prevail over evil.

  45. kirads09 says:

    O.M.G. – This show never sits back on its laurels, never disappoints, and is never afraid to go for it.
    What a ride. I may have stopped breathing a couple times. Can’t imagine someone saying they were bored with it???
    My running theory is that Shaw is NOT dead (but maybe wishful thinking?)
    Here are my reasons:
    – the previews allude to the fact she may still be alive
    -she is nothing if not a survivor.
    -I think she had a vest (or something) on under that coat and the “bang” we hear at the end is Shaw shooting Martine (or whoever Ms. Evil Samaritan assassin is).
    – The moral of the episode (if there was one) seemed to be Harold teaching the machine to examine all scenarios for the winning outcome but in doing so no “chess piece” (person) is irrelevant or expendable.
    I sincerely hope Shaw is still with us. ( Can’t emotionally take losing another Team Machine member after Carter )
    I wasn’t sure about her when Shaw first came on board, but boy, the show would not be the same. Have grown to love her so much.

  46. Gail says:

    I don’t think any information about Sarah Shahi’s pregnancy leaked before the episode aired. That was great so there was no speculation about how the show would accommodate the pregnancy prior to last night’s episode. I don’t know how far along she is or how long ago the episode was filmed, but there didn’t seem to be any speculation about Ms. Shahi being pregnant until now. Good job by the show in keeping this secret..

  47. Zane says:

    I think they need to add a bit more romance to the show. None of the main characters know how to flirt except maybe root. Hope shaw’s exit has a silver lining, hopefully with new and exciting characters. And it would be also great if martine dies very badly

  48. The show is one of my favorites lot of action if Shaw or John was To die in it. I think I would lose interest.thanks everyone for keeping it going.

  49. torimelching says:

    Man reading some of these comments are hilarious. It’s like you don’t realize you are watching a drama that has killed people before and will probably continue to do so.

    I didn’t like Carter so her death didn’t bother me, but it made for some fantastic storylines. I like Shaw I don’t think she is dead but with her being pregnant with twins I don’t see her coming back for a long time, if the show continues for many more seasons. But the storylines we will get out of this will be amazing.

  50. Ed Tian says:

    We are assuming the gunshot we heard after the elevator doors closed hit Shaw. How many times has she pulled a rabbit out of her hat.

    I hope next week the doors open and we see the blonde robot bitch dead and Shaw needing a doctor.