CBS’ Person of Interest held court in its Tuesday season finale, as Vigilance leader Peter Collier sought to hold Senator Garrison, Control and ultimately our own Mr. Finch liable for the violations of privacy committed by the U.S. government.
Meanwhile, Reese teamed with Hersh to bust up the mock trial, and Shaw gave Root a helping hand in hacking Samaritan — but to what surprising end?
To Collier’s credit, the guy went all out in his bid to best simulate a proper trial, assigning the defendants a lawyer, bringing in (captured) jurors and all. All he wants to know is: “Who is responsible for Northern Lights?” Garrison tries to play dumb, but ultimately points a finger at Control. “Ma’am,” though, is one cool cucumber when on the stand, spinning a yarn about how she carried wounded from the plane that hit the Pentagon — a tragedy that perhaps could have been avoided with proper intel.
Pressed for the name of Northern Lights’ creator, Control keeps mum, but Finch nonetheless is compelled to come forward. “You built it,” Collier all but marvels. “One man is responsible for the most invasive surveillance technology in the world.” Finch’s understatement response: “I’m good with computers.” Finch begins to tell all — provided that all the other lives are spared — explaining how he built the Machine because he was worried what others might build — other people who wouldn’t worry.
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Meanwhile, Reese and Hersh, with some assists from Fusco (and Bear!), track down the location of the “court” (in an old post office) and begin taking down thugs when Hersh discovers that the building is rigged to blow sky-high. And indeed it is, at Greer’s doing. It is then revealed that when Collier né Brandt was first recruited to form Vigilance, Greer was behind it. That Greer in fact wanted Vigilance to exist, because Finch’s machine was in fact working too well. Blowing up the post office, with innocents inside — and with Vigilance to blame — would remind people (and more importantly, politicians such as Garrison) “how bad things can be,” by creating a “fresh atrocity.”
Greer has his goon gun down Collier, but before he can kill Finch (“Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead” and all), Reese shows up guns a-blazing, though Greer gets away.
Later, with Garrison’s blessing and given access to government feeds, Greer fires up Samaritan and begins targeting “threats.” Team Machine, however, will be invisible to Samaritan, thanks to Root’s handiwork. Because (we, Shaw and the others learn) her objective in sneaking into its location was not to stop it, but to hack it — tricking it to “ignore” seven numbers: Her, Shaw, Finch, Reese and her three hacker pals who now are in the wind. It was “never about winning,” Root tells Finch. “It’s just about surviving.”
Armed with new IDs and money, the core four split off, ignored by Samaritan, as Greer greets his new toy “good morning” in an ominous way — à la “It’s not what my commands are for you, but what your commands are for us.” Yikes.
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