Synopsis for 4×21: Everything heats up as all of the various parties involved in NYC come together. The Brotherhood captures Elias, Greer is able to lure in Finch and Root, and Control is slowly piecing together exactly what’s been happening just underneath her nose.
‘Twas the episode before the finale, and all through New York City Team Machine was scrambling to prevent Samaritan from finding the Machine. This episode brought together all of the strings that had been left hanging all throughout the season and laid the groundwork for the finale. With quick flashbacks to Elias having to make the terrible decision to kill his right hand man, and to Control’s previous meeting with Finch, it was clear from the get go that crap was about to go down.
First, Control came on the scene and captured a mother on her way to work. The lady seemed innocent enough, but Control felt the need to cut the brakes to her car, causing her to smash into a pillar. She then proceeded to abduct the woman and drove off in a black van.
Thing between Elias and Dominic continued to heat up as another set of Brotherhood soldiers were killed. Reese and Fusco were on the case and immediately went to seek out Elias. He’d been using old bank tubes which stretched all throughout the city to deliver messages, unseen by the Machine and Dominic, to his men. He left one behind, and Reese and Fusco tracked it down to the bank. Unfortunately, so did the Brotherhood.
While Finch and Root work on things from the subway hideout, the phone rings. It isn’t either of theirs, but Shaw’s old phone. Root answers, hopeful and then desperate, as Shaw’s voice comes out of it, proving she’s still alive. They now know what the rest of us already knew: Shaw is alive, and she will probably be back next season. Even though both are certain it is a trap, they decide it is time to go try to rescue Shaw and Finch has no choice but to follow Root into danger.
That left Reese and Fusco on their own, just as the Brotherhood came down on Elias’ hideout and took them in.
Meanwhile, Control was having fun interrogating the woman she’d abducted. She seemed convinced the lady worked for Samaritan, but the woman was adamant she had no idea what Control was talking about. Even after Control shot one of her former agents in cold blood, her captive refused to admit that she was working for Samaritan.
Root is determined to get the Machine to tell her where Shaw is, to the point she’s willing to give up her own life for the information. The Machine and Root played chicken, with Root slowly walking toward the edge of a skyscraper. She threatened to jump unless the Machine helped them, and eventually the Machine relented and agreed. Shaw was alive and the Machine would help them save her.
They followed the Machine’s direction to an asylum and Root located an underground wire room. Finch plugged his computer into the wiring and got a view into the world of Samaritan. They were close to finding the Machine, which meant the situation was more dire than they had initially thought. Root and Finch needed to get into the asylum to try and find out more information. So, with Finch disguised as a mental patient, they danced into the belly of the beast.
While they are stuck trying to save the Machine, and Shaw in the process, Reese, Fusco, and Elias were all being tortured by Dominic and his crew. Dominic wanted to know what Elias knew. Also as a surprise, the friendly drifter from earlier in the season made another appearance as a new member of the Brotherhood. With Fusco and Reese trapped and slowly being tortured, everything seemed hopeless.
Finch and Root successfully infiltrated the asylum and Finch was able to clue her in to the fact something was wrong with the ninth floor. She crept up there only to find that they had truly wandered into the belly of the beast. They were in Samaritan’s base of operations. The control room the audience had been seeing for months was right there, in front of Root, and yet she continued her search for Sameen.
Control still had the woman who she was insistent on torturing. While her captive did everything in her power to deny any connection to Samaritan, Control finally presented her with evidence she couldn’t refute. The captive finally gave up her persona.
Back with the Brotherhood, everyone is being tortured. Elias revealed to Reese that it had been his plan all along to be caught. He’d left the tube as a breadcrumb to lure the Brotherhood in. Reese had just shown up at the wrong time and gotten himself caught up in the mess that Elias had purposely set out to create.
Samaritan realized very quickly that Root was in the building after Root smashed into what had been Shaw’s room. Instead of Shaw, however, she found Martine who swiftly captured her. Finch was brought into the room as well, captured in the lower levels, and the two realized what it was Samaritan wanted. They’d scanned every possible network and hadn’t been able to find the Machine, but Root’s implant could lead them to it. It was her direct connection to the Machine, after all.
In a final, annoyed stand, Root broke Martine’s neck like it was nothing and then surrendered.
Control’s captive revealed a huge part of Samaritan’s plan. She called the super computer’s rule “The Correction.” Samaritan would make the world better. It would purge all of the bad and what it would leave was an organized, protected civilization. Samaritan wants to be a god, and Control’s captive is insistent that the AI’s plan is about to come into play.
Elias managed to convince Dominic that his second in command was the mole. He shot Link, then Elias revealed the truth: he’d set him up. Link hadn’t been the mole, but Elias had made it look like it in order to avenge his own fallen second. He made Dominic pay for Anthony’s death. There is going to be chaos in the Brotherhood.
Greer and Finch, back at the asylum, discussed the relevance of human life to their super computers. When Finch told Greer that Samaritan could possibly one day discard him, Greer merely scoffed. No human meant anything in the light of Samaritan. Yet in a distinct parallel, when the Machine was told she could either choose to save her people and give up her location, or stay safe and have them killed, she gave up her location.
People mattered to the Machine. Honestly, the Machine wouldn’t be Harold’s Machine if she wouldn’t put herself on the line to protect people. She demanded her agents be released in exchange for information on her where abouts and Samaritan agreed. Root and Finch walked free, but at what cost?
Now it is going to be a race to get to the Machine.