Synopsis for 5×01: After downloading a small part of the Machine into the safety of a heavy duty briefcase, the team has to make their way across NYC and back to the safety of the subway with Samaritan on their tails.
Person of Interest returned this week from a long hiatus, and hit the premiere out of the park. From here, CBS will be mostly showing two episodes a week until all thirteen are complete. The premiere started at the end of YHWH, last year’s finale, with the team on the run from Samaritan after they downloaded a small part of the Machine. They were trying to save what remained of the AI, and in the process were separated. Reese and Finch went one way, Root another, and the three attempted to make their way through the city and back to safety.
The opening of the finale was spooky, to say the least, as Root’s voice covered what looked like a pretty destroyed subway station. She kicked off the season with, “Let me tell you who we were, and who you are, and how we fought back.”
While most of Team Machine was running from Samaritan, Fusco tried to put together the pieces about what happened that night after he tried to save Elias and had to deal with Dominic. Both of them had been shot in the head, and the headlines claimed both Elias and Dominic had died as a result. They’d been taken out by Samaritan, who didn’t appreciate any free thinkers who might upset its play for power in NYC.
Fighting their way across town, Reese managed to get both he and Finch to the ferry. It would be a safe haven, a moment of peace and no cameras before they reached the other side where Samaritan’s people would be waiting again. Finch had a flashback, of course, to the ferry bombing and the death of his friend. He hesitated to get on, said he couldn’t, claimed they had to go back for Root, but Reese insisted they go or die and managed to get him across.
Fusco, in the meantime, was grilled by IAB about his connection to the shooting. The FBI had an agent interrogating him too, and neither believed that it had been a sniper that killed Dominic. They believed Fusco had done it, but Fusco of course told them the truth, even if they refused to believe it.
When Finch and Reese finally made it to the subway, Finch was less than pleased to see that the Machine had taken a couple of hits from a bullet. He scolded Reese for it, and then there was a flashback to when he first coded in the memory deletion. All the way back at the beginning, Finch crippled the Machine in order to keep it from becoming too powerful, too comfortable, too personable. Nathan, of course, hadn’t agreed with him, but Finch insisted it needed to be done.
Root, somewhere in the city, fought her way across the town and almost got caught multiple times. She still managed to remain free, and after Reese got Finch safely to the subway he went back for her. In Root’s fight to get to safety, the audience had a chance to see Samaritan’s full strength, as the AI even went so far as to utilize the assistance of civilians to try and capture her.
After Reese left Finch, there was a brief flashback to the day Finch had to wrestle with crippling the Machine. He was with Grace, and her little dog (who just so happened to be Michael Emerson and Carrie Preston’s real dog, Chumley) and told her about an employee he was going to have to let go. She told him to follow his heart, it would never steer him wrong.
Fusco, told by Reese not to talk about the sniper, was frustrated when he was taken back into the interrogation room. He expected to be grilled further, but the FBI agent (now clearly working with Samaritan, who had earlier pegged Fusco as a possible disrupted) explained away the shooting and told him he was even up for a commendation. Naturally, Fusco was floored but went along with it.
Root ended up getting followed by Samaritan’s men into a building. She was out of ammo, but she ducked away and allowed the building’s guards to shoot the agents. It turned out she had gone there to meet with a dangerous possible ally, a man she had once done some assassin and hacking work for, to request a new identity and find a temporary safe haven in the city. Reese, on her tail, showed up at the precinct and proved his identity was still valid, got information he needed to find her, and started to track her down.
While Finch attempted to boot up the Machine, it got out and started to decompress without the space to do it. Finch panicked, yanked the cord, got shocked and went flying. A fire started while he was passed out, threatening to compromise the Machine. He flashed back to when he finally had a conversation with the Machine about “death,” when it asked him what it was like. He put in the code, executed it, then immediately regretted it and in a panic attempted to get the Machine back. The core codes were still there, but all of its memories (of him, of people) were gone.
Back at the site of Dominic’s death, Fusco got himself flagged by Samaritan once again for looking for evidence of the sniper.
Root, unfortunately, put her trust in the wrong ally. Samaritan got a hold of the man she was trying to get a new identity from and made him an offer. She also realized all of the “malware” they were trying to uncover in technology had been placed there by Samaritan to tap into every webcam, every microphone, on every piece of technology to use it to spy on people. Root was about to be captured, when Reese showed up on the scene and got them out. They didn’t leave, though, without taking some PS3 gaming consoles with them.
Bear came to the rescue and woke Finch up, as well as provided him with a fire extinguisher. Finch was distraught over how badly he’d failed the Machine, and Root and Reese finally showed up to find him in a sad state. They acknowledged his state of being, but then Root explained why they’d stolen the PS3s: they were going to build a supercomputer with them.
Fusco got news that the IAB officer who had been poking around the FBI’s decision about the shooting being a good one had a heart attack and died. His case had been cleared, there was nothing more that needed to be done. It was also a subtle warning, even if Fusco didn’t overtly realize it, that if he didn’t stop poking around something similar would happen to him.
In the subway, they put together the supercomputer and began to decompress the Machine. It was too hot, though, and Reese had to think quickly and went out on the street to steal a tank of liquid nitrogen that just so happened to be hanging out there. They used that to cool the Machine down, and managed to bring it back to life.