Synopsis for 5×07: Root infiltrates a radio station to protect a host who has discovered a dangerous secret that may get him killed. Fusco cuts his ties with Team Machine.

Rating: ★★★★☆

After the explosion in the last episode, Fusco ended up recovering in the hospital. It seemed that he hadn’t been terribly injured, but it was clear from his disposition that he was through with whatever Team Machine was keeping from him. Root visited him in the hospital, and he expressed that he didn’t know who he could trust, and was not in the mood for any of her shenanigans. She left him alone and made her way out to the lobby where Reese was sitting, keeping watch of the door.

The camera panned back and revealed that Finch, too, had been keeping watch. Both the boys were worried about their friend.

Root asked the Machine about Shaw, and the Machine avoided answering the question. Instead, it offered Root another number to save. Root continued to switch IDs rather fluidly as she moved from one number to the next, following the Machine’s plan. It gave viewers a chance to see how Root’s revolving identification had been working, especially in light of Samaritan’s rise to power. The latest number led her to a radio show, Mysterious Transmission, a show that discussed the potential of aliens and other foreign life forms. She slipped right into a job there and had to keep an eye on the radio host.

Shaw continued to fight against Samaritan, constantly resisting. She was determined to break out.

Reese and Finch were brought in to help with Root’s number, as she believed that the number would somehow lead them to Shaw. Root settled in to produce the show and patched through calls to the host. An angry caller got patched through and eventually disconnected, and when Root asked the host about it later he explained the caller had been helping him on a project. A while back he had noticed some sort of strange interference on the airways. When he looked into it further, that interference produced a pattern, which was linked to a code. He’d enlisted his listener, Warren, in helping him decode the message.

He planned to then expose the message to his viewers. Warren called the show back and claimed he was going to kill himself, and that his work on the project had put him in danger and would put the host, Max, in danger too. Root talked with Reese who tried to track down Warren, only to find he was already dead and appeared to have been for quite some time even though his voice continued on the radio station. The guy on the phone was using Warren’s voice, and the team realized it was a Samaritan plot.

Lambert took Shaw on another field trip to again show her Samaritan’s power.

At the studio, Max’s radio show got hacked. His voice came through the airways even though it was not him talking. Someone was trying to frame him as fake “Max” actually encouraged Warren to kill himself and seemed to set it up for Max to kill himself, too. While they were framed, they also were trapped, and Root had to fight against the clock to get them out of the facility. Reese was on his way to help as Samaritan agents were beginning to converge on the radio station.

Lambert and Shaw’s field trip took them to the office of a scientist who had plans to bring back an extinct animal. However, Samaritan saw that bringing back the animal and introducing it into an environment that was no longer its own would put humanity at risk. Therefore they had to kill the scientist to keep her from being able to discover the key to completing her task. Apparently Samaritan had tried other ways to dissuade her from her research, but they’d all fallen flat. Now they had no choice but to kill her instead, so Shaw pulled out a gun and shot her.

After all, it was just a simulation, right?

Finch at the subway realized that baby Samaritan was tapping into other devices to try and send a signal out of the subway. That same patterned signal that Max had discovered, Root realized could be used to contact Shaw. That was going to be her new quest, as Reese got on the scene to go and help take care of Max and get him to safety.

Shaw realized too late that she’d actually killed the scientist. Her lines between reality and fantasy had blurred, and she had believed that it was all a simulation. However, in the midst of the simulation it appeared that she had really killed the woman on Samaritan’s behalf. Her hurt hand was proof that the simulation had been anything but.

Reese managed to save Max and took out a few Samaritan agents in the process. Shaw herself made a move against Samaritan and got a sedative away from one of the nurses working with her. She then locked herself into the medical room and considered taking her own life. She’d rather die than be a guinea pig again for Samaritan. However, at the radio station, Root had managed to figure out how to send a message through Samaritan’s frequency and sent one to Shaw.

Four alarm fire. Shaw was able to receive it, decode it, and decided not to kill herself because Root was still out there trying to get to her. It was what Shaw needed to give her a second wind to get out of Samaritan’s grasp.

Samaritan spoke to Root directly and they began to make a deal. Root offered to surrender if she would be taken to the facility where Shaw was. The deal, before it could be made, was interrupted by Reese who was irritated that she’d offer herself up to Samaritan. It would put their whole operation at risk. So he dragged both her and Max out of danger.

They told Max to hide, to run away and stay down. Max refused, but reluctantly agreed to not mention the code since that would be the thing that put Samaritan’s target on his back.

Finch went to finally visit Fusco in the hospital as the detective was being released. Fusco essentially told Finch he could shove it, because he was done being kept in the dark “for his protection,” which had actually put him at more risk as evident by the explosion. Fusco broke up with Team Machine and brushed past a shocked Finch who didn’t know what to say.

Max decided not to keep his promise and mentioned the code on the air. Of course his viewers called in but they had their own wacky theories about what had happened. The receptionist at the radio station received a message from Samaritan to kill him, so she did. She poisoned him, made it look like a heart attack, and they lost another number. Root claimed that the Machine couldn’t keep people from exercising free will; she had done her part, they had done their’s, and in the end Max had made his choice. Reese seemed unhappy and left, Finch seemed conflicted.

Shaw decided it was time to finally escape.

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