Synopsis for 5×08: Shaw works on escaping Samaritan’s grasp while Team Machine gets trapped in a hospital with a super virus.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Finally, after Root’s message of hope, Shaw made the decision to break out of Samaritan’s care. Even though her understanding of reality seems to fluctuate, she still managed to cut her way out of captivity and escape, coming out in a South African prison.

Reese followed the new number of the week, a businessman stopping off at a hospital. He followed him to the hospital and kept an eye on his number who appeared to be quite ill. Somewhere else in town, Jeff Blackwell, Samaritan’s agent from earlier in the season, sat down with his former girlfriend to talk about his new life. He claimed he had a new job and wanted to pick up where they left off, but she said she couldn’t do it again. She couldn’t wait for him to slip and end up in jail again.

Elias remained in the safe house and was approached by Fusco, who told him about Bruce’s death. Naturally, Elias was upset both about the death and about Finch keeping it from him. Fusco proposed that they team up, because he would need Elias’ help to begin to unravel what exactly was happening. Elias agreed, partially no doubt out of a desire for revenge, but also to stick it to Finch.

The number of the week died in the hospital after being given an antiviral for the flu. The hospital administrator claimed that there was nothing wrong with the flu vaccines that had been administered, but there seemed to be something hinky about them, starting with the vials not showing up in the computer system when the nurse searched for it. Finch met up with Reese at the hospital to try and assess the situation.

Fusco used information from Elias to track down a guy who owns a truck service and threw around the old kingpin’s name to get information on the drivers, as the trucks had been redirected for nefarious purposes. He got the information he needed, and it turned out Jeff Blackwell was one of the drivers he wanted to track down.

Speaking of Jeff, he tried to leave the company he was working for when he became suspicious and worried about what they were asking him to do. Samaritan’s agent, tasked with handling Blackwell, convinced him that Jeff was up for a promotion and he’d just need to complete one more job. Unfortunately for him, she didn’t actually give him a choice because she was willing to get him arrested again for doing the work they’d asked him to. He was stuck working for Samaritan.

At the hospital, chaos broke out. It turned out the businessman they’d been following had H1N1 upon arrival, and had been given an antiviral. This mix of the normal flu with H1N1, according to the doctor, had created a very contagious “superflu.” I’m pretty sure that’s not how viruses work, as humanity probably would have died out eons ago if it was, but we’ll go with it. When people in the hospital found out, after it was locked down, chaos broke out.

Shaw managed to get out of the South African prison with a little help from some friends she made along the way, but she ran into Lambert who tried to convince her it was all a simulation. She believed him, or seemed to at least, and since it was a simulation she decided to shoot him. It turned out to be reality, not fantasy, and we had to say goodbye to Lambert as he bled out from the gunshots. That’s what you get for being smug, buddy.

Blackwell’s task was to go into the hospital and inject blood tainted with the super virus into the doctor and nurse on the scene. Fusco, on his tail, showed up at the hospital lock down and charged right in. Finch went to check on the antiviral stash and found the hospital administrator destroying the vials they had in storage. It turned out he worked for Samaritan and had bought into the AI’s ideas about how to manage humanity. He sicced Bear on the dude, though not before he’d already destroyed the vials. It was still satisfying.

During the final confrontation, Blackwell managed to attack the nurse but was kept from injecting the doctor on the scene. Instead, Fusco got stuck with the needle, but thankfully was not injected. Regardless of Blackwell’s failure, he was still considered for promotion and the mission was decided to be a success even though he’d only managed to hit one of his targets.

After the situation at the hospital was cleared up, thanks to an antidote provided by the Machine, and everyone was released, Reese returned to the precinct to check on Fusco. He found his partner packing up his desk. Apparently he’d requested a new partner and a transfer. Not only did he break up with Finch, but he was breaking up with Reese, too, much to Reese’s surprise. Fusco was done being kept in the dark, because the dark was getting people killed and putting him in danger.

Finch confronted Elias about the situation, having figured out that he was the one who was helping detective Fusco. Elias and Finch then had a painful conversation about war requiring sacrifice, and Elias claimed that Finch was actually the most dangerous of all of them. He has the most darkness, even if he refused to see it in himself.

Blackwell returned to his handler and was annoyed that he could have gotten ill. She explained that he couldn’t, because he was a “lead controller,” genetically immune to the avian flu. However, thanks to his mission, Samaritan was going to be able to collect people’s DNA as it had orchestrated the set-up of DNA collection stations in order to “protect” people from diseases like what had been released at the hospital. Naturally it is another way for Samaritan to learn and control people, and could very well lead to the extermination of the weak while maintaining the strong.

Across the world, Shaw realized she was finally free.

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