Synopsis for 5×10: Finch’s cover gets blown and the team scrambles to pick up the pieces and get to safety before Samaritan gets to him.
Finch had a conversation with the Machine to kick off this week’s episode as we’re forced to start looking down the line to the final three episodes. He wanted to know one simple thing: were there any simulations or any end games where his friends would survive? The waitress brought him his coffee and spooked him by saying she was glad to see him again, even though he insisted he’d never been there before and quickly took his leave.
He got back to the subway and inquired into how Shaw was doing, and Root explained that she was still struggling with the whole reality vs. simulation issue that Samaritan had put her through. Root changed the subject quickly though and brought up the fact she knew that Harold was going to close the Machine, and eliminate their access to the open system. They argued briefly about it, and Root accused him of having never giving the Machine a name because Finch always knew he’d have to kill it one day. He said that was hardly the case; rather, he hoped that the Machine would name itself, and choose its own voice.
While Reese and Fusco made their way down the street, a payphone rang. The number that came up was Finch’s, and the whole team minus Shaw showed up at his office to retrieve him before the hitmen dispatched to capture him showed up. Somehow his cover as Professor Whistler had been officially blown, and they had to get him to the safe house. When they made it back to the safe house, they realized quickly that everything they knew of might have been blown and Shaw believed it was somehow her fault.
Regardless, the team mobilized and planned to ditch the safe house and make their way to another safe location. Root pulled Finch aside and told him that before he closed the system, she hard coded into the Machine the ability to defend itself. However, he had to be the one to ask her to do it. The Machine would not snap into defense mode without his permission. The team had to split up, so Finch went with Elias to another safe place while Root and Shaw stayed to deal with the agents sent to the safe house, and Reese and Fusco went to check out the security firm behind it all.
Reese and Fusco arrived at “Temporary Resolutions” and requested to speak with a supervisor. That got them into a shoot off when the building was cleared and they were determined to be targets. Elias, meanwhile, took Finch to the very place where Reese had at one time taken Elias to try and save him from the Russians. They weren’t safe for long, however, as Elias tried to get Finch out of the building but found that Samaritan’s men were multiple steps ahead of them.
In a last ditch effort to save Finch, he got shot in the head and Finch was captured and taken to Greer.
Able to find information on the vehicle they’d taken, Reese sent Root and Shaw after them to retrieve Finch. While they did that, the scene flashed to Blackwell who was receiving more instructions that would lead him to a nice little sniper nest. Root was able to get Finch away from Greer and his men, after Greer had informed Finch that they wanted him not to kill him, but to get him to work for Samaritan. Samaritan, by choice or by force, would have Finch as one of his agents.
While Root and Finch were driving to get away they had their last conversation before Root realized Blackwell was up on a balcony and swerved the car to put herself in his line of fire. Critically injured, she continued to drive them straight into a police line where Finch was taken into custody and Root was whisked off to the hospital. Once in custody, they ran Finch’s fingerprints and found them everywhere, on a number of cases over the years. They also found the charge of treason from when he was a young man, the thing that started his entire journey.
He’d told Elias earlier that he always figured he’d end up in jail. He wasn’t wrong.
Face to face with a federal agent, Finch was offered information on Root if he would be willing to talk. They had references to files that supposedly had information on Finch, but most of them led nowhere. The files had been deleted, except the one for treason which an agent had been sent off to get from DC. All they had, too, was Finch’s name, and they wanted to know more. He, naturally, refused, and then began to monologue again, though it seemed like he was talking to the agent.
He explained that he’d played by the rules for so long and it had gotten him nowhere. When the agent countered and said he hadn’t followed the rules at all, Finch corrected him and agreed that he hadn’t followed the agent’s rules, but his own. He’d always tried to be above board, to do what was right by the world and by his own morality. He kept the Machine tucked away when he could have used it to gain ultimate power. Now, though, with everything at risk and in chaos, he told Samaritan that he was ready to do whatever it took to kill the AI.
The agent seemed disconcerted by that, but Finch assured him he wasn’t talking to the agent. No, he was talking directly into the camera, directly to Samaritan. However many rules he had to break, he’d do it to save the world and, ultimately, save his friends.
While waiting to be taken back to holding, the phone beside him rang. He answered and it was Root’s voice, but he discovered quickly it wasn’t Root talking to him. It was the Machine. She’d chosen a voice, and he asked her to get him out of the jail. The Machine did, and Finch disappeared into the stream of prisoners that had managed to escape.
Reese and Shaw showed up on the chaotic scene and were asked to help, but they both realized that Finch was no longer there. Fusco called them to tell them the bad news about Root, who had died as a result of her injuries. With Root gone and Finch in the wind, Reese and Shaw were left to figure out what was next.