Synopsis for 5×13: Team Machine makes their final stand against Samaritan, and win.

Rating: ★★★★★

We left off last week with Finch dealing with the aftermath of releasing Ice-Nine into the system. He and the Machine had a discussion on a roof top, her systems failing as a result of the virus. She cannot tell the present from her own memories, and they have eight and a half minutes until whatever final event is going to happen, happens. Finch asked her if, after watching people, she learned anything, and she said she remembered that everyone dies alone, but she can’t remember the rest.

Shaw stopped off to visit Root’s grave, and the Machine tipped her off about Samaritan agents in route. She made it free. Reese and Fusco went to the precinct to try and find information on Finch. They got called out by the Captain, tried to make a break for it, and ended up walking straight into the full force of the NYPD which took them into custody. On Samaritan’s request (with a lot of money backing it), officers took them out to kill them.

Thankfully Finch showed up at the right time, a sniper hired by Thornhill Industries taking out the officers who aimed to harm Reese and Fusco. They would live to fight another day.

In a flashback, Finch recalled a conversation he had with Grace. The birth of his bird names were revealed. His father used to take him out because he was a fussy baby and the only thing that would soothe Finch was to watch the birds. So, because he wanted to teach his son about them, his father learned about the birds and taught Finch the names.

Back to the rooftop, the Machine discussed what she had to learn about people. She had to look at death and see what it could tell her about people and how they lived. Finch hadn’t given the Machine the ability to understand despair, so she had to teach herself. She heard something during that time, which helped it all make sense, but she couldn’t remember anything except “everyone dies alone…”

Saved from death, Reese and Finch took Fusco down to the subway to introduce him to the Machine. Shaw managed to get there, too, and the team was back together for the last fight. The Machine told Shaw to give Finch a copy of her core code, and he and Reese took the code to go and try to find where Samaritan’s backup copy was stored. Fusco and Shaw stayed behind to defend the subway.

It turned out Samaritan was stashed in the Federal Reserve, far underground in a vault. Finch managed to bully his way in claiming his briefcase had a thermal-nuclear weapon and scared the security guard away from fighting it. He asked him to clear the building, leaving the way free for Reese and Finch to make their way down to the vault to destroy Samaritan’s backup servers.

Shaw and Fusco prepared to ward off Samaritan’s agents in the subway, but not before making the subway mobile so they could make a quick getaway. Apparently Root and Finch’s late night adventures in making the subway automated were part of the plan all along. One hell of an exit strategy.

Unfortunately for them they didn’t make quite a clean getaway. Jeff Blackwell, our friend from earlier in the season who had been seduced by Samaritan, appeared and managed to clip Shaw. They got him down, and continued on their journey.

Reese and Finch continued to make their way into the bank vault. The Machine had to leave them briefly due to the amount of gold in the vault blocking the signal. Finch hooked up his computer and took a bullet, Reese jumping into action to defend the vault while Finch kept trying to deal with Samaritan.

It turned out Samaritan, even with Finch’s efforts, managed to push out a small compressed version of itself out into the world. It got its code out to a building in midtown, hidden and saved, ready to be transmitted to a satellite  for safe keeping.

After the transmission, Samaritan would send a cruise missile into the building in order to keep anyone from being able to reach it with the virus. The Machine called Finch and told him that someone would have to get to the building and transmit the last copy of the virus to destroy Samaritan before it could be uploaded to the satellite.  The trick: whoever goes up on that rooftop wouldn’t be able to get back down. With that in mind, Finch locked Reese in the bank vault and took on the project himself.

He made his way across town, still bleeding from his gunshot, stopped temporarily in Times Square with Samaritan’s final plea to stop. Finch was unmoved and claimed he “helped bring you (Samaritan) into this world, now I’m going to help usher you out.”

On the subway, Fusco and Shaw dealt with Blackwell. Shaw, tempted to kill him, was stayed by the Machine because they had more important things to deal with. They had to get off at the next stop, so for the moment Shaw let Blackwell live even though he was the one who killed Root. The Machine did impart one piece of knowledge to Shaw, something that Root wanted to say to her: even though Shaw always believed there was something wrong with her, Root believed it was what made her beautiful. If she were a shape, she would be an arrow.

Blackwell made one last stand before they got off the subway and stabbed Fusco, but they managed to get Fusco off the train.

Once again on the roof top, Finch waited for the missile with the Machine. Then he realized he was on the wrong building. Reese and the Machine had a deal. Reese would be the one to upload the virus. He explained that he and the Machine had a longstanding arrangement regarding Finch’s safety. If it came down to his life over Reese’s, it would be Reese who had to make the sacrifice. There was no stopping Reese who said saving a single life, the right life, was enough.

Reese didn’t stand a chance.

The Machine remembered the whole saying, the one she had struggled with since the start. There was an officer who said something she remembered, that made death make sense:

“Sure, everyone dies alone. But if you mean something to someone, if you help someone, or love someone, if even a single person remembers you, then maybe you never really died at all.”

Reese died on the top of the building, the Machine explaining that in order to understand people she had to go and find why they did what they did in life. She found Reese as a child, standing at his father’s grave, mourning a man who had rushed back into hell to pull four other men out and lost his life for it. That was Reese’s core code, birthed from despair.

His mission was a success, and the Machine’s virus was uploaded to destroy Samaritan’s core once and for all. Fusco and Shaw got to safety as the Machine as they knew her died, but the world was rescued.

Shaw got her revenge on Blackwell then went to meet Fusco, revealing that both of them had survived the chaos. Bear survived, too, of course. She took Bear and they parted ways, at least for the time being. Then, back in the subway, the baby Machine came back to life. She was restored, and the remnants of the old Machine began to teach it what it would need to know to protect people.

Finch traveled across the world and was reunited with Grace in the end.

Somewhere in New York City, a phone rang, because the numbers never stop coming.

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