“Person of Interest” recap (4.12): Desperately Seeking Sameen

This is a tricky recap to write. For one thing, I’m still really unhappy about Shaw’s exit. I don’t want to gloss over it, but I don’t want it to take over the recap, so I guess consider it noted. For another, I’m meant to focus on #2SAM2FURIOUS and obviously one of our Sams did not appear this week—yet at the same time there’s so much I want to talk about from the episode in general! But I am here for Shaw and Root, so I will do my best to stick to them.

In that interest, a few quick points about the episode in general! I think the episode as a whole handled Control brilliantly. Watching the dawn of her understanding that the world has shifted so completely around her that she became irrelevant without even knowing it was truly exciting, especially because I find her self-satisfied, myopic certainty infuriating even as I sympathize with it. (I mean, accepting the truth would upend everything for her. It’s understandable why she’d reject it. But also, as Finch said: you foolish woman.) I particularly loved her confrontation with Said, the “terrorist” from Dearborn: that one brief exchange illuminated so much about Samaritan’s work behind the scenes as well as calling out the American security establishment’s racial profiling. (I’m really bummed about Said for how briefly we knew him. Poor guy.) Also, having her do the introductory voice-over was great; I always love it when they mess with the opening credits.

I don’t love the return of the Samaritan kid, who is completely incongruous in the White House (I have to assume this is on purpose?), though having that visual in mind helped make Samaritan’s childishness funnier.  I am convinced that when it texted Control “STOP IT. NOW.” it was deliberately mimicking her own words to the “Samaritan representative” in the Ops Room earlier. What a delightful little shit. 

Finally: Grice’s partner—the blonde assassin who isn’t Martine, you know?—sucks. SHE SUCKS. The actress is clearly trying to channel Shaw, and she is failing spectacularly. GIVE HER THE HOOK.

snipe“Glad we had this talk.” Oh, shut up.. I served with Sameen Shaw, I knew Sameen Shaw, Sameen Shaw was a friend of mine, and you, madam, are no Sameen Shaw.

On to the main event!

So, as expected, Root was on the warpath this episode. (Root and I are usually in total agreement when it comes to anything to do with Shaw, so this makes sense.) Surprisingly, much of the rampage took place more or less off-screen and in the background as the episode focused on Control. While I can imagine many of you are disappointed, I really enjoyed this choice, as after a while, endless montages of various permutations of Team Machine rampaging can risk becoming formulaic. (And exploring Control was so interesting! But that’s not our concern.)

I’ll admit that I would have liked to see more of Root and Reese working together; that’s not a dynamic we’ve seen much of. It seems that her long-standing contempt for Finch’s “Neanderthal” has dissipated of late, but we can’t really tell for sure. The kind of unity and rapport they demonstrated in the latter half of the episode, after they bagged Control, seems new for them. I like it very much, this banding together, and of course it makes sense after losing Shaw—I just wouldn’t have minded seeing it explored a little more. 

When we finally get a good look at Root up close, it’s just after she and Reese have spectacularly derailed Control’s mission:

doubleHahaha holy shit whaaaaaaaat?!

And it’s evident that while Root is putting on a good face—keeping it together to find Shaw—she’s not quite herself, either. “Hope you liked our rocket; we were saving it for a special occasion” is typical Root, but it’s lacking just a tiny bit of her usual verve. My poor darling assassin is so distraught :(((