Person of Interest

Yesterday’s episode of ‘Person of Interest’ focused not on the team and their quest to find Shaw but rather on what seems to be Control’s realization that they have no control over Samaritan at all. I believe that we’ve seen a shift from Control being an “enemy’ to now being Team Machine’s biggest ally.

The episode did begin by in a way wrapping up the previous show. A news report told of two masked assailants who broke into the stock exchange and stole surveillance video. So John and Root had gone back in to get Shaw but she was gone by the time they got back in. The real take away from all of this, obviously both John and Root’s gunshot wounds are not all that serious. Root showed no sign of being shot at all, so that must have been a flesh wound she received, and John did show some evidence of being shot, but it wasn’t all that detrimental to what he needed to do.Control-Alt-Delete

The show then shifted over to Control and how it deals with Samaritan and how Samaritan deals with it. But first it starts out with the avatar boy, Gabriel, coming to the White House Chief of Staff to explain that he wants to meet with the President. We’ll ignore how a boy managed to get into that area of the White House undetected. I fail to see how an AI of any type could make security suddenly not do its job, but we’ll go with it. The boy is there and he wants to meet with the President. Of course, the Chief of Staff sees this as just a silly boy who is lost and blows him off but the boy doesn’t leave without giving a few bits of information that will sway the Chief of Staff later.

I found the process of how Control evaluates relevant numbers and acts to be very interesting. Control isn’t as trusting of the computer intelligence that it’s given. Samaritan’s guy said something to the effect of, “When has Samaritan ever been wrong?” And while for all Control knows Samaritan has never been wrong, she still didn’t seem to fully trust the data being given to her. But in the end, she authorized the killing of the supposed terrorists to go ahead.

This is where we get to see Grice and his partner in action. They find out that one of the terrorists is not there and Control tells Samaritan to access the laptop of the missing person. Samaritan refuses. This obviously concerns Control because why would Samaritan block it? Samaritan’s agent states that what’s on the laptop is irrelevant and that they will find the missing terrorist without it. This doesn’t satisfy Control at all and she demands her orders are followed or else she’s going to shut him down. In response, Samaritan goes dark on Control leaving them scrambling. Of course, this is Control’s first glimpse into who really has “control” of the data they’re getting and, in my opinion, the beginning of Control recognizing that Samaritan is dangerous.

Control-Alt-DeleteNext Control heads out to a dead area where she knows Samaritan can’t see her and orders Grice to find the missing terrorist and laptop and not to kill the man but rather take the laptop and see what’s on it. Grice confiscates the laptop but is unable to pull any data from it before it melts itself. Control then realizes that she’s being followed and needs her personal team to conduct this mission.

The surprise is that her personal team was just involved in an accident where two masked assailants crashed into injuring them. For some reason, Control doesn’t recognize that she’s in danger, which I think is a stretch. I think she had to have known that there was some sort of set up happening, but maybe she just assumed it was Samaritan’s people trying to keep an eye on her.

A small but significant interaction happened during this scene, though, in which the Chief of Staff comes in angry  because Control hasn’t told him of action being taken and she basically tells him that they take action all the time and no one knows of it and that by her doing her job she’s stopped over 500 incidents from happening. Kind of puts the Chief of Staff in his place.

While trying to apprehend the missing terrorist John and Root show up and kidnap Control. They take her to interrogate but she’s as hard as a rock to crack which I’m confident the team knew she would be. They ask her where Shaw is because she’s Control and she has access to Samaritan. They find out though that she has no idea what had happened at the Stock Exchange and that Shaw was involved. No amount of threats against her and her child could get any info out of her, other than learning that she’s completely in the dark about Samaritan’s activities.

This is where Harold lets her know about what Samaritan had done, the stock market incident, how Samaritan agents stay off the grid, and tells her that she has no control over any of the information she’s being fed. This seems to solidify in my opinion for Control her already growing suspicions of Samaritan and that it might be “lying” to Control rather than giving good numbers.Control-Alt-Delete

Control gets righteous when her team shows up to save her and Harold response with, “What makes you think we didn’t know they’d be coming?” It’s explained that Harold believes that one of Control’s team is really working for Samaritan, is the eyes and ears for it, and that that agent will be carrying a phone which will be connected to the private network Samaritan uses. He uploads a worm onto this agent’s phone and gets some information that will help them find Shaw.

Control-Alt-DeleteThey leave, but not before John lets Grice live for letting Shaw live. Now to be honest, I do believe that Grice will turn out to be working for Samaritan. He may prove to be part of Samaritan’s downfall though. I think he questions enough but may not fully understand what he works for just yet. And if it isn’t him, it’s his partner.

The episode continues with Control finally tracking down the missing terrorist in Canada. He explains that he was part of a game and was picked to work on what he thought was a start up. Once they finished the coding that they were asked to do, everyone turned up dead. He told Control to think about what he was saying and asked if perhaps he was chosen precisely because of his name and origins?

This is where I think Control has caught on. She knows Samaritan is lying to her, that it’s doing things that are not good, but she can’t let on to it. So she kills the terrorist because that’s the only way to keep her cover.

This is confirmed when she goes to the Stock Exchange to investigate Harold’s claims of the activities the day before and while everything on the surface looks perfect, the wall had wet paint on it, confirming that some larger entity came in and cleaned up the mess before anyone could catch on.

Control, I think, is going to prove to be very useful in the future, which I’m excited to see. I enjoy Control. She’s not a bad person, she’s just doing her job and it’s always been about the job for her. She isn’t immoral, and she doesn’t want to kill innocent people. She takes the data that’s given to her and does what needs to be done to keep the US safe. Now she’s coming to the realization that the data she is being fed may not be accurate or it’s manipulated to further Samaritan’s causes and I believe that really angers her because she’s killing innocent people. But she has to continue to make Samaritan and those around her believe she’s not caught onto anything because she knows full well that once they do, she’ll probably be dead.

Control-Alt-DeleteJohn and Root head off to the last location of a phone that was at the stock exchange, which they believe, will lead them to Shaw. Now whether she’s alive or not is up in the air. Harold believes she’s dead. John and Root are more optimistic and think she’s alive. I don’t know if we’ll ever really know to be honest. With the articles and Sarah Shahi being gone for at least two years to care for her twins, whether she’ll return is up in the air. To be honest, I believe her death will be left for us to ponder about for a long time.

No new episode for two weeks. Hopefully after this two-week break we’ll get a consistent few weeks of shows.