6,741 and SHOTSEEKER Episode Diagnostic | The Machine Age | Person of Interest Season 5
An emotional couple of episodes this week for Team Machine and Person of Interest! Season 5 continues to careen by with lightening speed.
SHAW IS BACK in 6,741. Even if she isn’t truly reunited with the team yet, her return is heralded by some serious carnage, as is both right and good. Her presence has been greatly missed – especially when she breaks out of prison using the patented Shaw Smash.
Shaw’s real life counterpart, Sarah Shahi, left the show last year on maternity leave. Her absence was felt by audiences certainly, but also by the other characters in the ensemble (look no further than Root moping around the subway this season). Shaw’s story in Season 5 is dark – she’s been imprisoned, tortured, and made to kill her friends again and again via VR simulation. The VR reveal came as somewhat of a twist (Shaw killing Reese was tough to buy though it was treated with a lot of weight).
Shahi’s performance is always memorable, but here she’s in fine form. Shaw’s sarcasm allowed for some much needed humor – love her wiping the blood from her hands onto the shirt of a store clerk. Even in the darkest times, Shaw still manages to hold onto your requisite wry humor.
SHOOT fans, let’s get to it: Root and Shaw. Happening. The outwardly unrequited love from Root finally receives some attention – the sequence played out the two characters’ continuing power struggle as each vied for who was in control of things. As we faded out, it looked like no one was in control.
Speaking of Shaw’s love, Amy Acker’s eyes did a lot of work this episode. In the love scene, the morning after, they are heartsick when Reese asks if Shaw is acting strangely, and they are filled with emotion during the heartbreaking scene on the playground, when she says she and Shaw, “belong together.” In the final part of Shaw’s VR experience, she takes her own life instead of killing Root at that playground (which may or may not be an actual part of Shaw’s backstory).
This episode’s story was a mirage, so there were no big plot developments of note, other than showing us how frightening Samaritan is when wielded by John Nolan’s dry hand. Even though technically events in 6,741 weren’t real, the emotions were. Shaw earnestly confessed that thinking about Root was her “safe place” that kept her from breaking. Shaw’s character is transforming as a result of the experience and I can’t wait to see where that takes her through the rest of the season and her eventual overthrow of her captors.
It was fun being in Shaw’s head – dealing with blackouts, waking up with deadly items, plus, within Samaritan’s virtual world, we watched scenes involving characters who weren’t Shaw, between Greer and Lambert, Reese and Root. All for the benefit of Shaw – a totally real, perfectly made world.
A solid Shaw episode – one we’ll be watching alongside If-Then-Else on into the post POI era. Person of Interest followed up the stellar 6,741 with ShotSeeker, an entry that pushes the team even more toward darkness as they continue to fight a losing war against Samaritan. Enter: Ethan Garvin.
Ethan’s number pops up and we find he is an analyst with the NYPD’s Real Time Crime Center. He uses a program called ShotSeeker to tap into audio surveillance and monitors for gunshots. Important to point out that a human, Garvin, is responsible for varifying ShotSeeker’s results — sophisticated tech still requires a human eye and hand.
Reese tails Gavin to a Columbia University apartment building and sees him setting off fire crackers in the empty apartment’s fireplace. It’s revealed that ShotSeeker registered gunshots there previously, then determined it a false alarm, while Garvin’s data confirmed actual shots. Now he’s investigating.
In other news, Fusco watches his son play hockey and runs into Elias’ friend, Bruce Moran, who wants to know about Elias’ death. He threatens Fusco’s son but realizes Fusco actually doesn’t know anything and and he needs to talk to Reese.
Fusco’s frustration due to this and other experiences carries over from the season premiere – he wants to be in the loop. At this point, Finch has to realize they can use all of the help they can get, and they’re only slowing themselves down by continuing to keep Fusco iced out.
Reese and Fusco dust up over Bruce – you get the feeling this conversation is not over. Fusco continues the investigation and they discover a conspiracy involving the CEO of a nonprofit. Fusco tells the guy he won’t get away with it: “..but this is New York City, pal.”
When Finch and Garvin leave the nonprofit, Samaritan basically sets Garvin up for suicide by cop using Shotseeker. Luckily, Fusco saves him and they get away, but not before more people have to die for Samaritan’s agenda. In a piece of nice editing, Reese chases after the gunman, Fusco gets the cops and Finch puts the pieces together about Samaritan’s involvement all happen simultaneously, which provides the episode an adrenaline jolt. The gunman escapes in a gray van driven by Jeff Blackwell, the operative we met in SNAFU. Reese loses them, but soon other men show up and knock him out.
BOOM. Reese got Reesed. Season 5 propels onward through next week with 3 new episodes! A More Perfect Union airs Monday at 10 PM, QSO airs Tuesday at 9 PM, and Reassortment airs Tuesday at 10 PM.
Check out the preview for A More Perfect Union below:
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