Person of Interest Season 5 | The Machine Age | A MORE PERFECT UNION, QSO, and REASSORTMENT Episode Diagnostic
Season 5 kicks into high gear with not two, but three new episodes. It’s an interesting viewing experience watching this way – these pockets of episodes play like smaller chapters, propelling the plot onward in spurts. The speed renders the proceedings more ominous – the characters have never faced a bleaker prospect than that which faces them in the remaining story for the season. It feels like CBS is speeding Team Machine to their doom.
But in the present there is much joy, even in these bleak times. In fact, the crucible of Samaritan is showing us new, delightful flavors for the characters, like broken Shaw, Reese’s new clarity of vision regarding friendship, Finch’s parenting blindspots with the Machine, and Root’s poignant loneliness without Shaw (Acker’s doe eyes continue to break our hearts oy). Whatever end befalls our favs, Season 5 is giving us a lot to enjoy when the show goes to Netflix Heaven.
A MORE PERFECT UNION finally provided a meaty number story plus fun character development from the Team. The Machine’s sense of humor sends Finch a marriage license number – so Reese puts on formal wear. Finch sends John to the hotel to protect the bride and her bridal party but finds them one stripper deep at the bachelorette. John has an awkward time and Caviesel hams it up in the tux appropriately.
Finch initially tries to ditch Root on his way to attend a wedding as Uncle Ralph, an estranged alcoholic uncle from Ireland (comment below – I didn’t understand why Harold wouldn’t want Root on this mission). Cut to Root sadly sitting with Bear, eating a sandwich, flipping through a wedding magazine. The payphone rings and the Machine puts Root in the game.
The Team realizes after some shenanigans that they need to find the photographer, a wedding version of surveillance, but are surprised by a Root in caterer’s clothing, conveniently toting an unconscious photographer.
The investigation is interrupted when Uncle Ralph is called to the stage to sing a number for the guests – apparently, the groom used to hear stories growing up about the singing talents of Uncle Ralph. This episode seems to be about following your nature, rather than fighting it, so Finch warbles out We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister as if it were an Irish sea shanty. POI gold nuggets.
We learn photographer Maggie is the victim and the family’s older sister Karen, the perpetrator. Maggie learned that Phoebe was doping horses so they could still race even when injured by accidentally catching it on camera. Because of this Karen has been trying to kill her. Luckily for Phoebe, Root is ever the gallant knight, riding in on horseback to save the collective bacon.
After, the team goes to the wedding reception. Root asks Harold for the last dance and confronts him about the Machine’s utter defeat by Samaritan and implores him again to open the system.
The song ends and they rejoin John, now sitting at their table with a top shelf bottle of bourbon he stole from the wine cellar. He pours and they drink. Our little Team Machine family, missing some members. They watch the people around them, blissfully ignorant of the war being waged for their privacy, their lives, their freedom. But a normal life was never in the cards for this motley crew.
Speaking of missing family members, Shaw is still Samaritan’s prisoner, but she won’t break, not even after so many simulations. Greer is now working an angle with her where he shows how Samaritan is the good guy, but it’s just fodder for Sarah Shahi’s dry humor. We’ve been missing that Shaw sarcasm.
Finally Shaw meets the avatar of Samaritan, a young boy who’s ready for his own Children of the Corn sequel, in terms of creep factor.
And Finch tries to enlist Fusco for the wedding mission, but he’s fed up with Harold’s continued refusal to let him in on the full Machine story. Plus he’s investigating all the missing persons in the wake of Samaritan’s mercenary strategies. This takes him to an abandoned building where he finds basically every body from this season, including a newly dead Bruce Moran. Sorry, Bruce. The building unexpectedly blows and the best thing about CBS burning off Season 5 so quickly is that Fuscoe’s status wasn’t a question mark for too long.
Stay tuned to Hollywood Redux for MORE Person of Interest The Machine Age coverage as we careen toward the series end. Subscribe below to get updates before Samaritan spies.