“Honor Among Thieves” really didn’t hold my interest as much as previous episodes have. It also didn’t do much to move the main plot along although a few new ideas were introduced. The POI for this week was a jewel thief betrayed by members of his own team, a concept that isn’t really very new, in fact the whole idea is really very old. While the introduction of a pandemic virus in place of the jewels is an interesting twist, the characters are just not deep enough to make an old story feel new.
Shaw takes the lead in this case from Reese basically because of her attraction to the jewel thief Thomas. The obvious sexual innuendo that she trades back and forth with Thomas makes her appear shallow in many ways and adds nothing new to her character. At least she seems to have gotten rid of her cover of jewel thief along with her past criminal cronies in this episode. I guess the Machine will have to come up with a new one for her in the future.
As the case progresses, we find Thomas is indeed a victim and needs to be saved from both his criminal partners and the government, i.e. Samaritan, as it has sent its own team to recover the virus. This team includes Devin, one of Shaw’s former trainees, an individual who is more loyal to Shaw than Control another concept that is not new. That devotion allows Shaw to escape with Thomas and the virus and Devin’s partner is none the wiser. But Samaritan is. Even though Devin attempted to delete the video feed pertaining to Shaw we see in the end Samaritan is restoring it which hints at something not healthy for Shaw in the future.
It was also interesting that the new relevant team introduced contained personalities very similar to Shaw and her former partner; one sociopath who murders indiscriminately in the name of government and one person with an obvious conscience and concern for people. I fully expect to see them again as the relevant and irrelevant cases are overlapping frequently now. And the more the team challenges Samaritan, the more the overlaps will occur.
I also found it interesting that though Finch has obviously entered the superhero realm, he saw no problem with backing off the hunt for the virus when he realized the government considered it relevant and has sent its own team to take care of the problem. He must have realized by now that the government teams kill first and ask questions later which would’ve meant the total elimination of Thomas and his cronies, not to mention Samaritan would then have a viral agent in its arsenal. The teams endeavor has always been to save everyone, even the bad guys, and once again we see that while Finch has been adamant about not killing, he has no problem with the government killing people if it suits their purpose. Thomas may be a criminal and he may steal, but is also a human being with a conscience and doesn’t deserve to be killed indiscriminately. The government portrayed in the show doesn’t distinguish between relevant and irrelevant and with Samaritan now in control what little legality the government may have is going to be circumvented to achieve Samaritan’s ends.
I’m very glad that Reese and Shaw realized that this virus doesn’t even belong in the hands of the government. I totally agree. I would have preferred to see Finch not question that at all and especially with his “no kill policy” that should’ve been upper most in his agenda especially when he knows Samaritan is now, for all intents and purposes, the government.
However, this is not the only mission going on in this episode. Finch and Root are on a mission to thwart another one of Samaritan’s endeavors. Samaritan has placed a new governor in power, a puppet through which it plans on controlling society. Through that office it can explore various aspects in society, and when it discovers a philanthropist whose goal is to help children perform better in school through advanced technology, it infiltrates the system adding software of its own to the tablets.
To Finch and Root this is an attempt by Samaritan to influence values and subconscious thoughts in the children in favor of Samaritan. The philanthropist involved has no knowledge of Samaritan or its deceitful ways and is truly devastated when Finch destroys the tablets. In the process, Finch reads some of the lines of code in the added software and afterward isn’t sure Samaritan was attempting to be devious at all. Now Finch is back to wondering about his own actions and the results they yield.
For Finch the lines between good and bad are blurring, a fact seen earlier in the episode when he was willing to allow a potentially lethal virus to fall into the hands of Samaritan. I personally disapprove of portraying Finch in such a light. His whole purpose, his reason for getting involved was to protect people, and whether it’s a POI or society, that purpose hasn’t changed. Finch has chosen to be a superhero along with the other team members and as such should understand that with the looming menace of Samaritan the only way to do good it to work outside the box. Finch needs to accept that anything Samaritan is involved in is evil and needs to be challenged. His second-guessing himself is not going to help him or the team at all.
For some unknown reason the writers have chosen to back step on Finch’s character. The strong, self-assured professional character they portrayed in the earlier seasons has been altered. The weak, whiny, insecure person they have now is just not to my liking. At this stage in the game, Finch should not be questioning his purpose, his abilities or his allies. He has good instincts, values and qualities or he wouldn’t have become a huge financial success, built a machine that has humanity as a priority, or acquired Reese as a partner. And he certainly wouldn’t have Grace as the love of his life. I hope the writers get the old Finch back as soon as possible.
On a lighter note, love Fusco and Bear. Fusco is always there for the group, putting his life on the line and delivering his humorous comments that break up the drama at just the right moment. He and Reese and Bear make a GREAT team! Hope we see LOTS more of them in the future. 🙂