I have to admit when the episode started, I was prepared for another hour show split into two separate storylines, the irrelevant numbers case and a Samaritan plot. This episode wasn’t like that. Yes, it had a procedural part but was interwoven with the serial arc and it felt much more complete that having two separate storylines. It also lent itself to a tense, action-packed, ‘sit on the end of your seat’ episode, though, for me, the ending left a lot to be desired.
This week’s case was Khan (Aasif Mandvi), a wealthy CEO of a prominent anti-virus software company. He had designed software that was supposedly installed in every device on the planet. As the episode progressed, we saw Khan was being systematically ruined through the release of his personal information, accusations of embezzlement and eventually termination from his job. He was arrested and jailed where attempts are made on his life. All by an unseen entity that wanted the company, or more specifically it’s software, for its own agenda. That entity turned out to be Samaritan and its agenda was to use the software to secretly search for a code exclusive to the Machine. It reasoned that by using this software, it could do searches in the background without the knowledge of the Machine. I’d say that failed as the Machine sent Khan’s number to Reese and Finch so it must have realized what Samaritan was doing from the start.
We of course didn’t know that at the onset so it looked like a very good case of the week with Reese and Finch working together for a change. Fusco was in it too though not as much as I would have liked to see.
At first, Reese was his typical self, trying to save the number despite his own personal safety. But he backed down when it was known the culprit was the evil AI unit. So different from the first few episodes this season where he didn’t care if Samaritan identified him or not. Regardless of the consequences, he wasn’t going to let anyone die on his watch. Unfortunately that wasn’t to happen this time. Khan, in his zealous desire to find the AI unit, ran off and rejected Team Machine’s protection which resulted in his untimely death at Greer’s hand. I had hoped throughout the episode that Khan would live and join Team Machine’s efforts to terminate Samaritan. After all, Khan realized that an AI unit was at fault and had totally destroyed his life so getting revenge on it was a completely plausible scenario. But, alas, that was not to be.
Up until then the episode was highly enjoyable with lots of action, rapid car chases, spectacular car crashes and lots of gunfire. Reese was his old superhero self, taking on large numbers of evil doers to save his charge; very akin to the episodes of the earlier seasons. I loved it when Samaritan cut the power to the jail cameras to hide the death of Khan and turned them back on only to find Khan gone. Score a huge point for Reese!
Add the paradox surrounding Khan’s demise and Root’s mysterious briefcase and you had a good story. Even Root was in on the action and enjoyable especially when she almost took out Martine. I was so rooting for Root then! Finch still didn’t care for her presence and I really can’t blame him for that at all. She is a very unpredictable and dark personality.
At least this time she did seem to be following the Machines directive. She stole a durable security briefcase in a very elaborate plot set up by the Machine. Later, when the Machine felt like it, it gave her the code to open the case after she tried various ways to open it on her own. Was surprised to see it containing what looked like a very valuable Faberge egg, which she proceeded to destroy also at the direction of the Machine. The case she very strategically place on a shelf for use at a later date. Made you think there was more to that case than just the egg! I am assuming that will pay off for the Machine at a later date. Maybe this storyline will lead to the end of Samaritan and Greer. Here’s hoping that’s their plan.
Though it started out strong, the episode’s ending was a disappointment. It turned out to just be another Samaritan filler episode which gave us no new information and has not moved us any closer to the end of the demonic AI unit. The episode just reiterated what we have known from day one, Samaritan is looking for the Machine and is still failing in its attempts. Nothing new here.
It was also a disappointment for Khan to die. He could have been a very valuable asset to the Machine in eliminating Samaritan. And it was sad when circumstances let Martine lived. I wouldn’t have missed her at all! 🙂
A nice sideline to the serial story was the appearance of Zoe Morgan (Paige Turco) again. Her sole purpose in the episode was to tell Reese what we already know. If he keeps seeing Iris, he will be putting her is a lot of danger. Love Reese asking Zoe if she was jealous! 🙂 Typical male response but so nice to see John does have a human side. And Zoe’s response was dead on. She wasn’t jealous of Iris; she was protecting her and at the same time trying to protecting Reese from making a mistake he will regret forever. She knows Reese would be guilt ridden, more so than he already is, if he causes the death of Iris, or any innocent person really, and as Zoe said, their lives don’t allow for personal relationships. And Zoe is right. All we have to do is remember what happened to Jessica and Grace. Reese and Finch accepted the vigilante/hero calling when they took on the responsibility for the irrelevant numbers. For as long as they are willing to be those heroes, they have to avoid personal relationships. And yes the ‘real’ Reese knows that. In fact the ‘real’ Reese wouldn’t have gotten involved with Iris in the first place for those very same reasons. And it’s those same reasons why the ‘real’ Reese gave up Jessica in the first place. But like so many times in the past, the writers are NOT being true to their character. As I said before, I hope they are not going to go down the grief- stricken guilt path again. Been there, done that. It is time to end the Iris story on a positive note and move on.
While I was glad to see Reese and Finch working together again, I was NOT happy to see Finch had not confided in Reese about Root’s actions regarding Beth. Doubt Reese would have asked Finch to call Root if he knew she had almost caused Finch’s death. Reese and Finch need to be a united front to succeed in whatever they do and keeping secrets from each other is not the way to go about it.
I did like seeing Reese express concern for Finch by trying to get him to be better able to defend himself. Reese’s statement that he won’t always been there was scary and sad to hear, but it was mainly for shock value. As long as the show in on air, Reese will be on it. If there is no Reese, there are no fans and there is no series. Period!
It was also a disappointment to see the writers had forgotten that Finch had already agreed to handle guns, despite his aversion to them, early in season one. As against it as he was, he ask Reese to show him how to shoot so he could help protect Reese in the irrelevant cases. That is what their friendship was like in the earlier days of the series. And that is what is so sad to have lost. Interesting enough, Reese declined his offer. He didn’t want to put Finch in any more danger. They were a team and each was concerned for the others safety. We don’t see that relationship much anymore and that is sad. Not the direction the series should have taken. They definitely need to go back to what they were, as much as possible anyway. Reese and Finch need to be the tight core Team machine revolves around and that is just not happening this season.