Shaw is back!
Root and Shaw
Nothing. At. All.
Person of Interest blows fans away with masterful Shaw centric episode
Shaw is back. We’ve all waited for what seems like an eternity for fan favorite Sameen Shaw (Sarah Shahi) to return to Person of Interest. In episode “6,741,” we finally got our wish. In the highly anticipated episode that aired Monday night on CBS, Shaw made her return after months away from the team. Never one to shy away from experimental episodes, POI certainly lived up to its, “expect the unexpected” mantra.
The opening shot of “6,741” was one that fans of the show couldn’t wait for. Sameen Shaw opened her eyes. We now officially know she is alive, although (not so well), in a hospital bed surrounded by Samaritan operatives. After having been prodded and implanted with a chip designed to control her thoughts and ideas, Shaw fought back (in a way only Shaw can) and escaped, but not before shooting Lambert (Julien Ovenden) in the stomach. While searching for tools and a way to reach her team machine cohorts, she wound up in a store only to unexpectedly run into Root (Amy Acker).
After being reunited with the rest of the team, we realize Shaw is truly only happy to see Root. While she clearly missed Finch (Michael Emerson) and Reese, (Jim Caviezel) she harbors resentment for them as she believes they gave up on finding her. Root assigns herself to watch over Shaw (and by watch over I mean sleep with). Shaw informs Root that all of Samaritan scars are internal rather than physical, furthering the realization that Shaw is not okay. There is clearly a deep connection between the two characters that goes beyond anything we’ve seen before.
The next morning at a diner, Reese asks Root if Shaw seems different to her. Team Machine doesn’t know if they can truly trust Shaw anymore because of what she’s been through. Unbeknownst to Root, Shaw tailed her and demands to know what they really think about her return, and assures them they can trust her, by threatening to take down Samaritan. They manage to kidnap Greer (John Nolan) and bring him to a church. While there, Shaw breaks under the constant pressure from Greer and ends up shooing him. Shaw can’t shake the heartbreaking thought that she’s been turned into something and someone she’s not by Samaritan.
In the first true clue that something was amiss in this episode, Reese tries to get Shaw to relax by taking her for coffee. Before they can make it there, Shaw shoots and kills him. While a possible reaction to her trauma, the thought of Shaw shooting Reese just felt off. Shaw then goes to find Root. In the most heartbreaking moments of the entire series, we see Shaw break down as she holds a gun on Root. Completely incapable doing anything to harm Root, Shaw shoots herself after confessing her feelings for her.
At the very end of the episode, Shaw wakes back up in Samaritan’s hospital and we realize the entire episode was a simulation. An intense, heartbreaking look in Shaw’s psyche and her true feelings about Team Machine. How will she come back from this?
Root and Shaw Reunion..
Okay, while its true Root and Shaw didn’t ACTUALLY reunite in “6,741,” we’ve waited over a year to see Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi perform together again so, it counts. In one of the most anticipated moments in Person of Interest’s history, we waited with bated breath as lovelorn Root finally laid eyes on Shaw, the clear love of her life. Root had been searching for her for months without wavering in her conviction that Shaw would be found. The moment Root saw Shaw again for the first time, we couldn’t help but feel so many things about the duo. Root tells Shaw:
“I never stopped looking for you.”
Their insane chemistry jumped off the screen as Shaw seemed to warm up to Root rather quickly despite always deflecting her advances in previous episodes. Although it was evident that something was clearly wrong with Shaw due to her different demeanor and even the ease with which she opened up to Root, the connection between to two was palpable. Root chose to focus on Shaw and her feelings rather than the clear warning signs that something was up. In a moment that fans of SHOOT (Shaw and Root) had been pulling for, the two finally made love in an insanely passionate, beautiful scene that permeated with a sense of desperate longing for each other. While the scene was incredible and the fans appreciated it, this episode was never about that. It was always about something more. This episode was Shaw’s love letter to Root. For years, Person of Interest has been playing the “do they, don’t they” in regards to whether or not Root and Shaw loved each other. When we’re finally let in on the secret that the entire episode is actually a simulation, we realize that in the 6,741 attempts Samaritan made to break Shaw, they never could. Why? Because no matter what they threw at her or forced her to try to believe, Shaw held on to Root. At the end of simulation when Shaw begins to break down with her gun drawn at Root and she says that she can’t live like this anymore, she admits:
“When things got to be too bad there was one place I’d go in my mind. Here… With you. You were my safe place.
(I’m not crying. You’re crying.) Shaw then says she can’t hurt Root and turns the gun on herself, pulling the trigger and ending the simulation. 6,741 times. 6,741 times Shaw killed herself in order to save Root. 6,741 times a self diagnosed sociopath cared so much for a reformed serial killer for hire that she deemed her, her safe place. So, did Root and Shaw actually reunite yet? No. Dis 6,741 prove that they love each other without a shadow of a doubt? Absolutely.
So, who makes the Emmy’s and could you please hand deliver one to Sarah Shahi? “6,741” wasn’t just a stand out episode for Shaw, it was a stand out for Shahi as well. Shaw has always been a pretty bad ass, feisty, and intriguing character to watch, but Sarah’s performance in this episode elevated it so much that it has now joined the ranks as one of the best episodes of the entire series. Every time Shaw tweaked out because of the chip in her head and her completely disintegrating mental state, our jaws hit the floor because of how engrossed we became. She was even able to layer moments of subtle comedy into a dramatic episode:
“John’s a professional dick…”
If you didn’t get kicked in the feels when normally reserved, emotionless, and resilient Sameen Shaw broke down in front of Root at the end of the simulation, you my friend, do not have feelings. Shahi’s mind-boggling talent left us breathless. While it absolutely sucked that Shahi had to step away from Person of Interest for so long (congrats on the babies!) her return delivered so much more than anything we could have hoped for. While there’s only a few episodes left of the series, just knowing that she is back sends shivers of excitement down our backs for what’s to come. And next time you (rightfully) mention Acker and Emerson as master class in acting, make sure you include Shahi in your discussion.
Root never gave up
Enough can’t be said for how brilliantly Amy Acker plays Root. Another week, another reason to praise one of the most unique characters on television. Person of Interest doesn’t apologize for its bad ass, strong, and multi-faceted female characters. Nor should it. Although it’s a simulation, “6,741,” shows Root’s continued devotion and admiration for her love Shaw. Despite Shaw being visibly broken from what she’s endured at the hands of Samaritan, Root refuses to believe that they can’t work through it, together. Root displays more genuine emotion with just her eyes than most characters can do with their words. In a truly moving moment, Root looks at Shaw and says:
“Somewhere in your sociopathic heart you know we belong together.”
Person of Interest fans have waited for over a year to see just how Root would react to seeing Shaw again, and while we can’t wait for it to actually happen outside of a simulation; Acker’s heartfelt, nuanced, and heartbreaking performance in the episode left us floored. These characters deserve a happy ending. Will they get it? Highly unlikely. Will we hope and pray that they do anyway? You can bet on it.
“6,741” Final Verdict: One of the best episodes to date
“6,741” was undoubtedly one of the best episodes of Person of Interest to date. Lucas O’Connor and Denise The’ delivered a stellar script that was acted so beautifully by the entire cast, you didn’t want to turn away even for a moment. Chris Fisher consistently directs masterful episodes and “6,741” was no exception. From start to finish you’re taken on an emotional journey that leaves you happy, sad, angry, heartbroken, excited, confused, shocked, and most importantly desperate for more. Words can’t really do “6,741” much justice. So, do yourself a favor and watch again… 20 more times. We’ll wait.
- How will Shaw react when she’s actually back with the team?
- I’ve read how tastefully the crew of Person of Interest filmed the love scene.. well done.
- Definite Emmy consideration worthy episode.
Person of Interest 5×04: “6,741” Review