Harold threatens Samaritan
Car chase scenes
Root and Shaw
The lose of Root.
The lose of Elias.
Person of Interest completely breaks our hearts in 100th episode
Your life can change in an instant. That’s the notion with which the milestone 100th episode of Person of Interest opened. Harold (Michael Emerson) is sitting alone at a cafe having a conversation with The Machine about whether or not his friends make it out of this war with Samaritan alive when out walks the waitress and she appears to recognize him. He plays it off as though he’s never been to the cafe before and leaves as quick as he can.
Back at the subway, Root (Amy Acker) questions why Harold is choosing to close The Machine. She believes it makes them sitting ducks and tells him that he never gave it a name or voice because:
“You don’t name something you may have to kill.”
With a beautiful response Finch says:
“I imagined one day that it might wish to choose one for itself.”
And with that, Harold closes the system.
In a crazy twist of fate, Harold’s number comes up right as he closes The Machine. Due to his moment at the cafe, his cover has been blown. Team Machine meets at the safe house to come up with a plan to keep Harold safe from harm. Elias (Enrico Colantoni) decides to help in the efforts by getting Finch underground. Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Fusco (Kevin Chapman) decide to go out on the heels of a Samaritan lead while Root and Shaw (Sarah Shahi) stay in the safe house to kick ass and take names. Being the genius that she is, Root tells Harold that she’s installed a way for The Machine to defend itself, however, Finch must activate the defense.
In a blast from the past, Elias takes Harold to the high rises he’s first introduced in back in season one. Meanwhile, Shaw and Root finally got to spend some alone time together while Root opened up about her feelings. Root tells Shaw she finally feels like she belongs somewhere because of Team Machine.. and her. In a very brief, but long over due moment of affection, the two hold hands.
Back at the high-rise, Samaritan operatives have found Harold and Elias, in a quick but sad moment, Elias is shot in the head and killed for protecting Harold. Loyalty above all. Good man, Elias. The operatives take Harold to Greer (John Nolan) who says he wants Harold to work for him. When Harold says no, Greer has Finch taken away to prison.
Did you really think Root and Shaw would let that happen? Not a chance. They intercept Finch and take down all of Samaritans operatives. Root flirts with Shaw for the entire gun fight and philosophically explains why simulations and real life are like the same thing and nothing really matters.
“If we’re just information, just noise in the system, we might as well be a symphony.”
Root and Shaw are the most beautiful symphony. Shaw agrees to stay behind and fend off more gun fire as Root and Harold escape. Root is injured in the fight but manages to pull off one the best action sequences the show has ever produced. Chillin out of the sunroof of the car, while steering with her foot, yes her foot, Root pulls out a gigantic gun and shoots the car chasing them causing it to crash and blow up. Down the road another Samaritan operative we know and hate, Jeff Blackwell (Joshua Close) is waiting with a sniper rifle. Root sees him just in time and lunges in front of Harold, taking a bullet for him. All together now… NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Finch is arrested and Root is taken to the hospital, unconscious.
Finch, while waiting in interrogation, finally threatens to fight back. He tells Samaritan that he’s done playing by the rules. He will kill it. Finch then receives a phone call, from Root. Rather, the machine’s chosen new voice because Root died from her injuries. (Seriously, read on because I have a lot to say about that). Finch asks if she can get him out of the prison and she shuts the power.
Reese and Shaw show up at the jail. Fusco calls and informs Reese of Root’s death. He turns to Shaw and she instantly knows the love of her life is gone. In Shaw form, she says nothing but immediately wonders why Harold’s number came up. Harold was never the victim… he was the perpetrator.
I can’t believe I just wrote those words. Goodbye, Root. “The Day The World Went Away” is a fitting title for an episode of Person of Interest that left fans feeling lost, upset, enraged, and heartbroken. Root died. It sounds so surreal. It feels surreal to write. Days later and I still don’t believe it. Some may say, “she was just a character on a show.” Those people would be wrong. Root was so much more than just another character on a show. She was a force of nature, she was a badass, she was an inspiration, and she was so unique. She was a woman who knew what she wanted and had the strength to fight for it at any cost. She was brilliant; both in her genius hacker ways and with people. For many, she was a guiding light that gave them something to hold onto in dark times. I read the comments on social media and I’m right there with you all. Root was and always will be special… and she deserved better. In a few unbelievably rushed moments in the latest POI episode, Root was shot and killed. That was it. No goodbye scene, no moment to grieve, just gone. After taking a bullet to protect Harold and passing out in the car, we found out later that she died alone in the hospital. Nothing hurts more for the fans than knowing she was alone. For a character that came onto the show and elevated it to a level that was so far beyond that of any other, she deserved better. One final shot of her lying in the morgue was all we got. Why? Her death was so rushed. It felt like an after thought. 13 episode season or not, Root deserved better. Yes, The Machine chose to use Root’s voice as her own from here on out, but Root is gone. She had just found Shaw, they were finally happy in their own way. In a conversation with Shaw earlier in the episode Root said:
“I’ve been hiding since I was 12. This might be the first time I feel like I belong.”
Root had finally found her place. She had the woman she loved and the family she created for herself. The Person Of Interest writers and creators had always put their support behind Root and Shaw. Sure, they made Root a “god,” but we’d be much happier just having her as our immortal Root. Shame on us for assuming they’d rise above the bury your gays trope. You could have done better. Drama doesn’t always have to mean devastation. Root’s voice lives on, but the character we all fell in love with is gone. There are no words to describe how sad and angry I personally am about losing Root. So all I can say is… Rest in peace, Root. No one will ever come close to you.
Harold steps up
Harold Finch has always been the one character in Person of Interest that opposed any sort of violence or unnecessary force. He’s been the calm in the storm that is Team Machine. He’s not the muscle, he’s not the gunner, he’s not the hacker. He’s the brain that created it all. The latest episode of Person of Interest changed all of that for him. After being taken to the police station following his high-speed pursuit with Root, he sat in the interrogation room and made proclamations that you’d never expect Harold to make. Finally. Harold finally realizes he has a dog in this fight and he’s ready to defend it. In a threat to Samaritan he said:
“I believed that if you played by the right rules, eventually you would win. But I was wrong, wasn’t I? And now all the people I care about are dead. Or will be dead soon enough. And we will be gone without a trace. So now I have to decide. Decide whether to let my friends die, to let hope die, to let the world be ground under your heel all because I played by my rules. I’m trying to decide. I’m going to kill you. But I need to decide how far I’m willing to go…”
The death of Root better light a fire under Harold to destroy every Samaritan operative and the head of the beast, Greer.
Sameen Shaw is one of the most interesting, complex, and layered characters on any show out there. While she may be a self diagnosed sociopath whose emotions are turned down like the volume on a radio, she still does feel things. Despite her own best efforts, she fell in love with Root. Would she ever admit that? Probably not. But we know it’s true. She died thousands of times in simulations to save Root. In “The Day The World Went Away” Shaw finally allowed herself to be a little more comfortable with her situation. Finally back with the team, she felt like she could actually be safe… with Root. It’s heartbreaking looking back on the episode because we know how short-lived her happiness would be. But for a brief moment in time, Shaw laughed. She smiled. She let Root know that she got to her in a way no one had before. She let Root grab and hold her hand and genuinely showed emotion because of it. She laughed at Root when she tried to flirt in the middle on a gun fight:
“I swear to god, you flirt at the most awkward times.”
Shaw was with the woman she loved, doing a job she loved… and then she lost Root. While some may question her reaction to finding out Root had died, I don’t see how they could. Shaw is still Shaw. She still finds it hard to open up and she still doesn’t do well with emotion. But in the brief moment of quiet and in the stoic look that took over her face upon hearing the news, we knew she was broken. More broken than any simulation that inflicted mental torture could do. Root and Shaw got such a small amount of time to be happy together. It’s hard to not be angry. Both of them deserved better. It’ll be interesting to see how Shaw handles Root’s death. It’ll also be hard to know we won’t get a happy ending for these two. Maybe someday.
Final Verdict: Person of Interest devastates while rushing through milestone episode
Person of Interest is an amazing show. It always has been and always will be. Greg Plageman, Jonathan Nolan, Denise The’, Chris Fisher, and the rest of the creative team have always done a masterful job creating episodes that have left us speechless and moved. However, “The Day The World Went Away” broke our hearts in a way that feels like they can’t be repaired. Bottom line: Root deserved better. Person of Interest has never shied away from killing important characters, but they’ve always done it with such grace and poise. While the idea of using Root’s voice for The Machine is a smart, creative choice; we’d still much rather just have Root. Perhaps if the death itself didn’t feel so rushed and thrown away, it wouldn’t hurt so much. I know there will be fallout from her death in the final 3 episodes, but this episode could have offered so much more. Character deaths are always going to happen, and we knew we’d lose members of Team Machine, we just hoped it would have been different. Killing characters in the name of being creative and dramatic.. is no longer creative and dramatic. Be really creative, let a LGBTQ character live longer than 5 minutes after they find happiness.
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I’m going to use this section to take a second to talk about how brilliantly Amy Acker has played Root in Person of Interest for the past 5 seasons. She’s made this sometimes villainous, quirky, lovable, intriguing, complex, and interesting character my absolute favorite character on any show… ever. There are no thank you’s, no good jobs, no wows, and no “damn girls,” that I could say that could adequately sum up how special she made the character of Root. Amy is just brilliant. She elevates everything she’s in and it’s an absolute joy and pleasure to watch. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for breathing life into this character. I know the fans truly appreciate every moment you’ve spent kicking ass and taking names. No one could ever compare. Root was custom-made for you… and you for her.
Person of Interest 5×10 “The Day The World Went Away” Review