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'Person of Interest' delivers a 'Cold' winter finale

Season 4 | Episode 10 | “The Cold War” | Aired Dec 16, 2014

Person of Interest returns after a short hiatus with the first of a three-parter that sets the stage for the second half of what has been the most exciting season yet of this great show.

With Samaritan still on the prowl and closing in on Team Machine, it’s humorous that the first thing we see in this episode is Finch making sure his sandwich order is correct at a Chinatown deli. Heading back to HQ (cool use of a vending machine as a secret passage), Finch runs into Root, dressed in a bear costume, and a handcuffed and still perturbed Shaw. He hands Shaw the sandwich as a peace offering.

Reese, meanwhile, has eyes on the latest number—Rachel (Alexie Gilmore), a woman waiting for her husband at a restaurant. Suddenly, Lambert (Juilan Ovendeen), one of Samaritan’s soldiers, shows up and sits across from Rachel. He begins telling her personal information about herself, including some dark secrets about her husband. He insinuates that he has a “friend” who can help, that it can do what she can’t but desires: kill her husband.

Not too far from the restaurant, a man drops dead. Rachel’s husband. Samaritan has struck again. As Reese runs to check on the body, Lambert walks away before stopping and looking straight at the Machine: “I have a message for the Machine and its agents. Samaritan says hello.”

As a new number comes in, Finch and Shaw debate the actions of Samaritan and whether it was an act for good. As Root joins in, Finch mentions how catastrophic it would be if the Machine and Samaritan began communicating. (Shaw: “Maybe they should just kiss and make up.”) He then proceeds to outline how a friendly and unfriendly AI might be the same thing, that “benevolence” in a machine may not exist.

1973: A young Greer (Emrhys Cooper) walks into an MI6 office and is given a clandestine assignment to go after and take out KGB officer Oleg Luski (Roman Blat), who is pegged as a mole.

Back in the present, Greer gets an update from Lambert. Marine chimes in that she has no new developments on Shaw. Greer sneers that in 24 hours with no crime, “Samaritan will show its strength and the Machine can decide if it still wants to hide.” As Reese tails the latest number, he makes small talk with Fusco, who fills him in on a string of slam-dunk cases. Reese walks by the POI and spies a detonator in his desk drawer. A SWAT team soon enters and tackles the POI as Reese pulls out the Riley card to gain some info. Once again, Samaritan has gained the upper hand.

Finch, Credit: CBSThe Machine has sent Root on another mission downtown, where she immediately runs into Lambert. At gunpoint, Lambert informs her that Samaritan wants a sit-down with the Machine, “a peace talk.” Root rebuffs his offer and lets him go as Lambert makes a threatening promise. Root is drawn to a ringing payphone and, to her surprise, hears something on the other end.

Reese is on the tail of another number and has difficulty keeping up. It seems that Samaritan is doing its best to confuse and distract. With Finch on a separate quest with his own number, Reese gets a call from Fusco stating that the station is slammed with a bevy of criminal activity.

1973: Greer watches as Luski exits a bar and immediately notices a tail. A gunfight erupts and Greer wounds Luski, carrying him away. At MI6, Greer calls his superior, Blackwood (Michael Sibbery), and tells him that the mission was a failure.

Present-day Greer and Martine revel in the instability that Samaritan has caused in the city. Root returns to HQ and tells Finch and Shaw that the call was from the Machine: “She says it’s time.”

1973: Greer and Luski talk over cigarettes as Greer mentions a friend he once had, the man Luski happened to kill earlier. Greer learns that Luski is in fact his superior’s asset and demands to know what he is hiding. Luski divulges that Blackwood is, in fact, a double agent. Stating that he no longer takes orders from MI6, Greer walks away.

Root tracks Lambert down to a church and holds a gun to his head, before finding herself in an equal predicament when Martine points one at hers. Everyone stands down when Reese makes his presence known at higher ground. Lambert hands Root an address and states that only two people are invited to this meet.

At the meet site, Root approaches to find Samaritan represented by a young boy named Gabriel (Oakes Fegley). Gabriel goes on a tirade about everything wrong with the world and threatens to destroy Root—then asks if she will allow her fellow agents to die with her.

1973: Greer confronts Blackwood as Blackwood demands to know where Luski is. Greer points a gun at his superior and tries to make sense of his actions. Blackwood threatens Greer, but it doesn’t stop him from putting three bullets in his boss, thus officially resigning.

Root continues grilling Gabriel, who states that Samaritan needs mankind just as the Machine does, and promises to challenge their belief system with his existence. He continues by stating that the true purpose of the meet is to learn from Root’s mistakes. Then Gabriel challenges her to sacrifice herself to save the rest of the team. Root says the team shares her beliefs.

Reese arrives at a crime scene, another Witness Protection victim. He hands Fusco a list of more people who might be in danger. Tired of seeing the city suffer, Shaw walks away from HQ as Greer and Lambert celebrate the new era of Samaritan.

As one to kick off what may be the beginning of the rest of the season, “The Cold War,” written by Amanda Segel, crackles with great dialogue and tight plotting from start to finish. Despite setting up a lot, this meaty episode manages to accomplish plenty in itself, starting with some great backstory for the villainous Greer. The humorous first half gives way to a strong and serious second half, highlighted by the chilling sequence between Root and Gabriel, who proves to be far from the angel his namesake would suggest.

Perhaps the episode ‘s key line belongs to Finch, who retorts to Shaw’s concerns about Root walking into a dangerous predicament alone with a simple, “Root is not alone.” For the first time, the misfits who make up Team Machine feel like a family. And they really are going to need to stick together to survive what lies ahead.

Person of Interest airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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