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'Person of Interest' recap: Control loses control

Season 4 | Episode 12 | “Control-Alt-Delete” | Aired Jan 13, 2015

The final part of the Person of Interest midseason trilogy comes to a close in atypical fashion, with an air of uncertainty hanging over our heroes.

A quick glimmer of Control (Camryn Manheim) interrogating Root is followed by a speed round version of parts one and two before the voices of Reese and Root are heard (“Let’s go get Shaw back”) and a news report highlights a pair of ski-masked vigilantes wreaking havoc at the stock exchange. Despite this, the flash crash brought on by Samaritan seems to have subsided.

As Control drops her daughter of at school, she is called to the White House. After a quick debrief with Chief of Staff Mike Richelli (John Gaston), she reassures him that the flash crash was not an attack and just an anomaly. Control meets with Research associate Shiffman (Suzy Jane Hunt), who fills her in on activity in Detroit involving sleeper cells. Richelli, on the other hand, is paid a visit by Gabriel, in a scene that is humorous and frightening at the same time.

The sleeper cells, which includes at least one American, appear to be targeting historical landmarks in the city and are planning their attack on that day. As Control weighs the severity and is told that “Samaritan is never wrong,” she gives the ground team , which includes Grice, the go-ahead to wipe them out.

One by one the cells fall as the team make their way into the hideout, but the fourth, Yasin Said (Ryan Shams), is missing. A laptop is recovered, but Control is denied access to its hard drive. She approaches Travers (Michael Potts), Samaritan’s rep, and demands access. After a few pushes on his phone, Travers promptly shuts everything down.

Later, Control, with Travers in the room, gives Senator Garrison the unfortunate news. Travers chimes in that whatever is on the hard drive might be a huge threat to the entire program: “a nuclear virus.” After getting a call from Greer, Garrison concedes to their demands—much to Control’s chagrin.Credit: CBS

As the vigilantes continue their reign in New York, the Research team stays put in Detroit. Control calls Grice to tell him she knows he saw Shaw at the storage factory and let her go. For that, she strong-arms him to stay on Said and not eliminate him until they get the hard drive.

Grice and Brooks end up catching up with Said, who turns a corner as Brooks watches from the rooftops. Seeing Grice, Said walks with caution before being spooked by a warning shot from Brooks. Grice chases him on foot into a building, eventually holding him at gunpoint and asking for the laptop. Said seems to comply, but then he tosses his bag, jumps out the window, and lands in a box full of packing peanuts.

Grice gets on the line with Control and digs into the laptop before it starts going black and promptly bursts into flames. Outside, Brooks is told to stand down and watches as Said gets up and hails a cab. From afar, it seems that Control herself is being watched and recorded. As she gets off the line with Grice, she gets a text on her phone: “Stop it. Now.”

With the laptop nothing more than a paperweight, Brooks finds an itinerary in the bag that might be of some help: Said is taking a train to Canada. Grice lets Control know that he’s been reassigned and she is none to happy to find out that it is Travers’ doing. She brings in her own personal detail to help search for Said—except they’re not her usual guys: They have been decommissioned by two individuals wearing ski masks. (Hmmm.)

At the train tracks, Control and her detail stand watch. As Said makes his move, they follow him in their vehicle but are thwarted by two masked individuals—who turn out to be Reese and Root.

Control wakes up to find herself tied to a chair, Root standing before her. The roles have been reversed. Reese arrives and immediately asks about Shaw. Since Samaritan knows where Shaw is, Reese’s thinking goes, so does Control. Control denies any knowledge and is surprised at their tactics. “Good cop/bad cop?” she asks before Reese replies, “There are no good cops here,” and walks away, leaving her in Root’s hands. Before Root can do damage beyond repair, Finch intercedes.

As Samaritan continues searching for Control, Finch fills her in on what happened at the stock exchange and is shocked that she knows nothing about what transpired. Soon, Grice arrives with the cavalry as expected. A shootout ensues and a wounded Reese tries to hold his own against Grice. Finch, with Fusco’s help, manages to hack into a Samaritan phone with hopes of finding Shaw’s location. Reese finally gets the upper hand and is about to pummel Brice with a tire iron when he learns of his identity and lets him go. Finch informs the team that he’s got something—but is unsure exactly what.

In Canada, Said enters a cabin and is surprised by Control. Said states that he is not a terrorist; he and his friend won a contest that they thought would lead to better opportunities, and he doesn’t know the contents of the laptop. As Said proclaims that he and his friends were duped and there is a chance Control was lied to, she shoots him.

At the White House, Michelli is shocked to find Gabriel seated in his office. He requests to see the president before walking out. As Control’s life falls back into normalcy (and she pays a visit to the stock exchange), Reese and Root are seen driving upstate with hopes of finding Shaw alive.

Casual POI viewers could be forgiven for thinking they’ve stumbled upon an NCIS episode. Following Shaw’s fall, one would think that this episode would chronicle Team Machine’s desperate quest to find her. Instead, much like we finally entered the mind of the Machine last week, we get to see a scenario involving a dreaded government-Samaritan partnership. While the team’s actions are happening simultaneously off-screen, we are immersed in a tense political thriller.

The episode easily belongs to Control and her awakening to the changes around her, and Manheim absolutely owns it. It’s a welcome return to a character we all love to hate, and it is surprising to see her in a more vulnerable and powerless state. Could we be seeing more of her on a regular basis? In the end, “Control-Alt-Delete” closes another chapter (while not all the way) in POI lore, this one concerning our good soldier Sameen Shaw, while leaving open so much more to explore. (A special mention to the music in the final moments. Beautiful.)

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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