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'Person of Interest' fan react: A number that kicks major butt

Season 4 | Episode 15 | “Q&A” | Aired Feb 17, 2015

Lest we get too comfortable and expect the rest of the episodes to go back to stand-alone procedurals, the latest Person of Interest continues the season’s intense arc by bringing back a character introduced early on—as well as heralding the return of fan favorite Root.

Finch and Reese arrive at Fetch & Retrieve, an Internet company (“nerd nirvana”) where Reese has been moonlighting as a security guard and Finch has set a meeting with its CTO, Calvin Mazer (Nick Westrate). In actuality, they’re looking into the latest POI: Anna Mueller (Bella Dayne), a German émigré who is an employee at the company.

Finch meets with the heads of the company, including CEO Lauren Buchanan (Heléne Yorke), and is introduced to the company’s Siri-like creation, VAL. Meanwhile, Reese surveils Anna and finds she might be in an abusive relationship. He also witnesses her cryptic conversation with co-worker Naresh (Omar Maskati). Finch, back at HQ, busies himself with a new Nautilus puzzle he spotted on the street. After some digging, Finch concludes that this one was not created by Samaritan.

Reese tails Anna as she hurriedly leaves work. He follows her to a factory, which hosts underground MMA matches. Anna is one of the headliners (under the moniker “The Annihilator”). This one turns out to be far from an abuse victim.

Finch arrives at the coordinates gained through the Nautilus numbers to find none other than Claire Mahoney—the creator of the new puzzle. Before she can explain her predicament, Claire is shot by a rooftop sniper. Finch grabs her and takes cover as Claire pleads for help.

As Finch tends to Claire (in a mortuary, no less), Reese continues looking into Anna’s background. He arrives at her and her sister’s house to find the sister in a medical bed attached to a heart monitor.

When Claire comes to, she explains that after she solved the Nautilus puzzle, she was recruited by a group on a mission to “make the world a better place.” Instead, she found their ultra-secretive missions led to people’s deaths—the opposite of what Team Machine accomplishes. Terrified, Claire went on the run.

Back at work, Reese spies an agitated Anna. When she goes to talk to Naresh, she finds no trace of him. She is called into the CEO’s office and chastised for breaking company policy involving security and VAL. Finch, meanwhile, slowly explains Samaritan’s MO to Claire. She reveals a flash drive containing source code that may bring down the nefarious AI.

Person of Interest - CBSWalking home later, Anna is jumped by a pair of masked men. Reese comes in to save the day, but Anna more than holds her own. At the station, she gets into the reasoning for being called into Buchanan’s office, revealing that she was obsessed with a VAL user named Paul Zimmerman. Zimmerman was having suicidal thoughts and she found that instead of recommending a number to a suicide hotline, VAL sent him links on how to quickly end one’s life. When Anna tried to reach out, it was too late—Zimmerman had done the deed.

Finch, with intel from Fusco, calls Claire out on her act, theorizing that she intentionally wants him to access the flash drive to give Samaritan full access to his personal information. Claire recites the report on the victim verbatim, convincing Finch that she is not working for Samaritan.

Anna gets a text alert that her sister’s vitals are crashing and rushes to her house. There she finds the masked men from earlier waiting for her. Reese and Finch conclude that VAL is being manipulated to purposefully target certain individuals, and Anna’s discovery put her life in danger—and Naresh was given a promotion to keep quiet.

Anna manages to put her MMA skills to work and escape from her captors (Reese helps a little), as Finch agonizes over the flash drive. Fusco calls with VAL’s algorithms, and the arrival of a security guard forces the two to make a movie. Finch connects the dots and finds that VAL is targeting vulnerable consumers with either expensive vices or frailties, making them worse instead of sending them aid. The nasty algorithim’s source turns out the be the company’s very own CTO, Calvin.

As Finch and Claire prepare to escape, Claire reveals her true self. She points a gun at Finch and collects his phone and But instead of killing him, Claire instead offers to take Finch to Samaritan.

Back at Fetch & Retrieve, Calvin makes the dumb mistake of laying out his devious plan, giving Reese and Anna plenty of time to arrive at the scene and take him down. Finch and Claire arrive at a school where they enter a class in progress. Claire explains that the charter school is in fact Samaritan at work—an AI doing good, not evil. She offers Finch a chance to join the team as several men in suits approach, waiting for his response.

Finch is simply not convincing, and Claire orders him to be taken. As he’s escorted out, the men are brought down one by one by offscreen gunfire. It’s none other than Root! She gets a piece of Claire, who successfully escapes—but not before dropping Finch’s phone.

As Root once again goes off on her own, Finch calls the battle a draw. He tries to track the laptop via a planted beacon, to no avail. The laptop is now in Greer’s hands. One of his associates reminds him that he is running late for a meeting. It’s no surprise that the meeting turns out to be at Fetch & Retrieve.

“Q&A,” one of the season’s more interesting episodes, sadly confirms that Claire from the episode “Nautilus” has in fact gone to the dark side. It also welcomes one of the better POIs in Anna, a young woman full of moxie and heart who serves the team well. Root’s cameo confirms that even though our heartbroken team member is still out searching for Shaw, she still has one eye set on her boys.

“Q&A” joins last week’s episode in putting the spotlight on Reese and Finch. With Team Machine a boys club again, I’m doubly curious to see where the creators are going with this. With episodes like these, it won’t be hard to stick with the program.

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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