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Fan recap: Death, uncertainty fuel finale of 'Person of Interest'

Season 4 | Episode 22 | “YHWH” | Aired May 5, 2015

The Machine has succumbed to Samaritan’s threats in order to save its human comrades. In the season 4 finale of Person of Interest, the humans do everything in their power not to let it go in vain.

Power surges have struck New York, and while the media speculates about the cause (Chinese hackers?), Finch and Root know better: Samaritan. The Machine has been MIA, but they’re welcomed by a phone call coming from a rotary phone behind the station wall. Finch picks up to hear the Machine’s distress code. “The Machine is dying, Ms. Groves,” says Finch.

Reese, Elias, and Fusco continue to be held captive by the Brotherhood. Reese refuses to give Finch up to Dominic, who orders a bullet be put in Fusco. Luckily, Harper arrives first and breaks him loose.

At the Pentagon, Control looks into the date found in Shelly’s notebook. She is told of Operation: Quarantine, a mission that is supposed to occur on said date, a mission apparently initiated by Control herself.

Back at the bank, Dominic sees right through Harper regarding Fusco’s disappearance and ties her up with orders to shoot Fusco on sight. Root and Finch take an elevator to a penthouse where an arms deal is in progress. Root promptly wounds the dealers and grabs the pair of night-vision goggles sitting on the buyer’s head before managing a close-call escape with help from the Machine.

Arriving at Caleb’s office, Root tries to download his compression algorithm that can aid them in their mission. She is immediately thwarted by Caleb, who willfully hands it over when confronted by Finch. She does, however, manage to finagle a couple of RAM chips from the entrepreneur.

Finch gets a call from Dominic, who demands that he meet him to save Reese’s life. Root refuses to let him go, stating that saving the Machine is top priority—saving it will save everyone else. Turning a corner, they snag a police cruiser. A content Dominic orders Elias and Hunter killed, but an incoming fax interrupts the proceedings. As Reese hears the fax read (“Sharp right leg, left knee …”), he realizes it’s a message from the Machine. Reese follows orders and manages to break free. As Dominic attempts an escape, he is thwarted by Fusco and the cavalry.

Control and Grice arrive at the address found in the Quarantine order. A potent smell leads them to material often used to build a bomb. Meeting with Senator Garrison, she pleads that they shut Samaritan down. Convinced that Greer is behind the bomb threat, she suggests a switch to “Ingram’s machine,” which doesn’t sit well with Garrison. Leaving in a huff, Control manages to clone his phone.

As Dominic, his crew, and Elias are placed under arrest, Fusco ends up riding with them. At the station, Reese approaches Dr. Campbell and pleads that she leave, handing her an envelope with forged papers, then promising to tell her everything if he lives through the night.

Root and Finch, having beat traffic thanks to the Machine, arrive at their destination (an electrical substation) where they are met with Reese—as well as a caravan of Greer’s men.

En route to the station, Dominic and Elias make small talk. As Elias states “unfortunately for you, I’m not going to Rikers,” a cement truck T-bones the police van. One of Elias’s men grabs him and takes him to safety.

As the threat grows outside, Root gets to work. Noticing the “Thornhill Industries” name on one of the control panels (“Thornhill” is the Machine’s alias, remember?), Finch connects it to the new boxes being installed all over the city and concludes that, having uploaded itself to the electrical grid, the Machine is everywhere. Figuring that Samaritan is trying to flatline the Machine, the trio initiate their Hail Mary plan to download it to the RAM cards they snagged from Caleb.

Greer enters into a meeting with Garrison but finds Control instead, gun in hand. She finds out that the bomb target is none other than the Supreme Court, set to hear a case challenging government surveillance.

Grice gets back to Control and tells her that there is no bomb in sight at the courthouse. As Greer explains that “no one will question Samaritan because no one will know when it’s acted,” Dominic, having also walked off from the accident, shoots Elias’s man dead. Before he can finish the job, Fusco orders him to stand down. Dominic and Elias are both shot by a rooftop sniper, first seen when the two were arrested. Greer has been monitoring their activity the entire time.

He goes on to state that Samaritan has identified “the disrupters, the outliers … the disloyal,” and has taken pains to eliminate each one, including Grice and other members of Control’s team.

As Reese and Root hold off Greer’s men, the Machine’s transfer commences. It begins to communicate with Finch, its “Father,” apologizing that it has failed in its mission. It starts to go offline as Finch pleads with it. The line-conditioning boxes begin to explode as the city power begins to fluctuate. Greer, having revealed Control as a patsy, states that she has failed in her mission. She is blinded and dragged away.

The Machine successfully transfers to the RAM cards. As Root and Finch walk out, they find a street littered with dead bodies—and Reese, alive. As more SUVs arrive, Reese and Root move forward, guns blazing, as Finch holds a firm grip on the suitcase housing the newest iteration of the Machine.

While not the game-changer that ended last season, the final episode of season 4 ends on a more hopeful note: with Team Machine still down, but definitely not out. The Machine has finally evolved into a fully fleshed-out character, as the final, poignant conversation between Finch and his creation proves. This has probably been the most amazing development of the season, and much praise must go to the writers for making us believe in their connection.

While some loose ends remain untied—Shaw’s disappearance being high on the list—plenty was resolved: the war between Elias and the Brotherhood; the reveal that they had both been pawns in Greer’s twisted, power-hungry plans; and the unfortunate fate served to Control, whose eye-opening came at an inopportune time. Best of all, the Machine was spared in a way that will (hopefully) allow it to fight another day.

There was much speculation that POI was heading toward the finish line, but the finale seems to confirm that the show will return to end things in grand fashion. I, for one, can’t wait.

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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