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S04.E02: Nautilus

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Remember when Cara Buono told Fred Weller that two of the three people aware of the new AI in the world "would die in a car accident in 14 minutes." She wasn't talking about Claire's parents, was she?

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This episode was decent, but definitely not as engaging as last week. It really, really dragged, for starters--at one point I was like "SURELY the episode is almost over," and looked at the clock, and we were only 30 minutes in. I think maybe part of it was, we all know that Harold is going to give in and rejoin the team, so while I understand why we needed to devote an episode to him coming back, the outcome felt very foregone. Also, it took them an absurdly long time to figure out it was Samaritan behind the game, using it as a recruiting tool(/hit list, potentially). Once they figured that out, the episode did pick up a bit--though Claire was dumb as shit, which also didn't help me connect at all.

 

Samaritan is creepy as all get out.

 

I laughed so hard when Root and Harold were having their moment in the car and then the guy in the trunk started banging and she was all "Be good and I'll give you backseat privileges!" She just brings the hilarious crazy. And also looks nice in blue. The humor tonight was really on point, actually--I also laughed when John just kept being like "I have to keep you in cuffs, Harold, for our ~covers, you understand" (and did Harold almost say "fuck you" under his breath??). Lionel showing John up at the Nautilus puzzle was a hoot, too, and Shaw, as always, had a few good one-liners. The episode needed more of a Shaw-John team-up, though.

 

However, one major beef I had: Harold was talking rather loudly about a "powerful force" next to a whole bunch of people with active cell phones, etc. Side-eyeing that really hard. And then the end scene?? John and Harold talking about it in the middle of the street, with passersby galore near? Are these people on the run, or are they not? Because they are bellowing about very sensitive things in broad daylight. Sloppy.

 

Okay episode, but next week looks to be better.

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Just love Caviezel as action man.   So awesome.   

 

Finch realizing he HAS to help.   And the gang is back together.

 

But enough with the psychopath delivering the moral lesson of the episode.   "People have to make their own choices."   Yeah, like KIDNAPPING someone Root.   Not funny.   Not interesting.   Honestly who thought it would be a good idea to make a psycho, the most important character.    The show was just fine when it was about good but damaged people trying to heal.   Root doesn't want to heal she thinks there is something wrong with others, not her.   Bad code, remember?   She hasn't changed.   She just wants to maintain her connection with the Machine - not be a better person.   GET HER OFF MY SCREEN.  

 

Did love Fusco breaking into song.   So glad he is not just the dumb cop along to pick on John.   He actually contributes.   

Edited by merylinkid
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Good episode although I agree not as good as last week.  I did like Reese being the one to give Harold the number.  I liked the POI and how her story resolved itself.  It makes sense that Samaritan would be recruiting like this.  Like the new base of operations as well.

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As a story about how Harold came back into the fold and the gang came together again, it was decent.

 

As a story about a POI that the team has to save, it was kind of terrible. First of all, Claire was an idiot. She doesn't notice scary people following her around with knives out and she just walks right out into traffic instead of waiting for a lull so that she can see what the sign says? I don't know why Samaritan would think someone so oblivious could have any value. Secondly, it was never explained exactly why she's playing a deadly game that has her breaking the law and pointing a gun at people. Because her parents died and Samaritan somehow told her she would get meaning? Exactly how is that supposed to work and what kind of idiot would go following directions blindly because of that? Lots of people have their parents die. Even prodigal geniuses. They don't go following pictures of seashells just because some message of unknown origin tells them to.

 

I did enjoy watching the biker break up the Google Glasses, though.

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As a story about how Harold came back into the fold and the gang came together again, it was decent.

 

As a story about a POI that the team has to save, it was kind of terrible. First of all, Claire was an idiot. She doesn't notice scary people following her around with knives out and she just walks right out into traffic instead of waiting for a lull so that she can see what the sign says? I don't know why Samaritan would think someone so oblivious could have any value. Secondly, it was never explained exactly why she's playing a deadly game that has her breaking the law and pointing a gun at people. Because her parents died and Samaritan somehow told her she would get meaning? Exactly how is that supposed to work and what kind of idiot would go following directions blindly because of that? Lots of people have their parents die. Even prodigal geniuses. They don't go following pictures of seashells just because some message of unknown origin tells them to.

 

I did enjoy watching the biker break up the Google Glasses, though.

This sums up exactly how I felt about the episode.  I guess it took this stupid POI plot to get the gang back together. 

 

Oh, and I love when Root and Harold have their little chats..  

Edited by SierraMist

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On one hand, I liked seeing Finch be the main focus this time, and getting plenty of Finch/Reese.  On the other hand, I was bored with most of the POI stuff.  I like the idea of Samaritan recruiting allies and the method, but I just wasn't wild about Claire or the actress, so the idea that she's an ally and will probably be back, doesn't exactly thrill me.  Maybe she'll grown on me.

 

I actually did like Shaw tonight, and I swear it's not just because it involved Sarah Shahi wearing her black tank-top again, which is always a good thing.

 

And, then there was Fusco!  Even in only two scenes, I loved him.  First, his amused smirk over dumping Reese those open cases. And, then him figuring out that the biker patch was actually the song notes to Frank Sintra's "New York, New York."  Well done, Fusco!  And, I for one, would love it if an actual biker gang used that as it's theme, just for the craziness of that.  If nothing else, it would confuse their enemies for a brief second.

 

So, while everyone else still has to do their cover stuff, Root gets to to be a flight attendant.  The Machine really does play favorites, but I guess she has her reasons.

 

Got a new base, I see.  A pretty big one too.  Plenty of room for Bear to play around in!

 

Next week looks like it will be fun!

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On one hand, I liked seeing Finch be the main focus this time, and getting plenty of Finch/Reese.  On the other hand, I was bored with most of the POI stuff.  I like the idea of Samaritan recruiting allies and the method, but I just wasn't wild about Claire or the actress, so the idea that she's an ally and will probably be back, doesn't exactly thrill me.  Maybe she'll grown on me.

 

I actually did like Shaw tonight, and I swear it's not just because it involved Sarah Shahi wearing her black tank-top again, which is always a good thing.

 

And, then there was Fusco!  Even in only two scenes, I loved him.  First, his amused smirk over dumping Reese those open cases. And, then him figuring out that the biker patch was actually the song notes to Frank Sintra's "New York, New York."  Well done, Fusco!  And, I for one, would love it if an actual biker gang used that as it's theme, just for the craziness of that.  If nothing else, it would confuse their enemies for a brief second.

 

So, while everyone else still has to do their cover stuff, Root gets to to be a flight attendant.  The Machine really does play favorites, but I guess she has her reasons.

 

Got a new base, I see.  A pretty big one too.  Plenty of room for Bear to play around in!

 

Next week looks like it will be fun!

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Maybe because she was blindly following orders? I think Samaritan has no emotional connection to people, so it would not care how or why Claire obeyed, just that she did. Methinks we will see young Claire again.

 

Yes, Claire obeys, but she could still obey without being an oblivious idiot. What if one of those cars on the road had hit her? What use would she be to Samaritan then?

 

Not an idiot, but a hurting, lost child. Just the type that is ripe for brainwashing, at least according to the majority of television shows I've seen. 

 

Yes I understand that, but how does it actually work? Did she get an e-mail soon after her parents' death that said, "Drop out of college, get a gun, and go look at some nautilus shells"? If she was following the orders of a particularly charismatic human, that's one thing. But Samaritan can't make a human connection to her. Unless I missed it, this episode never explained how she got into this silly game in the first place and why she would believe it's going to give any meaning to her parents' death.

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Not an idiot, but a hurting, lost child. Just the type that is ripe for brainwashing, at least according to the majority of television shows I've seen.

ITA. I mean, on the one hand, I agree that Claire was a total moron and seriously lacked common sense (all the team has to do to take her out in the future is put a pretty picture somewhere only visible from a six-lane highway). On the other, I find it totally believable that that's the kind of personality type that Samaritan wants to attract: someone who's young and impressionable, who has had something bad happen to them/someone they're close to (for Root it was Hanna's kidnapping and murder/a crappy home life, as was suggested) and feels incredibly lost and adrift and angry and searching for meaning because of it. Meaning that they're willing to find anywhere as long as it gives them something to go on--just look at how Root latched onto The Machine so hard at first because finally there seemed to be something with a plan. Something that meant that life wasn't all random chaos, that there could be more. What the meaning is doesn't matter (initially, at least, Root's changed), it's that there's some meaning at all.

 

So, while everyone else still has to do their cover stuff, Root gets to to be a flight attendant.  The Machine really does play favorites, but I guess she has her reasons.

I got the impression Root is switching covers as the Machine needs her to--I think she's a flight attendant today, a barista tomorrow, etc. It's basically an undercover version of what TM had her doing at the end of S3--though I am curious to know how The Machine hotwired Samaritan to make it miss something that big. (Root not having a stable identity also gives me a bad feeling about her longevity....)

 

Oh, forgot to say that I do like the new digs for the team. Very pretty, very stylized, and an ingenious solution for a home base.

Edited by stealinghome

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That was one of the most annoying numbers ever. Right up there with the reporter in Bury the Lede and the couple whom Reese finally gave up on and let them kill each other.

If I'm being objective, there was a good balance of all the main characters in this episode. (Unobjectively, my preference is All Reese, All the Time.)

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I liked this episode. This is how I prefer that Finch returns to the Scooby doo gang. Not some sort of guilt trip. Now that the gang is back together, it'll be interesting to see how long that will last until they're exposed.

 

Here's a stupid question but did that number come from the machine or does Samaritan know exactly who these people are and somehow found a way to make the girl a number. If you think about it, the only reason why the girl made it to the end was because of them. They protected her and they got rid of her number one competitor.

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WE ARE BEING WATCHED

 

I squee’d. I was expecting something new and fun in the credits but wow, right off the bat ‘WE are being watched’? How awesome.

 

I am just loving the focus on Reese and Finch and their friendship. When one is gone from the team, however temporarily (because come on), the other will stop at nothing in order to get their friend back. In just these two episodes we’ve had so many great moments between them. And I’m glad to hear Harold using the word ‘friends’ so frequently. They’re not all just colleagues. There’s emotion there, even if Harold is usually loath to admit it. Reese, on the other hand, is quite open about it. He was constantly teasing/prodding Finch, trying to get him to admit that it’s not just about survival. Finch wants to help people too. That's why he paused when Claire asked him "why would you want to help me". He realised he did want to help her. And in the end, when Reese's eyes lit up when he saw the Batcave? It was another step toward rebuilding their old lives. And a new beginning as well. “Together”. Reese, Finch and Shaw (who was the lucky one this time, i.e. the one who had Bear with her). Great stuff.

 

So, Reese uses their new, shiny and top secret method of communication to text Harold 'Late night snack?'? The love! Sure, it was for a number, but I still think he should have added a smiley. Oh, and Harold ordered for him? It’s the little things that show us how far those two have come. How well they now know each other. Friends indeed.

 

Also friends? Reese and Fusco. I lost it at Fusco's glee and actual cackling at Reese and his paperwork. And Reese’s stonefaced almost-sneer finished me. Amazing. That pairing is comedy gold.

 

It was also fun to see Shaw in action. Man, she must have really missed it. I was glad to see I was right about her cover identity being that of a criminal (allow me to quote myself from last week):

Or maybe if Sameen is a deviant but neither a Samaritan-threatening deviant nor a terrorist, just a run-of-the-mill criminal, maybe Samaritan will still mostly ignore her.

Indeed, criminals are ordinary too. If they’re a B+, heh. Speaking of Root, damn but she always has the most fun. I almost don’t want Shaw to find out. She thinks robbing is fun? Root has her beat with kidnapping and flights and god knows what else.

 

I really liked the number of the week. The “game” aspect made the episode really fly, and I liked how Reese and Finch both interacted with the girl. I also loved the fact she was basically Baby Root, as Root herself said. Frankly I didn’t make that connection, I only compared her to Finch in my mind (as she was one of those rare super-genius numbers, the only ones Finch can ever identify with. And how’s that for the Machine being clever with the numbers?). But, indeed, the girl was way more ruthless.

I don't know why Samaritan would think someone so oblivious could have any value.

I agree with the comments above; she was great at blindly following orders (Root herself said that), she was a genius (which I think also partly explains her lack of common sense) and she was fearless (in a life-threatening way, as in "I am not afraid because I'm never aware of threats in my surroundings", but still). As it was said above, Samaritan forms no 'emotional' connections. And it said "I will protect you now". So an oblivious person like Claire could just rely on Samaritan to survive (as she did on that roof). Samaritan can protect her from her own obliviousness because Claire is an asset and her skills are needed for activities only humans can perform. Indeed, just like Root was used early on by the Machine.

 

With all that in mind, I had a feeling they would 'lose' the girl. That she'd go dark. And, indeed; ASSET. That gave me chills. Samaritan is full-on active; recruiting assets, destroying competitors, killing people to stay hidden (as we saw in the premiere). Damn. The Machine seems so tame in comparison. Because that's what Harold taught it. And yet, the Machine has been underestimated, as Harold said. She gave them a new home. What they needed. Samaritan sees everything but maybe the Machine can make better sense of it. Put it context.

 

Speaking of Samaritan, I love that the writers are giving us little bits of info, what Samaritan can't and can't do/hear/pick up on. Like phone conversations, camera feeds, or little moments like Finch using tape to cover the webcam on that laptop and saying the power feed to their new lair can’t be traced. You can tell the writers put in a lot of effort into a) actually working this stuff out and b) incorporating that information in the episodes so there wouldn’t be tons of plot holes. I appreciate that.

 

And a few little tidbits:

 

Reese being a cop does provide him with a better opening line than "I'm a concerned frequent flyer". Now it's his job to help (it always was, but now it’s officially his job as well). And he has taken it to heart.

 

“John” and “Harold” and “Sameen” were used pretty frequently, same as last week. Is that intimacy, or is it because the old last names (Reese, Finch and Shaw) are no longer active/viable? Hm. It almost felt weird typing “Reese” up there, not going to lie.

 

I remain tickled by the way the show continues to be subversive in a nonchalant way. Finch was all 'various dangerous entities could be behind this; the CIA, rogue hackers'. All on the same level. Aw.

 

And my, but there were a lot of foreboding lines spoken by Finch:
- 'You're reaching out for meaning but the wrong thing is reaching back'. How haunting.
- ‘The world as we know it will vanish, and no one will even notice it until it's far too late’. Damn. DAMN. How scary and how realistic. And how topical. The conversation between Root and Finch was pretty illuminating. He has taught the Machine that humans must make their own choices. They must make the decisions (something Reese would agree with. And perhaps another far-fetched parallel between the Machine and God. If you’re looking.). It appears that Samaritan has not been taught, nor has it learned, that lesson. And that makes all the difference.

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I noticed that Harold actually referred to "Mr. Reese," at one point. So despite his scolding about covers, he is capable of making a mistake. (I wonder if that will come back to hurt them later?)

 

I also did not care for this week's number; she's not a very good actress, or was directed to be almost an idiot savant. Good luck with that one, Samaritan.

 

Since both Harold and his friend were effectively "fathers" to their respective machines, you wonder where Samaritan got the mean streak...how it came up with the language of "deviants" and "assets." Did the machine evolve into a more compassionate AI because Harold had longer to work with it? Since Samaritan was never actually booted up until Decima did it, are we looking at a beta version that's MUCH rougher around the edges?

 

...I'm interested in seeing how the two intelligences square off this season, and whether Samaritan recognizes The Machine as a deviant, asset to be acquired, or not at all.

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All those shots of nautilus shells and not one word of the Fibonacci sequence? (I know, there was some mention of a mathematical formula, but I really, really love the Fibonacci sequence.)

Me too!  But it was still pretty cool.

 

I liked this episode a lot -- Samaritan came up with a very good way to recruit assets (and take out potential threats).  But I hated the POI.  I could accept her singlemindedness and troubled background and even her obliviousness to the dangers around her, physical and psychological, but she really pissed me off with the way she so casually but deliberately put other people in danger so she could win -- having those men attack Finch, setting up her rival to have his arms broken by the biker.  I was actually kind of glad the writers had her join Samaritan, and mention her blind obedience, because otherwise her cruelty might have been brushed off as "oh, she's a sad kid missing her parents."  (Also, I'm tired of the "no one understands my grief, the sheeple around me just spout meaningless platitudes" trope.)

 

LOVE the bat cave.  LOVED Fusco figuring out the code so quickly, although of course Reese didn't thank him.

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Love the new "Finchcave".  Love Finch, Reese and Bear.  I can only take Shaw and Root in small doses.  I like the set-up of the Machine versus Samaritan.

 

I did not like the POI at all - as others have said, Claire was an idiot.  Also, I don't understand how the Machine protected Claire at the end.  Who shot out all those bad guys?

 

The preview for next week's Fusco episode looks good...

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Not to harp on the point, but here's the thing about Claire: yes she's a genius. And yes she's fearless. But she's also so oblivious that she never would have won the game in the first place without intervention from Reese and Finch. She would have been killed three times over otherwise. A chess prodigy who's constantly on the verge of getting herself killed through her own stupidity is not much of an asset.

 

I get what the writers were going for in this episode, and I even like it in concept. But the execution sucked.

 

Also, I don't really see a comparison between Claire and Root. Yes, Root was a lost soul who reached out and grasped something, but she also discovered the existence of The Machine all on her own and wasn't just blindly following orders (when we first met her, she was a POI who already had a yellow box). Also, the writers made it clear that Root is batshit insane. It seems like they want Claire to be otherwise normal and non-psychopathic before her parents' death.

Edited by Xantar
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Did she get an e-mail soon after her parents' death that said, "Drop out of college, get a gun, and go look at some nautilus shells"? If she was following the orders of a particularly charismatic human, that's one thing. But Samaritan can't make a human connection to her. Unless I missed it, this episode never explained how she got into this silly game in the first place and why she would believe it's going to give any meaning to her parents' death.

 

 

I especially did not get the gun part. It's one thing to get a gun if you believe the prize is something material, something that can be stolen from you. I believe Claire actually accused Finch of wanting to steal it the first time she spotted him and pointed the gun at him, didn't she? But if she is after "meaning" and knows it, does it really make sense to speak about "stealing it"?

 

Here's a stupid question but did that number come from the machine or does Samaritan know exactly who these people are and somehow found a way to make the girl a number. If you think about it, the only reason why the girl made it to the end was because of them. They protected her and they got rid of her number one competitor.

 

 

Oh man, that would be awesome! Samaritan, far from underestimating the Machine, feeds it the numbers without the Machine realizing it? And our heroes actually work for Samaritan while believing they are its enemies? There is a lot of potential in this idea.

 

Also, I am really liking the aesthetics of how Samaritan communicates with humans. The crispness of the font, the colors, even the timing of the words popping up and disappearing - it's perfect.

 

Favorite exchange of the episode:

Finch:"John, don't let your frustration with me compromise your judgement."

Shaw: "Oh, he is going to let his frustration with you compromise his judgement!"

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I think this is how the recruitment of Claire went:

 

1.   Samaritan creates an online game and puts it out there.

2.   Just like other online games, people discover it and start playing.

3.   Casual players drop out or are dropped.

4.   Geniuses like Claire keep playing because it takes intelligence to play.   They get sucked further and further in.

5.   One of the tasks of the game is to hack into the other computer and get the info.

6.   Once Claire has this info, she starts getting threats, etc. so she gets a gun to protect herself.

7.   Claire keeps playing the game because it intrigues her intellectually.

8.   Again, the continued playing is a winnowing process.   The better you are, the further you get and the further you want to get.

9.    She is told by the game that peoeple will try to make her lose the game by trying to steal the information she has.

10.   She is told by the game about her competitors and that they are winning and she is not.

11.   Competitive as she is, she wants to win so she takes out the competition -- at the game's behest.  Or she is told they will take her out.  Further re-inforcing the need for the gun.

12.   The events of Nautilus.

 

 

It's not like the first instructions were to go get a gun.   She only got that for protection after she was in deep with the gun.   The game was about winning -- beating others.   Only after she was in so deep did it become brainwashing.

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What I am wondering is if like the machine, Samaritan is learning.  It is building assets outside of the knowledge of Decima to protect itself because it is learning that Decima may be something that it needs to eliminate at some point.

 

The machine was smart enough to move itself to unknown locations.  why can't Samaritan do the same thing and get out from the control of Decima once it continues to learn and grow.

 

Nothing to stop it from reaching the same conclusions that our machine did.

 

And ultimately even though self survival is always #1, what if at some point Samaritan determines that shutting itself down is what is best?

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"WE are being watched" was fantastic but "I designed the machine" seemed out of place when it's Samaritan being referenced.

I like the graphics, and yet miss the Machine's graphics. Also, you'd think an AI would be smart enough to find the shift key instead of typing in ALL CAPS.

The Machine needs to start recruiting, too.

 

And now I'm going to talk about Lost:

All those shots of nautilus shells and not one word of the Fibonacci sequence? (I know, there was some mention of a mathematical formula, but I really, really love the Fibonacci sequence.)
Those numbers on the tag should've been 481 516 2342.

Emerson with his hands cuffed in front of him...Oh, Ben, I'll never not miss you.

One of the reasons I'm really not loving the God v. God theme is that it's bringing back bad, bad memories of Jacob v. Man in Black.

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Remember when Cara Buono told Fred Weller that two of the three people aware of the new AI in the world "would die in a car accident in 14 minutes." She wasn't talking about Claire's parents, was she?

No, because when Finch was saying he read her file he said he read the obituary she wrote when her parents died.  He specified "a year ago" or "last year" with their death.

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This show would get a bump just for this show travelling to visit those guys on Hawaii Five-0.  I think the twitter world would explode.  Guest star Josh Holloway as scruffy vagabond whose number comes up from the on deck circle in the subway system?

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They've had Lost alumn on before--Alan Dale, Nestor Carbonell, Ken Leong, Mark Pellgrino--it's time for Terry O'Quinn and Jose Garcia, I say!

 

But back to the episode. So, Samaritan's recruiting the young and gifted feels like an X-Menish academy. Our guys need to infiltrate. What about the high school kid from season 2?

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"WE are being watched" was fantastic but "I designed the machine" seemed out of place when it's Samaritan being referenced.

 

I thought I heard "I designed a machine..."

Edited by CoderLady
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They have actually (in addition to the 3 people Root also managed to block from Samaritan) worked with several people who could be useful to them now, from the wonky billionaire, to the little Russian kid (is her tuition still being paid for?), to the investigator for the coroner's office (what's his names foster brother...isn't he one of the 3 geeks?) and various others whose paths they've crossed.

 

And for that matter, I'm realizing that Lionel STILL doesn't know about the Machine...or Samaritan. (Remember in the last episode of last season, he said: WHAT MACHINE?) His ignorance is HIS cover...he's not a "deviant" until he's revealed to be part of the Machine gang.

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I liked this episode. This is how I prefer that Finch returns to the Scooby doo gang. Not some sort of guilt trip. Now that the gang is back together, it'll be interesting to see how long that will last until they're exposed.

 

Here's a stupid question but did that number come from the machine or does Samaritan know exactly who these people are and somehow found a way to make the girl a number. If you think about it, the only reason why the girl made it to the end was because of them. They protected her and they got rid of her number one competitor.

I'd say it's much more likely The Machine gave the team the number like always, and it makes sense if it did. Giving out this number serves dual purposes, it allows the team to remove a potential asset to Samaritan, and at the same time it allows Harold to get his hands on the Silverburg files, as we saw means the creation of another A.I. is prevented, which is just as much of a threat to The Machine as it was to Samaritan. They failed in the former and succeeded in the latter, but regardless it benefited The Machine's work.

What I am wondering is if like the machine, Samaritan is learning.  It is building assets outside of the knowledge of Decima to protect itself because it is learning that Decima may be something that it needs to eliminate at some point.

 

The machine was smart enough to move itself to unknown locations.  why can't Samaritan do the same thing and get out from the control of Decima once it continues to learn and grow.

 

Nothing to stop it from reaching the same conclusions that our machine did.

 

And ultimately even though self survival is always #1, what if at some point Samaritan determines that shutting itself down is what is best?

Unlikely. Unlike The Machine Samaritan isn't being controlled by Decima or anyone else for that matter. On the contrary, Decima wants it to tell THEM what to do. Samaritan wouldn't need to protect or free itself from Decima, it started out free from the beginning.

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I must have missed some crucial points because this whole thing made no sense to me. Why would you recruit someone who is completely blind to the fact that they are being followed by guys with guns? Or keeps standing in the middle of a road, ready to be run over?

If it hadn't been for John she would have been dead. Or was Samaritan watching over her too and would have interfered if the thugs had caught up to her in case the cars didn't get her? Then how did Samaritan miss John who took them out? Were the Silverpool thugs directed by Samaritan too? I just don't get it.

Is the recruitment based on whether the candidates survive by sheer luck? I must say, not a terribly logical recruitment criterion.

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This episode was rather boring.  At the beginning, I thought it was neat that they did a bit of a reversal with Reese having Finch go out to investigate a number.  But after that, it just started spiraling not like a nautilus but like waste water circling the drain.

 

This is very rare for me, but this was one POI who just deserved to die.  I could not feel any sympathy for her.  She was an idiot and I actually didn't want Reese to take out all 15 guys trying to kill her while she wandered down one abandoned laneway after another not even realizing she had been saved much less show gratitude for it.

 

It was clever to have Samaritan be running the game, but now we have to see Claire again.  Blech.  

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Just because Claire is oblivious that the Silverpool (aka Blackwater) goons are after her doesn't mean she isn't a future Root. Root didn't emerge from the womb with super killer powers anymore than Shaw or Reese did. And some of Root's super killer action occurs because the Machine is in her ear telling where and when to shoot. Claire can be trained for the physical part if that's what Samaritan even wants her for. What she and Root already have in common is super computer skillz and a willingness to go to extremes.

Edited by ABay
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Just because Claire is oblivious to the Silverpool (aka Blackwater) goons are after her doesn't mean she isn't a future Root. Root didn't emerge from the womb with super killer powers anymore than Shaw or Reese did. And some of Root's super killer action occurs because the Machine is in her ear telling where and when to shoot. Claire can be trained for the physical part if that's what Samaritan even wants her for. What she and Root already have in common is super computer skillz and a willingness to go to extremes.

This is a backstory I hope we eventually get. Where did Root get weapons training? She's very proficient with many types of firearms, and an accurate shot (which takes lots of practice), I'm dying to know when and where she picked up this skill.

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I don't know that I wanted Claire to die, as that would have made this episode very dark. But I would have been okay with the wire being cut and her realizing it was all for nothing.  Reese or Shaw could have taken out the bad guys on the roof and I would have been satisfied.  I'm just sick of Samaritan being this omnipotent entity.

 

And I agree with the poster upthread in resenting or at least being tired of Root being the voice of reason/moral compass every week. Maybe I just don't like the character and by extension am starting to lose patience with the Machine.

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Just because Claire is oblivious that the Silverpool (aka Blackwater) goons are after her doesn't mean she isn't a future Root. Root didn't emerge from the womb with super killer powers anymore than Shaw or Reese did. And some of Root's super killer action occurs because the Machine is in her ear telling where and when to shoot. Claire can be trained for the physical part if that's what Samaritan even wants her for. What she and Root already have in common is super computer skillz and a willingness to go to extremes.

This. I would also add that we're making the assumption that Samaritan wants Claire to be a full-fledged field operative. It's possible, however, that Samaritan will look at her and decide that she's better suited to a role like Root's band of hackers from last season had--occasionally in the field, but really more tech/support/programming/etc. providers than a true field operative a la Reese, Shaw, or what Root has become.
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This. I would also add that we're making the assumption that Samaritan wants Claire to be a full-fledged field operative. It's possible, however, that Samaritan will look at her and decide that she's better suited to a role like Root's band of hackers from last season had--occasionally in the field, but really more tech/support/programming/etc. providers than a true field operative a la Reese, Shaw, or what Root has become.

I'd say that's likely, considering the method used to recruit her. If Samaritan wanted a field operative it would be using other ways to recruit one.

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Just because Claire is oblivious that the Silverpool (aka Blackwater) goons are after her doesn't mean she isn't a future Root. Root didn't emerge from the womb with super killer powers anymore than Shaw or Reese did. And some of Root's super killer action occurs because the Machine is in her ear telling where and when to shoot. Claire can be trained for the physical part if that's what Samaritan even wants her for. What she and Root already have in common is super computer skillz and a willingness to go to extremes.

 

By the time Root ran into the machine, she was already quite the accomplished psychopath. We know she was an assassin and a master of her own destiny. Hell, the first time we see her, she's manipulating the machine into doing what she wants. Claire on the other hand...

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Knowing the kind of psychopath Root is, it wouldn't in the least surprise me if she got gun training at some point just so she could shoot people when she wanted to.

Root is from Texas.  And she had to learn to protect herself at a pretty young age.  I don't think she'd even have to do it a la Sarah Connor in Terminator 2. 

 

I'm not a psychologist but I don't think Root is a complete psychopath, despite all that's she done.  She is able to form attachments to people and she's loyal.  Revenge is pretty powerful emotion and would she feel that if she were a psychopath, per the clinical definition?  I never really thought the Machine was teaching her to be more human but more trying to reawaken the humanity that she had done a pretty good job of burying. 

 

OTOH, maybe she is a psychopath, who knows?  I wish the writers would make a decision one way or the other.  Because I want to believe that Root can be (somewhat) redeemed and the show seems to be heading that way.      

Edited by tessaray
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The writers of this show haven't done a great job with personality disorders in general. Shaw supposedly has some kind of disorder that we would normally call sociopathy except she's shown actually caring about people to some degree and she also doesn't exhibit a lot of the other signs such as recklessness, self-centeredness, and entitlement. She describes herself as having an Axis II Personality Disorder, but medically that doesn't make any sense (Axis II is a category of disorders, not a disorder itself).

This show in other words is subject to Hollywood Psychology. I don't worry about it too much as long as it's entertaining.

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Commenting on Root made me forget my original thoughts on the episode.  Which, come to think of it, wasn't hard to do.  I liked the puzzle and the concept of the game but the girl was boring, even though I guess we're supposed to see her as a younger version of Root. 

 

I liked the end reveal but I still miss the library.  Destroying the library was like killing a main character.   

 

ETA:  One thing that has been bugging me.  Is Samaritan on auto-pilot?  Did they bring it online with the understanding that as long as it eliminates terrorist threats it's free to do whatever else it wants in the meantime?  Greer asked for commands but do they expect us to believe he isn't using that capability to make money and influence people (politicians, mainly)?  Doesn't Greer ever get curious and ask for a systems check?  

Edited by tessaray
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I got the impression that Greer thinks Samaritan can do a much better job of running the world than humans can (though how he knows so much about a machine that had never been tested is quite a leap of faith).

 

Presumably, even if Decima has been dismantled, Greer, like Harold did, has access to untold amounts of money. But I don't think that the Greer we've been following is really capable of stepping aside and letting anyone else, even Samaritan, call the shots.

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Loved the new "Samaritan" style opening sequence. We are being watched, indeed...

I was under the impression that the Samaritan asset (played by Cara Buono) we saw last week was a Decima agent assigned to work with Samaritan. In the same way that Greer is Finch's Samaritan counterpart as the system administrator, I thought Buono's character was like Reese or Shaw, who works with Samaritan to protect it from external threats. After this episode, it's clear Samaritan's busy doing its own secret recruitment. Does Greer knows about this, and what he'll think of this development? Is this Samaritan covering its bases in case things with Greer goes wrong? Because last time we saw Greer, he was Root-like in his ideology towards the AI.

I'm in agreement with the other posters who enjoyed the puzzle game plot, but disliked both the person of interest and the actress. Unfortunately, we're very likely to see her return in the future.

Two episodes, two Samaritan assets. Samaritan's getting ready for a showdown with The Machine. Interestingly, this is also the second episode in a row where The Machine sent a number with multiple possible motives. Last week, we got a designer of a secret communications network. This week, Reese & Finch had the chance to stop a Samaritan recruit. And even though they failed to stop Claire from joining Samaritan, taking out Silverpool's AI helps both Samaritan AND The Machine by eliminating possible competition.

 

I remain tickled by the way the show continues to be subversive in a nonchalant way. Finch was all 'various dangerous entities could be behind this; the CIA, rogue hackers'. All on the same level. Aw.

The CIA & rogue hackers were two of the more popular theories as the mastermind behind the Cicada 3301 mystery, which this episode was clearly inspired from. Though Cicada 3301 was pre-dated by events like the DefCon Mystery Challenge. Edited by atua
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At some point the show has to explain what happened to Root from the age of 10 when Hannah was kidnapped and murdered to her losing her mother (she stayed and took care of her mother until she died, and then how she became an assassin. There are gaps there. If we follow the timeline, Root is 3 years younger than Hannah meaning when Carter and Reese went to Texas, they thought Root was Hannah and they estimated her age to be 35 but as it turned out Root is Samantha Groves, whose mother died 10 years earlier, so that means she left Texas at 22 after her mother died. And I don't think she was killing already at that time. Something happened to her that she lost all human compassion or lost her trust in humanity. Obviously she has feelings because she took care of her mother. I don't think there was ever a father in the picture.

 

I do think she was already a hacker even then in Texas and I think that is how she paid for her mother's medical bills. I think he and her mother were poor and came from the other side of the tracks based on how that Librarian detest attitude towards her. She was probably teased a lot as a child for being poor. Somehow, I think she was recruited mainly as a hacker but eventually, became a hacker by getting tangled in that web. 

Edited by IndependentMind
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Perhaps Root didn't like the care her mother was receiving, became disillusioned with humanity after doctors - people who are supposed to be kind to you when going through a difficult time - showed her callous indifference

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I'd be perfectly OK with never finding out what happened to Root between the time her friend was murdered and the time she showed up in New York. Really.

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At some point the show has to explain what happened to Root from the age of 10 when Hannah was kidnapped and murdered to her losing her mother (she stayed and took care of her mother until she died, and then how she became an assassin. There are gaps there.

 

It feels to me like they're spinoff baiting. They're not really going to reveal anything about Root or the things that she does until they get their spinoff. I could be wrong but that's how it comes off to me.

 

I'm actually starting to like the Sameen-Finch relationship a lot. It's almost the same father-daughter thing he has with the machine.

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