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S03.E19: Most Likely to...

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Reese and Shaw go undercover at a high-school reunion to keep tabs on the latest POI. Meanwhile, Finch and Fusco head to Washington, D.C., to investigate the motivations behind a recent attack.

Original airdate: April 1, 2014

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So the machine protected itself by going elsewhere? Is that what I saw? It's not really shut down, or else how would Root be hearing anything? Good episode, but I am not sure I understand the end. Hoping some of you smarter folk can shed some light. 

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Uh, yeah, I'm Mars477 from TWOP.

Loved this episode.  The Number plot was good, even with a very busy B plot.  Plus it helps to have Nestor Carbonell, although sadly he didn't he didn't have any scenes with Finch (and to forstall any guyliner comments, apparently his eyes are just naturally like that).  Reese and Shaw were pretty fun together, and I think I can watch Reese get slapped by women scorned for an hour (not least because imagining Jim Caviezel play a total cad is hilarious).  It helps that the Number plot was fairly simple.  Some of the weaker episodes this season also have had more ambitious Number plots (Reasonable Doubt, Provenance) where the execution fell apart.

Reese got all of the action bits this time.

Slightly infatuated Shaw is also pretty funny, because watching it was just so bizarre.  Which is good execution by Shahi, considering her previous roles as more conventional love interests.  And I think this can dispel the fear floating around that Reese and Shaw are going to be ill-advisedly thrown together (because, well, it's CBS).   When faced with sharing a motel room with only one bed, they both elect to take the floor.

Fusco in a bathrobe... no thanks.  Still, I liked watching Fusco and Finch work together.  At this point though, I think they need to start expanding Vigilance's bench beyond just Collier.  While its good that they've finally managed to score A victory, it's getting more and more improbably that Peter Collier manages to escape unscathed time and time again while his goons get mowed down around him.

And just like that, NORTHERN LIGHTS is exposed and is now defunct.  Damn, I didn't think they'd take one of the players out play so close to the endgame, and the one that could most closely be called (somewhat) friendly as well.  And it looks like Root is going to be a lot busier.

There's no episode next week?  Looks like the next one will be on April 15th (don't forget to do your taxes!) or the 22nd.  Damn.

So the machine protected itself by going elsewhere? Is that what I saw? It's not really shut down, or else how would Root be hearing anything? Good episode, but I am not sure I understand the end. Hoping some of you smarter folk can shed some light.

The Machine "escaped", physically, from it's NORTHERN LIGHTS masters at the end of last season.  Now NORTHERN LIGHTS (the government) is shut down, and the Machine assigned its responsibilities (interdicting and eliminating terrorist threats to US interests) to Root (the Analogue Interface/Machine's Meat Puppet) who earlier in the season fulfilled Tertiary Operations (apparently, building a cadre of highly skilled people to serve the Machine's direct needs).

 

Edited by Mars477
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Really enjoyed the episode.  Got to see plenty of Reese, Finch, and Fusco.  Shaw didn't bug at all.  Bare minimum of Root.  But no Bear, :(  I'm not even sure if Bear is still with Finch, or did I miss a line about Finch arranging for a sitter for Bear?  I wouldn't mind seeing this week's POI again, (and I bet Shaw wouldn't, either).  <wink>  I bet there are a number of ways to use the skills of a good prosecutor, except I imagine he'll lose his job and his license over this.

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Richard from Lost is still pretty to look at, and I love his eyes.  No Finch/Matthew scenes was annoying.  Finch, "I think I'm the one being punished," - funny.

I liked Reese and Shaw at the reunion, and Fusco/Finch working together.

Root still annoys me.  I liked her in the Season One finale, but it's gone downhill from there.

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How did Vigilance know that Reese and Shaw were going to the reunion?

Root told them.  She explained it when she called Shaw during the firefight in the Science Lab.  Root knew that Vigilance was changing the way they passed information to each other, so she leaked the information of where two of those who Vigilance sought were located.  She used that leak to figure out how Vigilance was now communicating with each other.

Pretty shitty that Root didn't warn Reese or Shaw in advance.  She waited until they were in the middle of the firefight to call and 'apologize' and explain.  Even a few minutes warning would have helped, but that wasn't happening.  Since Root takes all her instructions from the Machine, I guess it was the Machine that told Root when to call. 

Makes me worry about the Machine.  I worry if the Machine has learned just enough to manipulate people, then it will use them up and spit them out when needed. 

Maybe Harold made a huge mistake when he told the Machine that it couldn't worry about saving him, that it had to think of the primary mission first.  I can't think of a reason that the Machine would delay telling Shaw and Reese about how they were found out by Vigilance, they're both well-trained and smart enough to continue the mission without tipping off the added threat of the V people.

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This episode was a lot of fun.  I especially enjoyed Shaw's reaction to being a blogger and dental hygienist, although at the same time I kept thinking about how much fun Zoe would have had at the reunion.  And I thought Carbonell's (love him) character was interesting -- a number that was a perpetrator, not a victim, but also not strictly a bad guy.

There were lots of great little bits of acting, too.  Camryn Manheim expressed so much frustration and anger with just a look, and I loved Finch's happy look when, after complaining about how hard the job would be, Fusco then immediately followed it up with a "let's do it" attitude.

 

She waited until they were in the middle of the firefight to call and 'apologize' and explain.  Even a few minutes warning would have helped, but that wasn't happening.  Since Root takes all her instructions from the Machine, I guess it was the Machine that told Root when to call.

I didn't get that impression, actually, and I think Root decided to make the call herself once she overheard the new messages and realized how much firepower was being sent to take out Reese and Shaw.  Also, given Vigilance's abhorrence of surveillance, it would not surprise me if the Machine had a harder time tracking them and their plans (although Root obviously was able to intercept at least some information).

How the hell does Collier escape without a hitch every single time, and what kind of hold does he have over his people that so many of them are willing to commit suicide at the slightest provocation?

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And just like that, NORTHERN LIGHTS is exposed and is now defunct.  Damn, I didn't think they'd take one of the players out play so close to the endgame, and the one that could most closely be called (somewhat) friendly as well.  And it looks like Root is going to be a lot busier.

 

I seriously thought that Control was going to take out the Senator and keep Northern Lights going. Thanks Mars477 for the explanation. I couldn't figure out what happened in the end.

I liked the symmetry of Shaw and Reese's packing methods - some clothes, tons of weapons and gear.

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She used that leak to figure out how Vigilance was now communicating with each other.

Pretty shitty that Root didn't warn Reese or Shaw in advance.  She waited until they were in the middle of the firefight to call and 'apologize' and explain.  Even a few minutes warning would have helped, but that wasn't happening.  Since Root takes all her instructions from the Machine, I guess it was the Machine that told Root when to call.

Root wouldn't think to call.   People are broken code to her.   She doesn't care what happens to them.   She uses them to achieve her ends.   Remember the guy she busted out jail just to use him as a lookalike to get a package?   Very little thought to the consequences of that.   Same here.    If anything, the Machine realized she hadn't warned her buddies and made her call.

Would have preferred Reese go to the reunion with Zoe.   They work well together.   She is just a badass as he is, but is more civilized about her profession.   She knows how to use full sentences unlike Shaw.

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Zoe would have died at that high school reunion.  She's certainly not as badass as Reese or Shaw are.  Her weapons are words, not guns.

Plus I doubt she'd know how to mix a flashbang grenade out of high school chemistry materials.

And Paige Turco is too busy slumming it on a CW show.

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Root told them.  She explained it when she called Shaw during the firefight in the Science Lab.  Root knew that Vigilance was changing the way they passed information to each other, so she leaked the information of where two of those who Vigilance sought were located.  She used that leak to figure out how Vigilance was now communicating with each other.

~ ~ Zahdii

Which makes me laugh: Vigilance must be doing some survelliance to be able to have received the leaked information.  So, they can surveil but the government cannot?  (I do get the distinction between a person or small group of people as opposed to the government.)  I guess that they think of themselves as 'white-hats.'

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Bear's tweets last night:
 

Nobody asked me if I wanted to see Mamma Mia.

The whole weekend to spend alone? I believe I'm the one punished.

Sounds like my kind of dog show. No to compliance, yes to eating lots of hot dogs!

Ah. Nineteen hundred and ninety-four. The year my grandfather was born.

Wait ... did tall man take my toothbrush? Great.

Bespectacled man bought a portable package x-ray examine my stomach when I ate his USB drive.

I feel a serious tragedy. I feel tater tots thaw and not eaten.

If you are facing the future or not, he is coming, right? # duckiedale

Experience is the best teacher, it asks only a terrible high school fees. But she also gives education like no other #Carlyle

 

 

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Raingirlkm - I'm so glad to see you've migrated your Bear's Tweets translations over.  I was about to post at TWoP that I hoped you'd be doing so.  Thanks for doing & posting them.

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What if the Machine is planning to fake her own death? If everyone thinks she's been deactivated, no one will think of deactivating her or control  her.

I like Shaw and I think  she was great in this episode. This line was hilarious: "I wouldn't know. I've killed a lot of people, but my friends keep telling me it's wrong." And she had a lot of chemistry with Nestor Carbonell, whose eyelashes are still amazing, btw.

I like Root too and I'm enjoying her relationship with Shaw a lot. Obviously the Machine is Root's favourite thing in the universe, but I think she might miss having a female friend, like she used to when she was a kid.

Pity we didn't have a Lost reunion...

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What if the Machine is planning to fake her own death? If everyone thinks she's been deactivated, no one will think of deactivating her or control  her.

I like Shaw and I think  she was great in this episode. This line was hilarious: "I wouldn't know. I've killed a lot of people, but my friends keep telling me it's wrong." And she had a lot of chemistry with Nestor Carbonell, whose eyelashes are still amazing, btw.

I like Root too and I'm enjoying her relationship with Shaw a lot. Obviously the Machine is Root's favourite thing in the universe, but I think she might miss having a female friend, like she used to when she was a kid.

Pity we didn't have a Lost reunion...

A lawyer can become handy, and this one can show up any time. 

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The episdoes have been dragging for me a bit, lately; this one could have been tighter.  I find the class reunion trope to be a little overused, but I agree that watching Shaw grind her teeth through this one was kind of fun.  Of course, just about everything they said about OPM was wrong, but I'll grant them a little literary license.

But I'm in it for the Machine, so as long she keeps running things, I'll watch it.  And allow me to second the thanks for Bear's tweets; they're a riot.

(And I think I was janeta on TWOP too; haven't logged in over there in years.)

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fastiller, you're welcome. I, like many of you, am trying to figure out how/when to transition from TWoP. I tend to read a whole lot more than I post but I so enjoy the extra layer I get from Bear's tweets. I figure if I'm already going thru the steps to translate them then I might as well post them for others to enjoy.

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What if the Machine is planning to fake her own death? If everyone thinks she's been deactivated, no one will think of deactivating her or control  her.

Helena Dax - I love that idea! The Machine could go even deeper under cover.

 

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I'm not sure how I feel about Root taking on the relevants.  Even with 1 day, they could be anywhere.  The gov't wasn't just tracking them down, or otherwise dealing with them, in NY or even just the eastern seaboard.  

I liked that Reese was a little more present in this episode.  And while it was fun watching him get slapped over and over I just wondered if it was overkill. Yes, it sounds like he (Frank?) was a real cad, but that was 20 years ago for these people.  And even if he is still a creep (and it sounds like he might be with 3? divorces or something mentioned) he's in WI so it's not like they've seen him recently.  It seems eyerolling, brushing past, ignoring would be more in line.  It could still be funny with every time Reese tried to strike up a conversation or smile at someone to have them walk offin a huff.

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Another TWOPer here.

One of the better episodes this season. I agree with those who think Zoe would have been better with Reese at the reunion, although I'm not a Shaw-hater.

Paige Turco gets around; she had a small part in the backdoor pilot for NCIS: Nawlins.

And by the way, definitely AC/DC over Dixie Chicks on a road trip with Fusco. (Glad we're seeing more of him!)

(Wonder if Root does dirty deeds dirt cheap??)

Edited by torqy
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I loved how Shaw clutched that yearbook like "I'm keeping this to cram down Finch's throat".

Stoner dude being exactly that- stoner dude- through the whole episode was great; I was expecting him to be evil.

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I'm surprised the machine only spit out the head Vigilance guy's number recently.  You'd think the machine would have realized his threat beforehand.

Wonder how long it will be before Control realizes the Machine/Northern Lights isn't really shut down, just moved its primary operations to Root.  I presume Machine will still spit out irrelevant numbers as well.

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Makes me worry about the Machine.  I worry if the Machine has learned just enough to manipulate people, then it will use them up and spit them out when needed. 

Maybe Harold made a huge mistake when he told the Machine that it couldn't worry about saving him, that it had to think of the primary mission first.  I can't think of a reason that the Machine would delay telling Shaw and Reese about how they were found out by Vigilance, they're both well-trained and smart enough to continue the mission without tipping off the added threat of the V people.

That's the thing with The Machine, we don't know what it knows, how it predicts the actions of people, just how accurate it's predictions are, and whether it's capable to determining what sending numbers to people will come to. The Machine is somehow able to predict acts of terror and other premeditated acts of violence, but is it able to account for the human factor? Is it able to know what the people it saves with it's numbers are going to do afterward?

One thing though, the episode's first number. Why would The Machine send them a number that they couldn't possibly have saved? This is especially odd since Vigilance ended up getting the information they wanted anyway, so the team's effort ended up not amounting to anything.

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Yeah last week the Machine is so precise it can send Root to the exact moment she needs to be there, but this week can't get Reese and Shaw to the first Number in even time to keep her from getting into the cab.   In other words, the Machine is as precise as the writers need it to be that episode.

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Root has a direct uplink to the Machine.  Reese and Shaw do not: they're just given the identity of a person and need to work from here, by design.  Root's in-the-nick-of-time-ness is a function of the Machine's tapping into surveillance feeds and basic geometry, nothing more.

Plus, it's possible that it was Reese's intervention that prompted the bombing at that point in time anyways.

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Yeah last week the Machine is so precise it can send Root to the exact moment she needs to be there, but this week can't get Reese and Shaw to the first Number in even time to keep her from getting into the cab.   In other words, the Machine is as precise as the writers need it to be that episode.

Basically this ^. I can't think of any good reason why The Machine would send Team Machine a number they can't save, especially if Team Machine's efforts to save said number actually cause said number to die as has been suggested. I also can't think of any in universe reason (out of universe, it would make the episodes trivial) that The Machine still does not communicate directly with Team Machine by this point, even if it's only in instances like this episode where there is a direct threat to The Machine itself and it's objectives. Even the "It uses numbers because it respects how Harold wants to interact with it" is a pretty flimsy justification at this point.

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Leona Wainwright being blown up possibly by Vigilance was a bit harsh. But Collier and team have been pushing lately.

High School Reunion season I guess. Hawaii Five-o had one too this week.

Reese getting slapped 3 times(Frank Mercer) was funny. Shaw not happy at her yearbook picture(Betty Harris) was funny too. POI Matthew Reed(Richard from Lost) was nice until we find he set up the pay back. Thought maybe he and Shaw had something. The shootout in the lab was good but surprised no one heard it or a stray bullet didn't go in auditorium. Thought it might be Officer Jack Tanner who had a crush on Betty. He just seemed odd, but I guess he was just nervous and friendly. Also with Toke in lab he too made me think he would be bad. But Matthew couldn't go through with it against Doug Hamill.

Finch and Fusco in Washington was funny. And Fusco in his robe surprised me, but he was taking advantage of the fancy motel. In the evidence lockup, Finch and Collier coming face to face. Then he leaked info. to the press. Root helping out as Augusta King, Federal Bureau of Investigations!

Surprised the Senator Ross H. Garrison had Ma'am Control shut down Northern Lights. Was waiting for her to set something in motion to do it behind his back. Wasn't sure if Root had the relevant numbers to handle or she was going after Controls team?

Edited by webruce

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Well, late to the party, but let me just add my .02 and state that I didn't find those women slapping Reese funny, amusing or humorous. At all.

 

Oooh, look! Let's write a script where not one, not two, but three women get to slap Jim. wouldn't that be a hoot? Wouldn't that be just so funny?!

 

Me: yeah, Ha.Ha. Except Not.

 

Plus, what, did these women just wait for 20 years to do this? Like they wouldn't have done something when they found out, and don't they all, or didn't they all live in the same town when it happened? whatever.

 

I just want Root to die already. So sick and tired of her perfectness.

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Fun episode.  I loved the glimmer in Root's eye when she found out she was going to be the new ISA team all by her lonesome.  I can't wait to hear the back-story of how she went from sociopath hit-woman for hire to working as the right hand of "God".  It will be interesting to figure out how she ended up discovering the existence of The Machine.

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It will be interesting to figure out how she ended up discovering the existence of The Machine.

With how many computer geeks, government agents, and even random people just able to put two and two together that seem to find out about the Machine, I'd be more surprised if somebody like Root didn't manage to discover it's existence. For a so called impenetrable supercomputer that nobody's supposed to know about to the Nth level, an awful lot of people on this show seem to know about it.

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It will be interesting to figure out how she ended up discovering the existence of The Machine.

 

 

With how many computer geeks, government agents, and even random people just able to put two and two together that seem to find out about the Machine, I'd be more surprised if somebody like Root didn't manage to discover it's existence. For a so called impenetrable supercomputer that nobody's supposed to know about to the Nth level, an awful lot of people on this show seem to know about it.

Maybe I'm missing something, but Root already knows about the Machine's existence. She has since the end of the first season. She calls it "her", "she", etc. That's who she's been "talking" to and taking directions from.

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Maybe I'm missing something, but Root already knows about the Machine's existence. She has since the end of the first season. She calls it "her", "she", etc. That's who she's been "talking" to and taking directions from.

We were referring to HOW she found out about it, and I'm just pointing out that it doesn't seem to be that difficult.

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We were referring to HOW she found out about it, and I'm just pointing out that it doesn't seem to be that difficult.

Ohhh, gotcha! For her, no, not that difficult, considering she was/is an ace hacker herself, and was able to hack into the Machine back in Season one, in that episode where the local politician or whoever was assassinated. At the time, we only saw her from the back, and her fingers, and it wasn't Amy playing her.

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I'm watching this via DVD and loving it.  I loved Shaw's "Tormenting the guy and then faking his suicide?  That's fine artistry.  Uh, I mean, killing is like, wrong and stuff."

 

When the number asked "Who said anything about a relationship?" Shaw looked like she was ten seconds away from dragging him onto the nearest private flat surface.

Edited by johntfs

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