‘Person of Interest’ Season 5 Episode 10 Recap and Review: The Day the World Went Away

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Person of Interest Season 5 Episode 10

Sarah Shahi as Sameen Shaw, Amy Acker as Root, and Michael Emerson as Harold Finch in ‘Person of Interest’ (Photo by Giovanni Rufino © 2016 WBEI)

“I’m just protecting a number, Harold. It’s what you hired me to do,” says Reese (Jim Caviezel) to his employer and friend Harold Finch whose number has been given to Team Machine in the 100th episode of CBS’ crime thriller series, Person of Interest.

As the episode begins, Finch (Michael Emerson) is sitting at a café talking to the Machine and asking if there is any scenario where any of his friends make it out alive. A waitress brings him his order, commenting on how nice it is to see him again. Finch tells her she must have him mistaken for someone else. Finch quickly leaves the café realizing he’s just made a mistake.

Back at the subway headquarters, Root (Amy Acker) tries once again to talk to Harold about his decision to close the Machine. Root still believes they have a small chance of beating Samaritan but only if Harold gives the Machine the tools to fight back. She accuses Harold of never giving the Machine her own voice because he knew deep down he might kill it again. Finch responds to this by telling Root, “I imagined one day that it might wish to choose one for itself.” Finch then sits at the computer and locks the system.


The Machine gets a new number and it’s Reese and Fusco (Kevin Chapman) who receive it. It turns out the number is Harold’s so Team Machine immediately attempts to protect Finch and minutes later a couple of Samaritan thugs show up to grab him. It seems Finch was once at the café before and Samaritan picked up on it so his cover is blown. The group takes Finch to a safe house and decide to spilt up, with Elias (Enrico Colantoni) going with Finch to keep him off the grid, Reese and Fusco following the one lead they got off the thugs they took down, and Root and Shaw (Sarah Shahi) staying behind and holding off the other Samaritan agents headed to the safe house. Before they split up Root tells Harold that before he closed the Machine she armed it with the tools to fight back but it will only work if Finch activates it.

Elias takes Finch to the old high-rise where he first met Reese and Harold to keep him out of sight. It’s now an area where two rival gangs fight, but Elias is still king of the underworld so he calls in a favor to make the gangs stop fighting for a day. This actually is a mistake because Samaritan notices the change and realizes the high-rise is where Finch is hiding. Elias and Finch begin to make their way down to the street with Elias taking on more of Samaritan’s agents. Just as Finch and Elias are about to get in their getaway car, two Samaritan agents quickly come up and shoot Elias in the head. The king of the underworld is dead. In shock, Finch can’t seem to move as a Samaritan agent puts him into a car and drives off.

Meanwhile, Reese and Fusco go check out the info gathered from the Samaritan thugs which leads them to a fake business in a building Samaritan is using. Reese and Fusco end up having to fight their way out, which is not a problem since they came heavily armed.

Back at the safe house, Root and Shaw have effectively knocked out the Samaritan thugs and Root tells Shaw that for the first time in her life since joining Team Machine she feels like she belongs.

Reese and Fusco show up on the scene and get help from a neighborhood kid who tells them that everyone respected Elias. Fortunately, the kid was smart enough to snap a photo of the car that drove off with Finch inside. The very next scene is the car pulling into a parking garage where Greer (John Nolan) is waiting. He tells Harold that Samaritan wants him to work for it and that it knows he won’t do that now but in time will of his own accord. Greer has another thug take Finch out to yet another car…and who should pull up but Root and Shaw. The two very tough ladies engage in a firefight with the Samaritan agents, and Root decides this is the right time to flirt with Shaw and try to make her feel better. Since her escape and reconnecting with Team Machine Shaw has been wondering if it is all real or just another simulation. Root tells Shaw, “The real world is essentially a simulation anyway, even if we’re not real we represent a dynamic, a tiny finger tracing a line in the infinite.” Shaw doesn’t find her theory very comforting, but Root manages to get a smile out of her.

The two ladies manage to get the better of the agents and begin to leave the area with Finch when a Samaritan vehicle with a turret gun pulls up. Shaw stays behind to cover Finch and Root’s escape, with Root saying she won’t lose Shaw again and Shaw telling her that she will shoot her if she doesn’t get Harold out of danger. Root and Finch speed away in a bullet-ridden car. As Root speeds down the highway she tries once again to convince Finch to let the Machine fight back and to work with her to beat Samaritan. Harold keeps insisting that the war is already over and they are just delaying the inevitable. The turret gun car catches up to them and Root tells Finch to give her the 338 gun. Finch asks which one is that and she replies, “The really big one.” With the big gun and using one of her feet to partly steer, with Finch’s help Root goes up and out the sunroof and fires her weapon, hitting the Samaritan car in the hood causing it to crash and explode.

Samaritan hasn’t given up and sends operative Jeff Blackwell to a sniper position on a roof to take out Root and Finch. As the car approaches and Blackwell gets ready to shoot, Root sees him and swerves the car quickly so Blackwell misses hitting Finch but the bullet hits Root instead. Harold asks Root if she’s hit and she lies and says she’s fine. The two come up on a police roadblock and Finch tells Root they’ll have to take their chances with the NYPD. Finch is taken into a police car and sees Root not responding as the cops try to get her out of the car. (NO! C’mon! Not Root!)

Once at the police station, the FBI is called in when Finch’s fingerprints lead the authorities to discover that he might be wanted for treason. While he sits in the interrogation room Finch says, “I’m going to kill you, but I need to decide how far I’m willing to go, how many of my own rules I’m willing to break.” The FBI agent tells Harold he can add threatening a federal agent to the list of charges and Finch looks at him disgustingly and says, “I wasn’t talking to you,” and looks up at the surveillance camera. Yes, he was talking to Samaritan.

The FBI begin to escort Finch back to the holding cell when one agent gets distracted by another and steps a few feet away from Finch. It’s then that a pay phone rings and Finch, realizing it’s most likely his Machine, answers. It is the Machine and it has found its voice…Root. It’s using Root’s voice to talk to Harold who realizes that Root must be dead. Finch asks if the Machine can get him out of the police station and it answers, “Of course,” shutting off the power to the prison and allowing Finch to escape along with hundreds of other prisoners.

Outside the jail, Reese and Shaw get brought up to speed about what’s happening. Fusco calls from the hospital where the ambulance took Root and tells Reese that Root is dead. Reese looks at Shaw and just by the look on his face she knows Root is gone. Always attempting to be strong, Shaw quickly moves on by telling Reese they need to find Harold. She wonders why the Machine gave them Finch’s number and not Root’s, and Reese realizes that the computer is worried what Finch might do. He’s now the perpetrator.

Person of Interest Season 5 Episode 10 review:

Suspenseful, action-packed, and tragic, the 100th episode of CBS’ crime thriller series titled “The Day the World Went Away” said goodbye to a major cast member and a recurring guest star. It also gave new strength and determination to Finch who it seems is finally ready to do what is necessary to beat Samaritan.

The stand-out performances in this episode were delivered by Amy Acker for her final portrayal of Root and Michael Emerson who experiences the loss of two close friends who knew Finch perhaps better than he knew himself. Acker is nothing less than superb in showing how far Root has come to love her friends more than herself and the Machine. She once again is willing to sacrifice herself to protect Finch from certain death but this time it costs Root her life. It’s that continuing theme of courage and self-sacrifice that has always made Person of Interest a show that’s a cut above the others and what makes the main characters so likeable. Emerson is wonderful as Finch who, to be honest, has been just a tad annoying with his doom and gloom outlook. His transformation in the interrogation room is mesmerizing when he tells the evil AI he’s going to kill it. Now that’s a Finch worth cheering on!

The episode is also jam-packed with shoot-outs and a very impressive action scene where Root takes on Samaritan’s turret gun vehicle while also driving with her foot. It’s as exciting and explosive as any big screen action scene to date.

With the loss of Root and Finch seeming to be more determined than ever to stop Samaritan, it will be interesting to see what Team Machine’s next move is.

GRADE: A-

Person of Interest Season 5 Recaps:

Kevin Finnerty

Professional film critic since 2003 and a member of the San Diego Film Critics Society. Host of “The Movie Guys” radio film review show from 2007 through 2013. Film and television critic for Showbizjunkies.com and a movie buff since 1973.
Kevin Finnerty
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