“Shaw!” says a surprised Root (Amy Acker). “Not a very friendly homecoming,” replies Shaw (Sarah Shahi) who it seems has broken out of where Samaritan and its goons were keeping her prisoner in season five episode four of CBS’ crime action series, Person of Interest.
As the episode begins, Shaw is strapped down on an operating table where Samaritan doctors are implanting a mind control chip near her brain stem. The chip however doesn’t seem to take and when they are preparing to try a different one, Shaw – who is not so out of it as she is pretending – is able to break free and escape the facility only to find herself on some uncharted island. Desperate, she looks around to see a small boat nearby. She borrows the boat and heads for New York.
Once in the city Shaw is afraid to go to the subway headquarters of Finch and the Machine, unsure if she might lead Samaritan thugs right to the Machine. She decides to try to take out the chip herself in a drug store but every time she tries, she becomes overcome with pain and gets disoriented. Shaw decides to threaten to kill the poor drugstore clerk to get the Machine’s attention and bring help. The plan works and Root finds Shaw after saving her from a few of Samaritan’s agents who got there first.
Still not sure what she has been through and if Shaw has been turned, Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Root take the chip out of her while riding in the subway. Afterwards they take her to an apartment Root is using and Shaw is reunited with Finch (Michael Emerson) and Bear the dog. Harold is leery of trusting her because Martine told them months ago that Samaritan had broken Shaw and turned her. Shaw overhears this and asks Finch if he even tried to look for her. Finch and Reese leave to study the chip and see what information they can get out of it.
Root tries to get close to Shaw who she missed terribly, but Shaw is in no mood for picking up where they left off right before she was shot. (Shaw kissed Root as she stood her ground and held back Samaritan thugs so that Root, Finch, and a badly wounded Reese could escape.) A little while later Shaw changes her mind and she and Root end up in bed together being very intimate. (Is it getting hot in here?!) Afterwards, Shaw tells Root about some of the psychological torture she went through while a prisoner. Later that night Shaw goes to the ladies room and has another mind attack while looking at the wound from where the chip was inside her. When she becomes aware again she sees herself holding a gun and ammo but has no memory of picking up them up. This scares her and she puts them away quickly, slipping back in bed with Root.
The next morning Root meets up with John at a diner and he tells her that the chip is a placebo. Root begins to defend Shaw and says she won’t let him hurt her. Reese smiles and tries to calm Root telling her, “No one is saying or suggesting that.” He goes on to say that they need to know what happened to her and where her head is at when Shaw comes in angry that John is suggesting she is a double agent. She grabs a patron’s phone and calls, letting Samaritan know where she is to try and lure more agents to an ambush. It works with Reese and Root’s help. They use the one of the phones on the Samaritan thugs to find Greer’s hide out. Team Machine takes Greer (John Nolan) to a church to get information out of him and to keep him off Samaritan’s radar.
While searching Greer Shaw discovers a chip hidden in his arm underneath the skin so she digs it out. Finch analyzes it and says it looks like it has the code to shut down Samaritan once it is plugged into a networked device. Finch and Root head off to try it while Reese and Shaw stand watch. While Reese tries to convince Shaw to go get some rest they hear men walking around upstairs in the church. Reese goes up to take care of what sounds like Samaritan goons while Shaw watches Greer. He uses this alone time with her to tell Shaw good job but she needs to stop the charade and let him go. She tells him he’s lucky not to be dead and he laughs telling her it was her idea to put the chip in his arm and that they turned her months ago. Shaw doesn’t want to believe it and has another brain attack. When she comes to, she realizes she has had Greer in the head.
Reese comes back down and Shaw tells him the drive is a trap for Samaritan to find the Machine. Reese and Shaw head out to stop Finch from plugging the drive in. Reese begins to question how Samaritan found them and how did they know they would kidnap Greer. How could they be certain? Reese realizes Shaw isn’t right in the head and that she might be programmed by Samaritan. He tells her he needs her to be calm and more collected before they go find Harold, suggesting they go get a coffee. When John’s back is turned to her – seriously, Reese would never turn his back on a potential threat which is what Shaw is now – Shaw shoots him. Shaw tells Root and Finch that Samaritan operatives just killed John.
Root doubles back and finds Shaw and the two go together to an old rundown park. That’s where Shaw admits to shooting Reese and that she doesn’t know who is controlling her. “Nothing’s safe,” says Shaw and she tells Root that being with her is where she would go in her mind to try to shield herself from the tortures of Samaritan. With tears in her eyes, Shaw takes her gun and shoots herself in the head.
The scene cuts back to the room where Shaw is being kept tied down to a bed going through another simulation created by Greer and Samaritan to try to get Shaw to give up the location of the Machine. She’s unconscious and hooked up to a machine with Greer and another staff member observing. Shaw has gone through 6,741 simulations and every time she kills Greer and herself. That’s right, it was all just a simulation/dream.
Review of Person of Interest Season 5 episode 4:
Suspenseful and intriguing, season five episode four titled “6,741” brought back to the show missing team member Shaw and unfortunately just wasted one of the 13 episodes of this abbreviated final season by not moving the main storyline forward at all. Even though both Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker give stellar, stand-out performances in this episodem it basically is the classic “It was all just a dream and nothing you just witnessed actually happened” filler episode.
With only nine episodes left, here’s hoping that the next episode gets the show back on track and begins to build to what should be an exciting and unforgettable showdown between Team Machine and Samaritan.