‘Person of Interest’ Season 4 “If-Then-Else” Recap and Review

Person of Interest Season 4 Episode 11 Recap and Review
Amy Acker, Michael Emerson, Jim Caviezel and Kevin Chapman in ‘Person of Interest’ season 4 episode 11 ( Photo: JoJo Whilden / Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2014 WBEI. All rights reserved.)

Warning: there will be spoilers in this Person of Interest article as it’s a recap and review of the 11th episode of season four titled “If-Then-Else.”

“Is something the matter, Miss Groves?” asks Finch (Michael Emerson). “It’s a trap!” replies Root (Amy Acker) as she Finch, Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Fusco (Kevin Chapman) struggle to save the American economy from plummeting due to the A.I. master computer called Samaritan sabotaging the market numbers in the mid-season four opener of the CBS television crime series Person of Interest.

In part two of what CBS has been promoting as “the trilogy not to be missed,” Reese, Finch, Root and Fusco have been trying to slow down the horrible chaos Samaritan has been creating all over New York in hopes of luring Finch’s computer out of hiding. It’s latest trap is to plunge Wall Street into a financial crisis forcing Root, Finch, Reese and Fusco to go to Wall Street and try to secretly install a device allowing Finch’s computer to set the numbers on the worldwide market right again and free of Samaritan’s reach. However, once inside and down in the basement of Wall Street – because that’s where most of the trading is actually done via computers – Root gets word from the computer that it’s a trap and the four heroes must run and find cover from Decima’s (the evil organization that put Samaritan online) hit squad.

Meanwhile, Shaw (Sarah Shahi), who’s been staying close to headquarters ever since her cover identity had been blown by Samaritan, is finally out and on special assignment on the subway trying to get close to a man who has a code to the entrance to the main computer room at Wall Street which Finch and Root will need in order to sneak into. But just when she’s about to make her move, a passenger devastated by the events on Wall Street reveals a bomb strapped to himself and tells everyone not to move or he’ll blow up the entire subway car.

Back in the bowels of Wall Street, Root, Finch, Reese, and Fucso are pinned down by gunfire. Seeing no way out, Root looks up at one of the security cameras that’s controlled by Finch’s computer and says, “Could use a little help, please.”

The Bottom Line:

Action-packed, intense, and tragic, Person of Interest season four episode 11 explodes with more shoot-outs and explosions than any episode this season and sees one of the main characters sacrifice him or herself to save the others…no, the identity of that character won’t be revealed here. The cold cloak and dagger game is now hot, with both sides raging war with Samaritan and with Decima using all their tricks in a big effort to destroy once and for all their enemies while Finch, Reese, and their friends fight to save both New York and themselves from Samaritan’s reach.


The performances are, of course, flawless. Caviezel, Emerson, Acker, Chapman, and Shahi portray their characters with just the right amount of urgency, tongue-in-cheek one-liners and at times emotional impact. The scene where Finch gets shot and Root holds him is both shocking and moving (and, no, that’s not the sacrifice referred to in the above paragraph).

The style and pacing of this episode is unique and different from Person of Interest’s usual approach, and the audience is shown almost all the action from Finch’s computer’s point of view. When the heroes are pinned down waiting for the computer to tell them their best strategy to accomplish their mission and escape, viewers get to see each one of the computer’s strategies and how it would play out. It’s Groundhog Day meets Person of Interest and it works surprisingly well.

With the loss of one of their own and Samaritan and Decima still incredibly strong and bent on their destruction, here’s looking forward to watching Finch, his super computer, and the rest of the gang find a way to not just survive but stop Samaritan and Decima once and for all.

GRADE: B+

– Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty

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