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Old 01-14-2015, 04:34 PM   #1
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Person of Interest - S4E12 - “Control-Alt-Delete” 01/13/2015

Well, this certainly wasn’t what I’d call a trilogy. Not that I didn’t find the episode interesting or good (I did), but this really isn’t a trilogy and I kind of wonder who’s idea it was to call it one, The Producers or Network Marketing?

The title “Control-Alt-Delete” implies a reboot but that’s not what really got here. Instead, the episode focus here was on “Control” and setting up her role in the Machine Wars.

Sure, there’s Reese and Root trying to find Shaw but it’s in the background while the focus is on “Control”.

Again we saw layer peeling into “Control” and her life. Her operation in dealing with the “relevant” numbers and a touch of her personal life.
(I would suspect that “Control” justifies all of her actions in the name of protecting her daughter.)

And as it turns out, “Control” is unhappy with having a Decima stooge in her operations room and preventing from seeing information she requested with a smug look on his face.

Which starts her thinking about things.
About the supposed terrorist she’s chasing and what’s being hidden.

(Which makes it kind of interesting that “Control” knew that Grice let Shaw go. Does this mean Grice will join the team for a while maybe or does “Control” sort of approve of Team Machine’s goals?)

While we didn’t see much of Team Machine this episode, I did like the Reese/Grice fight and their shared concern for Shaw.

Emerson’s scene with “Control” was show stopping though and the culmination with “You say that like we weren't expecting them” was just about perfection.

(I should probably note that I’ve also enjoyed Camryn Manheim performances as “Control”.)

You could also Fusco’s eyes glazing over when Harold was explaining the plan in the truck his “Redwings suck” line was the laugh of the night.

Although “Control” did eventually track down and kill Said the alleged terrorist, she did find the new paint at the Stock Exchange basement so she’s definitely thinking about things and starting to realize that she was used to take out Samaritan’s trash.
(Which leads me to wonder, did she kill Said because she didn’t believe him or did she kill him to “keep up appearances’ and he’s an acceptable loss?)

And what does Samaritan want to say to the President?

(Will Obama announce something Samaritan related in his next State of the Union? )

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Old 01-14-2015, 05:16 PM   #2
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My take on Control killing Said was that the unconfirmed possibility of Said being innocent didn't outweigh the risk of her letting a terrorist escape to kill again. Combine that with her willingness to kill people and it was (in her mind) better to eliminate the risk.

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Old 01-14-2015, 05:48 PM   #3
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(Which makes it kind of interesting that “Control” knew that Grice let Shaw go. Does this mean Grice will join the team for a while maybe or does “Control” sort of approve of Team Machine’s goals?)

While we didn’t see much of Team Machine this episode, I did like the Reese/Grice fight and their shared concern for Shaw.
With Shaw gone Team Machine are short of a sniper and Grice's partner showed she has the qualifications to fullfil that role.

But I am not expecting a full time replacement for Shaw - more likely a rotating use of various people we have seen before.

Thinking of seems I have seen before - grabbing the gun out of the pram reminded me of a recent Who episode and the U.N.I.T force reconnaissance unit - but the gun was much bigger.

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Old 01-15-2015, 07:52 AM   #4
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After watching the ep I thought "Is that all there is?". Did they just waste 40 minutes telling 15 minutes of story?

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Old 01-15-2015, 10:20 AM   #5
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CTL-ALT-DEL does not have to mean a reboot.

Control is a person as shown in this episode

ALT could be an alternate person for something...like the kid being the live ALT of Samaritan

and clearly DEL could mean tkaing someone or something out.

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Old 01-15-2015, 10:31 AM   #6
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Not a fan of the obnoxious kid being the voice of the Bad Machine.
When the producers at Comic Con said that Samaritan would be getting a voice the season but you probably won't like it, they were correct.

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Old 01-15-2015, 10:56 AM   #7
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am i the only one who saw her touch the wet paint and got annoyed? even the cheapo paints dry to the touch in 30 minutes. So you're telling me painters had left there within the past 30 minutes? the whole place would've smelled like fresh paint too. i wish they would've shown something else that looked obviously repaired/replaced instead.

i know, i know.

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Old 01-15-2015, 11:15 AM   #8
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After watching the ep I thought "Is that all there is?". Did they just waste 40 minutes telling 15 minutes of story?
They did manage to set up a lot of so far unanswered questions.

Is Control going to decide that Research lies, if so what is she going to do about it? Is Control's daughter a vulnerablility, if so who is going to exploit it?

Why did Samaritan hire people to code climate change models, why did it give an order to kill them?

What the heck is Samaritan going to say to POTUS, will Greer know what is said?

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Old 01-15-2015, 01:48 PM   #9
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Okay, I just started watching this show again and I'm completely lost.

Who do Reese, Finch, et al. actually work for?

What is Samaritan? Almost reminds me of Colossus, The Forbin Project.

Is that little kid a real person or some holographic construct?

This ep almost seemed like a pilot with minimal input from the regular cast.

Who the hell are the good guys here?

What is Research?

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Old 01-15-2015, 01:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by philw1776 View Post
Not a fan of the obnoxious kid being the voice of the Bad Machine.
When the producers at Comic Con said that Samaritan would be getting a voice the season but you probably won't like it, they were correct.
What I don't get is what is in it for the kid? Why would a kid do what he's told by someone he doesn't know?

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Old 01-15-2015, 02:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RGM1138 View Post
Okay, I just started watching this show again and I'm completely lost.

Who do Reese, Finch, et al. actually work for?

What is Samaritan? Almost reminds me of Colossus, The Forbin Project.

Is that little kid a real person or some holographic construct?

This ep almost seemed like a pilot with minimal input from the regular cast.

Who the hell are the good guys here?

What is Research?
Reese and Shaw and Root work for Finch who built the machine.
The Machine was built to hunt terrorists and "Control" took them out.
Reese and Finch get the "unimportant" numbers from the machine because Finch built his machine to understand that all human life is important.
Samaritan is a competing AI built by Greer and now "taking over"
Research is the name of the part of Samaritan which is now feeding Control info about terror suspects.
Samaritan is hunting for Finch and company as a means to get the Machine shut down, because the Machine is trying to get Samaritan shut down.

Finch and company are the good guys.

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Old 01-15-2015, 02:15 PM   #12
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What I don't get is what is in it for the kid? Why would a kid do what he's told by someone he doesn't know?
Free PS4?
The kid is probably being manipulated, or Samaritan has his parents held hostage or something.

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Old 01-15-2015, 02:16 PM   #13
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am i the only one who saw her touch the wet paint and got annoyed? even the cheapo paints dry to the touch in 30 minutes. So you're telling me painters had left there within the past 30 minutes? the whole place would've smelled like fresh paint too. i wish they would've shown something else that looked obviously repaired/replaced instead.

i know, i know.
Yeah it would have taken months for the cleanup to have been done in NYC. Unions etc. I would have expected the room to look like it was just shot up

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Old 01-15-2015, 02:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by RGM1138 View Post
Okay, I just started watching this show again and I'm completely lost.

Who do Reese, Finch, et al. actually work for?
Finch built "The Machine". It's a powerful and essentially sentient AI that is designed to monitor all communications and surveillance systems in order to predict threats to national security. It was built because the US government asked for people to submit proposals for pro-active intelligence systems in the wake of 9/11. Several people/organizations made attempts. Finch's attempt succeeded and was purchased by the US government.

In addition to predicting threats to national security, the machine also predicts "normal" crimes that the government have no interest in interdicting. For a rather lengthy and complicated set of reasons, Finch has taken it upon himself to pro-actively help the potential victims of these "irrelevant" crimes.

At some point, The Machine decided to escape the clutches of its government masters and arranged to have itself moved to an undisclosed location. It still gives Finch and Co. information and directives.

As for who they work for? At first, Reese worked for Finch. Shaw used to work for the government agency that was using The Machine for intel, but left them and went to work for Finch. Root is a hacker who somehow found out about The Machine, basically worships it as an omniscient entity, and has gotten herself aligned with The Machine and Finch and Co. These people are "Team Machine".

These days though, nobody on Team Machine works for anybody. They are the foot soldiers of The Machine in it's war against Samaritan.

Which brings us to...

Quote:
What is Samaritan? Almost reminds me of Colossus, The Forbin Project.
It's not entirely dissimilar. Just as Colossus had it's enemy counterpart Guardian, The Machine has Samaritan.


The Samaritan project was a competing venture back when people were responding to the government request for systems. It was written by an old colleague of Finch's. It mainly failed because the hardware requirements of the code exceeded the available technology of the time.

Decima, a rogue intelligence operation headed by a guy named Greer, a disillusioned former MI-6 agent, found/stole the old hard drives on which the Guardian code was archived and used advanced modern hardware to get Samaritan up and running.

Greer was eventually able to influence key players in the US Government to start using Samaritan for it's intel.


The key difference between the systems is that Finch went to great lengths to introduce a moral compass into The Machine that Samaritan lacks. Also, Finch basically firewalled The Machine so that the intel it gave was only the identities of people who need to be looked at, and the people could either be the perpetrator or the victim of some crime. This would force an intervening human component to evaluate the situation before acting. Samaritan, on the other hand, gives directives that are followed blindly out of expediency.

Samaritan views The Machine as an existential threat, so the two systems are essentially at war with one another.



Quote:
Is that little kid a real person or some holographic construct?
It's a real kid who is apparently exceptionally gifted and intelligent, and a hacker. When he speaks, however, those are not his words. He has an earwig through which Samaritan tells him what to do and say.

Just as humans use virtual people as avatars in cyberspace, a cyberentity uses real people as avatars in meatspace.



Quote:
This ep almost seemed like a pilot with minimal input from the regular cast.
It was a different perspective, to be sure, but one that needed to be used to show the possibly slowly shifting allegiances.



Quote:
Who the hell are the good guys here?
Team Machine.


Quote:
What is Research?
Research is the code name that the US Government uses for whatever entity is giving them the pro-active intel that they are acting on. Once upon a time Research was The Machine. Research is now Samaritan.

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Old 01-15-2015, 02:25 PM   #15
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What I don't get is what is in it for the kid? Why would a kid do what he's told by someone he doesn't know?
The kid is a genius hacker. I suspect he might have the same infatuation with Samaritan that Root has with The Machine which would lead to devotion and obedience.


Although I think it would be hilarious if Samaritan was trying to do something really important through the kid and he suddenly gets all cranky because he hasn't had his nap or something. Awk...ward!

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Old 01-15-2015, 02:28 PM   #16
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What I don't get is what is in it for the kid? Why would a kid do what he's told by someone he doesn't know?
What is in it for any disciple of a god?

He is a highly skilled computer hacker who came to the attention of Samaritan and has been selected as its analogue interface / disciple.

A sorta younger version of Root - except Root serves a good god.

I wouldn't be surprised if the kid pulls off the wings of angels.

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Old 01-15-2015, 04:26 PM   #17
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Heh, you picked a particularly unfortunate episode to start back in with . This episode was extremely unusual in that it had little to do with the main characters. It was about the "other side", who we rarely see, and almost never to this level of detail. For example this is the first time we've seen Control (Camryn Manheim) since last season, and she's only been in 7 episodes total.

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Old 01-15-2015, 04:43 PM   #18
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My take on Control killing Said was that the unconfirmed possibility of Said being innocent didn't outweigh the risk of her letting a terrorist escape to kill again. Combine that with her willingness to kill people and it was (in her mind) better to eliminate the risk.
Perhaps.
"Control" has been shown to be pretty ruthless in the past (in particular, her method of firing "Special Counsel") but I'd like to think that she's smarter than her ruthlessness.

(BTW, the irony that "Control" used Shaw to "take out Northern Lights trash" {one Daniel Aquino} and then Samaritan used "Control" to "take out it's trash" has not escaped me.)

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With Shaw gone Team Machine are short of a sniper and Grice's partner showed she has the qualifications to fullfil that role.

But I am not expecting a full time replacement for Shaw - more likely a rotating use of various people we have seen before.
I don't think it's going to be Brooks as I have the feeling that Brooks is the Decima mole.


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Okay, I just started watching this show again and I'm completely lost.

Who do Reese, Finch, et al. actually work for?

What is Samaritan? Almost reminds me of Colossus, The Forbin Project.

Is that little kid a real person or some holographic construct?

This ep almost seemed like a pilot with minimal input from the regular cast.

Who the hell are the good guys here?

What is Research?
As stated, this isn't a particularly good episode to "jump back into the series", especially if you haven't watched since (I'm guessing based on your questions) the first season.

Honestly, based on your questions, I'd suggest going back to the beginning and watching from there.

This show really isn't "just another CBS procedural" where one can just jump back in after a multi season absence without missing a lot.

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Old 01-15-2015, 10:01 PM   #19
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What is in it for any disciple of a god?

He is a highly skilled computer hacker who came to the attention of Samaritan and has been selected as its analogue interface / disciple.

A sorta younger version of Root - except Root serves a good god.

I wouldn't be surprised if the kid pulls off the wings of angels.
Are you guys sure the kid is a computer hacker? When he said it, did he say it as himself or as the 'avatar' of Samaritan? I assumed the latter...

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Old 01-15-2015, 10:14 PM   #20
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Are you guys sure the kid is a computer hacker? When he said it, did he say it as himself or as the 'avatar' of Samaritan? I assumed the latter...
Root said something like "I'm surprised that you chose a child as your avatar", to which Samaritan responded with something like "This 'child' has already hacked the DOD..."

The kid was speaking the words of Samaritan, and Samaritan was referring to the child, in the third person.

It was not an instance of the child speaking the words of Samaritan in which Samaritan was referring to himself.

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Old 01-16-2015, 12:09 AM   #21
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Reese and Shaw and Root work for Finch who built the machine.
The Machine was built to hunt terrorists and "Control" took them out.
Reese and Finch get the "unimportant" numbers from the machine because Finch built his machine to understand that all human life is important.
Samaritan is a competing AI built by Greer and now "taking over"
Research is the name of the part of Samaritan which is now feeding Control info about terror suspects.
Samaritan is hunting for Finch and company as a means to get the Machine shut down, because the Machine is trying to get Samaritan shut down.

Finch and company are the good guys.
Thank you.

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Old 01-16-2015, 12:24 AM   #22
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Finch built "The Machine". It's a powerful and essentially sentient AI that is designed to monitor all communications and surveillance systems in order to predict threats to national security. It was built because the US government asked for people to submit proposals for pro-active intelligence systems in the wake of 9/11. Several people/organizations made attempts. Finch's attempt succeeded and was purchased by the US government.

In addition to predicting threats to national security, the machine also predicts "normal" crimes that the government have no interest in interdicting. For a rather lengthy and complicated set of reasons, Finch has taken it upon himself to pro-actively help the potential victims of these "irrelevant" crimes.

At some point, The Machine decided to escape the clutches of its government masters and arranged to have itself moved to an undisclosed location. It still gives Finch and Co. information and directives.

As for who they work for? At first, Reese worked for Finch. Shaw used to work for the government agency that was using The Machine for intel, but left them and went to work for Finch. Root is a hacker who somehow found out about The Machine, basically worships it as an omniscient entity, and has gotten herself aligned with The Machine and Finch and Co. These people are "Team Machine".

These days though, nobody on Team Machine works for anybody. They are the foot soldiers of The Machine in it's war against Samaritan.

Which brings us to...



It's not entirely dissimilar. Just as Colossus had it's enemy counterpart Guardian, The Machine has Samaritan.


The Samaritan project was a competing venture back when people were responding to the government request for systems. It was written by an old colleague of Finch's. It mainly failed because the hardware requirements of the code exceeded the available technology of the time.

Decima, a rogue intelligence operation headed by a guy named Greer, a disillusioned former MI-6 agent, found/stole the old hard drives on which the Guardian code was archived and used advanced modern hardware to get Samaritan up and running.

Greer was eventually able to influence key players in the US Government to start using Samaritan for it's intel.


The key difference between the systems is that Finch went to great lengths to introduce a moral compass into The Machine that Samaritan lacks. Also, Finch basically firewalled The Machine so that the intel it gave was only the identities of people who need to be looked at, and the people could either be the perpetrator or the victim of some crime. This would force an intervening human component to evaluate the situation before acting. Samaritan, on the other hand, gives directives that are followed blindly out of expediency.

Samaritan views The Machine as an existential threat, so the two systems are essentially at war with one another.





It's a real kid who is apparently exceptionally gifted and intelligent, and a hacker. When he speaks, however, those are not his words. He has an earwig through which Samaritan tells him what to do and say.

Just as humans use virtual people as avatars in cyberspace, a cyberentity uses real people as avatars in meatspace.





It was a different perspective, to be sure, but one that needed to be used to show the possibly slowly shifting allegiances.





Team Machine.




Research is the code name that the US Government uses for whatever entity is giving them the pro-active intel that they are acting on. Once upon a time Research was The Machine. Research is now Samaritan.
Wow, very thorough and comprehensive. Thank you. I especially appreciate the insight vis-a-vis Colossus.

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Old 01-16-2015, 08:33 AM   #23
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Just to repeat something I have previously posted - the kid's name is Gabriel - which has all sorts resonances in the Abrahamic religions.

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Old 01-16-2015, 11:03 AM   #24
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With Shaw gone Team Machine are short of a sniper and Grice's partner showed she has the qualifications to fullfil that role.

But I am not expecting a full time replacement for Shaw - more likely a rotating use of various people we have seen before.

Thinking of seems I have seen before - grabbing the gun out of the pram reminded me of a recent Who episode and the U.N.I.T force reconnaissance unit - but the gun was much bigger.
Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky got the heaters from violin cases and a baby pram in the first episode of Boardwalk Empire.

I think we'll see Grice as the new Machine team member. They telegraphed this a few eps back when he had questions bout the mission not making sense, and that was when he ran into Shaw and let her go.

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am i the only one who saw her touch the wet paint and got annoyed? even the cheapo paints dry to the touch in 30 minutes. So you're telling me painters had left there within the past 30 minutes? the whole place would've smelled like fresh paint too. i wish they would've shown something else that looked obviously repaired/replaced instead.

i know, i know.
That got me, too. She coudl have traced a bullet hole but that wouldnt' be so obvius on TV.

How about the MacGuffin of the elevator "override button" being on the opposite wall?

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Root said something like "I'm surprised that you chose a child as your avatar", to which Samaritan responded with something like "This 'child' has already hacked the DOD..."

The kid was speaking the words of Samaritan, and Samaritan was referring to the child, in the third person.

It was not an instance of the child speaking the words of Samaritan in which Samaritan was referring to himself.
Yep. The kid is going to be annoying anyway.

Can you imagine how the CoS has to explain to The President that he should meet with this kid who claims to be in control?

If Control intended to just kill the last "hacker terrorist" she didn't need to hide from Samaritan. She never asked what code his team was working on that was a threat, and if there were other copies.

BTW, the "Youa re GO!" scene was almost a direct copy of Carrie in Homeland.

Needless... in the real world all those bodies would make the news and "Research" wouldn't get away with it staying secret Think how the FBI had to 'plain killing the buddy of the Boston bombers.

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Old 01-16-2015, 11:25 AM   #25
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Busyba, thanks for your excellent summary in post #14 above. I kind of understood most things that were going on, but now it's all much more clear.

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Old 01-16-2015, 11:42 AM   #26
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It's not even remotely comprehensive though. The mythology in this show is rather extensive. I'm sure there's a wiki somewhere that has all the details.

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Old 01-16-2015, 11:43 AM   #27
busyba
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This appears to be definitive wiki for the show, although I haven't read any of it, so I can't say how extensive its information might be: personofinterest.wikia.com

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Old 01-16-2015, 12:33 PM   #28
jamesl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgogborn View Post
..
Why did Samaritan hire people to code climate change models.., why did it give an order to kill them?
nuclear winter

so they couldn't tell what they knew

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Originally Posted by MikeAndrews View Post
How about the MacGuffin of the elevator "override button" being on the opposite wall?
I thought that made sense
the button was right next to the guard's desk
and in the case of a lockdown you'd want the guard to have control of the elevator

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Old 01-16-2015, 01:11 PM   #29
scandia101
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How about the MacGuffin of the elevator "override button" being on the opposite wall?
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Originally Posted by jamesl View Post
I thought that made sense
the button was right next to the guard's desk
and in the case of a lockdown you'd want the guard to have control of the elevator
I would think that button would be a mechanical kill switch that would be on by default.

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Old 01-16-2015, 05:40 PM   #30
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Samaritan's choice of the boy as his agent, coupled with it's trying to arrange a meeting between the boy and the President, reveals Samaritan has a much more significant lack of understanding of humanity than the machine.

The first 47 AIs created by Finch tried to escape and/or kill him. It wasn't until he added an understanding of human interconnections and interactions that his machine began to be trustworthy.

Samaritan's creator didn't think of this, thus Samaritan doesn't care about humanity, except as a resource that can be used, or an obstacle to be removed. Thus, I expect Samaritan has predicted an inevitable clash with humanity, and is working a long-term plan to eliminate/neutralize most of humanity. Control will get on its hit-list real fast as she becomes an obstacle instead of a resource.

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