Person of Interest - S05E13 - “Return 0’ - 06/21/2016

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by JYoung, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. JYoung

    JYoung Series 3

    Jan 16, 2002
    Los Angeles


    It is with a sense of sadness that I approach the final episode of this wonderful, thoughtful series.
    Part of me wanted to put it off but the other part wanted to see what happened.

    We open on the Ice-9 virus reeking havoc across cyberspace and we hear the same speech that the Machine gave in the Season Premier.
    We catch up to Harold, seemingly dead tired on the roof of a building, discussing life and death with the Machine.

    We see Shaw at Root’s grave and she realizes that Root’s body was stolen.
    The Machine starts communicating with Shaw and explains that Decima stole Root’s body for her cochlear implant to track the Machine and the Team.
    In the throes of death, Samaritan wants to take out Team Machine and it’s time to rally the troops.

    While we flash back to a memory of Harold explaining to Grace abut how his father learned about birds to calm him down, Reese and Fusco are captured by Samaritan duped police who have finally realized that “Detective Riley” is “the Man in the Suit”.

    While being transported to jail, Samaritan paid goons set up to execute Fusco and Reese but they are saved by the timely intervention of Harold and a Thornhill sniper.

    Our heroes reconvene at the Subway station and Shaw lays out the plan, Reese and Finch will break into the Federal Reserve to destroy Samaritan’s last backup copy server farm while Shaw and Fusco defend the Machine from the inevitable Decima goons.

    Finch gets them into the reserve by telling the guard that he has a briefcase nuke.
    Reese and Finch get to the server farm but Decima goons are hot on their tail and Finch takes a bullet while Reese fends them off.

    Finch manages to infect the final Samaritan copy but it manages to get one copy out, set to upload to a satellite and out of reach of Team Machine.
    The solution is for someone to go to a rooftop and use the antenna to upload the last copy of the Machine’s core code to the satellite but since Samaritan has launched a Cruise missile at that rooftop, it will be a suicide mission for whoever goes there.
    Harold decides it will be him and locks John in the vault while giving him a very touching goodbye.

    In the meantime, a Decima squad led by Jeff Blackwell attacks the subway station but Shaw and Fusco manage to escape by blowing a hole in the wall and riding the Machine driven subway car out.
    Blackwell manages to get on before they get away and nicks Shaw with a shot

    Fusco knocks him down and captures him. Going through his things, Shaw realizes that Blackwell is the one who killed Root.
    The Machine orders Shaw and Fusco off of the subway car to save their lives but Blackwell stabs Fusco and manages to escape.

    Harold is waiting o the rooftop for the satellite to get into range and is talking to the Machine (now visualized by Amy Acker) about life and death and the Machine explains that it learned that everyone dies alone. But if you mean something to someone, if you help someone, or love someone, if even a single person remembers you, then maybe you never really die at all.

    Finch realizes that something is amiss. He’s on the wrong rooftop because the Machine deliberately sent him there.
    Reese is on the right rooftop because he had a deal with the Machine that he’d take the bullet for his dear friend Harold as his way of paying Harold back for everything.
    Reese uploads the Machine’s code and dies while fighting off Decima goons and then the missile hits.
    (Noooooooooooooooooo! Not Reese!)

    The Machine battles Samaritan in the satellite and destroys it while it triggers the tape recorder of it’s speech in the Subway hideout.

    We then see Jeff Blackwell trying to escape the city but Shaw has tracked him down and kills him in revenge.

    We catch up with a recovering Fusco and Bear a little while later with Shaw meeting up with him to get Bear.
    Harold has tracked down Grace and we see a duplicate version of the Machine coming on line (was this Root's enhancement?) and “listening” the audio recording the Machine made.

    As Shaw walks down the street with Bear, a pay phone rings and she answers it.

    A very fitting end to a marvelous and highly underrated series.
    Everyone had their moment and a touching goodbye scene, even Shaw saying goodbye to Root.
    I also liked the description of Shaw as a straight line.

    I’m going to miss this show.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  2. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003
    Thanks, nice wrapup. I've enjoyed your posts this season (and before!).

    Underrated, but much appreciated show. I'll miss it, but glad it ended on its own terms (AKA advance notice, allowed to wrap up things).

    I sure hope Sarah Shahi gets another job soon. I've enjoyed every show she's been in.
  3. Gunnyman

    Gunnyman Just a boring dude

    Jul 10, 2003
    It's rare for a TV show to go out as strongly as it started, and POI certainly did.

    It's been a great ride, and I'll miss it.
  4. Gunnyman

    Gunnyman Just a boring dude

    Jul 10, 2003
    Me too.
    Too bad CBS dropped the Nancy Drew pilot she was in.
  5. VegasVic

    VegasVic Craps Player

    Nov 21, 2002
    The Craps Table


    Is this show on Netflix? I've never seen it but have heard good things.
  6. Gunnyman

    Gunnyman Just a boring dude

    Jul 10, 2003
  7. Craigbob

    Craigbob Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2006
    Land of...
    A bittersweet sendoff for one of my favorite shows. It was a great series from beginning to end.

    Nice to see Lionel and Bear made it through the fire.

    I also like how it leaves it open ended for a second series or even tv movie.
  8. philw1776

    philw1776 Active Member

    Jan 19, 2002
    Seacoast NH
    My fears that a man named Christian Shepherd would suddenly appear to lead them all on to wherever thankfully did not materialize.

    I was one who wanted the series to explore the Machine vs Samaritan conflict more, but one of the reasons I read here and in other forums that this series failed commercially was that viewers were turned off by the "complicated" AI story lines and wanted more police procedural episodes.
    I feel badly now that those folks will have nothing on TV to watch. :roll eyes:

    Given that the show was cancelled, I feel the creators could have used a few more minutes of the last season expanding on the machine wars.

    But all said, I feel satisfied that I had the pleasure of watching a fine series with great cast, writers with both an imagination and a well expressed sense of humor.

    Kudos to all involved for a fine ride where you didn't screw the pooch on the finale!
  9. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003
  10. DouglasPHill

    DouglasPHill Cynical old guy

    Feb 10, 2005
    St Louis, MO
    I guess I'm the odd man out here. I have not liked the last two episodes. I would bet there was some change in the writers because the whole season was not as well written as past seasons. I was expecting so much more.
  11. busyba

    busyba The Funcooker

    Feb 5, 2003
    A few episodes back, Root dressed up like a ballerina and saved a Russian guy (businessman? diplomat?) She flirts and gets his phone number.

    At the end of that episode (or maybe the end of a subsequent episode), she calls him and talks about making plans to meet, maybe go to Russia, and she's looking at a website on a laptop of something significant in Russia that is connected to that guy.

    Obviously it was setting something up. But then absolutely nothing comes of it.

    I'm pretty sure they went into the season knowing it was the last one, so it's odd for them to deliberately foreshadow something and then never pull the trigger on it.
  12. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    This season had some pretty cool computer related episode titles.

    FYI: Return 0 means that the program exited cleanly with no error. (At least that's how it's used in UNIX, the convention probably started earlier. It's the obvious thing to return for a no error state.)
  13. Jon J

    Jon J Curmudgeon TCF Club

    Aug 23, 2000
    Music City USA
    WOW JYoung. Do you write synopses professionally? If not you should.
  14. whoknows55

    whoknows55 Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2001
    So team machine won and Harold got a happy ending. I'm ok with it.
  15. logic88

    logic88 Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Land Of...
    I just finished watching and I was disappointed in the ending too. I guess they were hoping that they would get renewed and when they weren't, they had to go for plan B.

    In any event, they shouldn't have revived The Machine. A better ending would have been for Samaritan and The Machine to be trapped in the satellite battling it out until the power supply fades.
  16. busyba

    busyba The Funcooker

    Feb 5, 2003
    Let That Be Their Final Battlefield? :D
  17. madscientist

    madscientist Deregistered Snoozer

    Nov 12, 2003
    Lexington, MA
    Count me unhappy with the battling AIs. But it has nothing to do with "complicated plots" (really the plots are not that complicated). The problem is that the arc went on too long: it felt too much like we were just treading water for a season or so. I just wanted them to move on to something else, more interesting.

    I was OK with the ending; I think these things are very hard to write and this one was not bad.

    Speaking of things that never went anywhere: what about the episode in the hospital, where they were incubating some kind of virus in the hit man that Shaw ended up executing at the end? That was a complete dead-end as well.
  18. busyba

    busyba The Funcooker

    Feb 5, 2003
    The virus was never the goal. The purpose was to generate fear using the incident with the virus in order to make people be willing to submit DNA samples to the CDC (the reason why the CDC wanted those samples and why this virus scare would make people more likely to participate are not things that I can exactly recall right now, but I remember that at the time it made sense to me).

    That data was then going to be useful to Samaritan for evaluating people for his Final Solution, as it were.
  19. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    I enjoyed the ending, which is rare for most shows these days. My only complaint was the number of technical issues I found with the show. Did anyone but me notice that Reese was dropping bodies left and right on the rooftop, yet there were only three men assaulting him? He kept shooting the same three guys over and over again. If he was being assaulted by a huge armed force like they would have us believe, the rooftop would have been littered with bodies. I can only assume that they had a low budget and couldn't afford the extras.

    I'm curious as to what power source they were using to power the bank of PlayStations they had in the subway car that held the machine's code. I never saw any massive power cables running to the car nor did they bother to disconnect any when they took off in the car. One would assume they were getting power from the third rail, but that had been shut off until they powered it on and took the car for a joyride. All of the PlayStations were still powered on when the subway took off down the track. Clearly they were being powered by some mystical means.
  20. logic88

    logic88 Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Land Of...
    They also made sure to mention that Blackwell was infected as a carrier but that went nowhere for whatever reason.

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