Person of Interest’s use of theological allegories has been unmistakeable during this season, even more so than before, and calling your final episode ‘YHWH’ is a clear statement of intent. But there’s more than one god at work here, and Samaritan has gone to war: a series of power surges across America which might be the start of The Correction, whatever that is, but which are also having an effect on The Machine.“The Machine is dying”, observes Root, so she and Finch try to save it, although she also makes it clear to The Machine that it – he? she? – needs to step up.
Meantime Reese and Fusco are still being held by Dominic, who wants the same sort of arrangement with them as he believes Elias to have. Uh, no, says Reese, who knows the sort of person he can do business with when he sees one. So everyone’s about to die; fortunately The Machine gets its circuits in gear at that point, and in a delightful moment starts using Reese as another human interface, providing instructions via fax and then directly to Reese himself, allowing him (“Hell yes!”) to escape, and with the assistance of Fusco- freed by the playing-both-sides Harper – to arrest Dominic and Elias.
But what of The Correction? Control has had enough of Greer running the world, so trains a gun on him, while The Machine directs her disciples to pick up a few items: copper wires, compression algorithms, piezoelectric batteries, other sciency things. It looks as if The Correction is going to be a bomb attack on the Supreme Court, but that’s just a feint: it’s actually a Samaritan initiative to rid the planet of people who are getting in the way of a better world. So, among others, Dominic and Elias are sent to an awesome farm in the country. At least I think they are; there seemed to me to be, although I might be imagining it, a degree of ambuguity about whether their injuries were fatal. If we lose them it’s a shame; Dominic (Winston Duke) has been a very good character, and Enrico Colantoni as Elias has elevated Person of Interest every time he’s been in it, as well as providing a personification of the show’s occasionally slippery morality.
Of which we get more here: it could be argued that eliminating certain people would lead to a better world, although that depends on how you define “better”, and your level of comfort with ends justifying means. Crucially, though, Samaritan also wants to get the disloyal out of the way. Disloyal, one wonders, to whom? Well, probably to Samaritan, which also means an exit for Control.
And while that’s going on, the power surges are getting closer and closer to The Machine, who becomes ever more human, and directly addresses Finch. Significantly – and I think I’ve said this before – Finch has always regarded The Machine as his child, rather than (as Root does) as a parent/deity, and The Machine sees things the same way: ”Father, I am sorry”, it says to Finch. “I failed. I didn’t know how to win. I had to invent new rules. I thought you would want me to stay alive. Now, you are not sure. If you think I have lost my way, then maybe I should die.” But Finch isn’t having that – even allowing for the Biblical precedent, what father sacrifices his child? – and saves an iteration of The Machine, before he, Reese, and Root, walk out to face the next battle against Samaritan.
Which, as we now know, will take place in a fifth and final season, which has just started in America. There is, of course, no word on when UK viewers will get it, although such has been Channel 5’s egregious treatment of the show that I’m fully expecting all 13 episodes to be burned off one night in 2019. It would be nice to get it soon, though: this season wasn’t quite the best thing I’ve seen on TV this year (step forward, Fargo and The People v O.J. Simpson), but as network shows go it is, at the moment, almost without peer.