I've got a confession to make: tonight's series finale was only the second episode of Person of Interest I have ever watched.
The first episode I watched was the first episode, back when it was a sci-fi procedural that looked nothing like the show that ended tonight. And yet, that almost didn't matter for me as I watched the finale, originally intending to just write a quick recap and put out a poll.
I know nothing of Samaritan other than the fact that it's evil, I only vaguely know of the Machine, and I have gathered the general relationships of the characters from the internet, and yet I've got tears in my eyes after taking a journey I wasn't expecting to go on.
I'm going to put a lot of the responsibility for that on Amy Acker as the manifestation of the Machine, because even when she's playing a machine, and even when I know nothing of her character, I trust her. But tonight's finale also just taught a universally beautiful lesson: the more human we are, the more we worry about death, but the more connected we are to other humans, the less we actually die.
This is getting sappy and I'm sorry because sap is terrible, but what the Machine learned there at the end really resonated with me, as a person on whom most of the actual events of the finale had little impact, and as a person who sometimes wonders if she spends too much time staring at screens.
So let's talk about what actually did happen:
Samaritan is destroyed, but it almost wasn't. A compressed version of it nearly escaped the virus and made its way to a building with an antenna that would allow the program to reach a satellite, and then return to earth virus-free. The Machine instructed Finch to go to the antenna and upload the last copy of the virus, knowing that when he did, the antenna would be destroyed, and he would be destroyed with it.
Finch made it to what he thought was the antenna and had a long talk with the Machine about life and the meaning of it all, believing he was either going to die with the antenna or from the gun shot wound in his side.
Then, he realized he was at the wrong antenna. Reese had made a deal with the Machine, so he could pay back everything he owed to Finch (including saving his life earlier), so it was Reese who uploaded the copy, fended off Samaritan's gun-wielding guys, and succumbed to gun shot wounds before the antenna was even hit.
Meanwhile, Shaw and Fusco (who's now in on the big secret) attempted to protect the Machine's servers. Shaw was shot by Blackwell, but instead of killing him, she tortured him. He returned the favor by stabbing Fusco and escaping.
After spending much of the episode attempting to say her goodbyes to Root, but being put off by her own problems with feelings, Shaw the Machine told Shaw that it believed Root had wanted to tell her that she thought the things that made Shaw different were what she loved. She was able to eventually say goodbye, but in her own way—by killing Jeffrey Blackwell once and for all.
After the Machine appeared to die, Finch went off to find Grace, and Fusco went back to work, Shaw met up with Fusco to take charge of Bear the dog and headed off down the street. A payphone rang next to her, and she answered. We didn't hear what was said, but Shaw turned to look at a security camera and smiled.
As she walked away, the Machine started up once again.
What did you think of the finale? Vote in the poll below, and then sound off in the comments!