My obsessive mind wouldn’t let me stop thinking about this season of Person of Interest, so I thought, rewatched, and discussed. These are my thoughts and views on season 5 thus far.
It makes perfect sense for Root to die protecting Harold. It’s an almost poetic end to the person Root has grown into over the course of the show. She started out as Samantha Groves, a young girl who witnessed the horrors humans are capable of. She saw her best friend get kidnapped and when she told an adult she was called a “nasty, attention-seeking brat”. She sought revenge on the man who took her friend and the woman who stole her voice and she shed the identity of Samantha Groves. Slowly becoming the living embodiment of Nietzsche’s famous line: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster. For when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” Thus, Root was born. A hacker-assassin for hire who believed that humans were just bad code. She believed that the world needed the Machine to repair the chaos and disorder. She fought non-stop to teach the Machine’s father to set her free. In the process she discovered that people were worth saving. Root found a family in team machine, she found love in Sameen Shaw, she finally found a place where she belonged, and ultimately sacrificed herself to keep her family safe. Her mortal fight ended in her physical death, but she got her wish and ascended to being one with her god. Root dying for the Machine and her family makes perfect sense. It’s the end they’ve been building toward ever since she became an acolyte of the Machine. But is she really dead? I’m saying no.
This show leveled up in season four with “If-Then-Else”. By showing us the inner workings of the Machine and the vast number of simulations she runs before making any decisions, it introduced the entire concept of living through simulations. Then, in “6,741” this simulation idea was brought back to the forefront of our minds. I, much like Shaw, have questioned what’s real while watching the show because how can you ever really know? We watched an entire episode that seemed so real and then found out it wasn’t. Going back and rewatching “6,741”, you can easily identify all the flaws. It’s so obvious we were in a simulation, but while we watched our brains filled in the gaps so what we were seeing made sense. Using this logic, I went back and rewatched the entire season under the assumption that at some point we entered one of the Machine’s simulations. Guess what, some shit just doesn’t add up.
In episode 5, “ShotSeeker”, Harold began the ultimate cage match between Samaritan and the Machine. Taking a kernel of each ASI, he set up the Machine to run simulations until she found a way to finally defeat Samaritan. From the point Harold gets the simulations up and running, we’re watching a sim. Why, pray tell, would I believe this? Well I refuse to let go of the idea that Root is the immortal lesbian I desperately need to exist. Also, the fact that Elias survived his brush with death makes absolutely no sense.
In 4x22, “YHWH”, Dominic and Elias were sniped by a Samaritan operative in front of Fusco. Dominic with a headshot and Elias with a shot to the heart region. With a gunshot wound like that immediate medical attention is required for any chance of survival. In the time it took for Fusco to call in the shooting and for medical personnel to arrive it would be extremely unlikely Elias survived. Fusco definitely doesn’t have the medical knowledge to help Elias. I also can’t see him really trying to save him. At this point in time he was unaware of the ASI war or the working relationship Reese and Harold had formed with Elias. Why would Fusco put himself in more danger of getting shot to try and save the infamous crime boss? He wouldn’t. When Fusco returns to the station Internal Affairs and the FBI are instantly in his face about the shooting. Considering Elias is on the FBI’s most wanted listed they wouldn’t declare him dead unless they had definitive proof, aka the body.
While Fusco was dealing with the shooting debacle John, Harold, and Root were busy packing up the Machine and running from Samaritan operatives. By the time Fusco was able to get ahold of John and Harold it had been hours since Elias was shot and they seemingly had no idea. There’s no way they could have helped.
Could Root have helped after splitting off from John and Harold? When team machine split it’d been quite a while since Elias was shot. When we first see her she’s chilling in a car trying to get ahold of team machine. Say she did find Elias, take him to a safe house, and get him stabilized, why would she leave the safe house to go face off with Samaritan?
It’s just not feasible that any of team machine would have been able to help Elias. Add that to the cops confirmation of his death and we end up with a situation that can’t be real. Unless we’re in a simulation the Machine is running. You might be asking shouldn’t the two ASIs should know that Elias is dead? These aren’t the full ASIs. They are miniature clones born from a kernel of each. Clone Samaritan was taken from the malware in the laptop firmware Root and Harold stole. The Machine clone was based off a similar kernel. Clone Samaritan and Machine have never been hooked up to the grid so they don’t have any live feeds to pull from. Their knowledge would be based on whatever each ASI knew at the point in time which they were created. Samaritan created the malware well before the night of Elias’s death so anything incubated from it wouldn’t have that information. The Machine was being stuffed into a suitcase when the shooting took place and it happened in a dead zone. Neither ASI would know that Elias was confirmed dead. Without that knowledge the Machine would be running simulations that included Elias being alive.
Based on all this and the show’s creators having said they would be up for getting picked up by another network, I’m saying this is all a simulation. There’s a solid chance I’m completely wrong. Everyone might die. If that’s the case the entire Elias situation is a massive plot hole that these writers are way too good to have missed. I refuse to believe that because I trust these writers probably more than I should, considering what TV has done to me this year.
I’m holding out hope that they’ll wrap this story up nicely. If they leave the potential for it to get picked up by someone else that’d be even better (aka please let this be a simulation)