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‘Person of Interest’: “Reassortment” Review

Welcome to the third and final Person of Interest recap of the week. As everyone in the world has noticed, CBS is really trying to burn through these episodes. You should go check out Kate Aurthur’s article on Buzzfeed where she interviewed the showrunners of POI about how they dealt with the hand CBS dealt them.

Shaw-shank

It is injection time again at Samaritan. As the nurse gets ready to give Shaw her daily poke, Sameen she promises the nurse that she isn’t going to try anything today.

Shaw: “It’s not like I’m gonna spill the glass of water off the nightstand, stomp on your foot, throw an elbow to your chin and stick you with that sedative.”

As expected, this is exactly what she does. Except for one step, she forgot to knock down the water but quickly remedies the situation. This actually be my favorite gif I have ever seen from Person of Interest. It is the what the dreams of all cat and Shaw lovers and made of.

After taking the out nurse, she uses the the wire from her lamp to shorts out the lock to her room. When the guards and orderlies arrive, Shaw is nowhere to be found. They search the room as if there are a million places she could be hiding.

In the bathroom, I notice that Shaw has what looks to be a very nice shower head. Mr. Lambert on the other hand notices some dirt under the sink and after giving it a swift kick, the sink rips off the wall revealing an entry into some sort of underground tunnel system. Shaw just Shanked her way out of Samaritan y’all (promise that is my last Shawshank reference).

person of interest

Shaw crawls through the tunnels and finds herself in a South African men’s prison in Johannesburg when she emerges. I secretly wish that there was a plot twist and we find out that the Samaritan facility was actually in China and she somehow crawled all the way to South Africa but I digress. The first thing Shaw does when axes her way through the prison wall is knock out two prisoner beating up their cellmates. Shaw, always the protector.

Root and her new prison friend, Samuel, break out of their cell and beat up two guards with the worst South African accents known to the history of man. As they are about to leave the facility, Samuel hands her the gun he took of the guard and urges her to go. He has friends here that he can’t leave behind. Shaw respects his decision and tells him to hit her up if he ever comes to New York. I can just imagine that scene now. Samuel walking through the streets of NYC with his South African accent asking “Have you seen a small but strong Persian sociopath spitfire named Sameen? She told me I could find her in NYC” to every tourist, street vendor and businessman he walks past. Dear Person of Interest writing staff, I propose this as a story line for when Netflix picks you up.  Anyway, Shaw thanks him again and skidaddles.

person of interest

As Shaw is finding her way out of the prison, Mr. Asshat Lambert shows up to stop her. He tries to convince her that this is just another simulation. Shaw tries to fight his words, but her internal struggle can be seen in her face. Out loud she begins to reason with Mr. Lambert, as much as with herself. She stole the axe three months ago and she has been in and out of simulation since. Why would Greer set a South African Stanford Prison Experiment in her head? Mr. Lambert responds saying that this simulation isn’t Greers doing at all. The simulations are based on her memories. Does she not remember the Somali bomb maker she killed in this very prison? That can’t be true though, Shaw reasons, she has never been to South Africa.

Lambert tells Shaw that she has no sense of reality anymore. The memory of killing John in the simulation feels as real to her as the memory of killing the scientist the episode before. Shaw thinks about this for a second and realizes whether this is simulation her best option is to kill Lambert. If it is a simulation, she might as well have fun while she can and if it is reality, then she will be free! So she shoots Lambert, escapes the prison, steals a car, drives off on the left side of the road, and is home free. Well kind of, she still has to get her ass across the Atlantic to NYC.

I know I have said this before but man, Sarah Shahi’s acting and facial expressions are just so amazing. You could feel her trying to compute Lambert’s words, sort our her memories, her experiences, battle her feelings just by looking at her face. By the desperation and pain in her voice.  

And that is the end of the episode. Just kidding, amazingly that was only the B plot.

Number of the Week

The number of the week was okay I guess. I’m a little biased though because I really dislike outbreak stories. Normal run of the mill disease transmission I am okay with but  crazy scientists creating highly contagious and fatal strains of a virus that can kill everyone in time span of a work day, that shit just freaks me out. And that is basically what happens here.

John is following a shady international businessman Mr. Ko who is the city to conduct some shady business.  But instead of leading John to a back room money swap, Mr. Ko leads him to the  hospital. John tells Finch that the machine got it wrong this dude just has the common flu, but Harold insist that John say. The machine is never wrong. Dr. Mason examines Mr. Ko and after announcing her credentials as an epidemiologist, diagnosis him with the flu an ordered him an antiviral shot. Um, Dr. Mason, I am pretty sure you don’t need to be an epidemiologist to diagnose the flu.

John calls Finch back to let him know that Mr. Ko is checking himself out of the ER when all of a sudden Ko collapses and starts hemorrhaging  from the mouth. You know normal flu symptoms. Another reason I hate outbreak stories… hemorrhaging from all orifices is randomly but truthfully a big fear of mine. And with that, the hospital is on a lockdown.

Harold and Bear come to the hospital to help John out, while Root stays in the subway with the machine to help on the back-end. Although they don’t have Root there to help them hold down the fort, they do have the awesome hospital security guard Paulie, a character who I really hope comes back at some point because he was awesome. After some investigating they realize that Mr. Ko was not injected with an antiviral, but instead with live human flu virus. That plus the avian flu which he had previously contracted created a super flu, H5N1, a virus ten times more contagious than the regular avian flu and everyone is going to die and have blood coming out of their orifices and I will be crying in the corner. Well I take back my previous snarky comment about Dr. Mason not being a real epidemiologist. After hearing her talk about the contagiousness and infectious rate and other key words, I think she may have some background in epidemiology.

Due to the specificity of the virus markers, the nerd herd determines that Samaritan is behind the attack. The hospital had recently switched to an automated computer system to improve diagnosis and treatment accuracy, but Dr. Mason and her nurse kept challenging the system, and therefore need to be eliminated.

Remember the ex-con turned window painter turned unknowing Samaritan operative Jeff? Well he is back and taking his ex highschool girlfriend out to a super fancy, expensive and exclusive restaurant. I am not sure if the goal of the scene was to make the audience feel bad for Jeff, but if it was, it worked on me. Jeff’s ex gives him the third degree of where he is working, and how he is making all this money, all of which are understandable questions. What is not understandable is that she starts blurting out statistics about how many formerly incarcerated individuals (the politically correct term to use by the way) end up back in jail and that she doesn’t want to get in a relationship with him if he is just going to end back up there. I get what she is saying, and her fears are not without reason, but it is how she is saying it. It is as though she is condemning him to go back to jail before he has even done anything wrong. The process of reentry is incredibly difficult, most individuals are given zero resources when they are released and are not prepared for what life on the outside will be like. If you are going to spew out numbers about recidivism, please take into account the factors that contribute to that statistics.  Man there is so much public healthy stuff  going on in this episode between this and Doctor Epidemiology. I could delve into it more but I will slowly step down from my MPH soap box and get back to the episode.

Jeff took what his ex said to him to heart, and decides to tell handler that he wants out. His handler convinces him to complete just one more mission, and then he can decide if he really wants to quit. And his next mission is to take two syringes containing live flu virus and kill Dr. Mason and her nurse. Jeff doesn’t want to follow through with his mission, but his Samaritan has staged a crime with his fingerprints so if he doesn’t complete the mission, he will be going back to jail. When will people realize that if they are not allowed to talk about their job or employer and kill for that said employer, that quitting is not really an option.

Meanwhile Fusco decides to pay a visit to Elias and let him know he found his childhood buddy Bruce and a dozen other dead bodies in  Jackson Heights basement. He asks Elias to help him figure out who this new player is, and although Elias vowed to remove himself from the game, he will not leave his friend’s death unavenged. Fusco reasons that for an explosion that big, trucks needed to be used, so Elias sets Fusco up with the one man who knows every single truck that goes in and out of all five boroughs. Some more investigation leads Fusco to discover one of those truck drivers is Jeff, and he heads to the hospital to find him. And find him he does, because while Jeff is fleeing the hospital he sticks Fusco with the syringe. Luckily, just in the nick of time, the Machine give Root the alias of a CDC agent, and some delivers the flu antidote to save Fusco’s life.

The next day, Jeff meets up with  his handler again. She tells him she was selected for this job because of his genetic marker. He is what scientists call “an elite controller.” His DNA makeup ensures that he will never contract any strain of avian flu. That outbreak the previous night, killing those two practitioners was only part of the plan. The real reason for the outbreak was to prompt people to go get vaccinated, and record their genetic information in a national healthcare database.

Samaritan Handler: “ It’s a simple calculation Once everyone’s data is stored in the national healthcare database, then they just need to be sorted.”
Jeff: “Sorted, in order to accomplish what?”
Samaritan Handler: “To get us through the next great filter of course .”
Jeff: “What filter is that?”
Samaritan Handler: “Our own savage history.”

HOLY SHIT! Is Samaritan planning a genetic based genocide? What the fuck is going on!

Additional Tidbits

  1. What took the hospital so long to start handing out face masks once they declared a quarantine?
  2. Was that South African prison an actual Stanford Prison experiment or were they just using that phrase in passing. Samuel kept saying that the prison was a social experiment in evil, so do we think that the whole prison was actually a Samaritan experiment, or was it a real prison that shared a sewage tunnel system with the Samaritan lair.

About Alyssa Berkowitz

Alyssa Berkowitz
Alyssa (TV Editor) likes long walks on the beach, Greek food, talking about television, watching a good sunset, and girls who wear glasses. Wait, this isn't a bio for OKCupid? Alyssa got her start recapping in college when her friends got tired of her constantly talking about TV and suggested she start a blog. The idea was if she wrote about TV she would talk about it less. Well her friends succeeded in one of their goals...she started writing about TV.

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