“What happens when you reach the cliff?”
“I’ll let you know when I get there.”
“Blunt” doesn’t integrate the overarching storylines and themes as well as previous episodes have, but it still plays with interesting ideas through the story of Harper Rose, a con artist who steals from Dominic when she scoops up some cash from a medical marijuana dispensary. By bringing Dominic back into the fold, the show once again delves into the Brotherhood side of things, a side that should become even more compelling as we move toward the season’s closing arc; right now, we get more of a standard POI episode in “Blunt”, but it’s an episode that nudges the story along and anticipates an exciting future.
The major focus of the episode seems to be on the idea of recruitment. I’ve written extensively before about the ideas of teamwork and power in this show, and the whole recruitment focus brings both of those ideas together. In order to succeed and in order to win the battles you want to win, you sometimes are going to have to win some people over; you’re going to have to get some people on your side, to maintain some sense of control over them even as you’re working with them. This is something that Samaritan excels at, but in this episode, Root brings up the question of whether Team Machine can also recruit. She mentions the possible benefits to be gained from enlisting people against Samaritan, and at the end of the episode, we see the recruitment process working both ways with Caleb Phipps.
The Brotherhood itself is also a big recruiting tool, and we see Dominic go up to Harper and offer her a spot on his team. It remains to be seen where she’s going to wind up, but we’re most likely going to see her again, and it’ll be interesting to see what she decides to do and whether she wants to give up her freedom. On that note, freedom’s also a big part of this episode and of this season, and the episode hits all its major points about the topic in a conversation between Finch and Harper midway through the episode. It’s a bit too on the nose, but it’s a nice summation of where the two stand and what their differing views of the world are: Finch views Harper as living a life of disorder and running, whereas Harper views it as a form of freedom. Neither is necessarily wrong, and the scene does serve to illustrate the subjectivity of certain situations.
We see that idea play out in the best scene of the episode as well: the diner conversation between Reese and Dominic. First of all, Dominic’s a very compelling presence, and second of all, there’s a discussion between the two of the word “innocent”. We see that Reese and Dominic have very different ideas of the word “innocent”, and through this conversation, a fundamental truth is revealed: “Innocence” and “freedom” are abstract concepts that grow even more abstract in a rapidly changing world, and there are going to be quite a few questions that pop up about freedom as Samaritan attempts to extend its control. One thing’s for sure, though: it’s time for Team Machine to build an even bigger team.
– “Here’s my number for when your boss is ready to talk…or, I can keep kicking his ass from a distance.”
-Root in glasses is very nice, I must say.
-I’m guessing Dominic is connected to Caleb Phipps in some way, considering both characters tie in with “2piR”.
-Recently, it seems like we’re consistently hitting the same character beats with Reese. Harper mentions in this episode that he’s “playing make believe” and that he’s a military man with a hero complex, all ideas we’ve seen several times before.
-The fight scene in the club reminds me of John Wick. Very slick visuals there, along with some excellent choreography.
-Finch references Dr. Tillman in this episode; she was from season one, and she was played by the wonderful Linda Cardellini.
-In case you need a refresher, Caleb Phipps–the man Root is talking to at the end of the episode–was last seen in “2piR”. He was the programmer with the compression algorithm, and Finch was helping him out while pretending to be a substitute teacher.
Photo credit: CBS, Person of Interest