“The man who created God? I never thought we would be friends.”
Like so many episodes before this, “Skip” deals with the ideas of humanity and compassion in the face of loss. It’s an entertaining and snappy piece of television that also finds a deeper and more poignant meaning behind its storylines, and while it’s far from a perfect episode, it’s certainly a step up from last week’s middling outing. “Skip” is able to find a better balance between the case of the week and the overarching Finch-Samaritan struggle, and as a result, both plots have excellent moments throughout the episode.
Let’s start with the case of the week, which is anchored by Katheryn Winnick’s firecracker performance as Frankie Wells, a bounty hunter who is out to take down her boss, Ray Pratt. Frankie has immediate chemistry with Reese–who seems to be a real ladies’ man in this episode–and whether they’re sitting down and talking or breaking out of handcuffs and kicking ass, they’re very enjoyable to watch.
Of course, it’s not all entertainment for Frankie, as her storyline takes a darker turn when she figures out that Ray was the one who killed her brother. What “Skip” wants to highlight, however is the fact that she eventually leaves behind her quest for revenge and saves Harper Rose. Even in this state of heightened tension and conflict, it doesn’t necessarily mean we descend to the level of the bad guys; even Harper, who stirred up a boatload of trouble earlier in the season, acts as a mediator here between Ray and others.
The whole storyline is not without problems, though. I’m not quite invested in Harper Rose enough to see her as a recurring character just yet, and I’m also not quite sure about where the show is heading with Iris and John. The Reese-Frankie dynamic eventually leads into Dr. Campbell expressing her feelings for John, and it’s an uncertain step for a show that has generally refrained from putting Reese into romantic relationships. That’s not to say the writers won’t handle this well; it’s just that with only four episodes left in the season, Iris’s role is still very unclear, and her character isn’t exactly the most fleshed-out character in the show.
So, that’s definitely the weaker aspect of the episode, but “Skip” shines whenever it focuses on Root and Finch, which is a pairing I will never get tired of. I do hope that the Trojan Horse plot point carries over into future episodes–it will be a waste of so much set up if it isn’t–but still, what we get in this hour are phenomenal character moments between two brilliant characters. We see just how far Root’s come: so far that she’s willing to listen to her own humanity over The Machine, so far that she values friendship over her “God”. Just like Finch and Reese, she’s been profoundly affected by the loss of people close to her, and she doesn’t want to lose anyone else.
The final scene she and Finch share is absolutely beautiful, and it’s a lovely moment that both acknowledges the connection they have and the distance that now exists between them. It takes care to note both past and present, and it doesn’t undervalue the significance of Root discrediting Beth Bridges or of Root saving Finch’s life. It’s a wonderful note to end the episode on, and it once again underscores just how fascinating these characters are. One thing is for sure: I will never get tired of seeing how they develop.
– “You triggered it somehow. Ruh roh.” I love Amy Acker.
-I’ve been missing Bear recently.
-Next week, it’s the millionth time we break for a week following an episode. Anyway, the dates have been announced for the final four episodes: April 7, April 14, April 28, and May 5th.
Photo credits: CBS, Person of Interest