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Person of Interest “B.S.O.D.” Review (5×01)

3 May

"B.S.O.D." -- Reese and Finch attempt to rescue the Machine's source code before it deteriorates beyond repair. Also, Root fights for her life against an onslaught of Samaritan's agents and Fusco is faced with hard questions following the deaths of Dominic and Elias, on the fifth season premiere of PERSON OF INTEREST, Tuesday, May 3 (10:00 -- 11:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured L-R: Jim Caviezel as John Reese and Michael Emerson as Harold Finch Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“History is upon you, Harold.”

As we head into the final season of Person of Interest, we find our characters at a crossroads, grappling with mistakes of the past as they try to determine the best course of action in the present. Harold Finch in particular is looking to “handle things differently” moving forward, and he tells The Machine at the end that he “won’t make the same mistake again” (that mistake being crippling her early on). He’s always been well aware of the wide-reaching implications of something as powerful as The Machine, extremely wary of it inevitably superseding human capabilities. At the end of “B.S.O.D.”, though, something changes.

This change is motivated by Root’s motivationally touching words to him: “You built something better than us, Harold…right now, it’s our last hope.” Even more important than that bit, however, is Root saying that she’s comfortable with The Machine’s power because it’s a reflection of Finch. Yes, once you make a computer more powerful than humans, you have no idea where it’ll lead. It’s “uncharted waters”. At the same time, if it’s so inevitable that someone would create something like The Machine, why not have it be Harold? Why not have it be the man who truly understands the dangers and the benefits of AI? Why not have it be the man who understands the importance of the past? “You told Nathan your father’s death was when he lost all his memories,” The Machine types out in a flashback near the end of the episode. Finch now understands that memories–the past–can help him avoid the same mistakes in the future. Surviving for another day requires understanding the dangers of unrestricted power, but it also requires harnessing it.

One final point about Root telling Finch that The Machine is a reflection of him: throughout the episode, people refer to The Machine as if it’s a human. Early on, Finch says that she can take “only so much blunt force trauma, not unlike us.” In a flashback later on, Nathan responds with “Spoken like a true parent!” after Finch expresses his worries about The Machine. Obviously, The Machine isn’t a human, but what the show is demonstrating is the wonderful potential for creation that a human being has. Even if a machine ends up becoming extremely powerful and takes over the world, there’s still a small part of it that’s human. The Machine is its own entity, but it would not be possible without Harold Finch sitting in front of a computer, worrying and second-guessing…yet still creating.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-The opening montage–set to “No Wow” by The Kills–is an absolutely phenomenal way to kick off the final season. This show sure knows what makes a good montage.

-“B.S.O.D.” stands for “blue screen of death”.

-I don’t have too much to say about Fusco’s storyline, as it’s still in the first stages of developing. I will say, though, that I already miss Dominic and Elias. What incredible villains they were.

-This show’s reviews have always been one of the most consistently popular ones for this site, so I plan on sticking with it to the end. I can’t promise that I will get each review up really quickly, but I plan on covering each and every episode of this final season (even if my thoughts are brief). I love writing about this show, and I will be sad to see it go.

Photo credit: Person of Interest, CBS

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One Response to “Person of Interest “B.S.O.D.” Review (5×01)”

  1. Hepburn3 May 10, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    H PB!
    Sorry I am late to your review!
    I watched this and loved it so much! I love this show and will be sad when it is all over and I will so miss chatting with you about it!
    This was a great opener! It had me the whole way as this show normally does.
    When the Machine came back to life I cheered, I felt sadness when it was trying to decompress and Harold was trying to stop it because there was not enough power or space for it to do so. The flash backs and memories are wonderful and always add to the plot and enhance it greatly.
    I am looking forward to your reviews PB and because this is the final season I will relish them!
    Chat with you soon! 🙂

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