“Person of Interest” has come a long way from where it started at the beginning of Season 3. In the penultimate episode, “A House Divided,” Vigilance made its play and brought all of those responsible for the Machine to trial.
It’s not the how of this move that is interesting, but the why. “A House Divided” dove into the life of Vigilance leader Peter Brandt, who in 2010 lost his brother after the Machine labeled him a terrorist. The government was wrong; the brother was only friends with a man whose distant relation was a terrorist, but he wasn’t a terrorist himself. The brother killed himself — or maybe was killed by the government — and thus Brandt’s mission against the Machine was born.
What makes “Person of Interest” such a fascinating show is that there is no black and white perspective here. The Machine and Samaritan can save lives, and they have their important uses. But also the data can be fallible, and both machines are at the mercy of the people who interpret them. Is Vigilance a villain? Are the creators of the Machine? Is there any good outcome for this situation?
By the end of the episode, Root and her hacker buddies have found Samaritan. It might be that Samaritan has to be put down, but it’s hard to view that computer as something evil. In Greer’s hands or in Control’s hands, maybe, but not unto its own devices. It’s difficult to think that the Machine would want to kill the only other of its kind. Maybe together they will create something even more powerful.
It’s interesting that Finch ended up being grouped alongside the likes of Greer and Control. He is implicated in this as much as they are, but as the audience we know he only has the world’s best intentions at heart. Maybe he can convince Brandt of that in the Season 3 finale next week.