Person of Interest: s05 e06 – A More Perfect Union


The moment before…

Take a line from the American Constitution, add in a wedding (Ahhh), cross-pollinate it with both a seduction and the groundwork for breaking a relationship, and what we have is an episode that tries to ofer itself as a Number of the Week but which also embodies the fragmentation of Person of Interest‘s primary goals.

The wedding is that of heiress Phoebe Turner and underpaid Public Defender Will O’Brien. Finch suspects someone, probably Phoebe’s racehorse owner father Kent, doesn’t want to see Will come into a share of the Turner fortune, so he contrives, in an amusing manner, to get both himself and ‘Detective Riley’ invited to the wedding to ensure the marriage goes ahead. Root, who’s feeling lonely, gatecrashes as a supposed caterer.

The seduction is Sameen Shaw. Her rejection of the simulation has now reached over 7,000 iterations and the smooth, urbane, arrogant and utterly despicable John Greer is finally starting to realise that he’s getting nowhere. So he releases Shaw for a field trip, into the real New York. He shows her men making deals, corrupt deals that will enrich themselves but which will lead to deaths on a far larger scale than the individual lives the Machine plans to save.

And the broken relationship is Detective Lionel Fusco. Fusco’s gotten involved with the missing persons angle after last week’s disappearance of Krupa Naik. Root, via the Machine, gives him an angle, Howard Carpenter (Russell G. Jones), dispenser of permits, on the take to see these go to construction companies owned by the mob. Howard has received a permit request, no. 44802, without a payment. He’s having a meeting in the Park with Bruce Moran (James Le Gros) about the payment. But it’s not one of the Five Familes’ companies.

And so we go towards our endings. The Victim at the wedding is not Phoebe or Will, nor even her father Kent, whose house is surrounded by protesters over his alleged dioping of his horses. The doping is real but it’s not Kent but his elder daughter Karen and the victin is family photographer Maggie (Purva Bedi), who accidentally snapped Karen in the act. Reese and Root save the day.

Sameen remains resistant to this softshoe shufflle of an approach, to Greer trying to get her to see Samaritan as the good guy. But she doesn’t try to escape And then there’s a shock ending, a demonstration of the outcome from not stopping Chechen militants from bombing the Russian Consulate; a hyper-rapid escalation to all-out War and a nuclear weapon strike on NYC. Because this too is a stimulation, one in which Shaw hasn’t died by her own hand.

And Fusco, patient, persistent Fusco who’s had Bruce plant in his head the idea that his loyatly might be misplaced if it’s given to two people who have never told him the truth, good cop Fusco traces Permit 44802 to the demolition of an underground tunnel. Where he finds dead bodies, laid out in a row like the photographs on his pin board. Carpenter’s there. So too is Krupa Naik. But the first one he sees is Bruce Moran. And then the demolition starts, with Fusco still inside.

One last scene, back at the Wedding. All’s gone well, the day’s an idyll, Karen hasn’t spoilt it. Root asks Harold to dance. She tells him she knows his experiment with the baby AIs is not going well, that the Machine is losing heavily. Once again she urges him to make the Machine open, give it the tools it needs to survive. Once again he is cautious, fearful of how having such a Machine might corrupt him, them.

Three faces at a table, relaxing with fine bourbon, enjoying a wedding. Three faces fallen in anticipation of the crash that is to come. There is no room in the world any more. Everything has gone wrong. And seven weeks to put it right.

7 thoughts on “Person of Interest: s05 e06 – A More Perfect Union

  1. “A More Perfect Union” [5×06]
    Written By: Melissa Scrivner-Love
    Directed By: Alrick Riley
    Originally Aired 23 May 2016

    “A More Perfect Union” is one last comedic outing by Melissa Scrivner-Love, who’s written or co-written many of them, from “Masquerade” to “Most Likely To…”. The main plot is light, a bit predictable, but saved by the characters. Finch singing ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ in the world’s worst Irish accent and Reese knocking a guy out by dumping a box on his head make this worth it. And Root riding in to save the day on horseback. Enjoy the last bit of happiness while we have it. Meanwhile, Shaw’s still in Samaritan’s clutches. Greer offers examples of how Samaritan can make the world a better place. Person of Interest likes its sympathetic villains, but that’s not really the point here. Not on an emotional level. It’s more to get the audience to think about whether applying the mechanistic precision of computer science to societies would actually be a good thing. It’s the central question of the season, really, if not the series. And there’s Fusco, whose subplot is moving along nicely. Finch and Reese have good reason to keep him out of the loop, but is that justified? Is he really safer? I’m not convinced, though there’s a good argument to be made to the contrary.

    Grade: B+

      1. Oh, you bet. Not much ‘fun’ left to be had in the final 7 episodes. And that is precisely as it should be, really. It’s a drama. And a surprisingly emotional one at that considering how it set itself up at the beginning of S1. I never expected an episode like ‘Terra Incognita’ back then.

  2. Let you in on a secret: I wrote the introduction to the final episode post several months ago. It will be no less true and meanigful when I actually watch it again.

    1. Well, damn it. Now I want to read that intro, and I can’t until…checks notes….November 24th. (Still creepy that ‘The Day the World Went Away’ falls on election day…..).

  3. “Family politics, overcooked meat, monogamy. What’s not to love?”

    Can’t believe you left out that line.

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