As the intro reminds us, "you are being watched, the machine sees everything", but as we learned in this week's episode, even it can need Bear's tracking abilities. But more on that later.
We start off with a new number, one we got a hint at when we saw the Machine's POV last week, and Shaw is staking out Maria Martinez, who helps install generators in 3rd world countries that need electricity. She gets a mysterious call to meet someone at "the usual place". At first it looks like she's plotting with terrorists, but it turns out she's trying to help her former translator get asylum in the US, partly because if he goes back to Iraq his life is in danger. I was happy about this because it sticks to the rule that terrorists are relevant numbers and get sent to Control, and also because I was glad to see POI is better than that. Not everyone from the middle east is a terrorist. Turns out her boss was secretly reselling the generators and since her friend, who turns out to be more than a friend, knows too much and she's trying to help him, her number came up as a potential victim. The heroes kick ass and save the day, and we get a nice touching moment between Fusco and Shaw.
But really, the main appeal of the "A" story is we get another Fusco and Shaw team-up, some more background on Shaw, Reese being a bad-ass, as seen in this clip used for the episode promo, plus a nice quip from Fusco.
The other "A" story (because really, they both are) involves Root acting as The Machine's analog interface with her fancy new ear, tailing Mr. Greer, who happens to be back in town. They're in the subway, and once again POI does a great job of giving us competent bad guys. He provides another demonstration that he knows how the Machine works: first, he has his people cut the cameras so they can't track him, so the machine tracks him by the sound of his footsteps, and he counters by having his people raise the volume on the noise in the subway, so the machine starts tracking him by his phone, which he places into the pocket of another grey haired man wearing similar clothes, and with the machine unable to guide her, Root loses him.
Root chats with Finch a couple times, first to let him know she doesn't know why the Machine gave him Maria Martinez's number, and she's busy at the moment following Greer. He's got all the pieces he needs to get Samaritan up and running so killing him is the best way to stop it. But she loses him.
The next time Root gives Finch a call it's to help him out with his number, and in return she tells him she's borrowing "the dog". Because Greer can take away the Machine's sight, hearing and GPS tracking ability, but Bear can just follow his nose. And he does, leading Root to Greer, who is waiting for her. He tries to convince her to join his team, and there may have been a time she would have but she is nothing if completely loyal to the machine, with a fondness for Shaw, Finch, Fusco, Bear, and probably even Reese, so she turns him down. But even though she did a good job overcoming Greer's tricks to lose the machine, since it didn't have cameras on him, he was able to sneak in a couple henchmen to hold Root at gunpoint while he walks away unharmed. Still, good job Bear, good boy!
Highlights for an enthusiastic fanboy:
- Bear finding the hidden dog treats on the book shelf and helping himself to the reward. I'd say Finch should have place them higher but it looks like Bear is almost his height on in hind legs.
- Reese defending Bear's snacking.
- Fusco's rant about the UN and Shaw pointing out the falafel spill on his tie.
- The show being above the "it's Iraqis, they must be terrorists" thing, and having the seemingly corrupt UN guy in charge of admitting asylum applicants not be corrupt even if he was genuinely scared of what would happen if he allowed a terrorist in.
- A little touch of that Lethal Weapon style "I have diplomatic immunity" from the evil diplomat who seemed friendly at first. But of course, his immunity was revoked (officially, not by bullets) and he's off to jail.
- Reese taking the dive out the window and breaking the fall with the bad guy, followed by Fusco's "hope he had insurance" quip.
- One of the bad guys pulling out a knife and doing some fancy twirling with it before Reese pulls out a gun and shoots him in the knee, Indiana Jones style (thanks to cljohnston108 for bringing this up).
- Greer making himself invisible to the machine, allowing him to lose its analog interface Root.
- Root getting around that by having Bear track him. More Bear on screen is always good, and since Root is its analog interface, if she needed Bear, then that means the machine needed Bear. So even a machine likes Bear.
- Fusco displaying his detective skills again. I don't think Shaw told him her first name, and she looked surprised when he said "happy (Persian) new year, Sameen", so he must have done some detectiving.