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After the demise of HR, and the two part second machine story setting up the rise of Samaritan and Vigilance getting closer to finding out about the Machine, we have had a run of quiet episodes that have been about the gang going back to the basics of saving lives. Yet the last episode setup the return of Root and the with her all the baggage of the possible war between two machine.

So far we know the Machine is building a stable of talented coders who have caught its (or her if you believe Root) attention for a coming storm, and we know that Samaritan has been in the hands of Decima waiting to be turned on for their own purposes. And from the previews its implied that the storm is Finch's Machine versus Samaritan, did this episode deliver on that promise?

It did so and more. This is perhaps the best episode since Relevance where Shaw was introduced, and showcased more Root than you could ever want. I don't even know where to start with the awesomeness of this episode. Plot wise it set the stage for the final episodes in the coming weeks, and maybe even set up what's going to happen in season four. Root is back in New York on a mission for the Machine, still deaf in one ear, she busts a convict out with just a taser, which was freaking hilarious, all to get a piece of paper which will be important later in the episode

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Root is tasked to save a janitor, and so has Finch and his team. While we learn a lot about the janitor his history is only really relevant to Root. His current job is why everyone wants him. Cyrus the janitor is one of the few people who has access to a newly developed super conducting processor that is fast enough to run Samaritan which as Root puts it, "Decima has the software just not the hardware." To add another twist Collier and Vigilance also want Cyrus to expose Samaritan however what they don't know is that Decima has Samaritan not the government. So everyone wants Cyrus to get to the chip. Vigilance gets tied up with Shaw, missing out on Cyrus. Collier tries to convert Shaw to his cause. What he doesn't realize is Shaw is fucking Shaw. She straight up takes out eleven dudes and dudettes like nothing with just a pipe. This scene also showcases some of Shaw's changes as she proclaims, "How you do matters as much as what you do." before laying some pipe down on the vigilance assholes.

What's was the best part of the episode was Root coming to terms with her newly found humanity. Which she found in the having a connection to her God, the Machine. Cyrus was part of her past profession in having people killed behind her computer screen, and throughout the episode we saw that Root was affected by what she had done. She did her best Rustin Cohle impression in conversing with Finch about Decima, her relationship with the machine, and humanity. While she defiantly tried to stick to her nihilism about how nothing matters, there was never a plan, the universe is chaotic random and messy, until Finch created the machine. In the Machine Root found humanity. It was also funny how everyone, especially Finch, tried to warn Root of not falling victim to her hubris of having the Machine whispering in her ear. She laments that in spite of the possibility of the Machine being threatened by another AI it keeps telling her to save Cyrus. Root finally tells Finch the real reason she wants to stop Decima, once its AI is online its going to kill the team first then a lot of other people will follow. Ultimately Root saves Cyrus, and Decima get the chip. But Root is redeemed which leaves you wondering if this whole exercise wasn't part of the Machine's plan to really change Root into a better more decent human in its quest to save us all.

This episode also showcased each character their motivations for doing what they do. Root is the avatar of the machine, Reese wants to save people, Shaw kills terrorists, and Finch is doing his penance for making the machine.

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Side notes:

  • Shaw and Reese continue to be the best comedians, the male enhancement exchange was wonderful. Shaw noting that the message was clear, and Reese suggesting he thinks Root like Finch.
  • Root goes full trans humanist getting a permanent link via a specialized cochlear implant to the machine after Greer learns that she has a connection to the Machine and manages it to sever it for a bit.

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  • The Shoot shipping is no longer subtext, they are straight up flirting with each other. That whole doctor bit at the end had me squeeing with joy.

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  • I find it adorable that Root still calls Reese Helper Monkey.
  • Root is a badass getting shot and not missing a beat to get to Cyrus in the gun battle.
  • And now Samaritan is almost complete: