Review: ‘Person of Interest’ prepares for its last stand with ‘Sotto Voce’

A quick review of last night's Person of Interest coming up just as soon as I properly thank you for providing the car bomb that killed my father…

Though “Sotto Voce” barely featured Samaritan or its operatives at all (mainly showing them through Root's sniper scope), it had as much forward momentum and compelling character moments as any episode so far in this strong final season. In particular, it offered three developments that had been months or years in the making:

* Reese tells Fusco about the Machine and Samaritan, finally realizing that he was endangering his partner more by keeping him in the dark;

* Shaw makes it back to New York for real, and Root's offer to commit mutually-timed suicide finally seems to get her to accept that she's no longer in a simulation;


* Finch lets Elias out of his well-appointed cage to help solving the problem of the Voice, even though – as Elias himself points out – this would likely end in the Voice's murder.

The last is a very big deal, in that Finch's refusal to commit murder – albeit of a person far less monstrous than the Voice – is what led to Samaritan's rise in the first place.  There have been moral lines that Harold won't cross, no matter what, but if he's willing to let Elias loose to help put down a vile threat like the Voice(*), maybe he's finally ready to take more extreme actions against Samaritan and Greer.

(*) I was very glad to see him return, as season 3's “Last Call” was one of the show's best Number of the Week stories ever, and the revelation that he was really this week's Number was a nice thematic callback to the episode that introduced Elias. Also, good casting of Neal Huff, who's very good at playing characters who seem innocuous but turn out to be utterly despicable (see also his role on The Wire as Carcetti's chief of staff). 

Fusco being brought in the loop was long overdue, both for his sake and the show's, as we were at risk of him turning into an obstacle who causes (and gets into) trouble solely because no one will tell him the truth. And it felt satisfying coming after he and Reese survived their last stand at the precinct despite being outmanned and outgunned.

The reunion of all the surviving member of Team Machine, scored, like Reese's confession to Fusco, to the National's “Fake Empire,” was a powerful calm before the storm kind of image as the show heads into its final four episodes (one tonight, and then weekly on Tuesdays through late June). Based on the teaser from the season premiere, I don't expect all the people standing under that bridge to make it to the end, but it's good to have them together again for a stand with even more overwhelming odds than Reese and Fusco just dealt with.

What did everybody else think? And was anyone else disappointed that Shaw ditched the cowboy hat by the time she made it to New York?