Person of Interest “Asylum” Review (Season 4 Episode 21)

Person of Interest Asylum 7

This week’s Person of Interest confirmed that Shaw is still alive. The question is whether she is still loyal to Team Machine or whether she’s been turned by Samaritan. While Root and Finch track her down to a mental hospital, Reese and Fusco have their hands full dealing with the escalating war between Elias and Dominic.

Without a moment’s hesitation, Root decides to go after Shaw when she receives a distressed call from her. This is the proof of life they’ve been waiting for. Finch overcomes his initial reluctance and agrees to help her. The trickier part is getting the machine to tell them where Shaw is. In a bold move, Root goes to the edge of the roof and threatens to kill herself if the machine doesn’t help. What they don’t realize is that Shaw is located at Decima’s new operating center.

It’s no surprise that Shaw is still alive. It’s good that they’re leaving the door open for Sarah Shahi’s return, because the show has been lacking without Shaw’s sarcastic, abrasive character. As much as I’ve liked the change in Root’s character as she’s become integrated into Team Machine, I still prefer Shaw. I could also do a little less with Root’s lovesick puppy behavior. Considering she and Shaw do not actually have a relationship, her obsessive love is a bit much.

Finch and Root fall into Decima’s clutches, and Greer suggests that it was all an elaborate set up conceived by Shaw. I’m not sure I buy this, and Root doesn’t either. If Shaw had flipped, there would’ve been no need for Decima to hustle her out of the building. Samaritan’s goal is to determine the location of the machine through Root. While there’s no escape for Root, she gets her revenge by snapping fembot’s neck. I liked the shock value of the moment, but wasn’t convinced that Root would have the physical strength to kill that way.

Just before Decima goes to cut out Root’s cochlear implant, the machine intervenes. This was a great moment. To see the machine talking to Finch with words on the screen was a touching development. It tells him that he matters. This cements the fact that the machine is more than an AI and does have the capacity to care for others.

The battle between Elias and Dominic has sadly been on the backburner for a while. I was looking forward to a confrontation between the two crime lords, but was confused by what went down. Elias comes up with an elaborate scheme to exact revenge for the death of his right hand man. He tricks Dominic into thinking that he has a mole in his gang. I kind of felt like, “That’s it? That’s Elias’ master stroke?” It felt like it was a lot of buildup – the capture of Reese, Fusco, and Elias – for a weak pay off. I did like the ways that Fusco and Reese stood up to Dominic’s torture. Reese had “whatever” attitude while Fusco was his typical tough guy self.

I’m still waiting for Team Machine to go on the offensive. I also would like to see more with Elias and Dominic. They’re great villains and this episode didn’t give their feud enough gravity.