Person Of Interest: The Female Of The Species

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You can alway tell when Person of Interest is taking a break, because they start throwing the doomsday shit at you. Last night, for example, the usual opening "you are being watched" titles were interrupted as the Machine informed us an anomaly had been detected. A "relevant" one.

Even before we know what the hell's going on, the Machine shows us the murder of a Daniel Aquino, an employee of Sandia Labs (you people have to pause those little pop-up video segments to get any useful info, you know) in 2011. This was referred to as "catalyst.indigo." It will be, as they say, relevant. Gee, it's almost like that was the name of this week's episode.

Next stop: Berlin, 2013. A very skilled -- and tiny -- American operative dispatches of two associates of someone named Bekhti before knocking out a policeman with a judo chop that would make Captain Kirk proud. She and her partner take out an apartment of dirty bomb-making Ay-rabs (well, she does mostly). Her name's Sam Shaw (Euless, Texas' own Sarah Shahi), and she works for something called "Control," which sounds like the primary function of the Machine.

Meaning all these Numbers of the Week are actually targets for execution. Hey, if you want to make an omelet, you have to violate a few civil rights.

Shaw meets Wilson, her contact in New York. He looks kind of like Craig Kilborn so we automatically know he's not to be trusted. Her next NOTW is James Mercer, a former Marine with ties to militias who ends up being largely unimportant. As she's tailing Mercer, she spots Mr. Reese. This, of course, means she's his NOTW. Meanwhile her partner Cole is having reservations about where Control's numbers come from. It's during this conversation we learn Shaw was the one who killed Aquino, ostensibly because he was selling plans to Hezbollah. Only Cole found out through a CIA contact that he actually wasn't.

Remember what curiosity did to the cat. Cole and Shaw are set up, and he dies. Shaw runs into Reese and shoots him. She then stuffs a flash-bang into a guy's gas mask and uses him as a human landing pad when she jumps out the window. I think I'm in love. Of course Wilson was behind it, and after Shaw escapes he calls his boss, who's none other than the Special Counsel (Jay O. Sanders).

After performing some impromptu field surgery (Wilson winged her, uh, in the abdomen) and perforating a few overly cocky drug dealers, she has a beer. Clearly a cool customer. Hersh tells the Special Counsel as much (he trained her). The bad guys and Shaw both hit on the same solution, find Cole's CIA contact, one Veronica Sinclair. Miss May, the Special Counsel's secretary who's really Root, has beat everyone to the punch and bound and gagged Sinclair in a bathroom. So much deception. Does anyone remember laughter?

May/Root confirms the Aquino money was coming from the Pentagon black agency that until recently employed Shaw. They were working on a project called "Northern Lights," and Aquino was building a home for something "very special." But before Root can torture Aquino's contact's name out of Shaw, Wilson's men show up, and are handily dispatched by Shaw and Reese, who politely requests that Shaw not shoot him again.

Reese takes Shaw to Finch, who lays out the bare bones of the Machine and how the government uses it to stop terrorists. He offers to help her, but she's a loner, Finchie; a rebel. She confronts the Special Counsel at a reception, who explains "The Program" is what keeps America safe. Ultimately, she kills Wilson but spares the SC because she believes the program is sound.

For all the good it does her. Hersh injects her with poison, but Finch provides the antidote -- via Leon (Ken Leong) -- so now she's dead, as far as the Program is concerned. And this time she takes Finch's business card.

This week we got to see the Machine being used for what it was intended, leading us to wonder how many teams are in play at any given time (and is the Special Counsel boss of all of them?). On a side note, I continue to be impressed by the female supporting characters on this show: Carter and Zoe are capable allies, Shaw has the potential to be one, and Root remains their most formidable opponent (the Special Counsel is "touchable" and Elias is behind bars) until Quinn makes his move again. Admittedly, I don't watch a lot of other shows, but POI seems to have a high percentage getting their hands dirty on a weekly basis.

Next week: Nothing. Finch and Reese are off, for some reason. Maybe Bear needs to go to the vet.

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