Season Four Episode Five

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Photo by: Barbara Nitke/NBC

Photo by: Barbara Nitke/NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We’ve now concluded five episodes of the fourth season for the NBC series “The Blacklist,” and this viewer’s found myself, feeling rather lost and dissatisfied. The show, coming off what could arguably be labeled as the series strongest season in the 2015-2016 campaign, as former FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen kept one step ahead of the law and the Cabal. Keen killed the United States Attorney General Tom Connelly, when the Cabal member threatened her and all those she cared for. When she finally cleared her name with the help of Raymond Reddington, she found herself going from the frying-pan and into the fire.

Lizzie found out that she carried Tom’s child and the annulled couple planned to get married and raise their baby together. Reddington, made it clear that he disapproved of the reconciliation, going as far as to putting the kibosh on Tom getting a job in Boston. However, other problems lurked in the background, as somebody kept trying to kidnap Elizabeth. Keen with the help of Mr. Kaplan and Dr. Nick, faked her death so she, Tom and their baby could have a life without Reddington in it.

While Tom knew that the mother of his daughter Agnes, actually lived, he played the part of the grief-struck widower and helped track down the man who attempted to kidnap Lizzie, Alexander Kirk. Kirk and Reddington, knew each other well and likely consider each other mortal enemies. When Kirk believes Liz passed, he sets his sights on kidnapping Agnes, which happens in the final episode of Season Three.

However Agnes, wasn’t the only one that Kirk’s operatives captured. Tom and Agnes had fled to Havana, to join Lizzie in their new life. Kirk introduced himself to Liz, (or Masha, as he called her) as her father Constantin Rostov in the final scene of the season. Lizzie’s capture revealed that Kate Kaplan thought up the plan that gave Liz, Tom and Agnes their freedom, Raymond felt betrayed.

While the third season rocketed out of the gates, picking up minutes after Liz killed Connelly. Dembe drove them to the first of many stops that Raymond and Keen to help clear her name. This season opened with a restaging of the previous episode, likely to get Megan Boone, who missed the last third of last year on maternity leave, integrated back into the action. Some fans’ describe this still young season, as dragging along on Social Media sites, if that’s true that might figure into the dynamic.

We’re going to dispense with our usual play-by-play format, this go-round, instead we’re going to discuss the episode entitled “The Lindquist Concern,” as one piece of what we’ve witnessed so far in season four. The relationships have radically evolved since Raymond Reddington turned himself in to Bureau Headquarters, to forge a professional and personal relationship with Elizabeth Keen. Despite pushing the envelope throughout this series’ the writers have retained the elasticity, to bring the regulars back into the fold, even after committing some rather heinous acts.

Those relationships have been in a constant state of flux, throughout it’s run and we’ve witnessed once bitter enemies become allies. We’ve also watched a long time partnership, undergo irreparable damage and the ripples of that action are just beginning to occur. As word filters through TEAM-RED, what will be the fallout and reaction of the Task-Force?

RED AND MR. KAPLAN: We might as well tackle the 800-pound gorilla in the room first, as it shocked and disappointed many of the long time viewers. Although Kate certainly didn’t go softly into the night, the question among the fans remains, was Raymond justified in shooting her for her betrayal. Although many viewers believe Reddington had ample justification to turn on Mr. Kaplan, I reside in the opposite camp.

Red’s a self-admitted psychopath and we’ve watched his face turn to stone and his eyes become steely, often over these three-plus seasons. However we’ve also seen the depths of Raymond’s kindness, a perfect example’s his interaction with Skyler Ayers, a special-needs child with a rare blood disease. Reddington’s likely the first person to talk to the youngster, like he’d talk to any other boy. It’s difficult to believe that someone with that big a heart, could callously turn on the woman he described as his better half.

Dembe started feeling the ramifications of his actions in this installment, as he sat in the pews of the church that Reddington and Dembe are residing in. (Raymond told Liz, that he normally has a devil of a time falling asleep, but he sleeps like a babe in the manger in the church.) He tells Red that forgiveness won’t come, for Kate and what he did. Reddington replies that Dembe did nothing and the man Raymond rescued as a teen, confirmed that was his sin. He denied Mr. Kaplan when she came to him for help and he allowed Raymond to kill her without voicing his regrets.

Teddy Brimley, the geriatric Marquis De Sade, mentioned her in this episode as he informed Raymond and Dembe he’s getting hitched on the 16, and to extend the invite to Mr. Kaplan. Lizzie’s already asked Reddington where Kate’s at and Red avoided answering her, but how will she handle it when she finds out?

Despite Raymond’s proficiency with a pistol, Reddington failed to kill his “Cleaner” in the middle of the wilderness, instead just damaging her cheek. Although Kate’s situation’s far from comforting, as she finds herself shackled to her bed by some old guy who lives off the grid and has only been identified as The Hunter, what’s in store for her future? She knows all of Reddington’s weaknesses, will she eventually turn into Raymond’s greatest foe?

WHO, EXACTLY’S CONSTANTIN ROSTOV?:  Reddington, specifically stated that although Kirk believes he’s Lizzie’s father, he believes otherwise. Keen stormed into the church clutching a DNA report, stating that Rostov’s indeed her father, why does Red continue to believe other wise? Although Rostov’s repeatedly said that he just wants his family together again, his considering using Agnes as a bone-marrow donor, shows his true desire. Rostov wants to live longer and he’s considering risking his granddaughter’s life to fulfill that wish. Unless Elizabeth Keen’s not the person who provided the DNA for this report, Rostov appears to be her biological father.

IS THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, COMPLETELY CORRUPT IN THE BLACKLIST UNIVERSE?:  Although Raymond got the Task-Force involved in the capture of Silas Gouldsberry and The Lindquist Concern, allegedly because he’d lead them to Agnes, that didn’t come close to fruition. Instead Ressler and Navabi saved the information from going public, only to see it wind up in the hands of Laurel Hitchin. She in turn gave the information to Reddington, to see what inventions he desired, before selling them to among others the Cabal. Reddington will get 45% of any money that Hitchin receives. Is the planet truly better off with the way things went down?

Although it appears that Constantin Rostov will remain with us for at least a few more episodes, it’s time for the writer’s to progress this season’s plot. Can Raymond be forgiven for his actions, or will he like Dembe keep seeking salvation that’s never arriving?

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

In Storybrooke’s Sheriff station, Emma and Elsa continue to search through town records looking for signs of The Snow Queen. Elsa isn’t happy with their progress, but Emma insists that this is their best option. Will Scarlett is still being held in the tank, for “as long as [Emma] says so.” Hook shows up to drop off more records, and the two scoundrels share a scoundrel-like conversation. Shortly after Hook leaves, Elsa comes across a file of photographs. They’re the photos that Regina had Sidney Glass take when Emma first arrived in Storybrooke. Kind of an abuse of power on Regina’s part, but it turns out they’re useful for more than just nostalgia. Elsa finds a picture of Emma very obviously arguing with The Snow Queen. Emma, troubled that she cannot remember the conversation, takes Elsa to see Regina in her vault. If she can’t remember the conversation, maybe Regina knows something.

Emma asks Elsa to come in to speak to Regina, but Elsa declines. She wants Emma to reconcile with Regina. Emma isn’t hopeful that she’ll be able to do that. Ruefully, she tells Elsa that once you’ve screwed someone over as badly as she screwed Regina by bringing Marian back, it’s hard to be friends again. Elsa encourages Emma to speak to Regina alone, so that the two can try to talk.

In the vault, Emma approaches Regina, who is waiting for Sidney to return in the magic mirror to tell her of The Snow Queen’s whereabouts. Regina, your redemption efforts are admirable but keeping Sidney Glass as your Magic Mirror isn’t going to win you many bonus points with Henry or the citizens of Storybrooke, no matter how many boyfriend’s wives you unfreeze. She knows this, of course, which is why she denies knowing anything about Sidney when Emma confronts her about the pictures she found. Regina denies any knowledge of the photographs (which you may mistrust, but if Regina knew that there was a connection between The Snow Queen she surely would have exploited it by now since Regina wants to force her to unfreeze Marian.) Emma tries to reach out to Regina, but Regina sends her away. “You’ve never had my back,” she spits, “and you never will.”

Emma leaves, and Sidney reappears in the mirror. He’s found The Snow Queen’s lair, but he wants Regina to release him from the mirror before he tells her. Regina threatens to release him from the mirror and throw him in the hospital again, and he recants his leverage over her. Regina, I know you’re going through a really tough time right now but the man has already taken a murder rap for you, twice. Maybe just play it cool this time?

Outside the vault, Elsa waits for Emma to return. It has grown dark outside and, fairytale people, you should know better by now! Don’t let strangers with missing relatives hang out in a misty graveyard after dark! Of course Elsa hears Anna’s voice crying for her help, and of course she takes off after her. Emma returns to find Elsa missing and chases after her. (Remember when David made the “here’s to not having to look for a while” joke? Doesn’t seem like you’re getting that wish, dude.)

Elsa chases Anna through the woods, across a gorge and a stream (thank goodness for ice magic that will let you build staircases willy-nilly), and eventually catches up with her. Her sister doesn’t seem to be that happy to see her. Probably because it’s not really Anna, but an apparition generated by The Snow Queen to lure Elsa into the middle of the woods and trap her in chains of ice that grow stronger as she panics. The Snow Queen regards Elsa with the patronizing pity of someone who knows way more than the person they’re speaking to. She needs Elsa out-of-the-way at the moment, and she knows that

chaining her with her own terror will be perfect to hold her at bay. She’s going to build a snowman! (Remember the snow monster Elsa generated with her powers earlier this season? You know, the one who got stronger when it felt threatened? Seems like this kind of magic has a pattern…)

Regina’s in the woods as well, taking directions from Sidney-Glass-in-a-compact to get to The Snow Queen. She doesn’t make it far before she runs into Emma, who is of course looking for Elsa. (The fact that their paths intersect here shouldn’t go unnoticed, either.) Regina reveals that she’s looking for The Snow Queen, and Emma insists that the two stick together. Regina isn’t pleased, but she’s even angrier that Emma will insist on coming with her anyway.

As the two walk through the forest (using the directions Sidney gave Regina before Emma appeared and Sidney got snapped shut and thrown in the pocket of Regina’s super-sharp blazer), Emma tries to make small talk with Regina, but Regina is having none of it. She doesn’t care if Emma thinks that her work to unfreeze Marian is admirable. She doesn’t want to be girlfriends and braid each other’s hair and give each other makeovers. There’s no hiding her fury at Emma for bringing Marian back. Regina suggests that Emma just learn to live with the fact that she’s ruined her life, just like Regina lives with the lives she’s ruined.

They reach the bridge that Elsa made to follow Anna, which is curiously close to where Sidney has said that The Snow Queen’s lair will be. As they’re climbing, the wind begins to howl. The two pause and seek cover. Emma denies that the magic at work is Elsa’s, and Regina realizes that Sidney has betrayed her. Even though she told Emma earlier that she has no idea where he is, she pulls out her compact to scream at him in outrage. He reveals that he has lured the two into The Snow Queen’s trap, and a present in store for Regina that he feels that she richly deserves.

The two make it through the wind-attack and subsequent bridge collapse, only to find The Snow Queen’s “snowman” at the top of the hill. Regina throws a fireball. Emma follows up with a burst of light magic (what are we calling it? It kind of looks like Jubilee’s powers from X-Men, yes?) and the ice warrior stumbles backward, but he quickly regenerates and attacks again. The two sorceresses continue to assault their foe with individual blasts of magic, but they’re not making as much progress as they could.

They have to cross the streams.

The combination is enough to turn the Ice Boss into a puddle, but the two barely have time to catch their breath before The Snow Queen herself ambushes them, choking them with her magic and stealing the compact that Regina is holding Sidney in. Elsa was being held in her chains not far away, which she managed to break by Not! Being! Afraid! (hey, it’s a fairytale, it’s allowed to be that easy sometimes), and blasts The Snow Queen to release Emma and Regina. The Snow Queen is surprisingly happy to see Elsa was able to break free and completely disinterested in anything the three women are going to do from then on, since all she showed interest in was Regina’s compact. With an irritatingly smug blast of snow, she vanishes.

And, it’s funny. Just the other night I was complaining to a friend that the show is sort of “beating the Frozen drum a little hard”, and that I missed the “our world” storylines that the first two seasons had.

Are the writers of OUAT bugging my life? This week, we didn’t flash back to The Enchanted Forest, but to a runaway-from-foster-care Emma shoplifting some pop tarts. A sly looking, dark-haired teenage girl comes to her rescue when Emma is confronted by a security guard. With a quick smile and a quicker lie, her new friend hustles her away from the guard and to the checkout line, where she pays with a stolen credit card. Emma’s astonished and a little in awe of her new friend’s (who introduces herself as Lilly)guile and quick-thinking, even as the two run from someone in a Jeep who chases them from the parking lot.

Once the two get far enough away, they unpack their groceries and picnic in the grass across from some very nice-looking lake houses. Emma explains her background—foster kid who ran away because she knew she’d never be adopted. She asks Lilly if she’s been in the system as well, and Lilly explains that she might as well be invisible where she lives and so she decided to leave. She reveals her plan to break into one of the lake houses and stay there, since they’re not currently being used. She invites Emma to come with her, and she gleefully accepts.

But all the girlie laughter, video game playing, bonding over Lilly’s star-shaped birthmark, and promising to be friends forever can’t help the girls when the house’s broken into late one night. Well, I say broken into, but really it’s Lilly’s father, who has tracked her down. Her mother, he explains, far too overcome by heartbreak to travel

Emma is stricken by this news—she thought that Lilly didn’t have a family. She’s outraged and betrayed by Lilly’s re-arrangement of the truth. Lilly’s father calls the police and Emma’s taken back into foster care. Lilly begs Emma to take her contact information so that they can remain friends, but Emma refuses.

And now we know why Emma is certain that Regina is never going to forgive her—because she never forgave Lilly.

Tonight’s secondary-Storybrooke plot wasn’t magic-intense, either. David is trying to convince Mary Margaret to leave baby Neal for an hour and go on a walk with him. She’s incredibly apprehensive, and after everything that happened after Emma was born, it’s hard to blame her. David is dutiful and reassuring, but insists on getting her out of the house.

The two go to the sheriff station because Mary Margaret insists on having a long-range radio in case the cellular service goes out. They retrieve the radio, but then David realizes that Will Scarlett isn’t hanging out in the drunk tank anymore. But isn’t it a perfect opportunity for Snow White and Prince Charming to go on an adventure together? Seeking out the escaped ne’er-do-well and returning him to justice! And there isn’t an Evil Queen or an impish curse chasing them! It’s hard to resist your True Love’s sense of adventure. Mary Margaret agrees to give chase.

As night falls, the Charmings’ hunt has not yielded quarry. Mary Margaret insists that she go back to Neal and that David continue his search. They part ways, but Mary Margaret soon spies a man frantically digging along the shoreline on her way home.

Of course it’s Will Scarlett. Mary Margaret marvels at how easily she’s found the escapee, but after few more answers from an obviously inebriated and not-cunning Scarlett, she realizes that there’s no way that this drunk idiot escaped on his own. David must have let him out so that the two could chase him! Date Night in Storybrooke, folks. Mary Margaret demands that Will admit the plan, and offers to use her powers as mayor to pardon him if he does. Hard to say no to that, isn’t it?

Except…

Later, Mary Margaret back at home, holding Neal on her bad and relishing her brief adventure. David comes in, relieved that she looks happy. She beams at him and thanks him for his ruse to make her feel better. She admits that parenthood has been different and more difficult than she imagined, and that it was nice to feel like herself again. David laughs. It seems that he wasn’t responsible for Scarlett’s release, and that Mary Margaret gave him a pardon for, well, nothing. But, since he was really only locked up for getting drunk and passing out in the library, he’s not to be considered a dangerous criminal anyway. Let’s hope letting one get away doesn’t turn out to haunt anyone, okay?

Well, don’t worry about the bad guys who get away, at any rate. Maybe stick around and try to hang on to your friends. Emma again pursues Regina to her vault, insisting that she wants things to work out. After all this time, she realizes she should have forgiven Lilly. She doesn’t want Regina to make the same mistake. The women have a son in common and moreover, Regina understands what it’s like to feel alone, rejected, unloved, and lost in a way that her parents and even Henry never can. Maybe they can have a beautiful friendship, after all.

The Snow Queen isn’t worried about making new friends, however. In her lair, she releases Glass, who stands ready to do her bidding. It seems that he’s made a mistake, falling for an evil queen again. She doesn’t want him, she explains. She wanted the compact that Regina housed him in. There was enough dark magic within it for her to use it for her wicked intentions. She dismisses Glass and grins wickedly at the compact. She shatters the surface of the mirror, then uses a shard to repair a broken mirror she just happens to have lying around. The mirror, she explains to her dazed-and-evil reflection, will help her get everything she wants—a family who loves her.

We leave tonight’s installment with a bit of CaptainSwan. Hook meets Emma at her office, where she is going through her small box of childhood belongings. She smiles at some of the artifacts of her childhood; I burst into tears when she pulls out a picture of herself and Neal (Henry’s dad, not her brother), and it just so happens that she also finds the video camera that she used to tape some of Lilly’s and her antics at the lake house. She plugs it in, eager to see her old friend’s face.

The tape continues after the girls fade away. Hook and Emma watch as a pudgy, irritating ginger kid appears onscreen, obnoxiously shouting about “what the new kid brought.” Emma is in the background, struggling to get the camera back. Offscreen, we hear what we assume is the foster-mother of the house tell the ginger to drop the camera. She sounds irritated, barges into the room, and wrenches the camera away from the kid. As she turns it off, it catches her face perfectly.

Of course it’s The Snow Queen. Of course it is.

This show sure knows how to leave you hanging, doesn’t it?

The Story Continues Next Sunday at 8:00 pm on ABC.

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert:

Covering Professional Sports for the last nineteen-years, one realizes that a great coach doesn’t always become a great manager and great players find their talents sometimes, fall short attempting at leading. Carrie Mathison’s proved she’s an intelligent, resourceful and successful CIA Agent, but she gets too tasked-focused to act effectively, leading and coordinating others, as we witnessed on the fifth episode of the Showtime Original Series “Homeland.” While progressing on her recruitment of Aayan Ibrahim, she allowed two incidents to take place, one that could end in the loss, of her old friend and former boss.

The concern of a player or operative’s to get their job done; no worries or concerns with others as they only control their own mission. As the CIA Station Chief in Islamabad, you’ve got to be a great manager, or whom to delegate things to, otherwise you’ll constantly be playing catch-up, a less than ideal situation for a Spy Agency. Twin forces guide the United States Embassy, starting with Ambassador Martha Boyd, incompetence and corruption, both factors combining for a chaotic situation. There’s little trust and too many personal agendas and Mathison’s blind to most of them.

Carrie ended the previous episode seducing, the medical student she’s attempting to recruit, nephew of Haissam Haqqani, the ISI leader and the sole survivor of an Agency air-raid on a family wedding taking place in a farmhouse. This episode picks up the morning after, as Ibrahim still can’t quite believe he really had sex with Carrie, while she sleeps, he picks up the sheets to look at her body. However, he’s also ashamed, as the actions violated his religious beliefs. Mathison tells him they don’t have to be intimate again.

She goes out to get breakfast and meets Saul Berenson in his car, before he heads back to the states. The now private citizen’s set to meet his successor, CIA Director Andrew Lockhart, to inform him of what Carrie’s discovered, the attack on the former Station Chief Sandy Bachman got set up by ISI and that Haqqani’s alive, not a victim of the airstrike as all believed. The pair discuss, Carrie’s tough task of recruiting Aayan Ibrahim in three days, although by the facial expression of Berenson’s it seems he’s figured she’ll do “whatever it takes.”

Peter Quinn and Fara’s assignment’s trying to find the Cleric that accompanied Haqqani, when he met with his nephew Aayan, they rent the shop across the street from the meeting spot. The decision worked as the Cleric soon appeared and Quinn got pictures of him sent back to the embassy. Quinn and Fara discuss Carrie for a bit and we can tell by Peter’s talk of manipulation that he’s aware that Mathison’s had sex with the college student to make him more trusting of her. Since Peter carries a torch for Carrie, (which she’s unaware of) he’s not fond of the tactic.

The young woman that threatened to expose the Ambassador’s husband Dennis Boyd of collaborating with the enemy, whose named Nasneem’s a pretty big player for ISI, we discover during a morning meeting with Aasar Khan and other ISI members. Khan, who met with Benson in the previous episode to discuss the ISI, tells Nasneem that Saul’s taking a flight back to Washington and the woman says she could care less about him. We find out later, that’s not the case.

Boyd, who told his wife Martha in the previous episode he decided to move back home, told the Ambassador he changed his mind, but she shows no pleasure in his news. She knows he’s up to something, though she’s clueless that he and Bachman traded top-secret information, in exchange for getting locations on ISI members that got killed or arrested by the Agency. She asks him why he’s staying and when he stands there silently, she shakes her head and storms off.

Saul’s in the airport to catch his flight, when he spots Farad Ghazi, the man the ISI hired to manipulate and manage the supposedly spontaneous riot and subsequent pummeling to death of Sandy Bachman. Berenson calls Carrie’s cellphone and like everyone else that day gets his call directed to voice-mail, he tells her what’s going on and tells her to call him immediately. Ever the spy, although unarmed and lacking backup, Saul follows Ghazi to the gate for a flight to South Africa. He calls Quinn this time and tells him to make the Agency bureau in South Africa to keep on the lookout and that unless Saul calls back to assume he caught the flight.

Quinn’s being looked for at Embassy by Martha Boyd, as she just got a call from a local hotel that Dennis’ causing a scene in their bar, but Carrie’s assistant John Redmond, volunteers to get her husband, saying he used to be the guy who got belligerent in bars.

Back at the safe-house, Mathison starts interviewing Ibrahim under her guise as a reporter. She starts asking him about his uncle Haissam Haqqani, and his relationship with his uncle. Haqqani’s the brother of his father and they were a tight-knit family during his childhood, until the Uncle moved to the mountains to avoid drone detection. He used to make Aayan laugh as a child by slurping his tea and he told his nephew, he fought in more battles than the amount of hairs on Ibrahim’s head.

Carrie asks Aayan, if he thought of his Uncle as a hero and he said he defeated the Soviets, when they invaded Afghanistan in 1980, which helped lead to dissolve the Soviet Union. He then said Haqqani would’ve found a way to defeat the USA as well. Mathison then says there are rumors his uncle’s alive and Aayan goes ballistic, telling her that’s ridiculous and insulting, ending the interview session.

There’s no question that John Redmond’s the only part of the Embassy’s management, that’s competent and aware what’s taking place, the former assistant to Bachman, got the promotion to Station Chief, only for it to get rescinded when Mathison blackmailed Lockhart. The one unknown’s Redmond’s motivation, his network’s large enough to be working his own agenda, is he also bitter and disillusioned enough to serve two masters?

Redmond goes to the bar sharing drinks with Dennis Boyd, whose clearly drank twelve too many. He starts talking about what a great guy Bachman was and Redmond questions his statement, though admitting he was fun to drink with. Because the alcohol’s loosened his tongue, Boyd’s about to confess to Redmond his exploits with Bachman and the trouble he’s now in, when a familiar face interrupts the conversation. It’s Nasneem, who knows Redmond well and she makes believe she recognizes but never has met Boyd. After some brief small talk she goes back to her friend and Boyd asks what’s her deal, Redmond replies she’s an operative for ISI and likely working in the bar. She accomplished her mission as Boyd, no longer wants to spill his guts and suggests they head back to the Embassy.

Carrie apologizes to Aayan, then tells him she’s got an infant daughter Frannie, whose father died on an assignment before her birth. She tells Ibrahim, that Frannie’s father, another reporter got killed on an assignment she sent him on and she can’t forgive herself. He asks if she’ll tell her daughter when she gets old enough and she replies how can she, while he counters with how can she not. She breaks down and he hugs her, once again Carrie’s pulling strings through the tears, realizing that her “letting him in,” will get him to reciprocate. The prayer bells ring and she excuses herself, but Ibrahim tells him he wants to be with her again.

Fara and Peter are still on stakeout when they see the Cleric on the move, they take off to tail him. Peter follows him in their car, while Fara follows on foot, they’re not sure where the cleric’s headed, but right now he’s their best chance to get information about Haissam Haqqani and why he wasn’t at the wedding despite Bachman’s information that authorized the airstrike.

Back to the airport and Saul’s still keeping watch on Farad Ghazi, whose flight’s boarding, the terrorist gets into the line to board, then leaves and heads to the men’s room. Saul stations himself outside the bathroom, but doesn’t call anybody to make them aware of the situation. He watches for a while as several men enter then leave, but Ghazi’s yet to appear. When two young guys walk out together and head separate ways, Berenson heads into the facility, looks around, sees Ghazi in front of him and the two young men that just left the bathroom, take him from behind and sedate him with a syringe, they wheel him out in a wheelchair. Ghazi calls Nasneem and lets her know they’ve captured Berenson.

Peter and Fara follow the Cleric to a car, that he gets in as a passenger. They follow him to a military-checkpoint, which they realize they can’t approach. Quinn tries calling Carrie, but once again her phone goes right to voicemail. He swears in his message and when Fara asks why he’s upset, Peter tells her that only Carrie can contact Redmond to get a drone following the cleric, according to the Agency, the pair aren’t in Islamabad. He then gives Fara a tracking device to put on the Cleric’s car which is at the checkpoint, he’d draw too much attention as an American.

Fara approaches the car, but the guards yell at her to head back to her vehicle and she loses her nerve. As she walks back to the car, the trunk of the car the Cleric ‘s inspected by the soldiers, who don’t mention that Saul Berenson’s bound and gagged in the trunk. Peter loses it as Fara returns to the car with the tracking device.

There’s a knock on the front door of the safe house, Mathison attempts to ignore it but finally answers it and meets Quinn across the street, who goes off on her for having her phone off all day and missing two important developments in their case, blowing an opportunity to have eyes on the Cleric. Carrie gets defensive and says she’s trying to recruit an asset and Quinn responds, from his perspective she’s having sex with a child, which she wonders why that fact bothers Peter. He says it shouldn’t and walks away. She heads back to the safe house and the Puppet Mistress has worked her magic as Aayan admits his uncle’s alive.

The Story Continues Next Sunday at 9:00 pm on Showtime.

Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS

Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Elections have gotten rigged, most likely since they’ve held them, so how long until artificial intelligence systems can determine the outcome of a contest, despite the results of the actual ballots cast? At least in the universe that the CBS series “Person Of Interest,” exists in, that technology exists and Samaritan’s used it in the election that occurs during this episode. The system threw out the existing Governor of New York, giving the nod to his challenger, by the same margin that the polls said, that Governor James Murray would win by. “The Machine,” gives Harold Finch the number of Simon Lee, a pollster that works for the Murray campaign and in the ten elections he’s worked on, he’s predicted each race perfectly.

Lee’s track-record’s produced an extremely confident young man with a huge ego, who can’t conceive being incorrect in any election. However as the results come in, it’s apparent that the challenger Michelle Perez will score the upset. Murray’s campaign manager verbally rips Lee all throughout the night, until their disagreement dissolves into a fistfight. Murray separates the two and tells them to calm down.

NYPD Homicide Detective John Reilly’s been put on restricted duty after he shot his sixth person since being transferred from narcotics to homicide by Internal Affairs. He’s also assigned a police psychiatrist, whose approval he requires to return to the streets, which means that Reilly’s true identity, John Reese can’t help out the team in this situation. If Reese doesn’t cooperate, he’ll lose his job with the Police Department and his cover to remain hidden from Samaritan, so Finch gives the number to Sameen Shaw. As he hangs up the phone, he senses a presence and without turning around says good afternoon Miss Rhodes, as the woman who prefers to go by her nickname Root’s come to talk with Finch. She just finished an assignment given to her by “The Machine,” now she’s taking on the role of a reporter for the New York Herald, though she’s yet to find out what the assignment will involve.

Shaw’s pretending she’s a phone volunteer for the Murray campaign, but she’s clearly unhappy with the role, telling a potential voter the reason to reelect the Governor’s because he’s used Rogaine for thirty-years, which shows great foresight. She gets a call from Finch and tells her supervisor she needs a two-minute break for the call. She tells Harold how miserable she is, but Finch stresses that they need her in the campaign office to keep tabs on Lee.

The next scene’s a flashback for Finch, as he recalls the early days of building “The Machine,” and the difficulties that he and his late partner Nathan Ingram encountered trying to perfect the Artificial Intelligence System. We witness the first version coming to life on October 1, 2001, as Harold verifies that the system can see him and recognize him. He then poses a question to “The Machine,” a scenario that involves a couple broken down in the desert with the wife sustaining a broken leg, Finch then states if the man carries his wife, they have a 31% chance of survival, it rises to 40% if the man leaves his wife, what does “The Machine,” suggest the couple do. Although the increased chance of survival’s just nine percent higher, “The Machine,” says the man should leave his wife. Harold then deletes his prototype telling Nathan they’re back at square one, unless their system cares about people, it’s liable to attempt to rule humanity.

Although Perez wins the election to become the next Chief Executive of New York, Simon Lee’s convinced the election wasn’t on the level. Harold, Shaw and Root, all express concern, that Lee might embark on a very dangerous journey with his digging. They believe that Samaritan’s behind the controversial results and Lee will get targeted as an enemy by the Artificial Intelligence System that now receives an unfiltered feed of all United States intelligence. If Lee’s targeted as an enemy his life’s in jeopardy.

Root and Harold  work together to find any dirt on Michelle Perez, to get her to resign from the office she just won and find out she got arrested for prostitution under another name when she was in her twenties, and reports that her services paid for her education. Harold tells Root that he’ll send the information to Perez anonymously, hoping that’s enough to cause her to resign. They attend the press conference held by the newly elected Governor and her Lieutenant Governor Nick Dawson, They also see that Simon Lee’s in the crowd and a woman they identify as an operative for Samaritan, is on the move, possibly to execute Lee. However, the pollster’s not her victim, she slipped Perez two medicines that caused a fatal reaction when combined and she collapses and dies at the beginning of her speech.

The now scared audience, starts to run out of the hall, Simon Lee among them and Shaw notices the Samaritan operative’s following the pollster. Because Samaritan’s concentrating so closely on Lee, the team can’t risk interacting with him any place there are security cameras, so Shaw bumps into Lee in a blind-spot. The Samaritan operative asks for directions and the Artificial Intelligence System sends her to the men’s room. She walks in with her pistol aimed and tells another occupant to leave, she kicks open a stall and find’s Lee’s phone siting on the toilet.

We witness more bumps in the road for Harold and Nathan as they attempt to fine-tune “The Machine,” as the system tries to take over their computers with a virus and in an attempt to determine which of the 43-prototypes are viable to take the next step, the systems try destroying each other, while setting Harold and Nathan’s severs aflame. Harold looks at Ingram and tells him they’ve taught it to think, now they’ve got to get it to care.

Lee realizes his life’s in danger, although he doesn’t know whose trying to kill him, so he gets off the street and into a hotel. Finch disables the security cameras so Samaritan can’t find him, for now at least the pollster’s safe. Harold also disabled all electronic accessibility in Simon’s room, so the pollster can’t use the phone or his laptop, hence keeping him hidden. A maid knocks on the door and Lee answers it, asking if he can borrow her cellphone for an emergency call. He calls 911 and says his name, but Finch terminates the call. “The Machine,” speaks to Root and tells her Samaritan intercepted the signal and the operatives are on their way.

Root and Finch then talk about what’s taken place over the past year, as Samaritan replaced “The Machine,” as the United State’s Government’s intelligence system. She tells Harold he was wrong when he told her in an earlier conversation, that she seemed lost, she tells him she’s terrified because they’re losing and their lives as well as the fate of the world’s at stake. She says even if they defeat Samaritan, odds are low that the entire team could survive the battle.

She then tells Finch because of her past, which she dedicated to killing, robbing and scamming people, she deserves to die. In a huge moment in the series, Harold tells her, it’s where you end up, not where you start that counts. He tells her she’s a brilliant woman, a comrade and a friend, a huge leap for a man that got kidnapped twice by Root. We see the warmth between them rise to the surface, as Harold finally admits what’s been apparent for a while, that Finch identifies closely with her and thinks of her as somewhat of a surrogate daughter. She grabs six pistols, sticks then into the band of her slacks and tells Harold to wish her luck. It rings far too familiar for fans of the series, as the scene echoes a moment between Reese and Detective Joss Carter last season, just before she got murdered by a corrupt cop.

Root heads out to the hallway and “The Machine,” tells her the Samaritan operative Martine’s directly below her, so Root grabs two pistols and starts shooting through the floor. The operative gets out of the line of fire and an associate restores all the video feeds in the hotel, so now Samaritan can locate both Lee and the person shooting at Martine. Shaw arrives at the hotel and calls Reese, telling him that she needs him at the hotel immediately, she then shots a Samaritan operative, but turns around to see another with his pistol pointed at her head. Reese shows up just in time shooting the other operative.

Martine and Root continue their gun-battle when Finch contacts her calling her Root for the first time, instead of addressing her by her legal surname, Miss Groves (which seemingly increases the odds she’ll get killed in this battle.) She tells Harold she’s fine, Lee’s gotten rescued by Reese and Shaw, who knock him out and leave him in the dumpster behind Simon’s office. We watch another exchange of gunfire and can see that Root’s taken at least one hit, as Martine runs out of the building.

The next morning Detective John Reilly meets Dr. Iris Campbell for another therapy session and she tells him he’s either got a death wish or a hero-complex and tells Reilly he can’t save everybody, but he tells her he has to. He tells the doctor about all the evil in the world and the lack of good guys to combat it, so he has to protect and defend the innocent. He then tells Campbell he knew a detective who was the finest cop he ever met, whose only concern was protecting others and he couldn’t save her, so he ties easing his conscience by saving as many people as he can. The doctor tells Reese they’re making progress.

Back at the team’s headquarters, Reese receives a happy surprise when Root comes in with her arm in a sling, the only injury she suffered in the battle. She then tells Harold that he needs to reconnect with  “The Machine,” but he tells her, that her interaction with it has changed it, it now has a voice thanks to Root and he’s intimidated by his creation, he then tells her he went through dozens of prototypes, before he finally realized the only way “The Machine,” would serve the purposes that Nathan and he desired, he had to cripple his creation. Root replies that “The Machine’s,” aware of that and still wants to interact with her creator.

The final scene has Harold walking on the street, stopping when he reaches a security camera. He looks into the lens and says it’s about time the two of them talk.

The Story Continues Next Tuesday at 10:00 pm on CBS.