Season Four Episode One

All posts tagged Season Four Episode One

Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

After months of speculation concerning the revelations that would surface during the premiere episode of the fourth season for the NBC hit series “The Blacklist,” most viewers likely ended the hour feeling no more informed than they were last May. Although the episode contained plenty of action and fraught with tension, including two volatile personal relationships, the hour ended after a lot of travel to windup in the same point it started at. Constantin Rostov left Cuba via a seaplane with his daughter Liz, his reluctant travel companion and Rostov’s hitman ended the evening with Agnes in his possession.

Why the show-runners and writers decided to reset a table instead of advancing the story perplexed this viewer, and left me wondering whether this episode’s purpose was to acclimate star Megan Boone back into the action, after missing the latter part of Season Three on maternity leave? While we got to see that Lizzie seems well-toned after her pregnancy, we didn’t acquire any major information that had yet to be revealed or speculated about. After spending much of the episode in a car trunk, Tom regained his freedom near the conclusion of the episode.

The episode did concentrate heavily on exposition in this episode, as Raymond attempted to come to grips with his mercurial feelings concerning Mr. Kaplan. Kate, not content to sit idly by and allow his sense of betrayal from dooming their relationship and perhaps her life, keeps trying to show Reddington she just tried to save Raymond from himself. However with even Dembe, telling Mr. Kaplan he can’t defend her, can she hope to make amends?

Emotions also ran high when the TASK-Force realized that Lizzie faked her death, as Keen’s colleagues realized they’d been lied to and manipulated and they all handled the news differently. Donald Ressler, seemingly had no problem with his former partner’s actions, realizing she was attempting to convince Reddington she died. TASK-Force Director Harold Cooper, exclaimed he didn’t think it was possible to feel so angry and happy simultaneously. Tech-Genius Aram, seemed to have problems processing the information, while Samar Navabi expressed her disdain and anger for Keen’s stunt.

We rejoin Dembe, Raymond and Kate, moments after they arrived at the Keen family escape-haven, not in time from stopping Alexander Kirk/Constantin Rostov’s henchmen kidnapping mom, dad and daughter. Mr. Kaplan looks at the blood on the floor and says it came from one of Rostov’s men and that he’s likely in the area. Seconds later Dembe says he’s got a location.

They arrive where the badly bleeding man’s being treated, to find out he just expired on the table. Raymond spits out that since his “Cleaner” over stepped her bounds, he would do her job and proceeds to hack the man’s head from his neck.

Liz demands that Rostov produce Agnes and Tom, Constantin replies that her daughter will soon join them. She then demands, that Rostov reveal his true identity and he responds that he’s indeed her father. He says Reddington and her mother had an affair, he says at one time he questioned if Raymond was her father, but Rostov confirmed Masha was his daughter. He says Reddington kidnapped her when she turned three and he never knew what happened to her until she and Reddington made headlines while they were on the lam.

Rostov’s got a hitman that might give Matthias Solomon a run for his money, he’s called Bobo, by his female companion, whose got Agnes in her arms and Tom’s tied up in the trunk. Neither father or daughter seem pleased with the situation, however Keen’s able to reach his hand through the tail light socket and the car behind them calls the police.

Reddington finds the house where Rostov’s holding Liz prisoner. He tells Constantin he’ll give him what ever he desires to release Lizzie and Rostov replies he wants the 26-years he missed with his daughter. Raymond responds that Liz was never meant to be raised by Constantin

Raymond contacts Cooper and tells him to send a team to Cuba, however Samar refuses to join Ressler for the mission due to her anger at Keen. Cooper let’s it be known he’s displeased with Navabi’s decision, but he’s basically helpless. He contacts old friend Cynthia Panabaker, to arrange for Ressler to meet with Manuel Esteban, a double-agent who works for Castro and the CIA. Raymond believes the despot can ascertain Lizzie’s location before Rostov can get her off the island.

Raymond tells Esteban, that with political relations improving between Havana and Washington improving, his days running his own prison and playing the two nations off each other are rapidly coming to an end. Any time the Double-Agent could be assassinated, however if he can get Liz’s location before Rostov gets her off the island, Raymond will keep the despot safe.

Tom’s taken out to the desert to dig his own grave, but of course he overpowers his captor and escapes. Mr. Kaplan recovers Agnes, from the hitman’s female accomplice, however they’re not able to stop Rostov from leaving the island via the seaplane. Reddington consoles himself with the fact they were able to get back Agnes, but that dynamic soon changes as the hitman T-Bones Raymond’s vehicle and grabs the infant out of the vehicle and puts his finger on Kate’s lips.

Ressler, who hadn’t made a deal with Esteban, turns the despot over to the Cubans and that causes the Cuban soldiers to release all of Esteban’s prisoners. However the two prisoners that Raymond’s most concerned with, Liz and Agnes, have been spirited away by Rostov and the search begins anew.

The Story Continues Next Thursday Night, on NBC at 10:00pm EDT.

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Season Four of the Showtime Original Series “Homeland,” premiered with back to back episodes, featuring familiar faces, but many in some very strange places. Let’s start with old friend Carrie Mathison who begins the episode as the CIA Chief Of Station in Kabul and now’s known by her staff as the “Drone Queen,” after a series of successful strikes taking out high-profile targets.

The episode opens with Mathison in an embassy car with a driver and two Marine guards, riding through the streets of the city, when she asks to walk the last few blocks to the embassy. Both Marines leave the car with her, automatic weapons at the ready, one walking in front of her, the other behind. Her cellphone rings, it’s the embassy and she’s needed back pronto, so all climb back into the car.

When Carrie arrives, she’s informed that sources have located a wanted terrorist, number four on the Agency’s most wanted list. The event just got reported and the only way to take out the terrorist’s by rockets launched by an F-16 bomber. They have visual contact with the target, it’s a farmhouse near Islamabad and a vehicle owned by the terrorist’s out front of the barn. Mathison’s bothered by the last-minute nature of the information and wants to talk with Islamabad Chief Of Station Sandy Bachman.

Carrie and Bachman videoconference and she asks her counterpart the source and Sandy tells her it’s the same unidentified source that has given them a string of good information. When she tries pressing harder for a name, he replies that the source requested anonymity for good information and so far everyone’s happy. Mathison expresses her concern on quickly they’re launching the mission and Bachman responds that’s the way it goes with high-profile targets, you take them when you see that window of opportunity.

Mathison returns to the command center and gets told that all’s on hold pending her permission and she tells her assistant to get things started. He calls the pilot and tells him its play time, and the pilot acknowledges the order. Seconds later on the video monitor, two bright flashes light up the area and then the barn’s nothing but rubble. After the mission’s completed, Carrie’s crew dim the lights and present her with a birthday cake. She thanks them and blows out the candles.

Back at her apartment she pours herself a glass and a half of white wine to wash down some Ambien, then Skype’s her sister. The call was for Carrie to see her daughter Frannie, who’s being cared for by Carrie’s sister Amy, but because Mathison ran late her father had taken her daughter to the park. We can sense tension between the sisters, as Amy definitely disapproves of the mother/daughter separation, but Carrie can’t care for the baby in a war-zone, which Amy believes is the way her sister purposely arranged things.

Carrie’s not only taking Ambien to help her sleep, she puts in ear-plugs and an eye-shade before she lies down. Her sleep gets interrupted however, when her phone rings and CIA Director Andrew Lockhart’s on the other end in a rather edgy mood. Forty civilians got killed in the bombing and he wants Mathison to get to Islamabad and talk with Bachman, to manufacture a cover story for the bombing.

Sandy’s assistant in Islamabad’s another familiar face, with operative Peter Quinn sits down with Bachman and the American Ambassador to discuss the civilian casualties. Bachman to Quinn’s horror blames it on the civilians, saying they realized they put themselves in danger when they invited the terrorist. The Ambassador says that explanation won’t cut it with the American people or the world community and the meeting concludes in a standoff.

The barn held a wedding and only one person escaped alive, a young medical student Aayan Ibrahim, who lost his entire family in the bombing. Ibrahim was recording the celebration on his cell phone, first taking video of the room with the men in it, then entering the doorway of the room the women gathered in. There were women and little girls dancing joyously, Aayan started filming his mother who took the camera from him and started shooting her son on the camera as he took a courtly bow, then took the camera back and kept filming. Seconds later smoke appeared in the house and the camera stopped recording.

Carrie arrives in Islamabad and Quinn comes to pick her up and she asks to sit down and discuss the bombing before heading to the embassy. Peter tells her he’s no idea who Bachman’s source is, but it left them in a smoking hole this time. Mathison surprises Quinn by touting the company line, that they’re bullet-proof in this situation.

Ibrahim returns to medical school after he recuperates and his roommate implores him to upload his video to the Internet, to get justice for his family, but Aayan outright refuses. He doesn’t want the trouble the attention would get him, but his roommate goes behind his back and has his cousin upload the footage. Hours later the tape’s gone viral across the globe.

Back in Washington representatives from an arms manufacturer come to meet with some military brass, one of the reps is former CIA Chief Saul Berenson. However instead of pitching the weapons system his boss brought him over to discuss, he tries to engage a General in a conversation on the United States had fought 14 one-year-wars since putting boots on the ground in Afghanistan in 2001. His boss Aaron asks to speak to Saul privately, but Berenson tries pressing the General for a response.

Aaron gets him in the hallway and tells him he’s now in the private sector and his discussion won’t help get sales. Saul realizes what Aaron’s saying makes sense, but the sentiment doesn’t pacify him, or ease his longings to go back and work for the agency.

Protesters rapidly gather in Islamabad after the video goes viral and Bachman decides to leave the Embassy without informing anyone. Just as he gets out on the street Peter and Carrie see Aaron’s face on a local newscast, his covers been blown as he’s revealed as the CIA Chief Of Station involved in the bombing. Quinn calls Bachman who lies at first and says he’s in the embassy and Peter informs him he’s been made. He finds out where Aaron is and he and Carrie plus a  team of soldiers attempt to rescue him.

Bachman attempts to flee then hides inside a building seeing a group of men gathering outside the doorway. Two men come down the stairs and exit the building, then tell the others the agent’s in the lobby. As they enter the building he runs through a series of hallways and doors escaping to a seemingly  safe street, but soon three men approach him from each direction, just as Quinn and Carrie arrive in Peter’s car. Bachman gets into the vehicle and Quinn attempts to drive away, but the force of the crowd keeps the car standing still.

The crowd starts rocking the car then banging on it with sticks and polls, finally breaking the passenger window next to Bachman, but Quinn shoots the man trying to grab Aaron in the head. They then break the back side window and try to attack Carrie and Quinn once again kills the attacker. The crowd’s far too large to combat and they eventually pull Bachman out of the window and pummel him to death on the street. Peter realizing Aaron’s dead, shoots out the car’s back window and escapes by driving backwards.

They get to the Embassy and Carrie wants to run inside and inform the Ambassador, but Peter’s visibly shaken by the incident and asks Mathison for a minute to compose himself. Carrie says they also have to come up with a story for the Ambassador, as she says they could have done more to save Bachman. Quinn looks at her as if she’s insane and asks her what’s wrong with her and she turns the question back on him, then tells him she’ll meet him inside in five minutes. When Carrie asks to speak to the Ambassador at the reception desk, the young woman tells her Carrie’s got blood on the side of her face, the blood that spurted from the head of the man who tried to attack her in the car.

Lockhart orders both agents back to Washington immediately, then Carrie’s informed her worst nightmare’s come true. She’s been recalled back to Washington permanently, meaning she’s going to have to deal with being a mom and trying to raise her infant daughter. Mathison seems terrified and resentful at the prospect and her sister Amy trying to force that responsibility on her only makes things worse.

Lockhart’s feeling quite vulnerable and he believes having Mathison by his side during the upcoming Senate committee hearings will be a huge asset for him Mathison however tells the director, that she should get the assignment for Islamabad so she can straighten out whatever situation Bachman got the Agency into.

Amy finally shames Carrie to spend a day with Frannie and after feeding and changing her daughter she takes her for a drive. She take the infant to the house Brody lived in when they first met. She tells her daughter, that although she’s a terrible mother Brody would have made a terrible father. But he was glad when Carrie told him she was on her way. She tells Frannie she wants to feel happy also, but she just can’t do it.

She takes the baby home to bathe her, then gasps when her head almost goes under the water. However she then contemplates drowning the baby until Frannie starts to cry and she picks her daughter up and cries alongside of her, realizing in that moment she can’t raise her daughter. She gets Frannie dressed and then drives over to the CIA archives building, where an agent that served in Islamabad got buried by Lockhart.

The agent Jordan Harris doesn’t want to talk with her at first, but then realizes she’s indeed searching for the truth. Harris came back from Islamabad to inform Lockhart about Bachman’s shady dealings, the Director not only ignored the information but put the agent in a thankless meaningless new position. Carrie tells him she’ll get the information out there and will try her best to get him back in the field.

Dar Adal who worked with Saul at the Agency, comes to discuss the current environment with his old friend. He says there were rumors before Islamabad that Lockhart’s stock’s falling in certain corners and since the attack there’s blood in the water, which could lead to Saul coming back as Director of the CIA. Berenson says, on the record I’m happy in the private sector, but both men realize Saul’s fibbing.

Carrie confronts Lockhart over Harris’ allegations and tells him he’s guilty of treason. He asks her what she wants and she tells him Islamabad, he replies that’s impossible. She tells him he has two choices, she gets her transfer or she goes public. He begrudgingly agrees to her terms. She meets Quinn later that day and tells him they’re heading back to Pakistan, but Peter declines the offer. She asks him how he could do this to her, Quinn gets up looks her in the eye and tells her it’s not all about her and leaves.

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

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

It’s nice when the thing you’ve been wanting comes through for you.

I suppose that, in a show about fairy tales, I shouldn’t be so surprised I’m so thrilled with the season four premiere of Once Upon A Time. But I’m ecstatic, not just in the storylines, but in this show’s deft ability to make you feel like you’re getting a happy ending even when everything is confusing and troubling and unclear. And, well, it wouldn’t be much of a story if everything were easy, now would it?

Mercifully, we began the episode in the thick of a scene from Frozen, and if I’m not mistaken the release of the pent-up Frozen/Once Upon A Time storyline hype could be seen from space. Much to my personal relief, the storyline instantly became a bit meatier and substantive—the opening sequence recalled the stormy seas tossing around the King and Queen of Arrendale’s ship like a toy in the bath. It’s the same violent storm it was in the movie that will presumably wreck the ship and take their lives, only now we see their mother desperately trying to get a last message to her daughters. The next scene is five years later, with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna laying flowers at their parents graves. It doesn’t appear that they received any message from their late parents, though. Their death still seems mysterious and impossibly vague.

But all isn’t completely unhappy. In this Arendelle, Anna is getting married, and Elsa is actually happy about it! Turns out, despite his more, ahem, rugged qualities, Kristof’s set to marry Princess Anna. Elsa has extended her blessing (presumably a bit blinded by relief that Anna was no longer interested in Hans or any of his politically ambitious brothers), and surprises Anna with their mother’s wedding gown, and a snowflake pendant to wear on her wedding day. (Orphan sister gives other orphan sister mother’s wedding gown. It doesn’t get much more fairytale drama than that, folks. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not gonna try.) While Anna is trying on the dress in the turret attic where Elsa surprised her, Elsa finds a diary belonging to her mother. A diary that, of course, just happens to have a vaguely worded passage about the journey that was their doom. They might have told their daughters they were on a diplomatic mission, but the diary reveals that the trip was regarding Elsa and her incredibly strong powers.

True to the regal-yet-somehow-also-uncertain Elsa we know from Frozen, she’s consumed with guilt and horrified by this revelation. Anna, also familiar in her enthusiastic, fearless-if-not-somewhat-reckless self, attempts to diffuse her sister’s worries, even taking her to see her future in-laws, the rock trolls. I was kind of concerned that we wouldn’t get rock trolls in this mashup, but there they were, with their goofy, earnest demeanor and pleasantly distracting humors. Grandpoppy Troll was his mystic self as well, examining the diary and offering clues to where the sisters’ parents had traveled. It seems that they were attempting to reach a land of magic called Misthaven. Of course, Anna wants to chase after them (regardless of the fact that her wedding is the next day). Elsa, of course, forbids it. And, as we find out in our delightful introduction to Kristoff in the conversation he has with Elsa later on, Anna, of course, departs anyway.

But, of course, none of this tells us why Elsa was in an urn in Rumplestiltskin’s vault, why she reanimated on Zelena’s time portal, or what she’s going to do once she realizes she’s in Storybrooke.

Elsa’s introduction to Storybrooke comes as she’s walking on the road into town and nearly gets taken out by the Dwarves’ van as they head home from Prince Neal’s christening party (who let Sleepy drive? And people should really not walk on the road in the dark in this town). Elsa’s powers still seem driven mostly by fear, as she freezes the van in a blast of ice by simply cowering and bracing for impact. The dwarves picked a good time to leave that party, though, because things got pretty ugly when Robin Hood (and everyone else at the party) tried to introduce Maid Marian to Regina. I appreciate the unshakable fairytale optimism of the citizens of the Enchanted Forest, although someone maybe should have had a second thought about that introduction, considering that Regina is the one who sentenced Maid Marian to death, and because Regina kind of has a thing going on with Robin Hood. Marian, presumably overwhelmed by being saved from execution, traveling through time, and being reunited with her husband and son, has a bit of a meltdown and begins shouting about all the terrible things Regina has done. At this point, Regina seems overwhelmed herself, and abruptly leaves. Is she returning home to accept another ruined romance’s fate? Is she plotting revenge against Emma for spoiling her happiness again? Or maybe she just wants to get Maid Marian out-of-the-way…

Robin Hood pays her a visit the next morning, and in a conversation that I sincerely hoped would end differently, he affirms Regina’s worthiness and goodness, admits that he’s made his mistakes in the past, and then tells her that he must honor the “till death do us part” part of his marriage vows. Regina tearfully accepts his explanation. Upon finding herself alone again, she has the most beautiful, dramatic, soap-opera-brokenhearted-lover meltdown, complete with eyeliner-smearing and broken glass. Yeah, I just said broken glass. She broke a mirror, actually. A mirror! Hey, you know who we haven’t seen since he took the fall for Regina’s attempted murder of Katherine way back in season one?

Yup. Sidney Glass, aka the Magic Mirror, aka the Genie in the Lamp, is back, which makes my Giancarlo Esposito loving heart sing! He’s promptly extracted from the psychiatric ward he’d been locked up in, and it appears he’s eager that he’s back at his mistress’ beck and call. And what a beck and call it is. Regina confides her plot to go back in time and kill Marian, which will then leave her free to pursue a future with Robin Hood. She casts Sidney back into the mirror to recall exactly why she’d sentenced Marian to death to begin with. We’re treated to The Evil Queen at her merciless, leather-clad best, scoffing in the face of Marian’s pleas for mercy. Desperate and enraged by Regina’s ruthlessness, Marian mocks Regina’s cold heart and taunts her for her inability to love. The scene fades, and we find Regina welling up with tears again. Is she terrified of her former self? Or is the Light Magic she was able to use to defeat Zelena changing her heart after all? (I did not shout “Stay strong, Regina! You’re a badass all on your own! Rise above!” at my television, but I wanted to.)

She has some time to think on it, though. See, Elsa’s still leaving a slug-like frost trail around Storybrooke, which Emma and Hook are following, because once Grumpy and the other Dwarves came to from their accident, they ran into town in hysterics about a new sorcerer in town (and yes that is a run-on to end all run-ons but this is Once Upon a Time we’re talking about here and if there’s one thing this show isn’t short on, it’s plot points. So. Pressing on.) Emma and Hook manage to track the trail into a conveniently placed warehouse, where Elsa cowers in a corner. Fearing her pursuers, she creates an abominable snowman-monster to attack them. The monster begins to wreak havoc on Storybrooke while the citizens run and flail in panic. That would sound ridiculous, except it’s Once Upon a Time so instead it’s a clever, light-hearted bit of relief in an otherwise emotionally intense episode.

And even though everything up to this point has been intense, we haven’t even talked about Rumpelstiltskin and Belle, and it has taken every ounce of self-control I have to not simply submit “OH MY GOD DID YOU SEE RUMPLE AT THE CEMETERY TALKING TO BAELFIRE’S GRAVE AND THEN THERE WAS A DANCE AND THEY ARE THE MOST ADORABLE COUPLE THAT HAS EVER EXISTED” as my entire post for this episode. Rumple’s ugly-cry-inducing goodbye to Baelfire included a heartbreaking story about a man who tried to protect his son in a time of war, as well as his confession about the dagger-switch, and a pledge to live his life with Belle in a way that would honor Baelfire’s sacrifice.

Presumably that also involves following Belle to a giant, empty house (that she found while out hiking one day) to begin their honeymoon. Because, in a tiny town of witches and sorcery and mystical creatures and magic, a mansion in the middle of the woods with no one living in it isn’t suspicious at all, and instead is probably just waiting for someone who wants to live in it. Okay, so that plot point is a little wobbly but I love these two together so much that I decided to overlook it, mostly because their first dance as husband and wife distracted me. Full Beauty and the Beast style, complete with a gold gown, blue jacket, and Tale as Old as Time playing in the background. Can you blame me for glossing over a silly plot point? Of course you can, because I’m sure you know I was sobbing like a schoolgirl and couldn’t pay too much attention to the television anyway. Besides, as he was taking his first look around, Rumple appeared to recognize the celestial pattern on a stack of coasters. Later, he waved his dagger over it (the one he swore he wouldn’t use anymore…) and managed to conjure a sorcerer’s hat that looks suspiciously like the one Mickey wore in Fantasia. So, really, there’s enough going on with the house for now, I suppose.

But what about the abominable snowman? Well, of course it manages to engage Hook, Emma, Marian, and Robin Hood in a battle in the woods outside town. Things aren’t going well, and Marian is about to become snowflakes, when Regina appears and saves her.

REGINA SAVES MARIAN. HER BOYFRIEND’S WIFE. THE WOMAN SHE HAD PLANNED ON MURDERING. GIRL HASN’T BROKEN BAD QUITE YET.

Regina wants little to do with a victory celebration. Instead, she returns home and begins plotting again. See, she figures, it doesn’t seem to matter if she saves someone or condemns them, because in Henry’s book, the villains don’t get happy endings. It’s that stupid book! That book that appeared mysteriously in Mary Margaret’s classroom, that inspired Henry to find Emma to return to Storybrooke and break the curse. Regina knows what she needs to do. She needs to find the author of this book and get some answers.

But Emma and Hook? Well, those two want some sort of celebration. Maybe it has less to do with defeating a magical creature and more to do with Hook’s dreamy green eyes. As much as Emma seems tempted to start a relationship with Hook, she’s always been guarded and cautious, and is still visibly reeling from being reunited with Neal and then losing him again so quickly. Hook is a patient man, though, and soap opera love isn’t afraid of the long game.

Phew! All that in 42 minutes! (I would make some comment about how that’s more action and plot development than some series get in an entire season but I am trying to not talk smack, despite my personal disappointment with other shows.) It looks like we’re in for another twenty-one episodes of gorgeous love affairs and heartbreaking plot twists. I must confess, I haven’t watched a network television drama in quite some time and I’m not sure if my heart can take the week-to-week suspense. Maybe I can talk Regina in to holding on to it for me? That’s not a bad idea, right?

The Story Continues Next Sunday At 8:00pm On ABC

Photo Courtesy Of CBS

Photo Courtesy Of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We’re in a bar in Budapest, when a clearly frazzled young American man walks in wearing a suit and tie and asks for a drink. A very pretty blonde young woman with an English accent asks him if it’s been a hard day, and the young man tells her he just lost his job and his flight home got cancelled. She commiserated and the pair start talking, he’s a reporter whose beat was the sprouting artificial intelligence industry, but suddenly things had changed. His sources disappeared, companies that worked on artificial intelligence projects bought up and shut down. His editor had gotten reassigned, culminating with his dismissal that day.

He told the woman that he knew he sounded paranoid, but it’s like he’s the only one who noticed. The woman smiles back at him and says she understands completely, an artificial intelligence corporation, bought his paper, fired him and cancelled his flight. It’s almost like being in a bar, where the one security camera’s disabled and the bartender gets an emergency text causing him to leave. As the woman talks the reporter realizes she’s describing what’s going on, she then tells him that he’s one of three people who figured it out. The other two would die in a car crash in Seattle in 40-minutes. She then shoots and kills the reporter and leaves the bar.

That’s a taste of the world run by Samaritan, the new Artificial Intelligence System that accesses all raw feeds of information entering the USA, replacing Northern Lights, the system created by Harold Finch. It’s also our welcome to season four of the veteran CBS series “Person Of Interest,” and the shakeups that occurred on the planet since the season three finale.

John Greer (John Nolan) who runs Samaritan with an iron-fist, got Senator Ross Garrison (John Dorman) to give his system to all the information coming into this nation and Samaritan’s helped US Intelligence Agencies, eliminate threats, while Greer’s done the same covertly (such as the American reporter in Budapest, whose death confirmation comes to him as a text-message while he’s talking with the Senator.) Garrison mentions that Greer’s front company Decima, no longer existed and expressed alarm if citizens realized the arrangement the pair arranged. Greer reminds the Senator, that this gives the Government full-deniability and Garrison counters that if it ever comes to light he hopes he can find Samaritan.

The meeting finished, Garrison heads elsewhere, while Greer talks directly to Samaritan from his cellphone, first asking if it’s time to eliminate the Senator. The new machine responds back, not yet; then Greer asks about the status of Harold Finch and his crew and the machine responds investigation ongoing. Greer responds that eventually Samaritan will find the rock they’re buried under.

Four of our five friends are living new identities, save for Lionel Fusco safe as a Detective on the NYPD. We get our first look at Sameen Shaw, (Sarah Shahi) who’s now working in the cosmetics department of an upscale department store, brutalizing women with her perfume tester. Her manager, a mousy little guy, tells her she’s terrifying the customers and that there’s a woman at the cosmetics counter waiting for a make-over. Shaw looks over and sees Root (Amy Acker) waiting for her, telling Sameen she’s got  a job interview coming up. Shaw whines about her new day-job and Root tells her the machine’s got a plan and things will work out. Shaw says she hopes that Reese’s a barista at a coffee-shop.

Shaw’s not pleased when she finds out her old partner’s now a detective on the NYPD narcotics division named John Reilly. He runs into Fusco on a Brooklyn rooftop as each investigate the same homicide. Fusco privately tells Reese that he’s wasting his time in Narcotics, that the machine should have put him in Homicide, where he could do some good. Reese tells him he had no choice in the matter and he’s less than pleased, but this is survival.

Mr. Fitch’s now a professor at some college in NYC, going by the name of Harold Whistler, teaching some sparsely attended course. As the class breaks up, a supervisor tells him because of the small student interest he’ll be put in a smaller room, then gives him back his treatise, that he had the man read when he got hired at the school. The supervisor remarks that it’s tough believing he received a government grant of $11 million for a treatise riddled with typos, which the man circled. Whistler takes back the papers silently and walks away, but the man stops him again as he and Bear (his German Shepherd) start to leave the classroom, that the school has a no dog’s policy.

Shaw and Reese get a text message from the machine that tells them to go to the same address. They’re surprised to see each other and bored silly by the speaker at the hall they’re in whose talking about positive energy and positive thinking, They get up to leave and there’s a payphone in the hallway, that starts to ring. Reese picks up the phone and it’s the first number the machine gave them since Samaritan went online. The number belongs to an Egyptian refugee who owns an electronics and computer store.

Reese meets Finch in Central Park at one of the many chess tables and tells Harold about the number, but Finch says he won’t get involved and if Reese and Shaw do, they’ll be tracked by Samaritan and eliminated. He tells John he’s no longer going to do the bidding of an artificial intelligence device, this is their new lives and they need to accept that. Reese tells him they don’t need money, they need a purpose and Harold replies they are without a facility since the library’s discovered. John tells him he’s going on without his partner and leaves the park.

Reese heads to the shop and syncs phones with the owner so he can now monitor everything audibly, just then a young Black man comes into the store and refers to the owner as old man and tells him he’s in trouble. The equipment and phones he sold his gang aren’t working. The man makes some lame excuses but the gang member gets indignant and tells the store owner he has 48-hours to fix things. When he leaves, John enters under his guise of Detective Reilly and says he can help the man and his son. The man tells John he trusted the police before and they let him down, he’ll handle the matter himself.

Root comes to Professor Whistler’s office and berates Harold, for not helping Reese and Shaw. That she and the machine need him if they have any chance of winning the war. He says that he clearly made his decision to leave his old life behind, but Root wont accept that answer.

John monitoring the store owner’s phone hears him call the gang member and tell him the phones now work and they plan a meet in the open for later that day and John and Lionel attend in the shadows. The store owner tells the gang member to get wider coverage he provided a second battery to boost the signal. The gang member drives off, but Reese quickly realizes that the store owner planted a bomb in the phone. John chases the car on foot, grabs the phone out of the car and throws it under a parked truck where it explodes. Fusco and Reese take the man back to his store and find out, that this gang’s coerced him to build a cellphone  network that police can’t monitor. Minutes later his phone rings and it’s the gang member telling him they captured his son and he has until midnight the following night to get the network up and running.

Reese calls Shaw and tells her he needs backup to recover the son, but Shaw tells him to leave it alone, he’ll be caught by Samaritan and killed. He tells her he’s going with or without her and heads to the club the gang hands out at with a rocket-launcher in tow. He hits the club with the weapon and once the explosion clears, he enters and asks one of the hoods where the boy’s at. The gang member mentions something about a whale, but that’s the last thing John hears as Shaw knocked him out from behind, to get him out of the building before he’s detected.

He wakes up in Sameen’s car and asks what happened and she told him what she did to protect him. She says they no longer have the resources to do what they did, they now have six operatives, if they count the dog. Reese tells her that he’ll find someone who does have the resources. Reese heads to the hideout of Carl Elias, the man whose the major power-broker in New York City crime and a man that Reese’s worked with on many occasions when their needs matched up. He informs Elias what’s going on with Harold and the crew and that he’s now a Narcotics Detective for the NYPD, he asks who the whale is and Carl tells him the whale’s a huge shipment of heroin that makes it to the projects about 4-5 times a year and that “HR” ran it when the corrupt Police organization still existed. It takes place in a house that for that one night’s the most heavily guarded facility in the city. Reese thanks him for the information then tells Elias he wants to hire him.

Back in Professor Whistler’s office, Harold starts examining the treatise, which the machine produced and realizes that the typos are a code. He goes to the college library and finds the book that the machine wanted him to acquire, Once he starts looking at it, he realizes that in the catacombs under the city streets lies a facility, long forgotten that’s a perfect replacement for the library. He goes and checks it out and realizes it’s a Panopticon (the episode’s title) which is a building, as a prison, hospital, library, or the like, so arranged that all parts of the interior are visible from a single point. (According to Dictionary.com) The gang’s got a new headquarters.

John heads back to the shop and the owner’s besides himself with worry as he can’t get the network to complete the signal, however a voice off camera says he might be able to help with that. It’s Harold of course and the shop owner takes him to show him how he setup his network. Turns out the man’s resourceful and ingenious, he has his transmitters set to the same frequency as VHF television antennae,  something no longer used but still on most rooftops in the five boroughs, giving him a city-wide network. Back at the shop, Finch gets all the networks to connect and the man calls the gang member to inform him and get back his son. The hood tells him he’s in the middle of something but all’s good and he’ll call him back. They’re getting ready to launch the whale,  as they load now all the cut bricks into an SUV to distribute throughout the city that night. The two men in the car start driving and immediately get broadsided by a semi, driven by one of Elias’ men and he tells the guys in the car Mr. Elias sent his regards. Reese heads to the car just as a cruiser pulls up, he flashes his badge and tells the uniformed officer he’s happy to see him.

Reese runs into the house to rescue the son, but he’s gone and John gets outside in time to see the gang member put him in another SUV and drives off. Reese chases them down, knocking out the gang member and rescuing the son. He then calls Finch and tells him to put the father on the phone, the son gets on and the father’s greatly relieved. The son says they destroyed the store, but the father corrects him, telling the boy that they are the store, a message not lost on Harold.

Back at the eighth precinct, Fusco heads to his desk and sees some guy working on the computer of the empty desk that faces his and asks what’s going on. The guy tells him that he’s from IT and he’s setting things up for Lionel’s new partner, some hotshot from Narcotics that completed a huge bust and promoted to homicide. Fusco looks up with shock and gets shocked to see his new partner’s former Narcotics Detective John Reilly. It’s rather poetic that Reese inherits the desk of his dear friend Joss Carter.

Reese and Finch meet in the last scene and Harold tells John that the machine had a dual purpose in sending the shop owners number. They now have a network of their own undetectable by Samaritan for John and Sameen to use, but John makes sure that Harold’s back on board as well.

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