The title of the episode “Mors Praematura,” meaning “by any means necessary” says it all. The Machine has a number and a mission. She needs two teams to accomplish both. Enter Shaw and Root as a team which is a truly scary thing in action.
The division of labor this week is Finch handling the number by himself while Reese tries to track down and rescue Shaw from Root. It’s good to see Finch out of the library on a case but its getting frustrating that he and Reese have very little screen time this season. The bromance is an essential part of the show and, other than the dog, is the heart of the series. This episode also sees the return of the group that may be the big bad for the season who apparently have an unhealthy obsession with the American Revolution.
Carter’s pursuit of HR continues with her exerting a bit of control over Lansky. He finally gets a taste of HR ruthlessness and is firmly on Carter’s side now. They are putting Lansky on the road to redemption like Fusco, but there may be a bloodier end in store for him.
While Team Root and Shaw are busy setting up an escape route for a mysterious mission, Root seems to hold all the cards but claims the Machine is only giving her one detail at a time. That says either the Machine really does not trust her, or she is lying a lot. It may be a little bit of both. Watching Shaw visibly restrain herself from hurting Root throughout the mission is amusing, but it also shows how much she has learned to trust the Machine.
The greatness of the episode is the point where its revealed both missions are actually the same, yet different. Team Finch and Reese are protecting the number, who is the brother of the guy Team Root and Shaw are breaking out of a CIA detention facility. Best exchange between Shaw and Reese, “Gotta save somebody.” “Know the feeling.” Or maybe between Shaw and Root, “Mission accomplished?” “Yeah.” Right hook! That’s an exchange right?
It looks like the Machine has an interest in stowing away hackers or programmers that are gifted. Maybe it has some code it wants re-written that it does not think Finch will do for it?
By episode’s end, Root is imprisoned by Finch, but she is convinced the Machine will not stand for her imprisonment. Finch points out that since Machine orchestrated everything, maybe Root is where the Machine wants her to be. Meanwhile, Finch is very concerned that he does not understand what the Machine really wants, but he should remember that he taught the Machine morality. It’s a reflection of his own.