In which the Machine sends Root on missions to teach her a lesson in morality and Team Machine gets to tag along to complete the lesson.
Apparently, Root has been off on missions for the Machine all over the world, but now she is back in New York breaking people out of prison buses and taking janitors to lunch. It should be noted that the guy she broke out of the prison bus was Colin Donnell of Arrow fame. He helped her out, but instead of freedom he’s going back to prison with more time on his sentence, but a heavy to protect him. He did look like he was having fun though. The janitor, Wells, is revealed to be the POI of the week since his number came up the second he met Root. What? So the Machine sends Root to retrieve Wells, but then immediately sends the guy’s number to Team Machine.
Finch believes Root herself is the danger Wells faces, however, he soon finds out that both Decima and Collier are trying to capture or kill him. Maybe the Machine was hedging its bets and wanted all hands on deck to save Wells, especially when it seems he is the key to getting tech that can help bring Samaritan (the other Machine) online. It definitely set Root up to have an emotional revelation and a moral conflict that she might not have been able to deal with on her own.
The first issue of the emotional revelation deals with what Wells did before he became a janitor. He was a rich businessman, but both of his partners were killed in a shoot-out which he took as fate. Everything happens for a reason. Root realized she was the one that killed his partners before she reformed for the Machine. She wants to think it’s just a coincidence that she was assigned this case, but Finch does not believe it. The Machine does not deal in coincidence and it is interesting that Root seems to feel a bit of guilt (maybe for the first time) over her prior actions. Finch and Root have a great conversation about fate and responsibility, plus she states that everything she has done has been for Harold. As much as she worships the Machine some of that is also aimed at Finch. It was a very intense scene, but distracting due Root/Finch vibes. Nope, do not want to go there.
Root keeps assuring everyone that she can protect Wells, however when Collier cuts her off from the Machine, it’s like she is a babe in woods. She loses Wells immediately, because she has forgotten how to think for herself. If Reese or Shaw were cut off from Harold, they would adjust and still work to save the Number. Root was paralyzed. Instead of adjusting her thinking she gets a cochlear implant that will allow her to talk to the Machine no matter the interference. Hmmm, lesson not learned.
The moral conflict Root is faced with is to protect the Number or complete the mission. Her first instinct is of course to see the person as irrelevant (ha!) and protecting the Machine from Samaritan as far more important. However, it seems the lesson the Machine itself is trying to teach her is that there is no such thing as an irrelevant person. At the end she makes the right call, but now Decima is one step closer to bringing Samaritan online. Also, it appears the first action they will take is locating and killing Team Machine along with some woman named Maria Martinez. Who the heck is she??
Root managed to find several ways to call Reese an ape. Starting off with “Australopithecine” which means various extinct apelike primates of the genus Australopithecus. And yes I looked it up. You’re welcome. And of course she called him “helper-monkey,” which was too easy.
Root gave Finch an ad for Viagra-like pills which he assumed was a message and everyone else commented was Root’s way of hitting on him. Don’t like the pairing, but still funny.