What happens when two super omniscient machines play a game of chicken? Nothing good for the people of New York or Team Machine.
Shaw’s cover was blown in the last installment of the show so she has been forced to become invisible. Emphasis on “forced” including tranquilizers and handcuffs. Shaw rightfully, objects to this, but Finch brings her the perfect sandwich since he knows food is the best way to her good side. The most bizarre thing about the scene was Root dressed as a bear. You heard right, a bear.
Apparently, the Machine has an awesome sense of humor and sent Root to be the entertainment at a kid’s birthday party. While all these shenanigans are going on at HQ, Reese is actually working a case. He’s doing it old school and trying to determine if the new Number is a victim or perpetrator. Before he even finishes laying out his plan, a Samaritan operative steps all over his toes, and “saves” the Number first by killing her husband for her. Diabolical. So now Samaritan is in the Numbers business? No, just in the taunting business to get the Machine to agree to a meeting. It shows the Machine what New York looks like with complete order one day and the next, chaos.
So should the Machine agree to the meeting? Everyone on Team Machine has an opinion. Shaw is willing to believe that Samaritan wants a cease fire and they can coexist. Finch on the other hand is much more wary, and does not even truly trust his own Machine. He does not even want the two machines to talk because he does not believe there could be any good outcome for humanity if the two machines agree to work together. Root believes in THE Machine and says its “her” decision and they have no say in it.
The only silly thing about the setup for a meeting between the machines is a ridiculous standoff between the minions of Samaritan and the Machine. Everyone lined up in a church pointing guns at each other. That was unnecessary and served no purpose other than Reese got to point a cool sniper rifle. Well ok, he probably had fun, but it did nothing to move the story forward or increase tension. It was trying to raise tension, but fell flat. This brings us to the most disturbing and bizarre meeting ever. It did everything the church meeting tried to accomplish plus had a wow factor. Samaritan chose a young boy as its avatar and he comes across as arrogant and creepy as he nonchalantly threatens Root and the team. It was not so much a peace talk between the machines and more an ultimatum thrown down by Samaritan. Either the Machine gives itself up or Samaritan will kill Team Machine. Uh-oh.
In character developmentland, we get flashbacks to Greer’s early days at MI-5. He was disillusioned by his mentor betraying his country, so Greer quits, and no longer believes in country borders which are arbitrary. Not entirely sure what he did between 1973 and now, but apparently it was all building to an efficient overlord.
This episode is part one of a trilogy, which means nothing was actually resolved. It was all about setup for a big story and it delivered in a big way. Things are looking very grim for the Machine and the team. Only a few weeks until the next part. Can’t wait.