Recap: Person Of Interest S 02 E 16

Season 2, Episode 16:


"Trust is overrated."
Sameen Shaw

When her partner winds up being killed after asking the wrong questions, government operative Sameen Shaw finds herself on the run from the people she works for and sets out to discover the person responsible for targeting both of them.

This is series creator and Executive Producer Jonathan Nolan's directorial debut.

Tropes present in this episode include:

  • A Day In The Lime Light: For the relevant list and the counter-terrorist organisation "Northern Lights" which uses it to eliminate threats to national security.
  • Ass Hole Victim: the drug dealers who smugly believe they've caught Shaw off guard. They're wrong.
  • 555: averted. The phone number Finch gives to Shaw, (917) 285-7362, is a working number. Call it and you get Harold Wren's voicemail at Universal Heritage Insurance. You can't leave a message, though, because the voicemail inbox is full.
  • Bullet Proof Vest: Reese takes several bullets to the chest while wearing one. Ouch.
  • Cool Guns: Shaw uses a Heckler and Koch MP 5 SK during the op in Berlin to conduct a mop-up of the Islamist Terrorist cell. She later uses the MP 5 K variant in New York subjecting Reese to half the magazine
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: This episode introduces blue boxes in the Machine's POV, which designate Indigo operatives who are directly following up on the Relevant list.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Shaw.
  • Contract on the Hitman: Shaw and Cole are marked for termination by the Special Counsel after Cole starts asking questions about Researchnote .
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: "Future Starts Slow", by The Kills.
  • Distaff Counterpart / Suspiciously Similar Substitute / Meaningful Echo: Like Reese, Shaw leaves government service after being betrayed and losing someone important to her.
  • Demoted to Extra: Every single member of Team Machine. Reese gets three scenes, Harold two, everyone else gets one. The POI is the primary focus character of the entire episode.
  • Destination Defenestration: Shaw rides a poor mook out of a second story window.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Shaw's partner Michael Cole doesn't declare his feelings for her until he's bleeding out on the floor from multiple bullet wounds.
  • Facial Horror: What Shaw does to the mook wearing the gas mask.
  • Genius Bonus: The gas that only the Russians (and Shaw) are crazy enough to use is likely fentanyl, a knockout gas which may have been used during the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis. In that instance, the gas (naturally) affected both hostages and the Chechen terrorists who had taken them prisoner, and killed more than 100 hostages.
  • Grenade Tag: Shaw tosses a stun grenade inside a gas mask. See Facial Horror.
  • Hero of Another Story: Shaw and Cole.
  • Lack of Empathy: "I have what's called an Axis II personality disorder . . . That means that when I kill you and your friends, Iím not gonna really feel anything."
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Cole, just before he dies.
    Shaw: We need to move. Now.
    Cole: [suffering from multiple gunshot wounds] Ah, that's gonna be tough.
  • Menacing Stroll: After Shaw plugs Wilson in the chest, she does a particularly awesome one with the Awesome Music "Future Starts Slow" kicking in.
  • Mook Horror Show: That poor government hit team. The drug dealers also get the same treatment when Shaw reveals her suppressed back up gun.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Shaw spares the life of a cop and a drug dealer who helped her, even though they both saw her face.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "A good soldier does both."
  • Rogues Gallery Showcase: Root and the Special Counsel both want the POI for their own reasons.
  • Self-Surgery
  • Something Completely Different: In case the title sequence crashing wasn't a clue, this isn't the typical Person of Interest episode. It focuses on the other side of this universe, where government agents deal with the Relevant numbers (as opposed to the Irrelevant numbers, which Reese and Finch handle).
  • Special Edition Title: "You are being watched. The government has a secret system,—" *Blue Screen of Death*
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Shaw tells Root that she "kind of enjoys this sort of thing", while Root is threatening to burn her with a hot clothes iron.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Shaw initially thinks she's in an espionage drama like "24" instead of a science fiction show believing that the numbers originate from interrogations at Guantanamo. Root finds this extremely amusing and has a laugh at her expense.