Person of Interest – If-Then-Else

by Alan Rapp on January 7, 2015

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Person of Interest – If-Then-Else
  • wiki: link

Person of Interest - If-Then-Else

In an episode that sees the potential death of nearly every member of The Machine‘s team, “If-Then-Else” delivers one of the most memorable episodes of the series and ends with one character’s life facing a very real and permanent end as the three-part “Trilogy” event continues. With the Stock Market crashing Reese (Jim Caviezel), Finch (Michael Emerson), Root (Amy Acker), and Fusco (Kevin Chapman) are lured into a trap by Samaritan with Shaw (Sarah Shahi) stuck on the subway dealing with a suicide bomber. Trapped with no good options we witness The Machine run various scenarios in an attempt to not only stop Samaritan from destabilizing the world’s markets but get each member of the team out alive. It won’t be entirely successful.

Inter-cut with scenes from 2003 where Finch taught the burgeoning Machine about chess, the episode’s framework allows us to see several characters meet their end as each scenario, although only slightly different, makes changes to the success of the mission. The tension both on the subway and in the basement of the Stock Exchange also forces Root and Shaw’s flirtation to take a more serious tone for the first time. And then there’s that final scene…

Although the cutaway leaves the fate of Shaw with the slightest bit of doubt, “If-Then-Else” suggests the hero went down in a blaze of glory getting the rest of her friends out alive following the completion of their mission. Given Carter’s death and the gravity of the war against Samaritan the possibility of loosing another core cast member has loomed over the entire season. Much like Root, I desperately want Shaw to survive the encounter (although I’ve got to admit that’s one hell of a death scene to go out on) and see what kind of trouble the pair might get into now that they’ve finally admitted their feelings for one another. I’m not going to lie, if this is Shahi’s last hurrah on the show I’m pretty bummed, but what an episode to go out on. And if this is the end, then thank you Ms. Shahi for yet another terrific performance.

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