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xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

V-Men posted:

Maybe we're just seeing a consequence of the shortened season. I can see them possibly being killed as a potential write off if necessary, and they survive if there's more time. I could certainly see a situation where Dominic goes against Samaritan because he won't listen to anybody while Samaritan tries to enlist Elias because Samaritan can promise Elias his dominance over the underworld and the stability necessary to maintain it.

Dominic was full-out shot in the head dead in last season's finale, IIRC. Elias was the only one who was still 'alive' at the end of the episode, at least to the point where they could have written him as surviving. I'd imagine they decided to just write him out as dead when CBS only renewed for the 13 episode probably-final (at the time) season. If we got a full 22+ episode season, we might have seen, say, Floyd's return (Dominic's right-hand lady with Link killed) with her trying to work a vengeance plan or something that crosses the team's path, but welp.

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xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Aphrodite posted:

What's the clue for the different UIs? Is there something obvious?

The biggest visual indicator is that Samaritan uses circular/triangular identifiers when it's in AI point of view, versus the machine's dotted boxes.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

GrandpaPants posted:

I'm just glad they sent Iris back to her home planet instead of fridging her. Although yeah, wow that was a super pointless plotline, but I guess it means that Zoe Morgan can flirt with John again.

Except she's trapped in a post-apocalyptic future on The 100. :smith:

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

docbeard posted:

If I recall, that's how they found out about Samaritan's blind spot, since Martine recognized Shaw but Samaritan couldn't.

Not sure if this is spoilery or not, since I'm mostly going off what was hinted at in the finale last year, but better safe and sorry. But if Shaw really has had her loyalty changed by Samaritan somehow, then that could be really bad for this aspect in particular, since she was there when Root and her team of hackers installed the malware-infested servers just before Samaritan came online. And while she's not an especially technical person in this respect, she could certainly point out which servers were the compromised ones.

My take, going off the last couple episodes of season 4, is that Shaw isn't completely brainwashed to Samaritan's side because, if nothing else, she seemingly hasn't given up Reese/Finch's cover identities to Samaritan agents, nor the location of their subway hideout.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

docbeard posted:

e. Also, now that I think of it, it felt like it walked back John's epiphany from late last season about how forming connections with people is actually good and cool a little. Which is kind of disappointing.

My take on it is that he had that epiphany, but he's also mentally still the guy who can't form those connections and Do The Job. And right now, the Job (stopping Samaritan) is so critical, that he has to break any connections he started to form (Iris) in order to do it to his best ability. Or at least, that's what he's been conditioned to believe. One epiphany from ghost Carter and a handful of therapy sessions aren't exactly going to immediately undo an entire lifetime of experiences. Hence his own version of "maybe someday" at the end. When he's done doing the job, he'll look her up.

i give the show credit, at least, for not actually ever really putting Iris herself in direct mortal danger at any point of that arc, from last season to now, nor having Samaritan somehow target her via good ol fashioned detective legwork, and letting that specifically be the reason Reese ended it. (Or just having her die outright.)

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Zaggitz posted:

in 5x3 they offhandedly mention the safehouse not being a place they can just take the guy being hunted by the CIA but don't explain why.

this was why.

Aw yeah, then Shaw didn't compromise it in her simulations~

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

buddhanc posted:

Awesome episode. Love me some fusco. Anyone think there's some potential for Blackwell to become a double agent? He seems pretty adamant on doing the right thing.

Yeah, my gut feeling is that it's going to come down to Samaritan's snap computation judgment of Blackwell vs Reese's more empathetic assessment earlier in that episode (5x02) -- "smart/has a record of violence? SIGN HIM UP! " vs "he's got a history but he's pretty clearly trying to sort his poo poo out, doesn't seem to be a bad guy to me" -- and Samaritan's inability to evaluate people on that level will be (part of) its downfall.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

oohhboy posted:

Well played Nolan, well played, good job keeping Elias under their hat. It was great having Fusco cover it up by being angry.


No way the writers is going pull this kind of utter poo poo dreak like this for the ending. Even budget short Season 4 ended well. The whole point of it was to show how drat hopeless poo poo is. This might be one of the few shows that ends with a "bad" ending.

The point is also to show that the Machine can't beat Samaritan unaided. It needs its human component -- the immediate team/assets, the irrelevants, etc. Root talks about 'arming' it against Samaritan, but the only 'arms' it actually needs are its people.

It doesn't matter how Samaritan keeps beating TM in these simulations, only that it does when both are completely isolated from any possible external/unpredictable variable, wild cards like Shaw was in If-Then-Else. Wild cards like Elias and Blackwell probably will be.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...
There's a pretty wide gulf of possibilities in the spectrum between "everybody dies, whether or not Samaritan wins" and "nobody dies, Samaritan is cleanly defeated, reset button effectively pushed".

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Echophonic posted:

I kind of feel like Root makes it out, too. She's not nearly as self-destructive as the others.

My personal gut feeling is they're setting up Reese's death in earnest now (especially with 5x03), and are also telegraphing Finch loving off to Italy and finding Grace, with or without the rest of the surviving team's knowledge.

Root's almost guaranteed to live in my head, because her atonement/redemption arc has to at this point end with her regaining faith in humanity and living on with that faith. And Shaw's already had an actual death fake-out last season, so she'll probably make it through this one too.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Mraagvpeine posted:

The Elias subplot in this season so far, I can't help but feel that it's been pointless and they probably should have just let Elias die.

Probably we have to see where it actually, you know, ends up before declaring it pointless.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

SpookyLizard posted:

I wouldn't be surprised if Samaritans vaccine ended up being used to kill off swaths of the population. I'm kinda expecting that with the vaccines. Using it to engineering viruses to target unwanted groups, demographics, or going full FOX DIE and using it to kill specific people.

Also wouldn't be surprised if Samaritan cooked up something similar to the Utopia (UK) plotline, where (rough spoilers from memory I guess for people who haven't seen the show) the government engineers a vaccine for the Russian flu that also renders whole sections of the population infertile in order to control pop growth and avert future disasters.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Mustache Ride posted:

Holy poo poo.

Was Finch saying he was involved with Nixon and Watergate?

I'd need to rewatch but I think he was trying to say his 'treason' was committed around the same time that Nixon was loving around with the FBI and such re: Watergate, so the rules they used to determine that Finch committed treason were already faulty stemming from the very people who make/execute them. A hearty "gently caress your 'rules'". (IIRC that was when he hacked into...something...in college, in a flashback in season 2 or 3 or something that I can't possibly remember more details off of the top of my head.)

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Mraagvpeine posted:

Did the Machine choose a name for herself?

I'd imagine that the angle it's taking is that the Machine and Root are now one and the same. It chose Root's voice, so it stands to reason it also chose Root's name.

(Shaw will live and this season's set up that she can just slap on some VR glasses and go sim-mode anytime she wants Root to annoy her in the future.)

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Toplowtech posted:

Well, last time they got some politician numbers wasn't it when the machine asked him to kill said politician before he can give Samaritan the machine's access to the feeds?

To be fair, the Machine didn't actually ask them to kill a politician; that was Harold's assumption/understanding based on the information the Machine gave them (which at that point was still just a number) and the information they gleaned from tailing him around town. Pre-open system, TM could never just give an order like that, only spit out a number and effectively say "hey something funny's about to happen with this person, investigate!" and the team had to make the choice, good or ill, of what to do about it, just like they've had with any number.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

PST posted:

Apparently Twitter and Tumblr are melting down over 'another dead lesbian on tv'. While I agree with Nolan's interview about how Root was more than that, and how her 'end' has been telegraphed a long time to come, that's not going to calm down the understandable anger at how killing off the lesbian is the tv equivalent of shooting the black guy first in movies.

It's swinging kind of both ways, at least. There's a lot of anger, of course, because there's just always anger at this point, and a good chunk of that is coming from people who have never actually watched the show (or exclusively watched the Root/Shaw scenes) and got wind of "yet another dead lesbian". But there are also a lot of people trying to be reasonable about it. Sad, because one of their favorite characters died and that's always sad, but reasonable.

If only CBS had just loving aired this final season in the fall.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

PST posted:

I can understand the former, i'd mostly just seensome pretty severe comments and also saw Chris Fields being really understanding and communicating with people on his twitter. Without the 100, which certainly from what i've read handled it really badly, it probably wouldn't have gotten as big a reaction. Or maybe it would but more nuanced.

And yeah, a whole season would have given them more time to schedule around Sarah's pregnancy and they'd have had what 15-17 episodes with her available. I don't think there'll be a 'what would have been' and the POI book got cancelled, which pretty much kills any chance of anything else coming.

Even just the same shortened season airing several months ago wouldn't have garnered anywhere near this reaction, though i'd have liked to have seen a full 22-episode final season (removed from CBS's apparent procedural-or-bust mandate) to give all the end arcs some breathing room (more time with Shaw back on the team and interacting with all of them, more time to explore Reese's dead family and such, etc.). The discourse for this moment specifically is what it is today more or less entirely because of The 100.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Hollismason posted:

What the hell did happen to those other tech guys? Didn't they all get killed?

The Machine gave them all new identities like it did Finch/Reese/Shaw, and they were never heard from again.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Argue posted:

Didn't Martine kill them all in the opening of season 4?

No, she just killed some randos to show how Samaritan is shutting down any possible leak of its existence IIRC.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Jigsaw posted:

This episode brought up a lot of questions for me: if there are other Team Irrelevants, is Samaritan after them too? If not, why not? They wouldn't have the blind spots added by the replaced servers, so no cover identities for them. Are they just better at hiding? Are they actually helping fight Samaritan, or can only Finch & Co. do that for some reason?

The blind spots are explicitly to protect the team that's already been exposed to Samaritan -- Finch/Reese/Shaw/Root and Root's Boys. Presumably Fusco hasn't completely attracted Samaritan's attention yet (Samaritan was watching him but hadn't labeled him as a threat/deviant yet), even if he is now a Machine Asset, so same would probably be said of the B-team (and all other Irrelevant teams floating around out there; probably we can assume if there's one in DC, there are probably ones in every major city in the US by now).

(Root's Boys getting new identities was probably less that they were in immediate mortal danger from Samaritan coming online and recognizing them as threats, as it was convenient to just include them in with the main four at the time, since there wouldn't have been any more super Machine hacking power required.)

quote:

How long have they been around? From Pierce talking it sounded like they'd been doing this for a while; could they have helped last week when Harold's number came up and avoided Root's & Elias's deaths?

At least since Harper's introduction, I would imagine. We saw her multiple times at the end of last season getting paid by Thornhill to help out (save Fusco, etc.). Stands to reason Thornhill would eventually link her up with Logan and Joey.

quote:

Did they have access to the open system before Finch closed it?

Also stands to reason they get their numbers and do their research the same way Finch/Reese used to -- pay phones, SSNs, Logan's google-fu.

quote:

Other Team Irrelevants going around raises a lot of questions regarding the Samaritan plotline, so I'm hoping they tie into the conclusion and we get good answers to them, though I'm a bit worried it'll just be dropped since we've only got two episodes left.

I don't think it actually raises any questions about Samaritan? If they've kept off Samaritan's radar because the Machine is sending them on (mostly) irrelevant number jobs, there's no reason to assume they'll get roped into the endgame arc beyond just protecting Fusco/Reese/Shaw in this one job. They're there almost exclusively in this shortened final season to highlight that other people are keeping up the good fight of saving people, that the Machine herself is still trying to save as many people as possible even as it faces off with Samaritan, that Nathan Ingram's purpose -- that Finch co-opted -- hasn't been lost.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

less laughter posted:

Still leaves a lot of holes.

Except there are no 'holes' in this particular aspect of the plot, not really. We don't know WHY that Samaritan decided an assassination attempt on the POTUS is "irrelevant" but I don't think we necessarily need to know to understand the meaning behind it. If nothing else, it shows that Samaritan has 100% evolved beyond its original purpose of sorting out 'relevant' attacks on US interests/society and is working toward an entirely different purpose. Control got bounced at the end of last season so Samaritan's in full control of whatever the gently caress ISA does now, which is apparently no longer going after previously believed 'relevant' numbers.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Guy Mann posted:

Giving a show five seasons and a definite end point to write towards: a back alley hacksaw abortion by those chucklefucks at CBS.

CBS didn't so much give them a definite endpoint as the writers saw the vague writing on the wall and wrote the end and told their audience it would be the series finale before CBS ever actually announced to anyone, including the show crew itself, that they were cancelled. And supposedly still mandated that the shortened season retain the procedural element instead of going full serialization. (And CBS waiting til the last minute to cancel it effectively meant they couldn't shop the show around to other networks while the cast and crew would have been mostly retained.)

And all of that has come from interviews with Nolan and Plageman themselves.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

HorseRenoir posted:

Greer's death was perfect; he willingly accepted being strategically killed by Samaritan to further its goals because he believed its deductions were 100% infallible and correct. Turns out Samaritan was wrong and Greer died for absolutely nothing.

Yeah, it was nice to see that Greer held fast to his true believer status -- no last-second panic that he was going to die or anything, he just waxed poetic about Samaritan being omnipotent/omniscient until he collapsed.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Atreiden posted:

Really good episode overall, but Greers death was stupid, he learns Harold is the only one who can turn on the virus as they are standing in a soundproof room and then for some reason it's decided they both have to die, when he could just have shot Harold.

Pretty sure Greer's death wasn't Greer's idea.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

oohhboy posted:

At the time alot of people including me thought Finch could turn her and he did keep trying right to the end although Finch did take precautions. Then she just straight up disappeared. It's not often the writers straight up drop a plot line. She was annoying as gently caress though.

I'd venture a guess that they'd have gone back to Claire maybe if they'd had a full season. Or, like apparently with Camryn Mannheim and Paige Turco (and probably also Taraji P Henson, if they'd wanted her back just for that quick shot of her as lieutenant), maybe the actress just wasn't available during the timeframe they shot this final season. Whims of television mean you kinda make do with what you have, even if it means having to drop possible guest star character arcs.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

V-Men posted:

Were Martine and Greer corrupted characters though? Greer was pretty much always like that and Martine was introduced as a Shaw-like stone cold killer. I haven't listened to the commentary yet, but the only reason it seemed they like bothered with Blackwell was because they couldn't get Claire back. Martine and Greer never had moments where we saw them teeter or be indecisive about the morality of their actions.

The extent we knew of Martine's past is just that she was an investigator for the Hague. (I think there were rumors or a hint or something that they had wanted to do a Martine flashback but then couldn't fit it in last season or something.) But yeah, I wouldn't say we could surmise that Samaritan 'corrupted' Greer, Martine, or even Lambert (to choose the three major named Samaritan assets) -- we flatly don't know enough of Martine or Lambert to say that they could have been decent folk before Samaritan stepped in, and I think it's pretty obvious that a great deal of Samaritan's worldview comes from Greer himself rather than the other way around. (And we know even less about other named Samaritan ops like Zachary to make any value judgment on them.)

Claire, you can make the argument that Samaritan could have corrupted her, but she was never going to be a "prone to violence" stone-faced killer who's 'just doing a job' like Blackwell turned out, and I don't think she could have fulfilled that same role exactly as it was written this season. (Claire, girl who got really shaky-handed when trying to point a gun and who balked at the idea that she was so expendable as to get shot in the line of duty by friendly fire for the 'greater good', would have never unquestioningly put together a sniper rifle and gunned down Root/Finch in broad daylight through a moving vehicle windshield. Or, at least, not without a full, non-truncated season of additional character growth.)

I'd imagine if they'd had a 22-episode season to wrap it all up, we would've seen Blackwell's arc happen in more measured steps but still end up at the same point -- that we see the process of him losing faith in anything external to 'the job' (eg. his former girlfriend refusing his overture to potentially rekindle their relationship) and becoming the stone-faced operative that we got by the finale, rather than the leap from "I have to stab doctors with a deadly virus?! I mean, okay, but..." to god-moding with a sniper rifle. It'd still be the same arc, though -- he's the human face to Samaritan's corruption in a way that Greer (and to a lesser extent, Martine and Lambert) couldn't be.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Sinteres posted:

This may not be a popular sentiment, but I didn't really think the Root and Shaw romance arc was very good either. They were never actually a couple before Shaw got captured, but Root in particular kept going on about being willing to die for Shaw and her life not having meaning without her, and Shaw pretty much did the tv sociopath equivalent eventually. The post-mortem love letter about how it was cool that Shaw's a sociopath because it keeps her on track was pretty dumb too.

...So? You don't have to have the "will you be my girlfriend?" talk before you can give that much of a poo poo about each other.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

Sinteres posted:

I get how they might have felt constrained by a short season after having so many episodes before, but after watching how much plot prestige dramas can put in 13 or fewer episode seasons, I don't know that I buy that it's really that confining.

There's a difference between "I plotted out for 13 episodes of material and now have to film it accordingly" and "I plotted out for 22+ (or 44+, depending on the producer interview) episodes of material and now have to shove it into 13". You can agree or disagree that they handled that condensed narrative well, especially with CBS still insisting they keep the Numbers procedural format, but comparing it to what, say, an HBO show does with its relatively short seasons is missing the point by a pretty wide margin.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

theflyingexecutive posted:

Having just watched this for the first time, I'd kill for a Director's Cut that completely excises all of the lovely cop drama and toxic masculinity and magic bullet gunfights.

Show possibly just not your jam altogether if your edit of choice would involve cutting out like one of two major story arcs and basically all the development of two main characters. No beef, but the show isn't JUST an AI sci-fi drama and IMO it's better for it.

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xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

SpookyLizard posted:

Upon re-reading it in the light of day I had the mental image of John as a Paladin, and now I'm imaging the cast as a DnD party, consisting of a paladin, a rogue, two wizards, a dog and a member of the local constabulary.

Reese is the Fighter who aspires to be a paladin but skirts around the law too much to make it work. Joss Carter is the One True Paladin.

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