Taking place two months after where “B.S.O.D.” left off, “SNAFU” immediately opens with what seems to be the new opening sequence. Finch’s “You are being watched…” is present but quickly cut off, slowed down, and spliced around. As you might expect, the graphics are also pretty funky with all of the glitching, pixellation and whatnot.
The Machine is up and running again, but with a twist: the facial recognition feature is completely messed up. This makes for some excellent entertainment from Reese, Finch, Root, and Fusco. Seeing everyone do impressions of each other shows just how brilliant they all are as actors. Plus, Amy Acker wearing multiple suits? Heaven. My friends joked with me and said that The Machine was having “Cass vision” as it ultimately settled on simply seeing all of the team as Root.
Root is stuck underground as she has no way of getting new identities and it’s too dangerous for her to go out without one. I have to say that I really appreciated Finch’s pun where he told her that she’s grounded, or rather, undergrounded. Before he leaves to meet up with Reese, Root gives him a list consisting of creature comforts: mouthwash, floss, black nail varnish, a shag rug in purple, and two lots of bunny slippers. Priorities, naturally.
Reese and Finch go on a heist to steal more servers for The Machine, which involves Reese attempting to teach Finch his ways. Predictably, Finch is adorably awkward.
Back at the subway, now accompanied by the extra juice for The Machine, we see that Root has set up a bedroom for herself and that Finch has used one of the cars as The Machine’s main brain. Judging by Root’s bedroom, she really likes purple, and it’s decorated more like how you’d expect a young teenage girl’s bedroom to look. Bless.
With the new and improved (?), open system Machine, Finch and Root run a surveillance test on it to find Primary Asset Reese. It works, but there’s just one, tiny problem: The Machine identifies that he is responsible for the deaths and disappearances of 62 people. Root and Finch get the irrelevant list back up and running and 30 numbers overwhelmingly come through all at once.
Breaking my heart in the process, Root runs a search for Shaw which turns out to be unsuccessful. Finch warns her about humans potentially abusing the open system, but Root insists that his crippling of it is what caused problems in the first place.
It’s almost like the old days again with Reese on a number mission. Only problem is, that he ends up nearly shooting an innocent 14 year old who had lied about a bomb threat to get out of a test because of The Machine getting confused. Reese’s scolding of the kid, telling him to go to his room is superb.
Fusco is also having problems with the numbers as he is tasked with finding a killer… which actually turns out to be a play involving killing.
From Finch’s point of view, the faces through The Machine’s feeds look blurred and he is surprised to see Grace. Root joins him and sums up The Machine’s issues by saying how it’s correlating threats with violence but isn’t processing the context. Finch asks her if she solved The Machine’s facial recognition issues because he keeps seeing Grace, even though she is supposed to be in Italy and that it must be a glitch. Root points out that it could be he who is glitching as he is overtired.
Finch running a context diagnosis on himself, Root, and Reese. After archiving the feeds, The Machine comes to the conclusion that they’re all threats and traps Root and Finch in the subway.
Glitching back to what is called day ‘R‘, we see Finch teaching it a morality lesson, more specifically, how to be benevolent.
Through The Machine’s point of view with the feeds, we see just how badly it’s glitching with timestamps. It’s bittersweet seeing everything from The Machine’s point of view again: good, because YAY for The Machine, but bad because things aren’t quite right. Yep, there goes Person of Interest making me feel bad for an AI again.
After even more unsuccessful numbers between Fusco and Reese, Finch explains how The Machine is unable to tell the past from present―more on that later.
At the precinct, Reese reveals that of the 27 remaining numbers, 4 are fictional characters, 21 are already dead and 5 of those were suicides. Fusco and Reese discuss how homicides have decreased while suicides have increased. Yet again, Fusco’s suspicions about something being seriously amiss are growing. We are now left with two remaining numbers: Laurie Granger, a woman with a penchant for travelling, and a gambler.
The Machine is unhappy to say the least after Root and Finch discuss rebooting it. It takes countermeasures and overloads Root’s cochlear implant. Even though it clearly hurts her like hell, she still looks happy that The Machine is talking to her again. She confirms to Finch that it is, indeed, not in the mood for a reboot.
Meanwhile, back with Reese, it turns out that Granger is a hitwoman and is out to get him. Who she works for is unknown at this point, but they suspect Samaritan.
In the subway, Root tells Finch she trusts him with her life and wants him to remove the implant as she doesn’t like The Machine using her like that.
With Root knocked out, The Machine tells Finch that it was it who sent the hitwoman after Reese. Finch tries to reason with The Machine and apologises to it, but The it is not having any of it. He asks it what day it is and it answers that it’s day ‘R‘. If you were as confused as I was about what, exactly that means, Finch explained that it is the mathematical set of all real numbers (honestly, if Finch was my maths teacher in school, I might have actually paid attention). Finch comes to the realisation that today is every day to The Machine and it keeps reliving the 42 times it was killed.
Back to Fusco dealing with the gambler number. The gambler almost gets killed by the guys who he owes money to, but Fusco swoops in like a total badass and kneecaps them, saving the day again. I have to say that I’ve loved seeing more of Fusco in action, I have always felt he’s a rather underrated character who is deserving of a lot more love!
Thankfully, Finch eventually gets through to The Machine through using evidence and showing it the files of the people it helped save. It reassesses its assets, marking Finch as its admin again (and presumably the others in their rightful titles). He asks The Machine about Grace again and its feeds confirm that she indeed, is in Italy. Root was correct, he was hallucinating from lack of sleep.
Root is able to go back out again because The Machine has reestablished her rotating covers. She is dressed as a girl scout’s leader (because why not?) and Finch tells her she was right about leaving the system open for the time being. Naturally, she stops dead in her tracks, wearing an expression of disbelief. What beautiful development compared to how they were a few seasons ago!
Things look lovely for the team again. In the papers, Fusco is heralded as a hero yet again and Finch and Root set up a picnic. Finch says that The Machine looks happy again and that he’s thankful it’s over. But this is Person of Interest and we all know that happiness never lasts because almost as soon as he has said that, we’re shown The Machine’s glitchy feeds again.
In the last couple of minutes of the episode, we see one of the numbers Reese left earlier in the episode. He is recruited by Samaritan agents, under the ruse that it’s a regular job. The suspense is real.
“SNAFU” was awesome in every sense of the word and provided quite a light-hearted gem amidst the darkness while also paying respects to Shaw and gently moving the story forward. It was certainly a lot less chaotic than the premier and I enjoyed it even more so, giggling throughout most of it.