Opening with Reese trying to track down the latest number at the Real Time Crime Center, “ShotSeeker” could almost be mistaken for a number of the week episode. Except that there’s a twist; the number, Ethan Garvin, is an NYPD analyst for a system called ShotSeeker―which, if you didn’t know is actually modeled after ShotSpotter, a real system.
While out watching his son’s hockey match, Fusco gets confronted by an old friend of Carl Elias, Bruce Moran. Moran is looking to investigate Elias’ death, unsatisfied with the police reports. He threatens Fusco’s son – something that spurs Fusco even further to find out exactly what everyone’s been keeping from him later on in the episode.
At the subway, Finch has a laptop locked away in a Faraday cage. Root accuses him of locking her out of The Machine because of her copying the Samaritan malware (back in “Truth Be Told“) but Finch insists that it’s more akin to locking Samaritan in. Finch used a code from the laptop to incubate a mini version of the ASI and did the same thing to The Machine, which allows them to engage with one another in a series of controlled simulations. The purpose of this is so that The Machine can probe Samaritan for weaknesses.
As Reese investigates Garvin, he sees him harassing people in the apartment, looking for a woman named Krupa. After he goes into her apartment and shoots, Reese steps in and Garvin explains how he heard three gunshots from her apartment and believes she has been killed. It is then revealed that the president of Feed The Globe, a program to end world hunger, filed a missing person’s report on her.
Fusco goes and confronts Reese about Moran, expressing how angry he is about being left in the dark now that his son has been brought into it. In typical Reese style, he tells Fusco he’ll deal with it later and leaves Fusco to sort out the situation with Garvin.
Most of the episode leads you to believe that J.D. Carrick, CEO of Harvesta is the one who had Krupa killed. The evidence seems almost insurmountable, but as we all know, nothing is ever as it truly seems. Root and Finch eventually crack it and discover that Samaritan was behind it all along. What Root said about how Samaritan could have done it to assume control of the global food supply particularly stood out to me and my curiosity is stronger than ever as to how far exactly Samaritan is going to go. Once again, we see just how far her character has developed when she says that they can save a life instead of doing what Samaritan wants. At heart, Root is always going to be a cynical misanthrope, but she certainly isn’t the seemingly cold-blooded assassin she was introduced way back in season 1 as.
The key points of this episode aren’t so much to do with the number (though the addition of ShotSeeker was certainly interesting), but rather more about The Machine VS Samaritan and the return of Elias. Although The Machine monumentally got its proverbial ass kicked, this doesn’t necessarily spell doom and gloom. The Machine has just been rebuilt from ashes and has much to learn, but even the Machine we saw before for 4 seasons was constantly evolving and learning. Samaritan might seem like the victor at the moment, but The Machine just hasn’t found the right scenario. Fusco’s suspicions are stronger than ever and while he’s investigating Krupa’s file at the precinct, Samaritan labels him as a ‘potential obstructionist’ which means that it’s more than likely he will land himself into a serious amount of trouble. As he is so used to his reality and rather stuck in his ways as we saw in season 3’s “Provenance“, I’ve always had doubts about whether or not he would even believe the others about The Machine and Samaritan. However, my opinion has changed after seeing his determination in this season to get to the bottom of the decrease in murders but rise of suicides and missing persons. I truly think that if he does find out (which seems increasingly imminent) he will simply just brush it off as how it explains a lot. I also particularly liked seeing the familial aspect of the relationships come into play again in this episode; Fusco was a lot less snarky with Reese, the mob for obvious reasons, and Root’s genuine concern for Reese was a surprising twist.
I, like many fans was delighted to see the return of Elias. The mob aspect of the series has always been particularly engaging and seeing how deeply Samaritan has affected them was, although unsurprising, certainly an exchange I enjoyed watching between Elias and Moran. I’m positive that this isn’t the last of Elias and I would love to see him work with Team Machine in the battle against Samaritan.