The clock is ticking and the fate of the Machine is up in the air. With only a few hours left before the virus officially does what it has set out to do, our boys are scrambling to prevent a major disaster from happening. Luckily for them, they haven’t received a number in 10 days, so they have some free time on their hands. Tick tock.
Stalking the NYPD scanner isn’t quite cutting it for John so I imagine he’s thrilled when a new number finally does come in. It belongs to a mysterious man named Ernest Thornhill. He controls a dead end company where the employees do nothing but enter codes all day, he only has one accessible picture, and no one seems to have met him. Plus, why would someone want to buy up all the pay phones in NYC?
Who do we know who loves to use pay phones? That’s right. Ernest Thornhill doesn’t exist. The Machine gave out its own number. It wants to be saved. But from who? Decima Technologies is seemingly aware of what will happen once the virus infiltrates the system. The system will reboot, a phone call will be placed, and whoever answers it has total control of the Machine and will be the new admin.
Everyone seems to be in danger tonight. While there’s no sign of Fusco, Carter is asking too many questions about Beecher, and John ends up in jail with Shaw after Harold sends the police after him as a distraction. Finch obviously did this out of love. John has an odd way of showing affection as well. “When I care about someone, I put a tracking device on them.”
Root is back and she’s contacted Harold. She blackmails her way into his morning by threatening to harm Grace. And after seeing the sweetest proposal ever, we know how much Harold loves her. Enough that he was willing to share his true identity with her. Of course Harold would put a diamond ring inside a book.
The episode is steeped with flashbacks. I’m always happy to see Nathan again. He’s been hiding something from Harold and Harold tracks him to our favorite library to find out what it is. It was Nathan’s original headquarters. Where he tried his best to save the numbers Harold deemed irrelevant. It turns out Harold was never on board with saving the irrelevant numbers and shuts down Nathan’s plans immediately. As he does so, viewers see that Nathan’s number comes up. I hated seeing Nathan and Harold argue. That scene with a drugged up Finch saying goodnight to an already dead Nathan in the library suddenly makes a lot more sense.
We’re certainly learning a lot more about Harold tonight. John and Shaw run into the same creepy old man that Kara met in Ordos. He lets them in on a little secret. The virus was originally found on a laptop. In China. That was sold by a man named Harold Finch. Curious. Why would Finch sell such a dangerous virus?
He seems to have quite the love hate relationship with the Machine. He tells Root that he noticed the Machine had imprinted itself upon him, like a child, and would care for and worry about him. Thinking this was too dangerous, Harold programmed the Machine to delete itself, and all its memories, every night at midnight. Hence all of the employees typing in all the code. The Machine is trying to save its memories.
The countdown has hit zero and every pay phone around is being guarded by Decima. John, Shaw, Harold and Root try to get to the call before anyone else. Of course, Finch has chosen the New York Public Library to receive the call. He fiddles with some wires and manages to allow the call to reach two phones. Root answers one and John answers the other. “Can you hear me?” Loud and clear.
Looks like next week will be one heck of a battle for control of the Machine and all the answers one could want. And viewers will be getting answers too. Will we finally learn what happened to Nathan? And how Finch got his limp? What do the writers have in store for us in season 3?