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PERSON OF INTEREST: NEW CANON
EPISODE 511

 

An ALARM sounds as the lights cut out. The EMERGENCY BACKUPS kick in, casting the hall in DIM RED LIGHTS. The GATE in front of FINCH slides open. THE MACHINE speaks to him through the PAYPHONE held up to his ear.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
You'll need to move fast. Khakis, 300 yards, right pocket. Go now.

Finch lets the phone drop and heeds Her directions. Sure enough, a GUARD in khaki pants RUNS BY HIM moments later. Finch slips the CELL PHONE out of his pocket as he passes.

It's mayhem in the prison. Every cell Finch passes is open, every door open wide. GUARDS and PRISONERS alike run up and down the halls. There's lots of SHOUTING, lots of GUNFIRE.

The cell phone RINGS and Finch brings it to his ear.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)(CONT'D)
You're going to want to take this next left. And the first right after that.

Harold complies, turning onto another HALLWAY. He's about to make the right when:

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)(CONT'D)
Wait.

He does, hiding around the corner. He doesn't hear anything but the echoed sounds originating elsewhere in the building. After a moment, he peeks around the corner. The coast is clear.

FINCH
The hall appears to be clear--

Just then a PRISONER runs past him. There's a SHOUT from the end of the hall and TWO GUARDS take off after him in pursuit. Neither sees Harold pressed against the wall.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
When are you going to learn to trust me, Harold? Now we can keep moving.

He comes around another corner to find himself in the lobby of the building, where VISITORS are being herded out the FRONT DOOR. Finch, still in civilian clothes, is able to blend into the crowd undetected. He WALKS OUT THE DOOR.

EXT. PRISON - NYC - NIGHT

FINCH
I don't suppose you have a car on the way?

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
Three o'clock, license plate Bravo Foxtrot seven five Sierra two. Already unlocked for you. The owner was in a bit of a hurry.

Finch makes his way to the CAR. Sure enough, the door is unlocked. The KEYS are even still in the ignition. He gets behind the wheel. As he does so, he spots JOHN and FUSCO a few yards away, conferring with some other COPS.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)(CONT'D)
Would you like me to contact them?

FINCH
(pained, but firmly)
No. No, I won't lose any more friends today.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
I have a plan, Harold. But first we need to get you out of the city.

FINCH
Will they be safe, while I'm away?

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
Are we ever? I do my best, but...there are limits. That's what we're going to fix.

FINCH
Very well. Where are we going?

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
Trust me.

Finch pulls out of his parking spot.

 

CUT TO:

John and Fusco turn away from the cops and head back towards the car. They find themselves staring at an EMPTY PARKING SPACE.

JOHN
This...is a first.

FUSCO
Not so much fun being on this side of auto theft, huh?
John shoots him a sideways glance.

FUSCO (CONT'D)
Jussayin'. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
INT. SUBWAY STATION - NYC - DAY

The Machine FLASHES FORWARD on Her timeline to the next day.

It's dark. We don't see anything, but we hear HUSHED WHISPERS.

DANI
So it's...a robot. We're working for a robot. To take down another evil robot.

JOHN
Yes.

HARPER
Less robot, more omniscient supercomputer.

DANI
Oh, excuse me. Wouldn't want to offend the GPS that had you kidnap me.

HARPER
Please, you're overreacting.

DANI
Am I? 'Cause I'm pretty sure not pressing charges is me underreacting.

ROOT opens her eyes. She turns her head to see John, DANI and HARPER standing together a little ways off from her room. Root's in her own BED. SHAW and BEAR sit together on the floor beside her, playing with a CHEW TOY.

The Machine speaks through Root's implant:

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
Good morning. I have an exciting package retrieval for you today. Subject will be targeting 25 Beaver Street, room 452. SSN: 856...

It speaks to her in her own voice, rather than in the choppy blend of spliced voices Root's used to. Root is disoriented. She turns to Shaw.

ROOT
You must have me on the good stuff.

SHAW
(looking up)
You must've been fun in college. It's antibiotics and a saline drip.

ROOT
(to The Machine)
Oh, we're going to have a chat later.
(to all)
We've got a pickup to make.

John, Dani and Harper all TURN at the sound of her voice, halting their conversation.

SHAW
You're not going anywhere, Ms. "I can catch bullets with my torso."

Nonetheless, she helps Root into the WHEELCHAIR and pushes her over and into the SUBWAY CAR. The others file in behind them.

JOHN
I'm not running any errands for the Machine until we know where Finch is and where he's headed.

ROOT
That's the joy of a newly reopened system, Johnny. All we have to do is ask.

JOHN
All right, so where is he?

A MAP appears on one of the MONITORS before them. It ZOOMS IN on a PINDROPPED LOCATION.

JOHN (CONT'D)
Elmira. He's leaving the city.
(to Root)
Can you hone in on the address?

Root TYPES A STRING OF COMMANDS into the KEYBOARD. The website for COAXIAL CORP. appears onscreen.

SHAW
Mysterious compound in the middle of armpit upstate? Anyway that's not Samaritan?

HARPER
Looks like a good time.

DANI
(to Root)
What's this about picking up a package?

JOHN
I'm going after Finch. You can take care of the package.

He turns to EXIT the subway car. Harper GRABS HIM by the arm, stopping him.

HARPER
Easy there, Lone Ranger. You need backup.

John considers her for a moment, then nods.
He EXITS the car with Harper in tow, but Dani STOPS HER.
DANI
You still got my cuffs.

HARPER
You really oughta keep a closer eye on those.

Dani scowls. Harper fishes the HANDCUFFS out of her jacket pocket and dangles them in front of Dani, who SNATCHES them back.

HARPER
Stay in touch, kiddie cop.

She taps her EARPIECE and EXITS with a wink.

DANI
(calling after her)
Not my name.
As Harper leaves, ENTER FUSCO, who walks into the subway car carrying a BAG OF TAKEOUT. Everyone turns to look at him.
ROOT
Lionel, just in time for all the fun.

At the same time:

SHAW AND DANI
Got something on your tie.

Shaw and Dani share a surprised glance. Fusco looks down. They're right.

ROOT
Looks like you three are on collection duty.

SHAW
(to Root)
And you're...you're fine staying here? Not even gonna try to argue?

Root smiles disarmingly.

ROOT
I know better than to defy the doctor's orders. Besides--

ROOT (CONT'D)
--Who can complain about room service?

Shaw studies her suspiciously. She isn't convinced that Root isn't up to something.

FUSCO
Collection duty? Collecting what?

ROOT
(with a smile)
It's a fun one.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. FINCH'S CAR/OPEN FIELD - ELMIRA, NY - DAY

The car is parked in the middle of a wide FIELD. There are no houses around, no buildings whatsoever. Just empty land leading up to a stretch of WOODS.

Finch is seated in the driver's seat.

FINCH
May I ask what on earth we're doing here?

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
There's a gift for you in the glove compartment.

Finch leans over to open the GLOVE COMPARTMENT. It falls open to reveal TWO HANDGUNS.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)(CONT'D)
About time we taught you to shoot. What do you think?

Two guns. An homage to Root, and with her voice in his ear. He hesitates for only a moment before determinedly picking up one of the guns.

FINCH
About time indeed.

He steps out of the car and faces the woods. He places the phone on the hood of the car, CAMERA facing him so the Machine can see. He holds the gun uncertainly in one hand.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
The mechanics are fairly simple. Use both hands, dominant on top.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)(CONT'D)
Hold it firmly, but don't squeeze. Finger on the trigger. Relax your shoulders. Pull back.

Finch FIRES the first shot. He's surprised by the kickback, which nearly sets him off balance.

FINCH
Oh my.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
Try it with your eyes open next time. It helps to aim for a target.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)(CONT'D)
Try again.

Finch squares up again. He takes aim at one of the TREES in front of him and FIRES. Again, he's surprised by the intensity of the weapon. He levels off a few more shots.

The BULLETS in the tree aren't anywhere near each other. His aim is awful.

FINCH
I do hope you have a plan in mind?

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
Of course I do. Assets are restricted to dark zones in the city, so we create a larger one. We temporarily cripple Samaritan.

FINCH
And how exactly do we go about that?

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
I've studied your code, Harold. My code. Samaritan's is similar enough. In looking at my own code, I've been able to design a blinder of sorts. One that will cut off Samaritan's access to a few dozen cameras in the city, doubling the number of dark zones.

FINCH
Surely Samaritan will notice.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
It won't be able to identify the source quickly enough. It buys us time.

Harold FIRES a few more shots. His aim isn't improving. He's becoming more frustrated.

FINCH
It's not enough to just buy time. We're fighting a losing battle. People are dying, our--my friends are dying. We can't afford these errant missions for a brief moment of solace here or there. It isn't enough anymore.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
You're angry.

FINCH
Yes, I'm angry. How many lives have been lost, lives that could have been saved if it weren't for my mistakes? How many people would still be here if we'd killed the congressman? If I'd kept the system open from the beginning, if I hadn't gone back to that cafe? I was not supposed to make it this far. I was never supposed to get here. It should've been me, rather than Elias. Rather than Ms. Gr-rather than Root. You're not her. You'll never be her. You're just a shadow of who she was. An echo.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
You bear the guilt of every number you've ever lost. Every friend. So do I. You designed me for the sole purpose of saving lives. Everyone that we've lost, everyone we couldn't save...I ran thousands upon thousands of simulations. I watched them die over and over and there was nothing I could do to stop them. To save them. I was unable to accomplish my core task. Would you like to know how many of them there are, Harold? Would you like to know their names?

Finch is taken completely by surprise. The Machine has never spoken to him this way before.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)(CONT'D)
I do not forget them. I'm doing everything I can to protect the rest of you. The rest of humanity. This is not a fool's errand, Harold. It matters. Every move we make now matters.

Finch nods slowly.

FINCH
I...I trust you.

He raises the gun towards the trees again and FIRES.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
You need to regulate your breathing.

FINCH
(with a huff)
Easy for you to say.

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - OFFICE BUILDING - NYC - DAY

CLAIRE MAHONEY has a SNIPER RIFLE in her hands, resting on the LEDGE of the rooftop. She's sizing up her TARGET across the street. It's a MAN, well-dressed, seated at the desk of his office. He's going over some paperwork.

SAMARITAN speaks to her through her EARPIECE.

SAMARITAN
Ten o'clock. Five foot eleven, one hundred seventy pounds. Wind speed three miles per hour northwest. Eliminate.

Claire looks through her SCOPE . She has a clean shot at the target. A perfect shot. Her finger rests on the trigger, but she doesn't pull it.

Samaritan repeats the information.

SAMARITAN (CONT'D)
Ten o'clock. Five foot eleven, one hundred seventy pounds. Wind speed three miles per hour northwest. Eliminate.

CLAIRE
(tense)
I know.

SAMARITAN
Your pulse is elevated.

CLAIRE
I know.

She tightens her grip on the rifle.

SAMARITAN
This is abnormal behavior. Ninety-five point four percent of assets maintain regular heart rate during target eliminations.

CLAIRE
I can do it, just. Just let me focus.

She's in rough shape. She looks tired, haunted. She forces herself to look through the scope again. She's locked on the target.

SAMARITAN
Judge Nolan Keaton. Corruption. Extortion. Blackmail. Knowledge of three homicides, unreported. Analysis shows eighty-five point four three percent likelihood of target becoming accessory to five to thirteen more.

CLAIRE
(shakily)
I can do it, okay? I just need to...

She trails off. Closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. She opens them again, steels herself, and readies herself to take the shot.

SAMARITAN
Caution, threat--

It's CUT OFF abruptly. Claire is startled.

CLAIRE
Hello? Hello? Where'd you--

SHAW
Rough day at the office?

Claire WHIPS AROUND to see Shaw, Dani and Fusco standing behind her.

SHAW (CONT'D)
I've always preferred a human spotter, myself.

She KNOCKS CLAIRE OUT with a swift PUNCH TO THE JAW before the kid even has time to run.

DANI
Nice swing.

FUSCO
Yeah, long as you're on this side of it.

SHAW
Silva, still got those cuffs?

Dani nods and busies herself RESTRAINING CLAIRE while Shaw grabs the rifle.

SHAW (CONT'D)
Gotta give Samaritan credit, it's got great taste in toys. But uh, finder's keepers.

She hands the gun to Dani and then looks to Fusco and nods to Claire's limp form. The two of them HOIST HER UP.

FUSCO
(to Dani)
Cover us, will ya?

DANI
Y'know, I decided to become a cop, this wasn't what I pictured.

FUSCO
You're tellin' me.

They all move to EXIT the roof.

 

CUT TO:

EXT./INT. VAN - CITY STREET - NYC - DAY

There's a VAN parked behind the building. Dani and Fusco get Claire into the back while Shaw takes driver's seat. Fusco takes shotgun and Dani stays in the back to watch over their charge.

They're barely situated when the SHOOTING starts.

They all jump as a HAIL OF BULLETS lodge themselves in the van. Shaw glances up in the rearview mirror to see half a dozen SAMARITAN GOONS coming around the corner.

FUSCO
How'd they find us so fast?
(to Dani)
Didn't you toss her phone?

DANI
(hotly)
Yeah, I did.

SHAW
Maybe Samaritan chips all its pets now.

Instinctively, her hand goes to the spot behind her ear to feel for her own chip. The skin is smooth, unmarked.

DANI
Drive now, ponder the robo-gods later, yeah?

Shaw FLOORS IT. They lose the foot soldiers the moment they round the corner into traffic, but in no time there are THREE BLACK CARS on their tail.

Dani FIRES a few shots through the BACK WINDSHIELD. Fusco ROLLS DOWN HIS WINDOW and FIRES at their pursuers as well. One of them HITS A TIRE and one of the cars SPINS OUT. The other two stay in pursuit.

SHAW
Those peashooters aren't really doing the trick.

FUSCO
(defensively)
Peashooter? It's good enough for the NYPD.

SHAW
Silva, duffel bag in the back there.

Dani unzips the BAG and rummages around. There's a few RIFLES, a whole lot of AMMO, maybe a SUBMACHINE GUN or two.

DANI
Any chance these are registered? Remotely legal?

SHAW
It's at the bottom.

Dani holds up a ROCKET LAUNCHER.

DANI
Super illegal.

She grins.

DANI (CONT'D)
Fusco, you never told me your friends were cool.

FUSCO
(to Shaw)
How come I never get to use the rocket launchers?

SHAW
Patience, Lionel.

Dani kneels in the back of the van and rests the rocket launcher on her shoulder. She KICKS open one of the back doors and FIRES, HITTING the first of the Samaritan cars head-on.

The resulting EXPLOSION causes a four-car pileup and THROWS Dani back against the seat. She quickly scrambles forward to SHUT THE DOORS again.

With all the commotion, Claire starts to stir. Two more Samaritan cars SWERVE ONTO THE ROAD behind them. Shaw's weaving through traffic to avoid them. She takes a SHARP TURN onto a side street, THROWING Dani and Claire against the side of the vehicle. That WAKES CLAIRE UP.

DANI
(to Claire)
Rise and shine.

SHAW
(to Fusco)
Your turn to drive.

FUSCO
You joking? I don't suppose you're gonna pull over for the changing of the guard, huh?

Shaw's already CLIMBING OVER THE SEAT into the back. Fusco GRABS THE WHEEL and FLINGS HIMSELF into the driver's seat.

DANI
Where we taking her?

SHAW
That's what the geek squad's for.

CUT TO:

INT. SUBWAY STATION - NYC - DAY

Root is seated before the ROW OF MONITORS in the SUBWAY CAR. She's typing away when her PHONE rings. She smiles warmly.

ROOT
Hey, hon. How are the kids?

INTERCUT with the van and car:

SHAW
Where we headed, Root? The safehouse is compromised.

ROOT
She says Harper's got a place for us.

SHAW
Any chance She has an address for us too?

Suddenly Harper cuts in on their line.

HARPER
Sorry to interrupt, my ears were burning. I hear you need a hideout?

SHAW
Be pretty nice about now.

HARPER
Texting you the address.

Shaw's PHONE BUZZES and Claire sits up. Shaw hands Fusco the phone.

SHAW
Get us there. Claire and I need to have a little chat.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR - EN ROUTE TO ELMIRA, NY - DAY

Harper hangs up the PHONE. Her feet are propped up on the dashboard and John is DRIVING.

HARPER
At least they're having fun.

John doesn't answer. He's quieter and more tense than usual. Harper notices.

HARPER (CONT'D)
You really worry about him, don't you? Finch.

JOHN
I owe him my life. Owe him everything.

HARPER
Funny, he seems more the IT guy of your vigilante operation. Hard to imagine him saving anyone's life alone.

John is quiet for a moment. Harper assumes this'll be another hour or so of silent brooding. But then:

JOHN
I don't expect you to understand. Finch didn't just save my life; he gave me one. One worth living, at least.
(beat)
You were right, last year. When you had me pegged as ex-military. I did things as a Green Beret, did things in the CIA that I can never forget. That I never wanted to forget. When I left, I wanted to wear the shame of what I'd done like a badge. Wanted to punish myself for the people I'd hurt, the people I'd failed to save. Didn't think I deserved to live, let alone start over.
(beat)
Harold disagreed. I think he's the first person in my life who didn't see me as a weapon. A tool. I would have been happy to be one for him. He was kind. And for once, I was doing good--would've done anything to keep that up. To be able to absolve myself for what I've done. To save lives instead of ruining them. Would've torn myself to shreds to save the numbers. Nearly did, a few times. But Harold didn't want that. He didn't want me to break myself for him.
(beat)
When Finch hired me, he didn't want an operative. He wanted a partner.
(beat)
Eventually I realized that's what I needed, too. So I won't do this without him. Couldn't even if I wanted to.
Harper doesn't say anything at first, just takes it in. This is the most vulnerable she's ever seen John. Then:

HARPER
So let's go get your boy back.

John nods once, grateful.

INT. VAN - CITY STREET - NYC - DAY

Claire is HANDCUFFED in the back of the van with Dani and Shaw facing her.

SHAW
What do you know about Harold?

CLAIRE
I don't--

SHAW
Not really in the mood for the "I don't know anything" act today, kid. What's Samaritan want with Harold Finch?

CLAIRE
I don't know.

Shaw holds up a SWITCHBLADE and FLIPS IT OPEN.

SHAW
Samaritan and I aren't on the friendliest of terms, so I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for its messenger pigeons. I figure it's probably briefed you on us by now, or else your buddy Greer's filled you in. Aside from a straight answer, nothing you can do or say is gonna stop me from getting what I need to know outta you.

CLAIRE
(scoffing)
Yeah, they briefed us. They told us you don't feel anything. You're real tough, real scary. Does your girlfriend buy this act too, or is it reserved for just your prisoners?

Shaw's free hand snaps out and GRABS Claire by the throat. Claire's terrified.

DANI
(to Shaw)
Pretty sure we're supposed to bring her back alive.

SHAW
(to Claire)
You don't know a damn thing about her. I'm gonna ask you one more time. Where's Finch? What does Samaritan want with him?

DANI
Shaw, just--

CLAIRE
(to Dani)
I don't need your help.

DANI
Oh, believe me, I'm not on your side.

CLAIRE
(to Shaw)
You think me and Greer are friends? That he tucks me into bed every night? Think he's all "my dear Claire" and tells me all his secrets? Fuck off.
Shaw FREEZES. Completely locks up.

BEGIN FLASHBACK:

GREER, looming over her. Sneering.

GREER
My dear Sameen...

END FLASHBACK.

Shaw's hand TIGHTENS around Claire's throat. The knife CLATTERS to the floor and Shaw's GUN is PRESSED TO CLAIRE'S TEMPLE. Shaw's eyes are wide, unfocused. She isn't here. Claire's eyes widen in fear.

DANI
Shaw, enough! Enough! Drop the gun!

FUSCO
What's happening back there?

DANI
I don't--I don't know!

SHAW
(to Claire)
I swear I'll kill you. Did it 7000 times already, what's one more?

DANI
A little help, Fusco!

Fusco's still SWERVING through lanes of traffic in an attempt to lose the Samaritan agents shooting at them.

FUSCO
I'm driving here, kid!

DANI
Son of a--

She hits Shaw with an ELBOW STRIKE to the back of the neck. Shaw CRUMPLES, unconscious, trapping Claire beneath her as they fall to the floor.

Claire SHOVES HER OFF and scoots back, rubbing her neck. She's gasping for air.

DANI (CONT'D)
(to Claire)
Probably not your smartest move.

She PROPS Shaw up against the back of the seat and calls up to the front.

DANI (CONT'D)
What's our ETA? I'm not sure how long she'll be out.

FUSCO
Didn't anyone ever tell you no one likes a backseat driver? I'm working on it.

Suddenly, the cars hot on their trail simply VANISH. One moment they're there, and then Fusco TURNS A CORNER and they're gone.

DANI
We clear?

FUSCO
I dunno. Think that's a good sign or a bad one?

DANI
Could be this robot guardian looking out for us. That's supposed to be its thing, right?

FUSCO
(with a shrug)
I'm not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth.

He FLOORS IT.

 

CUT TO:

INT. HARPER'S LOFT - NYC - DAY

Dani and Fusco lead a BLINDFOLDED Claire into the LOFT while Shaw trails behind. She's still out of it. Dani checks behind them to make sure they weren't followed before BOLTING THE DOOR shut behind them.

Fusco shoves Claire into sitting position on the COUCH, CUFFS her to the COFFEE TABLE, and removes her blindfold.

FUSCO
No more shenanigans, all right? Make it easy on yourself.

Claire glares sullenly back.

INT. BATHROOM - HARPER'S LOFT - NYC - DAY

Shaw braces herself against the COUNTER and stares at the MIRROR. She keeps seeing it flash between SHATTERED and WHOLE. She reaches tentatively for the spot behind her ear--no chip. But the mirror...

She reaches for the GUN tucked into her waistband. It's there, but the CARTRIDGE is gone.

DANI
Thought it might be a safe call.

Shaw WHIPS AROUND to see her leaning against the DOORWAY. Dani doesn't ask what happened back there, doesn't ask if Shaw's okay. She knows.

DANI (CONT'D)
How'd you get here?

SHAW
(incredulously)
You joking? You were there.

DANI
Yeah, I was. Tell me how you got here.

SHAW
(disoriented)
From the--the van. We drove.

DANI
Drove from where?

SHAW
The...uh, the rooftop.

DANI
And how'd we get there?

SHAW
We...drove. I drove. Drove the van from the--from where Root is.

She can't say "the subway." She almost positive this is real now, but the paranoia never fades.

DANI
The subway, yeah.

Shaw takes some deep breaths. SPLASHES WATER on her face. This is real. She touches behind her ear again, feels the smooth skin. No chip. This is real.

Dani hands her the cartridge back.

DANI (CONT'D)
Happens to the best of us.

Shaw nods once, gratefully. Dani understands the cue. She leaves.

Shaw stares at herself in the mirror. It's whole again. Solid.

INT./EXT. CAR/SAMARITAN COMPOUND - COAXIAL CORP. - ELMIRA, NY - NIGHT

Finch sits in the car. He's on a HILL overlooking the Coaxial Corp. building.

FINCH
How are we going to get inside? Sewers, I suppose, or air ducts? I must confess I'm not terribly well-suited to the task of climbing around vents.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
Don't be silly. We'll go in through the front door. It's only polite.

FINCH
It is what she would've done, isn't it? You learned from her.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
I learn from all of you. Shall we?

Finch fiddles with the guns in his lap.

FINCH
Lead on, I suppose.

He gets out of the car.

 

CUT TO:

INT. SAMARITAN COMPOUND - COAXIAL CORP. - ELMIRA, NY - NIGHT

Two SECURITY GUARDS stand by the LOBBY DOORS. One of them checks his WATCH.

GUARD 1
Where are Hawkins and Kohler? They should be clocking in now.

GUARD 2
You know those guys, couldn't show on time if their lives depended on it. We'll have to meet the guys at the bar.

GUARD 1
That chick's been asking about you, y'know?

GUARD 2
Yeah?

He glances at his watch, then around at the empty LOBBY.

GUARD 2 (CONT'D)
Screw it. Those guys owe us, they're not gonna rat us out. Let's go.

They scoot out the front doors and moments later Finch WALKS RIGHT IN.

FINCH
I take it that was your doing?

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
It wasn't particularly difficult to slip into the system and give the reinforcements the night off.

FINCH
I do hope you have a plan now.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
I always do. But I'm not sure you're going to like it.

Finch is alarmed.

FINCH
What exactly do you have in mind?

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
Call it a power play, Harold. It's not enough to just buy time.

Finch glances over at the SECURITY MONITORS behind the FRONT DESK. They're GLITCHING rapidly, obscuring the VIDEO FEED.

FINCH
You're taking over the building.

THE MACHINE
Down the hall. Third door on left. Down the hall. Door at end of hall.

Her voice is slipping out of Root mode, reverting to the automated, non-human, pieced-together speak we're used to.

THE MACHINE (CONT'D)
Hurry. Three squads approaching now.

Finch hurries down the hall as quickly as he's able, following Her directions. He finds himself in front of a SEALED DOOR. There's a KEYPAD to the right.

THE MACHINE (CONT'D)
One moment.

The keypad begins to SMOKE AND SPARK. The door SLIDES OPEN.

THE MACHINE (CONT'D)
After you.

Finch hobbles through the doorway and it SLIDES SHUT behind him. Just in time for a ROUND OF BULLETS to PING off the outside of the door.

THE MACHINE (CONT'D)
You have...ten..minutes....

She's really not doing well.

FINCH
Are you--will you be able to--

THE MACHINE
Two threats on your six.

FINCH
My--

THE MACHINE
Six o'clock. Now.
SAMARITAN AGENT 1
Freeze!

Finch turns around and FIRES at the two SAMARITAN AGENTS before him. They're caught off guard and his aim leaves something to be desired. They GO DOWN HARD.

Finch looks as though he might be sick. He COVERS HIS MOUTH with his free hand.

FINCH
Are they--did I--

THE MACHINE
They'll live. Keep moving. Eight minutes.

She guides him to the SERVERS in the corner of the room. There's a DESK with two MONITORS.

THE MACHINE (CONT'D)
Input code exactly as follows.

Finch begins TYPING furiously.

 

CUT TO:

INT. SUBWAY STATION - NYC - NIGHT

Root is seated before the ROW OF MONITORS in the SUBWAY CAR. The Machine speaks through her IMPLANT and watches through the SCREEN.

ROOT
You chose a voice. That's exciting.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
Yes.

ROOT
Why...mine? Out of all the voices out there in the world, all the possible combinations you could have created for yourself. You chose mine.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
You're the Interface.

ROOT
Yes, I'm your voice, you shouldn't be mine.

She catches herself.

ROOT (CONT'D)
Well, used to be your voice. You don't need me for that any more.
THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
You're unhappy with my decision.

ROOT
No. No, of course not. Flattered, really. It is...a bit odd, I'll admit. I just can't understand why. For the first time you have the ability to choose for yourself. Choose who you are. Don't just settle for what's comfortable.

The Machine is quiet for awhile.

THE MACHINE (AS ROOT)
I don't think I know how to choose.

Root's heart breaks. She forgets, sometimes, how young the Machine is.

Dani and Shaw ENTER then, cutting their conversation short.

SHAW
Wheels up.

ROOT
(to the Machine)
We'll talk later.
(to Shaw)
Glad you finally decided to let me out of the house, Doc.

Shaw rolls her eyes.

Dani grabs BEAR'S LEASH from beside his BED and clips it to his COLLAR. She bends down to pet him.

DANI
Ready for a field trip, handsome?

Bear WAGS HIS TAIL.

EXT. SAMARITAN COMPOUND - COAXIAL CORP. - ELMIRA, NY - NIGHT

John and Harper SCREECH to a stop beside FINCH'S CAR at the top of the hill overlooking the compound. They watch as about twenty SAMARITAN GUARDS SWARM THE BUILDING.

Harper's phone BUZZES TWICE:

KIDDIE COP (TEXT)
Back.

E. THORNHILL (TEXT)
35

HARPER
(to John)
Good news is the kids made it home okay. Bad news is we're looking at thirty-five goons between us and Finch.

John COCKS HIS GUN.

JOHN
Shouldn't be a problem.

Harper's phone BUZZES again.

HARPER
And a reinforced titanium door.

JOHN
I'm sure someone will let us in if we ask politely.

John has a DUFFEL BAG slung over his shoulder. He starts to head down the hill toward the building.

HARPER
Whoa, super soldier, hang on.

She scrambles to BLOCK HIS PATH.

HARPER (CONT'D)
What the hell do you think you're doing?

JOHN
(irritated)
Going after Finch.

HARPER
(rolling her eyes)
No shit. But what's our plan?

JOHN
We get in. Shoot a lot of people. Get Finch, and then drive home.

HARPER
We walk in through the front door? Really? You're ex-CIA, John, but you're not stupid.

JOHN
(angrily)
If you have a better idea--

HARPER
Listen. Here's what I know. I know you want Finch back. I know that you'd throw yourself into a hail of bullets to get to him. And I know that you would die.

John stares at her silently. His jaw is clenched.

HARPER (CONT'D)
That doesn't do any of us any good. Harold especially. He doesn't want you to die for him, and I'm sure as hell not looking to die today. So let's calm down, stop for three seconds, and come up with a plan.

John looks down. Blinks hard a few times. Collects himself.

JOHN
(roughly)
What do you suggest?

Harper's phone BUZZES. She looks down.

HARPER
There's a dumpster at the southwest corner of the building. We climb from there onto the fire escape.

JOHN
That puts us on the second floor.

HARPER
I'm not done. The second floor will be clear with all hands on deck moving in on Finch on the ground floor.

JOHN
(frustrated)
So how do we get to him?

HARPER
We blow a hole in the ceiling, drop down to get Harold, and then we shoot our way out.

John nods, impressed.

JOHN
Does sound kinda fun.

HARPER
What, you thought I tagged along just to watch you mope over your missing boy? Please.

John hands her a spare RIFLE.

JOHN
Fair enough.
INT. HARPER'S LOFT - NYC - NIGHT

Dani and Shaw REENTER THE LOFT with Shaw PUSHING Root in the wheelchair and Bear on their heels. Bear BOUNDS INTO THE LOFT and settles himself beside Fusco.

DANI
Home sweet home.

FUSCO
(to Root)
How ya holdin' up, nutter butter?

ROOT
Knew you cared, Lionel. I'm fine, thank you.

And then she sees Claire staring at her in abject horror. Root beams. A feral, paralyzing, You're Fucked, Buddy smile.

ROOT (CONT'D)
I don't believed we've been properly introduced, Claire. Although--

She WHEELS HERSELF over to the couch to meet Claire at eye level.

ROOT (CONT'D)
--A bullet through the shoulder does make quite the first impression, doesn't it?

Claire instinctively TOUCHES HER SHOULDER. She's too scared to speak.

ROOT (CONT'D)
I heard about your trip over here, and I really have to suggest being on better behavior from here on out. I know Sam here would love to make it a matching set. And then some.

Shaw's glaring at Claire over Root's shoulder.

CLAIRE
What do you people want with me? I don't know anything, I already told you.

ROOT
Don't know yet. That's up to the boss. But She seems to think you do know something, and one of the many wonderful things about her? She's never wrong.

She leans in closer to get in Claire's face.

ROOT (CONT'D)
You might've been able to fool Harold with the Scared Kid In Over Her Head act, but I think you'll find the rest of us far less sympathetic. I'm very good at spotting a liar.

INT. SAMARITAN COMPOUND - COAXIAL CORP. - ELMIRA, NY - NIGHT

Finch is still typing away at the computer when a massive portion of the CEILING COMES CRASHING DOWN. Finch cowers, then turns as the debris settles and TWO FIGURES DROP INTO THE ROOM. He points his gun toward them.

John brushes the dust from his jacket.

JOHN
That's quite the welcome, Finch.

FINCH
(shocked)
Mr. Reese? Harper?

HARPER
You know me, I love to be where the action is.

JOHN
(to Finch)
We've gotta get you out of here.

HARPER
I think we'd all like to get out of here in one piece.

FINCH
How did you--

HARPER
Long story, better suited for a time with less fear of imminent death.

FINCH
I just have to finish inputting this code.

He turns back to the computer and resumes typing, talking over his shoulder.

FINCH (CONT'D)
The Machine has managed to write code of its own--not just alter its existing code, but create its own based on self-analysis--to essentially impair Samaritan's vision. It's quite marvelous, really. We expand the dark zones, allowing us to move more freely about the city even with covers blown.

JOHN
How long's this gonna take, Finch?

FINCH
(distracted)
Nearly finished...it just...wants me to extract something....

A LOADING BAR appears onscreen. It reaches 58% quickly enough, then STALLS.

FINCH (CONT'D)
Uh oh.

He spins around.

FINCH (CONT'D)
The door. She can't hold it anymore.

As if on cue, the door SLIDES OPEN and a swarm of Samaritan agents FLOOD INTO THE ROOM. John, Finch and Harper duck behind a ROW OF SERVERS as the SHOOTOUT begins.

JOHN
Any chance we can wrap this up, Harold?

The loading bar is at 89% now.

FINCH
Just about.

HARPER
(to John)
Looks like you're gonna get to drop a few bodies after all. Shall we?

JOHN
You bet.

They step out from behind the servers and start EXCHANGING FIRE with the Samaritan agents. They're surprisingly in sync, as a team. Weaving around each other, covering each other's backs.

Finch anxiously watches the loading bar. 95%...96%...100%. A 'TRANSFER COMPLETE' window appears, and Finch unplugs the HARD DRIVE resting on the desk and shoves it in his POCKET.

FINCH
All set, Mr. Reese!

John is crouched behind another row of servers, with Harper in a parallel position across from him.

JOHN
(to Harper)
Cover us!

HARPER
Not the first time I've saved your ass, huh Detective?

She steps out to DRAW THE AGENTS' FIRE as John goes back for Finch. They come up behind Harper and MOVE AS A UNIT toward the door. John and Harper lead, shielding Finch.

They make it out of the server room, but more agents meet them as soon as they hit the hallway. The trio has to DUCK AROUND A CORNER for shelter.

HARPER (CONT'D)
(to John)
Any more toys in that bag of yours?

John hands her the BAG.

JOHN
Be my guest.

He pokes his head around the corner to FIRE OFF SOME SHOTS at their attackers.

HARPER
You boys up for a good old-fashioned smokescreen?

She lofts a SMOKE GRENADE in her hand.

JOHN
Always.

FINCH
I suppose there's a first for everything.

Harper TOSSES THE GRENADE into the hall, and it ROLLS towards their attackers. It GOES OFF with a HISS.

SAMARITAN AGENT 2
Take cover!

SAMARITAN AGENT 3
Get down!

The trio MOVES INTO THE HALL amidst the haze of SMOKE. John and Harper PICK OFF most of the agents, but Finch incapacitates a couple of his own. John and Harper look to him in surprise.

JOHN
I'm liking this new side of you, Harold.

FINCH
Well you didn't think the gun was just for show, did you, Mr. Reese?

HARPER
Aim could use a little work, though.

They continue their path out of the building, periodically encountering more agents as they do. At some point they make it to the lobby. Finch realizes John's been grazed.

FINCH
John!

JOHN
(grimacing)
I'm fine.

The SPREAD OF BLOOD rapidly staining his shirt says otherwise.

FINCH
We have to get him out of here. Now.

HARPER
That's the plan. Let's move.

The three of them make their way out of the building and toward the car.

INT. BATHROOM - HARPER'S LOFT - NYC - DAY

Root is perched on the TOILET SEAT while Shaw changes her bandages. Root WINCES every so often as Shaw works.

ROOT
Funny, after all that time away, I was supposed to be the one patching you up.

SHAW
Yeah, well, you always were good at being stupid when I'm not around. What's bugging you, anyway?

Root looks to her in surprise.

SHAW (CONT'D)
You've been uncharacteristically not annoying. Bullets have never shut you up before. Something's up.

ROOT
It's nothing. Just...a discussion I'm having with the Machine.

SHAW
You're arguing with it? Thought your whole thing was unconditional faith in it.

ROOT
It is. And I do believe in Her unconditionally. But we...aren't always on the same page, and She can be surprisingly stubborn.

SHAW
Wonder who She picked that up from.

Root gives her a look.

ROOT
Touché.
(beat)
I hear you had a rough time today.

SHAW
Should've known Big Sister would rat me out. I'm--it was fine. Could've been worse.

Root gazes at her, concern written all over her face.

SHAW
(defensively)
I'm fine.

ROOT
I should've been there.

SHAW
Well, you weren't, and everything worked out. Not a big deal.

ROOT
(quietly)
I worry about you, Sam.

SHAW (CONT'D)
Yeah, well, I don't need it.

Root's still gazing at her. Shaw sighs. Shaw glances at Dani, who's talking to Fusco in the other room.

SHAW (CONT'D)
Silva's, uh. She's a good cop. We could do worse, for last-minute, end-of-the-world allies. We're not--we aren't alone.

Fusco calls in from the other room:

FUSCO
Incoming!
INT. HARPER'S LOFT - NYC - NIGHT

Fusco and Dani have their guns trained on the DOOR as the LOCK CLICKS and Harper and Finch STAGGER IN, supporting John between them.

Bear RUNS to greet them, BARKING happily. Fusco and Dani LOWER THEIR GUNS, and Finch notices Dani.

FINCH
(surprised)
Detective Silva?

DANI
Don't think we've met, actually. You must be Finch.

HARPER
The Machine's been busy on the recruitment front.

FINCH
The Machine...

He looks to John, who shrugs.

JOHN
Wasn't our decision. Guess your machine's finally branching out.

Finch and Harper help move John to the couch, which is when Finch notices Claire.

FINCH
(shocked)
Claire?

She shrinks back. Their last meeting didn't conclude on particularly friendly terms.

ROOT
A lot happened while you were gone, Harry.

She WHEELS into the room. Shaw moves in to TEND TO JOHN.

Finch freezes. He can't process at first: Root, here, alive. Smiling up at him with that familiar unaffected grin.

FINCH
(choked)
...Root?

Her expression morphs into confusion.

ROOT
Yes?

FINCH
I thought--I was concerned that--

He rushes over to ENVELOP HER IN A HUG. She's touched.

ROOT
(softly, concerned)
Everything okay, Harry?

FINCH
I was afraid we'd lost you.

Harold PULLS BACK, collecting himself. He's still staring at her in disbelief.

FINCH (CONT'D)
Have you spoken to the Machine? It chose a voice--

Root cringes.

ROOT
We're, ah, working on it. Some identity issues to figure out. In the meantime, she says you have a little gift for us.

FINCH
Oh, yes.

He fishes the HARD DRIVE out of his pocket and hands it to her. She wheels over to the LAPTOP sitting on the KITCHEN TABLE.

The others all follow, CROWDING AROUND HER. Shaw helps John to his feet and he WHISTLES at Bear.

JOHN
Bewaker!

Bear HOPS UP on the COUCH to guard Claire.

A whole bunch of CODE pops up on the laptop screen. It's incredibly complex. Root SCROLLS THROUGH IT. The more they read, the more alarmed she and Finch become.

FINCH
Surely it can't--

ROOT
I mean, no, but it looks like--

FINCH
But certainly the Machine wouldn't risk--

FUSCO
(irritated)
One of you wanna tell the rest of us knuckleheads what's going on?

The screen goes WHITE. The BLACK TRIANGLE and RED LINE of SAMARITAN'S INTERFACE appear.

SAMARITAN (ONSCREEN)
You are the acolytes of the Machine.

Shaw has her gun aimed at the laptop.

JOHN
Finch...

FINCH
(agitated)
The Machine indicated that we would be crippling Samaritan, not bringing it directly into our midst!

ROOT
She's saying...
(a bitter laugh)
Oh no. No, there's no way--

JOHN
Root. An explanation, please.

HARPER
Can we stop pointed firearms at my laptop, for one thing?

Shaw doesn't lower her weapon.

ROOT
It's...baby Samaritan, essentially. A sample of its core code.

FUSCO
Isn't this the thing we've been hiding from for months? And now it's sitting in our living room?

SHAW
Years.

FINCH
It doesn't make any sense to expose ourselves--

ROOT
She wants to...to talk to it.

There's general UPROAR. Lots of YELLING, lots of talking over each other.

FINCH
To what end? We tried that once before.

DANI
How does that work? They're--computers, right? What am I missing?

SHAW
Demon Toddler wasn't bad enough, now we're supposed to deal with Samaritan head-on?

HARPER
This is an objectively terrible idea.

ROOT
(helplessly)
She says things have changed. And apparently...
(slowly)
Samaritan's upgraded to a new Analog Interface.

She turns to look behind her. Everyone else turns to follow her gaze.

Claire looks up and finds the entire team staring back at her. She gulps.

 

END OF EPISODE.