Person of Interest Recap: Prophets

By Kitin Miranda | 2 years ago
Person of Interest Recap: Prophets

“Person of Interest” Season 4 Episode 5 “Prophets” aired last Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on CBS. In this episode, Detective John Riley, or John Reese (Jim Caviezel), was forced to go to mandated therapy sessions due to the fact that he had shot six people in the knees since he transferred to homicide. Meanwhile, Sameen Shaw (Sarah Shahi), Root (Amy Acker) and Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) team up together in order to protect their newest number, Simon Lee (Jason Ritter), who unknowingly found himself to be one of Samaritan’s targets. Read on to learn more about this episode.

At the beginning of the episode, the Samaritan interface found chatter on the polls in the ongoing New York Gubernatorial election, where incumbent Governor Murray was leading against his rival, Michelle Perez, 52 percent to 48 percent.


Meanwhile, on top of a rooftop, Detective John Riley (Jim Caviezel) and his partner, Detective Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman), tried to stop a suspect from jumping off a building. In the end, John shot him in the knee, which forced Internal Affairs to put him on desk duty and to attend mandated therapy sessions with Dr. Campbell. John then asked Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), if there was a new number and if they needed his help. However, Finch thought that therapy might be beneficial for him and told him that their new  number was Simon Lee (Jason Ritter), a pollster for Governor Murray, who had predicted that Murray would win, 52 to 48, and that he had been a pollster before and was always correct about his numbers. He then told John to stay put and attend therapy as Sameen Shaw (Sarah Shahi) had it covered. In order to keep an eye on Simon, she had to be one of those on the telephone campaign. During her break, she told Finch that Simon was clean and that he often kept hard copy backups, which he placed in a safe, and had no relationships outside of work.

However, at that moment, things got interesting as they learned that Murray was leading by 51 percent, and the Perez got 49 percent. The campaign manager, Mike Fisher, was not happy as the numbers did not match his predictions.

All of a sudden, Root came into their headquarters in order to get changed, as her latest identity, UN Translator Sarah Cook, had retired. As Root changed behind him, Finch asked her why they were tied to specific personas, while hers was “more fluid.” Shen then told him that every couple of days, she had to change her identity. Now, she was Karen Iverson of the New York Journal. She told him that her communication with The Machine was very limited, but it had given Finch a hard copy and digital shadow map of New York, which would tell him the spots in New York were without surveillance cameras and where the blind spots of every camera was. The Machine also gave him a message — “Sometimes, it’s better not to know.”

Back at the campaign headquarters of Governor Murray, Shaw reported to Finch that Murray was behind. Perez was leading by 52 percent, while Murray only had 48 percent, and the campaign manager, Mike Fisher, was not happy at all. Simon insisted that it was numerically impossible for that to happen. Murray then thanked them all for their hard work. However, Fisher, who blamed Simon for Murray’s loss, punched Simon, which led to a fight that Murray had to break up.

The scene then flashbacked to Oct.13, 2001, where Finch, who had been idenitifed by one  of the earlier versions of The Machine as its Admin, was trying to teach it word problems so that he could teach it the right “set of values” or as Nathan Ingram (Brett Cullen) put it, morality, before entering in the data. However, he had to kill it right away as it had lied to him about the fact that it had written itself a new string of code in its programming.

Back in the present day, Simon told Murray that the elections had been rigged and that there was a conspiracy against them as he had discovered that the autodialer had gone rogue, as more than a thousand calls to potential voters did not go through.

Meanwhile, John’s attempt to sell a sob story to Dr. Campbell did not pay off. As he started to leave, Dr. Campbell told him that if he did not comply with his mandated therapy session, he could lose his job, as he was currently under investigation by Internal Affairs.

Shaw, who had followed Simon to the election commissioner’s office, was surprised when Root sat down beside her. Simon was able to gain an audience with the election commissioner, who had been dealing with a disgruntled employee, who he had fired and had escorted out of the building. As Simon told the commissioner that the ballot scanners had been rigged, Shaw filled Root in on what had been happening. Root then realized that The Machine wanted her there as everything was connected. However, they were stopped short as the disgruntled employee went on a shooting spree and was about to shoot Simon and the commissioner, but Shaw intercepted him and placed a bullet in his knee.  

They then realized that the votes had been rigged by Samaritan and that it had turned the disgruntled employee into a potential killer.


Back on Nov. 29, 2001, Finch had to kill another version of The Machine, as it had manipulated Nathan into giving it his password so that it could hack into Nathan’s computer and escape to the outside world. Finch then realized that he would have to build The Machine with several constraints so that they could control it. If they don't, then Finch feared that one day, it would control them.

Back in the present day, they realized that Samaritan was starting to interfere in human affairs and that Simon would be killed if he went public with his conspiracy theory.  They also realized that they could not directly interact with him, as that could blow their cover. However, they were surprised when John arrived at the scene with an Internal Affairs bodyguard. They warned him off the case and told him that he would be of help if he returned to his therapy session so that he could keep his job and his cover intact. They also realized that Samaritan had positioned Perez into power as it wanted to control the executive powers of the State of New York. Because of this, Finch asked Root’s help in order to uncover anything they could use to get Michelle Perez to step down quietly. After some digging, they discovered that she had been arrested once under a different name for solicitation. Finch then sent it to her anonymously and hoped that she would step down quietly.

While they did this, Finch told Root that he knew that The Machine had not been talking to her as of late. She told him that The Machine could not talk to her directly, as it would be heard by Samaritan, but she gets whispers — clues hidden in infomercials or in the “static of a phone.” As they prepared to attend Perez’s victory party, Root made sure that she had some guns in her purse, just in case.

The two were able to enter the party, as Root’s cover was that she was part of the press.  During Governer Elect Michelle Perez’s speech, Shaw told them that Simon was at the party in order to confront Perez about the fixed votes. As Root noticed Martine (Carla Buono), a Samaritan operative in the crowd, they decided to fall back and try to figure out how to get Simon out. However, all of a sudden, Perez collapsed dead on the stage. Martine then fell back, as her goal was now to get Simon.

On Dec. 31, 2001, Nathan was surprised to find Finch getting rid of a fire. He had run several versions of The Machine to see which one was the best one, but they started to exterminate each other. The last one tried to suffocate him as it wanted to be released. Finch then told Nathan that he would try one last time the next day, as Finch realized that he needed to “teach it how to care.”  

Back in the present day, they were able to force Simon into a hotel, where they disabled the cameras and all electronic equipment. They then set up camp beside Simon’s room in order to protect him. Shaw then left figure out a way to get Simon out and called John up for help.

In the room, Root and Finch realized that Samaritan had wanted the Lieutenant Governor Nick Dawson to be in charge instead of Perez. Root then suggested that they try to figure out Samaritan’s endgame based on the way The Machine operates. However, Finch told her that even he did not understand The Machine and revealed to her that he did not trust it, as its earlier incarnations had tried to trick and kill him. Because of this, he robbed its memory and a voice. Now that it has both, it scared him. Root, however, insisted that he was wrong and that it cared for them. Proof of that would be the fact that it had taught her to value life. However, they were at war, a war that needed to be won — Finch agreed with this. However, Root reminded him that if they were to win the war, not all of them would be able to make it out alive. Suddenly, Root was able to hear The Machine, who instructed her to go downstairs and to fight Martine.

Because of the shots that were fired in the lobby, Simon was able to escape with the crowd, while Root got shot in the shoulder. In a dark alleyway, Shaw knocked him out, and John took Simon’s wallet in order to make it appear like a mugging.

The next day, Finch, posing as a reporter, told him that the facts he had sent him had no story and that there was no conspiracy involved. After taking a look at the numbers on his computer and his hard copy files, he saw that the numbers showed that Murray would have lost. Outside, Shaw gave Finch the hard copy of the real file, as Finch had changed both the digital and soft copies of his numbers.

At therapy, John finally opened up to the therapist that he needed to be a cop in order to save people and that he was one of those who could. He also told the therapist that he could not save a good detective that he had known well — Detective Joss Carter. He then told her that if he couldn’t save others, then “no one else will.”

Meanwhile, Finch watched as Simon called Murray and apologized for his mistake. He now believed that there was no conspiracy against them, and Samaritan labeled him as an irrelevant number. Finch was pleasantly surprised to see Root, who told him that The Machine was different from Samaritan as The Machine had something that Samaritan did not have — him.

At the headquarters of Perez, John Greer, posing as an adviser from the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs convinced Nick Dawson to accept the position as Governor so that they and Samaritan could control him. It was then revealed that they had more politicians in their pockets, spread all over the country, in different levels of government, as Samaritan wanted to control humanity. They were then given a new order by Samaritan — to find The Machine.

And that was all for the recap of “Person of Interest” Season 4 Episode 5 “Prophets.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “Person of Interest” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).

Catch "Person of Interest" every Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. on CBS.

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