.exe Recap

The Machine asks Finch how they got to where they are, and points out that he's commandeered the world's most lethal computer virus. It asks if he's considered all the ramifications of what he's going to do, and Finch insists that it's the only way to stop Samaritan. The Machine says that his friends have always been aware of the risk, but it started with Finch when he created the Machine. The AIS wonders if he's considered what would have happened if he hadn't created it, and says that the world would have been a very different place if it hadn't existed.

The Machine runs a scenario of what the world would be like if it didn't exist.

Finch is in his office getting coffee when Nathan returns from the DC. He says that the government wants to extend their contact for another five years, and points out that technically neither one of them needs to work either more. They share a toast to achieving the dream, and Nathan asks if he had any regrets. Finch wonders if they could have done something more meaningful like the DoD project, and wonders if they had stopped the other attacks if they had kept working. Nathan assures him that if the government wants a system like that then they will develop it, if they haven't already. Finch says that he needs to go back to work, and tells Nathan that he can't make it to dinner with Nathan, his wife Olivia, and Olivia's friend. He assures Nathan that he's happy.

The Machine says that Nathan would have lived and Finch was never injured. However, Finch would never have met Grace. He tells it to continue, but the Machine that it will have to wait. Barnett comes in and wonders who Finch is and why he's in his house, and Finch tells him that the combination on his gun safe and the home alarm system is disabled. He advises Barnett not to call the authorities unless he wants the FBI to know about how he sold his propagation module to the Russians. Barnett wonders what Finch wants, and Finch says that he has something that requires a voice-activated password and the module. He's going to go after bigger game than the internet, and tells Barnett that he'll forget him if Barnett forges him. When Barnett asks who he is, Finch says that he's a man who sold the world for $1.

Finch takes Barnett's car and the Machine drives it. He asks what their chance of success is and the Machine warns that it's a long shot but the only one they've got.

In NYC, Reese and Sameen go to the station and discover that Finch hasn't been there. Sameen wonders if Samaritan has caught Finch in the week since he disappeared, but Reese says that it's too risky and they need a strategy. As Sameen prepares to go, the payphone rings.

At the station, Fusco comes in and a uni tells him that a bunch of bodies turned up in a demo'd tunnel in Queens. Fusco checks the newspapers and discover that they're reporting that a serial killer was responsible. SA Martin Leroux comes in and reminds Fusco that they've met before, and asks the detective to join him in an empty office.

Reese brings up a file on Greer, their new Number. He is at the Inter-Governmental Affairs in DC, under the alias Philip Hayes. Reese figures that Finch is going to kill Greer or die trying.

The Machine drives Finch to a private airfield and he boards a private jet under the name Barnett.


The Machine determines what Fusco's life would be without the Machine. He comes in and Detective Bill Szymanski points out that he smells like booze. Szymanski wonders why Fusco came back, and points out that Fusco only got a full pension because he ratted on HR. There's no overtime and all cases are down except missing persons. Fusco is a PI and needs discovery info on a domestic case. Szymanski warns that the new lieutenant has to okay it and takes Fusco into Carter's office. She's out, and Szymanski says that wouldn't appreciate Fusco being there given she busted him. Fusco takes down a framed newspaper article on his testifying against on HR and throws it in the garbage, and then walks out.


The Machine says that Fusco fell into a bad crowd and never met anyone who recalibrated his moral compass. Finch points out that Carter lived but the Machine warns that it's more complicated than that. A man, Bertrand, approaches their car and Finch ushers him into his car and they drive off into the DC traffic.

LeRoux says that a dozen bodies turned up and everyone wants answers. He has Fusco's board of missing persons and says that he found it in the office. Fusco says that he's Homicide, not Missing Persons, and LeRoux says that they'll be working together now.

In DC, Reese and Sameen go to the Office of Intra-Governmental Affair and discover that it's been empty for the last six months. A nearby payphone rings.

Finch drives to Fort Meade and tells the guards that he has Bertrand, the NATO defense Minister of Intelligence with him. The guard lets Finch through.

Reese writes down the new Number, which are geographic coordinates. It's Fort Meade, and he and Sameen head there.

Finch drives past Bertrand's building and says that now they must switch places. He shoots Bertrand with a tranquilizer dart and takes his ID. Finch then goes into the NSA building.


Security analyst Henry Peck discovers that someone is conducting illegal surveillance on a massive scale. He meets with Sameen in the Office of Special Counsel and tells her his suspicions. Once she confirms that Henry hasn't told anyone else, she shoots him dead with a silenced gun and walks away. She tells her partner Michael Cole that they were sent to eliminate a mole, not hear his story. Cole wonders how she can be so sure, and Sameen points out that the intel is never wrong.


The Machine that Sameen would never have met Root if she had continued working for the NSA. Finch enters the NSA building and the Machine confounds the scanner. Once he gets past the security gate, Finch says that he's there to see the Deputy Director. As the guard prepares to check Finch's ID, the scanner shows a gun in another woman' bag. Distracted, the guard lets Finch through. The Machine warns Finch that the building is covered in copper mesh to nullify any signals in or out.

Reese and Sameen are parked outside Fort Meade. The coordinates are for the NSA's next-door recycling center.

Finch arrives at the retinal scanner and it registers him as unauthorized. The soldier comes over and asks if anything is wrong. The scanner finally lets Finch through and he goes into the computer room on the other side. He then loads the Ice-9 virus in past the firewall.

Reese and Sameen get inside the recycling center via a truck going in and enter the basement. Two soldiers go by nearby, and Reese points out that they'll need covers once they're inside.

Finch finishes loading the virus and is notified that a voice password is required. Zachary and his men arrive before he can speak, and Zachary gestures Finch to be silent.

Fusco tries to reach Reese and Finch, and warns that the Feds are on to the missing persons who turned up dead. As he gets to his car, Fusco sees the surveillance camera overhead knocked out. LeRoux knocks him out from behind and complains that Fusco just wouldn't listen.

Zachary takes Finch to the operation center where Greer is waiting. Finch tells him that he thinks he's won but he hasn't, and Greer says that it's time for them to have another talk. He points out that Finch uploaded the virus but didn't enter the password, and asks Finch if he's told the Machine that Ice-9 will kill it along with Samaritan. Finch figures that the Machine has already figured it out and accepted that some sacrifices are necessary. Greer figures that Finch hesitated because he didn't want to destroy the Machine, and assures his prisoner that Samaritan doesn't want the Machine destroyed, either. Samaritan doesn't want the only other one of its kind destroyed. He takes Finch with him, saying there's something he wants to show him.

Reese and Sameen, wearing military uniforms, sneak into the NSA.

Fusco wakes up and finds himself handcuffed. LeRoux asks what Fusco really knows about his organization. Fusco knows that Jeff killed them but not why. LeRoux says that he's only half right: the bodies are on him. He says that it had to be done, and explains that it will look like Fusco was a victim of the same serial killer.

At the NSA, Greer shows Finch all of the good that Samaritan has done. Travers is there and says that they only killed a small minority of people, and Greer insists that they're dragging humanity to a higher plane. He says that the Great Filter is coming and Samaritan is building an ark, and it wants a companion as well: the Machine.

Reese and Sameen continue through the hallways and Reese realize that the last section of numbers correspond to a room in the complex. They enter the room and discover that it's a NSA lockup. The last five numbers are a shelf number, and a wireless modem is there that belonged to Edward Snowden. They figure that they can reach Finch with it, and need a NIPRline to the outside. A man comes in and wonders why they're there, and Sameen shoots him.

Greer says that he's giving Finch the opportunity to save the Machine. He warns that the virus is a tragic mistake, and Finch says that once it has done its work then humanity can determine its own fate. Greer warns that a new ASI will eventually arise, and Finch figures that he's gone mad. A guard informs Travers that they have a security breach and response teams have been dispatched. Meanwhile, Finch says that Greer corrupted Claypool's code, but Greer insists that he can't control Samaritan.

Greer tells Finch to let go and join them, and Finch says that they will never know if Samaritan has any concern for human lives. Because of that, he will never cede control and allow their ASIs to join. Smiling, Greer says that Finch answered his question: if the Machine knows the password. Since Finch said he would never cede control, he would never trust the Machine with it. The door to their room seals shut and Samaritan activates the fire suppression system. Greer says that Samaritan will kill them both but he considers it worth the sacrifice. As the two men choke, Greer insists that history will revere them. he collapses and Finch crawls toward the door. He sees his phone on the table outside.

The Machine contacts the phone via the wireless modem that Reese and Sameen recovered. It flashes the door code, and Finch enters it. The door opens just in time and the cell phone rings. Finch answers it and the Machine explains that Sameen and Reese found a way to reconnect them. The AIS says that Finch is free to help them, but if he does then he might forfeit his only chance to deploy the virus. It points out that Finch has always known that Reese is on borrowed time.


Reese leaves the CIA in time to confront Jessica's husband Peter. However, she sees the darkness in Reese and turns him away. With no purpose, Reese kills himself and his body turns up in the East River a few months later.


Reese and Sameen come to a dead end, and Finch calls to tell them to remove their earwigs. The Samaritan team arrives just as the lights go out and a high-frequency signal goes over the earwigs. Finch opens the door out and tells them to follow him, and the Machine closes the doors behind them. Zachary arrives and receives orders to eliminate all targets.

Finch tells Reese and Sameen that Greer is dead. He says that the Machine has triggered a bomb threat to evacuate the building, and directs his friends to the exit. They refuse to leave him, just as Zachary with his men. He attacks Reese while Sameen shoots at the others. Zachary takes Reese down and prepares to shoot Sameen from behind, but Reese throws a knife into his back. They realize that Finch is gone and run after him, but he seals the door behind him and tells them to go while they can.

LeRoux takes Finch to the river and prepares to shoot him. Fusco says that he doesn't want any part of a world where LeRoux is the good guy, and LeRoux shoots him in the chest. However, when he goes over to check the body, Fusco jumps him and takes his gun. He tells LeRoux that he should have checked him for a vest, and wonders if it's the end of him and his family if he lets LeRoux leave... or if he can make him disappear.

Finch heads to the server room and Root tells him that Reese and Sameen has escaped. It says that it showed him the simulations so that it would help Finch with his decision to eliminate it. Finch points out that the world was just different, not better or worse. Root asks if he's sure and shows him one more simulation.


Greer meets with Senator Garrison and points out all the benefits since Samaritan has taken over. Garrison warns that some of his colleagues have concerns that Samaritan has exceeded its mandate by stepping into the game. Greer warns that Samaritan only follows its own mandates, and tells Garrison to tell his colleagues to focus on their jobs while they still have them. Root comes over and asks Greer if everything is right, and figures that Garrison and people like him will never appreciate what Samaritan has given them because they're bad code. Greer says that Garrison has outlived his usefulness and Root says that she'll take care of him.


The Machine notes that Samaritan would have come into existence no matter what, but with nothing to stand in its way. Finch says that he remembers his promise to never hurt it again, and the Machine assures him that by breaking that promise he will fulfill a larger one. After a moment, Finch goes into the control room and Samaritan tells him to stop or he will destroy its creation along with it. Finch tells it that humanity will exist whether the Machine exists, but the same can't be said of Samaritan. He insists that his Machine's purpose has been consistent: to save and protect humanity, and that's what it's doing now. Finch stares at the computer screen, and the Machine says that it's eight letters and his decision. He realizes that the Machine knew all along, and he enters the password: "Dashwood." The virus activates and the Machine says that they can go. Finch thanks it and leaves.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 15, 2016