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301Liberty309The Crossing317Root Path (/)
302Nothing to Hide310The Devil's Share” (Multiple) 318Allegiance
303Lady Killer311Lethe” (Finch) 319Most Likely To...
304Reasonable Doubt312Aletheia” (Finch) 320Death Benefit
305Razgovor” (Shaw) 3134C321Beta” (Grace)
306Mors Praematura314Provenance322A House Divided” (Collier)
307The Perfect Mark315Last Call323Deus Ex Machina” (Collier)
308Endgame” (Carter) 316RAM

POI 0312 Main



Air dateJanuary 7, 2014

Running time

Production code2J7612

Written byLucas O’Connor

Directed byRichard J. Lewis


Images (50)

There's a time for a hammer and a time for a scalpel. It's hammer time.

— Shaw

"Aletheia" is the 12th episode of season 3, and the 57th produced hour of Person of Interest. It originally aired on January 7, 2014.


Multiple enemies converge on the POI team as they protect a dying man whose number has come up. They struggle to keep their enemies at bay but without Reese, who has left them and their mission behind following the tragic war with HR, being down one man could have catastrophic repercussions for the team.

Origin of the Title

Aletheia (ἀλήθεια) is a Greek word meaning disclosure, lack of concealment or truth. It is associated with German philosopher Martin Heidegger's view of disclosure not as truth but as being open. As we see in the episode, the various characters have experiences which force them to be open, but not necessarily truthful, about events in the past and present. It is etymologically linked to Λήθη (Lethe).

Main Plot Points

Samaritan is placed in the hands of John Greer and thus Decima Technologies


Episode Notes

  • This two-episode arc makes several references to Finch's days at MIT with Claypool and Ingram. MIT is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the most select four-year colleges in the U.S. Best known for its curriculum in mathematics, science and technology, MIT emphasizes research and technology education, with a faculty including multiple Nobel Prize laureates. Although not part of the original ARPANET, it has a long history of research tied to the development of modern computer technology and defense. It also has a reputation, along with Caltech and Stanford University, for having a highly creative student body given to pranks and other high profile activities.
  • This episode explains why Finch uses bird names: as an homage to his father who was fond of birds. The book young Harold gives to his father in the nursing home is Eastern Birds by Roger Tory Peterson, a field guide to identifying birds in eastern North America.
  • Rudiger Smoot, the false identity that Finch created to open a bank account on a dare, refers to a common MIT student joke. Smoot refers to a non-standard unit of measure first used by undergraduate Oliver R. Smoot to measure the length of the Harvard Bridge as part of a fraternity initiation. MIT jokes involving measures in smoots (roughly 5' 7", Smoot's height) have become so well known that the ridges in the bridge are now one smoot apart, as opposed to the traditional 6'. Oliver Smoot went on to become chair of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and later President of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), bodies charged with standardization of various units and measurements.
  • The quote "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places." is drawn from Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, his romantic novel set amid the Italian Campaign during World War I. The novel was published in 1929, and is known for securing Hemingway's reputation as an American novelist.
  • The reduction in hearing range with age is genuine; the Morse code audio broadcast to Root is in the range that older people cannot hear but younger people can.

Production Notes

  • This episode is the second of a two episode arc, beginning with “Lethe”.

Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • In the opening scenes, the video shot of Control exiting the elevator shows her with a yellow square when she should have had a red square at that time.
  • The date stamp in the first flashback appears to be incorrect. According to the Machine, Harold's phone phreak in “Lethe” occurred on November 4, 1979. The date stamp in “Aletheia” when Harold's father leaves for the retirement home also shows 1979, yet it appears to be spring outside since the grass is green and birds are singing. It is more likely that this flashback takes place in 1980.



  • The license plate of the Acura Harold steals in the opening has the plate NSO-7946. This may be a digitally altered version of the plate NSQ-7947 seen on Hector Alvarez's Camaro in “Get Carter”.
  • Young Harold is seen hacking ARPANET with a homemade computer. This was previously referenced in “2πR”. Later in the scene, he is seen dialing a telephone number with the area code 703.
  • At that time, 703 served most of the Washington DC metropolitan area.
  • The date Young Harold hacks into ARPANET is October 27, 1980. In real life, ARPANET experienced a 4 hour long outage on October 27, 1980. In reality, the outage was later shown to be caused by a hardware malfunction.
  • The bird in the tree that Harold's father fails to identify is an American Robin, which makes the scene particularly tragic as this is one of the first birds most people learn in North America. The copy of Roger Tory Peterson's Eastern Birds that Harold leaves with his dad may be the (then) recently-published 4th edition, (copyright 1980). The birds on the pond outside The Pines are Tundra Swans.
  • The Machine sends an actual message through Morse code at a frequency of about 14,200 HZ. It can be decoded as "SORRY.(...) INCREASED PERSPIRATION. HEART RATE AND BREATHING ELEVATED. INDICATIVE OF FEAR.(...) 2 OCLOCK. 2007 ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT TORN. SURGICAL REPAIR PARTIAL SUCCESS. 2010 PHYSICAL THERAPY DISCONTINUED AGAINST DOCTORS ADVICE.(...) 8 OCLOCK."[1] A fan-made clip of the Morse code scene with both the regular frequency and the lowered frequency (to compare, for those who could not hear the higher frequency--more likely older viewers) in the episode can be found here.
  • The two "drives" shown in this episode are actually two 500 GB Linear Tape Open (LTO) cartridges, an industry standard for backup due to their high memory density and archivability. [2] These two LTO cartridges would most definitely be sufficient to contain the operating system for Samaritan.


  • "The first one to talk gets to live." (Control, to Finch and Arthur)
  • "We'll need some enhanced methods. Agent Hersh, do you have some ideas?" (Control)
  • "Stealing a car, almost dying... It reminds me of the old days at MIT, Harold." (Arthur)
  • "The world spins on dreamers like you, Harold." (Finch's father)
  • "Harold doesn't need to chase. He's got a certain gravitational pull with the female population." (Arthur)
  • "Seems everybody wants to lock me up." (Root, to Control)
  • "It would be like giving a five-year-old keys to a jet: irresponsible and stupid." (Root, on giving Control access to the Machine)
  • "You should know better than to hit me. You're lucky to be alive." (Reese, to Fusco)
  • "Claypool's been rocking footed pajamas for months." (Shaw, to Finch)
  • "You think you're in charge. It's adorable just how wrong you are." (Root, to Control)
  • "Nothing wrong with jail. Some of the best vacations I ever had were behind bars." (Reese)
  • "I always said banks were meant to be robbed." (Shaw)
  • "Well, I've got finesse coming out of my ass, Harold." (Shaw)
  • "We will expose the abuses our government has perpetrated." (Collier, to Hersh)
  • "Civil liberties cannot be forged in blood." "Violent revolt is an American value." (Finch and Collier)
  • "I urge you to consider what Mr. Reese would do." "Brood?" (Finch and Shaw)
  • "There's a time for a scalpel and a time for a hammer. It's hammer time." (Shaw)
  • "I'm glad you built it Harold. Somebody would have built it eventually. For all our sakes, I'm glad it was you." (Claypool, to Harold, about the Machine)
  • "Mr. Reese, I am inordinately happy to see you!" (Finch, at being rescued)
  • "Lionel, your face looks good all covered up like that." (Shaw, to Lionel wearing mask)
  • "Thank you for your service. You have earned my highest esteem." (Greer, to his agent, before shooting her)
  • "My Samaritan, you are destined for great things." (Greer)
  • "Hey ! Rise and shine, Wonderboy !" (Fusco to Reese)




Start a Discussion Discussions about Aletheia

  • Episode Locations

    14 messages
    • White Collar has used it several times.
    • Do I get brownie points for it being the first time I've seen an episode of White Collar?

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