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Episode 421: Asylum

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John Reese and Lionel Fusco are handling the double numbers given to the team. The numbers are familiar faces, Dominic the gang leader of The Brotherhood and Carl Elias the head of the Five Families and Crime Lord Supreme in New York City. A simmering feud heated to a boil, as Elias took out four of the Brotherhood’s soldiers and Dominic’s ready to take down Carl and take the title as the head of the Five Families.

Elias set up shop in a former bank, connected to the pneumatic tube system that still connects most of Manhattan. Elias’ men use the tubes to send weapons to locations, so they are at the ready when the men arrive. That’s the way Carl undermined the Brotherhood’s security system, getting the rival gang pretty steamed.

However, the episode opens farther down the East Coast, in the DC Metro area to be exact, as a female school teacher is driving to work, while talking to her husband on her cellphone. She goes to pump the brakes and find they aren’t working, she crashes into a cement embankment off the highway. Seconds after she crashes, a SUV pulls up, a man emerges and puts a black hood over the head of the teacher and transfers her into his vehicle. Control is in the back seat of the SUV; she tells the man to grab the body and he takes a dead woman out of his car and puts her in the teacher’s vehicle along with a bomb. They drive off as the teacher’s car’s blown to bits.

She’s taken to a facility and strapped to a chair, before the bag’s removed from her head. Control asks the woman if she recognizes the man tied to another chair? Control claims that the man’s one of her agents, who also worked for Samaritan and claims the teacher’s his handler. The teacher replies she doesn’t know what Samaritan is, she says she’s a teacher and mother who just wants to get home to her kids. Control shows the teacher her future, if she fails to cooperate, as she puts a bullet between the eyes of her agent. She tells the teacher to talk, or soon she too will be just a spot on the wall.

At the New York City court building, the scene of the murder of the four Brotherhood soldiers, Reese and Fusco are at the scene and John tells Finch he found some sort of plastic canister in a garbage can. Harold informs Reese that it’s a pneumatic tube and tells John that Elias recently purchased the former bank. Reese and Fusco head to the bank to pay Carl a visit.

Just as Harold’s about to end his conversation with Reese, Root’s cellphone rings. Sameen Shaw’s on the other end of the line, she asks if Root’s there then says she’s in trouble and needs her help. The team’s assumed for the last few months that Shaw got killed by Samaritan operative Martine, but the viewers have been aware she was being held captive by Samaritan.

Root’s ecstatic and angry at the news Sameen’s alive, angry at herself, Harold and The Machine, for believing Shaw was dead and that they stopped looking for her. Although she agrees with Finch that the phone call’s likely a trap, it doesn’t dampen her desire to rescue her friend and comrade. Her plan is to force The Machine, to reveal where Shaw’s held, by risking her life.

She leads Finch to the top of a skyscraper, then looks into a surveillance camera and tells The Machine, they’re going to play a game of “Chicken.” Root’s going to walk along the ledge of the roof with her eyes closed, until the Artificial Intelligence System reveals Shaw’s location, or Root falls to her death on the street below. Root’s gamble pays off, as she’s given the location.

John and Lionel get to the bank and Carl tells Reese, that he warned him not to interfere with his conflict with the Brotherhood. However the sound of gunfire above them, is enough to convince Elias to take off with Reese and Fusco. Their escape’s thwarted, as Dominic and his right hand man Link, along with some other soldiers stop them in their tracks.

Root and Finch are at Steiner Psychiatric Institute, which is where the call emanated from. Root tells Harold that a couple of months earlier, this second-rate facility acquired a fiber optics system, far too rich for their budget. The system’s Samaritan’s and Harold’s able to hack into the feed, before receiving a message on his laptop, reading all forces on alert, we will soon isolate The Machine. They quickly disconnect and head towards the facility.

John, Lionel and Elias are all tied to chairs with zip-ties. Turns out that Dominic’s hired himself someone with knowledge of the team, as our friend Harper Rose tells Lionel and John that the Brotherhood’s offer was too good to turn down.

Back in Washington, Control asks the teacher how a girl from Greenwich that went to a prep-school, ended up working for Samaritan. The teacher once again states she’s just a teacher and mother and wants to get home to her kids. Control smiles, saying that the teacher’s trying to gain the security official’s sympathy because Control lost her mother at a young age.

She then shows the teacher some surveillance photos of herself, one with the agent that just got shot and one in a coffee shop. The teacher says the pictures are just coincidences, Control then shows the woman a picture of herself, roaming the White House halls. The tears suddenly stop, the teacher’s face turns hard and she tells Control, she has no idea what’s coming for her.

Root and Harold sneak into the Steiner Institute, by pretending Root’s a doctor and Finch a homeless schizoid. A doctor questions him and Harold says you’re not paranoid if they’re really coming after you. The doctor asks Finch whose after him, he says an Artificial Intelligence System, the government and a New York City gang for starters. Asked his name, Harold replies he goes by many names all derived from species of birds, that’s enough to convince to admit Harold for 72 hours of observation.

Once Finch gets checked in, he’s taken to the patients' common area and he asks one of the patients to point out Lenny. The man points him to a bald giant of a man, Harold goes up to Lenny as he’s working on a puzzle and tells the man, that the two orderlies stole Lenny’s spaceman. Lenny goes after the two orderlies as if he were King Kong, Finch uses the distraction to sneak into an office and access a computer.

He tells Root that Shaw’s likely on the ninth floor, as that’s where they house the most dangerous patients. He then tells Root that a compact female Persian sociopath’s in room 914, that maybe the way they’ve labeled Shaw. Root sneaks in a door and then her mouth drops open. She tells Harold to evacuate immediately, the facilities Samaritan’s base of operations, they’re in the belly of the beast.

Dominic tells Elias that if the older man declares that Dominic’s now head of the Five Families, he’ll let Elias, the two detectives and Carl’s men live. But suddenly that deal’s put on the back burner, as Dominic gets informed that there’s evidence that one of the Brotherhood members actually works for Elias. Dominic gives Carl an option, reveal the mole, or the Brotherhood will wipe out all of Elias’ men.

Root sneaks into room 914, finds Shaw’s coat, but she sees Shaw’s outside being put into a car, she hears Martine’s voice saying that Root just missed her. The two women square off, just when it seems Root’s got the advantage, two male operatives overpower her. She’s strapped to a hospital bed as Harold’s brought in. John Greer greets Finch, telling him he’s just in time to see them cut Root’s head open. Samaritan has determined that the ear implant that Root received has The Machine’s location on it. Greer tells her that she’ll be brain-damaged as a result of the surgery, but she’ll still be able to dress and feed herself.

Dominic tells Elias his time’s up and he’s going to take out his men, Carl relents and gives his rival the bank routing number of the Brotherhood member that Elias pays. Seconds later Dominic’s phone rings and he ends the call with a troubled expression on his face. Link comes over to ask him who the mole is and Dominic replies that he needs Link’s advice in how to handle the situation. His right-hand man tells Dominic he knows what he needs to do, put the mole in the ground, then asks who it is. Dominic replies with his gun, pumping five shots into Link.

Carl starts laughing saying the rival gang leader may have his title, but he can’t hold onto it. He says you can’t trust anybody and now his man’s dead. Dominic starts calling Link a rat and Elias admits that he may have misled his rival. There wasn’t a mole in the Brotherhood, Carl just tricked Dominic into thinking there was one, Link was loyal to the end.

Back at the Steiner Institute, Samaritan’s operatives are about to dissect Root’s head. She says Finch shouldn’t have to witness the carnage. Martine offers to kill Harold first, Root says if she lays a hand on Finch she’ll kill Martine. The Samaritan operative leans close to Root and Root grabs the former blonde and kills her. When Martine hits the floor, Root says now she’s ready to surrender.

Greer tells the pair that Samaritan’s making a final offer to save The Machine’s human operatives. Root screams out to the Artificial Intelligence System that Harold was right, that each of them are interchangeable. She tells The Machine, that she has to live and it can find new human operatives. Suddenly the facility’s power goes out, then we see a computer screen flicker and The Machine sends Finch and Root a message:

YOU ARE WRONG, HAROLD

YOU ARE NOT INTERCHANGABLE

I FAILED TO SAVE SAMEEN

BUT I WON’T FAIL YOU NOW.

RELEASE THEM FIRST

THEN YOU’LL KNOW MY LOCATION.

Greer tells his operatives to release the pair. He then bids Finch farewell until the next time they meet. Root tells Harold that they have to get to The Machine before Samaritan does. He asks her if she knows where it’s at and she says she doesn’t but they need to find her.

The teacher tells Control that Samaritan’s planning a "Correction", Control looks through the woman’s day-planner and realizes the correction’s set for Wednesday, May 6. The teacher then talks of the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah and mentions Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt, for looking behind her as they fled the city.

She tells Control that she can survive the Correction, by not impeding Samaritan’s plans. She says that Control’s good at closing her eyes to the truth, soon the planet will be on fire, so Control best look away. The teacher says that Samaritan’s creating a new age with the correction, Control tells the teacher it’s too bad she won’t be around to see it, then shoots her in the head.

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