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Episode 411: If-Then-Else

The New York stock exchange is currently in turmoil. Anxious bankers watch the charts from outdoors, and among the crowd are Finch and Root, who know that Samaritan has attacked the city's financial system. While Shaw is busy taking care of a number, Finch and Root head to the stock exchange to investigate.

Lambert checks in with Greer, who informs him that the stock exchange attack is the latest step of Decima's plan. Greer anticipates the team's resistance and remains confident.

Finch and Root pretend to be technicians fixing the security cameras, which Reese is tampering with as part of the hoax. Finch operates the clerk's computer and secretly allows the Machine access into the building's closed-circuit surveillance system. He and Root board and elevator and are joined by Reese and Fusco. They head to the ground floor, where 90% of the shares are digitally deployed.

Shaw is in a subway train waiting to confront a man with access to the security room codes. However, matters are complicated when a suicidal man, Gary, who is wearing a bomb vest, handcuffs a banker seated next to him and threatens to detonate his vest.

Reese, Finch, Root and Fusco arrive at the ground floor when Samaritan's feeds come online and the lights partially go out - Martine and her army of Decima operatives cover the area, with armed men ambushing the team. The four take cover behind a shelf in an office and Root consults the Machine for a strategy suggestion.

2003

POI 0411 Flashback1

The Machine evaluates its "core precepts" and flashes back to a chess game it was playing with Finch in the park, where Finch is teaching it strategies and using them as analogies to reality. Finch lectures the Machine on the excessive possibilities it's considering and suggests it simply play without over-calculating each move.

The Machine uses the chess analogy to go through a plethora of tactics, and simulates their corresponding scenarios...

Option 336,742

4x11 - Gary's Bomb Vest

This option sees the team splitting up, with Root and Finch going to the heavily-guarded security room while Reese and Fusco work on the servers. Greer instructs Martine and her men to cover the entire server area, and Reese and Fusco are outnumbered in the trap.

Shaw checks in with Reese to report her predicament in the train. When given no help, she attempts to talk Gary into giving up his plan at gunpoint. Gary refuses and prepares to detonate his vest, before Shaw shoots him in the head and is apprehended by a SWAT team.

Root and Finch, meanwhile, head to the server room and Finch attempts to hack the computers while Root fends off the incoming gunmen. However, Finch is shot in the abdomen and dies in Root's arms. The Machine decides against employing this option.

POI 0411 Flashback2

2003

The Machine is improving its skills at chess. Finch observes the Machine's tendency to frequently use the queen, and explains the origins of the piece to it. He ends up winning this round.

Option 506,738
This option is similar to the last, but swaps the destinations of each pair. Reese and Fusco go to the security room while Finch and Root investigate the servers. In the server room, Finch begins fixing a piece of machinery while Root goes to modify the elevator controls. She breaks a glass window and brandishes an ax.

Reese and Fusco arrive at the security room, whose codes Shaw is still having difficulties obtaining. Reese suggests to her that she provide the man with something to live for - Shaw learns from the man that the banker next to him wasted the man's life savings. He decides to go through with the detonation, prompting Shaw to shoot him again.

Reese and Fusco instead shoot the security panel and fend off Decima forces while Finch attempts to communicate the programming language used the hack the computer to an inexperienced Fusco. The Decima men begin to increase in number, and Reese locks Fusco in a closet before going out to take on the men himself. He wrestles with Lambert before the latter shoots him. A dying Reese ends up pulling a grenade and killing everyone in the room.

Root breaks down a section of the wall with her ax and tries finding the correct wire to disable the elevator lock. She calls Shaw, who is being arrested, and gradually professes her love to her - Shaw is confused, before Root, who is revealed to be outnumbered, is shot dead by Martine's forces.

The Machine crosses off this option and rewinds back to real time, with four seconds left to make a decision.

Option 833,333
This option decides that all four members of the team go to the security room.

4x11 - Simplified Simulation

Shaw, meanwhile, is finally successful is talking Gary out of detonating his vest when she assures him that he is not alone in this world despite the negativity that is surrounding him. Gary unplugs his vest and is arrested by SWAT. Shaw is able to retrieve the code from the man she was spying on.

Finch uses the code to grant the team access into the security room. The Machine, running out of time, simplifies the simulation and is able to conclude that the mission will be successful. However, the chances of the team's escape are at a slim 2.07%.

POI 0411 Flashback3

2003

The Machine once again is triumphant against Finch in a chess match. Afterwards, Finch monologues on how he doesn't enjoy playing chess due to fact that it was created at a time of cynicism and societal imbalance. He uses this a basis for his lesson to the Machine: to not assign "values" or different "priority levels" to anybody, since people are not things you sacrifice. He concludes by saying that those who treat life as a game of chess deserve to lose.

In real time, the Machine suggests option 833,333 to Root. The team decides not to split up, while Shaw is able to talk Gary out of detonating his vest. The team, meanwhile, successfully breaks into the security room, Finch hacks the computers, and the financial crisis is stopped. News reports track the gradual increase of the stock market.

In the control room, Fusco uses the ax to break the wires operating the elevator lock. Martine and her men arrive near the escape route and a violent shootout ensues, with Reese taking a bullet in his back while saving Finch.

The four consider surrendering, with Root calling Shaw and preparing the profess her love. Shaw, however, has made it to the building, rapidly increasing the team's chances of survival. She uses Gary's bomb detonator against Decima, giving them access to the elevator.

The elevator, however, suddenly stops functioning. Shaw points out an override button near a desk right outside the elevator, but Root tries to stop her. Shaw, realizing Root's feelings, passionately kisses her before running out and pressing the button.

Martine, however, engages in a gunfight with Shaw, and Root watches in horror as Shaw is crippled by bullets and is floored. Martine approaches a collapsed Shaw with her gun aimed, and the elevator doors close before a gunshot rings out.

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