The group formerly known as Anonymous is back, now known as Vigilance, and still headed by the privacy-loving revolutionary Collier. If you'll recall, Collier killed the sleazy data broker a few episodes ago. In this episode, he's endangering our number of the week: the kindly brother of a computer hacker who tried to leave Vigilance when they got violent. There is a time of fun stuff as Finch helps the number, Sloane, including a great scene where we learn about the ultimate way to send secret messages. Just write them in invisible ink on the walls of a storage unit. Oh, and also encrypt them using an okay algorithm.
It turns out that Vigilance isn't the only group interested in Sloane's foster brother Jason. The Machine has also taken an interest in him, and asks Root to get Shaw's help to rescue Jason from the CIA. Hence, the team up. Basically, Jason promised the feds that he would tell them everything about Vigilance, if they would just put him in a witness protection program. So they faked his death and handed him over to the CIA, who stuck him in their mobile interrogation unit, moving him every three days so that they don't have to release him. Damn, I love when the show just extended detail like that.
Anyway, it's all fun and badassery as Shaw and Root try to rescue Jason by stashing Root in the CIA interrogation camp, while Finch and Reese try to protect Sloane. Meanwhile, Collier kidnaps Sloane, delivering a few brief infodumps about how his group is all about protecting privacy, yada yada. Nobody is wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, which is disappointing.
With the Machine's help, everybody comes together in a giant smashup – Collier's plan is foiled, Root helps Jason escape with a couple of million dollars (only the Machine knows why), and Reese rescues Sloane. Plus, Shaw finally gets to punch Root, and eventually Finch gets to put Root under house arrest at his office.
Because all of that wasn't exciting enough, we found out that somehow the head of HR in the police department got out of his jam with Reese last week. He's still in charge, and orders Laskey to bury the body of a guy he murdered for not paying his monthly bribes to HR. And that's when Laskey finally turns for real. Because the guy he has to bury is an old friend of his from the neighborhood, and he realizes that Carter has been right all along. The HR guys are a bunch of evil scumbags. He finally admits to her that he's connected with the Russian mafia, and that HR has been seeding the department with Russians to cement their relationship with the Russian mob – and to create a new crop of loyal HR soldiers.
So Carter has recruited a younger, cuter Fusco (not that Fusco isn't adorable), and Finch has made Root his prisoner. All the right people are being bosses. And I love the show's closing line, after Root threatens Finch that the Machine will be angry about her imprisonment. "How do you know the Machine doesn't want you here?" he asks.
Oh, and also? I think I had a nerdgasm when I saw this (below) pop up on the Machine's POV. Oh, Person of Interest – of course you know about Tor. Please marry me, show.