‘Mors Praematura’ is a super entertaining episode! It moves a couple of big plots along quite nicely, gets real gay real fast, starts up some threads that won’t really be pulled until a while later, and is all around a great time. Let’s begin.
I have watched the whole show before, so SPOILERS MIGHT HAPPEN. Big spoilers will be blanked out but references and irrelevant spoilers are going to be out in the open.
We start off with Shaw getting kidnapped by Root, just like the last episode ended. And a little later, John is breaking into her apartment, on Harold’s orders, to figure out why she is missing.
John is trying to find clues, and all he finds at first are weapons in the fridge, which is pretty average, apparently. But then he spots taser confetti (some paper that is ejected, for some reason, when a taser gun is fired) on the floor.
Harold: I suppose it’s too much to hope she tased herself.
John: Knowing Shaw, it’s possible.
I mean, I’m not gonna kinkshame, but that would be an elaborate way to e-stim. But it’s true, it’s possible. And that is why she is my wife.
But the question remains… where did Root take her? What does she want from her?
Shaw wakes up tied to the steering wheel of a car. And it all goes gay and blurry in my head after that.
Root tells Shaw that The Machine has a mission for them both, and they need to work together. The Machine is in some type of unspecified, ominous trouble. Sameen isn’t super pleased, but agrees to help.
Shaw: Fine, I’ll forget how I feel about you, but when this is over, you better hope I don’t remember.
The first number (of two) in this episode is Timothy Sloan, who is being targeted for snooping around his foster brother’s disappearance. The foster brother, Jason Greenfield, was supposedly murdered and framed as a suicide, and Sloan thinks it might have to do with the fact that he was a very good hacker who got really in with some not-great people. Some really intense privacy activists who leave coded messages for each other in storage rooms. And are willing to kill to protect and advance their cause.
If it sounds like we’ve been here before it’s because we have: Peter Collier, and his group, which is given a name in this episode – Vigilance. They all get names from the American Revolution. LOL a bit too cheesy there, but ok.
On Carter’s front, she is having Laskey run errands for HR as usual, except she gets to see where, and who, and how. She warns Laskey about how far HR expects people to go for their “loyalty”.
Root and Shaw are walking around town, with Root giving Shaw cryptic instructions as to what they’re doing, where they’re going, etc. Why is she like this, you ask?
Root: Honestly, most of the time, I’m told what to do a second before I have to do it. The big picture — that’s hers. The only thing I know for sure is: I. Need. You.
Okay, so, there is so much to say about just this one lil’ quote, as is often the case with Root’s lines. On the one hand there is her blindfolded trust in The Machine, in that the Machine knows her abilities and knows her so well that she can guide her, and that she (Root) doesn’t need to know the big picture, doesn’t need to be in control at all. It’s so so interesting and fantastic to me.
And then there is of course just how gay that last part was. Root is flirting with her, even though she knows Shaw could try to kill her any minute. Honestly the straight fans who ever thought Root was straight… How? This is the gayest shit.
For more gay flirting: they break and enter into a CIA pickup site, where the CIA is picking up a “package” the next morning.
And before you even say I’m making shit up, Root references this very night in season 4, calling it a “hood and zip ties in a CIA safe-house with 10 hours to kill” hot, which, I mean…
Laskey realizes very soon exactly how seriously messed up HR is. They kill a longtime friend of Laskey for skimming money off his payments to Simmons, and make Laskey bury him. He has tears in his eyes but honestly, tough shit, kid. That’s what you get. I don’t care.
But hold on! We still don’t really know what Shaw and Root’s mission was (and we were all too distracted by all the queerness that’s been happening), do we?
Well, you know how Sloan, Harold’s number, is in danger for digging into his hacker brother? Jason Greenfield. Well, Jason is Root’s number. In a way. And at some point, their paths cross, as Shaw and Root are rescuing Greenfield and John is rescuing Sloan.
Right before this, though, we hear a little bit more of Collier, who I just love listening to and staring at. He is very charismatic as Collier, as he should be, being the leader of a very intense group of fellas.
And anyway, in the end, John saves Sloan, Collier gets away (to fight and enchant me another day), and Root saves Greenfield. Greenfield asks her why, and she says she is just following orders, but gives an ominous guess.
Root: My guess is, you’re necessary.
And indeed he will be.
Laskey meets up with Carter the day after burying his friend, and confesses to Joss that he is part of the Russian mob, tells her his real name, and that HR has millions of dollars saved. He seems to be disillusioned with HR now. Well that took about 3 seconds.
After sending Greenfield off to a new life, Root is cornered by some Vigilance bros with no bullets left, but guess who shoots them dead just in time?
My wife, obviously.
Root: I knew you’d come back for me.
But now that the mission is done, it’s time to see if Shaw remembers how she feels about Root.
And she takes Root to Harold, who locks her up in a Faraday cage inside the library.
Root sees it as unfair that she should be locked up like that, and Harold points out Root’s use of ‘she’ pronouns for The Machine, calls it “illuminating”. What does that even mean? ‘Cause to me, as far as the writers choosing this, it means one of a few things: that she’s gay, and wifey needs to be a ‘she’, OR that The Machine has chosen to speak to her in mostly “feminine” (I know it’s all fake but, y’know) voices because The Machine believes/guesses/approximates that will create a better bonding time with Root, or Root believes The Future is Female. Or it could mean nothing.
Root: You’re going against The Machine’s wishes, by keeping me here, Harold. You’re only going to make her angry. […]
Finch: How could you know, Ms. Groves, that the Machine doesn’t wish you to be precisely where you are?
To this day, I don’t know which of the two is truer for what happens next. What I do know is that I become increasingly exasperated with Harold in the next few episodes, because he makes some decisions that while I kind of understand, I still want to punch him really hard for.
Everything is getting messy and ugly and depressing real soon, my pals.
This episode advances the plot really, really well. I love it. Root is active as the analog interface now, and we still don’t know why The Machine decided she needed her (even though Root spoke about someone trying to hurt her, we don’t know more than that), and, teaming up with Shaw and then being locked in the library, so it is all coming closer to her being a part of Team Machine.
On another end, Carter is getting closer to the head of HR, and that plot in general feels more and more tense in the past couple of episodes. On yet another end, we get a second appearance, and a name, for Vigilance, making it known they are probably here to stay for a while. And of course, Root and Shaw are very gay. Which is the most important as a plot point.
We are ramping up for a sequence of non-stop really intense shit happening. Hang on to your strap-ons.